About downloading apps on iDevices, and Macs… @justin @shawnblanc

Justin Williams of carpeaqua, and Shawn Blanc of shawnblanc.net are wondering why you can’t, for example, download an iPad app on your iPhone. I’ll tell them.

Because the 99% wouldn’t be happy campers if the bought an iPad app from their iPhone and find out that they can’t run it on the device they have. That’s why.

Not everyone has a Mac, and iPad, and an iPhone guys, and no, iTunes must not die Justin, but I’m eager to hear of your alternatives.

The Verge reviews the new Nexus 7 tablet.

David Pierce for The Verge:

Talking about his year-old Nexus 7:

…I looked over at the Nexus 7 I bought last year, which I loved to pieces. But it’s sat dormant for six months. The battery’s dead, maybe permanently. I scratched the screen pretty good, too.

Again, and moving on to the new one:

The first Nexus 7 was a soft, plushy device that felt both comfortable and almost disposable. With plastic edges and a dimpled back, it was more toy than machine. The new model trades up to a sleek, classy, all-black body that very clearly means business. This isn’t a toy anymore; it’s a tablet for serious people who do serious things.

I wonder what he’s gonna say next year…

It’s also about a credit card thicker than the iPad mini, and almost exactly as tall.

Google opted not to shrink the bezels above and below the display, which now look comically gigantic in comparison. The mismatched bezels also make the screen look smaller, and the tablet looks asymmetrical — it’s nice to have a place to put your hands when you hold the tablet sideways, but no one needs this much space. The Nexus 7′s 16:10 aspect ratio already makes it look gangly and tall, but the huge bezels turn it into an eighth-grader that grew a foot without gaining a pound.

From the front, you see no blemishes on the device save for the awkwardly off-center camera lens

The two cameras are both pretty unexciting, but they’re what I’d want from a tablet — the new 5-megapixel rear shooter takes decent, accurate photos, and though the front lens is really hard to align with your face it works just fine.

For me, a good display is the most important feature of a tablet. I don’t need a hugely specialized set of apps

I just need a tablet that makes books and movies look awesome. That’s the new Nexus 7 in a nutshell

I’m sorry, but isn’t it “a tablet for serious people who do serious things”?

Android 4.3:

though Android has made huge progress it’s still not up to par with the iOS app selection. More and more apps I use are available on Android, but too many are still just blown-up phone apps, and there are still plenty of games and great apps (Paper and Djay come to mind) simply missing.

I can’t say for sure how much of a performance improvement Android 4.3 is. There are still some noticeable problems — somehow Google still can’t figure out how scrolling animations work, so the Play Store is as jittery as ever

I bought the original Nexus 7 partly because Joshua Topolsky, Guy Who Knows Things, was impressed; he even called it “particularly slouch-free,” whatever that means. And mine was indeed slouch-free, for a while. After about six months, a half-dozen updates to every app, and a new round of processors from Qualcomm, Nvidia, and others, the tablet went from zippy to comatose. Now it’s unusably slow, an infuriating testament to how fast technology evolves…

…yeah, that must be it…

I rarely encountered stutters, jitters, or problems of any kind. (Except scrolling. Cool job Google.)

Ok…

But I’m still worried. In our benchmarking tests, even though the new Nexus 7 is far faster than the previous model — 5,602 on Quadrant and 19,765 on AnTuTu — it’s about even with its current competitors, as the original was a year ago. While Apple has a track record for supporting older devices, Android manufacturers don’t, which makes me question the long-term viability of this Nexus 7.

Oh cool…it’s about as fast as last year’s competitors models…for now…

But make no mistake: the Nexus 7′s a seriously powerful machine, and will be for the foreseeable future. And even if a year from now it becomes slow and outdated, it’s still going to have a great screen, and it’s still going to stream Netflix in 1080p. That’s not much of a downside.

…unless you don’t want to upgrade every year, just so…you know…it works.

So, to summarize:
- The first Nexus 7 was unusable after 6 months
- The new one is “meant for business”
- It’s thicker than last years iPad Mini
- Almost no apps that aren’t blow up phone apps
- Scrolling stutters
- About as fast as last year’s model and the competition…from last year…

The score The Verge gave the new Nexus 7? 9/10.

The Imp-Liar: Eric Schmidt

So, Google’s chairman, Eric Schmidt, is at it again.

In a pretty long interview with ndtv.com he implied that Google Now not being in the iOS App Store wasn’t in Google’s hands by saying:

You’ll need to discuss that with Apple…Apple has a policy of approving or disapproving apps that are submitted into its store, and some of the apps we make they approve, and some of them they don’t.

Sounds like Apple doesn’t want Google Now on iOS, right?

Wrong. Here’s Apple’s statement to CNet (no link, because CNet):

…the Google Now application was never submitted for approval to our App Store…

Interestingly, Google itself have now confirmed this, also telling CNet:

Yes, I can confirm for you: We have not submitted Google Now to Apple’s App Store.

I’m sure Eric Schmidt will issue a statement shortly…right.

Review: Some note taking app. NOT!

Harry C. Marks nails it.

I’ve been meaning to write about this for a while now, but haven’t gotten around to it because it always seemed insignificant, and that’s something I usually don’t like to post, but Harry really nails it with the above linked piece. Go read it.

Actually, a few weeks back, I stopped reading certain sites. I’m hesitant to name them, but I’m sure most of you know who I’m talking about. I just can’t stand reading the 1000th review of some note taking app. I mean, I’m sure it’s useful information to some, but seriously…just tell us what app you use, and if that changes let us know again, but for crying out loud: Stop telling us every day about the latest app for taking notes…just take notes!

I’m sure to a select few, who have all day to muse about the virtues of a certain markdown-or-what-not-editor, this is useful information. To me, and I suspect most of you, it’s not. It makes me stop reading your site. The same goes for insignificant updates to an app…any app. Please, stop it.

So, in the true spirit of talking about something once, and leaving it until my behavior changes, here’s the list of apps I use:

1. iMac
- Pages for writing stuff
- Numbers for spreadsheets
- Aperture for storing my RAW’s, and Photostream
- Photoshop for converting an touching up said RAW’s
- Dropbox to show the finished photos to models
- Safari for surfing
- Mail for…well, mail.
- Notes
- Terminal…because I can…bash!

2. iPhone / iPad
- Messages
- Mail
- Tumblr for my dark side
- Facebook for keeping in touch with friends worldwide
- Twitter for the latest news
- Foursquare for annoying my Facebook friends with check-ins
- Podcasts (MetalHammer, The Talk Show, InThirty, and Amplified, if you must know)
- WhatsApp for keeping in touch with those not fortunate enough to have an iPhone
- Instagram for stalking celebs
- Notes for writing stuff to my iMac for later
- Reminders – my shopping list
- Clock
- Calender
- Photos

That’s it. That’s right, the latest version of super-duper-bla-app doesn’t interest me. It will never make it anyways, and it doesn’t add anything to my life. In a few months no one will even use it or talk about it.

Apple announces 40 billion unique downloads from the iOS App Store.

On Monday, Apple announced that users have downloaded more than 40 billion apps from the iOS App Store.

Mind you, that’s not re-downloads for new devices by users, or updates. That’s unique downloads.

Apple also announced:
- 20 billion downloads in 2012 alone
- 500 million active accounts on the App Store
- 775.000 apps, more than 300.000 of them for the iPad
- 7 billion USD paid out to developers so far

My brief thoughts on OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion.

Very brief really, as I’ve only updated yesterday:

- Fast update process, both on my mid-2011 27″ iMac (SSD), and an early-2011 13″ MacBook Air
- No problems updating
- It seems to be faster than Lion on both machines
- Stable so far, no crashes
- Virtual Box is not working, due to Gatekeeper/Sandboxing settings, which was my choice
- Messages, Reminders, Notes apps are great
- Software update now opens the MAS app
- I like most of the subtle changes
- Safari screams, and I like the unified search- and URL-bar
- iCloud works like a charm for me
- I don’t “share” much, but I like the option to do so in all apps
- Time Machine backups seem to be taking longer

Bottom line: A great 1.0 release from Apple. Worth every penny.

Sandboxing is a good thing @marcoarment – a good thing!

Please read it again: Sandboxing is a good thing!

Marco Arment, creator of Instapaper, and awesome Apple nerd (this is a compliment), argues that the Mac App Store is pretty much risking being relegated to the backbench by enforcing, among other things, sandboxing.

Let me explain, in simple terms, what sandboxing does:
Sandboxing enforces strict policies on what any given app in OS X can execute, access, and open. In a nutshell, of course.

Marco, to illustrate his point, uses examples of apps that are not allowed in the MAS, and apps that recently left it. Apps like Microsoft Office, VMWare Fusion, some stuff by Adobe, TextExpander, SuperDuper, and so on.

I take exception for two reasons:

1. There are alternatives to almost all of the apps Marco mentions, that use sandboxing. For example Apple’s own iWork suite. If Apple can do it, I’m sure Microsoft can get it done too. Sure there’s stuff like VMWare Fusion, that will need access to system resources not granted to MAS apps, so it will never be available on the MAS, but come on…apps like that are for a very small base of customers. Keep in mind: Through Mountain Lion’s Gatekeeper implementation, it’s possible for apps like that to get a certificate by Apple, so even though they won’t be on the MAS, they are still “ok”.

2. Sandboxing protects the user simply by making sure that some, not all, malicious code in apps can’t screw them. Macs are generally safer to use than PC’s, but recent events have shown that they are vulnerable too.

I don’t think that 99% of users will care if they can’t get highly-specialized software on the MAS. They care about one-stop shopping of the apps they use mainly, like iPhoto, Aperture, Photoshop (Essentials, which is more than enough for most people), and the iWork suite.

There’s always going to be niche cases, of course, but I think that’s a small prize to pay for security.

The Sparrow situation.

As pretty much everyone in the Mac universe knows by now Sparrow, the well-designed, lightweight email client for OS X and iOS has been bought by Google.

There’s a lot of rage and disappointment going on about this, but I think Kyle Baxter has a great take on this:

This problem, though, has to do with the App Store’s structure. The fact is when charging for upgrades isn’t possible and isn’t expected, it’s difficult to make an application like Sparrow and succeed. Very difficult. We should spend our time trying to solve that problem, so more small developers can make a living building well-made, useful, focused applications on these new devices.

The App Store model is great for consumer’s, but it sucks for developers trying to make a living. Apple needs to get on this asap.