Oct 12

My experience with Apple maps … In Dubai

I find all this apple-hating we sometimes see on tech sites very annoying.

The purple fringe on iPhone 5 photos appears to me to be a non issue. Or at least something common to a lot of phones cameras. Not that purple but very similar.

However it really annoys me when people say Apple Maps are good.

C’mon, Apple Maps might be good ON YOUR CURRENT LOCATION!

I can guarantee that Apple Maps are not good where I’m currently are, which is is the lovely city of Dubai in the UAE.

And by not good I don’t mean worse than Google Maps … I mean not-giving-directions-to-very-common-and-know-Points-of-Interest-NOT-GOOD.

Here are some screenshots i’ve taken today (first is GoogleMaps web app, then AppleMaps) …

Lets just compare the “where I’m at” screen:
(first Google)
(then AppleMaps)

See? Apple maps are weak someplaces … Notice the missing roads on the top?

Ok, and what about directions? … You know, something that A LOT of people is saying that Apple has done right …

Let’s just try to go to a very common and known mall nearby:

1) So let’s ask directions from my location to Mall of emirates …

(notice google already suggesting it)
(Apple nows nothing … And I’ve also tried several iterations of its designation)

2) The result ?

(actually, the webapp version is awful for this. Release a iOS app already google!!!)

(NOPE! Apple doesn’t know it ..)

3) And show it a map … just for google, of course …


This is of course just an example and it means that the maps that support Apple Maps don’t include on some places some of the basic points-of-interest that people usually need …

Apple Maps app is a good, but the supporting maps still have a lot to evolve. Let’s not forget that Google has like 7 years on this and big teams correcting / adjusting mapping data.

In the end, I think that the fact that Apple and Google couldn’t come up to a agreement is bad for the user in the short term. In the long term, I think competition is good.

But one thing comes to mind … Why didn’t Apple considered going for a OpenStreetMaps option? In my opinion Apple, using OpenStreetMaps, was in the ideal position to be a open-source-good-standards-promoter in this cloud map services space …

Mar 11

iOS 4.3 hotspot with iPhone 3GS and iPad 1 via bluetooth

Sometimes I think I’m really obtuse, because i haven’t noticed this until now :)

Probably you’ve read that the iOS personal hotspot feature, only shares your connection via Wi-Fi if you have an iPhone 4. Since I only have an iPhone 3GS, I have been kinda grinding my teeth about this (I know I could Jailbrake it, but I haven’t really feel the need for that).

Although you could share your iPhone 3GS connection with a Mac on iOS 4.2 via bluetooth or USB, you can’t share it with an iPad. In reality, since I also have a Novatel Mi-Fi (like this one, but from vodafone PT), which I use with my Wi-Fi iPad 1 and MacBook Pro, I wasn’t really worried.

HOWEVER, today (in fact, a couple of minutes ago) I’ve found this: iOS 4.3 can now share your iPhone 3GS connection with an iPad 1, via bluetooth (it will probably also work on the iPad 2).

You just have to pair via bluetooth your iPhone 3GS with the iPad, and activate the personal hotspot feature on the iPhone.

A couple of pictures …

On the iPhone 3GS, sharing my vodafone 3G connection (note the bluetooth icon):

On the iPad, browsing to the Apple site, on the 3GS connection (note the bluetooth and linkage icon):

It’s a bit of a battery burner on the 3GS, but that is expected …

Mar 11

Apple Xcode 4 is now 5$ …

I don’t quite get it … or like it …

Xcode used to be completely free for a registered user in developer section. Meaning if you hadn’t paid the 99$ for a developer connection account, you could still download and develop apps in your computer, for free.

Altough you couldn’t deploy iOS apps for a iOS device other than your simulator, you could develop MacOS apps for free.

At this moment (09/03/2011), the Xcode version 3.2.6 (which includes iOS 4.3 sdk) still is free.

I’ve always had a huge problem with the iOS / MacOS developer account separation, which means you must pay 99$ x 2, but that is another subject.

In my opinion, the 5$ isn’t the problem (which is, c’mon, let’s face it, quite cheap).

The change in focus / priority / posture is what worries me.

This could mean that in the future Apple might thinking of enforce the same iOS apps posture (only for simulator deploy) in the MacOS apps (maybe in the Lion OS version?). Which is, no deploying / downloading to other computers / users, unless it is via the MacOS store.

This could mean a complete closing of the MacOS environment … and that possible conclusion is kinda scary, in my opinion …

A closed MacOS system, in the sense you couldn’t freely deploy apps for the OS (without an AppStore), will definitely drive me away from the platform.

This feels like, until now , Apple was needing / wanting a lot of developers to adopt Xcode / iOS / MacOS programming. And now, that they have more than enough developers, they start enforcing some control rules.

Don’t get me wrong, i totally agree with the iOS store and the deploy mechanism in iOS devices (specially phones) … just not on a full featured OS on a full featured PC …

Nov 10

News readers on iPad …

I really like to use FlipBoard on the iPad … It’s a fun reading/browsing experience …

However … I still use Reeder to process my RSS feeds (google sync is a must)

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Nov 10