Think Different

A few months back, Apple bloggers screamed out that Samsung does nothing but copy Apple. In their heads, Samsung doesn’t have an R&D or design team; they have a “watch-the-Apple-keynote” team that re-creates Apple products and throws Android on them. They find every article, picture, and video that tries to prove this ideology and absolutely dismiss any evidence that they’re not doing that at all. Selective blindness can be dangerous when you have a large readership.

Exhibit A: The Samsung Galaxy Note

The moment the Note was announced, Apple bloggers everywhere laughed at the idea. “HA!” they said “It’s not 3.5-inches so it simply can’t be comfortable for the user! What are they thinking?!”

Apple bloggers repeated that statement over and over when some guy did an “experiment” and found that a 3.5-inch screen is the perfect size because – since we all have the same-sized fingers – it’s the size that allows us to hit every part of the screen with one hand. Apple did tons of research behind this, so it has to be right. I mean, what do Samsung, HTC, and Motorola not understand this? What do they know? It’s not like they’re doing any market research; they just use Apple’s research and build their products based on that, don’t they? After all, to put it in the blogger’s terms:

It’s one of the things that makes Apple products Apple products.

Yeah, it’s got nothing to do with the fact that they started with that screen size and can’t increase it because it would screw over a huge developer community that hasn’t been warned to make their applications fit multiple screen sizes. Even John Gruber admits to this iOS development flaw.

What’s even funnier is if Samsung did make a 3.5-inch device, they’d be thrown under a train because it looks too much like the iPhone.

Damned if you do. Damned if you don’t. Or, rather, in the distorted vision of Apple citizens – damned if you aren’t Apple.

Now let’s take a moment here to show what’s really happening in the world. That is, outside of the Apple offices, stores, and Mac-filled homes. Yes, there is a world out there like this, guys. I know – it’s terrible, isn’t it? In this world, there are people who need different kinds of devices. Not everyone wants a 3.5-inch brick-shaped, glass “protected”, app-on-app-off device. Some people need devices to be bigger, smaller, rugged, media-focused, camera-focused, mutli-sim, multi-screen, physical-keyboard equipped, single-purposed software, multi-purposed software, non-restri…well…you get the point.

Different people are different. I know it’s hard to grasp this concept, but it’s a reality. Hopefully it’ll set in before this next part that’ll absolutely blow your Apples to the core.

There are people – people who understand the smartphone market as a whole – who think the Galaxy Note is the best phone out there right now. Yeah – that’s right. This 5-inch beast of a device you laugh and mock is actually awesome and it has a huge market (pun not intended). I’ve used it and I’ve loved it. I don’t need that big of a screen size because I already have a tablet, but I can see the appeal, just as much as I can see the appeal of the iPhone 4S, the Galaxy Nexus, and the Nokia Lumia 800. It’s a fantastic phone that solves a few problems that some people may have with today’s phones.

So who are these smartphone experts? Jon Rettinger from TechnoBuffalo. Yeah, the guy that refused to give up his iPhone for anything else has decided to make a switch because he can’t find a phone better than the Galaxy Note. He even went ahead to say that it’s the best phone of 2011 and that the large screen size is a plus. The audacity!

Aaron Baker from PhoneDog did a Galaxy Note challenge where he spent a few days using it and swiftly went back to his iPhone 4S. Within a few days, he went to the Galaxy S2 because he loves the 4- to 4.5-inch screen size; yeah, not the 3.5-inch size, can you believe it? Now he says that there’s a 60% chance of him going back to the Galaxy Note.

I’ve even seen some posts on Google+ that have a similar confession of loving the Galaxy Note over any other device.

Oh, and let’s go a little deeper for a second if this isn’t enough for you. There was a study – not just some guy telling us his fingers can reach the edges of the iPhone – that said that majority of smartphone users prefer larger screen sizes.

when presented with the option, almost 90 percent would go for a device with a larger display. The 4-4.5-inch range was described as the “sweet spot,” though the one sticking point for most users was that the device still needed to be thin.

Now there’s a study you’ll never find on DaringFireball or ParisLemon. It just doesn’t fit into their world, perhaps. Regardless, it does fit with 90 percent of the world, and that’s what actually matters. You keep making crazy claims – or endorsing claims – like the Galaxy Note is the stupidest phone and you’ll start looking like Steve Ballmer talking about the original iPhone.

I’m not saying that you’re wrong in thinking the Note might be a little big. I’m just telling you that maybe you want to step outside of your comfort zone for five minutes and realize that we’re not all drones – we have our own needs. Some of us need more than just a list of icons and a 3.5-inch screen. Just because iOS doesn’t come packaged with a larger screen doesn’t mean that no one wants a screen bigger than 3.5-inches  – it just means that Apple doesn’t cater to the group of people that do. And that’s where extensible operating systems come into play.

Think Different.

Ice Cream Sandwich Ported to the Nokia N9 [Video]

Android on Nokia could have been one of the greatest collaborations in today’s mobile scenery. Gorgeous & robust hardware; gorgeous & robust software. Excuse me while I cry, crouched down in a corner while you watch the video.

Carriers Are Killing The Future Of Mobile

Who would’ve thunk it? The companies that should want smartphones to power through and become a necessity that belongs in each and every citizen’s hands are the exact ones that are slowing down the technology.

Carriers suck. Whether you’re in Canada or the US – carriers are one of the main reasons our mobile technology isn’t lightyears ahead. You want an example? Rogers One Number – one single phone number for all your devices including your computer, tablet etc. Sounds a lot like Google Voice, doesn’t it? Guess what – it’s exactly that with lesser functionality. It’s also exactly why Google Voice doesn’t exist in Canada. This is one in a list of too many evil doings by carriers to horribly throttle tech companies that want to change our lives. The power these companies hold is disgusting. Hate is a strong word, and that’s exactly why I’ll use it – I. Hate. Carriers.

Now let’s chalk up another one for these demons that control our airwaves, whether it be our smartphones, TVs, or internet. Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile have been blocking Google Wallet since it’s inception because they’re banding together to build their own Google Wallet clone – Isis. To stop Google Wallet from penetrating the market any further, they’ve taken every single action they can to stop it including Verizon not allowing Wallet on their horribly branded version of the Galaxy Nexus. As if their ugly logo plastered along the back wasn’t dirty enough. Verizon said it wasn’t “blocking” it, but rather in “commercial discussions”. In other words – pay up, sucker.

Google is now getting to the point where they’re willing to pay carriers a cut of each transaction just so that it has the benefits carriers get out of Isis. Excuse me while I puke. NFC payments are hands-down the most important next step in mobile and carriers are stopping it just so they can get a cut? I literally have no safe words to say for this situation, so I’m going to stop right there.

Hollywood, the music industry, and carriers – the three pillars that are ruining the movement of technology on a daily basis.

I don’t even want to say any more.

A Path of Dishonesty

Ben Brooks:

David Barnard asked Path to delete all his user data and got a support email confirming the data was gone.

Today he signed back up and all his old data was still there for him to use.

Oops.

via Raging Thunderbolt.

Defining ‘Disappointment’ Further: Turning Your Back

Simon Garfinkel at TechnologyReview:

The Apple of today is turning its back on that creative class. Apple no longer designs for creators of digital media, who tend to be very demanding about product quality. Instead, Apple builds for consumers—in both senses of the word: people who spend their own money, rather than their companies’, and people who consume digital media, as opposed to people who produce it. Focusing on digital consumption has made Apple wildly profitable, but the company’s products have trended downwards in quality, flexibility, and even reliability.

Like Apple Fan #1 said: Think Profit. Unfortunately, that truth has led Apple down a sad path that turns away from the excitement they always pushed in technology. One of the commenters is even saying they moved to the Galaxy Note, a phone Apple fans mocked since before day one. Ha.

Disappointment.

Open Up, Google! (or “Use ContentProviders, Google!”)

Russell Holly of Geek.com talks a little bit about how so many Google services don’t have an API in Android so third-parties can interact with them in the linked article. I couldn’t agree more with this notion. Google Reader, Voice, among others including some new ones like Google+, Music, and the whole Play market altogether don’t allow for any interaction (other than sharing) with other apps. Music especially is a surprise considering how amazing it would be for third-parties to tap into the stream to further extend an amazing, blooming service.

Some may misunderstand Russell and say that services like YouTube and Gmail already have a way to access over some sort of official API. But that’s not what he means at all. In Android there is an absolutely amazing building block called ContentProviders. What this allows is an ecosystem that communicates amongst each other.

For instance, let’s say Dev-A decides to make a social application and stores a social stream into a database. He or she may decide to open up the database as read-only, or also allow database writes using a URL-form all through the power of these ContentProviders. This means that Dev-B can use that URL form to pick up data from Dev-A’s database and use that data in his or her application. Of course, using other building blocks like BroadcastReceivers makes things even better, but I won’t go too deep into how awesomely integrated apps can get in Android (unlike some other fruity OSes that like to believe they’re the most advanced out there). Now, this is obviously a really high-level explanation of it and is missing some great features and vital facts, but hopefully it should explain it well enough to understand.

A great example of this is third-party SMS applications. Android stores SMS data into an open database that allows read-and-write using these ContentProvider URIs, which means that any application can tap into it and use it to enhance the user’s experience. This could mean replacing the stock SMS app to add extra features like GO SMS or do other cool stuff with it like SyncSMS allows you to read and reply to all your SMSes from your Android tablet. What Russell is saying here is that Google should open up their applications with these ContentProviders like they have the base Android open source apps so other applications can communicate with them. Google can easily open up as much as they want from their app databases that are already storing tons of data while not having to build a whole public API for them in multiple languages outside of Android. This would even give Google’s Android an edge over Amazon, Barnes & Nobles, and all the other Android variants out there.

That being said, I’m sure this is something Googlers have thought of already but are trying to figure out a good way to do it. But being an Android developer thirsty to integrate, I had to re-iterate this awesome thought from Russell.

Use the tools you’ve lovingly given us, Google. We’ll love you more for it!

Defining ‘Disappointment’

Apple sold a crap-load of iPads. Big surprise.

MG Siegler brushes off his shoulders because he’s playing for the winning side. Big surprise.

But what MG forgets time and time again is that technologists – y’know, the people who appreciate technology and/or work on it and want to see it continuously pushed forward – still won’t think the new iPad is a success. Why? Because it’s a re-hashed device for the second time around. It was okay if the iPad 2 was iterative – that’s how it should go. But every other year, there should be something spectacular. Unfortunately, the new iPad is nothing new. It doesn’t push tablet technology, nor does it make a real technologist any more inspired than the original iPad did. The new iPad is a disappointment because it’s hypocritical of everything Apple said to be and what MG has claimed Apple is about.

Remember when Apple didn’t talk about specs in keynotes because nobody cared? Y’know – the death of the spec? Now they’re comparing GPUs on stage and telling us how fast LTE is. Why? Because there’s absolutely nothing else new but a new GPU and shiny new screen that majority of people can’t even tell is better. Looks like MG’s “RIP Spec” prediction can be sat right next to his “RIP Mouse” claims back when Apple “revolutionized” screen-pointers with the Magic Trackpad. That new era definitely caught on quickly, eh, Siegler?

The new iPad is exactly what disappointment is to a technologist who waits on companies to set a bar so others can try and set ones even higher. While Asus is changing the game, Apple just continues to create the same device. Sales don’t matter when the future needs to be built. Apple isn’t pushing forward what they started and continues on an uninspiring trail after the iPad 2 and the iPhone 4S. Now that’s disappointing.

Sales don’t define good technology. Good technology defines good technology.

Hope you’re enjoying your iPad 2S.

Resolutionary [Video]

TheNextWeb questioned people on the street and asked – based on the screen alone – which was the new iPad and which one was the iPad 2. The results are…well…funny and sad at the same time. Looks like most people can’t even tell the difference. I guess those “pretty, pretty pixels” don’t make much difference to anyone at all, even when they’re sat side-by-side.

Google, please don’t make a 7-inch tablet

So, from the “official” rumors it sounds like it’s finalized that Google’s making a media-focused, low-priced, 7-inch tablet. Sounds good. I mean who doesn’t want a low-priced tablet? And the 7-inch form factor literally screams for portable media consumption; it’s the best screen size for video-watching, music-listening, and book-reading when you travel a lot and need a single-handed-yet-large screen. And it’s obviously going to be Google’s response to Amazon’s Kindle Fire that’s been “stealing” Android tablet sales (even though most of them don’t even fall under the same category). This is great – Google’s going to fight for predominance in the media wars.

Great until you realize that Google has relatively no media next to Apple and Amazon.

I haven’t spoken much about the Google Play move, because honestly – I didn’t care. Why? Because I still got the apps I wanted. That’s all I really cared about. But now, Google’s going to make the Nexus line all about this Google Play crap, and it’s not the right time. They’re going to make the tablet, then they’ll say “it’s enabled with Play”. Unfortunately, Play Music doesn’t have all the important music (not to mention the store is only available in the US) and Play Video only has movies – no TV shows. On top of that, majority of people are still easing their way into using Google’s media. But honestly – this isn’t even what’s bothering me.

The Nexus line has been something that’s put Google on the smartphone map. It’s supposed to be a flagship device for an Android OS version – not a Google product-pushing machine. If Google goes ahead with this 7-inch device, it’ll be the latter and it won’t be what “Nexus” stood for. Remember when people asked Eric Schmidt about how he felt about the low sales of the Nexus One? Here – let me remind you:

The idea a year and a half ago was to do the Nexus One to try to move the phone platform hardware business forward.

It definitely did. The Android smartphone race became into a hardware war in which each OEM tried to out-do the other (sometimes even themselves) to make sure they had the best device out in the market. Before the Nexus One, Android users were okay with “decent” hardware. The Nexus embodied what Android hardware was. From the One, to the S, and now the Galaxy – Nexus devices have become the device that reminds users, OEMs, developers, and all what Android is all about. This 7-inch tablet? It won’t be following that standard-setting phenomena. It’ll be a Play-pusher. Google’s way of saying “hey, we have cool stuff too!”

Yet they forget that they have absolutely fantastic productivity products that – at some level – rival Microsoft’s offerings. They’ve had these offerings for long enough to become a strong player. And with this buzz about Assistant coming along, Google’s productivity suite will get the big boost it really needs in the mobile market. They need to leverage their productivity suite fast. Windows 8 is around the corner and Microsoft’s going to pick up all the iffy customers who don’t want tablets, so they get Windows 8 laptop-tablet so they can “have both”. It’ll be a portable productivity powerhouse, and it’ll change the way we think about tablet computing. It doesn’t matter if it sucks (which I don’t think it does) – it’ll sell like crazy because it’ll basically solve two problems in one for the people that don’t want to solve both. It’s a big deal.

Look, Google. I love Android. Absolutely love it. I also love Docs, Chrome, Gmail, Calendar, and all of those apps you’ve made so perfect for collaboration and organization. On top of that, we all know you’ve been working hard on side-by-side multitasking for tablets. With all that in mind and the fact that you’re working with ASUS should mean you’re making a 10-inch Transformer-style beast, make your Android Google Docs app better, perfect Chrome on Android, and show that you have the chops to – in 1-2 years – have a full-blown OS suite that’ll run integrated across multiple screens to become a primary OS. You can’t compete in the media business – not just yet. Instead, use the power that you have on the office end, and people will use your media service as a consequence of choosing Android.

Make your power hide your weakness – don’t put your weakness on a store’s rack hoping it’ll sell because that’s not how it works.

Makes Me Sick

Jim Dalrymple (of The Loop) on Dell competing with Apple in the tablet game:

I kid you not, I actually laughed out loud reading this. How many times does Apple have to lay the smackdown on Dell before they finally go away.

Are you serious right now? Did he forget how many times Microsoft laid “the smackdown” on Apple before they finally became a predominant factor in the tech world? Did he already forget how many non-voting shares Microsoft had to put into Apple just so they could even exist? Yeah – everyone laughed out loud.

Laugh at others and shout when others laugh at you. I don’t know what I hate more – Apple ideology or Apple fan ideology. Makes me sick.

Significant Fabrications

VentureBeat:

Popular radio show This American Life retracted “Mr. Daisey and the Apple Factory” today, a popular segment detailing the mistreatment of Apple employees in China’s Foxconn factory. [...] This American Life host Ira Glass explained in a blog post that the show couldn’t “vouch for its truth,” and that the airing contained “significant fabrications.”

Sensationalizing stories seems to be a norm nowadays, and this is no different. First off, putting Apple in a corner when clearly they aren’t the only company who uses Foxconn was bad enough. But exaggerating the story, or at least talking about things he had no proof of, is absolutely out of line.

That being said, it’s obvious that Foxconn has shady practices and we shouldn’t take our eyes off them. But this? This isn’t the way.

It Just Works…on WiFi

The Verge:

FaceTime video chat still won’t work directly on the 4G network

A while back John Gruber pointed to a post that told customers to do one simple test to see which phone-maker really cares about their customers. In this test you had to find which OEMs bowed down to the carriers and threw the carrier logos on the devices they sold. Apparently Apple isn’t one of them, even though the logo shines on the top left all the time (and now in “4G!”).

You want to know who bows down to carriers? Every. Single. OEM. Including. Apple. The above FaceTime blockage is an example of that. The fake 4G logo on top of the 4S is an example of that. The lack of tethering on iPhones on AT&T a little while back is an example of that. And I can go through a list of many others.

Apple bows down to carriers as well; it’s just that rather than being shown off in hardware, it’s heavily prevalent in the software. They’re all the same, and it’s something you Apple fans will need to eventually come to terms with.

Triangle

Hm…PayPal’s new “Here” looks a bit familiar.

And now that we’re done with that, can we cut it out and focus on NFC transactions, please?

Lenovo: “FIRST!!!!111″

The Verge:

We’ve learned that Lenovo is internally planning to be the very first manufacturer to release a Windows 8 tablet, and that the company believes that October is when the operating system will ship.

I don’t care if they’re first, nor do I care if they’re last. It better be good.

Google Answers

VentureBeat:

…you’ll soon be able to type in a question to the Google search bar and get a relatively intelligent response, if all things go according to plan. For example, typing in “What are Nashville, Tennessee’s largest public parks?” would bring up a list of the parks, instead of just a link to a website that contained the same information.

I certainly haven’t been the only one, but I’ve said it again and again that Google’s about to make their search engine into an answer engine. One that will be able to decide when to give resources, locations, social recommendations, and so on and so forth. They started on this a while back, and now they’re about to release a ton of new features that’ll make it even more “answer”-based than link-based. This is going to be huge for the future of not only search, but Natural Language Processing too.

Majel is coming, ladies and gentlemen.

Kevin Rose just ‘Digged’ his way into Google

First off – sorry for the horrible pun. I guess I was just “Milk”-ing the topic for jokes.

Okay, I’ll stop.

But seriously, this is big news. Apparently Google’s hiring the whole Milk team only a day after they killed off their flagship product “Oink”. No word on what team they’re getting on, but based on Rose’s past they’ll probably be either heading to Google+ or something social-news related we have yet to hear about.

Either way – big, big news.

The Browser You Love(d) To Hate

Well, at least they’re admitting to the horrifying past of their standard browser. The best way to fix yourself is to laugh at your stupid moments. Well done, Microsoft. That being said, IE still has a long way to go, but I think they’re onto something with their OS integration. Hopefully they’re able to ship a great browser by the end of the year with Windows 8.

Web on Mobile: More Thoughts on Android In-App Payments

Yesterday I gave some thoughts on Google’s policy of making Google Wallet more or less a “standard” in Android in-app payments. In rare form, I blasted at Google’s choice. I don’t agree with it, and I likely won’t regardless of how good people tell me it is for the user. Why? Because I don’t think it’s good on any spectrum – consumer or developer. Tightening controls on something like this can be a slippery slope, especially considering how little Google monitors apps on the market. How many will pass through such a policy?

But that’s not my problem. It never was, in fact. My problem with this decision was more because it went against a philosophy Google themselves have taught me. No, not all this “open” crap. That has nothing to do with this; Android is open source regardless of this decision and any blogger who questions the “openness” of Android because of this doesn’t understand the technology at all and shouldn’t comment on it.

It’s about Android being a consequence of the web.

From a loose framework that allows for extension to design principles – Android is the operating system of the web. It’s why the Nexus One was promoted as “Web meets Phone”; because Android is exactly that. Working with Android on a framework level will prove to be incredibly enjoyable in the sense of innovation because there’s just so much you can do without any hacks whatsoever. The robustness reminds me a lot of how the internet works, and I’m quite sure this is exactly what Google had in mind. If you’re an Android developer and you feel like the layout development is strikingly similar to web – it wasn’t a mistake, it was an intent (no pun intended…maybe). The new design philosophy which has been geared more or less by Matias Duarte is very similar too. This quote has stuck in my head since he said it:

I offer the web. Here there’s beautiful examples of very customized, very different feeling websites. [...] These look completely unlike each other, but people understand how to use them because the right things are standard conventions, and other things are flexible. That’s what we tried to build with the Ice Cream Sandwich convention.

This particular quote is from The Verge’s interview with Duarte before the Galaxy Nexus launch.

Google has been built off the web, and it’s no surprise Android is too. In fact, the web is the perfect example of this kind of “next-gen” interface we need to communicate with on a daily basis. Mobile should be influenced by it’s power.

So why am I talking about Android’s web influence? Because this decision of singular in-app payment directly goes against this philosophy. On the web, there is no standard payment method. If I use Chrome, I’m not forced to use Google Wallet; if I use Firefox, I’m not forced to use PayPal. I use what the site offers me, and if I’m not comfortable with it I don’t use it. Why does Android – or mobile in general – need to be any different? Why can’t the users make their own decision on whether or not they’re comfortable with a payment system? Google Wallet/Checkout is not the best payment system and being allowed to use a different one shouldn’t be out of the question.

Go all-in with the web philosophy and it’ll make Android even more robust. It’s worked in the past, and it’ll work in the future. Don’t ruin it.

Google’s Forcing Wallet for Android In-App Payments

I can’t explain my hate for these kind of restrictions. I get the reasoning – consistency and whatnot. But to me, these kind of things should follow the same philosophy of Google Play – the users will decide what’s good and what’s not. If an app decides to use another service for in-app payments, then so be it – the users will decide if they want to use it or not.

At least it’s a step up from Apple’s policy – transferable digital goods like eBooks aren’t included in this clause. But honestly – this needs to change no matter how long this has been in place.

Apple to shutdown iWork – how about Ping?

Funny how Apple fans point at Google whenever they shut down something and say they “failed”, yet Apple’s shut down MobileMe (something people paid quite a bit for) and now iWork. At least no one had to pay for Wave, Buzz, and whatever else Google’s shut down.

Fact is that these things happen, and it’s stupid to point a finger at one company when it’s entirely necessary to do these things sometimes. But anyways, we all know it’ll keep going.

Oh, and how’s Ping doing? You think Google+ is a graveyard? I think it’s time they shut that down.

Assistant: Majel is coming

Remember when I said Google should make a Siri competitor because their search power would make Siri look like a toy? Well…

Assistant, which users will be able to speak with to get answers, search results, and more. The “do engine” sounds like a Siri competitor, but, it’s rumored that Assistant won’t just be a standalone app; apparently there are plans to release an API for developers to integrate Assistant into all sorts of apps.

Google’s powerful search capability? Check. API out of the box? Check. Better voice recognition than majority of platforms? Check. If this actually starts getting integrated into multiple apps across the Android ecosystem, it’ll definitely be a hell of a lot more useful than Siri. Not to mention that Google won’t have to make it work properly in only one country considering they already have the tools to make it cross-border compatible.

By the way – for anyone wondering – in Android, an app is more than just a box. It can become a platform right from the get-go, so Google can make Assisstant an app in the Android Market and still make it better integrated than Siri. It would be able to launch apps, read data, and share items to apps it doesn’t even know exist simply because of how Android’s underlying framework is built.

Now, although this is coming to Android I wouldn’t count on it being open source. It’ll probably come packaged with the Google apps for OEMs and partners. I know, it sucks, but I’m pretty sure that’s the road they’ll take. However, if they do happen to make it open source, you can bet we’ll be in a whole different age of NLP. Looking forward to seeing more information on this soon.

Google Music & Aggressive Business

Google Music seems to be a hot topic lately, mainly because some Googlers said that the search company isn’t happy with the performance of the cloud music streaming/buying service they recently launched out of beta. MG Seigler points out that Google Music was announced two years back, but he forgets something really important – that was a demo of what was to come. Google Music launched a beta last year in May for a very few select people. I was lucky enough to get a chance to use it even though I’m in Canada (I can only store/stream songs – I can’t buy anything).

I haven’t kept a song on my hard drive since. All my most important music is on Google Music, and anything else I just stream off different sites. While iTunes users have to pay $25 a year to store 25,000 songs (actually, send Apple a list of music and they’ll find an iTunes counterpart…sometimes), Google Music users can store 20,000 of their own songs (doesn’t get replaced by Google’s version) on the cloud for free.

See, the problem isn’t that Google Music sucks – it’s the availability of the service. US-only? No wonder it’s not doing well. Google has the potential user-base of 850,000 devices a day and they filter it to one country! I’m sure it has something to do with each country’s media regulators. Right? Well, here’s something interesting from Seigler’s link for his post:

Rumors have circulated that the real reason that Spotify took so long to launch in the US was because Apple threw up every roadblock possible, including threatening the record labels if they licensed Spotify.

Well, there’s something Seigler conveniently forgot to mention. How the hell is this not seen as bad practice? Microsoft did this with their products and the got slammed against a wall until they gave Apple $150 million in non-voting shares. Now Apple’s attempting to monopolize the digital music industry and we laugh at Spotify? Seriously, people?

Oh, and how does this not ring any bells to the writers? Let’s break this down really quickly:
As I said earlier, record labels have the chance to be a part of an ecosystem that’s growing at a rate of 250%. Apple’s blocking other services from coming in by threatening labels. Google Music can’t get a deal with Warner.

Read those last three sentences over and over until something hits you because this is horrifying.

It’s a File System…

Looks like someone needs to re-learn computers. Check out what NYT finally found out:

To demonstrate how vulnerable images are on Android devices, Ralph Gootee, an Android developer and chief technology officer of the software company Loupe, put together a test application that appears to be a simple timer. Installing the app produces a notification that it wants to be able to access the Internet, but there is no notice about photos. When the app is started and the user sets the timer, the app goes into the photo library, retrieves the most recent image and posts it on a public photo-sharing site.

OMG! My phone can look through a file system and pick up files from this file system and then do things with these files? When did this happen?

Try the beginning of file system time.

It’s why your browser on your PC can get a file from a persistent storage and upload it. Remember? Oh, no, but you must have confused Android – something that’s literally a computer in your pocket – with iOS or WP7, which keep all your data locked into a box. Android has a usable file system, similar to that of your regular PCs. It’s why you can download files from your Android browser and access them from any app while with iOS and WP, you…well…can’t. Yeah – it works like a computer. Y’know, how it’s supposed to work.

I really hope Google doesn’t change the way this works. A file system is vital to a user’s control of their device and should be a necessity in every computer, whether it’s a PC, tablet, or smartphone. That being said, a quick prompt the first time an app accesses the file system for people who like to throw FUD around may be a good idea. Just don’t take away the file system and I’m happy.

EDIT: 9to5Google further discusses this and raises some good points.

The Bookstore of the Walled Garden

Seth Godin wrote about education and how it should change in a 30,000-word paper and wanted it to be readily available on Apple’s iBookstore. Too bad for him, though – Apple doesn’t want to accept it into their world…

I just found out that Apple is rejecting my new manifesto Stop Stealing Dreams and won’t carry it in their store because inside the manifesto are links to buy the books I mention in the bibliography. [...] Quoting here from their note to me, rejecting the book: “Multiple links to Amazon store. IE page 35, David Weinberger link.”

Nice. And just to make it clear – none of these links are to his own books and they’re links to hardcover books. Y’know – the kind that Apple doesn’t even sell.

Gruber argues that you wouldn’t see a brick-and-mortar bookstore sell a book with a competitor’s coupon inside. However, these aren’t coupons. They’re just links to the actual books. He even suggests making them iBookstore links instead of Amazon ones. Yeah, he wants Godin to make a special edition just for Apple. Y’know, because they’re so damn special.

Before it used to be “sell your software on this popular Apple product if you follow these long list of rules, build them on our own products that start at high prices, pay us $100 just to get started, and if we accept it we’ll allow you to enter into our pool”. Now we’re seeing a similar situation with books. So, if you’re on an iDevice and buy products from their iStores, you’re not only completely locked into their hardware, but are also being told what you can and can’t buy while they do it. Huh. Good thing I use Kindle.

And you simply have love the ironic name of the book: Stop Stealing Dreams.

Apparently Google sells our data [G+]

One of my rare rants on Google+. I was kinda disgusted at the misinformation, so I had to let it out.



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