Gewährleistung in der Praxis

Screenshot 2013-11-28 12.53.57

Nachdem das iOS 7.03 update das iPhone meiner Frau offenbar langfristig vom WiFi abgehängt hat wurde mir heute vom Apple Suport empfohlen doch die Gewährleistung des Händlers in Anspruch zu nehmen (das iPhone ist 1,5 Jahre alt und funktionierte vor dem Update einwandfrei).

Nach der bis dahin bereits recht frustrierenden Erfahrung versetze der Anruf beim Händler dem Verbraucherschutz endgültig den Todesstoß: Der Händler bezog sich auf den Gesetzestext und verlangte von mir einen Nachweis dass es sich um ein nicht durch mich hervorgerufenes Problem handelt.

Screenshot 2013-11-28 12.53.57

(Wikipedia)

Tolle Wurst – mit dieser Nummer ist bei allem was die Komplexität einer Glühbirne überschreitet die Gewährleistung praktisch hinfällig – das hat der Gesetzgeber schlau im Sinne der Wirtschaft geregelt. Ich bin begeistert. Nicht.

Einziger Ausweg: Apple bietet einen einmaligen Austausch für 211,– EUR an. Ein neues Motorola Moto G kostet 169,– . Hmm…..

iOS 7 update kills iPhones

Screenshot 2013-11-10 20.55.12

Screenshot 2013-11-10 20.55.12

My wife has been a happy user of her iPhone 4s for more than a year. Until tonight, that is.

Her iPhone was updated to iOS 7 some weeks ago, this evening she accepted the phone’s request to update to 7.03. That’s when it started: after the update all network activity seemed to be quite slow. I looked at the phone an saw that the WiFi button was greyed out and would not allow me to enable WiFi!

The problem seems to be wee known: there are 50+ pages in Apple Support forums, and the issue even has its own web site.

Summary: an official Apple iOS update will kill the hardware of your iPhone, and Apple wants you to pay to fix what they broke.

Anybody else affected?

Not funny.

iPhone to Android – One week in

(The post title alone should guarantee enough SPAM for the rest of the year ;) )

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OK, so I guess it will still take a while until Apple comes up with an iPhone with a significantly bigger screen, and my bifocals upgrade much faster. I’m heavily invested in the iOS ecosystem, and I’m also pretty happy with it, but the small screen is just getting too painful for me to bear. So I caved in and got a Galaxy S3.

Ironically what made this move possible is Apple’s move away from iTunes, mostly. I REALLY loved the way iTunes use to handle Podcasts. I listen to podcasts daily on my commute, and the iTunes way was just a “plug in and forget” mode that never failed me. Now everything gets its own app, everything is iCloud, and nothing works as predictably as before. Mail and everything else is in the cloud anyway (GMail, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr), MP3 and podcast handling was really what held me back so far.

OK, so how do I like it?

The Hardware

The screen is gorgeous. The resolution doesn’t really matter, but size and quality does. I can read it much easier, and that was the main reason for switching.

The case dimensions – not so much. It’s just the right size to be used with one hand, but it’s way too slippery: I liked the iPhone’s metal corners and edges a lot more.

The Micro USB connector? Don’t get me started… And as much as we all hate Apple’s proprietary connectors, at least you can buy AUX car kits for them, which you can’t for Android devices. Yes, I do get the concept of bluetooth and A2DP, but as long as car companies don’t provide more than one bluetooth connection the current one is reserved for my work phone. I use a cheap (…) bluetooth to AUX dongle, but it’s a PITA.

Android OS

Fascinating. Of course I immediately installed CyanogenMod, but I’m still puzzled about so many inconsistencies.

There is the home screen with all the nifty widgets (clock and weather for me, that’s more than enough), and you put your favourite programs on it. Every time I want to use something that’s not there I swipe to an empty homescreen page before I remember I need to use the middle icon – but that may be iOS muscle memory.

Notifications is the biggest piece of crap ever – I can’t understand why iPhone users asked for it so much. The phone beeps in sleep mode, then I need to press a button (which is at least a hardware button on the S3, in contrast to the side power button on the Nexus 4) and all I see is an icon at the top. Then I need to unlock, and _still_ I only see the icon. I pull down from the top, only then do I get to the App.
I have now installed a different launcher and an app that adds a counter to stuff like GMail. Seriously, that’s a productivity killer.

What I really like is the backup to my Google account, I just wish I could manage that easier. It should also be possible for non-Google apps to store their credentials there, for example. Also, like on iOS, you can add accounts to Twitter and Facebook in setting, but still some apps will open native web login pages.

For podcasts I’m using Pocket Casts which works quite well. The one advantage of Android is that it will download new episodes in the background. Skipping a defined amount of time by tapping on the right side of the screen is also very helpful. (I’m still waiting for a community driven service that defines markers that players can use to skip the ad segments in podcasts – anyone? ;) ).

Android file/memory management is outright weird. Some devices have SD cards, others don’t, which means you have to tell each app to use it. There should at least be a central settings screen to define that.

Then there’s apps like Google Music which are not even interested in SD cards – 16GB of music has to be enough for everyone! I mean, give me a break…
The app itself is confusing as hell – I never know where I am, or which music is on my device or in the cloud, or what I need to do to change that – aaarghhh!

I may eventually get used to all that – but as soon as Apple brings us a bigger iPhone I’ll switch back…

iOS, Android an impediment for secure passwords?

I know you all want to use secure passwords especially after reading this weeks hacks of LinkedIn, eHarmony and LastFM. So why don’t you?

If you use LastPass in your browser, it will happily create 16 character gibberish passwords for you and fill them in automatically.

Unfortunately this all breaks down once you start using your smartphone. Yes, initially it’s ok to look up the password and fill it into the settings of your mail or Twitter application. But when you’re on the road and want to share something from an app to Facebook, the app will often pop up a Facebook login. This is when you need to remember and type that gibberish password, and unfortunately neither LastPass nor any other password manager will fill it in for you.

The same is of course true for desktop apps, like your ERP system. So what do you do? You either use simple passwords that you can easily remember _and_ type on a mobile device, or you think of one really good password and start using it everywhere.

From a security perspective – not what you want. But completely understandable.

iOS and Android need to come up with an API to allow passowrd managers to do their thing. Better still, App developers should start using built-in identity providers like Twitter in iOS 5, or Twitter and Facebook in iOS 6. We have to get rid apps asking for a new password all the time, or password hacks will be a topic that will be with us for a long time.

Wieviel gebt ihr für iPhone/iPad Apps aus?

Ich hatte ja schon einen Verdacht, aber jetzt könnt ihr auch nachsehen. Die App “AppDump” liest eure iTunes Apps ein und ermittelt den Preis pro App, und gesamt für alle gekauften Apps (ich weiss allerdings nicht ob die derzeitigen Preise herangezogen werden, oder ob die ggf. beim Kauf gültigen discounts berücksichtigt werden, ich kann mir nicht vprstellen dass das in den Apps gespeichert ist…).

Erschreckend. ;)

Ach ja – der (deutsche) Entwickler freut sich über eine Spende per Flattr! (ich übrigens auch, aber das nur nebenbei)