Tag Archives: iPhone

Why I moved to Mail.app

I’ve been reading the news and opinions about Sparrow’s acquisition (good for them!) It’s funny how these cycles go, and it’s almost always the same.

First is the news of the acquisition and almost always death of the much loved product.

Then there’s the “OMFG I Hate them, they sold out

Then there’s the “You entitled pricks are pricks and aren’t owed shit

Then there’s the  “We aren’t owed things, but there is a sort of unspoken contract

I think all three are valid. Some folks just felt mad they paid money (whether the amount is significant or not is in the eye of the spender) for abandon-ware. Some  like to take the enlightened I’m-smarter-than-you approach and some like the look at things objectively. Each has it’s merits.

This is an interesting post as well on the subject, especially on the topic of money.

My initial reaction (as tweeted) was good for them, bad for me. I loved sparrow. I bought it. I bought the iOS version, though without push I never used it. I bought it because I think the only opinion that matters is my wallet. I bought it to show the developers that I supported them. Maybe that kept the lights on 10 minutes, who knows, but I’d guess the volume of us showing our support kept the lights on a lot longer. I also bought both versions because I wanted to support and encourage updates. I was ready to buy the iPad version as well.

It’s that last point that’s the reason I moved to mail.app. As someone said to me, Sparrow works just fine as is. Yes, yes it does. But why invest another minute of my time on something that will become more and more outdated? That’s why I stopped using tweetie. It was fine, but slowly got left behind in features. Why would any user of any product (ok, except cars) want to continue to use a product that is done with, dead. Yeah it’s fine now, it’ll be fine in six months. If you want nothing more than what sparrow does right now, you’re fine, use it for 10 years. If you want new features, like push in the iOS apps, the teased  iPad app, dropbox integration, etc you’re out of luck. What it is today is what it will always be. Enjoy

Do I hate the sparrow team? no I envy them, I’m happy for their success. If someone came to me and offered me a bag or two of money, I’d take it, we’re all lying if we say we wouldn’t. Am I bummed I didn’t get more mileage out of my spend? Yes, very much so. I agree and disagree with Matt that for $10 bucks or whatever Sparrow cost, you have no right to be mad. Money is money, i’d have paid $30 for sparrow. They set the price, so really what I paid is what they wanted. It’s a slippery slope argument about some mysterious point at which the amount you spent on a product entitles you to an opinion.

Whether it’s $10 or $50 every spend means something, every spend has an opportunity cost, I could have supported another indie developer with that money.

 

I liked Rian’s post because really that’s why I buy most of my software. Two things come into play. Is it good or can I use it? and does it support an indie developer. If both answers are yes, I buy it, shoot, even if the first answer is no, I buy it. I’ve spent a good chunk of money on apps I’ll never use because the purchase supported an indie developer. So in that respect it feels on a not-conscious level like a betrayal of my support. I supported you with my money, because you’r indie and rocking it and not only do you get acquired, but you let the acquirer kill the product that everyone loved and supported you by purchasing. It’s kind of a chicken an egg thing. Sparrow wouldn’t have been acquired if the app sucked and didn’t do well. If the app sucked and didn’t do well none of us would have bought it. The didn’t suck, and did do well, and made sparrow an attractive acquisition.

 

So yeah. Good for Sparrow, they made a great app and someone rewarded that by acquiring them. Bummer for those of us that voted with our wallets and supported Sparrow because it was awesome and had tons of potential, and now we’re left with no future updates, and a few unfulfilled promises.

Oh yeah and the reason i moved to mail.app…. I know the odds of it becoming abandon-ware are next to nil, and it’s always going to get some improvements, even if only incremental.

Screw OEMs

So yeah Microsoft is finally jumping into the tablet market. I mean technically they tried with the courier but they killed it before it ever went to production… Good move? who knows. Anyhow, they’re back in again and doing it right.

Oh yeah, Google is too, and they’re doing it right as well.

Right? Yeah they’ve finally taken a look at what’s working for Apple and followed suit. Sure there’s a lot that works for Apple, but a big one is controlling the hardware.

MS has long let others build the hardware their software would run on. This post on Pando Daily does a great job explaining why that’s a terrible idea. It’s funny, a friend had to return his netbook because the trackpad never worked right with windows. Go figure.

Google has done the same thing, even letting OEMs tweak and hack and (IMO) ruin their OS, while making hardware. During the Google/IO keynote this year I had to LOL when the presenter made a jab at OEMs during the Nexus 7 announcement. “This is the Android Google intended” (I’m probably paraphrasing).

I’m glad both companies (more MS than Google since Asus is building their tablet for them) have realized that while OEMs help get your product out to a wide audience, they’re not your allies. They’re at best the enemy you tolerate to attack the larger enemy (Apple?). They use cheap plastic crap to make laptops and devices with custom drivers that bog the OS down.

Both companies now have a chance to let their OS shine, which is the important thing. Had MS decided to throw their Tablet OS on every cheap Chinese device there was, it’d tank. Sure some would sell, Android isn’t doing terrible with this model, but they’d never have a solid, stable user base. They’d have what Google does. Angry users with thousands of devices, waiting for custom builds of apps specific to each device.  (just ask Imangi Studios how launching Temple Run for Android went.) Google may feel that fragmentation isn’t an issue, but that’s likely because they’re not using Android.

 

An Open letter to Hulu and the Networks

(Or, “The networks are forcing me to steal their content.”)

I’ve railed about this before, but wanted to bring it back to the top. It’s simple, I have money, and I want to spend it. BUT I want to spend it on what I want, not a bundle of shit with a few nuggets of goodness in it. That means I don’t want ESPN, I don’t want MTV or Nicktoons and I certainly don’t want Lifetime, but I do want HBO, USA, the main networks, FX, etc. I’d pay per network or per show. But I’m not against paying people who make content for that content. I’m also not against suffering through ads in exchange for it (within reason)

I’ve been paying for Hulu+ since it went live. Many networks were onboard and I want to pay them for their content….  Except… The only way Hulu is usable is if you use the desktop app, because of licensing bullshit, the mobile apps can’t show certain shows, some are web only, etc. The desktop client skirted that shit and we could watch whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted, on our TV via a Macbook running the desktop app.

Too bad Hulu’s desktop app is a red-headed step child and hasn’t been updated in years. Not only is it not updated, but now it’s so old that if you update your Flash player, the app breaks. So you have to choose, new flash or hulu.

Ok fine, the PS3 has a hulu client and is HD with surround vs. our Macbook that is simply stereo. Except… The PS3 client is hamstrung with all those stupid licensing rules. Some ABC shows are ‘web only’ All USA and Sci Fi shows are too. So now I’m paying for shows I basically can’t watch. Why can I watch Castle on the  PS3, but not (it’s for my wife) The Bachelor?

So what’s the solution? Torrents. I was already torrenting CBS programming because they won’t be a part of Hulu and have even said they believe “cord cutting” is a fad that will pass and are willing to wait it out rather than offer streaming options.

The downside of torrenting TV programming is that the network doesn’t know I’m watching. The advertising don’t get my attention, and the net effect can be canceled shows, etc. It’s a trade off, be treated like shit, or risk not being counted as a viewer. I choose to not be treated like I don’t matter.

All that said, Dear CBS, ABC, Fox, HBO and the rest. Figure it out, it’s 2012. We don’t fax things anymore, we don’t gather round to watch TV when it airs, and we don’t want to pay for things we don’t want. Adjusting is up to you, not us the consumers. We’ve moved into the 21st century, and we’re waiting for you to join us.

The Kindle Fire is a great second tablet

My friend Jeffry sent me a Kindle Fire last week. He’s awesome! You should check out his Flex components if you’re a flex/AIR developer looking for some awesome turn key components. Ok that said, he sent me a kindle Fire.

I’ve been a Kindle owner since the K2 came out, and I paid almost $400 for it. I dropped it one morning and busted the screen, and bought a K3 for 1/3 the price of my K2, and I love it. It’s light, easy to use and great at the one thing it does, display words on a readable screen. Continue reading

Can i get streaming media? Pretty please?

Turns out, with the Motorola Xoom, the answer is no.

Hulu. No.

Lots of devices including the Nexus one. Really? the Nexus One has the hardware but the xoom doesn’t?

Ok not lots. Far from lots. Hundreds of handsets and tablets on the market now, and 6 can run hulu. I retract “lots”

I like my Xoom  a lot, i’ve invested good sizes bits of my $ to buying apps to make the device my go to tablet. I like the size, I like the form factor, I like the OS. But traveling with the Xoom (as I did to WWDC this year) is kind of the pits, unless I make sure to pre-load the device with downloaded content.

Netflix. No.

My understanding is that it’s largely to do with the encryption/DRM capabilities of the device. OK that makes sense.

 

What doesn’t make sense to me, as a prosumer techy with a $600 device on my desk… How did Motorola not build the Xoom with these two apps in mind?

 

Better yet, how was Moto (for that matter, Google too) NOT working with both companies from the get go, to ensure that the Flagship tablet of the Android Army, the first device to ship with Honeycomb, wasn’t at the top of the compatible devices list?

 

It was one thing when neither service had an app for android, it made using the Xoom, not a “This or that” decision with my iPad. But now, now two of the main use cases for my iPad (other than games and Omnifocus) are available for android… just not my android.

Gruber sums it up pretty well in “Fragmentation, I don’t see any fragmentation

It’s funny, there’s plenty I don’t  like about the way apple does things, but for the most part they don’t seem as determined as Google and Motorola do, to drive me away from their platform. :(

What I hope to see at WWDC

Blah blah, i know it’s that season (I think I said this last year too) but I was thinking about Devin’s post about possible retail store products for their 10th anniversary and figured I’d throw out my best guesses for the WWDC keynote. Not retail store product options, Devin covered those as well as I could. But really honest to goodness possible products.

The rumor mills are going nuts over the iPhone 4s-5-superDuper, so who knows, and I’m not gonna bother speculating there.

But what about Apps for AppleTV? We know it’s running some type of iOS, why not a subset of the full app catalog for media apps? Hulu? CBS? HBO GO, etc. How awesome to integrate an app store model into the AppleTV. Heck, with a magic trackpad paired, even iOS games could be viable.

 

Or maybe iPod Nano Touch 2nd Gen? I love my iWatch, and I’d love even more for it to do more, though I hope a camera is not one of those things. Cameras are like netflix apps, every device has 2 or 3.

Maybe take a queue from the metawatch movement? If anyone could make it a clean user experience it’s Apple. Why not have my watch show me the SMS that just came in, or my most recent push notifications? I’d love to glance down and see where certain friends are without pulling my phone out of my pocket.

Maybe even an SDK for basic apps? watch faces? etc. That’d be awesome.

This is a bit out there, at least this year. But, SSD only laptops. No optical drive, either 2 drives used separately, boot to the SSD, store data on the HDD, or 2 SSD’s in a RAID array. I’m running the former configuration right now in my Macbook and love it. Booting into Lion…erp Rawrdacted sorry, is cake. Certain features in that OS really really benefit from having an SSD as boot drive, and with the Mac App Store, who needs DVD drives anymore? Even OS X is distributed through it, and new machines can have the OS recovery on a USB drive like the Macbook Air. So why not use that space for something else? Something better.

 

That’s it, pretty simple, nothing too pie int he sky. Ok maybe the iWatch part, but I can hope, everything is in the realm of the possible, maybe not this year but next or the one after.

What do you think we’ll see at WWDC in a few weeks?