Small Takes – Apple 9.9 Event

9 Sep

Bigger phone size is very welcome. Still a pity that the small size no longer here. There’s a real market for small flagship device.

iPhone 6 Plus’s real purpose is probably to give a better option to 9.7” iPad users.

Brilliant on Apple’s part to have extra button’s on the bigger iPhone’s keyboard.

Apple Watch’s hardware looks gorgeous. I am only liking the steel band though.

The default watch face on Apple Watch is also very pretty, but the rest of the UI looks very non-pretty in a original iOS look way.

Loved bringing back the “One more thing…" in a appropriate manner.

Bigger is Better

29 Jul

True that there are aspects of life where that is not true, but for most matter that is quantifiable, bigger is indeed better. It may help clear up if I paraphrase different is not better. Neither is different worse.

On to more quantifiable examples.

Let’s consider the number 7 and the letters f, g, and h. The letters are the 6th, 7th, and 8th letter of the Roman alphabet. Now, are any of those bigger than the number 7? Decidedly not! Are they smaller? Or equal? None of that. That’s because they belong in a different category, which makes it impossible for them to be compared with 7. Now the number 8? That is bigger than 7. It has all of 7 in it and 1 more!

Xbox Music, for all new stuff it does, is not better that Zune, or Windows Media Player. It’s just different. The only way it can ever be better is if and when it encompasses all the features of its predecessors and have more. It’s as simple as that. Until then, it’s just a different media player, one that I’ll keep being hostile towards. Unless of course it can do what others does.

And this goes for every software out there, and maybe not just software. Do new stuff, make new stuff. Just not for the sake of it. The necessity should drive the change, the necessity cannot come from a change.

About Pay to Win

29 Jul

If you play a Pay to Win game, you are a stupid person. It’s blunt, it’s offensive, but it’s also the truth.

Let’s put it into perspective. I have always said, this particular model is like authorized cheating, and people agreed. But so far I have struggles to pin down a perfect metaphor. Let’s say you’re playing Football, and you’re up against a team at their home ground. There’ll be definitely be some officiating favor going for  the home team. But that’s part of the game right? That’s how it has always been for sports. So what’s wrong with cheating at games? That’s because the official favoring a home team is like those old day game cheat codes, nobody likes to talk about it, and it happens under the radar. Pay to Win is like FIFA announcing because one team paid them a handsome amount, the game shall begin at 5-0 to them.

If you’re playing a Football match that started as 5-0 against you,  you’re a mentally disabled person. And whatever you’re doing, it’s not sport. And same way, if you’re playing something that’s Pay to Win, whatever that is, that’s not a game. And don’t say it’s fun nonetheless. Would you enjoy a football game starting at 5-0? Stop giving those developers your money.

Update on The Verge app

18 Jul

Originally posted on anand prakash:

ConvergeThe Verge is my favorite tech news site. There are always controversies around who likes which product or tech company but overall, The Verge seems on point most of the time. I read that site so much that I created an app for myself as their mobile site isn’t good. Later when I shared the app in The Verge reader community, a lot of folks liked the app and asked if I could add more features. Now, adding features and making an app worth using takes some serious efforts and commitment.

One thing I learned by watching apps come and go is that one shouldn’t develop an unofficial app unless the service has public APIs or you are partnering with the team who owns the service.

  • First, building a brand and service which people want to use takes your sweat and blood. As a 3rd party developer, you shouldn’t use someone else’s work…

View original 632 more words

To Universal App or Not

30 Jun

Windows Phone 8.1 brings a host of improvements. Most notable and consumer facing among them are the Action Center, Cortana, improved start screen, all the Senses etc. But the feature that might end up being the most useful to the users without them even knowing is the introduction of Universal Apps, the compile once and run on all devices apps. Since its introduction, there have been a lot faster app additions to both Windows and Windows Phone store. Previously you’d have to wait for developer to do both separately, if ever; but now cool apps from Windows store appear on Windows Phone store simultaneously, and vice-versa.

So what’s not to like?

The problem with Universal Apps are a bit low level. Literally. While they make great sense for indie developers and even bigger publishers to take advantage of it to maximize their usage of resource allocation, Universal apps are all managed code apps, and will always be slower than their native cousins. Improvements to platform itself will keep bringing down the performance hit associated with managed code, but a gap will remain. So while these apps are very good, and even desirable in cases like TV apps and the likes, if an app requires maximum performance possible, developer probably should stick to native apps.

Especially if the developer is Microsoft itself.

It’s downright depressing to see a loading screen on a first party app. I don’t want to see a loading screen on my music app. Ever. Not a resuming screen either for that matter. I don’t want to see those screen on my podcast app, on my videos app. These are core functionality app, and people try them, a lot. If a platform loyalist like me is outraged by it, think how someone trying it in a store would feel! An iPhone or top end Android devices will be there to rescue from the terror that is loading screen. That cannot be too great for the already tiny Windows Phone market share.

So dear Microsoft, you have the resources. Please use it to kill those loading screens. Universal apps are great, and should help Windows Phone a lot in coming days. But don’t use it on places where it will bring more harm instead. There are places for it, first party pre-installed apps is not among them.

Devil Is In The Details

22 Apr

There have already been plenty of reviews of Windows Phone 8.1. This is obviously not a review. Just a list of details, major or minor, only doable by someone who regularly uses the OS.

Good:

  • Keyboard now suggests/offers emoticons!
  • Updated boot animation is good.
  • Updated icon for outlook account and exchange.
  • Parallax implementation is good.
  • Does call grouping in call history.
  • Map nicely integrates POI from Foursquare. More important stuff appears first when zooming in.
  • More tiles across the device spectrum.
  • Manual checking of app  updates.

Bad:

  • Xbox music sucks. SLOW.
  • Slower performance.
  • Podcast app has no browsing.
  • Outlook account is still called Hotmail.
  • Office apps not updates one bit.
  • Still no contact picture in call history.
  • Setting still a mess. No icons.
  • Transit direction is not using the transports’ (either of bus and train) names to denote them (NYC), only the direction.
  • No need to give that pop-up when I check for app updates.

Neutral and Time Needed:

  • Cortana sports integration is woefully incomplete.
  • Worsened battery performance.
  • Worsened memory management. IE is unloading tabs too frequently.

I want to see:

  • Cortana to have batch operations. (Turn off all alarms, Move all alarm forward by 3 hours, )
  • More options for Action Center quick actions.

These all may seem pretty small time stuff to a lot of people, but a lot of these small stuff can get in the way of a great experience. So here’s hoping someone is paying attention somewhere.

Chrome Sucks

21 Apr

Or probably WebKit.

I have always felt weird while using the beloved Chrome browser, but could never put a finger on it why. The closest I got was there is something in it’s mouse behavior that’s off. And today I discovered it is indeed a mouse behavior, and I have pinned what it is.

As you’d guess, I am a mouse user. I scoff at people who boasts Apple machine’s “superior” trackpads. For all subjective and objective reasons I can muster, mouse >>> trackpad. So, if mouse doesn’t feel right, nothing feels right.

On to the point. You know how every mouse (that’s made in this millennium) has a scroll wheel, and how scrolling that wheel takes you a bit up or down in a webpage, when I scroll one “notch”, all browser goes from point A to point B, as they should. My issue with Chrome is with how it handles this particular action. Both Internet Explorer and Firefox goes from point A to B in a smooth manner, you can almost follow the movement. But, Chrome and Opera, both now WebKit based, goes from point A to B in an instant. This creates a very jarring effects. More so if you do a lot of reading like I do. I could not test Safari for the reason of it no longer being available for Windows.

I have always maintained that how a browser feels to use is way more important than how “fast” it is. And this is just one of those. The ironic part is, this makes Internet Explorer my secondary browser over Chrome.

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