It’s kind of a sobering thought that mobile communications, the cornerstone of the modern world in both developed and developing regions, pivots around software that is of dubious quality, poorly understood, entirely proprietary, and wholly insecure by design.
Thom Holwerda writes about the second operating system hiding in every mobile phone.
Comscore, whose accuracy is generally between a Lotto Quick Pick and a drunken dart throw, says Google Maps usage has fallen since Apple Maps came on the scene. The Guardian has a good overview: How Google lost when everyone thought it had won.
We shouldn’t be surprised that in the absence of choice, people take the path of least resistance. What’s missing in these discussions is how it’s criminal Apple gets away with not allowing alternative defaults for maps, browsers, calendars, and any number of other areas, which means every time you click a link or address in the OS it opens Safari or Apple Maps, in my opinion inferior apps. Some developers get away with this by having settings to set Chrome or Google Maps as your default, like Tripit just added, but this is implemented in a hacky, per-application way, and every app puts their setting in a different place if they support it at all.
If Microsoft did this a decade ago we’d call for the DoJ to reopen their investigation. Apple has the best phone, best tablet, and in many ways the best operating system — we should not give them a pass for this blatantly self-interested and user-hostile stance. Defaults matter.
“Apple Lossless, also known as ALAC, is a lossless audio codec Apple developed some time ago for digital music. The codec compresses music files anywhere from 40-60 percent of their original size with no discernible loss in audio quality or fidelity.” — Apples ALAC codec is now open source. About a year and a half ago I started re-ripping all my music in ALAC, it’s fantastic, especially now that iTunes can down-convert when syncing to iPhones / iPods.
I had a pretty interesting experience going through security at Ben Gurion airport — I almost didn’t make it through. I had heard the airport security in Israel was different but I had no idea. They spent about an hour asking questions, turning on (and taking apart) every piece of the 20+ electronic items I travel with, with particular attention and questions around my iPad. They took it out of the Apple case, turned it on, scanned it, took it away for 10 minutes to scan somewhere else, asked if anyone else in Israel had used it, when I last used it, asked when I got it, and ultimately said that their “technology team” had not cleared it for carry-on and they would need to pack it in a special box, wrap it, tape it, and check it directly with Continental (I couldn’t touch it or the box except to put some WP stickers on so I could identify it later). Wowza! My Sony PC, though, is safe to fly with. No wonder I saw so few Apple products at WordCamp.
“Our experience of technology has been largely wondrous and positive: The green revolution ameliorated the problem of world hunger (for a time at least) with better seeds and fertilizers to increase harvests. When childhood diseases were ravaging the world, vaccines came along and (nearly) eliminated them. There are medicines for the human immunodeficiency virus and AIDS. There is the iPad.” NY Times: Our Fix-It Faith and the Oil Spill.
Windows 7 has an awesome utility called netsh that allows you to create wifi networks, even if you’re already connected to a wifi network on the same interface, which is actually slightly better than the same feature on OS X. If you don’t want to play with the command-line, there’s a handy utility called Connectify that makes creating a wifi hotspot from your Windows 7 box a breeze. This was one of the things I missed most about my Mac laptops.
How many people aren’t going home for Easter weekend because they want to get their iPad shipment on Saturday? BTW we have an iPad-optimized WordPress app in for review, hopefully it makes the cut for launch.