From iPad 2 to Surface 2: First Impressions

I bought my wife an iPad 2 for her birthday shortly after the 2 came out. She wanted it and LOVED it…just never used it. I use to get onto her in an attempt to get her to use the expensive gift. Part of it was me simply being a fool for people using tech but she really didn’t have much use for it. Unfortunately, the iPad 2 lacked basic needs for her to use it professionally and she had to force herself to use it as a consumption device.

Surface2When I bought my iMac, I tried to get her to use my old MacBook Pro, per her wishes, but she simply couldn’t make the switch to Mac. Windows was and is best for her. Realizing this and the simple fact her iPad mostly collected dust or was a large electronic Bible a few times a month [physical books are her friend] and during certain spells worked out as a good reading device, I decided to look into the Microsoft Surface 2 after seeing the improvements made in the new version. (more…)

My Google+ URL

https://plus.google.com/+JohnCBlandII

Google announced a solid set of updates yesterday and one of them was the expansion of custom URLs. They emailed me this morning with the opportunity to grab mine so I did.

I left Twitter for Google+ earlier this year and haven’t looked back. I’m more productive, since I don’t obsess over watching my feed, but more importantly the conversations are more engaging [death to 140 character limits!]. I use Twitter from time to time but not very often.

With that said, Google+ is it for me. If you want to keep tabs on my happenings, mostly professional as Facebook still serves as my personal social network [although that is changing a bit as well], find me on G+.

Shots Fired: Playing Catch-up

“So, when I see Apple drop the price of their struggling, lightweight productivity apps, I don’t see a shot across our bow, I see an attempt to play catch up.”
– Frank Shaw, Microsoft VP of communications

I didn’t even think of it this way but he has a point. The Verge also noted:

“Surface and Surface 2 both include Office, the world’s most popular, most powerful productivity software for free and are priced below both the iPad 2 and iPad Air respectively,” Shaw writes. “Making Apple’s decision to build the price of their less popular and less powerful iWork into their tablets not a very big (or very good) deal.”

I’m not a big fan of Office, prefer the better collaborative Google Drive [who would have guessed?], but am definitely not an iWork fan as it is even less collaborative [unless you have friends/collaborators only with Macs] so I don’t have a dog in this fight but it is definitely an interesting perspective.

I initially did take this as a shot at Microsoft but Shaw makes some good points. What say you?

Copy of a rip off is a shameless rip?

Let the [Apple] media tell it and you’ll believe Samsung copied Apple’s “Hello” commercial but…then again…the original iPhone commercial was a rip off.

Will Park way back in the olden days of 2007 wrote Apple Ripped Off Their 2007 Oscar’s iPhone Commercial which had this quote from Christian Marclay regarding Telephones from 1995 and how Apple handled it:

So, according to Marclay, Apple “approached us [about using Telephones] and I said no, and then they just went ahead. The way they dealt with the whole thing is pretty sleazy.”

Guess it is a copy of a rip off.

In response to:

Ok, that’s enough. I think you get the idea.

 

Then there’s the truth

I’ve been through numerous debates on Android malware. The truth never fit the narrative spit out by, of all people, virus companies.

Then today…the truth:

 Based on the data from tracking over one and a half billion app installs Google obtained convincing evidence that the rate of “potentially harmful apps” installed is stable at about 1,200 per million app installs, or about 0.12%.

It’s verrrrry easy to read a headline about Android malware and respond with “open” jokes. Let’s see how many post the truth.

Android vs iOS: Product dev

I ran across this post by Audiobox through +Matias Duarte and enjoyed these nuggets:

For reference, Google’s developer instructions for how to set up beta testing are ~350 words. Apple’s? 2800.

That’s critical. Google’s alpha/beta updates from May rocked my world too.

Worlds apart:

According to Apple, iOS app beta testers who run into crashes are expected to sync their device to iTunes, find a CrashReporter logs folder on their computer, and then email a log file to the developer.

Android testers hit “send” on a popup.

0-60 (asterisks mine):

Android, by comparison, is a breath of fresh air. […] Trying the very first build of your app on real hardware is as easy as hitting “Run.” No provisioning profiles. No developer accounts. No bull**.

Deployment:

While everyone else is building for iOS and wasting weeks in the App Store submit-review-deny-resubmit doldrums, you could be racing ahead on Android, where app burnout hasn’t yet set in.

That’s because the best part, the dirty little secret, is that Android users are starved for beautiful apps.

Yes. Exactly. The beautiful apps desire is strong on Android and it is the right time to build beautiful apps.

Obviously iOS is a great platform but the approaches are literally night and day. I do like what I’m seeing in XCode 5 and iOS 7 dev [posts coming soon] for native dev but 0-60 has changed much.

Facebook goes all in on Play Beta Testing

 

Beginning today, the Android beta program will give users who opt-in access to the latest versions of Facebook for Android before the general release. Our goals with this program are to expand our pool of testers and gain feedback across a more diverse set of devices. Just by using the app and reporting issues, beta testers will be able to help us improve performance on a wide variety of Android devices we may have  otherwise been unable to test at scale.

Facebook posted this today. It falls in line with my thinking on Google’s efforts. Simply put and IMHO…the Play Store definitely provides one of the best developer experiences.

Google Play Developer Console – Alpha Testing

I was impressed by the Google Play Developer Console announcements surrounding alpha/beta testing. At work and on other personal/contracting projects I use TestFlight. They just added Android support but with the latest updates to the Developer Console…I’m not as intrigued as I once was. After seeing so many great sessions at I/O 2013, I found myself itching to test things out so I started sketching my Windows 8 app Timely (easily the fastest to dev out of the bunch) for a port to Android (native).

In another post I’ll detail different tidbits about porting the app to Android but in this post I want to focus on the testing. (more…)

JavaScript Taste Test Follow-up

JSTT has updated their site to showcase what happened at the event. Check out the video and the details in the text to get an idea of what happened and how it all went down.

“105 APPS SUBMITTED IN ONE DAY!

That’s what you can do with HTML5 and JavaScript!”

 

PS – There is a pretty awesome quote from a cool fella at the bottom. 😉

Published Windows 8 Apps

I am now the proud developer of 3 Windows Store apps and I’m excited about it. It isn’t about getting rich, although I’m looking for those avenues, but more about the process/approach used to launch them. (more…)

WordPress comment_form saving to wrong post

This was a doozy but it turned out to be a simple fix. I don’t yet know the cause but have seen a few rumblings of the W3 Total Cache plugin being the culprit.

In a custom them, you call comment_form to add the default WP comment form. You can do all sorts of changes but customizing is pretty difficult. It will automatically call comment_id_fields which adds the hidden fields for the parent comment (comment_parent; for comment replies) and post id (comment_post_ID; for the comment to attach it to).

I believe W3T is the problem because comments worked just fine before using it and the problem I found was the comment_post_ID defaulted to one number and never changed. Something was wonky but the fix was super simple.

comment_form takes two arguments: $args and $post_id. Yep…easy enough…just pass the second argument and you’re good to go for any post you want to add a comment to.

<?php comment_form( $args, get_the_ID() ); ?>

That’s it. get_the_ID refers to the current page/post ID, while in The Loop, so it’ll always be there. Just update your themes comments.php and enjoy the fix.

Hopefully this helps someone else as Google was sparse on results for this specific problem.