The New, Adjustable Glif

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In 2010, we wrote about an interesting Kickstarter campaign for an iPhone stand and tripod mount called Glif. Simple and elegant, the Glif allowed you to easily mount an iPhone 4 on a tripod or act as a kickstand to prop it up at an angle. After the Kickstarter success, the duo behind the project, Tom Gerhardt and Dan Provost, went on to form Studio Neat; in the past three years, they have released other products that include the Cosmonaut stylus, iPhone apps, and a book.

Today, Tom and Dan are back with an update to the original Glif (called, in a very iPad 3-esque way, “The New Glif”) that makes it adjustable for practically any smartphone size. From their description:

The Glif will fit virtually any smartphone, between 58.4–86.4mm wide and 3.1–12.7mm thick. Some exceptions include “phablets” like the Samsung Galaxy Note, or phones with incredibly bulky cases.

With the new Glif, you’ll get a 5/32 hex key to adjust the device for your smartphone. Besides non-Apple phones, I think that having an adjustable Glif is a good idea for users who like to keep their iPhones cases that don’t fit with the original Glif design (which is still available for purchase).

The new Glif is $30 and available here.


In an email to customers, Studio Neat has announced that the Glif is now available for the iPhone 5 on their online store and will start shipping next week. The standard Glif for iPhone 5 is available for $20, whilst the Glif+ which includes the ‘Serif’ (further secures your iPhone) and ‘Ligature’ (attatches the Glif to your keychain) is available for $30. Originally launched in late 2010, the Glif is quite an ingenious tripod mount and stand for the iPhone and was one of the first Kickstarter success stories.

We are happy to announce that the new Glif and Glif+ for iPhone 5 are on their way to the warehouse and will begin shipping early next week! The new Glif is like the previous version you know and love, just… 5-ier.

Studio Neat has since brought out The Cosmonaut (an stylus for capacitive touch screen devices such as the iPad and iPhone) and Frameographer (an iOS app to make time-lapse and stop motion movies). The duo behind Studio Neat, Tom Gerhardt and Dan Provost also wrote about their experiences launching these products in a book called It Will Be Exhilihariting earlier this year.


March 2012 In Review

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March was the month of the new iPad, an updated Apple TV and the announcement of a dividend and share repurchase program. It was most certainly a ‘big’ month. If a new iPad wasn’t enough, we also got a lot of new apps (alongside all those being updated for the Retina Display) and big app updates – everything from Angry Birds Space (world productivity took a dive that week) to both iA Writer and Byword iPhone apps launching to Camera+ 3.0 and our eyes were in heaven after Instapaper was updated to support the Retina Display with some truly beautiful new fonts. On the story front, Federico tackled the issue of what was the best aspects of our favourite iOS text editors, talked about the ‘Apple Community’, Cody reviewed the new iPad and I expressed sadness and frustration with lies of Mike Daisey.

Jump the break to get a full recap of March 2012. You can also jump back to see what happened in January and February of this year.

The New iPad

On March 7th, Apple held its iPad keynote – announcing the third generation iPad, simply calling it the ‘new iPad’. It featured a Retina Display, improved rear camera, quad-core GPU with the new A5X processor and support for 4G networks. We posted a review roundup, featuring the highlights from various reviews on the internet, as well as our own review by Cody. Apple announced that in its opening weekend it sold 3 million of the new iPads.

The (updated) Apple TV, iOS 5.1,  iPhoto for iOS and more from Apple’s iPad event

Alongside the new iPad, Apple also released an updated Apple TV with support for 1080p content as well as new UI that was also released for the existing Apple TV. Co-inciding with the release of the new iPad was the release of iOS 5.1 which included some bugfixes and new features such as an improved activation method to use the lockscreen camera. Apple also announced the iOS version of iPhoto which was made available for $4.99 a short time later.

More minor announcements included the availability for AppleCare+ for the new iPad, iTunes 10.6 and the release of the “Apple Configurator” app after the event. Apple also bumped the over-the-air download limit from 20 MB to 50 MB to reflect larger app sizes due to Universal apps that included graphics for the Retina iPad and iPhone – as well as larger download caps that exist today. Finally, you saw Apple update a whole bunch of their own apps for the new iPad and Retina Display.

We also posted a complete round-up of the event and a bunch of minor details about the event that you may have missed. You can also watch the recording of the event here.

25 billion apps downloaded

On March 3rd, Apple announced that 25 billion apps had been downloaded from the App Store. To mark the milestone it revealed a new “All-Time Top Apps” section on the App Store. A few days later, Apple revealed that the 25 billionth app downloaded was ‘Where’s My Water? Free’ by Chunli Fu who is from  Qingdao, China – she won a $10,000 iTunes gift card.

Apple announces dividend and share repurchase program

Somewhat out of the blue, Apple announced on a Sunday afternoon that it would be holding a conference call early the next day (Monday) to announce the result of discussions by Apple’s board on what it would do with Apple’s cash balance. As was widely expected, Apple announced it would begin issuing quarterly dividends of $2.65 per share. It also announced a $10 billion share repurchase program to begin in FY2013.

Fair Labor Association releases preliminary report on Foxconn conditions

The Fair Labor Association released a preliminary report on its findings from inspections at Foxconn that were conducted earlier this year. In what now seems like planned positive PR ahead of the report’s release, Tim Cook visited Foxconn a few days before the report was published and photographs were distributed to media of the visit.

Angry Birds Space

Rovio this month released Angry Birds Space, the fourth in the series (after the original, Rio and Seasons). Unsurprisingly, the game did incredibly well and managed to receive over 10 million downloads in less than 3 days. Particularly awesome was this analysis of the physics used by the game, a great follow-up to the original investigation into Angry Birds physics.

Everything Else


The Really Big Reviews

Everything Else

March Quick Reviews

Retina & Universal

iPhoto for iOS Review

The Essence of a Name

On Reviewing Apps

Getting Your iPad App Ready for the new iPad

Comparing My Favorite iOS Text Editors

Daisey’s Lies Take Us Two Steps Backwards

iPad (3) Review: You Won’t Believe It Until You See It

The Apple Community, Part II

Regarding Apple’s Edge and the new Apple TV Interface

A Series of Clicks

The (Semi)Skeuomorphism

MacStories Reading Lists

MacStories Reading List: February 26 – March 4

MacStories Reading List: New iPad Special Edition

When Thomas Gerhardt and Dan Provost set out to reinvent the market for tripod mounts and stands for iPhone in 2010 with The Glif, little did they know their idea would spur a new generation of creators and designers that seek out resources and funds for innovative iPhone-related projects through crowd-sourcing funding platform Kickstarter. Back when Kickstarter was still relatively “small” — the quotes are necessary here, as the site was already well known among creatives, but clearly not as popular as the service that’s now backing projects exceeding $2 million in funding — Studio Neat became an example in the tech and Apple communities of a great idea (tripod mounts for iPhone) combined with a fantastic everyday product (the iPhone’s camera) for a successful funding campaign. And Studio Neat, unlike others, even gave the whole fund-through-Kickstarter thing a second shot, coming back with an equally popular campaign — this time for an iPad stylus, The Cosmonaut. Both The Glif and The Cosmonaut turned from ideas and funding campaigns into commercially available products and feasible businesses, allowing Tom and Dan of Studio Neat to revamp their website and offer their iOS accessories directly to customers, tweaking The Glif’s package along the way with a Plus version that builds on the original vision, adding more iPhone camera-related goodness to the mix. Today, Studio Neat decides to try something new — not another Kickstarter campaign for a new iOS accessory, but a brand new iOS app available on the App Store called Frames.

Clearly meant to work best in conjunction with The Glif, Frames is an iPhone app to create stop motion and time-lapse movies with an intuitive interface. With a beautiful icon and an elegant dark design with thumbnail-based navigation, Frames makes it extremely easy to capture various “frames” — a sequence of still images — to play them back at a certain speed to achieve the effect seen in stop motion movies.

The app itself is fairly simple, and anyone will be able to pick it up immediately without necessarily being an expert in stop motion animations and editing. A main Projects view lets you create new videos and export them to the Camera Roll at 720p in a native format that can later be recognized by apps like iMovie (something you might want to consider as Frames can’t add music or text to your videos). Once in a project, you can scroll through frames at the bottom, and adjust the number of frames per second with a slider — you can go from 1 FPS up to 120 FPS. A Play button lets you roll the video so you can get an instant preview of what you’ve accomplished, whilst tapping on a + button opens the camera interface to add new stills to a project, choosing between stop motion mode (manual shutter) and time-lapse (automatic shutter: you set a time to lapse between stills, and the camera takes care of the rest).

The camera of Frames comes with a grid view, onion skinning, possibility of switching between rear and front-facing camera, AE/AF lock, and overall clear design that explains how many frames you’ve taken in a given amount of time very well.

I’ve been using Frames on my iPhone 4S, and I’m thoroughly impressed by how Studio Neat managed to turn stop motion into a streamlined process that takes advantage of the iPhone’s hardware to produce great results. Whilst you’d be able to achieve similar results with a video editing application if you know where to look and what to tweak, the focused approach of Frames (something that apps generally share) and its $2.99 price tag more than justify the purchase — personally, I can say I’ve been having fun making time lapse movies using Frames’ easy-to-understand menus and options, whereas a full-featured video editing app or manual process would have probably turned me away in frustration.

Frames is a “neat” utility to create stop motion movies without the complexity of regular video editing. You can get the app at $2.99 on the App Store.

I still take photographs the old fashioned way, but photographers with a tripod and mount will love this tip. From the Why Didn’t I Try This department, OS X Hints shares that you can use the volume up button on the included Apple headphones to snap a picture. Photographers who don’t want to be hands on with their iPhones when taking photographs will appreciate having free remote bundled in with their iPhones — those headphones don’t need to be in your ear after all.

Perhaps the best part is that this can be paired with Bluetooth devices! I’m not sure if every headset with volume controls will work (as the buttons need to map correctly to the iPhone), but if a Bluetooth headset can increase the iPhone’s volume it should work.

You can turn your bluetooth headset into an instant wireless remote.

A steady photograph is ultimately a cleaner photograph. You can reduce a lot of camera noise, improve the quality of the picture, and take better night photographs by simply steadying your iPhone. If you have the kit available to prop your iPhone for photographs, then getting even more hands off will really help make the different between a good photograph and a great one. The iPhone 4S camera is among the best in class for smartphones, and what better way to utilize as a semi-professional device than to use what we already have available as a remote shutter release? It’s an excellent tip, and if you hadn’t already tried this, consider it a worthy addition to your knowledge noggin.

Quick note: Camera+ recently got its volume-snap back, and it works here too. Don’t forget about the GLIF (shown above) for easy iPhone mounting to your favorite tripod.

[OS X Tips via Macgasm]

Note: We published this tip in our initial iOS 5 tips roundup, but none-the-less it’s a great reminder for new iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S owners.

Today is June 24, 2011. Believe it or not, it has already been one year since the iPhone 4 went on sale across the US, UK, France, Germany and Japan to literally millions of people who eagerly waited in line to get their hands on the latest and greatest iPhone yet. The history of the iPhone 4 has been remarkable, controversial and fascinating, filled with prototype leaks, criminal investigations, amazing technology, scandals, mystical white unicorns, new carrier allegiances and more. Come along with me as we mark the one-year anniversary of the iPhone 4 with a walk down memory lane.


Last year before everyone was using Kickstarter, a new iPhone accessory showed up on the site and was a phenomenal success. It was “The Glif” – a tripod mount / stand. We’ve covered it’s rise to popularity here on MacStories. The creators of The Glif, Dan Provost and Thomas Gerhardt, are back with a new project, named The Cosmonaut.

The Cosmonaut is a minimal, wide-grip capacitive stylus for touch screen devices (not just the iPad). They modeled this new product after a dry-erase marker since it makes more sense on an iPad than a small stylus that people use on smartphones.

Video after the break. (more…)


Kickstarter is the largest funding platform for creative projects in the world. They have helped projects like the TikTok+LunaTik watch kit for iPod Nano and the Glif tripod mount / stand for iPhone. Today, we thought we would show you a project that’s aimed at all of our hearts, the iPad.

Adonit has started a project via Kickstarter for their product WRITER, an iPad case + keyboard. Adonit is trying to raise $10,000 to get this project funded by February 3 and currently has over $7,000 (US). (more…)

The Glif is a tripod mount / stand for the iPhone we have covered on MacStories quite a few times in the past months. Several accessories are announced and released every day; none of them goes from idea to the market in 5 months. None of them comes from an idea of two guys with no marketing, retail or manufacturing experience.

The Glif quickly jumped from cool Kickstarter project to Internet all-star thanks to the dozens of blogs and publications that thought the accessory was cool and deserved to be noticed by people in order to be manufactured and then sold. The creators have now posted an interesting “behind the scenes” article with all the details, pictures and videos of the Glif, from idea to actual product.

From the beginning, it was clear that simplicity was going to be a key tenet of our design. Not just for philosophical reasons, but to keep the design focused, and quite frankly, achievable. We knew that any complication to the manufacturing (moving parts, assembly, etc.) would make the project less likely to succeed.

After a round of sketching, we arrived at the general shape rather quickly: something that affixes to the corner of the phone and runs along the long edge, with a tripod screw roughly centered on that edge. One key component of our early design was a small peg located inside the shoe of the Glif, meant to be inserted into the headphone jack for extra stability. We were both in love with this feature, but in an example of killing your darlings, realized the design was better served (and more versatile) without it.

In case you haven’t considered a Glif yet, go check out the website here. This neat accessory with double functionality can be yours for just $20.