The new 9.7-inch iPad and Ag

I know the latest Apple event was focused on Education, but anyone using the iPad as tool outside of the technology world will benefit.

I work for a small company called Agrian that builds software and services for Agronomists. You may think that just a fancy word for farmers but it’s a lot more than that in this day and age.

Agrian iPad Scouting
Agrian iPad Scouting

Large farming organizations and crop retailers may have hundreds of employees working out in the field. They do everything from collecting soil samples to scouting crops to baiting and trapping for critters. When they’re out in the field they can use our software for any one of these jobs, and it’s best used on an iPad.

At one point we recommended purchasing iPad Mini’s because it was the best bang for the buck. With the introduction of the new 9.7-inch iPad we can start recommending that device. It’s not that $329 is cheap, but it sure beats the price of the Pro models and it’s plenty powerful enough for use with our software.

It’s a real winner.

Aging

Hello, Dr. Jones.Garret P. Vreeland: “Ageism is starting to raise its ugly head – people are judging based on wrinkles and hair color (none) now. That totally sucks. Yet my photography skills are burgeoning, and I’m up to my eyeballs in video and video editing again (yay, FCPX!). Got some good web contracts in as well. Yet I’m not comfortable yet. Goal one for my 57th year – achieve satisfaction.”

Then there’s this from a developer I have a lot of respect for.

A couple years back I went through an interview with a company I’d still love to work for. I didn’t get the gig and to this day I still don’t know why. It’s totally possible I did something completely wrong during my interviews but in the end I was told “You’re a good developer and a great communicator, but you’re not a good fit.” I was crushed. At the time I was in a bad place mentally and physically. A lot going on in life at that point in time. I didn’t handle the rejection well. That is my fault of course, but the only reason I could find that fit was I was too old for their group. Sour grapes I suppose.

I have a feeling getting a gig with Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple will come down to your ability to do the work. I’ve interviewed with Microsoft and worked for them. I’ve interviewed with Apple and didn’t get through the interview. I know for a fact that Google interviews are notoriously difficult to get through.

The best companies hire the best people. I have no doubt James Thomson could work for any of these companies. He’d probably have to prepare for the interview process, but he could do it.

Regarding Swift

ZDNet: “In essence, Apple had one job — create a new baseline tooling for iOS and show a sympatico approach with how the rest of the industry actually operates — and they blew it.”

I don’t know anything about the author, but based on his statements I have to conclude he’s never written a line of production quality code in his life.

The last thing we need is a lowest common denominator language to allow iOS developers to make code that runs on other platforms. Ridiculous. We have the web for that. If you want a lowest common denominator experience, create a “responsive” website with JavaScript and be done with it. If you want the best experience, go native, with native tools.

Would C# be great on the platform? Yes, but there is no need for the .Net runtime because Cocoa gives us everything we need and it’s not garbage collected. No need for the additional overhead.

If you’re ok with the Xamarin approach, which is very nice, then you should, by all means use it. There may come a day when I’ll have to create an app that works for both iOS and Android and that may be the best approach, until then I’ll focus on learning the native platform tools so I can provide the best experience for my users.

Ive

LA Times: “But his value to Apple is not that his designs pleased his demanding boss or design gurus; it’s that his designs helped forge a personal connection with legions of Apple fans in the fickle consumer electronics industry, analysts say.”

Police helped Apple employees?

CNN: “Four San Francisco Police officers escorted Apple investigators to a home in the city’s Bernal Heights neighborhood, the statement said. The two Apple employees searched the home while the officers waited outside, police said. They did not find the item there and declined to file a police report, according to the statement.”

Does that seem backward to you? Why would the police wait outside? This is either horrible reporting or horrible police work.

I hope it’s horrible reporting.

Lodsys, Meet The Train!

The Loop: “Thus the technology that is targeted in your notice letters is technology that Apple is expressly licensed under the Lodsys patents to offer to Apple’s App Makers,” wrote Sewell. “These licensed products and services enable Apple’s App Makers to communicate with end users through the use of Apple’s own licensed hardware, software, APIs, memory, servers, and interfaces, including Apple’s App Store. Because Apple is licensed under Lodsys’ patents to offer such technology to its App Makers, the App Makers are entitled to use this technology free from any infringement claims by Lodsys.”

Lodsys, say hello to The Train that is Apple.

Apple, thank you!

UPDATE: Full text of Apple telling Lodsys to stick it.

Manton Reece on Free Apps

Manton Reece: “Free apps and the problem of exclusive distribution are linked. Get rid of free apps, and the store can support itself naturally. Get rid of exclusive distribution, and Apple can be more creative about charging developers who do want to participate in the App Store. If Amazon isn’t happy with Apple’s terms, users can install the Kindle app outside the store and it doesn’t cost Apple anything to maintain.”

I can’t see this happening, but I’m sure a lot of folks would like to see it. I don’t happen to be one, at least not today.

iPhone + Flip Phone

After having lunch with my brother and sister-in-law this afternoon we decided to go to the Verizon store and look for a Palm Pixi, I haven’t seen one yet and wasn’t convinced the screen was as small as my brother claimed. So we head into the store and my brother guides me through the store, showing me his favorite phones, and why he likes them. Then we get some help and find they don’t have a Palm Pixi, but they have the Pre+, so the guy helping us gets one out of the back and let’s me check it out. It’s actually a really nice device, but, I digress…

The iPod Touch 3G

Something my brother said while he was talking to the salesman really got me thinking. He said “You know what would be perfect, an iPod Touch with 3G, and no phone.” When I heard that I thought to myself “That’s a screwy idea.” Wait, no wait, that’s NOT such a screwy idea. Think about this for a couple of minutes. What if you could have an iPhone/iPod Touch with 3G and no phone and have a cheap flip phone for all your voice communication, on the same phone number? That would be awesome. Why? Well here’s the thing. The iPhone sucks battery, and face it, most of the time you don’t use it for talking. It’s mostly about e-mail, texting, Twitter, and Facebook isn’t it? Yes, that’s what I thought. Here’s my brothers, and my, logic. One of the best cell phones I ever had was a cheap “free” Samsung flip phone. No bells and whistles, just a simple voice phone. The thing worked. The sound quality was great and the best thing about it? I had to charge it about once a week.

That’s just crazy talk

Yeah, well, maybe it is. I’ll give you that, but in my brain it makes sense, especially if I can have them both on the same number. Allow voice and text on the cheap phone and use the iPod Touch 3G for all your social adventures, and texting of course. The big advantage is battery life, and from my experience, a better pure phone. This may not be the case for most folks. It would seem that most people text way more that they actually talk, but for me it works.

Then again maybe Apple can just get to work on a battery that’ll last a week on a charge, even under heavy use.