I’m John C Bland II

Husband, Father, Tech Author, Deacon.
Founder of Katapult Media, and full-stack polyglot developer.
Political Free Agents Podcast Host.

I create. I launch.

YouTube Channel

I post regular fun on YouTube like me playing the bass and anything else I find fun. 

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All project work goes through Katapult Media. Business is open. Let’s chat.

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**.


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…)

Google, FIX THIS!!

Google, FIX THIS!!

What is “this”? Here is what I said on March 4, 2011 in my Where Android blows itself away, for me post:

Why are manufacturers not releasing their updates within days or weeks of Google releasing their bits? Google: if you’re holding up manufacturers, you’re destroying your ecosystem. Manufacturers: if you’re just slow, dealing w/ politics, or _________ [fill in that blank], you’re destroying your customer base and Google’s ecosystem.


Most Ridiculous Article Award: Apple’s Relentless Push Forward

@daringfireball quoted this:

At a time when most current Android devices — even the ones that will be sold over the holiday shopping season — wont ever have the option to install Android 4.0, Apple is specifically pushing the iOS install base forward. Apple wants all iOS users on iOS 5, not just the ones who buy a brand new device.

I find this post utterly ridiculous. First, he’s speculating and seriously putting himself on a ledge with such a large accusation regarding which devices will get Ice Cream Sandwich [Android 4.0]. Then he goes on to say “Apple wants all iOS users on iOS 5, not just the ones who buy a brand new device.” This is where my ridiculous meter goes off the charts.

There are five versions of the iPhone. Two of those five are getting iOS 5. Now I’m not arguing whether a 3Gs or 3G should get iOS 5 but clearly he’s under a fruit flavored, Kool-aid induced high. Apple in no way wants all iOS users on iOS 5 without them buying an iPhone 4 or 4s [ie – latest hardware]. Furthermore, iOS 5 isn’t the exact same on the 4 and 4s, namely regarding Siri [which could be any number of reasons why it isn’t on the 4]. Let’s return to the article.

iOS 5 is a major turning point for the entire iOS ecosystem. Although Apple has always made it relatively easy — and most often free — to upgrade iOS, users will now be notified of available upgrades and be able to quickly install them right on the device. The 25 million downloads of iOS 5 in the first week of its release will pale in comparison to future upgrades when users won’t even have to plug their device into a computer.

If this is the case, Android has been on this focus for years. Tit-for-tat isn’t my goal in this post but this paragraph seems to be the crux of his statement: OTA updates are the measuring stick of Apple’s relentless focus.

From the sidelines it may look like Android and Windows Phone 7 are quickly catching up — and they are making tremendous strides in the right direction — but the iOS platform is much further ahead than most people realize, and iOS 5 shows that Apple is pushing faster and looking further into the future than ever before.

Catching up? Wow. Even the passionate comments on @tipb aren’t that blind, well…at least not all of them. I’d love to see him break this paragraph down in a separate post showing where Android, specifically, is behind iOS. Each have different features but Android is absolutely not behind iOS, considering this post is about Android 4 [Ice Cream Sandwich].

Recent iPhone commercials have touted; “If you don’t have an iPhone… well, you don’t have an iPhone”. That’s been true since the iPhone was first launched in 2007 and here we are in 2011 with all other mobile platforms still playing from behind. The speed, efficiency, and innovation iOS 5 enables for developers — both 3rd party and Apple’s own software teams — will only widen the gap in 2012.

So the leading smartphone operating system, Android, is playing from behind? Speed [assuming he means hardware] is a win for iOS. It is definitely smooth but it bogs down just like Android. Efficiency is a major win for Android: widgets, quick access to settings, etc. iOS takes more clicks to do similar tasks Android can do in a widget or a with a quick setting. Innovation is subjective. It depends on who you’re asking but I’d give it to Android w/ NFC, cloud features from jump, and the numerous upgrades just announced.

Overall, I utterly disagree with this post. I don’t care to rant too often but this one deserved it. I do my best to call it like I see it and am not blinded by my choice of Android as my mobile OS but enough is enough from Camp Apple. Let’s get real and be objective with our views here people! [I say that after a rant; lol]

HTC, I want a divorce!

[fair warning, this is a rant]

Since Summer 2010 I have been rocking an HTC Evo after leaving my iPhone 4 upgrade with AT&T. I went with the Evo 4G and loved it, even bought my brother, wife, and employee one. Sense is an excellent “overlay” for Android and I missed a ton of the issues many people talked about with Android looking ugly, not being smooth, etc. It is a really nice addition but I do have issues with it. My main issue is the battery and it has moving away from the Evo product line but let’s start with a lighter topic first: updates.


Where Android blows itself away, for me.

This is a follow-up to my Why Android blows away the iOS, for me. post. It covered my basic loves for the things I first saw in Android and loved! All of those points are still valid and honestly I still think Android beats iOS, IMO. (Don’t worry iOS fanboys fans…I’ll briefly explain what I mean shortly.)

After almost a year of use on an HTC Evo, I have come to learn a few things about the Android life. Many of them I love…some I loathe! This post focuses on the loathing part. 😉