Mobility

This Just In: GPS Tracks Location

On Apr 20, two researchers presenting at the “Where 2.0″ conference disclosed that Apple iPhones (and 3G iPads) were found to contain accessible location tracking histories. The “Apple is tracking you” meme spread like wildfire on the Internet and by nightfall had made its way to the evening news, complete with overly simplified technical hand-waving and obligatory man-on-the-street outrage.

In the clearer light of day, some revelations: (continue reading…)

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Has The iPhone Peaked?

Business Insider ran what I thought was a very interesting Android vs iPhone survey asking users why they chose one platform over another. I agree with their “takeaway points” from the resulting data, but I was particularly intrigued by two of their extended conclusions in regard to the Android onslaught:

  1. “It increases the pressure on the iPhone 5 to be a humdinger of an upgrade.”
  2. “App selection is not as important as most people think.”

(continue reading…)


On Openness, Fragmentation, And Other Android Traits

According to the latest Nielsen numbers, Android, iOS, and BlackBerry are nearly neck-and-neck in smartphone OS market share with 29%, 27%, and 27% respectively. When looking at the graph, one thing stands out in comparing new leader Android to its nearest neighbors… (continue reading…)


The Ides of February Brings Change To Mobility Landscape

“Beware the Ides of March” was a warning of calamitous nature to Ceasar. The foreshadowing was in reference to the 15th of that month. For certain other months, such as Feb, the ‘ides’ is on the 13th. And the portent for the mobility world has likely already taken place as the “Ides of February” now approaches.

Just a little more than two weeks ago, Verizon was still in denial over the iPhone, the Galaxy Tab was the first significant competition to iPad, Android Honeycomb (particularly with Motorola Xoom) was announced with great fanfare, the rumor mill had HP unable to achieve success without dropping WebOS, and Nokia’s “Great White Hope” MeeGo (the joint embed OS venture with Intel) was pulled off the market in anticipation of golden release.

Now we are heading towards mid-Feb and…

I’ve long maintained that, although I am an iPhone/iPad fan, I am not a “fanboy” that views all others as inferior. I actually relish the diversity and watching the innovations that capitalistic competition have spurred. The “Ides of February” has brought some momentous events for mobility, and the next few months – awaiting the general availability of WebOS, Honeycomb, iPad2, and PlayBook – will be significant.

These are exciting times. A lot has happened in a relatively short span. The only thing that moves faster than “Internet time” would seem to be “mobility time”!


How Do I Get To The Holodeck Controls?

I have not actually tried this yet, but the UI caught my eye. It looks like someone watched quite a bit of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” for interface ideas. The LCARS Reader for iPad looks a lot like the TNG Enterprise computer!

A one-stop media shop for $4.99. Claims to be an RSS Reader, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, and Picasa. Even Ebay and Craigslist interfaces, which I must admit is unique when compared to FlipBook, FLUD, Taptu, and others.


WordPress App Recant

Earlier this year, WordPress released v2.6 of their iOS app. You could tell from the announcement that the developers were very excited about many new features that had been added. Unfortunately, it seems that few outside of the development team were able to experience all these great features, because the released product did not seem to work well. The primary problem was that it would complain about login/password problems and not let you into your own site. It was slammed in the iTunes app reviews.

Shortly thereafter, a new 2.6.1 version was released to fix the login problems. The developers were profusely apologetic for the authentication errors. My 2nd install certainly got past the password, but it would just hang forever. I figured it was another bust. I went to the iTunes feedback ready to blast then with a low rating. But I happened to notice that at least one other reviewer had the same difficulties as I, and they resolved the problem by wiping the app and doing a complete re-install. Hmmm, worth a shot.

And what a difference it made! When I installed a fresh new copy, I was able to configure for my site and finally see what the developers were initially so excited about. WYSIWYG editor, photo uploads, video support, location-based posting. Bravo! I hurriedly went back to iTunes to post a 5-star rating.

I should have been more thorough in my testing. Yes, it offers all that and more. But when time comes to actually save the blog entry, no dice. It looks like it works, but there’s nothing there on the site – not even in Draft form. Darn. Pretty useless.

Now how do I retract my iTunes positive rating?


Android vs iPhone, Fair and Balanced

Nick Saint offers the most unbiased Android vs iPhone comparison that I have seen to date. It is well-balanced and (IMHO) reasonable in its assessment. The comments pre-date the iPhone availability of Google Voice, Google Goggles, or the potential “Verizon iPhone” – which might ameliorate some criticisms – but otherwise it is very fair.

I have hated all other “which is best” articles because they are so black-and-white in stating their personal preferences as fact. Don’t let anyone tell you that you are somehow less intelligent/attractive/moral if you prefer to have a virtual keyboard (iPhone) or removable battery (Android). There is no one right answer, no universal choice. Whatever you prefer is right for you, no matter what anyone else may opine.


Flipboard Releases New Update

Very happy to see that Flipboard released v1.0.2 on Thurs. It answers all my earlier criticisms except for the lack of RSS support:

  • No more duplicate articles thanks to an improved layout algorithm.
  • More panels – now up to 21.
  • Auto-refresh – no need to exit/restart to pick up new content.

Plus a new feature that shows a web page snapshot (like IE and Chrome thumbnails) when page content/context is not otherwise available.

The best just got better.


AT&T Re-Defines “Limited” and “Unlimited”

Most iPhone users tend to be loyal about their phone, and dare I say, with just a slight air of superiority. But there is one feature on Android phones that Apple people are jealous about. Many Android phones come with software that allows the phones to become a WiFi hotspot. Not only is the feature built-in, but the carriers gladly support it. It is even advertised heavily in “Droid Does” commercials.

But iPhone? (continue reading…)


The End of Phone as Utility

There’s an app for that. And it may soon replace the idea of Baby Bells and Verizon as utility companies. If it hadn’t already via Skype, telephony is now well on its way to becoming an application rather than a network, thanks to Google “Voice Chat”.

(continue reading…)


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