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 · Technology
 · · Mobile

OnePlus One · What hap­pened was, the teenag­er smashed his phone, so we did the usu­al shuffle-and-hand-me-down. My on­ly re­al con­straint was “No Nexus”; been do­ing that long enough. I was pret­ty in­ter­est­ed in the wa­ter­proof Sony Z3, or maybe a small phone since I usu­al­ly car­ry an N7 too, or maybe one of those love­ly silken-metal HTC thingies. But nei­ther the car­ri­er nor Google had any very good deal­s, and the O+1 is a very good deal. So now I’m car­ry­ing one ...
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A Word on NFC · The Ap­plepalooza to­day banged the pay­ments drum pret­ty hard. I dun­no, pay­ments are dif­fi­cult. I had a close-up view of Google’s strug­gles with Check­out and then Wal­let, and Google has way more server-side cul­ture and ex­per­tise; so I’m not hold­ing my breath. But NFC could be a re­al­ly big deal ...
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N5-Cam VII: Long Train Ride · On March 1st I went from Barcelona to Lon­don by train. It was amus­ing and re­lax­ing; If you can spare a day and some mon­ey, I rec­om­mend it ...
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N5-cam VI: Spanish Vistas · Since phonecams have fo­cal lengths that are fixed and low, they ought to be cred­i­ble pocket-cam re­place­ments for wide-angle shot­s. But you have to wor­ry whether they can han­dle massed de­tail­s. Let’s see ...
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MWC · That stands for Mo­bile World Congress; it hap­pens in ear­ly spring in Barcelon­a, and it’s mam­moth; some­thing like 75,000 peo­ple show up to wheel and deal.They’re wheel­ing and deal­ing for big buck­s; the mo­bile in­dus­try is huge and for four days al­most ev­ery­one is here. I’ve got no in­side in­for­ma­tion on the na­ture of the deals the tel­cos make, with hand­set mak­ers and an­ten­na en­gi­neers and back­haul builder­s. But here’s where they make ’em; al­most ev­ery booth has “executive meet­ing rooms”, and one of the eight huge halls is noth­ing but hos­pi­tal­i­ty suites and meet­ings ...
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N5-cam V: Barcelona Subway · I of­fer fur­ther re­search on the hy­poth­e­sis that a de­cent mod­ern phonecam (in this case a Nexus 5) means you don’t need a good pock­et cam any more. In par­tic­u­lar, how about “street” pho­tog­ra­phy? Where by “street” I mean un­der the street not on it and col­or not B&W. Street is said to re­quire dis­cre­tion, re­spon­sive­ness, and sub­tle tonal vari­a­tion­s. Here’s the ev­i­dence ...
 
N5-cam IV: Lying Flowers · It’s tra­di­tion­al at this time of year that I run close-ups of the first few cro­cus­es, ear­li­est harbingers of spring. Hah! Another chance to test out the propo­si­tion that mobile-device cams mean you don’t need a se­ri­ous cam­era any more ...
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N5-cam IV: Brighter Bridges · In the pre­vi­ous out­ings in this se­ries, I’ve been tor­tur­ing the poor lit­tle cam­era in my Nexus 5 with ex­treme low light, and I sup­pose it de­serves bet­ter ...
 
N5-cam III: Toronto by Night · I vis­it­ed my broth­er in Toron­to and we went out to drink & talk & eat on a cold evening; I didn’t take an ac­tu­al camera-as-such, but that didn’t keep good pic­tures from ar­riv­ing in front of me, so I snapped away with the Nexus 5. Thus, an­oth­er test of the hy­poth­e­sis that a mo­bile­cam can re­place a “serious” pock­et­cam ...
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N5-cam II: Scrubbing Up · In my last N5-cam out­ing, Low Light, I sug­gest­ed con­tra­dic­to­ry things. First, that I was go­ing to in­ves­ti­gate us­ing this as a se­ri­ous pock­et cam­er­a, and sec­ond, that since this is Just A Phone, there’s no need for post­pro­cess­ing ...
 
N5-cam I: Low Light · I hear that pock­et cams are over be­cause phonecams have eat­en that space; so let’s see if my Nexus 5 can con­vince me one way or an­oth­er ...
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N5-cam I: Low Light · I hear that pock­et cams are over be­cause phonecams have eat­en that space; so let’s see if my Nexus 5 can con­vince me one way or an­oth­er ...
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What Are Handsets For? · I got a Nexus 5 from Google for Christ­mas; it re­places an old Nexus S used as a dumb­phone. But in some ways I was hap­pi­er with the S, even though the 5 is way more ca­pa­ble. I’m think­ing (once again) that Size Mat­ter­s ...
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iPhone 5c and 5s · Don’t they look great? I might get one (no, re­al­ly). They’re in­ter­est­ing... Let’s play Ap­ple Pun­dit! ...
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Feature Phone · My Galaxy Nexus un­for­tu­nate­ly Died The Death. It’ll boot and seem to work, but as soon as you try to open an email or what­ev­er, kiss it good­bye. So I rum­maged through the back of the clos­et and, well, it’s amaz­ing how lit­tle you can get by with ...
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Good Internet Baseball · I was in OpenID meet­ings at Mi­crosoft all day Tues­day, and start­ed driv­ing home to Van­cou­ver at 4PM. This a fair­ly painful route at that time, but the Blue Jays and White Sox, via MLB on the Nexus 7, re­duced the pain con­sid­er­ably ...
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Living in the Future · The oth­er day I got a Roku and some Plex soft­ware; now ev­ery­thing in the house is con­nect­ed to ev­ery­thing, and to the Net, and remotely-controllable from our mo­biles. It feels pret­ty mag­ic ...
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How Many Devices? · Does it make sense to car­ry around two, three, or more portable com­put­ing de­vices? Select from: ...
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Handset Love · The press loves tablet­s. New-media the­o­rists love tablet­s. The hard­ware mak­ers love tablet­s. Tablets might be­come the de­fault “Personal Computers”. But in 2012, my heart is still with hand­set­s ...
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High Speed Packet Access · This is my per­son­al fa­vorite mo­bile tech­nol­o­gy that’s not an An­droid prod­uct in, well, forever. Pop­u­lar­ly known as HSPA or HSDPA or HSPA+, it’s what you’re us­ing when your An­droid phone shows a lit­tle “H” up by the signal-bars read­out ...
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Network App Macroeconomics · A friend of mine is work­ing on a com­pli­cat­ed pub­lish­ing ap­p; the da­ta is XML, per­fect­ly ap­pro­pri­ate when your ob­jects are doc­u­ments. She told me they were think­ing about au­tomat­ing some of the work by run­ning XSLT trans­for­ma­tions out there in the client with libxslt. I said “Well yeah, as long as the client’s a PC not a tablet”. The cat­e­go­ry of “things you can do on a PC but not a tablet” is in­ter­est­ing ...
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Size Still Matters · I have to car­ry two phones; one for G-stuff, which is of­ten un­re­leased soft­ware run­ning on un­re­leased hard­ware, and an­oth­er for my per­son­al life. For the last few month­s, the G-phone has been a Galaxy Nexus and the Tim-phone a Nexus S ...
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Newsworthy Tablet Launches · I glanced at my news­read­er yes­ter­day and gave up al­most in­stant­ly be­cause it was full of ir­rel­e­vant fluff from CES. Par­tic­u­lar­ly ir­ri­tat­ing was a post over at The Verge an­nounc­ing breath­less­ly that a ven­dor not worth men­tion­ing here was... wait for it... plan­ning to re­lease a tablet in 2012! I twit­ter­bitched: Dear Verge: “X plans to launch a tablet in 2012” is not a news sto­ry for ANY val­ue of X. Which was clear­ly wrong; many peo­ple tweet­ed back val­ues of X for which it would be news­wor­thy: Crack­er Bar­rel, Mac­don­ald­s, NASA, Vladimir Putin, a lost Ama­zo­ni­an tribe, the US Govern­men­t, Pfiz­er, and God via Mos­es. Any oth­er­s?
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Wallpaper Candidates · I have a nice pho­to on my Mac desk­top, but I nev­er see it be­cause it’s al­ways cov­ered with win­dows. I see my Android-device wall­pa­per all the time though, be­cause I’m al­ways hit­ting the “Home” but­ton. I think this pat­tern is gen­er­al and thus mo­bile is more in­ter­est­ing than desk­top on the wall­pa­per fron­t ...
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4G Performance Silliness · I was scan­ning the mobile-tech news and saw a sto­ry on a per­for­mance shootout be­tween the LTE im­ple­men­ta­tions from Ver­i­zon and AT&T; I skipped by the link and can’t find it now, but that’s OK be­cause I’m here to de­bunk it ...
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Aspect Ratios · On one side of the aisle, this fall will bring a new iPhone & iPad; on the oth­er there’s a steady flow of An­droid hand­sets and tablets and in-betweens ...
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Telus Android Island Internet Win · For Net ac­cess from our cot­tage on Keats Is­land, we checked al­ter­na­tives and end­ed up get­ting a In­ter­net stick from Telus Mo­bil­i­ty, plug­ging it in­to my old Black­Book, and hav­ing that broad­cast WiFi. It worked, but not bril­liant­ly, with big la­ten­cy and reg­u­lar out­ages ...
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On Input · I can’t re­place my com­put­er with an An­droid hand­set or tablet, and the rea­son isn’t pow­er or speed or screen size or bat­tery life. The big prob­lem is in­put: get­ting my ideas, most­ly in the form of tex­t, in­to the de­vice and on­to the Net. I ex­pect rapid progress on this fron­t; here­with a short sur­vey and my own pro­pos­al ...
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Phones and Soldiers · I found my­self nod­ding my head read­ing Jon Oltsik’s Ap­ple and Google Make the Depart­ment of De­fense Jump Through Hoops for Mo­bile De­vice Se­cu­ri­ty, a sto­ry that broke Thurs­day. Sum­ma­ry: US spies and sol­dier­s, just like ev­ery­one else, want to car­ry iPhones and An­droid­s. The Depart­ment of De­fense (DoD) wants them to be se­cure. But DoD is frus­trat­ed be­cause they’re hav­ing trou­ble get­ting Ap­ple and Google to pri­or­i­tize their need­s ...
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Tab In My Pocket · Fri­day af­ter­noon, Septem­ber 9th, Fedex brought me my Sam­sung Galaxy Tab, and from here on in let’s just say “Tab”, which I pre­dict ev­ery­one will too, and may rep­re­sent mad product-naming skil­lz from Sam­sung. Since then it’s been in my pock­et and liv­ing room ...
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Ten Theses on Tablets · As of now, I’ve been car­ry­ing the Sam­sung Galaxy Tab for a mon­th, us­ing it ev­ery day; this has in­clud­ed two ma­jor road trips. I sup­pose there are a few oth­er hu­mans who’ve had this much hands-on with a 7" form-factor tablet, but I don’t know of any oth­ers with a blog and a free hand to write what they think ...
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On Books · Un­til this mon­th, I’d nev­er even glanced at an e-book. Now I’ve read three and can’t stop think­ing about where this is go­ing ...
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Mobile in Mainz · That would be Mo­bileTech, a con­fer­ence ear­li­er this month in Mainz, a city near Frank­furt, fa­mous for the Guten­berg lega­cy and not much else ...
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Nexus One PUK Unlock · Un­less you found this ar­ti­cle us­ing a search en­gine, which means you’re prob­a­bly hav­ing the same prob­lem I did, you’re very un­like­ly to be in­ter­est­ed in its so­lu­tion, so you can stop read­ing now and get on with your life ...
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Tethering · I trav­el quite a bit, and I have found that the “tethering & portable hotspot” fa­cil­i­ty in An­droid 2.2 is just ab­so­lute­ly won­der­ful. It has saved me con­sid­er­able mon­ey and got me reasonably-good con­nec­tiv­i­ty in places I wouldn’t oth­er­wise have had it; I’m look­ing at you, big-name US ho­tel chain­s ...
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Late Summer Tech Tab Sweep · Some of these pup­pies have been keep­ing a brows­er tab open since April. No the­me; rang­ing on the geek­i­ness scale from ex­treme to mostly-sociology ...
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Upcoming Gig — JAOO · I don’t know what the acronym stands for, but JAOO 2010 is in Aarhus, a place I’ve nev­er been to in Den­mark; Oct 4-6. It’s a pop­u­lar event and I’m hon­ored to be among the speak­er­s. What hap­pened was, be­fore I start­ed at Google, they in­vit­ed me to come and talk about my Do­ing It Wrong piece, which I re­gard as sum­ming up my years at Sun. After I joined Google, I wrote back and asked “Can I talk about An­droid too?” so I’ll be speak­ing twice on suc­ces­sive days ...
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Upcoming Gig — GDD Tokyo · GDD stands for Google Devel­op­er Day; since not ev­ery­one can come to Google I/O, we take I/O on the road to var­i­ous points in sev­er­al con­ti­nents and both hemi­spheres. GDD Tokyo, on Septem­ber 28th, is 2010’s first; I’ll be help­ing out there talk­ing An­droid in the keynote. I as­sume the Tokyo Googlers will find some­thing else use­ful to do while I’m there. Reg­u­lar read­ers here know that I have a spe­cial re­la­tion­ship with Tokyo — can’t wait to be back.
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Upcoming Gig — Mobile Tech · That’s Mo­bileTech Con­fer­ence in ful­l, a new con­fer­ence in Mainz, about which I know noth­ing ex­cept for it’s near Frank­furt. It’s by the same peo­ple who do the well-known “JAX” con­fer­ence se­ries all over Ger­many. Septem­ber 6-8; no­table for be­ing my first keynote ap­pear­ance on be­half of my new An­droid day job.
 
The Great Game · Is it VHS vs Be­ta­max, Mac vs PC, or Coke vs Pep­si? The cur­rent multibillion-dollar mobile-market war is a con­fus­ing tan­gle of soft­ware mak­er­s, hard­ware mak­er­s, and net­work op­er­a­tors. This isn’t what a the­o­rists would call a per­fect or even very clean com­pet­i­tive mar­ket, but it does seem to be de­liv­er­ing a reg­u­lar flow of bet­ter, faster, more us­able prod­ucts to the peo­ple of Earth. It’s a priv­i­lege to be in it ...
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How To Sell Apps? · I’ve been in­ter­est­ed re­cent­ly in An­droid Mar­ket; it, and its peers such as the Ap­ple App Store and Ovi and (in a slight­ly dif­fer­ent fla­vor) the Google Apps Mar­ket­place are all re­cent ar­rival­s, try­ing to do a new thing. And I don’t think any of them are do­ing it very well ...
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Cheap Unlocked Phones · I have an un­locked Nexus One with a pre-release of An­droid 2.2 “Froyo”, and I have a T-Mobile mo­bile da­ta plan from Google; I imag­ine that, like most big com­pa­nies, we get a pret­ty good deal on it. As of now, I’m nev­er pay­ing for In­ter­net in a ho­tel or air­port again ...
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Dots Per Inch · I thought maybe the most in­ter­est­ing sin­gle thing about the new iPhone 4 was its dis­play, not so much the 960 ver­ti­cal dots but the 326DPI, in the cleverly-named Reti­na Dis­play. Which leads me to won­der, how much does this mat­ter? ...
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Starting To Be Wrong · Every­body knows that de­sign­ing for the Web is not like de­sign­ing for print: The shape is flu­id not fixed, the font se­lec­tion is lim­it­ed, and there aren’t enough dots-per-inch to do prop­er ty­pog­ra­phy any­how; the ef­fect is that you have to give up fine con­trol over lay­out. Which was true un­til 2010 ...
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The Infancy of Mobile Video · I was hav­ing lunch with An­dre and Bri­an from Ni­to­bi, who work on PhoneGap (a re­al­ly nice piece of tech­nol­o­gy) and we found our­selves laugh­ing over our phone fea­ture crav­ings ...
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Bump! · One of the nice things about this job is that I’m meet­ing lots of in­ter­est­ing star­tups who are do­ing mo­bile app­s. My fave so far is Bump ...
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What’s New in Tablets · Sor­ry, I don’t want this to be­come an all-tablet-all-the-time space.; but how of­ten do we get a new com­put­er form fac­tor? Any­how, yes­ter­day I got my hands on an iPad, and sud­den­ly I find my­self dis­agree­ing with the world about what’s im­por­tan­t ...
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Memory Matters · Be­ing a study of trade-offs in the de­sign of mo­bile de­vices, with a view to avoid­ing dystopias and pro­mot­ing cre­ativ­i­ty ...
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Wrong About the iPad · Any­body who says they know how the tablet dra­ma in gen­er­al and iPad nar­ra­tive in par­tic­u­lar are go­ing to play out is blow­ing smoke. Me, I’m in­clined to think tablets will be a won­der­ful game plat­for­m, ex­cel­lent for read­ing book­s, have a raft of ver­ti­cal ap­pli­ca­tions in hos­pi­tals and fac­to­ries and air­ports and so on, and not be that big a play­er in the of­fice set­ting. But hey, I could eas­i­ly be wrong. Hav­ing said that, here’s some­body who’s wrong for sure: Marc Be­niof­f ...
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Spy Phone · I was think­ing for some rea­son of gang­ster movies and true-crime sto­ries, where some­one is “wearing a wire”. It dawned on me that any mod­ern pro­grammable phone is a “wire” in that sense. And ev­ery­one car­ries one; it wouldn’t look sus­pi­cious ...
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Nothing Creative · Com­pared to my lap­top, the iPad lacks a key­board, soft­ware de­vel­op­ment tool­s, writers’ tool­s, photographers’ tool­s, a Web server, a cam­er­a, a use­ful row of con­nec­tors for dif­fer­ent sorts of wires, and the abil­i­ty to run what­ev­er soft­ware I choose. Com­pared to my An­droid phone, it lacks a phone, a cam­er­a, pock­etabil­i­ty, and the abil­i­ty to run what­ev­er soft­ware I choose. Com­pared to the iPad, my phone lacks book-reading ca­pa­bil­i­ty, per­for­mance, and screen real-estate. Com­pared to the iPad, my com­put­er lacks a touch in­ter­face and suf­fers from ex­ces­sive weight and bulk ...
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Green Phone · I’ve no­ticed that hav­ing an An­droid in my pock­et makes me more like­ly to take pub­lic tran­sit around town as op­posed to driv­ing. Yeah, it takes a lit­tle longer, but it’s not down­time; I can be catch­ing up on email and ad­min work and so on. A huge amount of most people’s work­load is man­age­able giv­en any­thing with a de­cent email client and browser ...
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Android Splintering? · There’s this flood of new An­droid phones hit­ting the mar­ket; we’re start­ing to see some new form fac­tors and hard­ware se­tup­s. I’m hear­ing con­cerns here and there about the mar­ket “splintering”, mak­ing the plat­form less at­trac­tive to de­vel­op­er­s. On­ly I don’t buy it. [Up­date: Yes, re­al­ly.] ...
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Where’s the Mobile Biz? · I’m not sure there’s much chance of build­ing a suc­cess­ful busi­ness sell­ing through an App Store. And I know how hard it is to gen­er­ate ser­vice rev­enue off a Web site, whether you’re aim­ing at mo­bile clients or not. So, I have a ques­tion: Is there re­al­ly any mon­ey to be made in mo­bile app­s? ...
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A.D. XIV: Switching Droids · [This is part of the An­droid Diary.] A com­menter on that Tasty Words piece asked about the prac­ti­cal­i­ties of switch­ing one An­droid de­vice for an­oth­er. It’s a lit­tle more sub­tle than you’d think ...
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A.D. XIII: Tasty Words · [This is part of the An­droid Diary.] I sure hope they’re tasty, be­cause I’m gonna have to eat some. Not too long ago, in Phone Keys, I wrote about how great it was to have a hard­ware key­pad. Wel­l, the An­droid I’m cur­rent­ly us­ing doesn’t have one, and it’s not that bad ...
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A.D. XII: A Half-Year In · [This is part of the An­droid Diary.] To be pre­cise, sev­en months in. I couldn’t live with­out an In­ter­net phone now. I might be able to live with­out an An­droid, but on bal­ance I’m very hap­py with my G1 ...
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Phone Keys · The is­sue is whether hard­ware key­boards on mo­bile phones are a good idea, and there’s a charm­ing lit­tle prognosticate-off in pro­gress. In this cor­ner: John Gru­ber, who’s al­most al­ways right, say­ing (and I quote) “Normal peo­ple aren’t plan­ning to do much typ­ing on their new smart­phone, and they’re prob­a­bly right.” In the oth­er cor­ner, lots of peo­ple. Wel­l, and me too ...
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Migration About Done · This is a re­port from the tail-end of the pro­cess of bring­ing our thousand-or-so CDs on­line; pre­vi­ous in­stal­ments have in­clud­ed Mass Mu­sic Mi­gra­tion and More Mu­sic Mi­gra­tion ...
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Cupcake · Which is to say, An­droid 1.5. I up­dat­ed my G1 dev phone to­day, and hey, it’s pret­ty cool. Tons of lit­tle changes all over and an on-screen key­board. Plus, now I’m a re­al­ly bad videog­ra­pher! ...
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AD XI: How To Use the GPS · [This is part of the An­droid Diary.] Some notes on how, as a pro­gram­mer, you can get prac­ti­cal use out of the “Location Providers” on ear­ly An­droid de­vices ...
 
Experimental Engineering · I spent some time look­ing through the just-emerging web OS tech­ni­cal doc­u­men­ta­tion, and it quick­ly be­came ap­par­ent that Palm’s ap­proach is rad­i­cal­ly dif­fer­ent from both Android’s and Apple’s. Since they’re all here at more or less the same time, run­ning the same Web brows­er on rough­ly equiv­a­lent hard­ware, this rep­re­sents an un­prece­dent­ed ex­per­i­ment in com­pet­i­tive software-engineering ap­proach­es ...
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AD X: Grumbledroid · [This is part of the An­droid Diary.] There’s a pat­tern in this tribe where you put “droid” on the end of, well, ev­ery­thing. Thus this ti­tle; here­with an­oth­er set of hands-on notes, this with a sort of grumbly tone ...
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Mobile Gold · To­day I read Rob Scoble’s lu­cid and force­ful Smart­phone com­pe­ti­tion; it clar­i­fied a grow­ing in­ter­nal buzz I’ve been feel­ing as I ex­per­i­ment with An­droid and fol­low the news. We are, right now in ear­ly 2009, slid­ing in­to the gold­en age of mo­bile tech­nol­o­gy and busi­ness ...
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AD IX: Five Programmer’s Notes · [This is part of the An­droid Diary.] I’ve done a bunch more pol­ish­ing on my lit­tle demo-ware Feed Map­per; it even han­dles er­rors. Plus I’ve start­ed sketch­ing in the oth­er half, the thing that might turn it in­to more than a de­mo and drive some Cloud biz for my em­ploy­er. Time for some more give-the-feel-of-Android dis­patch­es from the coal­face ...
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AD VII: Nine Programmer’s Notes · [This is part of the An­droid Diary.] Be­ing a dis­or­der­ly list of im­pres­sions tak­en away from a cou­ple of weeks of de­vel­op­men­t ...
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JMMMDD · That stands for Ja­va Mo­bile, Me­dia & Embed­ded Devel­op­er Days; it’s a con­fer­ence we’re pre­sent­ing week af­ter next in San­ta Clara. I’m ob­vi­ous­ly super-interested in mobile-device pro­gram­ming these days, and have al­ways thought that JavaFX Mo­bile was the most in­ter­est­ing piece of the FX ef­fort; I can’t wait to get­ting my hands on some hard­ware. Un­for­tu­nate­ly I can’t make it to this one, but it looks like a good even­t.
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AD VIII: On Android Maps · [This is part of the An­droid Diary.] In par­tic­u­lar, draw­ing and in­ter­act­ing on them. Here­with a very spe­cial­ized set of notes that might be of in­ter­est to any­one pro­gram­ming to Android’s very at­trac­tive map API. I’ve learned a lot al­ready, but I’ll try to keep this up-to-date as I be­come more con­ver­sant with the state of the art ...
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AD VI: How To Draw a Curved Line · [This is part of the An­droid Diary.] For my lit­tle piece of demo-ware, I want­ed to draw curved lines be­tween the cir­cles rep­re­sent­ing en­tries in a geo­tagged feed. An­droid has a func­tion for draw­ing arc­s, but I had to do a lit­tle trigonom­e­try to work out the ar­gu­ments. This is by way of shar­ing the an­swer with any oth­er An­droi­ders who want to draw curved lines, and, well, I kind of en­joyed the math and who knows, maybe some­one else will too ...
[10 comments]  
AD V: Demo-Ware · [This is part of the An­droid Diary.] I’d had an un­of­fi­cial goal that the lit­tle An­droid goober I’m work­ing on should be demo-able by the end of 2008. I made it by half an hour. It draws click­able zoomable ren­di­tions of geo­tagged feeds (RSS or Atom) on Google map­s. The look and feel are cool. As of now, I’m not ac­tu­al­ly sure it’s use­ful for any­thing, but I think that geo­tagged feeds are po­ten­tial­ly very in­ter­est­ing in gen­er­al, so a view­er couldn’t hurt. The short-term lessons are about An­droid, though ...
[3 comments]  
AD IV: Programming Newbie · [This is part of the An­droid Diary.] As of late last night, I have a bit of non­triv­ial code ac­tu­al­ly run­ning on the G1. I feel a bit re­luc­tant to di­arize since I’m a com­plete be­gin­ner, swim­ming in ig­no­rance; but it oc­curs to me that for ev­ery ex­pert out there, there are many n00bs like me, who might won­der what the ex­pe­ri­ence is like ...
[3 comments]  
A.D. III: Odds & Sods · [This is part of the An­droid Diary.] Pocket-escapism, bat­ter­ies, and ssh ...
[3 comments]  
A.D. II: The Back Button · [This is part of the An­droid Diary.] One rea­son the Web suc­ceed­ed is the gen­er­al­ly well-designed us­er in­ter­face of its browser­s; good UI de­sign be­ing the ex­cep­tion not the rule. A key fea­ture of that in­ter­face, and ar­guably one of the sin­gle biggest in­no­va­tions in UI his­to­ry, is the “Back” but­ton. One of the nicest things about the An­droid phone is that it has one too ...
 
Android Diary I · Around noon to­day, I picked up my un­locked An­droid G1 dev phone, and as of now it’s my main phone, plus I’m try­ing to write an app for it. I sus­pect that my ex­pe­ri­ences are go­ing to be shared by quite a few peo­ple in the not-too-distant fu­ture, so why not record them? ...
[25 comments]  
First-Class PR · I was hav­ing a beer in the bar at SFO wait­ing for my flight home, sit­ting next to this thir­ty­ish wom­an, ex­treme­ly well-groomed and well-dressed. I saw on her board­ing pass that she was trav­el­ing Ex­ec­u­tive Class to LA. We got to talk­ing and it turned out she was in Public Re­la­tion­s. She most­ly worked, and her cur­rent Bay Area trip was about, rep­re­sent­ing new iPhone app­s. I start­ed feel­ing cog­ni­tive dis­so­nance; first of al­l, I thought that we were in the kind of eco­nom­ic sit­u­a­tion where you wouldn’t want to fly your PR peo­ple around in first class, and any­how, aren’t most iPhone apps be­ing built by low-rent gueril­la op­er­a­tions? So I asked a few ques­tion­s, and it turned out that the apps she rep­re­sent­ed were most­ly from big com­pa­nies; their names were ex­treme­ly Web2.0-ish gnarls of un­like­ly con­so­nant com­bi­na­tion­s, and they did un­sur­pris­ing things. It’s dawn­ing on me that the mobile-app space is go­ing to be dif­fer­en­t.
[2 comments]  
Mobility Blues · Th­ese days, I’m gloomi­er and gloomi­er about the prospects for the mo­bile In­ter­net; you know, the one you ac­cess through the sexy giz­mo in your pock­et, not the klunky old general-purpose com­put­er on your desk ...
[32 comments]  
Android · I’m hav­ing a lit­tle trou­ble un­der­stand­ing An­droid; the busi­ness side I mean, not the tech­nol­o­gy ...
[12 comments]  
Flat Rate Considered Harmful · Lots of peo­ple, in­clud­ing for ex­am­ple my CEO, say that the hand-held mo­bile is go­ing to be a cru­cial, maybe a dom­i­nan­t, way for peo­ple to ex­pe­ri­ence the Net; par­tic­u­lar­ly on the oth­er side of what we now call the dig­i­tal di­vide. On­ly there’s an eco­nom­ic prob­lem ...
[20 comments]  
ssh+iPhone · Oooh, check it out; is that cool or what? Up till now I didn’t re­al­ly want an iPhone, but I’m slip­ping. Of course Ap­ple will see this as a prob­lem that must be patched, sigh.
[4 comments]  
Erroneous Ministerial One · Here­with my oc­ca­sion­al romp through the built-up brows­er tab­s. Item (se­ri­ous): In The ‘Next’ Ja­va, Joe Gre­go­rio says some Real­ly Smart Things about lan­guages in gen­er­al and Ja­va in ar­tic­u­lar. Item (se­ri­ous): At Busi­ness Week, Stephen Baker’s Writ­ing for an au­di­ence of one says some­thing gen­uine­ly new (hard, these days) about blog­ging. Item (in­ter­est­ing): My new Sam­sung is a pret­ty cool phone, but there are a few ir­ri­tants. It turns out that some­one called RedIpS has fixed them. I just bought a flash­ing ca­ble on EBay; I won­der if I’m go­ing to be break­ing any laws? Item (not se­ri­ous): SOA Facts. Item (puz­zling): Some guy named Tim Bray seems to be in trou­ble in Chi­na; this ar­ti­cle pro­vid­ed the ti­tle above. I hope Mr. Bray gets out OK.
[1 comment]  
Samsung, Ringtones, Fair Use · My cell­phone ex­pired, so I was pok­ing around here and there on the net look­ing for some­thing un­locked in a GSM fla­vor; but one of my key cri­te­ria is big but­tons that I can see with­out my reading-glasses, and the Web just doesn’t help you there. I end­ed up at a lo­cal grey-market em­po­ri­um where a friend­ly Rus­sian sold me a Sam­sung SGH-D600; it def­i­nite­ly meets the no-reading-glasses cri­te­ri­on and seems like a pret­ty nice phone. This cute lit­tle slidey black goober lets you use any old MP3 as a ring­tone. Giv­en that most of us have tons o’ mu­sic on our com­put­er­s, and it’s pret­ty easy to slice out a sub-ten-second clip and Blue­tooth it over to the phone, I guess the ring-tones busi­ness is dead. It seems ob­vi­ous to me that us­ing mu­sic I’ve al­ready paid for in this way is Fair Use, but I bet there’s a lawyer some­where who’d dis­agree for a fee. So I sat up late one evening cack­ling fiendish­ly over the au­dio soft­ware, and my ring­tones are: Mancini’s Peter Gunn theme (the clas­sic Ray An­tho­ny ver­sion of course), the open­ing se­quences of Burn­ing Spear’s Slav­ery Days and Deep Purple’s High­way Star (off Made in Ja­pan), and the clos­ing sec­onds of Ru­n­away Hors­es from Phil Glass’ won­der­ful Mishi­ma sound­track. Now, when­ev­er the phone rings, I smile.
[2 comments]  
Why SavaJe? · A cou­ple of weeks ago, I wrote about my rather mixed ini­tial ex­pe­ri­ence of the SavaJe Jasper S20. I’m mak­ing pro­gress, and I’m go­ing to in­vest a bit more work in this de­vice, be­cause I think it’s im­por­tan­t. In this frag­ment I ex­plain why I think so, with a bit more hands-on nar­ra­tive ...
 
Happy · Scoble ob­served that many blogs are crud­dy on cell phones. Cu­ri­ous, I emailed him ask­ing how on­go­ing does. He wrote back “Your site looks great. One of the best I've seen so far on the phone.” I am ab­surd­ly pleased.
 
Russell Explodes · A cou­ple of days ago I ran a piece about my mo­bil­i­ty needs. It got quite a bit of re­ac­tion: Jere­my Za­wod­ny and Gary Pot­ter both seemed to agree, and Ge­off Arnold wants a lit­tle more than I do. But then Rus­sell Beat­tie rose up in righ­teous wrath and con­signed Jere­my and me to the fiery fur­nace re­served for un­be­liev­ers in the com­ing Gold­en Age of mo­bile phones. He’s say­ing, more or less: “Resistance is ir­rel­e­van­t. You will be assimilated,” but it’s a good piece, read it. The thing is, I have been read­ing Rus­sel­l, and he goes on about video and I think OK, and Web brows­ing, and I think OK, and about mo­bile games, and I think OK, and about high-bandwidth flat-rate per­va­sive In­ter­net con­nec­tiv­i­ty and I think “Cowabunga! Get me some of that!” Maybe once I have some of those oth­er ca­pa­bil­i­ties, I’ll get ex­cit­ed. But up till now, I haven’t ac­tu­al­ly seen any­body do­ing any­thing with a cell­phone that I par­tic­u­lar­ly want to do, ex­cept talk.
 
My Mobility Needs · There’s a lot of ac­tion on the mo­bil­i­ty fron­t. I know a lot of Blackberry-tethered busi­ness­peo­ple, and Russ Beat­tie has some red-hot new phone ev­ery week, and to­day there’s the iPodPho­to. Most of this stuff to­tal­ly doesn’t in­ter­est me; this note is to ex­plain why, and what I do wan­t, be­cause I can’t be that far out of the main­stream ...
 
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