Thursday, November 1, 2007

My iPod Touch/iPhone wishlist

With Steve Jobs announcing that an SDK will be released for iPhone its time to create a wish-list of top 5 applications. Now, I'm not a desktop/mobile app developer myself but I'm quite sure these can be easily implemented with a standard API:

  1. A skype client on iPhone - this would be awesome, ATT and O2 might hate me for this but I don't care as long as the hardware and OS can support this. How great would be to make calls over skype when I'm in wifi range
  2. Use something like Airtunes to stream music to remote speakers through Airport express base station (just like iTunes)
  3. Bonjour - is the hardware there in the portable devices?
  4. GTalk with voice support - 90% of my contacts are on GTalk
  5. Wireless data (not necessarily music) transfer
Corrections (because of technical feasibility) and suggestions welcome :)

Friday, October 5, 2007

Why I don't have linux on my desktop

We all love to love linux don't we? Well I do too mainly because I get to leave the dll-hell-world for a moment and enjoy a smooth and powerful computing experience. However, in my quest to find a suitable OS for my home laptop, I've finally settled on a mac for good. I'm not here to praise mac but to evaluate Ubuntu linux that I tried as desktop.
Here are my main problems which forced me to get rid of it:

  1.  It requires a detailed hack to get wi-fi to work. I managed it but a non-tech user will never be able to figure it out
  2.  A desktop for me is where I have to go to my terminal once in 6 months (I dont use cmd in windows, and use mac terminal only for fun)
  3. Linux community is always proud about how good apps like Openoffice and GAIM are. IMO, they are happy because at last they have an app to run...and it runs!!
  4. Ok, what do I do if I love my music and my iPod (God save me if I had a zune!). So what can I do? Oh yes I can use a looong hack to make it work with some crappy only-option media player
  5. I know open source is good for the world free of propriety softwares and technology. But what good is all this if at the end of the day my efficiency is reduced because I spend half the time finding hack and workarounds. It might be an excellent option for developers and geeks but definitely not for real world people (I have nothing against techies, I'm a java developer myself)
  6. Its definitely much much more secure than a windows pc, but I guess mac os x is a much better choice for non-techy/average user in that case
  7. Facing a problem? Google it, the results have all the solutions but....for the geeks, by the geeks. Try you best to figure out what they are saying about failed dependencies and what not
  8. No software currently beats MS Office apps, yahoo/msn/Adium messaging clients, iLife, iTunes
  9. Gaming! and I mean real games
  10. How about a browser other than firefox having more than .001% market share
  11. Oh I miss photoshop
The crux is, linux has miles to go in terms of user experience before it truly becomes a top class OS like MAC. Probably linux needs a few evangelists and a big sofware giant to back it up with neat apps.

Should we be blaming Apple for iPhone?

Hyped as 'Jesus phone', 'the best cell phone ever', 'the best iPod' etc etc. Today its one of the most talked about products in the consumer electronics market - from followers to fanatics to hackers and critics. However, lately there's been more negative uproar against locking and firmware issues.
In this post I'll try to not to think like a faithful Apple fan but try to put forward a rational opinion

Complaints against Apple for iPhone
  1.  iPhone is locked and can't be used with any carrier other than the one selected by apple: Well, this is a valid complaint if you consider the fact that practically all the latest cell phones are offered under contracts with practically all available carriers as long as the technology (GSMA/CDMA) is supported by both. This indeed is uncharacteristic of Apple to limit the options its customers can have
  2. Price: Is iPhone too expensive for a phone. The answer is NO, you are comparing a "phone+email device+smartphone+iPod+multitouch interface+never before heard features" with a Nokia N-series phone. Well, think about it again!
  3. Price Reduction: You can't really blame Apple and Steve jobs here. Its an established fact that early adopters of technology pay more as compared to later ones. Whatever credibility was left in this believe has been alleviated by $100 credit. How often do you see companies do that?
  4. SDK or True SDK? Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, because I don't remember Steve Jobs ever promising or mentioning the release of an API to develop native apps. Why are so called "TRUE DEVELOPERS" so afraid of developing web based apps, didn't anyone hear about google docs or M$ and Adobe offering office/office-like apps over the web. Having said that, I find it a little hard to come terms with a handheld device for which I can't develop Java apps. Maybe its about time we start to take web based apps seriously enough to respect and treat them like desktop apps
  5. My iPhone is now iBrick :(( One, didn't Apple warn you about that? Two, if your product label says "Warranty void if seal broken", would you still go ahead, F**** it up open the lid? If yes, then you deserve the consequences
  6. EDGE, 3G, WiFi etc: Well you knew what you were buying didn't ya? The specs say out loud what the device supports
  7. It take 5 steps to unlock the screen and make a call: Again, you knew what you were buying didnt ya
  8. No hardware controls: Absolutely valid complaint, please give me hardware control for volume. At least iPod had a click wheel and I could change volume without taking it out of my pocket
The bottom line is (actually two!)
  1.  The apple store says out loud what you can and can't do with iPhone. So buy it if you like it and stop cribbing as if its Apple's fault
  2. Apple - Please give us freedom for carrier locking (at least outside USA) and please develop some lightweight cool apps like iWork, iLife etc.