Dear Tim…

I like the way Apple work. I like their vertically integrated approach and dedication to pushing the boundaries of technology. Life inside Steve’s walled garden is pretty epic, but that doesn’t mean to say there aren’t things I would change. After the release of Lion, the standing down of Uncle Steve and with iOS 5 imminent, now seems like a good time to list my annoyances and suggestions.

First off, let me say that customised notification sounds for texts/emails/etc on iOS is a super massive win, the same for unified notifications. If these weren’t features in iOS 5 then they would be near the very top of my list.

1. When you are sending a text message, right after you have hit send, the name of the recipient is replaced with “Sending…”. This lasts for all of two seconds, but feels like an eternity when you think you may have sent that text to the wrong person. The level of terror is heightened by the fact that there is no option to cancel the text.

2. Sure, I now have the option to merge folders, but Finder still feels awkward to use as none of the views feel quite right. I don’t like the way that files moves around the mouse pointer when you are dragging them either.

3. When I connect my iPhone to my MBP, it irks me that I have to launch iTunes in order to sync my contacts, calendar, photos, etc. Bring back iSync!

4. I would like to be able to combine my FaceTime account on my phone with the one on my Mac, so that both “ring” and I can answer either.

5. I know that you can get other browsers for iOS, but what’s the point if the first time I click on a link it immediately opens Safari? Allow me to choose the default browser the same way I would on my Mac.

6. An air like MBP. Lose the optical drive, add support for the external SuperDrive (maybe a new ThunderBolt version?). Replace the HDD with a phat SSD.

7. A pony. I’d quite like a pony.

House Syndrome (Quick to the point, to the point no faking).

The theme of this short but sweet post is fakery, inspired by a week filled with it (and full of it).

Maybe I’m in the minority, but I think the Apple press conference on Antenna Gate was perfect. It was such an Apple thing to do. Steve Jobs rolled up on the stage and called out all of the media for their part in spinning the story into an international headline. The videos of the other smart phones being death gripped were cool, I don’t care how many companies release rebuttal statements – if the videos were in any way unfair or inaccurate they would be suing, and they aren’t.  To silence the remaining dissenters (fanboys), Steveo offered free cases or free returns; an immediate smack down to the haters drawing parallels between Vista and iPhone 4.

My point is that I just don’t have time for the perennial Salesman type: from the guy packaged in the clothes he thinks you think he should be wearing, to the sensationlist news reporter or politician looking to spin a situation in a favourable light. I guess that’s why I like Twitter, because I have been able to build up a stable of people who are real, who are opinionated in a good way and who are able to hold sometimes polar opposite opinions and yet co-exist with each other. I am unapologetically honest because life is easier that way. I speak my mind and sometimes it gets me into trouble, but hey, that’s me – take it or leave it.

When Gregory House met Vanilla Ice.

[Note: Dear future me. Please don’t forget any of the things that inspired this post.]

Close, but no cupcake

I was quite surprised to discover that Android, the mobile device OS created by Google and now developed by the Open Handset Alliance, isn’t any of the things that I thought it was. Somehow, I had managed to convince myself that Android was a Linux based OS, which it isn’t, it utilizes the Linux kernel, but that’s it. In fact, it’s lack of support for the standard Linux libraries makes it pretty much impossible to recycle any existing Linux apps or libraries for use on it. I also thought that Android provided full support for Java, but it doesn’t, for some strange reason, Android doesn’t use established Java platforms like SE and ME, it just uses the Java syntax. Disheartened, I sought solace in the fact that Android was at least fully open source, so it would still have the full support of the open source community, even if life was more difficult without Linux and Java. I was wrong again, parts of the SDK are closed source. Maybe so, but at least Google can put their weight behind making sure that the end user can use their Android running device in whatever manner they choose (think tethering)… Oh this is just getting stupid, how can the Android license be so open that it allows third party providers to close it!?!

<sarcasm>Yep, I can really see the advantage of plumping for Google and Android over Apple and iPhone OS 3.0.</sarcasm>