Posts Tagged ‘Android’

Diversification And Legacy Data

May 23, 2014

I’m told that I’m a very loyal customer. That I’m loyal to Apple, Starbucks, Portland Fruit West, etc. — very few companies receive my business, and those who do receive my business receive a lot of it. Instead of making things complicated by buying from a diverse array of companies I keep things very simple by only buying from a handful.

There are many benefits to not diversifying yourself in computing platforms, and probably the most clear example of why it’s good to stick with one company is legacy data. Apple is what I know, so I’m going to try to stick to it for this blog post, though most of what follows can be said about other large companies which provide a wide array of services.

TL;DR: Through backups, my iPhone 5s and iPad Air have a data trail that dates back to 2006 with my MacBook Pro.

In 2007 I synced my brand new iPod touch with my MacBook Pro, and moved over .Mac mail, Calendar Events, Contacts, and Music/Movies. Every iOS device I’ve purchased since my iPod touch has been set up using backup data from the iOS device preceding it. I’ve actually gone through four generations of backups setting up new devices.

  1. 1. My iPhone 3G was just my iPod touch in a new shell.
  2. 2. My iPad and iPhone 4 were copies of my iPhone 3G in different shells.
  3. 3. My iPad 3 was a copy of my iPad.
  4. 4. My iPhone 5s, iPad mini and iPad Air are really just copies of my iPhone 4 and iPad 3, but they can also be considered simply grown up versions of my 2007 iPod touch.

(In addition, my iPhone 5s and iPad Air seamlessly share a remarkable amount of data with each other through iCloud.)

If I mixed things up with an Android device now and then, and if I used a different Mail service, 3rd party Contacts, Calendar, Notes, web browsers, office suites, photo management apps, etc., I could have moved over everything from device to device regardless of platform. The problem is it would require more work than I’d like! There’s beauty in simplicity.

Diversification is an important part of our development as humans. It’s great to travel and be around people who aren’t like you, who take you out of your comfort zone and force you to develop new ideas of culture and humanity. What I’ve learned traveling is that people are at a base level the same everywhere, although there are differences which have been imposed through the arc of time. When you immerse yourself in a culture other than your own, you can learn those impositions and adopt the ideas that you like, making yourself a truly unique individual.

Where diversification falls short of being important for development, is in our product purchases. You see people who have an iPhone, a Samsung Android tablet, and a Dell Windows PC, and use Yahoo! e-mail. This can be in the name of diversification, that different platforms have different benefits, and that it’s generally a bad idea to put all your faith in a single company in case it goes out of business.

As far as Apple goes, however, it’s very far from shutting down with its $151 billion in the bank and all. And the more companies you tie yourself to, the greater the chance you’ll find some services you rely on disappearing. It’s important to measure everything such as functionality, profitability, and how the company has handled product/service transitions in the past. From what I’ve measured Apple is the company I feel safe relying on.

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21: Paying The Bills

January 26, 2013

1. Unlocking Phones Is Illegal Again

I’m not sure that this was ever a concern of mine, but this is an example of the US government just not getting the tech industry. I feel slightly ignorant since the decision to make unlocking phones illegal today happened in October, but one thing is clear: Jailbreakers beware.

via FlipBoard for iOS

2. Mean Girls Is Amanda Seyfriend’s Best Work, So Says Amanda Seyfried

Yesterday I basically raved about Amanda Seyfried, and she’s already in the news again; this time for telling IndieWire the film that she considers her best work.

I’ve just worked a long time. I’ve gotten a lot of cool opportunities here and there and I’ve made some good choices with the help of my amazing team…. I still look back at ‘Mean Girls’ as my best work.

I guess that I need to watch Mean Girls again.

via FlipBoard for iOS

3. Django Unchained Tied To Pulp Fiction

Now this is cool. Apparently Quentin Tarantino links his films together in little, pretty unnoticeable ways. Christopher Walken’s character in Pulp Fiction is a descendant to a gang member named in Django Unchained. It’s very interesting, and of course something that Tarantino would do.

via FlipBoard for iOS

4. Miley Cyrus Eats Pizza, Gets Sick

Honestly I’m slightly biased because I have a strong distaste for “Hannah Montana”; Miley Cyrus’s use of my name led to me being teased a lot by my friends. Some people outright called me “Hannah”, others who knew my nickname “Tanner” called me “Tannah Montana”, and it’s been very irritating.

So as far as I’m concerned, Cyrus getting sick from eating pizza is definitely news. Normally I don’t like to hear that people get sick, but in this case it’s awesome.

via @cambio on Twitter

5. Steve Wozniak Hates The Steve Jobs Movie (So Far)

Any Apple fan could have told you that the trailer for jOBS looks to be inaccurate, but no one has more authority than Steve Wozniak himself. So what does Wozniak have to say?

“Admin”, Studio Briefing:

in two emails to the Gizmodo tech site, has pronounced it “Totally wrong.” In fact, he said, he was “embarrassed” by the entire clip. What actually happened in real life, he said, is that he had been “inspired by the values of the Homebrew Computer Club” to build an affordable computer. “Steve J. wasn’t around and didn’t attend the club,” he pointed out. “Steve came from selling surplus parts at HalTed [and] always saw a way to make a quick buck off my designs.” As for how he himself was portrayed in the film by Josh Gad: “I never looked like a professional. We were both kids. Our relationship was so different than what was portrayed. … I never wore a tie back then. I wore blue jeans and the same style blue button-up shirt every day of my life.”

Not surprising at all. Tap or click here (YouTube link) to watch the clip in question.

via IMDb

6. Android Redefines Feature Phones

Preston de Guise, unsane.info:

Android is going into two entirely different markets when it comes to mobile phones. There’s the area everyone focuses on – smartphones. That’s where people get confused over number of phones sold vs web usage coming from the phones. Then there’s the other market – the market where the cheaper Android phones are going head to head against the feature phones.

And this is why Android’s market share means next to nothing. Android is a smartphone OS, but that doesn’t mean the phones it powers are deserving of the title.

I’d wager that if you were to remove the people who only use their Android phone to make phone calls and txt friends, the iPhone would have a higher share if the smartphone market than Android phones. But that’s just my guess.

7. Rumor: The Next iPad (5th Gen) To Look Like iPad mini

I use both a 5th gen iPad and an iPad mini; in fact at this moment I’m using the two side-by-side. It’s honestly disgusting how much better the iPad mini looks. It’s solid. It’s beautiful. It f***ing glistens in the light.

Apple should be ashamed that the iPad mini — which costs $170 less than the 5th gen iPad — looks so much better in comparison. If the 5th gen iPad doesn’t take design cues from the iPad mini, it will be a tragedy.

This rumor had better come to fruition.

via FlipBoard for iOS

8. Men Commit More Research Fraud Than Women

Now this is interesting albeit maybe unsurprising. Apparently, of researchers who commit fraud of one sort or another, 2/3 are men.

I say that this is “maybe unsurprising” because, while I don’t know the numbers, I’m guessing that male researchers outweigh female researchers. If A) there are more male researchers than female researchers, and B) we assume that each gender is equally ethical, then C) females would likely commit an equal amount of fraud as males.

Of course I have no proof of my above guess, so take it as the speculation that it is.

via @dougcoulson on Twitter

9. Apple Terminates Relationship With Chinese Manufacturer Because Of Underage Labor

Apple fired Guangdong Real Faith Pingzhou Electronics — one of its suppliers — for employing underage kids. Good for Apple.

I’m surprised that the headline of the original article doesn’t read “Apple Responsible For Layoffs In China”.

via FlipBoard for iOS

10. Paying For Articles

Despite me writing basically for free, I’ve long held the belief that writers deserve to be paid for their work. This stuff isn’t easy; it’s a job, paid or otherwise. My mom classifies blogging for yourself as an internship, which is a good way to think about it. I’m not getting paid but I am gaining experience and learning something new every day.

But even internships are considered “work”, and internships do lead to paying gigs in the future. Or so they should.

Some of my favorite blogs are written by writers who go unpaid. These are people who pour their heart out into onto the web sometimes every single day, putting in an hour or two or three, and receive nothing in return except satisfaction. Last I checked, satisfaction alone doesn’t pay a single bill, which is kind of unfortunate.

Some writers have a large enough audience where they can plaster ads on their site and make at least a little bit of money in ad revenue. That’s all fine and well, however the problem that I see is that our readers become a product that we’re selling to advertisers, which isn’t cool. If I’m going to earn money, I should be selling my articles, not selling you.

Unfortunately that isn’t reality, and sometime in the near term (1-2 years) ads will go up on unkommon.net, at least until I’m comfortable asking you to pay for my articles. I’m hoping that I never lose sight of my goal which is to make money in an honest fashion.

To remind me of my goal I do outright pay for some of my news, The Magazine and Matter. Those two publications are very good, and the reason they are very good is that they have to be worth paying for. With ad-based compensation, we only need to be good enough to drive traffic. If we’re asking you to pay us, our work better be outright fantastic otherwise you’ll go elsewhere.

If you’re a regular reader, and you spend four minutes on my blog every day of the week (in the future when I write more) on average, that’s two hours of entertainment that I’m giving you each month. The cost of a two hour movie in theaters is $10. Now, the cost of movies is overpriced, so if we’re comparing just time of entertainment, this blog probably deserves $4 each month from each daily reader.

Obviously I’m not good enough to ask $4 each month from anybody yet, but when I am good enough, that’s probably going to be what I ask to read articles here. Just a multi-year heads up. ;-) In the interim you should pay for other articles that are worth paying for; don’t be intimidated, trust me, those articles will usually be better than anything ad-based. Because they have to be.

17.5: Locked In

January 19, 2013

At present I own three computing devices that I use regularly — iPhone 4, iPad (3rd generation), and iPad mini — all Apple products running iOS 6. Including previous purchases, I’ve owned six iOS devices in a little over five years. My computing lifestyle is shaped by a single company, and what follows is an argument in favor of that scenario.

To say that I’ve invested a significant amount of time and money in the iOS ecosystem is an understatement. I’ve spent $2,554 just on iOS devices themselves over the course of a little more than five years, and probably a similar amount in software and services.

Let me rephrase the previous paragraph; even if I wanted to, leaving iOS for a competing platform would be difficult and the financial hit would be depressing. It’s in my best interest to stick to using iPhones and iPads because otherwise I’d have to start over which, again, is unreasonable. The kicker is that the longer I stay with iOS, the more I invest in it and the more locked-in to the platform I become!

Fortunately I haven’t ever wanted a device powered by Android (which you may know as Apple’s primary competition). In the history of iOS and Android I haven’t once paused and thought that Android might be the superior operating system; the “open” ideology behind Android clashes with my own behaviors, whereas I align with iOS.

Unfortunately I actually like what Microsoft has done with its Windows Phone operating system. So while I do still genuinely prefer iOS, my potential future with Windows Phone is definitely a casualty of being locked-in to the iOS ecosystem.

So the question becomes is it a smart idea to heavily invest in a single ecosystem and lock yourself into it? As far as I know, the time and money I’ve spent on iOS has let me get the most out of the platform, and its value to me is very high. If a company’s ideals closely match your own and you believe that it has a future, locking yourself into its platform and getting the most value for your time and money is probably smart.

If you aren’t sure, it’s probably a good idea to keep an open mind and not invest too much in a given platform until you find the one that you can stand behind no matter what. I’ve stuck with Apple in times good and times bad, and when the day ends I’m rewarded for it; but maybe that’s just me. I’ve copied and pasted the following quote before, but it’s one of my favorite web comments and it’s relevant enough to end with.

LareneDepopiet, CNET Commenter:

Companies, or brands have a style, a culture, a language, and that adds up to something close to a personality. This is very clear internally in the way decisions are made, priorities assigned, and generally what values are held. Finding that a companies values or priorities are a good match for your own, which you may not do consciously, will make you more receptive to its products or services. there is nothing wrong with that, it does not make you a fanboy or a zombie.
Just like you are more forgiving of your friends’ faults because you value their qualities, you can be more accepting of a product’s weaknesses because you appreciate a company’s culture. That does not make you stupid. In fact, in the long term, it may be smarter because you reward the companies who have values consistent with yours, even when their products are not, objectively, the absolute best in a category.

I agree completely. And this probably isn’t the last time I’ll post that quote, sorry in advance. ;-)

16: Don’t Kill Me Please

January 16, 2013

1. I Didn’t Come Here To Die

Check out the trailer [YouTube link] for this Horror flick that recently made its way onto digital avenues. I hear good things and intend to check it out this weekend. You can rent I Didn’t Come Here To Die on iTunes by tapping/clicking here, and on Amazon if you have a Prime membership.

via a friend on Facebook

2. Txt-Alternative For Kids

My search-fu is failing me at the moment, but based on personal interactions I’d wager that a significant amount of young kids send txt messages fairly regularly.

It’s no secret that txt messaging kind of sucks and is a pure cash grab by our mobile carriers, and that we’re all better off using alternatives like Facebook Messenger, iMessage, etc. Unfortunately services like Facebook Messenger aren’t incredibly youth-oriented, and now a youth-oriented alternative called Jongla is launching on iOS and Android.

Honestly I don’t particularly care what alternative service that kids use, but if we want to end the txting hegemony, all age groups need to contribute. If there are services targeting youth, I’m all for them.

3. Ashton Kutcher Really Really Looks Like Steve Jobs

The resemblance is striking. I’m still not convinced that he’ll do a fantastic job acting as Steve Jobs in the upcoming flick jOBS, however we’ll have to wait and see.

via FlipBoard for iOS

4. Self-Published Authors Kicking Butt On Kindle

At least in the UK, 15 of the top 100 best-selling Kindle books were self-published. That’s fascinating, and the situation is probably similar in many countries where Amazon sells Kindle books.

The world is changing.

via Thirst for iOS

5. The 6 Best Dresses At The Golden Globes

There are some days where you can’t not love The Onion.

via @acarboni on Twitter

6. 7 Men Gang Rape Bus Passenger In India

Faith Karimi and Shah Singh, CNN:

In an incident eerily similar to a sexual assault that sent shock waves worldwide, Indian police say a woman was gang-raped over the weekend by seven men after she boarded a bus at night.

So sad. It’s surreal to think of how much evil there is in the world. One of the things I hope to see in my lifetime is world peace, although I realize that it’s probably a few generations away. Maybe 100% hate-free is impossible, but I think that 99% can happen with time.

You can say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. [YouTube link]

via With Fetus

7. Wearable Computing Is The Next Big Thing

These days you can’t find a tech publication raving about watches and glasses that can do more than tell time and help you see, but do tech writers represent the general population?

I can see the value in reading my Twitter notifications without having to take my iPhone out of my pocket, but I’m not sure that everyone wants to make fashion accessories out of their mini-computers. I could be wrong though.

8. Easter Eggs In January

Arrested Development is one of the few TV shows that I’ve ever watched, and the fact that Netflix is bringing it back is fantastic. If you’re in the US (presumably — I can’t test anything in Canada or the UK) Netflix has a bit of a promotion going on. If you’re an Arrested Development fan, follow these instructions and enjoy!

via FlipBoard for iOS

9. Reason To Recover #709

100 Reasons To Recover:

Because one day my story will change someone’s life.

I’ve linked to 100 Reasons To Recover before, and if you haven’t checked out that blog yet, you really should. It’s kind of inspirational and it can satisfy as a life guide for most everyone feeling down.

10. The Death Glare

A common look that I receive from people who see me using both my iPad and iPad mini at the same time is the Death Glare. For whatever reason a solid amount of people have a problem with me carrying around two iPads; these people often tote around Macs which are more expensive than my two iPads combined, but that’s beside the point.

The iPad mini kills the larger iPad at “consumption” — it’s smaller size and weight makes it easier to use kicking back leisurely-like — so I use my iPad mini to find articles to share here. When it comes time to write bits about those articles, I keep the articles open on the iPad mini and type up my thoughts on the big iPad, which saves time as opposed to switching between writing and reading on a single iPad which I did before picking up an iPad mini. Not having to leave the app that I write in saves a whole lot of time, I can probably finish blogposts twice as fast now.

In addition, as I’ve mentioned before, I’m learning a nifty coding language called Processing. Prior to getting an iPad mini I switched between both the book and the Processing app on my iPad, which was slow. Now that I have an iPad mini I code on the larger iPad and read on the iPad mini. Again, having the iPad mini probably makes me go twice as fast.

There are genuine reasons that I have and use both an iPad and iPad mini. So what’s the deal with people?

I’m reminded of when I picked up my first iPad in 2010; I had an iPhone 3G at the time, and friends derided me for having an iPhone and a big iPhone that couldn’t make phone calls. The problem was that the differences between iPhones and iPads hadn’t yet been established, so to a lot of people I was seen as A) wasting my money and/or B) an upper class jerk showing off my wealth (which was a laughable idea if you knew my financial situation).

The iPad and iPad mini have loads of crossover, I won’t pretend that they don’t. But I have each for their differences; the iPad’s larger screen makes it good for typing, coding, drawing, and the type of content creation that I do, whereas the iPad mini’s smaller screen makes it good for leisurely gathering and consuming information, gaming, and consumption in general.

The hate that I’ve received is weird and, in my mind, unfounded.

13: I Remember When There Were 151

January 8, 2013

1. Apple Making A Low-Cost iPhone?

We’ve been hearing this for years, that Apple is going to make a cheap version of the iPhone for people who can’t afford the version with premium components. That’s a mistake in my mind, as Apple doesn’t have a tendency to create stuff that its executives wouldn’t use personally; a cheap iPhone would fall into that category.

If Apple is making a “cheaper” iPhone, it would be an iPhone nano. Much smaller, thinner, lighter, fully aluminum and available in a variety of colors. $99 off contract and highly ideal to pre-paid buyers. Think of the current iPod nano but with some phone components built-in.

2. Overkill

The next Human Centipede flick will feature a chain of 500 humans connected via orifices. This franchise is becoming so absurd that it isn’t even an insult to cinema anymore.

3. Warner Bros. Embraces Animation

While Warner Bros. has produced animated flicks in the past — Happy Feet Two, that Owl movie, etc — it hasn’t attacked the genre as other large studios have. Starting in 2014, however, expect to see one animated flick from Warner Bros. per year.

Given its history, however, don’t think that this means that Warner Bros. plans to churn out good animated flicks.

4. Pokemon X And Y

One day Nintendo will make a MMORPG “Pokémon World”. Until then, though, the trailer for the upcoming Pokémon games, Pokémon X and Pokémon Y, makes me want a Nintendo 3DS. The gameplay looks pretty incredible* and I’d wager that Nintendo has another winner on its hands.

Pokémon X and Y will be released worldwide sometime in October.

*I have, as of this writing, watched the trailer five times.

5. 500 Days In A (Simulated) Mars Mission

While it’s disconcerting that a 500 day simulated mission to Mars causes sleep problems, it’s fascinating to wonder when we’ll make the actual journey.

6. Nokia Open To Android

It’s good that Nokia is keeping an open mind about alternative platforms, but it seems to me that the reason Nokia is even slightly relevant is that it’s Microsoft’s premier partner with Windows Phone. Giving up that position to be just another phone manufacturer could be unwise.

7. Dish Wants Clear

Dish Networks is offering to purchase Clearwire for $5.15 billion. Unfortunately, Clearwire has a strong partnership with Sprint which basically kills the entire idea of a buyout. But this is certainly fun to think about.

Disclaimer: I used to be employed by Clearwire, although I did almost nothing for the company.

8. Who Woulda Thought: Robert Pattison And Kristen Stewart Like Mexican Food!

You have to love the gossiping media.

via @cambio on Twitter

9. Virtual Assassins

I’m not sure if this is good parenting or bad parenting: Instead of taking away his son’s computer, a Chinese man hired expert gamers to assassinate his son in the online games that he plays to discourage him from playing.

More or less a WTF of the Day.

via @sidewaysburnout on Twitter

10. Age Appropriate

One of the silly arguments which I got into on Twitter a while ago was whether or not it’s socially acceptable to like Pokémon as an adult. My argument: Hell to the yes. His argument: Hell to the no. With the Pokémon X and Y announcement, it’s appropriate to revisit that discussion.

So is it socially acceptable for adults to pick up Pokémon X or Y in October?

Hell to the yes.

Most of my fondest gaming memories involve the Pokémon games. While I haven’t been to one in a few years, I’ve attended Pokémon conventions as a little kid and as a young adult, and the audience at the conventions I’ve attended range from pre-teens to middle-aged adults.

Pokémon — be it the video games, trading card games, or TV shows — transcends age. As it’s okay to like Cinnamon Toast Crunch as an adult it’s okay to like Pokémon as an adult. Fun things aren’t restricted to minors and the idea that it’s not socially acceptable to have fun is absurd.

Getting It

October 11, 2012

Last week as I was crossing a street on my way home from the grocery store, I noticed a phone on the street. The phone was a Galaxy Nexus, and to be a good citizen, I picked up the phone and decided to call its owner or one of his friends or family members to organize a return. So I walked far enough away from the road to where I could be heard over driving cars, and I set out to make the call. Little did I know it wouldn’t be that simple.

Just waking the Galaxy Nexus from sleep was confusing to me. It was kind of dark outside and so I followed my instincts and reached for the top of the phone for the on/off button, only to find that it wasn’t there! There wasn’t a Home button either, so that was out of the question. I felt my way around the phone and found buttons on both the right and left sides that felt the same. After initially pressing the volume buttons, I pressed the on/off button on the right side of the phone, and boom, the huge screen lit up!

Contrast with the iPhone, which has a single rectangular on/off button at the top off the phone, directly opposite of the charging port at the bottom. The iPhone also has a Home button on the front of the phone right underneath the display, which acts to wake the phone from sleep among other things. It makes sense for the on/off button to be opposite the charging port, and aside from that, every physical button on the phone has a unique shape to denote utility. But anyway, back to the story…

I successfully got the Galaxy Nexus’s display to turn on! Unfortunately figuring out to unlock it proved to be more difficult than just waking it from sleep. A little padlock icon appeared on screen, which had me thinking it was password protected and I almost gave up right there. But I tapped and held the padlock anyway, and three icons appeared around it, leaving me clueless. I turned the screen on and off a couple of times, and eventually figured out that the padlock moves with my finger when dragged, so I dragged it to the phone icon. Success!

Feeling accomplished having woken from sleep and unlocked a Galaxy Nexus for the first time, I proceeded to call its owner’s wife. One thing led to another and the phone and its owner were reunited, and everybody lived happily ever after. I felt like quite the dunce though, good deed notwithstanding.

I remember the day that I purchased my first iPod touch. It was just another day in Fall 2007. An Apple Store neighbors the movie theater I used to work at, and with nothing to do during my 45 minute break, I walked into the Apple Store and purchased a 16 GB first gen iPod touch. To date it’s my largest impulse buy, and one of my most valued. When I got home later that evening, I activated my iPod touch and was greeted by something which would prove significant over time: A little visual cue on the lock screen which states “slide to unlock”.

For Google to Win

September 24, 2012

Just over a month ago I published an article called For Apple to Win, and over the past few days I’ve been thinking that it needs a companion article for Google and its mobile operating system, Android.

The ugliness of the web was displayed very clearly last Wednesday (09/19/2012) through to today, and I’m guessing it will continue. So what happened last Wednesday? Apple released a major update to iOS — the operating system which powers its mobile devices like the iPhone and iPad — for the general public. iOS 6 adds more than 200 new features to iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches running iOS 5, and everything should have been great.

The problem with iOS 6 is that it might not be a wholly accepted update by people, without explanations or comforting. Unfortunately Apple has difficulty communicating with its customers and usually (maybe foolishly) leaves that to passionate fans who follow the company. Two of the 200+ updates that come with iOS 6 will cause confusion among people because, at face value, they’re downgrades. To add insult to injury Apple isn’t present to hold anyone’s hand leaving many feeling lost.

The two “updates” in question are:

  1. The removal of the default YouTube app.
  2. A complete revamp of the Maps app, replacing Google’s data and POI with Apple’s own (although licensed by partners), with added features like turn-by-turn navigation and “Flyover” 3D mapping.

YouTube is owned by Google and Google’s Maps data is, well, Google’s, so you could summarize those two updates as “Removal of Google”.

Ignoring Apple-Google politics for a minute, removing the default YouTube app makes sense. YouTube is a social network not managed by Apple. Apple controls iTunes, so it can filter out YouTube-quality comments and interactions in iTunes and App Store reviews. The same applies to the content viewable on YouTube; Apple controls the content that you see in the iTunes Store, but not on YouTube (like a guy being eaten by a Bengal tiger at a zoo, which you wouldn’t see in the iTunes Store).

Apple is fine with social networking and media streaming apps being downloadable in the App Store, but it reasonably wants to control every pre-installed app or service. That makes sense, infact YouTube as a default app for the iPhone and iPad hasn’t made sense in years! m.youtube.com in the Safari browser has been better for a very long time, and the App Store would’ve been a much better place for an app. Google apparently agrees as you can currently find a YouTube app [iTunes link] developed by Google in the App Store.

I knew it was coming and even I was surprised when the YouTube app wasn’t present on my iPhone after I updated to iOS 6. That’s what years of conditioning does to somebody, even if you follow tech news and companies as I do. But for someone who isn’t as much of a geek, it can be very unsettling and confusing to find something that you’ve used for up to five years outright disappear.

So naturally, everyone “in the know” approached these distressed people with comforting, helpful advice, right? They pointed them to either m.youtube.com or to the App Store app, right? Well, not everybody.

Within a few hours of the iOS 6 update going live for the general public, Twitter exploded with confused iOS users. “Why is YouTube gone???” was the theme. Okay, that’s something Apple brought upon itself, I figured. Someone will respond to them with info about the YouTube app on the App Store, I thought. Unfortunately my thinking was naïve, as Android fans who hate Apple, took the opportunity to capitalize on the confusion and make people feel stupid for being an Apple customer.

From my point of view, the tone which started that Wednesday afternoon has been extremely dark. Instead of being greeted by “Here’s a link to the YouTube app in the App Store, and also, YouTube works in Safari”, a lot of iOS users received snark. Heck, even I received snark for helping others that day. That wasn’t cool at all. It’s one thing to poke fun at people for using a product which you don’t like (which itself isn’t cool). Taking advantage of confusion and distress for your own negative and hateful agenda in the name of open source is abhorrent.

You can feel free to hate Apple as much as you choose. What you can’t do is taunt people for liking Apple, especially when they’re in distress because of something that Apple has done — well, you can, but it would just make you look like a jerk. Your ugliness could also damage Android. Infact it might actually push the people you’re taunting further towards Apple. As odd as that sounds, it’s simple, really…

IMAGINARY SCENARIO:

Darren, an “Average Joe”, just updated his iPhone to iOS 6. The first thing that he notices is “YouTube is gone!!!” and he takes to Twitter to try to figure out what happened. Jake, Android geek and power user, replies that he should’ve bought an Android phone instead, and that Apple sucks and etc. Steve, an iPhone geek, steps in and links Darren to the YouTube app in the App Store. The potential results:

  1. Darren downloads the YouTube app from the App Store, and he continues to have little to no opinion of the mobile platform war. He’s open to making his next phone an Android phone, but it’s unlikely.
  2. Darren downloads the YouTube app from the App Store and is appreciative of a random iPhone geek… while being extremely unappreciative of a random Android geek. That memory sticks, even if just subconsciously, and there is little possibility of an Android phone in Darren’s near future.

In either scenario, the snark didn’t help anybody, and in the second scenario Jake’s negativity damaged Darren’s opinion of Android.

The snark didn’t end with YouTube, however. Infact it’s been way worse. As people began to realize that the Maps app on their “updated” iOS devices — which they depended on heavily — had changed and maybe not for the better, the Android fans had a field day. It’s much, much worse than the YouTube thing because Maps are an important part of people’s lives and there’s more of an emotional connection to it.

Even tech websites like TechCrunch have picked up on it and are outright publishing negative articles about how Maps sucks simply because it’s “a hot topic” and generates a lot of page views.

The language should be, look, Apple’s own Maps is in its infancy and the POI will get better hopefully quickly. In the meantime maps.google.com works on all iOS devices, and if you miss Street View there’s an app called StreetViewer [iTunes link] which you can purchase for $0.99 (A free, “lite” version also exists). And as an aside, the new Maps app has great Turn by Turn GPS functionality, and some other nifty features.

Why isn’t that the language being used? Why is there so much hate? Why do some people feel the need to upset people when they can actually help them?

The amount of negativity that I’ve witnessed since last Wednesday is depressing. People who genuinely hate Apple are leading a lot of the discussion around iOS 6 at least in my communities, when it should be the Apple fans* — people like me equipped to comfort others — who settle them into iOS 6. Positivity is healthy, and it’s something that people will remember. If you’re an Android fan and want iSheep like me to consider it as an alternative platform, you need to not attack us.

Google wins when you don’t make people think negatively of its base, which is supposed to represent its culture. If you want Google to win and for Android OS to beat iOS, you’ll take this advice to heart.

*Or better yet, Apple should lead the discussions. It’s time for Apple to have a public profile, with representatives on Twitter and Facebook fielding questions ten hours per day. Have a PR crew that outright appears on TV news stations for interviews instead of leaving the news to report their own interpretation of events. Let me and people like me retire from this stuff.

For Apple to Win

August 20, 2012

Why I don’t like Google is a topic which I will likely cover in the days, months, and years ahead as Google continues to release new services.

Me, July 20, 2011

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately (“Ha!” you laugh) and I’ve decided that I’m done talking about Google and Android in a derogatory* way. It just isn’t productive or good for anybody.

I obviously prefer it for people choose iOS devices over Android devices and things in that “Other” category. The more Apple’s ecosystem grows, the more I benefit since I’m so invested in the company’s products and services. In addition, I like to help people when I can and I’m next to no use to people outside of Apple’s ecosystem.

I think that when you’re so invested in seeing one ecosystem succeed, you lose sight of how to promote it effectively. By going on a tirade about how Google sucks and/or drilling things like “you should’ve purchased an iPhone instead” into people’s heads, you make them either feel bad or pissed off.

Imaginary scenario:

Last month Jake purchased a $199 Android phone and signed a 2-year $100/m service plan to a carrier. All in all that’s a $2,599 investment that Jake has made. Darren, an enthusiastic iPhone user, approaches Jake and goes into detail about why he made a bad decision and should have instead purchased an iPhone. As the return date for Jake’s Android phone has passed, he reacts in one of the following ways:

  1. Sadness. Darren convinced Jake that he outright wasted $2,599 on something he’ll hate for two years, knowing that he should have purchased an iPhone.
  2. Resentment. Surprisingly to Darren, Jake is quite happy with his $2,599 investment, and becomes irritated with Darren for bugging him about something so trivial.
  3. “Block/Ignore”. Jake is a busy guy and doesn’t have time for Darren’s shenanigans, so he chooses to forget that Darren even exists.

NONE OF THESE REACTIONS ARE HEALTHY.

Personally, I don’t directly bug people about something that they’ve purchased. However the things I’ve written here (but mostly on Twitter) are as toxic because people value my opinion and read what I write/tweet, even if it’s not specifically directed at them. I don’t have to approach someone to elicit a response, they just have to read what I write.

And if I want to respect my audience and not publish things which are designed to provoke (at least some of) them, I need to move on in my approach. I need to not talk about Google or its partners negatively, and try to not talk about them at all. If you don’t have anything positive to say, don’t say it.

But we get back to the point that I’m heavily invested in Apple’s ecosystem and my tech life improves as Apple grows. I can’t just say nothing, it’s in my best interest to do what I can to promote Apple gear and I genuinely enjoy doing it. So when I want to promote Apple, what should I do?

Put my focus on Apple. Talk up Apple. Demo its products and services, write and publish “how-to’s”, answer questions, and personally use the stuff I promote. Instead of expressing how Android sucks — instead of putting any amount of focus on the negative — I should be expressing how Apple rocks.

And that’s how you make people want Apple gear.

Infact I know this to be true! As you might be aware, I was Apple’s representative at Portland State University for the 2010 school year, and part of my job was to turn people into Apple customers without ever mentioning a competitor. I converted a solid amount of people just by being available and helpful.

We have to let go of this notion that for Apple to win, Microsoft has to lose.

Steve Jobs, August 1997

I know it’s a little bit different since Apple and Microsoft didn’t hate each other like Apple and Google do. However, as users we should replace “Microsoft” in Steve’s quote with “Google”. Love what we love and let the companies be nasty themselves.

*However if there’s a story that I feel needs to be told, I will tell it as long as it’s research and fact-based journalism.

What The Friday: Pokemon on iOS?

July 8, 2011

…the Pokemon team plans to release an official iOS app in Japan. The app will be called Pokemon Say Tap? BW, and rather than a full Pokemon game, the app will be a rhythm title, where Pokemon cards appear on the screen and you have to tap them to a certain beat.

Reports TUAW. It should be noted that Pokemon Say Tap? BW will make its way to Android too, although due to fragmentation it is slated to only work on four Android devices as of this writing, according to the original source.

As another aside, Pokemon Say Tap? BW will be released only in Japanese markets, at least initially.

This is odd because, for the greater part of its lifetime, Nintendo has avoided playing in its competitors’ sandboxes. With that in mind, I wager that Pokemon Say Tap? BW will be a promotional campaign in disguise, and will serve its purpose well. Even then, however, promotional campaigns in a competitors’ domain is foreign to Nintendo, but it knows its strategies more than I do.

What should happen, is for Nintendo to partner with Apple and get its library of console games onto the Mac App Store, because both Apple and Nintendo could make a fortune off of that. But only if those two can play nicely together.

Hat tip to TUAW & Pokemon.co.jp

Shadow Era

June 20, 2011

Callng all card gaming geeks! Sick and bedridden yesterday, touring the iOS App Store on my iPad, I discovered a neat little (Digital) collectible card game called Shadow Era [iTunes link]. It is cross platform, available for iPad, iPhone & iPod touch, Android devices, Mac OSX, Windows, and the game is completely online multiplayer (Meaning, an Internet connection is required to play it).

Shadow Era is free to play, however you can purchase currency within the game, which is used to buy digital booster packs to make your playing deck with. Note that you can earn that currency for free, it just takes an excrutiatingly longer amount of time to earn than buy. Since I have no money, after an entire day kickin’ it in bed, I have an almost-complete badass deck built. As it stands, I win about four out of every five online matches I play.

If you are into trading/collectible card gaming, I highly suggest you check out Shadow Era. With my day of testing, it is clearly an alternative to the traditional card games, and I have played a lot of ’em over the years. Shadow Era is available on every platform except Windows Phone 7 and the “other” platforms that nobody knows about. Maybe you will run into me, my gamer handle is MGLeet. See you around. :-)

For more information, check out the official Shadow Era website.

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