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Introducing Amaphone (Beta)

iPhone Fever.  We know you've got it — so do we.  Today, to coincide with the launch of the iPhone, we are announcing Amaphone™, the easiest way to browse and shop Amazon.com on an iPhone.


This was a natural new project for us.  Users of Watson may recall its valuable front-end to Amazon.com, and Sandvox users have by now discovered the ability to build Amazon.com content in your own Website, using a dynamic inspector for loading and displaying items from the Amazon stores. Amaphone uses the same technology that Watson and Sandvox do to retrieve content directly from Amazon and display it without the clutter and long waits for pages to load.

For readers who don't yet have their own iPhone, don't fret — you can still simulate the experience by visiting amaphone.com from your desktop (Safari-only for now) or the cool iPhoney application (Be sure to set 'iPhone User Agent').

As more people get their iPhones, we expect to get some good feedback about Amaphone.  The application includes a button for emailing your comments directly from the iphone.

A New Karelia Website

Karelia's website has a new look!

If you get your Karelia news from within Sandvox or your favorite RSS reader and haven't seen it, be sure to head over to the Karelia site to check it out! 

Like the previous incarnation, it's built entirely within Sandvox's Pro Edition. Our new site is based on the "Earth & Sky" design and features a custom banner image. Among the new content are sections devoted to Reviews, a Sandvox Site Gallery that shows off some excellent examples of customer-created sites, and Good Karma, where we will share news about Mac developers, products, and events we find innovative or particularly helpful. We've also added new content to the sidebars of several pages, so be sure to visit the new site and see Sandvox in action!

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Sandvox gets an Apple Design Award

We're quite proud to announce that Sandvox 1.2 was awarded runner-up in the 2007 Apple Design Awards for the category of "Best Mac OS X User Experience."

We are at Apple's WWDC (World Wide Developer Conference) this week, where each year only a few applications are chosen from a huge pool of entries for several categories, including User Experience, Games, Scientific, Widgets, Developer Tools, and Leopard application.

Each year, Apple packs the house with a glitzy show, not quite as big as the Academy Awards in Hollywood, but certainly a grand event in the Macintosh world.  Before the winners were announced this year, they presented an immersive slideshow featuring winners of the awards since 2001; it was great to see Watson (a winner in 2002) there — and to hear the applause when it appeared onscreen!  Then the winners and runner-ups in each category were announced.  They saved the User Experience category (by far the most competitive) for last, which just added to our tension! When they announced our application as runner-up, the three Karelians (Terrence, Dan, and our newest engineer Mike) ran up on stage to collect and admire our cube-shaped trophy as one of the presenters gave a very nice description of our application and why it was chosen. The winner of this category, incidentally, was Coda from Panic, a beautiful program that is also used for building websites (but geared to a much more technical audience than Sandvox).  Congratulations to all the winners; it's certainly worthwhile for all Mac users to look at the full list of awards and try out the applications. 

Sandvox Version 1.2.1 is Released

There's a minor update to Sandvox available now, bringing it up to version 1.2.1. There are a number of bugfixes, plus some really nice performance enhancements we were able to put into place.

As a minor update, it's not about new features, but improvements. One feature we do want to mention is a subtle anti-spam trick that we have put into the Contact form (page or pagelet) that will discourage you from receiving spam from automated contact form "bots." You will probably want to take advantage of this; just open your site document and re-publish it.

This coming week, we will be at WWDC, Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference, picking up new development tricks and rubbing elbows with other Mac developers. In between sessions, we'll be putting the finishing touches on our new website (still built with Sandvox, of course) for an imminent launch. For those reading this who are attending the conference, we hope you'll say hi if you run into us! (Dan will be twittering!) Terrence will also be there; as will Mike Abdullah (our newest engineer) who has crossed the Atlantic from the UK to attend his first WWDC.