Tag: iPhone

iPhone Charging Cord Stop Working? Try Giving it a Massage. Seriously.

My lovely wife CJ, who is in many ways even odder than I am, told me recently that when one of the 3 million or so iPhone charging cables we have bought over the last two years stopped working (as virtually all of them have after periods of service ranging from a few hours to a few months), she tried something weird, almost unconsciously. She began to pass the cable through her fingers, massaging it lightly as it made its way through. Almost like she was straightening out kinks, but it had no visible kinks.

When she plugged her phone back into that cord, it immediately began charging again. Say what?

Mind you, this cord was legally dead. It was bleedin’ demised. In fact, it was pining for the fjords. We had tried all our usual tricks (and believe me, we have a bunch of them!) to no effect.

So today, I had a cord that had been working fine for about a month suddenly decide to go on strike. I thought, “What the heck?” and began running it through my fingers.

Lo and behold, it is working fine again.

I have no explanation for this. I can’t find anything on the Web about it. It may not work for you (i.e., YMMV – your mileage may vary). But I’m a happier camper now than I was a half hour ago.

Regardless of Sales Numbers, iOS Still Number One for App Developers

ios_vs_android_usersA new research report from Forrester reported today by TechCrunch reveals that iOS device users continue to outpace Android customers in terms of their use of apps on their phones and tablets.

Among other findings, the study reveals that:

  • There are five categories of apps that more than half of all iOS users report using regularly, but only the top three score with a majority of Android customers. (The five, in order, are: weather, social networking, maps & directions, games and music.)
  • In every one of the top 10 categories for smartphone apps, the percentage of iOS users who run them exceeds the portion of Android users, mostly by 6-8% but in the case of music, by 13%.

While the report’s editors speculate about why this might be the case, the bottom line is that, “What these figures do seem to show is that while Android continues to grow in popularity, it has yet to grab that premium class of consumers who use their phones the most and are the most attractive consumers for app makers.”

Sinking…er…Synching With iTunes

I’m having quite an adventure today trying to get my iPad and iPhone to synch correctly with my relocated iMac. Apple’s DRM seems to be a bit of a hindrance in some situations.

Part of the problem I encountered today had to do with a USB cable that was the slightest bit wonky. My iPhone synched just fine with it but my iPad wasn’t even recognized by my iTunes until I swapped the cable. Then things went fine.

Still trying to sort out some of the App synching stuff, but given my prior experience with synch in iTunes, it’s gone much more smoothly than I expected.

It still bewilders me why such a ludicrous decision to put so much system-level functionality in a music program hasn’t long since been undone, but I guess that’s the Apple Way. 🙂

Caught in the Apple-Google “Wars”…And Delighted!

Google-AppleOne of my favorite technology writers is Salon.com’s Andrew Leonard. In his most recent article, Leonard talks about about finding himself as an unwitting participant in what’s being called the most important battle in tech. Interestingly, it’s the very same battle in which I find myself at the moment.

I’m speaking, of course, of the battle for eyeballs between Google and Apple. As a self declared “Goodict,” I am a fairly heavy user of Google’s applications. But I’ve been an Apple user and supporter for many more years than Google has even been around.  Most days, I touch an iPad,     an iPhone, and at least one Macintosh. I also run a minimum of six Google apps:  mail, chat, tasks, drive, word processing, calendar, and of course search. Many days, other Google apps get my attention as well.

Leonard worries about the degree to which Google gets to know too much about him in the course of his using their software. It’s an understandable concern, but one that I’ve long since dealt with. Everyone who works online makes continuing trade-off decisions between convenience and privacy. The more an application knows about you, the more likely it will be able to help you accomplish a task or solve a problem. On the other hand, that knowledge can also be put to what may be considered undesirable ends.

When most people talk about their privacy concerns with respect to Google, it seems her focus is on targeted advertising. I’ve never understood that concern. In fact, I welcome targeted advertising. To the extent that I’m even aware of and ad’s presence on the page, I’d much rather see a message that I might potentially be interested in than, say, one aimed at a much younger female.

It’s certainly true that the more information we give people like Google, and the more people like Google we work with, the more potential evil we open ourselves up to. But if we are reasonably judicious, and if we at least a think about the question of whether information were about to divulge could be used nefariously, we can stay about us private as is remotely possible on the Internet. The fact is, that not only on the Internet but in broader society, privacy has become a common casualty of our collective living and wisdom.

And, so far at least, I’m OK with that.

“My Phone Has More Apps Than Your Phone!”

I find it ironic that Apple is now being touted as the juggernaut in the technology industry because of its larger ecosystem. When Apple was strictly a computer company battling Microsoft Windows, the folks who supported Windows often argued that it was superior  simply because it had a larger number of applications available.

Now the shoe’s on the other foot, as it were. Apple’s edge in the smartphone and tablet markets is seen as  largely based on the significant number of apps available for the platform.

In truth, judging the value of a platform based largely on the size of its ecosystem is a misleading approach. As we supporters of Apple in those early days were fond of pointing out, there is a limit to how many of a specific type one user could need.The fact, for example, that there might be 27 general ledger programs available on Windows and only a half dozen on the Mac was largely irrelevant. So long as the leading programs were available on both platforms, or, alternatively, data could be interchanged between different applications, the issue is essentially moot.

I would say the same thing in evaluating the ecosystems of today’s smartphone platforms. While there are substantially more apps available for the iPhone then for android phones, a failure to distinguish application types can lead to a wrong-headed conclusion about which platform is preferable.

So while it’s true that I continue to prefer Apple products, and am all but addicted to my iPhone and my iPad, it isn’t the range or number of apps available that causes that preference. As is often the case, platform choice bears a strong connection to user intent. I’m not even sure that any one smartphone platform could claim to be the best common denominator space for a broad range of uses.



The Apple Map Snafu: What Really Went Wrong

I just posted a new story on the Apple Map app dustup over on Storify. While I think it was ill-conceived of Apple to release the Map app in place of Google Maps (a peaceful co-existence first would have been smarter), one expert cartographer says the problem isn’t with the data sets Apple uses, as some have charged, but rather with purely algorithm-based testing.

My iPhone4 is Jealous

I think my iPhone4 is jealous of the new iPhone4Steve.

It's been working great ever since I got it. Now that it has a new big brother, it's throwing a tantrum. The Home button has become sluggish. Sometimes I have to hold it down for 2-3 seconds to get the phone to do what I tell it to do.

I've tried reasoning with it and putting it on time-out. I even left it home alone once or twice (though I think that may have punished me more than it). All to no avail.

Maybe if I upgrade to iOS5 and get Siri? Oh, right, that's not going to work because even though the Siri code is in iOS5, it won't run if it finds itself living on a machine that doesn't have a 4 and an S in its name. Seems kind of like a sales gimmick, eh?

Anyone got any advice?

Great Approach to Organizing iPhone and iPad Screens

My colleague Steve Lomas has written a great post that describes clearly how to organize your multiple screens of scattered icons on your iOS device for easy retrieval. It's a great system if you can get yourself to think in terms of folders on those devices which started out with no such concept and then implemented the idea in a sort of obtuse way.

I decided to try his technique on my iPad. In less than 30 minutes I took six screens of icons down to two. It would have all fit on one, but I decided to leave my three-year-old granddaughter's page intact so she wouldn't get confused and then start rummaging around my other icons!

Good idea, Steve.

John Allsopp: “Hybrid Phone Apps Are BS”

SitePointe columnist Louis Simoneau had a good piece on the role of hybrid apps in the skyrocketing world of smartphone and portable device app development the other day. Featured in his article was a link to a fascinating podcast with long-time smartphone guru and conference organizer John Allsopp.

In this podcast — and lots of other places on the Web — John faces the issue of hybrid apps head on, opining that they are essentially dead ends that there are "a whole pile of reasons" not to engage in. His view is that Web apps built using HTML5, JavaScript, and CSS are destined to be far more successful and less prone to sudden shifts in the markets caused by disruptive technology and marketing decisions by the owners of the few App Stores out there. I've been saying this for some time, of course, but it isn't only the fact that John and I agree that causes me to recommend this podcast. Listen carefully to what he says; he offers software developers of all stripes a cogent look at the near-term future.