March 9, 2018

“The web is a social agreement not to break things. It’s served us for 25 years. I don’t want to give it up because a bunch of nerds at Google think they know best.”

March 6, 2018

Link: A Lot Can Happen in a Decade ☍

Craig Hockenberry:

Whether you’re a developer who’s working on mobile apps, or just someone enjoying the millions of apps available for your phone, today is a very special day. It’s the ten year anniversary of the original iPhone SDK.

I don’t think it’s an understatement to say that this release changed a lot of people’s lives. I know it changed mine and had a fundamental impact on this company’s business. So let’s take a moment and look back on what happened a decade ago.

There are a lot of links in this piece, many of which were difficult to resurrect on today’s web. Make sure you take the time to explore! I’ve also tried to avoid technical jargon, so even if you don’t know your Swift from a hole in the ground, you can still follow along.

It’s hard to believe how quickly time has flown, especially as I spent the first two years on the sidelines, heavily focused on the Mac and not able to justify a phone with a data plan. Even if you have no interest in development, it’s an interesting angle of the iPhone’s early days and the amount of research and work is impressive.

Link: The Mystery of the Slow Downloads ☍

Cabel Sasser:

A few months ago, a complaint started popping up from users downloading or updating our apps: “Geez, your downloads are really slow!”

If you work in support, you probably have a reflexive reaction to a complaint like this. It’s vague. There’s a million possible factors. It’ll probably resolve itself by tomorrow. You hope. Boy do you hope.

Except… we also started noticing it ourselves when we were working from home. When we’d come in to the office, transfers were lightning fast. But at home, it was really, seriously getting hard to get any work done remotely at all.

So, maybe there was something screwy here?

This is a great story of when something weird happens and (without spoiling the ending) a specific large company doing what most people wouldn’t expect‐fixing the issue.

Link: Benchmarking In Your Pants Again ☍

Craig Hockenberry compares the original iPhone with the iPhone X in raw processing power and the results are (unsurprisingly) staggering. Most new iPhones are compared with their predecessors, so this longer evolution is fascinating to see. If you look back at the original post, which compares these tests on an original iPhone to a contemporary iMac, that makes the evolution seem even more dramatic.

February 27, 2018

Link: Racing to 5G ☍

Right now, all of the wireless carriers and Dish Network are sharing plans for their new 5G networks. While I think good LTE is very satisfactory, the promise of 5G for things like home Internet, IoT, and other smarter devices is fascinating. In my case, I could go from two home Internet options to seven, and that competition would be amazing. At this point, all the carriers are announcing plans of cities to be the first to 5G, and it looks like Sprint is still going to be later to the party than some of its competitors, but it will be market dependent.

If you read this site regularly, you may recall that I did a tear-down exercise on Sprint in early 2016, as I think it’s a company with a lot of potential, but filled with mediocrity. Most of what I wrote didn’t happen and the company has mostly been drifting along since then. I’d bet the farm on 5G and offer it everywhere fast. You might not convince people to get your phones (and backwards device-provisioning), but there are plenty of places where Sprint offers some sort of service. That could be prime to steal home and small business Internet from wireline companies like Comcast, Spectrum, AT&T, CenturyLink, and whomever else people grumble about on a monthly basis. Even as someone who has been critical in the past, I’d be willing to give their 5G service a try. The wireless companies can offer home Internet almost as frictionless as streaming services.