image_pdfimage_print

Sponsored results in the Apple App Store??

2016-11-08-06-49-26Be extra observant the next time you install an app on your ios device as the first listed choice probably won’t be what you want. This has to be fairly new as I just noticed it this morning. I’m no Apple fanboy, I simply use the tool that works best for me, and with phones, I prefer the Apple ecosystem hands down. But over the last few months, Apple is making decisions that seem to be taking their ecosystem in a direction that I’m not happy with.

Guess I have to see how this plays out. Android, IMHO, is still a steaming pile of garbage. Isn’t Microsoft giving up on the phone OS? That leaves what, Ubuntu Phone??

</rant over> Continue on with your day! :D

Ordering a Roku Ultra

My media player of choice for years has been the Apple TV. I have a Gen 2, Gen 3, and a Gen 4 throughout the house. The combination of the Gen 2 & 3 along with iTunes has been a pretty solid combination for my household. I was pretty psyched for the Gen 4, because all it was missing was apps. I bought the 32GB Apple TV 4 right when it was released and I’ve just never been happy with it. The interface is crap, the remote is crap, and I constantly have to restart it to get it working properly again. I was really hoping that the tvOS update that came last month would have brought tremendous improvements, but it brought nothing that improved my user experience with it.

At this point, I’m ready to try a different media player. One thing that has kept me tied to the Apple stuff was that all my media has been kept in iTunes. I’ve since setup a Plex server and moved all my media over to it and it’s been a pretty impressive experience. Being on a new media server allows me to look at other media players. So I’ve pre-ordered one of the new Roku Ultra‘s.

rokuultra

The new Roku’s officially release October 7th, so I won’t have it until early next week. I will report back once it’s setup with my first impressions.

Am I going back to an iPhone??

More than likely I am.

I was an iPhone user for years, and switched to a Nexus 5 back in March (when I became a Ting customer). I really like the Nexus 5 and plenty of others things about Android, HOWEVER, I think I am going back to iPhone. This decision has been made easier now that I can go iPhone 5 on ting (wasn’t available when I became a customer).

My phone, more than anything is a tool for my job. And frankly, apps that I rely on for my business simply do not exist in the Android world, and ones that do, act and perform different on Android (in a bad way).

The Nexus 5 is a great phone and I love, love, love the screen size. But for usability (for me and my needs), I think I have to stick with iPhone.

I’ll continue to monitor the state of Android through my Nexus 7, which works perfectly for its use.

My Android conversion gripes

funny cartoon androidI’ve been officially running Android for a couple of months now, and while the transition has been mostly pain free, I still have 3 issues that leave me kind of missing my iPhone.

  1. There is no Android Twitter client that compares to Tweetbot. I’ve tried the official Twitter app, Tweetcaster, Plume, and Carbon so far. And because they are all lacking in some way, I find myself rarely using Twitter anymore, unless I’m on my iPad. I’ve heard some good things about Tweetings, but I’d have to shell out $3 just to try it, and I’m not willing to do that just yet. So still looking for a decent Twitter app.
  2. Music. I still to this very day don’t have any idea how to easily listen to my music on Android. Yup, I am coming from the iTunes/iPhone world, where all this worked very, very good. I guess Android doesn’t even have a built in music app, so you have to install one. But there’s tons of choices, and none them look amazing. And what’s the best way to get my music files on my phone?? It’s just too much of a pain in the ass. So for now, I’m relying on my Pandora subscription for music, but that doesn’t allow to to listen to specific songs. I’ll post back when I find out a solution. Or feel free to share what works for you.
  3. The last issue, which isn’t too big, but is annoying, is not having Airplay anymore. While I don’t have any way to listen to my music yet, I do listen to a lot of podcasts and I’ve settled on Pocket Casts and my podcast app of choice. While it’s not as good as Downcast was on the iPhone, it works pretty well. But I like to listen to podcasts while I work and I used to Airplay them to the receiver I have in my office. I miss that. For now, I’m just using a cheap bluetooth speaker, but I look forward to the day I can send the audio of my phone back through my sweet sound system.

So those are my 3 major gripes. Aside from that, I really love the phone, and I love my provider, Ting. If Apple ever releases a larger screen phone, and that phone becomes available on Ting, there is a strong chance I would go back (at least as my feelings about Android stand right now).

My Nexus 5 is on the way

I received the email last night from Google that my Nexus 5 has shipped. Oh my, I guess I’m really doing this now. I’ll be honest though, since Ting announced that the iPhone 5 can now be activated on their network, I had serious thoughts to cancel my Google order and instead order me a compatible Sprint iPhone. But I didn’t, and soon I will be rocking a 32GB red Nexus 5. I already have the sim card and a case for the Nexus anyways, so I’m going to give this Android phone thing an honest go. But what’s awesome is if I don’t care for it, it’s nice to know I can stay with Ting, and go back to the iPhone 5.

Good News! Ting will be supporting iPhone 5 soon.

I have two driving reasons for moving to an Android based phone, but the absolute main reason was that I am sick of paying $100+ a month for something I really to don’t use that much. That’s what attracted me to ting.com‘s pay for what you use model. Based on my past three months usage on Verizon, my bill at Ting will be about $40/month. That is significant savings! So I wanted to switch to Ting sooner than later. However at the time I ordered my Nexus 5, the only iPhones that could be activated with Ting were 4’s and 4S’s. There was no way I would go backwards. I would be content, for now, to keep an iPhone 5 and having the better rates of Ting.

Well, as my luck would have it, Ting has announced that compatible iPhone 5’s will be able to activate on their service starting March 11th 2014. Even though I shelled out the cash for the Nexus 5, I’m still happy about this news. It means if I hate the Android experience, I can get me a compatible iPhone 5 and go back to what I know and like AND get the cost savings of Ting service.

Outlook 2011 on Mac create a new profile

I have a client the bought a new laptop and went with an Apple Mac Book Pro instead of sticking with Windows. He also had Office 2011 installed on it. Office 2011 on Mac no longer includes Entourage, but instead has introduced Outlook. The client initially configured email, but was having an issue with it pulling mail. That’s where I was called in to help. Now in Windows, I will normally create a new profile and configure it myself to make sure all the settings are correct. However, I could not find anywhere to create a new profile on the Mac. After some research, here’s what I found out.

The functionality I was looking for does indeed exist on the Mac, it’s just not called the same thing or located anywhere similar to that of a Windows PC. Outlook on Mac uses Identities. You simply need to create a new Identity. After a bit of googling, I found this article, which gave me the information I was looking for. I found that the location for the Microsoft Database Utility was just a bit different that listed in that post.

Simply put, to create a new Identity, you use an app called Microsoft Database Utility. That app was located here for me: Finder > Applications > Microsoft Office 2011 > Office > Microsoft Database Utility.

Location of the Microsoft Database Utility

Just click the plus in the lower left, name the new identity, and then you can set it as the default by pressing the gear in the lower left of the box. Now when you open Outlook 2011 it will open using the new profile.

A podcast that reboots my iPod

Yesterday I subscribed to a new podcast in iTunes. I synced up overnight and allowed the iPod to fully charge. This morning I undocked and wanted to listen to the new podcast, but every time I try to play one the the podcasts, my iPod reboots. It happens on every one of the shows I downloaded all episodes from this podcast(about 9) that were available. If I choose a different podcast, everything works normally. Weird. The podcast in question is The Linux Action Show which I learned about through digg yesterday. The show does release in ogg and mp3 format and I verified that the files downloaded are the mp3 ones. Anyone experience this? Or better yet, know why it is happening?

Update 1: Found this. It might not be a problem with podcast, but it is the first podcast I subscribed to since I updated to iTunes 7.02

Update 2: Seems to have something to do with the EQ. Read the comments

Valid reason to look for a new job??

My commute is just not long enough. Ever since I got the iPod and have been back into listening to podcasts, I like to listen to them while driving. Unfortunately I really only drive to and from work(in my own car). For some reason the tape player in our work van doesn’t like the cassette adapter I bought, so I can’t listen while driving the work van.

So yesterday morning, as is typical in my daily routine, I get in the car, plug in the iPod and start a podcast, then start on my way to work. Yesterday I started listening to Technorama. I didn’t get to hear much at all. When I got to work and looked at the play timer, it only took me 3 minutes and 54 seconds to get to work. It almost doesn’t feel worth trying to listen to anything in that short amount of time.

So, yes, I need a new job with a longer commute. Maybe downtown Chicago so my daily commute would total about 4 hours.

[tags]commute, podcasts, new job[/tags]