Why is Android Still the Second Platform Developers Work On?

“On a Galaxy S4 with Samsung’s Multi-Window feature enabled, Emu’s popup windows are squished by the keyboard. This doesn’t happen on the Galaxy S4 sold by Google, without Samsung’s software modifications; or with the Multi-Window feature on the Galaxy S3. We’ve investigated, but because it relates to Samsung-specific functionality, we probably can’t fix it without direct cooperation from them.”

and…

“On some Galaxy Nexus phones, when you’re listening to Pandora and get a notification sound from Emu, Pandora’s volume drops. This doesn’t happen with other apps’ notifications, nor does it happen with streaming apps other than Pandora, nor does it happen on any other device.”

This is what you get for all that flexibility that you try to achieve in coming up with different shapes and sizes. 

However if this was the route Google was going from the beginning, it made sense they came up with someone kind of framework like iOS's Autolayout where you design your app in a universal mode and it works on your iPhone 4S, 5, 5S, 6, 6+ and your iPad Mini and iPad.  

This is such a fascinating read. 

How & why Facebook video can overtake YouTube

The strategic problem for YouTube is that the views come at the end of the click. While I follow Vice’s Munchies and DigitalRev TV, I rarely hit on the related videos. I click on the email or the notification on my iPad, watch the video and bounce. In comparison, Facebook has a complete feedback loop. Not only are they a discovery engine, they are also a consumption platform. The click starts on Facebook and ends on Facebook.

This has been one of the biggest reasons that I have been watching more videos on Facebook compared to YouTube. I don't spend too much time on Facebook but yes those 15-20 minutes at the end of the day during my commute is when I catch up with whats going on and I realize that a large % of my content is videos today. I go to YouTube only when I have a specific goal in my mind; like go look up how to change car wipers, or play Elmo so that my toddler stops throwing his tantrum for the next 10 minutes. 

Banner Blindness

An update to my previous post on Google Ads, here is an interesting article from Nielsen Norman Group. 

The most prominent result from the new eyetracking studies is not actually new. We simply confirmed for the umpteenth time that banner blindness is real. Users almost never look at anything that looks like an advertisement, whether or not it's actually an ad.

The trouble with eye tracking is that it only tracks where your direct line of vision is. Human eyes are equipped with peripheral vision as well and that is where the trouble lies. Although the user is focused on reading what is important, he/she is completely aware of their surroundings. No wonder you would see banner ads that are "gif-fy" with saturated colors or text on them.

Google Ads - why aren’t you intelligent?

By now I’m immune to the ads that show up on the website and thanks to Readability, I don’t have to look at them constantly. 

When these ads started, they were irrelevant, some non-sensical ad would just show up randomly on the webpage. However the business model worked. Intelligence got built in and now ads are relevant. You search for something that you are looking to buy, invest and they would follow you all over the web like a ghost for the next few months. 

Well this was a welcome change for business. 

Last year around Thanksgiving I decided to upgrade my Canon DSLR camera. I had been using my existing 50D for about 5 years now, and the urge to get a full frame camera had been on my mind. So sometime in the first week of September I search for a Canon 50D on 3 sites. BHPhotoVideo.com, Amazon.com and for some odd reason Google.com. Apart form the camera I also did a couple of searches for lenses and a camera bag. If I was upgrading, I was upgrading a whole lot of things.

For the next 12 weeks until Thanksgiving week, where ever I went, I could see ads for Canon 5D Mark III, Camera bags every where. BHPhotoVideo.com was the primary contender followed by Adorma and other places where a Canon 5D Mark III was available. I was not bothered by these add, but I would observe them from the corner of my eye when I would be checking my mails, or reading something. 

Finally in November 3rd week I took the plunge and upgraded my self. The camera was delivered to me in 2 business days and Google with all its smart identified the tracking number in my mail box and of course there was the Google now card as well. Thanksgiving was good, the new camera was even awesome. I had a cool new later messenger bag for my new gear.  The Christmas tree went up and celebrations were all around.

After Thanksgiving I log back in and the first ad I see on the browser is for a Canon 5D Mark III from BHPhotoVideo.com.  These ad did not change. They were still there.

So basically,

  1. Google knew what I was looking for and they started showing me ads.

  2. Google scans my email to highlight any tracking numbers and also show me a Google Now card with the tracking number and the product tin transit. 

So why the hell am I seeing this ad now? Why are they so dumb? I bought an item that I was looking for; they scan my mails and the know what have I bought; heck they would even know if I returned something.

So instead of seeing ‘RELEVANT’ ads like accessories for my camera, Lenses that my go well with my camera or even a cool Vacation package; I still see an ad for a Canon 5D Mark III from BHPhotoVideo.com. 

Google's New Chrome update is interesting...

I don't use Chrome browser at all. But I have it installed on my iPhone and MacBook - well its work related.

Every once in a while Chrome gets an update on my iPhone and I make it a point to check only if there have been new additions or changes to the browser. Today when I checked my App Store updates, Chrome was on the top of the list and the first update said "New look with Material Design bringing bold graphics, fluid motion and tactile surfaces". I had to check it out.

The one thing that struck me right away was the missing address bar. At first it put me off but then it made complete sense. Also, the title of this blog post has the word "interesting". I realized after using this browser for a few minutes that I was enter a search more often then entering entire URL addresses (I do that out of habit). Because now I wasn't tapping the address bar, but Google's search box. 

Google would like more people searching for websites then entering actual website addresses, because even though the search result will provide the website users intended to browse as the first result, chances are its a promotion. 

Android Hardware Profits Tanked in 2014

Ina Fried at ReCode writes:

While Android continued to gain market share in the global smartphone market, it saw a significant drop on another key metric: Profits.

Profits - Isn't that supposed to be the most important thing?

A lot of that is due to the big drop in profits at Samsung, the largest player in the Android market. China’s Xiaomi gained significant market share, but is only modestly profitable thanks to its slim margins. Meanwhile, other players like Sony and Motorola lost money in their Android-based mobile businesses.

So what happened to "Android is going to destroy everyone?"  Market share is one thing, making money out of it is another. Google here has nothing to loose here. They would love the market share aspect of it since ads would make the money for them. But for their hardware partners; they have got to start thinking about making money.

Eric Schmidt mistakenly suggests Chrome's incognito mode can foil the NSA

“If you’re concerned, for whatever reason, you do not wish to be tracked by federal and state authorities, my strong recommendation is to use incognito mode, and that’s what people do,” Schmidt explained. 

So what’s the problem here? Incognito mode is designed for—and serves—a completely different kind of privacy protection than the one Schmidt implied.

Oh Dear Lord!

More on Samsung's new Payment option

LoopPay hopes to use a system known as tokenization, which substitutes a shopper’s card information with a unique placeholder, to accomplish this. The token is later matched up with a specific credit card account by a card network or bank. A merchant never receives or stores the actual payment information.

Let me guess the name of this service - ‘Samsung Pay’!!?