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Don’t Send a Pin to Do Text’s Job

9 Apr

Modern messaging clients are pretty amazing. They let you send things like picture, audio, video, and all of them natively viewable within the thread. They also let you sent one other thing, your location, you can send it as your GPS co-ordinates, or as a pin on you map app. Please don’t do that.

Please Don’t Send A Pin.

Here’s why you should not send a pin when someone asks for an address.

  1. The person asked for an address, so just send that. That should be the end to it really.
  2. You have no idea what phone/OS/messaging client the person using, and if it can properly handle a map pin.
  3. There is a much greater chance that it’ll recognize address written in text as an address and handle it as such.
  4. If the destination is a packed neighborhood, a pin can easily direct you to wrong house.
  5. If it’s your address, it should be on the tip your tongue/finger and you can just type it.
  6. Address written in text is universally readable, a pin is not.
  7. I can easily copy-paste address written in text into contact, a pin I cannot.

Of course if the location is inside a forest/national park type of place where an address is non-existent, feel free to send a pin, but know when not to. Most of the times, if asked for an address, don’t send a pin, send the address.

A World full of Aspect Ratio

1 Apr

What is aspect ratio you ask? It’s the ratio between your TV, laptop, tablet, or your phone display’s width and height. Aspect ratio is easily identified by maximum resolution of a display, if you reduce a 1080p display’s resolution 1920/1080, you get 16/9 or the aspect ratio 16:9.

So, what’s this about world full of aspect ratio? While 16:9 has dominated the display market for the past decade or so, it was never quite alone. 16:10 never quite went away, mobile market has seen both 15:9(Nokia Lumia) and 3:2(iPhone), and PC gaming is seeing a huge demand for 21:9 display in recent days. While having different aspect ratios is great for filling every niche in market, it makes it difficult to compare display sizes. A 27” 16:9 display is actually bigger than a 29” 21:9 display, a 5.7” LG V20 with a 16:9 display is bigger than a 5.7” LG G6, which has an 18:9(2:1) display or even a 5.8” Galaxy S8. And it’s not just total area, different aspect ratio also means different device width on a phone, or a different device for a pc display.

Galaxy S8 has the same display width as a regular 5.2” display phone. A 29” 21:9 display has the same display height as a regular 23” display.

These properties actually make these great choices if they fit your need. As a matter of fact, I am writing this on a 21:9 29” display, it’s amazing for gaming. And the reduced width makes Galaxy S8 much easier to hold than its diagonal size would make you think. But the point me writing this is that people should know what they are getting, and if you’re reading this I assume you like to know what you are getting.

Diagonal Resolution X Resolution Y Width Height Area
23” 1920 1080 20.05” 11.28” 226.04”
27” 2560 1440 23.53” 13.24” 311.50”
29” 2560 1080 26.72” 11.27” 301.19”
5.7” 1440 2560 2.55” 5.10” 13.00”
5.7” 1440 2880 2.79” 4.97 13.88”
5.8” 1440 2960 2.54” 5.22” 13.23”
5.2” 1440 2560 2.55” 4.53” 11.55”

There is a formula for that, it’s not that hard really, some basic trigonometry can get you here. All I did was make it into an easily pluggable format. You’ll remember I said that the resolution will give you the ratio, which in trig is Tangent value, so adding the diagonal to the mix we can figure out the display’s height and width. And the area is just multiplication, which looks like this,

area

Of course for our purpose we need separate equation for height and width. So,

 height

Which in MS Excel terms, (SIN(ATAN(resY/resX)))*diagonal

width

Which in MS Excel terms, (COS(ATAN(resY/resX)))*diagonal

Happy hunting! 🙂

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.

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.

Lumia 920 Battery Life

8 Jun

This is bit of a selective disclosure, but remains worth noting that Lumia 920 can get absolutely amazing battery life. It should be noted that this is a European build running on AT&T’s network, so instead of LTE, it is maxing out on HSPA+, which could alleviate some load. I cannot provide specific measurements, but my judgment it was average usage.

Choice Is Good, RIGHT? (Part 1)

11 Oct

PC users always boast one thing(amongst others) over Mac, “we have choices”. PCs come in different brands, shapes, monitors, configurations, case sizes, OS versions, with crap-ware or signature and so on. A moderately savvy user will be able to get exactly what he/she wants in the PC. Now I believe this is what drive down price and computers are now everywhere. Bill Gates’ renowned dream of putting a PC in every home has surpassed even the dream, now every home has multiple computers, one for every person!

Now the situation arises right here. 10 years ago PC was common, affordable and not DOS like scary any more. People are buying them and using for variety of tasks. But now that instead of one computer per household it has become three computer (I am just putting up a number) per household, the  main demographic of computer user has changed. It may sound a bit snobbish and it likely is, instead of technologically aware/trained people using computer, now every tom, dick and harry uses it. Don’t get me wrong, I am not against it nor do I mind, but I am talking about the effect of this phenomenon.
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Smartphone Audio Quality

6 Oct

This post was originally written as a comment in a post of a tech-blog site by me. This is a ”bloggification”.

Admit it, if you are by any chance reading this totally unpopular blog written by a completely unknown writer with zero credibility, you probably are a technology minded person. And you either own a smartphone or want one. Now the question is what is it you do the most or plan to do the most on your phone? I personally use my phone to listen to music the most. And I am pretty confident I am not the only one.

Phone makers always try to focus on the camera capabilities of their phones, and that’s fine by me. I can completely understand why they do that. First, taking a picture is a sharing experience and people love to take photos. So even if people use their phone less as a camera and more as a music player, the camera functionality gets focused more. Also when you are in a group, if everyone one takes photo by their phones, it’s going to come out which phone takes better picture.
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