Tag Archives: Apple

Smartphones Are Changing How People See The Internet

Reading this latest article about the future of the mobile web, Smartphones: The silent killer of the Web as you know it, I’m struck by the difference between how young people interact with the web, and how us old veterans do it.

Young people don’t use tablets because they don’t see them as necessary for accessing the internet, since their perception is that apps are what makes up the internet. They’ve grown up primarily using their phones, not using laptops with Web browsers. To this generation, it seems slow, purposeless even to go from website to website in a single, sub-par Web browser environment when they can get rich app experiences right from their home screen.

Of course, this sort of information intrigues me in two ways. One, is that part of the reasoning behind using apps instead of a web browser has to be because using a web browser on a phone sucks. Partially that is because sites don’t look good at all at that size even with a mobile theme like the WordPress option I use for this site. It’s better, but not great. Another reason it sucks is because we’ve become so good at redirecting people using phones to an app instead of the website. I can’t tell you how frustrating it is to click a link in a blog post on my phone to a news story, and have that site take me to the iTunes store to download their app, or redirect me to the mobile home page of their site instead of the link I wanted to read. It degrades the experience of using my phone to browse the web, so it’s no wonder people are much more likely to use an app instead.

This leads me to the second reason this intrigues me. If it’s true that more and more of the internet “audience” is using mobile devices, and only accessing the web through apps, what’s a website owner to do? As an independent, and unpaid, site owner I can’t pay to have someone develop an app for me. I’ve looked at some of the free “create your own app” services, and frankly, between very limiting licensing and very limited features, they didn’t really provide much of a resource. Not to mention that you still have to pay to be an Apple developer or Google Play developer if you want your app to be available in either of those places.

So it would seem that the only way to get your content in front of this growing mobile audience who doesn’t use a web browser, is to get your content into the apps they do use. This is why I’ve been toying around with various social networks, trying to get my content, and the other content I want to share, in front of this audience. I’ve been using the more traditional routes, posting to Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus, but recently I’ve also started to dabble on Tumblr and Flipboard, which seem to be a bit more popular among that younger, smartphone-using, audience. Over at my child abuse blog, I’ve already added a Flipboard magazine, and a tumblr blog. Both are an effort to get that content in front of smartphone users, and hopefully to get them to likewise share it. Over the next few weeks, I suspect I will be doing similar types of things here and on my other sites.

The bottom line is that I have my website in order to share ideas and information with other people, whatever the topic might be. If they won’t come to the site, I should try and get that same information to them another way. Developing my own app isn’t really an option, but getting the content into the apps they already use, is.

The trick is being able to also interact with people in those apps as well so that you don’t appear to just be auto-posting to a social network and dropping out like some spammer, which takes some time and effort, but ultimately that is the goal of all this sharing isn’t it, to spark conversations? So what if they happen in Tumblr instead of in the comments.

As I develop other tools for this site and others, I will be sharing that information, so if you want to use those services to get the content I’m sharing on your smartphone, or know someone who does, they’ll be able to do that.

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This Week’s Links (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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Update Your iPod iPad and iPhone

For those of you who don’t pay attention to the tech blogs over the weekend, or ever, and use one of these Apple products, go check for a software update today. That’s right, today, as soon as possible. Or at least before you go connecting to public wifi or anything like that, ok?

Make sure you’ve got the latest iOS version..


If you want the details on is latest security flaw, you can get it here.

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This Week’s Links (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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This Week’s Links (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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Staying Away from iOS7 for now

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, or otherwise disconnected from social networks, you are probably aware that Apple released the latest version of it’s iOS. Of course, it does appear to have some cool features, but as the proud owner of older iDevices, I’m not going to be spending my day getting the update. In one case, my iPhone 3s, it’s not compatible, and in the other, my 2nd generation iPad, it’s compatible but I wonder about how well it will really work.

Of course, as you might expect, I’ve been thinking that it’s about time to replace that iPhone with something newer, but I really haven’t decided whether that is going to be an iPhone 5s, or an Android device. So I will be looking out for your comments on both iOS7 and the new iPhones in the coming weeks. I will also be looking for any feedback on how well iOS7 runs, or doesn’t run, on the iPad2.

If you’ve already gone out and updated to the new operating system, how is it working for you? What do you love about it? What do you hated?

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This Week’s Links (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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Trying to Develop New Habits

So, one of the cool things about traveling in 2013 is that a smartphone or an iPad make it really easy to stay in touch without having to pull out my overly large work laptop. (Seriously, it’s impossible for me to work on my laptop on an airplane, there simply isn’t enough space, and it’s more work than it’s worth much of the time in airports or even hotel rooms.)

That’s great, except for one thing. I really hate trying to type on any of these gadgets. Oh it’s easy enough for a quick text message, or short email, but longer emails to friends, coworkers, or blog posts are just difficult for me. So those things tend to get put off until I’m sitting in my office with my desk and a full keyboard to work with. One of the things I’ve since realized though, is that habit of putting those things off, has led to me not blogging nearly as much, and not keeping in touch the way I want to. I see something on my iPad that sparks an idea for a blog post, I put it off, telling myself I’ll write about it when I am next on my laptop, and then I forget what I was going to write about. Sound familiar?

In an effort to try and get out of this rut, I went out and picked up an Apple bluetooth keyboard to use with my iPad. At least this way, when I’m just using the iPad because it’s easier, if I want to write something more significant, I can pull out a small, lightweight keyboard instead of struggling with the native keyboard to iOS. I’ve already seen myself using it here and there when sitting around the house, and I used it in a hotel right after purchasing it. The big test may come this upcoming week, to see if I can pull it out at an airport, or even on an airplane, and actually get something done more than flipping through Flipboard and Facebook. We’ll see if that become my new normal.

Anyone else out there struggling with the ease of carrying around a tablet, with the difficulty of typing anything on them as much as I do? Any suggestions on how to deal with it?

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Timely Phishing

As many of you know, I am currently in Norway due to a work engagement. I arrived yesterday morning, after a day of traveling and an overnight flight. Obviously, as an iPhone and iPad user, I was making good use of free wi-fi when it was available in airports and at the hotel after my arrival.

Last night, I was also the recipient of an email that got past the Outlook.com spam and phishing filters, notifying me that my Apple ID, the ID I use with the iTunes store, the App store, etc. was being disabled because it was being accessed from a foreign IP address. There was then a link to click that would enable me to confirm my identify, using my credit card as stored in the iTunes store.

As it turns out, that was the first thing that made me suspicious, as I have never let Apple store my credit card info in the iTunes store. (I prefer to buy gift cards and redeem those instead of trusting them to hold on to my credit card info..)

But, other than that, the email was completely feasible. As I looked at it on a mobile device that doesn’t show the true link information, I couldn’t see where the link was really taking me, which was why I decided to ignore it until such a time as I could look at it on a PC. Had I been traveling without access to a PC, which would not be that uncommon, I might not have taken the time to catch that. Again, because here the email was telling me that someone from a foreign country was trying to access my iTunes account, on the very day I was using my iPad in a foreign country.

I don’t think this is a coincidence. I’ve not seen this email before. In fact, even when I check my spam, my Apple ID is not something that is commonly being phished for in email. I suspect that on one of those public wi-fi networks, someone was sniffing traffic for Apple ID’s and sending the phishing attempt based on what they would be able to capture, the ID itself. After all, it’s definitely targeted at people who are currently traveling.

Or maybe I’m more of a conspiracy theorist than I like to admit… ;-)

Have you ever been phished based on something you are actually doing right now?


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Why iOS Devices are Popular

I’ve probably seen that Samsung commercial a dozen times over the last few days. The one that makes a pretty good mockery of people waiting in line for the iPhone 5. The one that makes a really good point about all the things that still, STILL, aren’t available for iPhone users, that we could have on the Galaxy S3.

The commercial makes perfectly valid points, and yet Apple will still sell a bajillion iPhones over the next few weeks. Is it because it’s a better phone that the Galaxy or other Andriod devices? No, not really. Is it because people are just completely under Steve Jobs’ charismatic influence, even from the grave? Well, maybe. ;-)

Or is it because no matter the limitations of the iPhone, when I turn it on, everything just works. When I install an app, 90% of the time, it will just work, and it will do the one thing I want that app to do on my phone.

Let me tell you a story. Today, I spent more time than I care to admit trying to scan some documents. I have a multifunction device in my home office. It’s wireless. My laptop can print to it all day long without ever losing any connection to it. I could not, however, use it to scan. The scan function did not see any computer to save the file to on the wireless network. Likewise, my laptop could not connect to a scanner, yes the very same device that it could print to easily. I had to find a USB cable and connect it to my laptop and install it as a new device before I could scan the 5 pages I needed to scan. This is not how people want to work.

This would be the antithesis of an iPhone or iPad. When I open up one of those devices, I can immediately start doing what I want to do with it, and if I can’t, I take it to the Apple store and let them figure it out. So yeah, it has limitations, but users never have to spend as much time getting it to do what they want to do as they do with other devices. Thus, the appeal.

When technology gets in the way of us doing what we need to do, it loses favor, regardless of how much “better” that technology might be. Apple has been successful in the past because their technology didn’t get in the way. Let’s see if that holds true for the iPhone 5, or other new devices. If the Maps on iOS6 are any indication, they may be in for some rough days.

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