Lost In Mobile

Shaun McGill

07412 655899

Lost In Mobile is the continuation of PDA-247 which, under various names, provided news, reviews and commentary on the mobile world for 10 years.

I have been writing about the mobile industry, mobile products, apps and everything else in between and beyond for more than 10 years, and currently write freelance for Imagine Publishing and also undertake one-off projects upon request.

I welcome your comments and thoughts and if you want to get in touch, please do so via the email address or phone number above.

Thanks for stopping by.

Shaun McGill

How long should we expect mobile games and apps to be available for?

This sort of thing always gets my hackles up. If you pay for something, you should at least be able to access it forever unless otherwise explicitly stated at point of purchase. I am totally fine with them revoking access as long as it is transparent that games may one day be unavailable download. I guess that's what complex EULAs are for... More at Touch Arcade.

I mentioned this problem recently when I suffered it with PocketMoney. It would seem as though Apple needs to come up with a solution for this or at the very least some clarity about what to expect when you buy an app.

Are we really expected to save .ipa files in iTunes when the cloud is supposed to be the way forward?

Should we expect to be able to use a game or app forever when it only cost a few pennies?

No and yes. I don't view iTunes as the way forward for a number of reasons and no matter how much we spend, we should expect something to last as long as it can work on the OS version we are using.

State aid SA.38373 (2014/C) (ex 2014/NN) (ex 2014/CP) – Ireland

The Commission wishes to inform Ireland that, having examined the information supplied by your authorities on the measure referred to above, it has decided to initiate the procedure laid down in Article 108(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (“TFEU”).
1. PROCEDURE
(1) By letter of 12 June 2013, the Commission requested Ireland to provide information on the practice of tax rulings in Ireland. In particular, the Commission requested information on any rulings granted in favour of Apple Operations International, Apple Sales International (“ASI”) and Apple.

The full letter is here and may interest some of you.

Galaxy Note 4 screen gap 'a necessary manufacturing feature'

Samsung directly addresses this issue in its manual for the European Galaxy Note 4, which arrived on the company's support site in the past day. Tucked away on page 180 of the document, under the "Troubleshooting" section, is the following —
A small gap appears around the outside of the device case
This gap is a necessary manufacturing feature and some minor rocking or vibration of parts may occur.
Over time, friction between parts may cause this gap to expand slightly... More at Android Central.

Hold on, a gap that gets bigger is a feature?

The internet has changed everything – and nothing

Not, of course, that play really is all the internet has to offer. One can sit at home all day, gathering news of a world in crisis, then hotly debating whether there should be “boots on the ground in Iraq” or whether it is OK to bomb Syria without Syria’s permission. It is easy to feel involved in such debates. It is easy to feel like your opinion matters. It is easy to feel that, with your band of online conspirators, you are changing the world. Except that there is truth in the contemptuous word “clicktivism”. Once it was said that knowledge was power. Now that knowledge is there for anyone’s taking, it has become clear that only power is power, and that it is still acquired by humans in the way that humans have always acquired it – through violence... More at The Guardian.

An excellent article.

Phones 4U refusing iPhone 6 refunds. However...

It looks like funds for pre-orders for phones are not dealt with via “Trust accounting”. And if you end up as an unsecured creditor as far as PWC is concerned, you can kiss that money good-bye. And the email fiasco outlined in the article just “adds salt to the wound”. David.

As if High Street shops are not struggling enough, this kind of thing just adds to the negativity. Then again, the following from Carphone Warehouse is a very clever move-

"We understand Phones 4u customers have been told they won’t receive a refund on their iPhone 6 pre-orders. We don't think that's fair, so we are offering to reimburse Phones 4u customers for any money paid upfront when they buy their new iPhone 6 or 6 Plus from us. All they have to do is come into our stores with printed evidence of their pre-order.”

In defence of BlackBerry

This criticism is null and void. The app gap is negligible, and The Verge is hardly the last bastion on impartiality. I can accept that for someone who is desperate for the official Starbucks or Instagram apps then they will have to jump through hoops, but the critique is more in keeping with amazon's failings that BlackBerry. The unfortunate thing for both BlackBerry and Windows Mobile is that they are fighting an uphill struggle and always will do. They have little parity in the market which does BlackBerry's devices a disservice. 
What you will not find in these reviews is reference to the alternatives that the loyal Dev community have come up with. I converted from Android to BlackBerry and have not regretted it. Aside from a few quirks here and there, there is nothing that my Z30 does not let me do. From my perspective there is no app gap. John.

Always good to read a view that is different from the majority.

One man

The similarities don’t end with the apologies Apple offered to disgruntled customers. The same person at Apple was in charge of catching problems before both products were released. Josh Williams, the mid-level manager overseeing quality assurance for Apple’s iOS mobile-software group, was also in charge of quality control for maps, according to people familiar with Apple’s management structure.
Williams was removed from the maps team after the software gave users unreliable directions and mislabeled landmarks, though he remained in charge of testing for iOS, said one person, who asked not to be identified since the information isn’t public...

I can't even be bothered to link to the above piece by Bloomberg. Trashy does not cover it.

Is Apple being stretched too far?

It makes you wonder about the internal pressures they're applying, maybe too much resource for the watch, but still pressure to get the release with the phones. Kirk.

Kirk's comment above was in response to the recent iOS 8.0.1 update which didn't exactly go well.

The image above shows just how important the iPhone is to Apple, one of the world's richest companies. It is by far the most important product in the offerings of the most talked about company in the world and the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are the flagship devices designed to keep the momentum going and the profits growing.

So when Apple released iOS 8.0.1 and we found out that it stopped the phones being able to make phone calls, we should probably have more concerns than just the inconvenience of a poorly designed piece of software.

Did Apple even want to release bigger phones? The company has always stated that phones need to be practical and that the 5s size was ideal so why the change? Presumably the sales figures of other large phones told them something, especially in the Far East, and so the course was changed. For the first time in recent years we could say that Apple followed the competition.

All of this goes against Apple's natural pace and the requirement to change strategy appears to have come as a shock to the company. I cannot possibly know any of this for sure, but seriously. How on earth can a company release an update to the software running on its two most important products and leave a bug in that stops phones from making phone calls, and of course takes out Touch ID for good measure? That is something you would expect of a 3 man startup, not one of the biggest companies in the world.

It isn't without precedent, Maps and MobileMe come to mind, but it is the most serious mess up in terms of how it affects people who need a product to work. Also, it is one that somehow sneaked through what should be a rigorous testing process.

Don't get me wrong. It is likely just a blip, but it is a worrying event that slightly dents my faith in the company to do things right the first time. I will no longer install any Apple update straight away and will let other feel the pain before I press the button, and that is a real shame.