A little awkward moment

6360_Google-SkyMap-logoI had a bitch of a day yesterday, which included trashing my HTC Desire after uninstalling the new Launcher Pro.

So I had thrill of reinstalling all my apps, and thank fuck I had an AppBrain account, it made the whole job a lot easier, so once I did all that I went out at 11:30pm ish to have my final cigarette and it was a lovely clear sky, lots of bright objects and as a little bit of a astronomy buff, I wanted to know what they were.

So I got my phone and fired up Google Sky Map and was looking around. I do love that app, absolutely fantastic and I’m the envy of the crApple iBone users in the office with it.

So there I was, merrily looking at Vega, the north star and looking for the planets when I catch out of the corner of my neighbour, who also was having a final cigarette.

I normally get weird looks from him at the best of times, so trying to explain to him that I’m not filming people at close to midnight, but trying to work out the stars was some task.

HTC finally announces Froyo for the HTC Desire

As an HTC Desire owner, I’m a little frustrated at not being in with the Froyo in-crowd at the moment, and I’m guessing the main reason for HTC not releasing it just yet is because of the crap Sense UI they have on top of Android.

I understand they need to maybe update the widgets and add new features, but it begs the question, was HTC involved in the beta testing and development of Froyo?

I work in I.T and we test beta versions of Microsoft server, workstation and office software to make sure it’s compatible with our systems and rewrite parts of the system before it’s released across the company. The same goes for the web site when betas of PHP and MySQL are released.

So is the final version of Froyo relased by Google this week a complete surprise to HTC?  If not, where has the beta testing and development been to prepare all their phones for immediate release, I mean this is so hyped and only leads to disappointed customers.

We’ve heard today from them that Android 2.2 will be release for the Desire by the end of the third quarter of 2010. I still find that incredible as a programmer that it takes five-six months to work to alter, if there is any that need doing, to the Sense UI when this should have been done well before the Google I/O conference in May.

This is the reason I’m excited by the Gingerbread version of Android planned for the end of the year, which Google are promising will do away with the need for third party carrier UI’s like Sense. We can then get immediate updates.

My Love Hate relationship with Google


I love Google. It’s simply head and shoulders above other search engines.

Since I’ve got more involved with using their web apps and desktop software, like Google Chrome, I’ve become more and more disenchanted with Google.

I think Google Chrome is brilliant, make no mistake about it and I was a die hard Microsoft Internet Explorer user beforehand.

It all started when I got my Android powered phone and I started using their Gmail, reader, blogger, documents, tasks, etc etc.

First off, the biggest cockup and the most irritating.

I sign into my Google Mail and I’m finally offered a @gmail.com address instead of @googlemail.com. Excellent, a few less characters to type in, I’ll have some of that.

Hmmmm my HTC Desire suddenly goes tits up and a little search of the internet shows I’m not the only one. Perhaps Google, you could have tested this more thoroughly and made the warning to Android users more prominent!

So I switch back to @googlemail.com, but now Google Chrome is stuck on @gmail.com and no matter how many times clear it down, it refuses to stick to @googlemail.com, so now I have several dozen duplicates on Chrome Sync that come down all the bloody time, so I’ve turned that off on my three computers (one in work, two at home) and gone back to Portable Bookmarks to manage my URL’s.

And while I’m on the subject of Chrome Bookmark Sync, why can’t I delete them from Google Docs? Surely I should be allowed to have that as my master collection and I should be able to delete, move as I want? And why is there no dupe checking?

And this is the point. Google web apps are good, they are just not brilliant because they are implemented in a half-arsed way, and this is across the board on everything I’ve used. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a computer programmer and web developer so I know these things can happen, but they are usually sorted out before release to the public. Google don’t’ help themselves in their support structure, many issues going back over a year have not been fixed and the moderators are absent more often than not.

For example, if I want to use a @gmail.com address on my phone, I have to factory reset it now. What! Really? No just fucking fix it and then come back with another suggestion.

Google Bookmarks and Google Chrome Bookmarks. Why not merge them? Better still, release an API and let someone else do the software better than you patently can!

Google Reader, brilliant, I can’t fault this at all. I’ve moved 90% of my feeds over to it now instead of using Portable Feed Reader and I can get them on my phone as well so I browse when I’m out and about.

Google Mail. Yeah it’s ok, a bit weird getting used to the “labels” instead of filing them in folders but can’t complain too much, other than the above criticism. A proper Android widget would be nice though, and that applies to Google Tasks as well.

Well that’s my rant over and done with.

Don’t get me wrong, Google and their applications are great. They’re minimalist, they’re portable, they’re fast. My only real complaint is only the poor implementation and the speed with which they’re fixed. It’s appalling and if it happened like that in the I.T department I work in, we’d be out of a job.

Amateur Journalists are shite

How many more times will journalists/bloggers/retard publish the same crappy news about Flash on Android 2.2 not being great?

Why the hell can’t they see the blindingly obvious that the term “beta” in a product means it’s not finished, or “final” as we say in programming circles?

Why did I choose Android?

htcdesireWhy did I choose to buy an Android phone? (remember this is OPINION not FACT!)

Well there are four major reasons for it.

Reason 1

I’m a programmer, and a bloody good one at that. It doesn’t what language you throw at me I’ll program in it and since BASIC and assembler on the Spectrum in 1984 all I’ve been interested in is programming.

Now with this generation of smart phones, I’m dying to get my hands on it and program them.

Reason 2

I know iPhone owners, where I work has given the managers iPhone’s. Now these aren’t irrational people, they’re, for the most part anyway, level headed and intelligent and not geeks or nerds by any stretch of the imagination.

But give them an iPhone and watch them turn into a really annoying prick that shows off pointless apps they’ve discovered the previous night.

I tell you what, show them Google Navigation or Google Sky Map on Android and see how long it takes them to say “Is it on the iPhone?”

I’ve had run in’s with fanbois of various software/hardware for many years now, be it Firefox, Internet Explorer, etc. I thought Linux freaks were the lowest on this planet, but I’m giving that spot to the Steve Jobs fan club. I’ve never seen such a group of kiss ass pillocks in my life, and with 16 years of the internet, that’s a lot of pillocks!

Reason 3


I’m a Windows programmer. Now to write apps for the iPhone I’d have to buy a Mac, and on eBuyer (quick find code 167038) the cheapest laptop is £843. Then throw the $199 dollar Apple developer fee into the mix and we’re talking £1,000 before you even start. But the real kicker is that once you’ve developed your super-duper application, it’s up to some closed committee at Apple to approve it! Yeah I don’t think so somehow. For me, it’s up to the users to decide.

Can you imagine the stink there would be if Microsoft said you can only install the software on your computer that they’ve approved? They’d be dead overnight.

Reason 4

I don’t know about you, but when I invest my money in a new gadget, or gizmo as the wife calls them, I usually go by past experience. Very rarely will I listen to what friends or reviewers say unless it is the first of a kind that I’ve no experience with before.

Such a thing happened in 2002 when I wanted a new personal music player and I read so much about this new thing called an “iPod”, I thought I’d give it a whirl.  Now, how many people out there felt so disappointed with that piece of shite? A fair few I bet. I switched to Creative MP3 players now and they piss over the iPod.

Reputation and personal experience clash, and I am not going to buy an overpriced, over styled, overhyped Apple piece of shite again when something half the price and do the same job, if not better.

So I chose the HTC Desire and I’ve not regretted that decision. I know something is good when the wife keeps telling me to “put that bloody thing down.” I know that if I can’t put something down for a few minutes, I know I love it, and Android is such a thing. I love programming it, and eagerly await HTC updating it sooner rather than later.

Dear Google #1

logo1wDear Google,

I really like the web browser on Android 2.1, but a few suggestions. If I can send an intent to Froyo is it out of the question to have Chrome bookmark syncing as well?  And if you can port V8 to Froyo, what is stopping the full Chrome browser being ported?

Finally, sort out Google Bookmarks and Google Chrome Bookmark syncing. Is there really the need for both of them?