Biased view on iOS vs. Android

Totally biased, totally subjective: still prefer and stay with iOS, but envy some of the looks and technical features of S7 as a flagship Android device.

To be more specific: I think that iOS (despite of the recent blunder with links in Safari after 9.3 update) is still so much better polished and a lot more consistent in terms of user experience device than any of the Android devices I have used in the past couple of years.

I carried Yota Phone 2 as my secondary phone for more than a year (until it seemingly broke down). I now have Moto X Force as a backup/trial/see what’s out there. Yoga was a very novel and unusual device, fun to carry around with an easy to glance e-ink back screen. It was thicker and heavier than my main iPhone 6 and lagged in features and specs behind many of its brothers.

Still, at least I was getting Android OS updates much faster than with HTC, Samsung or Sony!

X Force is a different animal, huge and totally awkward to use in one hand (nay impossible at times). One biggest disappointment for me considering the size of the phone is that I am not really getting more information on that screen than I have with iPhone — and that seems to be the norm with Android… Giving users room with flat white-spaced design is great, but it makes for a lot of scrolling, or too much chrome over information fields and views…

S7, when I tried it at a shop a week or so ago, greets you with a gorgeous over-vibrant/over-saturated screen. But you also see that dpi on it is higher than on iOS device and picture is much crisper (even if you aren’t supposed to really see any pixels with your naked eye with such pixel densities!). That’s a bit of an envy. And they also learned their lesson from last year, making the back of the phone a bit less edgy. Still the screen flowing over the edge of the phone looks like impractical eye-candy feature to me and looking closer you can see that there are so many little imperfections that should have been dealt with, but were not…

I resisted the urge to upgrade to 6S, might be getting the SE as a replacement phone for my daughter… And am really waiting to see what iPhone 7 would be like. Somehow I’d love for it to stay as slim as 6/6S, but maybe somehow to become a little smaller?

On air travel

There is clearly no viable alternative in speed to air travel these days. Train, car, even speed boat can get you from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’, yes. And on some short distances, given existence of speed train, a plane may be merely equal to ground option. Yet in pretty much every other case it has no alternative.

It is because of this and because we are so hung up on how quickly time flies and we really cannot afford loosing it that we are willing to accept all the pain, misery and outright humiliation of traveling in a plane.

We are forced to get to the airport hours before departure, may easily be forced to spend unspecified amount of time waiting for a take-off clearance, end up spending hours in chairs that are barely comfortable with neighbors that may or may not share your hygiene preferences. We are not free to adjust micro climate of our travel, we cannot escape the smells of food being served, commotion of drinks being provided, lights being on when we want to sleep, queues to the rest rooms, noisy brats or kids throwing tantrums.

Shelling out triples and more for a rip-off called “business class” only gets you so less of annoyances above, mostly allowing for slightly more space, a little fewer jabs of elbows and more attention of attendants. Yet the reason you sometimes decide on paying up the extra is not because what you get is so much better, it is because alternative is so much worse. It is choosing and paying for a lesser evil.

This is clearly just a rant, I offer you no revolutionary alternative. I don’t suggest that we need to invest and actively use alternatives like speed trains, air ships, busses. I am merely an air traveller who just had close to enough…

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Цены на iPad 2

Как было уже сделано для оригинального iPad-а, вот сравнения стоимости устройств в разных странах.


Несколько замечаний:

1. К ценам США стоит добавить 5-9% налога с продаж.
2. Цены в европейских странах (включая Россию) несут в себе НДС порядка 15-18%.
3. Сингапур и Гон-Конг по-прежнему самые дешёвые места для покупки.

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Mac App Store impressions

Two major impressions so far:

  1. It is very slick, I am glad it is not a part of iTunes
    monster app. It is almost as easy as on iOS, with only one major
    difference: your purchases are for a device you buy it on, not for your
    Apple ID, like with iOS

    (UPD it is exactly as easy, although one does have to go through “Do you really want to buy this app (Y/N)? Oh, you already bought it, then we just download it…” dialog)

  2. They absolutely need to come up with a sensible way of getting
    exisiting apps that are going to be included into Mac App Store to
    register and be manageable/updatable via it. I hate having to buy an
    app I already have
    only to get a Mac App Store version.

To be fair, some of the companies are coming up with ways to make up
to current users: e.g. buy our app on Mac App Store at this lower price
and also get next major version update for free.” This is almost there,
but what if the next major release is like Duke Nukem Forver?

Oh, and why do all of thes apps falling onto my Dock, please?

Blogging from Emacs

Being out for 10 days at the start of January helps one to relax and
recharge. Adding a few more days before or after only makes it better
(although totally messes up one’s sense days of week).

So good it
is that one can even get a bit of time to experiment. Like try and
choose a better
Twittering client for the desktop
, or see if buying MarsEdit would
be worth it? Would not the kitchen sink of text
be able to handle the same task better?

Off we go to see what WebloggerMode
can do for us, which is what this post is about. And verdict is it’s
mostly fine, except for a few things:

  • Title of a post does not get set from the subject line of the
    compose buffer, though all hooks seem to be in place. Might be an API
  • I have not seen a wat to list all available entries (there is
    weblogger-fetch-entries command, but I have not seen anything like

Overall — MarsEdit is certainly a much more powerful tool for an
active blogger. But WebloggerMode can do just as well.

А вот и цены на iPhone 4

В продолжение моей записи о ценах на iPad, вот выборка цен и на iPhone 4 по разным странам и с учетом недавних анонсов от российских ОпСоСов…

Замечу, что медиана (ошибочно названная “Average”) заметно ниже того, что можно надеяться получить от Билайна или МТС.

UPD: Разумеется, цены в США с контрактом, т.е. за залоченный телефон.

Цены на iPad

Было немного свободного времени, нарисовал небольшой график для сравнения цен на iPad в разных странах:

Интересно отметить, что iPad в России стоит очень разумно (особенно делая скидку на 18% НДС, что объясняет более высокую цену в Европе в целом), чего не скажешь о его младшем (или-таки старшем?) брате — iPhone. Внимание вопрос: почему?

Как iPhone 3G с iOS 4.0 на 3.1.3 откатывать

Сразу скажу, процесс не мой, это, скорее перевод + личный опыт. Источник процесса — Funky Space Monkey
Итак, вам надоели тормоза и удивительная нестабильность вашего проверенного 3G под управлением iOS 4? Не всё потеряно, прошлое можно вернуть.

На Маке

На Маке процесс, на мой взгляд, проще и понятнее. Вам потребуются:

  1. Загрузите вышеуказанные пакеты, установите LibUSB.
  2. Подключите ваш iPhone к компьутеру через USB, затем начните процесс восстановления прошивки нажав кнопку Restore, одновременно удерживая Alt. Выберите прошивку 3.1.3 в диалоге, который будет вам представлен iTunes.
  3. Во время процесса восстановления вы получите сообщение об ошибке 1015. Это нормально, не паникуйте. Просто нажмите Ok и закройте iTunes.
  4. Откройте terminal и перетащите иконку iRecovery в него, и запустите его (нажмите ввод).
  5. iRecovery должен признать ваш iPhone и выдать вам кучу диагностической информации. Введите (или скопируйте) следующие команды:
  6. setenv auto-boot true # нажмите ввод
    saveenv # нажмите ввод
    fsboot # нажмите ввод
    exit # нажмите ввод
  7. Отсоедините ваш iPhone и выключите его нажав одновременно кнопки Home и Power. Как только он полностью выключился, вновь включите нажав Power. Подключитесь к iTunes и продолжайте восстановление.

Вот и все, но учтите, что ве не сможете восстановить резервные копии от iOS 4.0. Надеюсь, что у вас осталась резервная копия сделанная до обновления до 4.0? Если нет, то данные приложений вам, скорее всего, больше не видать…
Если вы регулярно делаете резервное копирование, то вы можете восстановить содержимое директории ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup/#######, предварительно удалив все резервные копии в iTunes (Preferences / Devices / Device Backups). Это следует сделать до того как вы перейдете к шагу #6 указанному выше.

На Окнах

Процесс аналогичен, из требуемого материала:

NB: Убедитесь, что на Windows 7 вы используете последнюю версию LibUSB.

What I am missing since I rolled back 4.0 on my iPhone 3G

There are a few things that I am missing since I rolled back from 4.0 to 3.1.3 iOS version on my iPhone 3G. In now apparent order of importance…

  1. Unified inbox was a great feature, much awaited and most obviously missed.
  2. Notes that sync over-the-air. It’s been a bit of a silly process to sync them via iTunes and to see them in  On the other hand, I’ve also moved onto Notebooks app since, may be less relevant now.
  3. “Books” section in iTunes now shows only audiobooks. This one I discovered by accident, but with iOS 4 installed on the iPhone e-book readers like Stanza appear in this section and you can manage what E-pub books that are added to iTune library should sync to it.
  4. Folders. That was a great feature, sorry to see it go (even if temporarily).

There’re also a few things that I don’t particularly miss:

  1. Spell checker: yeah, it was nice, but you could not add to its word dictionary.
  2. Glassy look of the dock: it did not add much value
  3. Photos app got a bit too complicated, was really asking for “More…” button in iTunes app fashion.

Am waiting for 4.1 to be released to see if that will allow me to use 3G more reliably and get the above back.

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