Ahmed Eltawil's Blog

Archive for the ‘iOS’ Category

Almost any Android app these days seem to use the commonly seen tabs at the top of the app that helps navigate the user to different sections of the app. It looks nice and organized but it does have a major flaw.

The tabs on any iPhone app on the other hand are displayed nicely at the bottom of the app. Some Android developers even started bringing that same look to their Android apps, but that does take away from Android’s uniqueness. So what’s wrong with using the standard Android tabs you say? It’s obviously the size of the tabs.

Those tabs take a massive portion of the screen if you take into consideration how small most of those Android screens are. You’ll definitely know what I am talking about if you’re using a 3.7″ touch screen Android smartphone like the Nexus One I am using. Utilizing those big tabs in portrait mode is wonderful and extremely functional. But as soon as you rotate the device and use the app in landscape mode you’ll start to experience the nightmare. The tabs take more than a third (and sometimes even half) of the screen leaving you just barely enough screen height under the tabs to scroll through the listed items. That, in my opinion, is a design flaw.

On the iPhone, the section or navigation bar is taking up a small space on the app’s screen and it’s tucked neatly at the bottom of the app, sometimes you don’t even notice it’s there. I’d like Android to take a similar approach and start releasing controls in the SDK that doesn’t take up much screen real state. And while they’re at it, maybe add some polish to the most commonly used controls. Would love to see Android becomming a lot more aesthetically pleasing.

According to CNET, “Mozilla has thrown its support behind the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s push to have the U.S. Copyright Office allow iPhone jailbreaking.” I have previously owned an iPhone for quite a while and had to give it up mainly because it just doesn’t fit my lifestyle as well as for the fact that it’s just, simply put, beautiful yet dumb. But I can totally understand when a company goes the extra mile to protect its product from third-party software or generally from sources other than its own. Why? Because Apple is all about looks and quality (notice how functionality isn’t mentioned).

The iPhone’s success comes from its impressive interface and user friendly navigation and Apple doesn’t want anything interfering with it. And I say it deserves the right to do so. Don’t get me wrong, I am not an Apple fan or any of its products (fyi I hate iPods with all my heart, another reason why I gave up my iPhone), but when a company has a successful product such as the iPhone they should go to any extent to protect it from other sources. Nothing is wrong in making sure that all applications that run on Apple iPhones should go through Apple first to ensure its integrity (no matter how useless and pathetic the apps are).

Apple just doesn’t want to follow the same route that most mobile operating systems follow: Install at your own risk. And I think there is nothing wrong with that…as well as (in Apple’s case) making ginormous profit off the app developers.

 

Windows Live Tags: Apple, iPhone, Mozilla, Jailbreaking

 

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Upgrading my unlocked and jailbroken first generation iPhone from the 1.1.4 to 2.0.1 firmware wasn’t simple but I managed to get it done thanks to all the videos and blog post tutorials out there. But unfortunately I am not so happy with the upgrade. The firmware feels like it’s still in a beta state. 

Applications take a lot longer to launch, tapping on the keyboard lags sometimes, and Safari seems to crash a lot more often. It is certainly obvious that the 1.1.4 firmware is faster and a lot more stable. I am not saying that I keep facing those issues on a daily basis (although it’s true for some) but the difference between both firmwares is hard to not notice immediately.

Apple should have waited another month or so to fix all the bugs that most iPhone 3G owners are now experiencing before rushing it out prematurely to stores. I am certainly not the only iPhone user running 2.0.1 who is experiencing these issues. A quick search on Google will prove there are thousands more with similar and possibly more problems with the 2.0 firmware in general.

Nope. I don’t care. Not even one bit. So why the hell am I blogging about it? Well, cause I have nothing else to talk about.

His Steveness is suppose to be announcing a new 3G iPhone during his keynote tomorrow. Whether he actually does it or not isn’t changing the fact that it’s coming from Apple. In other words, owning such a device will confine the owner with all of Apple’s crappy restrictions and limitations. Even more, and I say this out of experience, you will totally feel owned by Apple.

On the other hand, I have to admit that I am excited to see what’s new in iPhone 2.0 and if Apple listened to all its iPhone customers’ suggestions and feedback on improvements and requests for additional features and functionality.

You never know, people might actually be able to copy and paste on the new iPhone. But I wouldn’t get my hopes up.

Yup, it’s time to let go the blonde. It has been one heck of an experience, but not everything has good endings. The iPhone is pretty, smooth, revolutionary, and is a key product for Apple. But I just couldn’t get over the fact that it is restricted and imprisoned by dozens of rules and formats forced by Apple. As I said in my previous blog, sometimes I don’t feel like I own an iPhone, instead I feel like Apple owns me.
 
I found myself buying a lot from iTunes just to avoid all the pain and hassle of converting my videos and music collections so that it could sync with iTunes (which I believe is a major concern and Apple should be sued for it). Plus, I couldn’t log on MSN since there isn’t a client application out there yet (instead I had to use the battery draining meebo web application and others alike. I couldn’t send emails from my Windows Live Mail account using iPhone’s native Mail client (I managed to only receive them). And I couldn’t sync my contacts or calendar with my Windows Live Mail contacts and calendar, respectively.
 
And guess what? I can do all that (and more) with my Nokia E61 (except syncing calendar events).
 
 
The only thing I will miss the most is the web browsing experience. Nothing on the market so far comes close to the iPhone’s web browser. On the other hand, I know that Microsoft is working on a new Pocket Internet Explorer that should be generations better than the current one shipped with every Windows Mobile device. Also Opera has a new browser (Opera Mobile 9 in the works) which can be considered a potential competitor to the iPhone’s Safari browser.
 
Nevertheless, this is a unique device with a tremendous amount of potential (iPhone 2.0 is soon to be released with new features) but comes short when it comes to features and usability for power users.  (at least in my opinion).

@AhmedEltawil

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