Archive for November 20, 2012

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Nielsen on Windows 8

Jakob Nielsen:

One of the worst aspects of Windows 8 for power users is that the product’s very name has become a misnomer. “Windows” no longer supports multiple windows on the screen. Win8 does have an option to temporarily show a second area in a small part of the screen, but none of our test users were able to make this work. Also, the main UI restricts users to a single window, so the product ought to be renamed “Microsoft Window.”

Update (2012-12-02): Donald Norman:

Here is my prediction. The requirements of small screen, mobile devices are incompatible with those of large screen, fixed devices. All the computer companies are learning how to deal with this. It is not unusual for first attempts to have flaws. Microsoft, however, is famous for building flawed systems, but focusing upon them and improving them. By version 3, they get it right.

App Scams

Cabel Sasser:

1. Scammer makes an extremely simple iOS app and submits it to Apple.

2. Once it’s approved, they change the screenshots, description, and name — things you can edit at any time. Piggyback off a popular game!

It seems like demos/trials would be an easy solution to this problem. The same basic issue applies to legitimate apps. I’ve had people buy my apps from the Mac App Store and be unhappy because they did not include a feature that they thought would be in the app, but which wasn’t mentioned in the description.

Of course, this also happens, to an extent, for apps purchased directly from my Web site. But these are easier to deal with because I can quickly refund the purchase at no cost, whereas with the Mac App Store I have to direct the customer to Apple support, which has an official policy of not offering refunds.

Update (2013-01-09): Apple:

Beginning January 9, app screenshots will be locked in iTunes Connect once your app has been approved. New screenshots may be uploaded when you submit a binary for an update to an existing app or a new app.

It would be better if Apple could approve screenshot changes without requiring a new binary that may take weeks to review.

Using WebKit to Encode Unescaped URL Strings

Mike Abdullah:

Of course it would be nice to see Foundation provide its own proper IDN support.

More Overcast Than Cloudy

Justin Williams:

Apple has always been given a pass with the cloud stuff because they make such great hardware and the on-device software experience is top-notch. How nice it is to hold an iPhone in my hand is of little consequence to me if I can’t actually use it. As more stuff you care about makes its way into the cloud, Apple’s inability to reliably build a web service is becoming a bigger hindrance than my phone not working if I hold it the wrong way.

Tokens 1.0

Tokens looks like a great new app for generating and managing App Store promo codes—much easier than using the iTunes Connect Web site.

Hypercritical Ending

Dan Benjamin:

And as the year comes to a close, a bit of sad news: two of my good friends, John Siracusa and Marco Arment, are retiring their shows, which are coming to an end in December of 2012. Both of these shows, Hypercritical and Build and Analyze, started at about the same time, in early 2011 and late in 2010 respectively. Both Marco and John told me independently at the outset that they had no idea how long they might want to do a show for. But I didn't care: I'm always happy to team up with guys as awesome as they are for a couple of hours each week and help create something as awesome as their shows have been. At their conclusion, each of these shows will have recorded over 100 amazing episodes, many of them over two hours long.

Thanks to John and Dan for so many great episodes of Hypercritical.

Relicensing VLC to LGPL

Jean-Baptiste Kempf:

This is a crazy task, because every developer keeps all its rights, and VideoLAN has little rights on VLC. This involves contacting a few hundred developers, some who were active only 10 years ago, some with bouncing mails, and people spread across continents, countries, languages, OS…

See also parts 2 and 3.