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Archive for July, 2011

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RIM Cutting 2000 Jobs

I grew up in Waterloo and have a relative who works for RIM in Waterloo. I moved to Ottawa, and have two friends that work for RIM in Ottawa. I was once headhunted by a RIM headhunter, and had their timing been better, I could be working at RIM today. If that had happened, I might have been out of a job soon.

RIM recently announced the cutting of 2000 jobs. This is weird on the one hand because RIM is still profitable, and wouldn’t they want those people to help them regain their leadership position? It’s understandable on the other hand because RIM isn’t doing so well anymore, and they want to prevent actual losses in the upcoming quarters.

As a Canadian, I’m sad that this has happened to RIM. I want our darling high tech company to succeed and to give those yanks a walloping! As a cell phone user, I much prefer the iPhone and just wish the BlackBerry would go away already so that the company I work for doesn’t have to worry about it. On a personal level, I’m really hoping that those I know with RIM jobs don’t lose theirs before they find something new. And I hope they’re wise enough to be looking.

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Apple’s Cash Hoard

Matt Richman wrote a great aricle discussing Apple’s huge hoard of cash. Here’s a small excerpt:

And therein lies the secret to Apple’s incredible success in the stock market. The reason AAPL has done so well over the last 10 years is precisely because Apple hasn’t focused on its share price — and instead focused on making “beautifully designed products that are user centric and work how they are supposed to work.” As Fortune magazine put it: “Most companies view the P&L [Profit and Loss statement] as the ultimate proof of a manager’s accountability; Apple turns that dictum on its head by labeling P&L a distraction only the finance chief needs to consider.”

Check out the full article here:

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Apple Now Largest Smartphone Vendor

Apple has now beat Nokia as the world’s leading vendor of smartphones. Nokia’s smartphone shipments declined to 16.7 million units in the last quarter. During the same period, Apple shipped 20.3 million iPhones, a dramatic improvement.

Apple is now sitting on the smartphone throne with the likes of RIM, HTC, Samsung, and now Nokia at its feet. The Android platform as a whole, though, still outships Apple in smartphone numbers. But that has been leveling out of late. Are we reaching a stable state? Only time will tell.

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Remove Tab Bar When Controller Pushed

Sometimes it’s the little tips that prove really useful, and as such, I present one today. This would have helped me out greatly about three months ago. If you have a UITabBarController, and you’re pushing a new controller in a UINavigationController which is one of the tabs, typically the tab bar across the bottom stays in place. But you can remove it quite easily with this line of code:

controller.hidesBottomBarWhenPushed = YES; // yay! this hides the tab bar!
[self.navigationController pushViewController:controller animated:YES];

I just discovered this recently, and have already made use of it. Good luck.

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Please Don’t Require Login

I write iPhone apps for a living. I have a regular job with regular people, working for a small startup in Ottawa. One thing we discovered is that requiring a user to log in is a barrier to entry. We needed users to create accounts and log in so that they could answer surveys, and we would know if they’d answered them before. (Using accounts wasn’t required for app use, but it was required to use certain parts of our apps.) But people didn’t like creating accounts and logging in, so we transformed our system to make it so that users didn’t have to log in. We just logged them in anonymously instead.

Frankly, I wasn’t surprised. I download a fair number of apps every month. When an app wants me to log in, that’s strike one. If an app requires that I create an account and log in before I can do anything at all, that’s strike two and strike three. (Unless, of course, it’s obvious why an account is needed for the functionality of the app.)

That’s the situation I found myself in when I downloaded the ItSpot shopping app. It’s an app that helps me find shopping deals in the city I live in. Cool. It requires logging in with an account. Not cool. I deleted the app. I don’t see a correspondence between shopping deals and creating an account. It already asked for my location, which I gave it. It made sense to require a location, because this app gives me shopping deals based upon it. But then it required that I create an account or log in with Facebook, and that’s where it lost me. Sorry ItSpot dudes, I wanted to help you guys by using your app. But you just made it too annoying.

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Oh No He Didn’t! Google’s Schmidt on Innovation

Here’s a classic one by Google’s Eric Schmidt:

However, patent lawsuits brought to the table by Oracle, Microsoft and Apple could potentially halt Android’s momentum, considering phonemakers might have to pay licensing fees to use the OS depending on the outcome of these cases. Quizzed on the issue, Schmidt replied that this “legal fun” stems from its successes.

“We have seen an explosion of Android devices entering the market and, because of our successes, competitors are responding with lawsuits as they cannot respond through innovations,” he said. “I’m not too worried about this.”

Considering that the Android operating system is a poor clone of iOS, I find this statement somewhat ironic, but completely laughable. Remember that pool of patents from Nortel and Apple, Microsoft, and RIM recently got their hands on? I seem to remember Google being in the running for those, but were beat. Google: what’s your stance here? Do you innovate, or buy others’ innovations?

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Apple Makes Lots of Money

Apple announced yesterday that they made tons of money. They didn’t use those words, but I wouldn’t blame them if they did.

Some salient facts:

  • Apple posted record quarterly revenue of $28.57 billion.
  • Apple posted a quarterly net profit of $7.31 billion, or $7.79 per diluted share.
  • Apple sold 20.34 million iPhones in the quarter.
  • Apple sold 9.25 million iPads during the quarter.
  • Apple sold 3.95 million Macs during the quarter.

Apple 19jul11 Earnings Press Release

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Google+ Now Available for iPhone

My friend sent me an invite to Google+ shortly after the service started, and I’ve been using it ever since. I love the concept of circles and sharing things with only certain people, but there is a real problem with noise. It seems much harder to find the good stuff in my Google+ stream versus my Twitter stream.

No matter, the iPhone app for Google+ is now available, but living in Canada, I couldn’t find it from the app store on my iPhone. I had to download it via iTunes, and then sync my iPhone to my Mac.

What’s it like? I am afraid to say that the experience isn’t that great. The app is slow and buggy. It uses a non-standard tab control across the bottom for no apparent reason. It’s a weird little app that doesn’t seem to have much polish. Frankly, it feels like an Android app.