Yep. I know first hand now, that’s just plain weird 🤦🏽‍♂️

Gruber says, and many have observed the same.

The iPhone 13 Mini has longer battery life than last year’s regular iPhone 12. That’s a game-changer for those who want the Mini size.

Yep, it makes the mini iPhone a lot more appealing.

I joined Literal yesterday — I am @amit there. I also have three invites to share. So, if you are tired of Goodreads or just want a new service to play with, please use the share link.

I love the 120-Hz display. Because I can then read the text while scrolling.

A comment from one of the iPhone 13 reviews. Sigh, levels we will go to justify the trivial upgrades in gadgets.

Austin Mann’s reviews of iPhone cameras are absolutely brilliant each year. And this year’s one for iPhone 13 Pro is no different. All shots are gorgeous. Even the video shot completely on iPhone is stunning. These devices are smartphones, no longer. These are “smartcameras”.

I believe I don’t know how to use a browser. There are just so many features in every browser that make no sense to me. And the list keeps getting growing. Tab pinning. Tab Groups. Tab Management. Reading Lists. Password Managers. Reading Lists. I use none.

Apple and other companies need to stop delivering these pre-recorded overproduced keynotes. Without live demos and hands-on reports, they are no longer mediums to introduce their gadgets. They simply are extended advertisements, or short films featuring devices in lead roles and executives in supporting roles.

The Atlantic is right, the Internet isn’t dead. It is just crowded with more people who aren’t living — literally and metaphorically. There are still people active on the Internet, they will keep it thriving. Let the non-living bots crowd the space, take over the corners that have been deserted. The folks with life will keep the oasis of the Internet busy, colourful.

Why’s there a fascination among the devs to reinvent the old tech that isn’t broken? Maybe the reason that the tech has stayed the same isn’t because no one attempted to change it. Can you fathom the possibility that the tech might be fine, as it is, to most common folks? Or perhaps it might not be one of those things that most give a hoot about? Yeah?

The two prime examples I see many developers take a go at are browsers and email. Please, both work fine as they are. Don’t try to reinvent them. They have reached a state in which they are open and standard enough already. Most people know the functionality they can expect while using it.

Stop reinventing it. Improve it, no doubt. Make it faster, simpler. Cleaner. But don’t change the definition of what that tech represents. Don’t mar the traits that make the tech great in the first place, universal accessibility.

Don’t attach a lot of muck around the fundamentals of the accepted tech and call it “2.0”. I will suggest call it “1.0” of whatever the heck you want to name it.

Why’s there a sudden rise of alternatives for GoodReads being launched? And curiously, most are open sourced. What is the problem with the existing service — of course, besides the fact that it stays neglected by Amazon?

Why do I need to set the skin tone modifiers for every emoji separately? That does not sound right. Did no one think that I would have the same skin tone irrespective of the emotion I want to convey?

The tension is simple: If a platform is carefully vetted and well-curated, it meets expectations and creates trust. If it’s too locked down and calcifies, it slows progress and fades away.

Seth Godin talking about how open platforms are always in risk of becoming spammy and losing the trust of the users. I entirely agree — it’s a path that most platforms, open and closed, follow.

They enjoy the carefree attention from the excited early adopters who associate with the core values of the platform creators. But as the platform grows, it attracts users which would neither share the excitement nor the patience of the early adopters. They get noisy — they want to use the platform like their old one they are comfortable with. They need features that they are used to, not what the platform provides.

So, eventually, the tension that Seth refers to above gains prominence.

Now that I think about it, the overall messaging space is a mess and personally it’s a frustrating issue for me. We are so close, yet so far. Here’s what I want.

  1. A service for messaging folks, share text and images
  2. A service for voice/video calls
  3. A service that does both 1 and 2 with apps across platforms - mainly iOS, Android and Web

This will allow me to not worry about device on which I am using it.

iMessage and FaceTime combination is brilliant, but Apple continues to see them as differentiators for its ecosystem. I don’t blame them — but it hurts me. I interact with only a handful of people that own an Apple device.

Google, well, decides to live in a fantasy world where there can exist no perfect messaging app. They get close to finding that right solution and throw it all away.

I had hopes from Microsoft. But for some reason they seem not to be interested in consumer space. Skype is ugly, its too bloated and the experience is terrible. It is not easy for families to join from.

WhatsApp, amidst all the mess, remains the only solution that does the required to any extend. It’s a terrible experience, but at least it works.

Google’s inability to decide the story of its messaging apps is laughable. Sure, there’s some dev in there who looks at the old screenshot of Google Talk and says, “we should have never stopped working on this.”

That app has a special place in my mind. Just like Google Reader.

I am wary of using any Apple services as my default - they make it very difficult to use them outside of their ecosystem. I do not use only Apple devices. There was a time when I did. And then things slowly changed.

I use Windows at work. I use Android and iOS. I use iPad. Apple services rarely work well across all the platforms. Just access then on web is not an answer am comfortable with.

So as much as I dislike it, I am slowly using more and more services from Google and Microsoft. Surprisingly, Microsoft does well to fill the void between Android and iOS platforms with apps that work well on both platforms backed by Microsoft services.

I find it crazy that neither Google nor Apple are keen to address this key problem.

The publication portals and channels around tech news are too noisy. They make exclusives out of trivial bites. Plus, the updates to the tech that they boast about are incremental, more often than not. It is crazy yet how many such portals and channels exists today. Just open YouTube or any feed and search for a mobile brand. It is an endless list of attention hungry wannabes.

It is so unfortunate that the genuine and worthy thoughts and updates are lost in this noise.

OnePlus completely messed up my upgrade plans with its product launches this year.

I have been pleased with my OnePlus 7, it has worked brilliantly for the past two years. For that matter, the phone continues to work well for me. It hasn’t slowed down. Battery still lasts me throughout the day. I just wish for better cameras now.

I had made my mind that my next phone was going to be the pro variant of next OnePlus. But somehow the company has managed to screw up its most valuable brand.

First, they priced the devices far too high this year. In itself, it’s OK if you can match the offerings of the other flagship brands - mainly Apple and Samsung - beyond the device. OnePlus still has some work to do to reach that state.

Then, after unnecessary hype, they launched a product which has been marred by coverage that they could very well have avoided. They mindlessly under-spec’d the non-pro variant of the device. The pro variant is facing the outcome of overpromising and then deliver just on expected lines.

I could still decide to ignore the negative coverage and go ahead with the Pro variant. The reviews haven’t been too bad, and I know what I can expect from a OnePlus device now. But I wish the company did not make the decision so difficult for me. I had just started warming up to the Android platform and its benefits.

It was a couple of years ago when I had ranted about how the alternatives to the popular social networks are not seriously considered. A discussion something on these lines.

What all alternatives have you tried? Were there none that were good? If so, why? What is missing? How can they be made better? What is it that you are looking for in a social network?

It’s so frustrating to see the state hardly change. A call to tell the makers of the service why you cannot use their service is rarely answered. Sure, new social networks are launched, but they have the same underlying problems. They create unnecessary flutter and eventually die down. Why not create buzz for something that’s not aiming simply for the acquisition?

Why is it that it's only the Mac, iPhone, or iPad apps that work well with the Indieweb principles? Say, for example, integrating well through a micropub endpoint? Are all Indieweb app developers in the Apple ecosystem?

Sometimes I get afraid of tapping that YouTube app. It just drains too much of my time - even with all my efforts to make the service a lot less addictive. I fear this service even more than any social media app out there. I know I will start with something interesting, but will eventually start watching the same old videos that I've already seen.

It is easier to stop myself going in than to convince myself to come out. Inertia much?