Transform your Phone with a Boring Plastic Stand

When the Pixel 3 was announced a few months ago there was a lot of press about the incredible Camera and the enormous Notch. Lost in this noise is a wireless charging accessory that Google calls the Pixel Stand.

The Pixel Stand

The Pixel Stand is basically a standard wireless charger. It’s just a piece of plastic with no visual user-interface. Some say it’s overpriced at $79. Like I said, it’s a boring plastic stand.

But it completely transforms the Pixel 3.

This boring plastic stand transforms the Pixel 3 into an Assistant…

Pixel Stand immediately turns the Pixel 3 into an Assistant

This boring plastic stand transforms the Pixel 3 into a photo frame…

Pixel Stand can show you favorite photos while it charges

This boring plastic stand transforms the Pixel 3 into a gradually brightening alarm clock…

Pixel Stand gradually brightens a few minutes before your alarm. It has a special display too.

Google is onto something by transforming your phone when placed in situations like on your nightstand or on your desk. Perhaps the most interesting part about all this is there is no software on the boring plastic stand. It’s all in the Pixel 3 phone.

Pixel Stand Settings

When you place the Pixel 3 onto the stand it goes into a special mode. When you take it off it goes back to being a regular phone. It’s pretty magical to see your phone transform into something else just by putting it onto a boring plastic stand. I hope as mobile devices continue to evolve we’ll see more of these thoughtful transformations.


Have questions about the Basecamp 3 Android app? Let our awesome support team know by sending us an email.

Basecamp 3 works where you do on Android, iOS, Mac, and Windows — anywhere you’ve got a web browser and an internet connection. Your first Basecamp is completely free so try it today, it takes just a minute to sign-up.

Basecamp 3 for Android: The Latest and Greatest

We added a few great features in the latest version of Basecamp 3 for Android. Download version 3.12 from the Google Play Store today.

3 new things to try:

1. Swipe Up for Quick Add and Recently Visited

You could always Add a To-do, Upload a File, Post a Message, or Add an Event right from the Home Screen. Most people, however, just needed to browse projects or the Hey! menu without the “Big Green Add Button” in the way.

Now you can simply swipe up on the Home Screen navigation to reveal these Quick Add options. We’ve also added a list of Recently Visited sections for easy reference. Just tap on one of these to jump right back to it.

Swipe up to quickly add To-dos, Files, and more. Jump to recently visited places

2. Comments with Image Galleries

We’ve improved the interface for commenting on Basecamp Messages. Now you can format your comments using Bold, Italic, and Bullets. You can also select multiple images to attach to form an Image Gallery in Basecamp.

Tap the Paperclip icon. Then select the images one at a time in the order you want them to appear. Tap Upload Files, and they’ll be grouped together into an Image Gallery. You can add and edit captions too.

Format your comments, make an Image Gallery

3. Reply Directly inside a Notification

If your phone supports it (Android 8.0 and above) you can now have Basecamp conversations without opening the app. Just reply to a Ping or Message notification. You’ll see a running history of what’s been said.

Reply to Basecamp discussions without opening the app

We hope these features help you get around Basecamp easier, give detailed suggestions, and reply to discussions without losing focus. We’ve got more planned! Stay tuned. Until then, get the latest on Google Play.

Thanks again for being a Basecamp customer.

— The Android Team @ Basecamp

Highrise Mobile 3.1 now on iOS AND Android

Just a couple months ago, we announced iOS 3.0 and today we’re thrilled to announce BOTH a 3.1 version for iOS and Android.

For iOS users, since we just released iOS 3.0, this iteration has a lot of tweaks and fixes so you’ll see fewer crashes and bugs.

For our Android users, you’ll get all of the iOS 3.0 updates like the ability to search leads and contacts by tags.



And a lot more Task features brought into the app.



And more… like support for predefined values on custom fields, incorrectly formatted international phone numbers, copying fields from a contact, and emojis in notes, emails and comments.

A recent iOS review:

4* We’re a small sales organization with tons of complex interaction with our customers. We depend heavily and love Highrise on our desktops and laptops. I’ve been a beta tester for the upgrade iOS app for a few months and have been happy to see everything they’ve added and improved in this latest version….chuckamos

But what we’re really excited about is that from here on out we’ll continue to release BOTH iOS AND Android updates AT THE SAME TIME (read here for more technical details on how that’s possible).

And in case you haven’t been paying attention, our mobile updates have been much more frequent this year. We’re working on another big one coming soon…hint:


And if you love it, please give us a review. If not, let us know what we can improve: support@highrisehq.com.


Program to where the performance puck is going to be, not where it has been

In the year of our lord, 2013, the thought of ARM-powered phones running the full web experience with JavaScript as fast as x86-powered desktops was a laughable pipe dream. Way back in those olden days, some three years ago, the iPhone 5 was off by about a factor of 10. It seemed impossible that this would change any time soon.

But it did. The new iPhone 7 runs JavaScript, as measured by the JetStream benchmark, FASTER than the fastest of the (non-pro/air) MacBooks you can buy today. The best 5K iMac with a 4Ghz i7 processor is now less than twice as fast as the iPhone 7 on the same test. The ARM CPUs are improving at an absolutely insane pace. Moore might have taken a seat with desktop CPUs, but he’s sprinting faster than ever on mobile.


The pace of progress have embarrassed many predictions of the future, but this specific example is still astounding. Three years ago is not that long!! In that time we went from “off by an order of magnitude” to “faster than most laptops”.

What’s even more important than the benchmarks, though, is how the consequences of this incredible leap of performance alters not only what’s possible on a phone, but what the common strategy should be.

Here’s a money quote from 2013:

Just to be clear: is possible to do real-time collaboration on on a mobile device. It just isn’t possible to do it in JavaScript. The performance gap between native and web apps is comparable to the performance gap between FireFox and IE8, which is too large a gap for serious work.

That gap is gone. So I suppose that means the iPhone 7 is now officially certified for Serious Work™ 😜.

Here’s what funny. In 2013, we built an iPhone app for our collaboration tool Basecamp using JavaScript and the web in a hybrid combo. We do have a lot of fun at work, but I’d like to think that the result were Pretty Serious none the less.

Using the mobile web as the core of our native apps was a gamble at that time. The institutional scar from Facebook abandoning HTML5 for pure native in 2012 was still fresh in the memory of most working at the intersection of the web and native. And to be fair, there were indeed some tradeoffs. Things clearly weren’t as fast as native, they were just fast enough.

That was an order of magnitude in performance ago! Now the performance of this strategy is not just fast enough to be passable, it’s more than plenty fast enough to be awesome. Or rather, a non-issue.

Granted, the performance of the iPhone 7 is a future that’s not yet widely distributed. Android in particular has a lot of catching up to do, but even at much less performance, they too are clearly within the habitable zone of performance. That place where other things just matter far more.

Now I’m not saying going hybrid carries no tradeoffs. There are still some interactions that occasionally feel less than native, and thus still lack that last tiny bit of polish. And there are clearly still applications, like high-end 3D games, that need every ounce of performance they can get. But with the performance afforded us today, the spectrum of applications that can be knock-it-out-of-the-park awesome using a hybrid web/native combination is very large indeed. And much, much larger than it was in 2013 when we forged ahead.

The productivity advantages of developing a multi-platform service using the hybrid approach are simply astounding. There’s simply no way we could have built Basecamp 3 in 18 months to cover the web for desktops, web for mobile, native iOS, native Android, and email without a hybrid and majestic monolith. Not without ballooning our development teams dramatically, anyway. That’s five platforms covering some 200+ separate screens of functionality.

This feels similar in many ways to the situation I outlined in Ruby has been fast enough for 13 years. When performance improves, it’s not just that the things we already do get faster. It’s that we can do new things, in new ways. Ways that would have seemed impossibly slow before. Ways that make people who had to do the hard work of fitting a full computer demo into 4Kb cry, but that none the less lifts the productivity of the masses.

It also reminds me of an anecdote from John Carmack, the legendary programmer of Doom and Quake. He talked about how when he was working on a new game, he had to program not for the performance of today, but for the performance of three years in the future, when his game would be finished. If he programmed for today, it would look dated when it launched. Doom and Quake always looked amazing because of this.

Think of that when starting a new app today. Are you programming for the state of the world as it looked in 2013? Or 2016? Or 2018? Program to where the performance puck is going to be, not where it’s been.


If you want to checkout how a hybrid app can feel, Basecamp 3 has some great examples in the iOS app and Android app. Both are sitting pretty with a 4.5/5.0 rating from hundreds and hundreds of ratings.