egypt shuts off the internet

Riots ensue. Note to governments—don’t shut off the internet.

canned, sms for jedi masters

We made Canned, because we thought it would be a quick, fun project to get on the App Store. Sean was dissatisfied with the current offerings, but had to do a bit of convincing to motivate changing gears from our current project. I wasn’t too keen on the idea at first, but after using it for a few months, I love it. I wanted to share how useful it’s become to me.

The raw idea is templates for text messages. Write a message and/or select some contacts, then send your SMS later with minimal taps. This only became feasible with the API support in iOS 4.0 this summer. We weren’t the first to market with such an app, but I still think we are the simplest and best SMS template app out there.

Recalling that I was not too pumped about Canned initially, I’ve begun to realize that it might not be entirely obvious how useful it can be. You probably are asking yourself: ‘How many text messages do I really send repeatedly?’

My guess is, more than you might think.

Canned Messages

  • Has anyone ever asked for your home or work address?
  • Ever forget your business cards, and meet someone who wants your information?
  • Do you ever need to send someone directions to your house?
  • Have you ever notified anyone that you’re stuck in traffic?
  • Do you have a clique of friends that you’re sending texts to all the time?
  • How many times this month have you texted ‘LOL!’ to your significant other?
  • Ever want to courteously respond that you can’t pick up the phone right now?

Canned ended up being more useful to me than I could have anticipated. If you haven’t bought it yet, I’d suggest that you check it out (unless you’re saving those 99 cents for something else). If you have it already, maybe you could recommend it to a friend or rate it on the App Store.

I love using Canned, and I hope it proves useful for you too.

little ‘whoopsie’ from google

They stole a little code from Java. I’m sure they’ll give a sincere apology though.

Update: Apparently, the linked article is false. I’m shocked! Engadget has such a pristine track record! (Is there a standard way to textually denote sarcasm)?

smooth criminal cello cover

This is the best cover of Smooth Criminal ever. My regrets to Alien Ant Farm.

the genius of thomas edison

I had no idea LOLcats dated all the way back to the year 1894.

identifier vs. index – the final showdown

We just fixed a bug in Canned that had been elusive for quite some time. We had gotten a few stray 1-star reviews mentioning crashes on startup, but none of our beta testers had found these issues and we were unable to reproduce the crash ourselves. To make matters worse, we hadn’t received any support request emails until December 1st, more than 3 months after release.

After finally getting some crash logs, the issue appeared to be with our calls to ABMultiValueCopyValueAtIndex which had never caused any problems before. Stack Overflow came to the rescue (as usual) once I found this post.

Most Address Book sample code I had referenced online was calling this function with an ABMultiValueRef and an ABMultiValueIdentifier as arguments, but the second parameter is actually supposed to be a CFIndex. There is an intermediate function (ABMultiValueGetIndexForIdentifier) that returns the correct index given the identifier, but what was tripping us up was the fact that it works for most contacts even when called incorrectly with the identifier.

I guess that’s what I get for learning programming in a language with strong type checking.

Thankfully, early reports suggest that the issue is fixed.

canned will unquestionably serve you

I found this amazing gem of a review for Canned posted here.

You are able to easy create and send pre made text sms form your iPhone through utilising an application for sale in App Store. The name of this application is Canned. Utilising this application you will be able to send “canned” replies through with text edition message. Canned is selfsame simple to function application for iPhone.

Just install this application on iPhone and then open this application. And then you should attend a ezine of your pre made messages. Straightaway just add up whatsoever text you want. And then this application will grant you to specify contacts to your pre created substances.

Utilising Canned you will be able to send grouping text messages, pre compiled text substances. While you’re at work and can not bring a call at time Canned will unquestionably serve you.

lock that rotation up

This news couldn’t be more welcome. It appears as though the rotation lock will be back as a user-selectable option in iOS 4.3.

off the google chrome bandwagon

I’m greatly disappointed by the announcement yesterday that Google is removing support for the H.264 video codec from their Chrome browser. In an already fragmented world of internet video, this move takes us a huge step backwards in having a viable cross platform distribution option.

H.264 is an open standard at the best definition of the term, controlled by a large standards body participated in by many industry leading technology companies. While the WebM codec they’re proposing as an alternative is completely under Google’s control. Claiming openness is a flagrant falsehood.

The mobile device industry is full of devices with low power consumption hardware encoders and decoders using the H.264 format. Nearly every recent video recording and playback consumer device uses H.264. It has become a clear industry standard, and WebM hasn’t proven any distinct advantage in power consumption or performance.

All the major video distribution channels serve their content in H.264. Converting a video library to WebM is a massive undertaking with a huge cost.

The openness dream that Google is pushing is a farce. I’ve been promoting their services amongst my friends for a long time. They’ve been giving away a lot of great services with a small cost of advertising. However, the decisions they’re making these days increasingly show self-interest and use of brute force to bolster adoption of their own “open” technologies.

It looks like I’m back to Safari.

google versus the spammers

Marco illuminates a big issue with spammers marginalizing the effectiveness of search results. But can we really blame Google? I don’t think any other search engine has found a way around the issue, or even performs any better than Google at filtering junk. It seems to me they’ve become a victim of their own success.

By becoming the de facto search standard, they became the target for spammers everywhere. As long as they keep on top, they’re going to face this issue at some level. I still haven’t seen a single search engine I would prefer. Bing might be ok…

nike better world

This is one of the cooler websites I’ve seen recently. Excellent use of parallax scrolling. Very eye catching. (via Phil Coffman)

@skoda on @technochocolate on