End of Year 2010

Some things change, some stay the very same.  Like last year this time, I’m using Twitter more than blogging to share publicly.  I’ve done a lot of sharing to my semi-private friends on Facebook.  I’m am still pumped about RFID and NFC on the iPhone.  I still think about how mobile will change our lives. I still listen to, talk about and share music I like.

I turned 30 and jumped off a tall bridge to celebrate. I moved to Seattle, and continue to work on the most exciting technology ever created for people like me.

I had people enter and exit my life over the year. At times life was dramatic. There were many special days both happy and sad. I’ve never captured or shared more of my existence.  More than anything I had some big, quiet supporters this year.

Goodbye 2010, thank you for all of the memories.

Fix: Changing Google Account Password Causes iPhone Email to Not Work

Just encountered this when I changed my Google Account password: my iPhone 4 stopped sending and recieving mail from that account even after I updated the password in Settings -> Accounts.  The iPhone pops a message saying the password is incorrect.  When you try to leave, iPhone tells you that you may not be able to send and recieve mail as a result.

For security purposes, Google occasionally requires you to re-enter your normal password when using their various web services.  When you change your password, you may need to pass a captcha test to re-enable IMAP on your gmail.  Props go to MadebyMark for the link.

Google has a pretty unassuming unlock page here you must visit with using the browser on the mobile device you’re unlocking.   Pass the password and captcha test and your iPhone should be able to get google mail again.  Google did not notify me that I might need to pass a captcha test after updating my account password. How was I supposed to know that updating a password might disable gmail IMAP support?  The answer is buried in a Google support forum.

UPDATE: If you are using the native mail application on the iPad, you will have to do the same device unlock you performed on your iPhone.  I’m interested in any information that better explains how Google authorizes the use of mobile devices.  Please @jetsetter or post in the comments if you have further observations.

iTunes App Store Hacks Result of Apple ID Password Policy

The subject matter of my previous blog post is now front page news, and Apple has now responded.  Time for a  follow-up with some additional thoughts.  This entry questions the Password Policy for Apple ID and asks whether it may be responsible for past and future attempts to manipulate app ranking in the App store.

A Note on Media Alignment

It is worth noting that we’re beginning to see more media outlets align with or against Apple.  From my frequent review of popular mobile news coverage, it has become clear that Gizmodo and PC World do their best to highlight gaffes and problems in the iTunes ecosystem or just about iAnything.  Meanwhile a blog like MacRumors seeks to downplay news that might be viewed as concerning or add to the distress from iphone4antennaegate. (I just made that up).

While the title of these publications alone should serve as a strong indicator, keeping track is important.   The Clintons are well known for keeping their loyalty lists in order and it is entirely reasonable to assume Apple is doing the same.   Continue reading iTunes App Store Hacks Result of Apple ID Password Policy

Course Files for Stanford CS 193P iPhone / iOS App Development Winter 2010

Stanford was kind enough to release all of its CS 193P iPhone / iOS Application Development course under Creative Commons.  The lecture videos [iTunes link] are available for free download through iTunes U.

When I went in search for the course files, I found them all individually linked on the course downloads page.  Since I don’t want to have to return to this page, I used a Firefox plugin to download all of the files and then organized them into folders. The result is one single archive for you to download.

Download – Stanford CS193P.zip – 81.3 MB

Most people are going to get an error when building projects from this set: “error: There is no SDK with the name or path…” Gonzalo Gasca posted a four step solution to this:

1. From the Projects menu in XCode, choose “Edit Project Settings”
2. Click on the “General” tab. Near the bottom of the inspector window, you should see the path to the non-existant SDK that’s troubling you.
3. Change the selection for “Cross-Develop Using Target SDK:” to another listed SDK instead of “Other” as it probably currently reads.
4. Click Build, and away you go!

It is nothing short of amazing that this level of educational material is available for free.  I came across the Stanford course after Windows Phone 7 evangelist Paul Thurrott pointed out that Microsoft has a lot of catching up to do in the realm of developer documentation and free training products.  He’s right.

Selling an iPhone 3GS to get a new iPhone 4 in the United States

People are often surprised to hear that their old iPhone will make their upgrade free or even pay them.  There are a few tricks to helping improve your chances of making money each time Apple releases a new iPhone.  I thought I’d describe how the process works and my recent experience.

There are a number of tricks to upgrading an iPhone in the United States.  Most revolve around the fact that AT&T subsidizes the cost of new iPhones.  So your old iPhone may be worth as much or more than the cost of a new iPhone if you’re up for a two year renewal.

I’ve been lucky to have every model of iPhone break on me at least one time (except the 4 which hasn’t failed yet) and have every phone replaced by Apple.  My iPhone 3G broke twice.  The first was my now well-indexed bit on the white screen of death.  In the second phone, the sleep switch stopped working (a common problem with early iPhone 3G).  Technically, I’m on my fourth iPhone in just over two years.

Continue reading Selling an iPhone 3GS to get a new iPhone 4 in the United States

Two Photos of Me.

Here are two shopped photos of me from my trip to a family gathering on our farm in Eastern Oregon.  My Uncle Kip owns all 200 acres of the beautiful and isolated Sequence Gulch Ranch. I have some great viswo footage of a trip out to the dock in the middle of the pond, which I plan to stich together using the iPhone 4, iMovie app later this week.

Rock Show, an App for the Apple iPad

My software company, Neutrinos, has been hard at work on an application for the Apple iPad called Rock Show.  Rock Show is an interactive art gallery for concert posters that lets you view, share and buy original limited edition artwork.

We’re very excited about the potential of the iPad and hope that this application does the device justice enough to be included in the launch of the grand opening of the  iPad App Store.

For more information about Rock Show, visit the official website, RockShow.fm. You can enter your email address to be notified of availability. Be sure to follow the app on Twitter @r0ckshow.  (The first o is a zero)

3 Underutilized Technologies You Should Adopt Today

There are common technologies and services in existence today that continue to be rebuffed by far more people than they should.  This group of people probably have and use Facebook, own or regularly use an iPod and can send and receive email attachments with ease.  These are ‘normal’ people who would typically be considered to be reasonably tech-savvy and in the early to middle of the road adopters group.

I’m going to list reasons these are not adopted, reasons they should be and a score for how hard it would be to adopt it where 1 is super easy, and 10 is hard. Here are three that I’ve identified and feel strongly about today:

Continue reading 3 Underutilized Technologies You Should Adopt Today

Protecting the Cash Cow: Why the iPad Does Not Have Multitasking Ability

Why Apple does not allow multitasking on the iPadThe internet is abuzz with what the iPad is missing, but for each statement there is a very specific and reasoned answer.  I’ve been happy to see Daring Fireball give background on the reason Flash is not and should never be built into Apple’s Touch platform.  With that properly explained, let’s look at why the iPad does not allow multi-tasking of applications.

Apple enthusiasts are often quick to point out that the iPhone would run out of batteries too quickly or the processor would not be strong enough to support snappy use of multiple applications.  This proves true in testing a jailbroken iPhone.  But the iPad Apple tablet does not get the same defense.  The carefully touted A4 chip should have no problem running a sophisticated 3rd party application and the native mail client at the same time.

This is big trouble as more complex games for the device are introduced.  For example Grand Theft Auto, The China Town Wars, is a complex 3D game recently released for the iPhone and iPod Touch. GTA: CTW has the potential to lose mission progress by dropping you back to your apartment every time the game is left unexpectedly.  While this clearly negatively affects the gamer experience, imagine how frequent push notifications begging gamers to leave for just a moment will affect more persistent, longer-session games like World of Warcraft.

The A4 is pretty tough chip and conceivably should have the ability to safely run multiple iPhone and iPod Touch applications, if not the more weighty future iPad-specfic titles.  So why isn’t multitasking being allowed?

Apple does not want people to use streaming music services like Pandora and Last.fm until it is ready with its own cloud-based, Genius-powered streaming music recommendation engine a seamless listening experience through the iPod application and iTunes.

Currently, the only ways to play back audio while running another application (crippled multitasking) are:

  • Using the iPod application
  • Downloading an mp3 or other audio attachment from an email and hitting play. (Plays back from within the mail application)
  • Downloading an mp3 or other audio from the web. (Safari plays it back)

Similarly, the only way to playback streaming audio is using the Last.fm application, the Pandora application or a few other apps that use a recommendation engine to create lists of songs you do not own and stream them to you.  If Apple were to allow you to playback Pandora today on the iPad and work with the iLife suite to author documents they will be training you not to use iTunes!

“But they can’t get away with that!” That’s right, they can’t.  That’s why Apple will introduce its cloud-based iTunes offering either before or in tandem with the release of the next generation iPhone this coming around June. Using the brains acquired in the purchase of Lala, Apple will be introducing a mixed-mode local and cloudbased listening experience where any iTunes music collection can be played back in part on the locally stored disk or streamed from the cloud using an iPad.

Apple will use Genius to identify and stream audio to iPad users in its own competitive play against Pandora and Last.fm.  Once a strong streaming, Genius-powered solution is available to iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad users future devices will be able to multi-task all applications, including the most threatening, streaming audio services.

Jobs made it a point to illustrate Apple has 125 million credit cards on file through iTunes.  Every streaming audio selection that is in turn bought by the user can be facilitated using that payment information.  Not the case with Pandora or Last.fm!  Denying these applications the ability to gain traction gives the iTunes ecosystem time to evolve to include their services.  This will make the future allowance of multitasking apps delivering this music less impactful in pulling users away from greatest cash cow in software’s history: iTunes.