Explaining the iOS and Android mobile browser usage disparity  

Jason Grigsby at Cloud Four:

So the question becomes not why do Android users not browse the web as much as iOS users do, but why don’t they browse the web on Wi-Fi connections?

I’ve got a theory. When people are out of the house, they use their phone to browse the web no matter what kind of phone they have. But when they get home, the Android users all put their phones away and start browsing the web on their computers. The iPhone users keep browsing the web at home on their iPhones.

via Daring Fireball

If the numbers were total megabytes consumed we could make a 3G vs 4G argument, but it’s total requests which seems less likely to be affected by connection speed.

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Light as Air

From 1999 through 2006 I carried a laptop on my back 5 days a week every week. These laptops were:

At the end of 2006, two major events occurred. I started a new job that no longer required me to truck a laptop back and forth between work and home, and I got a new laptop:

In case you were wondering, I’ve bolded the important bits.

This week I had jury duty, and thus the occasion to truck my new laptop around on my back all day for the first time. It’s simply incredible what kind of a difference 1.64 pounds can make. I’m not a small person, and I always scoffed at the notion that I would be happier carrying around a smaller and/or lighter laptop.

I can see now that I was a fool.

All of the laptops have been carried around almost exclusively by a Spire USA Zoom. It’s the best bag of any kind I have every owned (more on that another time), but more relevant to this post it removes any bag-related variables from my perception of weight.

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Ben Brooks Goes Hulu  

So Ben Brooks is scrapping the ads thing and moving his blog behind a pay wall. Not a “give me money or you can’t read my stuff” pay wall, but he’s delaying post availability by a week to readers who aren’t paying members.

I have no idea how this will work, but I’d bet it goes over really well. Big fans will likely pay a few dollars in support, and more casual readers may not even notice the posts are a week old.

Why the change?

I couldn’t and shouldn’t be held to worry about advertiser’s feelings when my first (self-imposed) duty is to write with complete honesty.

It’s just like Apple and Google really. Consumers are Apple’s customers because they give money to Apple. Advertisers are Google’s customers because they give money to Google.

Ben has changed his customer base from advertisers to readers.

I call it the Hulu model because many shows on Hulu have moved to a week delay before availability.

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Ninjas are Awesome!  

Ninjas are awesome, so having “ninja” as a password must be awesome too, right?

Seems like at least 333 people out there agree with me…

via Daring Fireball

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Good Riddance Google Maps

I was in the vicinity of Ikea the other day, but couldn’t remember what street to turn on. Naturally, I fired up the Google maps app and punched in “ikea”.

This is what I saw:


WTF is Remcon and why is it 10 times as large as the Ikea pin?!

And this is exactly why I for one am happy that Apple will be ditching Google for maps in iOS 6.

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Mac OS X Sabre-Toothed Tiger  

Please please please please please please please let there be a version of OSX called Sabre-Toothed Tiger!

via Daring Fireball

Yes, I know it’s technically a sabre-toothed cat, not a saber-toothed tiger, but I grew up on saber-toothed tiger and it just sounds so much better.

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The Funniest Thing You’re Going to Read All Week  

Just click the link.

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On Linked Lists  

Stephen Hackett’s been thinking about Linked Lists, which he doesn’t happen to use at 512 Pixels. He even did a survey of his readers, and it turns out most of them like Linked Lists. It also turns out Stephen isn’t bowing to the majority:

At this point, I am not changing the way the site works.

Now I am using Linked List style posts here, but I have to admit that I have mixed feelings about them. As a reader, I like them. It’s a clear differentiation between two different styles of post. As a writer though, I find them frustrating at times. The thing is, it’s not always easy to know when your post is a post and when your post is a link. Sure there are the extremes – one word comment linked list posts and lengthy essays that spring to your mind out of thin air – but there’s a whole lot of writing that falls somewhere in between.

Take this post for example. Is this a link because it was inspired by Stephen Hackett’s post? Or is it my own post because I’ve crossed some arbitrary threshold of word count or personal contribution.

And even worse, what if I’m writing what is essentially a short commentary, but about posts at two different sites? The Linked List format only accepts a single primary link. Sure, you can link to others in the body of the post, but that implies some kind of ranking that may not be desirable.

As a writer I despise using subject categories for blog posts because I spend so much time trying to figure out what the correct subject (or subjects) for a post may me. It’s liberating to simply write a post without worrying about the category, and I think it would be similarly liberating to be able to ignore the Link/Post distinction, which is really just another kind of category.

Update: Ben Brooks shares some of my frustration with trying to decide if something is a link or a post:

The problem I face is when I write a post like this that is somewhere between a linked list post and an article post.

He’s not concerned about categorization, but rather about how to give proper attribution when using the different formats. Still, it’s another example of how forcing something into arbitrary categories has its limitations.

Yep, this is a Linked List style post. I have no idea if that was the right decision or not.

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What’s In a Name?

A few months ago I “famously” (and incorrectly) predicted the then-next-now-4S iPhone would be called the iPhone 5. This was based on some assumptions about the iPhone nomenclature following a series of numbers of increasing value.

If the new iPad introduced today is any indication, those assumptions were wrong.

Not the iPad 3 or the iPad HD. The new iPad.

Stephen Hackett and Jonas Lekevicius (via Gruber) think the next iPhone is just going to be called the iPhone.

I can’t help but agree, and can’t believe this didn’t occur to me (or anybody else outside of Apple really) sooner.

Apple’s computer lines follow this nomenclature, so why not the iPhone/iPad? Sure there’s some confusion in trying to figure out if your MacBook Pro is the Early 2010 MacBook Pro or whatever, but it’s rarely a concern for most users. And frankly, it’s far preferable to the inevitable situation where we have an iPhone called the iPhone 9 in a few more years. Besides, if Apple sticks to its 1 iPhone a year schedule it will be an easy task to identify iPhone by date of introduction, at least until people confuse date of introduction and date of purchase. Maybe a clear inscription of the date on the back?

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Classy and Professional  

From an Inkscape tutorial at VerySimpleDesigns.com:

Make the font Arial>Italic via the ‘tool control bar’ as indicated specifically by the image, this is a nice simple choice that looks classy and professional. It is also the preferred font for buttons of a similar nature.

This description of Arial amused me greatly. I’m not especially bothered by Arial, but it’s the kind of statement that might make Gruber’s head explode.

I think it’s also the kind of thing that exemplifies the iOS/Android divide. The people who get worked up about the lack of attention to detail in Android are the same ones that get worked up over Helvetica vs. Arial. This isn’t a case of right vs. wrong, it’s simply a case of what one appreciates.

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