Posts made in March, 2008

The iPhone SDK – a planned delay?

Posted on Mar 13, 2008 in iPhone

There seem to be 2 camps of opinion as to why the SDK wasn’t released until almost a year after the iPhone’s release:

  • Camp a) suggests be that the iPhone was to remain closed, but developer protest and internet whining forced Apple to change their stance.
  • Camp b) is more realistic and says the SDK was planned from the start, but had to be whipped into shape and locked down first.

I tend to agree somewhat with camp b), but I also think that another factor might have been relevant as well: Thanks to the “development via webapps” farce that Jobs presented last year at WWDC, the iPhone has more websites optimized for its user interface than any other mobile device available.As iPhone-optimized websites seemed to be the only way to achieve any sort of interaction with iPhone users, not only can those users they access the “real internet”, but they can actually use a “version” of the internet custom-designed for them.

Whilst some people have derided iPhone-optimized websites as missing the point of MobileSafari being able to render “real” webpages, I personally love their simplicity and they’re perfect for getting things done whilst on the go. Would all that effort have been made if developers went after the real prize, namely nabbing the native iPhone app market? I doubt it. 

Getting developers to focus on the boring task of optimizing websites would be impossible with the shiny, exciting iPhone SDK occupying their time.Did the SDK need time so Apple could add some spit, polish and padlocks? Undoubtedly, but I believe the quality of the user experience while browsing the web on the iPhone is much better for that delay. Was the delay intentional? I wouldn’t go that far… but it certainly didn’t hurt the platform as a whole.

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iPhone hidden feature: Prevent duplicate contacts

Posted on Mar 12, 2008 in iPhone

I just noticed a neat little feature on the iPhone I hadn’t seen elsewhere before:
If you manually dial a number, the iPhone will notice if it matches a number stored for one or more of your existing contacts and displays the name(s) at the top of the screen.
It also disables the “add to contacts” button, to prevent you ending up with duplicate contacts.

Not really groundbreaking, but indicative of the attention to deal found in every nook and cranny of Mobile OS X.

(Note: For some reason the video preview looks weird, but it plays fine once you start it..)

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iPhone application request: A better alarm

Posted on Mar 9, 2008 in iPhone

The alarm clock feature on iPods is hardly ever mentioned, but it’s one of the features I’ve actually come to really rely on: Normal alarm clocks just annoy me and I just switch them off and roll back into deep sleep.

The iPod’s alarm feature lets me set an alarm that starts playing a playlist of tracks about 10 minutes before I need to get up… That slowly wakes me up and by the time I need to actually be up, it’s not such a struggle any more.

The alarm clock on the iPhone has the same basic features as the iPod’s alarm, but with one caveat: You can only set ringtones as your alarm sound. There’s no option to pick a playlist.So I’d like to humbly request a playlist alarm clock from all of you clever iPhone app authors out there..

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Fuck tribe.net

Posted on Mar 9, 2008 in The web


Here’s a quote from an email I just received from tribe.net (for those of you that don’t know Tribe, it’s basically your run-of-the-mill social network, except none of your friends are there):

“We hope you excuse this mass mailing. Some of you getting this email specifically have told us that you don’t want email from tribe.net and we generally don’t send out emails to the entire userbase. We wanted to let you know about the big changes that have happened here at tribe.net, and if you haven’t checked in with us in a while we encourage you to do so.”

Bullshit translator:“Hi! We’re sending you spam, despite promising not to any more”.

So what’s this important news they’ve got to tell everyone, even people that have unsubscribed?

“We’ve listened to our users for solutions to our site instability problems. The overwhelming consensus is that our users love tribe.net so much that they are willing to pay for a premium subscription for all the functions that we now give to you.”

Bullshit translator:“We don’t have any money and Google won’t buy us… can we have some of yours?”

So shilling a new subscription model is so important that Tribe needs to tell users who have specifically told them they’re not interested? Bravo guys, now I really feel like giving your my money and more personal information…

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iPhone Cisco VPN support

Posted on Mar 7, 2008 in iPhone

Yesterday’s iPhone SDK announcement is great news for all Mac developers and a huge opportunity for Apple to establish the iPhone platform as a real alternative to Windows Mobile, as well as Symbian and Blackberry devices. But what caught my attention was the mention of Cisco IPSec VPN support in the upcoming firmware update.

That’s great news for University students as a lot of university’s require you to log on to their VPN network if you want to use a wireless access point. And the majority of institutions use Cisco’s VPN implementation. So come June I’ll hopefully have full WLAN access at home, work and now University as well. A great move by Apple…

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