Two items, tenuously related – Google and iPhone OS 2.0

Google is fallible

We always think of Google as the unstoppable juggernaut that can do no wrong. But this isn’t so. Examples : First, Google Browser sync. This was a neat little extension you would install in Firefox, and it would automatically synch your bookmarks, cookies, history – everything – to a central Google server somewhere. Pretty neat, sure, though a little scary – though what with Google isn’t? After Firefox 3 came out, I tried to see if I could grab the latest Google Browser synch. Though I’d been working without it while using the Firefox 3 Beta, once FF 3 was officially released, I assumed a new version of the plug-in would be as well. Nope! It’s been discontinued…perhaps there wasn’t enough take-up? Perhaps there were too many internal business conflicts regarding it? Who knows. But here they built a thing, and finally they say “Whoops, sorry, we’re taking this thing down now.” There are alternatives, of course, but I just thought it interesting, because it made me think of them different.

Once I’d gotten it into my head that super behemoth Google can slip up, I was able to look at another feature I’d thought about myself before – Google gears. This is a browser plug-in that lets you access web applications offline, as well as online. Take a look at this architecture description, and my gut says they’re doing it wrong. (Bias alert: I have thought about solving this problem a different way.) Being able to use Gears with my google Docs and google reader are both pretty neat though.

So the iPhone 2.0 software came out (more about this in a minute). I need an RSS feed reader. NetNewsWire is out for iPhone. I need that. I get it. To ‘synch’ my read-items vs. unread-items, I need ‘newsgator’. And, just like that, in the blink of an eye, I move off of google reader, and onto NetNewsWire for Mac and NetNewsWire for iPhone. I’m not yet 100% convinced about how well it works – I still get definite feelings of ‘clunk’ going on, but I can read my newsfeeds while in the subway. Win.

They’re human beings – flesh and blood, like you and me. Prick them and do they not bleed? Their dominance can be challenged when they misstep. They’re no Microsoft, yet, but they definitely are mortal.

iPhone OS 2.0

Exchange support took a while to get going. I had to delete and readd my account, twice. I wanted it to ‘automagically’ figure out that I was on Exchange before, and I should now be on Exchange and use Push features, but it isn’t that clever. The fact that it wanted to WIPE OUT my contacts Really, really freaked me out! i don’t use the calendar on my phone all that often, so wiping that out and replacing it with my Exchange calendar is not a big deal. Emails show up on my phone faster than they show up on my computer. I can send, receive, accept, and decline meeting requests. My calendar has my Exchange calendar. This makes my life a bit better.

However, my battery has suffered, for sure. It could also be that I was poking and prodding my phone all the time, but I do think that Exchange activesync whatever it is seems to slurp more juice.

I have been gorging myself on apps. Like some kind of guy who just wandered out of a desert into an all-you-can-eat buffet, I’m stuffing every single application that looks like it might be interesting – and many that aren’t – onto my phone. Plenty are shitty. Plenty are crashy. Some are pretty neat.

  • Aim – crashy, but useful
  • Twitteriffic – sluggish, pretty…jury’s still out
  • eReader – requires an ereader.com account? May toss it.
  • PhoneSaber – AWESOME
  • Remote – Haven’t tried it yet, but I hear good things.
  • Facebook – Lame
  • Cube Runner – Fun!
  • iPint – Cutesy, marketing stuff. Kinda ok. Wish I liked Carling beer better.
  • Whrrl – Haven’t fiddled to much, dunno.
  • NYTimes – Nice concept, crashed on me and even took my phone with it once.
  • NetNewsWire – Pretty straightforward, probably a few point-releases and it will be good.
  • Scratch – Pretty cute toy! If the controls were a liiiiittle more real-timey, it would be better.
  • Loopt – I can’t tell if this is genius, or shit. It’s weird, and I keep feeling like I don’t know what I’m doing with it.
  • Mobile News – Simple, does what it’s supposed to.
  • WeatherBug – Not bad, little more detail than your regular Weather app. S’ok.

3 thoughts on “Two items, tenuously related – Google and iPhone OS 2.0”

  1. That’s probably what I want. But I’ve already moved all my stuff to del.icio.us, and that’s working for me. And I like the non-hierarchical nature of tags, so that’s a bonus. But if I want to move back to syncing, foxmarks does seem to be the way to go.

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