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

A Trojan horse named Chrome

A Trojan horse named Chrome

There has been a lot of talk over the weekend about recent changes to Chrome running in Windows 8.  The changes can functionally make any windows 8 computer into a ChromeOS style computer.  I wasn’t very surprised by this.  Its just the next move in Google’s plan to make it easy for the end user to use the services that a typical chrome user would use, namely Google’s services.

Google doesn’t care what how you access the internet.  It encourages the consumer by providing online services that replace offline programs or current alternatives.  Search was the first offering and provided results unparalleled by any other vender.  Gmail was the next, then maps, news, calendars, reader, docs, Chrome,  Android, buzz, Google+, ChromeOS, and fiber.  Some services flopped and some succeeded but all all had the same goal in mind.  To give the consumers the best tools to easily use the internet and keep them online.  Google services are among the best on the web, mobile and desktop.

The real genius of Google is that their services aren’t tied to a desktop or mobile operating systems.  They simply give you the tools to access the internet and they do it with an “available everywhere” approach.
This “available everywhere” approach could lead to a jumbled mess of half baked and often neglected applications.  Netflix on smart TVs or one of the million streaming boxes is a great example of this.  Google response is Chrome.  Its is available on the majority of platforms, Windows, OS X, Linux, iOS, and Android.  It has succeeded, in my mind, because it provides a unified experience across every device.  In addition, it is more secure and faster than other browsers and it updates itself, across all platforms simultaneously, in the background with no interaction.  It’s the same browser no matter the device and no matter where you are.

The features Chrome offers allow developers create web applications that will run on any OS on any kind of a device.  End users can access those web applications and their data without the worry of compatibility or misplaced files.

All of this is accomplished without ever using a login.  Chrome is more than a browser or an OS, its a unified powerful platform.

#blog #fb #tweet


G+ Posts to a community vs Public

First I’m going to shamelessly share this of mine post here.

No i’m going to go into some deep thoughts.  When you post to a community that post lives only in the community.   I’ve tested a few things in an incognito window like trying the direct link, searching for keywords, and looking at the authors profile.  In all instances I could see the post that was only posted to a community.

The one instance where I couldn’t find it was if the author was in a circle of mine, but posted to a community I didn’t belong to.  it didn’t show up in my timeline.  If i didn’t know about it and look for it I would never see it.

I understand the thoughts behind this.  It allows an author to post about a specific topic to a very specific audience.  Where this falls short is if what if I wanna share it with publicly and to a community?

Currently I have to choose.  Public/circles or to one community.  What if i wanna post to 2 communities?  The post I’m sharing is a great example I believe the content would be well received in this community, the one it was originally posted to, and publicly but i had to choose one.  After that choice I have a few options.  I can share my post, which feels kinda self promoting.  I could copy and paste the entire post, which is a lot work that doesn’t need to be done.  I could hope that someone else shares the post, aka blind luck.

None of the options seem like a good “google” solution.

Why can’t I post to multiple communities or publicly and to communities.  The first thing thats comes to mind it it would be a great avenue for spammers.  One post to several communities puts the spam in front of the eyeballs of millions of plusers.

So whats the best solution?

#tweet   #blog    #fb


Tools to use share Google+ content.

Tools to use share Google+ content.

+Mike Elgan was kind enough to share how he uses and distributes his google+ content to other networks, so I thought
I would share my solution as well.  

First I get a RSS feed of my public and community posts via which is managed by +Fabien Baligand.  Its a simple open source service and Fabien has taken added one thing I really wanted just recently.  The first line in your Google+ post is defined as the Title in the RSS feed.  

Once I have my RSS feed I go over to and setup a facebook , twitter , and wordpress recipes.    

I have the twitter and facebook recipe posts the RSS entry title and a linkback to Google+, and the wordpress posts the RSS entry title and the entry content (with pictures!) as well a a link back. 

Its takes about 20-30 minutes to have everything process but it works well.

I'll put all the links in this post when they go through so you can see how this post looks on all the platforms.

Google+, taking over the social world

Google+, taking over the social world

I'm listening to Twig 218 ( and +Mike Elgan is talking about the awesome-ness that is google+.  The panel has discussed what is going to drive people to use google+ over another network like facebook or twitter and I'd like to share a recent experience to demonstrate the shifting tides.

My daycare has always sent pictures of my daughter to us via email.  this had its ups and downs.  They were limited in the amount of images and usually sent low res. They knew exactly who was getting the images, which was the biggest concern.  

Then a couple weeks ago, I got an email saying they will be sharing school photos on Google+.  The reasons for the changes were:

In many ways Google+ is very similar to Facebook, however it is designed to maintain the privacy of your personal information in a way that Facebook is not. G+ also allows users to customize the visibility of each and every post, document and photo shared.  G+ will allow BCLC to expand the information available to parents online including forms, snack menus, videos and more.  G+ has outstanding photo quality with the ability for parents to download photos that have been shared with them from the site.

Later that day a spread of photos showed up in my feed.  The previous emails had ~8 low res photos, the post had 102 high res photos.  

I thought my daycare progressive and unique for using Google+.   I was wrong.  Later that week a coworker (not a gmail user) called me over to look at a picture of her child at daycare, shared to her via Google+.  

The juggernaut is moving.