Fragmentation and Instagram's Hyperlapse

There's a reason for the sanity developers posses in releasing an app on iOS first. Take Instagram's latest.

Hyperlapse from Instagram features built-in stabilization technology that lets you create moving, handheld time lapses that result in a cinematic look, quality and feel—a feat that has previously only been possible with expensive equipment.

If a developer were to design an app for iOS, they have a choice of supporting only a few select devices. In this case, Hyperlapse was created to be compatible with a 2-year old device (iPhone 5) and up running iOS 7. Simple as that. You can bet that with the adoption rate that 90%, that users with at least an iPhone 5 will be downloading or have the ability to try out this fantastic app. Wired has even compared the app to a "$15,000 video setup in your hand."

From a developer standpoint, that's a huge audience! Think about it!

Now comes in Android. There isn't an app yet and here's why... in bold: FRAGMENTATION.

android fragmentation

The article from Open Signal clearly highlights the flaws and the obstacles that developers have when creating apps for Android. From different flavors of Android, to various hardware and sensor kits, screen sizes and adoption rates / operating system update delays from manufacturers, it's not the ideal launch vehicle. Hell, it even took Instagram a two years before they released their Android app and only after more than 30 million people join via iOS.

If you've been following me, I've been an Android 4.4 user since my Samsung Galaxy S5 trial and am still not satisfied with the experience. I've even lost precious moments due to the camera locking up or phone not responding. It's just a mess especially with all of Samsung's included bloatware on top of AT&T's mesh of products. I can't wait until November 15 for when I can go back to iOS. Of course, when September 9, comes around, you can bet your bottom dollar that I'm pre-ordering the iPhone 6 on T-Mobile.

For now, enjoy the sample video of Instagram's Hyperlapse or better yet, go out there and make your own! You can also follow me on Instagram: elijahnicolas

Wanna Save Your iPhone Battery?

This is not one of those "Turn off every useful feature of iOS" posts that grinds my gears. My goal is to deliver practical steps to truly solve your iOS battery woes.

One quick thing before we start — 99.9% of the time it is not actually iOS that is causing your battery to drain quickly. I guarantee you that if you erased your phone and there were no apps or email on it, it would last for ages. But, no one uses their device like that, nor should they. Hopefully with these steps you will be living in iOS battery bliss while still using all the apps and features you love.

I will be reformatting my iPhone 5 again and start fresh with iOS 7.1. A few weeks ago, I installed iOS 7 which did posses amazing battery life, but after I started installing a few of the hundreds of apps that I use, my battery would eventually only last half a day! I'm going to have to start deducing what's really going on.

via OverThought by Scotty Loveless

T-Mobile Unleashed Is NOT So Cheap

At this time, my Early Termination Fees (ETFs) with AT&T are $155 for a line thats due in September of this year. Thats a prorated amount down from $350 in case you're wondering. Let me back up. If you've been following me on twitter, I've been fed up with AT&T's false advertising that sold me a few years ago for a service that CLEARLY said "Unlimited Data" for $30. I use FaceTime quite a bit,1 stream my baby monitor from hundreds of miles away, and sometimes just soak up youtube so yea, I'll easily go over 5GBs a month and trust me, hotel WiFi is horrific! I hate that they expect me to use it in place of a service that I pay for! So back to the story.

If I sell my Apple iPhone 5 64GB White to T-Mobile for $300 and they pay my ETF at $155, that's "$455" in my pocket. The only way they will "Unleash" you is if you trade in your phone, no exceptions. Then I have to buy a FULL priced mobile phone, desirably an iPhone 5s 64GB, for $799. That means, I still have to shell out $344 so that's not that bad of a deal right? That's actually incorrect. Let me explain. I'd be shelling out $499 for my new phone after the trade-in credit followed by a Mastercard Gift Card in the credit amount of $155 in approximately 8 weeks. So I'm out half a grand to "unleash."

tmobile unleash

If I can wait, and probably will, for just six more months, I can unlock my iPhone 5, sell it on the market for maybe $400 or more, then buy a full priced iPhone 6. So yes, I'm still out $399 but, here's where I could save. I could then bring it along with me to T-Mobile, and pay nothing leaving me with just the $70 Unlimited 4G Everything Plan plus a $10 SIM kit. When it comes down to it, I'll be out money obviously later in the year with me upgrading my phone but ideally, I'd rather T-Mobile just pay my ETF now and I bring my current iPhone 5 with me. That's what the deal should have been in the first place.

disclaimer: I signed a 2 year contract with AT&T for a subsidized iPhone 5 so ultimately, with the "Unleash" deal, you still end up paying full price for the device. I could save a bunch of money and purchase Google's Nexus 5 for $349 unlocked online instead but that's a whole other story of iOS vs. Android, etc. I'm not going to go there just yet.

And yes, it's pretty awesome that with the unlimited 4G Data you get an additional 2.5GB of tethering capability.

  1. I use FaceTime about 1-5 minutes almost every couple of hours for a total of 30-60 minutes a day. Sometimes, I'm on for 20 minutes in a row. 

Who Knew Touching Matters?

Final proof on responsiveness. This doesn't event include Apple newest iPhone 5s loaded with the new A7 processor.

In its first TouchMarks benchmark test, the iPhone 5 responded to touches at an average time of 55 milliseconds, compared to 85 milliseconds for the iPhone 4. The closest Android device was the Samsung Galaxy S4 at 114 milliseconds.

via VentureBeat via Agawi Touchmarks

No Gimmicks on the New iPhone 5s

A fantastic overview on the both new iPhones. Andy Ihnatko also details the security concerns that some might have with the new biometric scanner.

iPhone 5s

Biometric authentication is a great idea. But it has to Just Plain Work, every damn time, or else it’ll be relegated to the Scrapheap of Good Intentions where most of the new software features on a Samsung phone wind up.

It was so easy that I was able to train it within just three minutes. And while I didn’t have all that much time to try to trick the sensor there in the demo room, it worked flawlessly on the finger that I’d trained and not at all on any of my other fingers. You can train it to recognize up to five digits.

Did I worry about handing over detailed scans of my finger to a phone that I didn’t own? Nope. The phone destroys all copies of the data it collects as soon as it’s read your finger … and your fingerprint data isn’t backed up to the cloud.

via Chicago Grid by Andy Ihnatko

Why I'm Selling my iPhone 5

When it comes down to having the best of the best, some people have asked me why it's worth it.  Bottom line... over the course of a year or two, I'm shelling out $1.5 a day or $0.07 an hour for something that I'm on ALL THE TIME!  Does that make it worth it... yes!  The fact of the matter is that I might end up paying another $400 once I sell my iPhone 5 64GB in White for AT&T, but as the number one tool in your pocket?  It's dumb to have a "free" iPhone 4S which is two years old and keep it for another two years.  Also, if the iPhone 5c is nothing more that a .1 update to the iPhone 5, it's not worth it.  The camera, and Touch ID alone along with the A7 64-bit processor, I'm expecting nothing but awesome with the new iPhone 5s. This also puts me in line with Brian Lam of The Wirecutter on the new iPhone 5s.  I asked him a while back on the iPhone 5 and he responded to me via twitter with good points.  He also recently wrote this on his website too.

I’m just saying you should upgrade because a few hundred bucks is not really a lot of money for something if you use it all the time, every day, and are already paying a hundred bucks and change a month in service fees over several years.

I'm going to find out what I can fetch for my iPhone 5.  Any offers?  Gazelle is up to $360 $340 buy I wonder if I could get $450 on Craigslist? It's still jailbroken too by the way running iOS 6.0.2.

update: Lifehacker also talks about future proofing for only $100.

Considering the price difference between the two models is only $100, your best bet if you have the cash is the iPhone 5s for future proofing, which is worth it considering since you'll have to sign a new two year contract to get the discounted pricing.


Hang in there Apple

The Galaxy S III shipped 18 million units worldwide in that three-month span from July to September, compared with 16.2 million for the iPhone 4S, according to research by Strategy Analytics. With the release of the iPhone 5, Apple retook the lead in the final months of 2012, selling an estimated 27 million. But the S III hung in there with another 15 million units sold.

So wait, while Samsung narrowly beat the already one year old iPhone 4S by 1.8 million phones sold, the S3 hangs in there falling 12 million phones behind?

It's not much competition really. Come March 14, I definitely think it'll be a different ball game but these Apple doom and gloom journalists have to stop baiting!

They also forgot to mention that the iPhone 4 was selling pretty well too. What ever happened to the Samsung Galaxy S2?

via CNN: Samsung Galaxy S IV coming March 14

It's No Sunday Phone

We love new phones but hide them in cases. We love nice cars but some of us are so infatuated with them that we only drive them to church (or on special occasions). Both are utilities that are made to be used and I could not agree more.

The iPhone, however, prefers not to play by these rules. Though exquisite in design, it was not born as art to be put on display. It belongs in our pockets. It is a tool. A utility. A gadget of gadgets.

The iPhone is here to work.

via Shawn Blanc

Letdown of an iPhone 5 Experience

After guiding a good friend through his iPhone 5 activation, I told him that it would make for a good story. Here is Manoj Osuri's first 48 hours with his iPhone 5. My initial iPhone 5 experience has been less than ideal, to say the least. It's not that I think it's a bad phone…it's actually pretty awesome, now that I've gotten it working. But it was the "getting it working" part that really tainted the experience.

So one of the things I love about iPhones (and my limited experience with Apple products in general) is how quick and easy it normally is to go from opening the box to enjoying the new device without skipping a beat. I pre-ordered phones for my wife and myself. When they arrived over a week earlier than we initially expected, it felt like Christmas came early.

We both turn our phones on, see that it prompts us to sync it with our iTunes, and run straight to our computers. My wife has an HP running Windows 7, and I have an early 2008 MacBook Pro. Within a couple of minutes, my wife has her phone up and running without any problems. I, on the other hand, get a message saying that my phone cannot sync to any iTunes lower than 10.7. I don't think this is more than just a minor annoyance, but when I try to install it, I find out it won't run on my operating system. I do realize that my OS is old (OS X 10.5... I have no idea what animal that corresponds to in Apple's feline nomenclature), but I kept up with all the available updates, and I don't think it's right that I would be forced to buy a new OS in order to use my phone. A big reason why I spent about 4 times as much money on a laptop 4 years ago was because I was put under the impression that my computer would not go obsolete in a few years. I assumed that paying for new operating systems every couple of years would not be involved in keeping my computer relevant. Luckily, since I'm pretty close to being computer illiterate, Elijah was able to help me get OS X 10.6 installed on my computer, but the process took up my entire afternoon and early evening. While all of that was happening, I had my old phone backing itself up on iCloud (which in hindsight is probably something I should have done before). It took nearly as long, but at least I was able to get my phone working that evening. And because the activation of my new phone had technically started, I had no usable phone the whole time.

After going through all of this, I definitely lost most of my excitement over my new iPhone. Getting this phone was not nearly as awesome of an experience as when I got the 3G or the 4. I guess it really left a bad taste in my mouth that, compared to my wife's setup process, I felt like having an Apple computer made things way harder on me than if I had had a PC. And to make things worse, my story still isn't over….

Now this part is definitely not a knock on Apple, but rather a terrible experience with AT&T. That night, my wife and I went to an AT&T store to combine our separate accounts into a family plan. As I expected, I had to change my number since she has a North Carolina number, and I have a Maryland number. Since NC is considered to be in same regional market as Georgia (we live in Atlanta) it made more sense for me to change my number to an Atlanta area code, and have her keep her old number. (Not to mention that she had to deal with enough hassles with changing her name after we got married, so it was my turn to take one for the team!) So after combining our accounts, I started texting my friends and family my new number. I realized something was wrong when every group-text failed to deliver. (Yes, I checked my settings to make sure it was enabled). So having to text all of my contacts my new number individually added to my annoyance with my new phone. The following day, when I left our condo (and our wifi) I saw that my phone would not connect to the internet. I could still call and text (as long as it wasn't a group text), but no internet. At first I thought it was another phone issue, but after investigating a bit further, I start to think that my data plan never got reactivated after getting the new number. That was confirmed when I called AT&T. The person who helped us at the AT&T store the night before somehow missed that step. But in a way, it was a blessing in disguise, because not only did she forget to reactivate my data plan, but she never actually set up our family plan. She just put both of our individual accounts on the same bill. I probably wouldn't have caught that for a while since I use auto-pay, and we would have ended up paying a lot more than we were supposed to. And I'm not 100% sure, but I wouldn't be surprised if having no active data plan was the reason why I couldn't send group-texts. So most of another afternoon was wasted setting up my new iPhone 5.

All that said, I am happy with my new phone... it's pretty awesome. And while I wasn't really expecting to be blown away by it, I did expect to at least have a fun and exciting experience when I got it. And thanks to all the issues I had, the "new iPhone experience" definitely wasn't fun or exciting.

Universal vs. iPhone / iPod Only

Where do you draw the line between supporting the iPhone / iPod Touch / iPad Universally in one app or creating two separate apps charging a little less for the "inferior" iPhone / iPod Touch only version? One way to alienate a crowd is to immediately update your universal version of the app for the iPhone 5 in releasing v1.07 but skipping out on the iPhone / iPod Touch "Micro" version.  Reviews have already tarnished the ratings of the "micro edition."

So, does the iPhone 5 suggest a different game when it comes to developers wanting to support it?  Straight from the developers website, apparently those that chose the "micro edition" are second class citizens.

With the Autumn Solstice fast approaching, there’s lots of big #sworcery news to share: As we’ve been known to do, the iPhone & iPad versions of the game are on sale for limited time. What’s more, the Universal iOS edition has been updated for the new iPhone 5 and is available to download now. The Micro edition update will follow in a few days.

iPhone 4S for One More Day


One of my best friends happens to be getting married today, September 22nd. That's iPhone 5 Day + 1. Fortunately for me, I was successful in completing a preorder via thus receiving both his and her iPhone 5(s) on the morning of the 21st. Incase you're wondering, I ordered a white 64gb for myself and a 32gb black for my wife both of us sticking to our "unlimited data" with AT&T.

For some reason, UPS had my order on two separate trucks. Mine came in first and hers eight minutes later. I chose to setup my wife's first because she deserves the best and I'm a little particular in the way I setup a new iPhone; I don't restore.

Where am i going with this? Ultimately I held off upgrading knowing that i5+1 would be a long day. I would awake at 0700, unplug and not charge until maybe 2200 if not later. That's at least 14 hours of usage. To help me with this day of festivities, I would need my trusted Mophie Juice pack.

Because the iPhone 5 uses a different connector, my $100 battery pack remains incompatible. Because of this reason alone, I chose to stick with my iPhone 4S for one more day.

p.s. The groom upgraded immediately after delivery and during the rehearsal dinner, he ran out of juice. He also neglected to bring the new plug to his hotel so this morning, the day of his wedding, he's stuck at 0%.

p.s.s. Don't get me wrong, I love Apple's new connector. It's so thin it even had a handle. I can't wait to see how Mophie makes their next battery pack.

*update* I mentioned that the groom has no charge on his iPhone 5. Now we have found out that it's not taking a charge at all. He's going to be phone less for today and his honeymoon. What's up Apple? Defect in the cable or phone? No time to figure it out. The wedding is in 45 mins.