Google’s free attitude just caught Apple

Google’s free attitude just caught Apple

Google has always offered its services for free.  Free web browser, free email, free mobile OS, and free OS.  They have never charged for an update for any service.

Today, Apple has joined them.  OSX 10.9: Free.  iWork: Free.  iLife: free.  They all have the caveat of “with new iOS or Mac purchase” but in a year that won’t matter.  Basically the whole entry-level Apple software suite is free.

All of a sudden Apple and Google are competing on the same cost level.   Now its all about features.

#tweet   #blog  #micro-who?

by Luke Olson via

Google’s iron grip on Android, Nonsense

Google’s iron grip on Android, Nonsense

Just a couple examples of the development on the AOSP apps.

Calendar app released on oct27, 2012


Google Music Released on Nov, 2011


All have been developed and improved on AFTER the release of the corresponding google app.  Sure in each instant only a handful of changes were made, but AOSP is supposed to deliver a bareboned but fully functional OS.

Google releasing these apps is good thing for one reason.  The OEM dont use the AOSP apps, they rip them out and use their closed sourced apps that are tethered to the OS and to only their specific devices.  

Google releases their closed sourced apps for free.  They would on any current device and offer a better experience and faster updates than the OEM's could ever fathom.

#tweet   #blog  

Google’s iron grip on Android: Controlling open source by any means necessary
Android is open—except for all the good parts.

by Luke Olson via

Thinkup, explore your data

Thinkup, explore your data

Facebook, Twitter and Google+ (and the NSA) know everything about you.  Wouldn't it be nice to have access to all that data in a more meaningful way than an archive zip? 

That's where +ThinkUp comes in.  Founded and maintained by +Anil Dash and +Gina Trapani, It also backups up your social networks and allows you to not only view but gives you insights.  It can tell you if a tweet made your followers happy, if you people like your new profile pic better than the new one, what lists you are on, the popularity of your followers, which post garnered the largest reaction last week, and a lot more.  You can also search your posts.  

The best part of Thinkup is that it is an open sourced project.  The source code is availible on GitHub ( and they have a downloadable file availible for anyone to install on a web server for free (  Its a quick and easy setup process.  I managed to do it in about 30 minutes on my +DreamHost server.  

After installing and letting Thinkup crawl my social networks I was presented with my data.  One thing that I have learned that I have a rather modest following. Its still great to see my tweets from 2 years ago, what my most popular post was, and be able to search my posts.  
Thinkup ( has a public funding sign up to the service that will launch in January 2014.  This service will provide everything you need to simply login and see your data.  No web server knowledge necessary.

Thinkup is a great idea to get more out of all the data you have given to social networks for years.  Its your data, start using it.

#repost #blog

Join ThinkUp
Join ThinkUp and be happy about the time you spend on Twitter and Facebook.

by Luke Olson via

Six updated features of iOS7 that Android still does better

Six updated features of iOS7 that Android still does better

One thing I have learned about in the 6 weeks using the iPad mini is that this is not an Android device.  Android remains my OS of choice based on one simple fact, Android offers more features to the developers and end users than iOS does.  The iOS 7 update has enhanced some features but they still fall short to the Android equivalent.

Apple added Notification Center in iOS 6 and updated it in iOS7.  Currently, it lists all the notifications and allows you launch the application with a tap to the notification.  The only visual cues on the home screen are the numbered badges on the application icon. To dismiss a notification you can either tap on each one or tap the clear button twice per  application.  The notifications don’t clear when acknowledged in application or when dismissed on another device.  I need to be very diligent and spend a couple minutes each time I used the device to manage the notifications or else they get out of control. The small benefit Notification Center provides is overwhelmed by the amount of time I spend on housekeeping.  I’m close to just disabling it.

Android has always had the Notifications Drawer.  In Android 4.3, the notifications can be individually swiped away, tapped on to open the application, the user can choose app-defined actions from within the notification (reply to sms, share photos, archive email, skip songs), the notification will be automatically dismissed when acknowledged within the application or web service (read an email in the application or online and the notification on the phone goes away automatically), and have a “dismiss all” button when they get out of hand.   A simple glance at the status bar will tell you if you have any pending notifications.  Managing notifications is mostly hands off and automatic with the occasional need to hit the Dismiss all button.

Multitasking, for 3rd party applications, was introduced in iOS 4.  It was a joke then and remains a joke now.  I can’t reliably start a task in one application and then move onto another task without the previous task stopping.  Dropbox remains high on my iOS shit-list with its auto-backup option.  It works without interaction on Android, but on iOS I need to open and remain in the application to backup my photos.  The same goes for Pocket Casts.  Perfect on Android with zero interaction, but on iOS it needs its hand held.  The developers know how to accomplish the tasks, so the blame falls to the OS.

If you would like to use the interoperability between applications you are forced to use the stock applications.  Click a URL: Safari opens.  Click a email link: mail opens. Google is finding workarounds to this but they need to be hard coded into every applications and it only works for Google services.

In stark contrast Android lets the user set defaults.  Don’t like the Gmail application? Delete it from your phone and install Yahoo mail, Outlook, or any number of other email applications and set which ever you want as a default.  Same goes for calendars, browsers, keyboards and launchers.

In iOS 6 Facebook was added as an option for users to easily share content from their devices.  This brought the total third party applications that have this permission to two.  Twitter was the first.  The only other options are to share links between applications via copy and paste or use the first party applications

Another feature Android has had for years and still does better.  Android has a share menu.  You can share content from one application to another with the press of one button.  No copy and paste required.  No need to store a picture on your device first.  It just works, however you want it to.

Control Center
A new feature of iOS 7, Control Center is Apple’s answer to the pull down toggles of Samsung and HTC and the new Quick Settings built into Android 4.2. Again, the feature falls short.  It’s limited to turning settings on and off and offers no other options.  For example, I routinely switch my bluetooth headset from my phone to the iPad mini.  The headset is paired with both.  I turn off my phone’s bluetooth off and turn my iPad’s Bluetooth on, nothing happens.  I power cycle my headphones, nothing happens.  I dive into settings and manually select the headset, finally it connects.  Control Center has done nothing for me.

To switch back I turn off the iPad’s bluetooth via Control Center and tap a toggle on my phone.  Connected.  If I ever needed to drill down to switch a bluetooth device or wifi network on Android, all I need to do is long press the appropriate toggle.  Instantly I’m in the correct settings menu.

Android has them, iOS doesn’t.  ‘nuff said

iOS has been playing catch up on OS features for years and every year Android pulls further into the lead.  What doesn’t make sense is that iOS could offer features like good notifications, multitasking, default applications, a share menu, quick settings, and widgets and maintain their walled garden, ease of use, and polished feel.  For some reason they don’t.  Do they believe end users cannot understand options? Would the system stability be impacted with the features?  or are they just holding back for the next upgrade?

#repost   #blog

by Luke Olson via