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Posts for Tag: iOS

Which apps did survive 2011 on my iPhone?

A slightly different take on 2011. While everyone is rehashing the news, I'll just go through the list of apps on my iPhone and see which apps really stuck during the whole year. Is this list useful? Probably not, unless you are interested in what I have on my iPhone or you are looking for something specific.

How do I know which apps to choose? Well, apps stay on my iPhone when I use them. If I do not use them for a few weeks, I remove them. I won't list apps that were recently released here.

Tools (links open iTunes):

The above tools have been installed on my iPhone for a long time, and get (almost) daily usage.

Social Networking:

No, Google+ did not survive 2011.



Those are all the apps that have stuck throughout 2011. Some were released in 2011, but most of them have been available longer and have only been updated. Special mention for Path, which must be my most-used app.

A request for Apple; I'd like to (automatically) organize my apps by times used. So I have the most used apps within easy reach. Yes I can do that manually, but it's extra work, and I'm kind of lazy.

Of course I have more apps on my iPhone, but most of them are cycling on/off the device. Others I install and after some time remove because I just don't use them. And some are only there when needed (e.g. Navigon US West, I'm not there that often)

Develop in the iCloud

Fortune has done a survey among WWDC 2011 attendees, and the results are somewhat unsurprising, at least for me.

Since we're on an Apple event, 100% of the developers prefer to develop for iOS. Big d'oh of course. But 47% of the developers also develop for Android, so it would be nice to know what their reasoning is behind the iOS preference. That is shown in the next results, everyone thinks the iOS platform is best for monetization and is also easiest to develop for.

When the attendees were asked which platform had the highest potential for future growth, no-one mentioned BB OS, WebOS or Symbian. That's somewhat surprising. So they did mention WM7 (9%) and Android (40%). Is WebOS dead in the water before it even gets a chance? We all know the issues regarding RIM and their BlackBerry OS, so it's not really surprising no-one sees much in it anymore. It has always been a nightmare to develop for. Symbian, well, especially with the Microsoft-Nokia deal, this may just as well be killed right away. 

Supposedly only 7% develop for Mac. In the press, this is often regarded that the Mac is losing developers in favor of the mobile platforms. Well, maybe, but if you check the results to the same results for the WWDC in 2008, you notice that there were hardly any mobile developers around. Since in 2008, the first "real" iPhone, the 3G was announced together with, quite important, the iPhone SDK. Remember the year before, where Jobs stated that webapps would be enough? Well, 2008 he turned things around. And only then, iOS development took off. 
So, no, I don't think the Mac is losing developers. Yet.

However, these statistics and the fact that Jobs declared the computer/Mac as "just a device" for iCloud, got me thinking. Maybe, in the not to far future, developing for the platforms(*) will no longer require this huge XCode environment. The XCode environment could be trimmed to an absolute minimum if it was tied to iCloud. The SDKs would be in the cloud, so would be your libraries and other components needed for development. Only downloading components when requested (e.g. if you are going offline for some time), but even the building stage could take place in the iCloud itself. 
Making the distribution very easy too. It's already in the iCloud. No more downloading of keys and all this complicated stuff. Just mark the app as "release" and in the iCloud, everything will be done for you, including distribution to the iTunes Appstore.

Going further: maybe you wouldn't need a Mac to develop anymore. Now, the Mac is your developer center, but if everything happens in the iCloud, you may just as well use an iPad. Maybe not for the big UI stuff, where screen estate is important, but for code, it's not a bad idea. 

I think we are just seeing the tip of the iceberg at the moment. These Apple data centers seem overkill for just some media storage.. I bet there is a lot more coming.

(*) I intentionally state "platforms". At the moment, iOS and Mac OS X are two separate branches. I don't think that will last forever. My personal take on this is that iOS and Mac OS X will merge into one Apple OS. And this will happen when the OS X is near the end of its life time. Maybe there will be an OS X 10.8, but I think after that, both will be merged into one OS. Why maintain two branches which partly overlap? One OS for all Devices (remember what Jobs said), with features that are enabled/disabled depending on the hardware - note that this is already happening in iOS.

Useful tip: change the location for the iOS device backups in iTunes

Yesterday I tried restoring a backup to my iPad (just installed iOS 5 beta) and all of a sudden my Mac started complaining that my diskspace was too low. Eventually, there was nothing left from the 128Gig SSD I have in my Macbook.
I was confused, what was the cause? After some thorough searching I found out it was due to the size of my backup folder in iTunes. 
This folder was about 50 GB in size! Not surprising since we own 2 iPads 64G, 2 iPhone 4s, 2 iPod touches and some old iPhone 3Gs.. (not all of them were backed up though)

My iTunes library is located on my 750GB HDD which I mounted instead of my SuperDrive. So I thought everything iTunes would be stored there. Wrong!

The backup is located in ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup - right, on my space limited SSD. There is no way to change the location in iTunes itself, but thanks to Oliver Aaltonen I found a way to do so manually. On his site, you can find tips for both Mac and Windows, I will just repeat the Mac tip here:

  • Close iTunes
  • Move the ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup folder to the destination 
  • The ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync folder should now be empty
  • Open up Terminal and type the following:
    ln - s /<path to destination>/Backup/ ~/Library/Application\ Support/MobileSync/Backup
That's it! In my case I got 50Gigs extra space on my SSD! I think this is a great tip for those people who have a Macbook Air with only 64G SSD. But everyone with smaller disks can benefit, of course.

Just another hint, if you are running OS X Lion, you'll notice the ~/Library cannot be found. This is because it is hidden. Just open up Finder, in the menu bar select "Go" and then "Go to Folder" and enter ~/Library .. this will open up the hidden folder for you.
Extra, extra tip: Just holding down the <option> key when you click "Go" in the menu bar will reveal ~/Library as an option in the list.

De "Apple is evil" crowd zijn gelijk aan die UFO en religie aanhangers

Tijdens mijn vakantie was er nogal veel ophef rondom het locatie tracken dat de iOS apparaten bleken te doen. Uiteraard, zoals bij alle berichten met Apple erin, weer een hoop gedoe om wat uiteindelijk niets bijzonders was.
Opvallend veel "Apple is evil" geroep, wat eigenlijk de gewoonte is als er ook maar 1 klein bugje gevonden wordt.

Reactie van Apple:
We do not share customer information with third parties without our customers’ explicit consent. Apple does not track users’ locations. Apple has never done so and has no plans to do so. An Apple device does not send to Apple any specific device information associated with a user. The purpose of the cache is to allow the device to more quickly and reliably respond to location requests. Apple was never tracking an individual user’s location. The data seen on the iphone was not the location past or present of the iPhone, but the location of cell towers surrounding the phone. Although the cache was not encrypted, it was protected from other apps on the phone.

De "Apple is evil" crowd:
Jaa, dat kunnen ze nu wel zeggen, maar wij geloven hun toch niet, de bandieten.

Da's eigenlijk net zo dan die UFO en crop circle fans en religie aanhangers. Maakt niet uit wat je aandraagt, ze zullen toch altijd blijven vasthouden aan hun redenaties.


[edit] Amedee Van Gasse [@amedee] merkt terecht op dat hetzelfde geldt voor de "Steve is our messiah" crowd. 
[edit2] Steve Gilissen [@sgilissen] leert mij een nieuwe uitdrukking kennen: twelve o'clock flasher.