Apple, What Are You Doing?

This is my thoughts about the new iPhone that Apple just introduced today. I’m writing this as I watch the keynote. (it was written yesterday at night so I decided to publish it today. I haven’t reviewed or modified it.)

iPhone 5

The name

Seriously Apple? I really loved that you called the iPad 3 the new iPad, which is a lot better for you and for the people since now most of what you’re going to do is just do some iterations like you did from the iPhone 4 to the iPhone 4S. Calling it the iPhone 5 makes no sense.

The bigger screen

That looked like a nice addition in the beginning, but it will become a hell. A lot of apps are going to have those crappy bars, could you guys do what Android does and just re-align the pixels? Most of the apps really have no reason to “take advantage” of that bigger screen. Also that aspect ratio is just the worst one ever. It will also start a little more fragmentation to the platform.

That back

Seriously that back looks like a generic chinese phone back. It is just so ugly. I would prefer if it was made all of the same color/material which would make a lot more sense.


Stock Apps

Shared Photo Stream

Haha, I had to laugh when I saw this. That’s really the worst thing ever. They forgot that today our friends have different devices, usually they are half iOS users and half Android users, also Instagram does this a lot better and in a lot better and more social way.

Siri

Nice new additions to Siri (I’m talking about the sports stuff). I hope that’s international because if that’s only for the USA you just made a stupid decision.

iTunes

The new additions to iTunes were really awesome. The new Mac app UI is really great. I loved the clean interface.


iPod

The nano

The new iPod nano is really awesome and a lot better than the current generation. If I didn’t used my phone as my music player I would buy it for sure. By the way I still can’t understand why someone would use the iPod nano to watch a movie or look at photos.

The touch

The back really looks like crap. It’s really thin and light, but the only market for that is kind of device is for children that their parents doesn’t want to give them a smartphone. Also I had a “WTF?!” moment when they showed that wrist wrap they are calling iPod touch Loop.


Conclusion

Sadly Apple haven’t got me back. I’ll continue to develop for BlackBerry, I think they are doing a better work to innovate with BlackBerry 10.

Do We Really Need Choices?

My daily use gadgets + my iPhone that was used to take this photo

Disclaimer: If you’re a Android fan boy close this window right now.

I’ve been a truly Android fan boy for 2 years and a Apple hater for 5 years, but this year I did the impossible: Bought an iPad, a Macbook Pro and an iPhone. This acquisitions really changed the way that I saw Android and all the other platforms that I loved. On this article I’ll be talking a bit about the most used argument by Android users to say that their platform is better: Choice. They say that you there are a variety of devices on the market that runs their OS so you can choose the one you like most, also that you can customize Android, flash new ROMs and tweak everything you want of it. While Apple… Yeah, you know how closed they are.

I want to start this sentence by making you deeply think “Do we really need choices?”, I’m sure that if you think really deep on this you will end up in the same point I had. We don’t really need to have choices, all we need is a smartphone that has apps, games, email, phone, etc. (the same principles as the first generation smartphones like my old Nokia E61).

After thinking about this I realized that this got dramatically stronger with tablets. People are buying tablets and don’t even know what they will do with them. When someone asks me which is the best tablet from them I ask “What are you going to use it for?” and everyone is like “Really… I don’t know”. This happens on phones too, people just buy a new phone for no reason. And all this non-sense arrives at choices. No one really want a “different phone”, people just buy the phone that looks cool, don’t matter if it has a 5″ or a 3.5″ screen, if it runs Android, Symbian, Blackberry OS or iOS, they will buy it anyway. Do you really think that “normal persons” (which means people that aren’t tech savvy) will customize their Android phones? Of course not, they won’t install a new launcher, they will only change the wallpaper and add some widgets to the home screen and that’s all!

Apple is doing it right by restricting the users to the same screen size/ratio and keeping the design of their hardware and software almost the same since the first generations of their devices (this includes iPods, iPhones and Macs) is the best way to go. A great example of this on Android is the Nexus lineup, the “pure Google experience”. Those devices get the updates first and have the interface that Google originally made (which means no skins on top of it, just pure vanilla), just because they “locked” the user options into one line of (geeky) products that they can easily manage, which leads to the biggest problem that Android has today: Fragmentation.

All these “choices” are leading to awful experience on the software side and on the developer side. An example of the user experience side is that Dead Space works on the Verizon Galaxy Nexus, but it won’t on the GSM version, don’t forget that we are talking about a Nexus phone, which should be the less-fragmented experience possible. On the developer side it’s very very awful because you must design your app to work on all the different screen sizes/ratios, hardware and also skins that companies love to put on their devices.

If you’re a gadget freak, like me, that buys a lot of devices, you might have already felt the same as I’ve described on this article. We don’t need more choices, we need more standards.

This is an old article from my old blog that I moved to here

We Don’t Need Another SIM Standard

Three days ago I received my first BlackBerry development device, a Torch. As I said, it will be just a development device, so I have to use it for a while to learn how the apps look like and how they feel, so I can start to develop/port applications to the OS. Why I told all this story? Simple, I use a microSIM on my iPhone, so I had to purchase a converter to use it on my BlackBerry, because it’s the SIM my carrier automatically activated the BlackBerry Internet Services. The day I had to buy the converter I remembered the new nanoSIM project and thought: “The problem isn’t SIM design, it’s the SIM itself”.

We don’t need another SIM design, we need to get rid of the SIM. It’s a 1998 that just got little updates over time. We are moving everything to the cloud (I know a lot of people hate this term, but I don’t care, I like it), our contacts, files, photos, our entire lives, why not all the informations the carrier needs to authenticate our plan?

The idea is fairly simple: Just as I have to register a username and password to have BIS (BlackBerry Internet Services) with my carrier, just make this for everyone on the carrier, as soon as you get your first phone/plan you register a username/password and all your information gets stored on the carrier. When you turn your phone ON, it connects to the carrier and ask you for the credentials, if they are valid it will download all the information and get your plan up and running.

What’s your opinion about this idea? Any thoughts about this topic? Leave a comment, I love to read and respond to them.

We Are Living The $0.99 Application Era

I can still remember like it was yesterday, a time where paid applications never would cost less than $10. Today I can get on the App Store or the Play Store and download an fairly powerful app for no more than $3.99, but even at this prices I think twice before buying it. The App Store effect, as I like to call it, made the app consumer not want to pay more than $0.99 for a decent app, even if it’s just $1.99 it might hesitate buying it.

I would comfortably pay more than $3.99 for a extremely well done, powerful and useful app. The problem is that those kind of applications aren’t very common, but they are an expressive number, but I’m not here to talk about the apps that deserve this price tag, this article is about apps that aren’t deserving their price tag.

In my opinion the best way to actually charge for an app is by using the freemium model, that’s why Paper was such a success, you get the app for free and test it, if you like/need more features, in this case tools, you pay for them using in-app purchases, and if you want to unlock all the potential of the app you pay a discounted price for all the tools. This way the user can feel the app before buying it, which makes me hesitate when I need to buy the app without a way of testing it first.

On this model I’ll start with an Android app called Flick Notes, if you’re a heavily SimpleNote user like me you might know this app. It’s an awesome clean and simple app, the problem is that in order to unlock all the (missing) features of the app: Note and notes list widgets, To-Do list style notes, and remove ads, you must pay a extremely expensive CA$4.99 fee. I think this is to much expensive just to get rid of ads, enable to-do lists, and have the widget of the app. I would comfortably pay $1.99 for those features, and I’m sure the developer would earn a lot more money since a lot more people would buy the full version.

Another example of this, now on the desktop side, is a awesome new app for SimpleNote users that have a Mac OS computer, called MetaNota. It’s a free, ad-supported app, but it’s possible to remove it by paying a $9.99 fee, yeah that’s just to remove the ad.

These are just some small examples of what I’m talking about. If you’re a developer that is planing to monetize your app in some way I suggest you to do the freemium way, but don’t forget: We are living the $0.99 era!

Fanboys Are Not People That Love a Brand

Fanboys are not people that love a brand or a product. I’m a Apple lover and not because of this I reject the other companies, instead I have 2 Android phones, 2 Android tablets and a HTC Titan running Windows Phone. I also love my Galaxy Tab (the original one with the 7” display). Fanboys are people that blindly love a company, hates all the other ones and tell everyone, every time, how much they hate the other companies.

The best example I can have for this is Mike Beasley (on the Apple side). He constantly gives crap to Android and I think he never really spend a month with a decent Android device. The problem is that he tells this to everyone, every time:

So calling someone a fanboy just because he owns an iPhone, a iPad and a Mac is wrong, but calling a fanboy someone that says every time that other companies are crap is correct and you should definitely spam his inbox.

If Mike reads this I want to propose a challenge to him: Stop using his iPhone for a month and instead use a Galaxy Nexus.

Tim Cook’s gripes about UI/UX of Android tablets

android-gripes:

Apple CEO, Tim Cook, griped about Android tablets in his keynote introducing the new iPad

He gave two examples, Twitter and Yelp, and compared them side by side. There are not just these two. Simply speaking, many apps on Android tablets is just a stretched out version of its Android phone version, which already looks worse than its iOS counterpart.

Twitter on iOS

Twitter on Android tablets

Yelp on iOS

Yelp on Android

Sad truth

Read Later: Instapaper and Read it Later for Mac

I just saw the news on my Twitter feed that Read Later was available for Mac OS X. This is awesome for me since I use Read it Later a lot, almost every hour I am reading something on it. Finally it will be possible to have a great reading experience, without worrying about internet connection or the web site UI, while trying to use Instapaper or Read it Later on your Mac.

The Verge report about it:

While a flood of dedicated apps have appeared on mobile devices for reading articles you’ve saved, desktop operating systems have mostly gone without. The newly renamed (and free) Read Later app — formerly ReadNow — from Michael Schneider acts as a desktop client for your Instapaper and Read It Later accounts. It’s a pretty straightforward concept: the fullscreen reading app syncs with your online reading queue services, and supports your list or archives, liked articles, and tags. It’s also got support for saving articles to services like Evernote, bit.ly, Twitter, Pinboard, and Delicious. Note: only Instapaper Pro users can use the app; regular Instapaper users will have to pay $1 a month.

You can get the app from the Mac App Store by going to the developer web site.

Source: The Verge

Every year it’s the same thing, at the same times too.

Every year it’s the same thing, at the same times too.

Google Taking Advantage of Safari’s Security Flaws

So today Google was caught taking advantage of a Safari (and Mobile Safari) security hole. They were able to store cookies even if the user doesn’t have their browser cookies enabled, so Google could know if the person is logged in to their network and use the information to activate the +1 buttons, also they affirmed that the cookies do not collect personal information.

I think this is a very fair point and since the security hole is known since 2010 and Apple has yet done nothing to correct it the best thing Google can do is take advantage of it to deliver a better experience to their end user.

The New iBooks Textbooks Are Only For 0.001% of The World

This will be a reality about the new Apple strategy to enter into the world of education. It might only be useful for the US and won’t be very effective. On places that are really on a very bad situation about education like my country (Brazil) and other development countries won’t use this.

iTunes U will be for even less…