The guy in the rain

http://www.colorado.edu/ecenter/transportation/bike

Image Courtesy CU Boulder

About two years ago, when not one month had passed since I had entered the US, I once got a free bike from CU Boulder’s Bike Station. It’s a great service where any student or faculty member can rent a bike for forty-eight hours, for free. Since it was time to return it, I cycled up to the UMC, near which the bike station sits under a large tree. As I was returning the bike, it started to rain. Afraid for the newly bought iPhone in my pocket, I went into the shed and hid from the rain. Two guys were working at the station that day. The one on the inside showed me a Lenovo laptop that was basically everything proof – shock, water and temperature. It was given to the bike station specifically because it faces all the elements on nature all the time. Continue reading

App Review: Everyday.me

Whenever a trend comes to the social network scene, it comes with a flood of apps and services that do the exact same thing. I recently signed up for a service called TimeHop. It’s a neat service that emails you every day with details of posts that you made on your various social networks exactly a year ago.

 

Everyday.me is an iOS app that connects to your Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts and basically records everything you post online every day. Also, the service sends you emails every few days reminding you of things you did a few years ago. Sounds familiar? Yep, TimeHop does pretty much the same thing. What’s the difference? Well, Everyday.me collects all that information that you post daily and saves it ON THEIR SERVERS. Awesome way to have your data protected isn’t it?

 

Anyways, Coming to the most important part of this blog post, Am I keeping this app? Points –

1. Beautiful UI

2. You can see all you do in a stream, from across all your social networks.

3. You can tag your  posts for your own reference since all of it is totally private

4. All your data that’s kept on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram will now also be stored on their servers.

 

So? Am I keeping it? No. It’s out of my phone. Sorry guys!

My long road to the Mountain

Today, finally, I have a working laptop. What happened? It’s anybody’s guess. I recently upgraded from Lion to Mountain Lion on my Mac. In doing so, large parts of the OS stopped working, specifically, apps such as Safari, System Preferences and the App Store. Needless to say, work cannot continue without accessing the settings.

So, I began the long and arduous journey to re-installing my OS from scratch. Initially, it was pretty painless, I quickly setup Time Machine and took multiple backups and I booted my Mac into it’s recovery partition. The recovery partition is a good feature, albeit inspired, and allowed me to test my main hard disk, to wipe it clean and start over. Continue reading

Google Chrome for iOS – A great big benefit

Google launched their Chrome browser for iOS (iPhone and iPad) yesterday. Within minutes of the launch, the Internet was full of news of how laggy and useless the browser was because of the many restrictions on third party browsers by Apple. One blogger even went on to show with HTML5 rendering tests that Chrome was twice as slow as mobile Safari.

Great, so you found bugs in an app that’s just been released. I found a feature. I was doing some research last night about WordPress. I left the tabs open in my laptop’s Chrome browser and slept off. Today, while standing at the bus stop waiting for transportation, I whipped out my iPhone and opened Chrome. Under the “Other devices” section, I quickly found the tab that is open on my computer and continued my research. Simple as that.

I know that the browser has its faults but not because of something Google did. In fact, Google fulfilled a long running request – to bring the Chrome browser to iOS. It is Apple’s heavy restrictions that do not allow Chrome to function so well.

After Apple’s shifting away from Google Maps in iOS 6, there’s not much goodwill left in the companies *in my opinion* (in case you’re about to refute, I know Google pays millions to Apple to be the default search in Safari). I say Google et al should sue Apple for monopoly over the iOS browser as Netscape vs Microsoft was.

WordPresser: An HTML5 iOS blogger tool

WordPress is a great blogging tool. It has a lot of potential and in it’s more recent updates, it has grown from simply a blogging tool to a content management solution. I use wordpress on this blog for two purposes – blogging and tweeting. You see, twitter is a great service but the 140 character limit is a pain. There are thus a lot of services that allow for longer tweets. But I prefer using my blog for long tweets using the hash tag #LongTweet.

To tweet quickly from my iPhone, I want to use the WordPress app for iOS but it’s not adequate. So, I’ve built WordPresser. It’s a web app that uses HTML5 and XML-RPC to post to your wordpress.org blog. The link you need is – WordPresser. Open this in your iPhone or iPod’s Safari (opening it in any other browser doesn’t do much). Once you’ve opened it, save it to your Homescreen, it’ll save as a web app with the name “WordPresser”.

Before you go further, there are two things you need to do with your blog. One is conventional, the other, not so much. Continue reading

The new iPad is out. It’s not enough!

I followed the launch of the new iPad and I’m not satisfied with it. Apparently others aren’t too.

The iPad update has come through. And it wasn’t a great big awesome update. No it’s not. Here are some clips from the internet about it…

http://www.techradar.com/news/mobile-computing/tablets/ipad-3-rumours-what-you-need-to-know-937498
http://www.apple.com/ipad/
http://twitter.com/Macworld/status/177463719293501440

Update March 2019: I was using the Storify plugin to create visual links to all the URLs above, but I am no longer using Storify. So please click the links above to check them out.

Thoughts on OS X Mountain Lion

So, a preview to OS X Mountain Lion is out. Most people will not find out before evening because Apple decided to do a quiet launch on their website about it. But anyways, now that we know about it, what’s so great?

Let’s see. Apple decided to take the best features of the iOS ecosystem and push them towards OS X. Notice also, that the name is no longer Mac OS X, but simply OS X.

We will have, Game Center, Notifications Center, more iCloud integration, a ‘Messages’ app corresponding to the iMessages in iOS (also, a replacement for iChat) and many apps like Notes and Reminders that will sync with your iDevices to keep you seamlessly synced where ever you go. All of this will be possible because of iCloud.

Users will also have better Twitter integration and sharing options for websites like Vimeo and Flickr. That cute tweet poster in iOS 5 is also there. Apple is trying to woo people to Safari with the Sharing options, though how useful it turns out to be is yet to be seen. The notification center looks neat, although long time users of Growl will, well, growl.

Interesting new features are GateKeeper and Airplay mirroring. GateKeeper is like the User Account Control (UAC) of Windows, for the Mac. It’s going to be intrusive, troublesome and restrictive. What it does is, allows a person to make settings to block apps that are not from the Mac App Store or from the App Store but not from famous developers to not be installed on your system at all. If the default setting in the Mountain Lion is going to be ‘Mac App Store only’, it’ll not only cause problems to people who are new to the Mac but also shows Apple’s huge push towards the App Store instead of independent developers. The little guys with direct downloads from their websites will bear the brunt.

Airplay mirroring, on the other hand, is an awesome feature that allows you to wirelessly display your Mac’s screen on your appleTV connected TV.

Finally, the Game Center is going to be useful for playing games with your friends who own other Apple devices like iOS or another Mac. Like Apple says on their website, it’s now going to be the Mac vs the iPad vs the iPhone vs the iPod Touch. Fun indeed, if only we could buy a single app for all devices instead of having to pay for the Mac games separately.

On a more developer related note, Apple has been moving farther away from open source apps every upgrade. That means more proprietary software in Mac and less room for hacking. It remains to be seen how far they’ve gone this time and how the developers and lovers of Unix will be affected.

Lastly, those who want to, can download the Messages app for OS X right now from their website –¬†http://www.apple.com/macosx/mountain-lion/messages-beta/

This offer is similar to when Apple released FaceTime for free initally and then started charging for it once it became popular. So grab your copy now!