single of the week

Method in Apple’s Madness (Good Shit is Worth Paying For)

Ben Lovejoy has an extremely well-thought out opinion piece over at 9to5Mac regarding a possible reason why Apple has decided to end the Free Single of the Week promotion (as well as the 12 Days of Christmas, et al.):

What has all this to do with Apple apparently moving away from freebies? Perhaps it’s an attempt to change the culture. To move us away from an increasing expectation that content–be it apps, music, movies or anything else–should be free. To stand for the idea that content is worth paying for.

Granted, Ben is spitballing a little here, but I totally think he’s on the right track. The App Store is a mess right now, both in app discovery as well as the actual app content (too many clones and knockoffs). Apple needs to figure out a way to implement trial versions of apps that time out after some period of time to allow “try before you buy” app purchases (or some other Apple-y way to do this).

KK Knockoff

Knockoff? What knockoff?


I do understand that perhaps offering a “free” download then taking in-app purchases is a key method that developers can get their apps in front of users. Let’s face it, app discovery is atrocious, and Apple’s past acquisitions of app curating and ranking startups hasn’t really born fruit in this area. So developers feel they need to offer their apps for free as a “try before you buy” kludge.

Also, many app developers use the IAPs as a business model for generating their revenue (I’m looking at you, Kim Kardashian: Hollywood). I can understand this for ultra-casual games that people can pick up, play a few minutes while they wait at the doctor, then put away. Not my kind of game, but I can see why this model works for this kind of game.

But for the majority of games, developers, please stop this. I will pay you the well-deserved $9.99 (or whatever it is) for your game or app outright. Don’t deluge me with ads, and don’t stop the game and ask me to review your app. I think you will produce better, more immersive games, and you will make more money from people like me who don’t want to screw around with these shenanigans.

Furthermore, Apple has been masterful at leading users’ habits down a steady path of acceptance and adoption. The evolution of iOS is a great example-Apple didn’t want to overwhelm users with too much change too fast, so it gradually introduced features and UI methodology as users became more accustomed to the interface. This is the thrust of Ben’s post: get Apple users used to paying for shit again because good shit is worth paying for.



Gurman Hits a Homerun with 12″ MBA Scoop senior editor Mark Gurman seems to have set the internet on fire today with the publishing of an exclusive story about the much-rumored upcoming 12″ Macbook Air.

Certainly not new at breaking big Apple news, Gurman and his cohorts have provided renderings of the upcoming fanless MBA based in insider information:

Sources within Apple, who have used internal prototype versions of the upcoming computer, have provided in-depth details about the machine.

Chief among the surprises is an almost total deletion of ports (allegedly removed because of space/size concerns), with the only ports to survive the axe are a USB-C port for both charging and peripheral connections as well as a standard 3.5mm headphone jack.



While the screen measures in at 12″, the bezel has been reduced in order to bring the overall width of the machine to about a quarter inch slimmer than the current 11″ MBA, but about a quarter inch taller, according to Gurman.



Naturally, the keyboard has been slimmed slightly to accommodate a full keyboard in a thinner package, but the comparison image at the site doesn’t seem to indicate a huge difference, but definitely noticeable.



There is no indication as to whether Apple will offer a retina display.

Rumors indicate a mid-2015 release, but some rumors have indicated that production has already begun.

I’ve been holding onto my 2013 11″ MBA as I wait for a redesigned MBA, and it looks like that level of self discipline won’t be in vain.

Throw in a retina display and I’ll reach for my wallet.

Go to for the full story.


Ok, Apple, This is Getting Ridiculous (U)

UPDATE: I just updated Goodreader on my iPhone 6 Plus. The version number is 4.8.1, and the iCloud functionality verbiage has been removed and the full app functionality has been restored. It’s good to see that my epic rant this morning caught the attention of the Apple higher-ups. :)

9to5Mac is reporting this morning that the good people (pun intended) behind the incredible iOS app Goodreader are being forced by Apple’s arbitrary an nonsensical App Store approval process to remove some recently-added iCloud Drive functionality.

Specifically, the GoodReader update removes the ability to add folders, remove folders or move files around the iCloud Drive storage location. The update notes reference a ‘usage policy’, although it is unclear what document the company is referring to.

This is yet another stupid app approval decision by someone at Apple.

Clearly, Apple wants to remove as much of the file system access by users as possible (I’m still wondering why…), but this really just handicaps the use of iOS in any kind of business setting where access to .pdf files from apps other than the app that created the .pdf is crucial.

I just recently cancelled a 3TB Dropbox account because I was (WAS) able to move all of my documents to my iCloud Drive, and access them from anywhere on any of my devices. Why pay for 2 accounts that do the same thing for me?

But if this is going to be Apple’s policy moving forward, then I (and I imagine many people) have made a huge mistake putting our faith (and our documents) in Apple’s hands. Apple has never been accused of having this whole cloud computing thing down, but this is a huge setback.

If you use an app that accesses your iCloud Drive with Apple’s own file picker API, such as the great apps from Readdle, then this is a death blow to your productivity. And it sets a horrible precedent if you (like me and many of us) want to use your iPad as a laptop/desktop replacement.

Furthermore, if Apple is readying a 12″ MBA replacement for 2015 that runs a version of iOS (or whenever the OS X/iOS convergence takes place), then this will really make you reconsider your decision to stick with the platform. This is capricious, arbitrary, and makes me seriously reconsider my willingness to remain in Apple’s “walled garden”.

Certainly, recent app store rejections have been reversed so that long-time app store residents could re-add functionality that the reviewers found objectionable, let’s hope this one is reversed as well.

C’mon Apple, do the right thing.


Federico Viticci Gets It

In another fantastic post,‘s Federico Viticci explores document management apps in iOS 8. He does his usual exemplary job. Head over for a thorough discussion of document pickers in iOS and the apps that allow (limited) file management.

If (somehow) you’re not familiar with Federico’s site, get over there ASAP. Bookmark it.

Anyway, with iCloud Drive, we have access to the iCloud online file system (like in Yosemite). The problem is that each app (in iOS anyway) can only access the files it is supposed to access according to the file type the app creates. In other words, Pages in iOS accesses .pages documents. You can’t open a .pdf file in Pages. In fact, as far as Pages is concerned, those other file types don’t exist.

I know Apple has tried hard for years to shield us iOS users from a directory tree and other types of file management. That may be a fine goal or ideal for an inexperienced user, or simply a user that doesn’t care about file management and has no need or desire to poke around for other file types.

But what about the rest of us?

I know I would love to have a Finder app open files in the reverse order: find the file, then double tap it to open the file in the appropriate app. Sometimes I search for flies by name (or date, or…), and I don’t want to have to decide what type of file it is, then launch the associated app, then “Open” (or its equivalent).

We need a, iOS Finder analog. I promise, Apple, we can handle it.

This is all accessible from a desktop (Yosemite, Windows iCloud Drive), but if Apple really wants users to grab their iOS devices as a laptop/desktop replacement, they have to allow us laptop/desktop functionality. Users who don’t  need file-level access don’t have to use it, or it can be a toggle in Settings.

For me, iCloud Drive looks like a Dropbox killer in that it’s so deeply embedded in the operating systems of Yosemite and iOS 8. But I need to have file-level access.


Yes, AT&T Doubles the Data for Some

Yeah, AT&T announced that they are doubling the data allotment for customers with Mobile Share plan at 15GB and above.

Us with 10GB?


My iPads are on grandfathered unlimited plans, so there’s no way in hell I’m giving those up. That means I only have 2 lines on my AT&T plan: my iPhone 6 Plus and Mrs. TechSHIZZLE’s iPhone 6. We average between 7 and 8 GB of data per month between us as we do the bulk of our bandwidth hogging with our grandfathered iPads.

But the new promotion doesn’t apply to us 10GB-ers. Thanks, AT&T.

However, with the Plus’ much bigger screen, I find myself walking out of the domicile sans iPad much more often; I just don’t seem to need it as much since I Apple-camped 23 hours to get the Plus.

So, I assume I’ll be using more data with the Plus. Thus, I went ahed and upgraded to the 15 (30GB) plan in the hopes I’ll make use of it.

Funny how AT&T has been complaining about the stress on their system with all these damn data hogs to justify their data-throttling.

I guess with the doubling of data from Sprint and other competitive moves by the other carriers, AT&T is over their bitching about so-called data hogs.

Did AT&T just double their bandwidth, or was it just a bullshit reason to throttle people when it suited them?


Idiot Hit-Whore: “iPhone 6 Sales Record Disappointing”

Paul Ausick, 24/

Apple Stock was trading at $103.02 about 15 minutes before Monday’s opening bell. The stock’s 52-week range is $63.89 to $103.74.

To say that this is a true disappointment may seem like it is “fire for effect.” The problem we have with the press release is that if it was truly phenomenal news then the stock would be up several percent and hitting new highs yet again. So far, that is not the case Monday.


Clearly this joker hasn’t been watching AAPL very long. Most of the time there is a dip after a a major event like this (keynote, preorders, product release).

I challenge this guy to show when in Apple’s history its stock went up several percent after “truly phenomenal news”. I would say 4 million preorders in 24 hours is “truly phenomenal news-no matter what company announces it.


My iPhone 6/6 Plus Preorder Fun

With the preorders allegedly going live early today (12:01 AM Pacific), I was prepared for a long night of CMD + R in several different browser tabs. I say “allegedly” because I have yet to see an iPhone/iPad preorder night go smoothly. And I’ve been doing this every year since Apple adopted the preorder system.

Every year Apple’s website crashes, and so do those of the wireless carriers. This year was no different.

What the hell can’t they get their shit together?

By now, Apple, et al, have got to know there will be a crushing demand for the latest iDevice, and their sites will be inundated by the traffic of rabid buyers. Yes, I’m one of them every year.

So knowing this is coming, why can’t they properly and adequately prepare for the onslaught?

So Mrs. TechShizzle and myself dutifully hit the inter webs hard a few minutes before midnight.

The Apple Store site is down. No problemo-we were early.

But as the minutes ticked by, it became painfully obvious that we had another clusterfuck on our hands. Knowing that if we didn’t get onboard now, it could be well into November or even December before we obtained our Precious. And while I don’t mind spending the night on the sidewalk of our local Apple Store, that has proven fruitless on more than one previous launch. And I really didn’t want to do it again this year. So we soldiered on.

Between several open Safari tabs, the Apple Store app on both my iPhone and iPad, (and my wife’s same routine), we finally saw signs of life about 2:00 AM. That is to say that while Apple’s site was still down, we could at least hit the “Continue” button on the apps before being timed out and forced to start over.

Finally about 2:30 I was able to get through and get a reservation number. I was trying various combinations of phone and specs to see what would go through. I wound up with a reservation for a 6P/Space Gray/128. A little loopy from lack of sleep and with cramped “refresh fingers”, I didn’t take a screen shot of the reservation page on the iPhone Apple Store app. Was it a dream? Did it really happen? In the debacle, will my reservation wind up lost?

My wife’s 6/Gold/128 got through to a reservation page as well. She went to bed.

I kept going, and was finally able to order the same spec iPhones through Apple’s site about 3:15 AM or so. My wife’s would be available for pickup on 9/19, but mine have to be shipped “7-10 business days” after launch. Damn.

Good enough.

This morning I thought I’d call Apple to see if I could use my reservation number to possibly pick mine up on launch day since I reserved it an hour before I actually was able to complete a purchase. After a 20 minute hold time I spoke with a prototypical Apple specialist who said no one else she had talked to this morning was trying to do what I was attempting. After a brief hold to confer with a supervisor, she came back to tell me it couldn’t be done. Said that even though I have a reserved phone that was reserved well before my actual purchase, if I tried to use it I would be stuck with current shipping delays. WTF?

So I got off the phone and called again to get another rep.

The next CSR was very cordial and polite like the first. He understood what I was trying to do, but said I’d be better off sticking with what I had as the reserved one would have a much longer shipping time, and that I was “much better off than most people”. Ok, done.

But this doesn’t make any sense-what the hell did I reserve? Why wouldn’t the reservation “hold my place in line”? Can I really trust their cloud services enough to keep important files on iCloud Drive? Does Apple have this whole “online services” thing figured out. Signs point to “no”.

So I don’t know how Apple couldn’t prepare for this; it’s not their first rodeo.

Ok, I’ve vented and feel a bit better.

And, yes, I know there are a lot more important things in the world to be concerned with.


Courtesy: The Verge

Flappy Bird Coming Back


It’s Episode XVII of the Flappy Bird Saga, and this time the formerly recalcitrant (he’s on a media tour at the moment) creator of the addictive game is promising the game’s return, eventually, complete with multiplayer.

Nguyen told CNBC’s Kelly Evans the news on the network’s Closing Bell program today, albeit with the caveat that the game wouldn’t be coming anytime “soon.” It’ll also be less addictive, he says, which is great news for people who enjoy their lives and living them to the fullest.

Holy, Christ-why?

Oh yeah-it’s the money.