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Status update: iPhone apps

Well, this was pretty unexpected.  That huge launch of the App Store I was so excited about earlier has actually resulted in extremely little change in my day-to-day living.  I’ve only installed a handful of apps and have been mostly unimpressed.  In fact I think I still prefer the mobile web version of Facebook over its Facebook iPhone app, if one can actually believe that.  It sounds like the paid marketplace is actually doing ok for itself, but what’s really mind-boggling is the fact that there doesn’t seem to be a must-have networking app that everyone else with an iPhone is using — that or I’m just not hip enough yet.  At least the I Am Rich app brought a smile to my face.  Anyone have any killer apps they recommend?

The New (mobile) World

I’m probably not going to be getting a new iPhone anytime soon.  Frankly I was a little underwhelmed by the V2 design, primarily because my biggest gripes (poor battery life, an amazingly sub-par camera) weren’t addressed.  Plus that whole rate bump for 3G service makes me think my V1 iPhone might still be the better deal.

But the most interesting thing will be seeing what happens with the App Store.  If anyone can execute on this model it’s Apple; Facebook has proven (mostly through failure, unfortunately) that a certain level of regulation and editing is needed in order to make the app market for an open platform successful.  Otherwise, you’re just facing way too much noise from all the wannabes trying to cash in on the latest marketing channel.  To be clear, it’s not certain the App Store will pull it off — can they regulate enough to help users make sense of it all?  e.g. how many different location-based social networking apps do you expect to see? — but again, I wouldn’t want to bet against them.  With functioning Android handsets delayed even further, I think Apple’s in a great position: they’ve got true first-mover advantage and an ultra-early adopter rabid user base that creates exactly the right network for mobile apps to succeed.

I’ve just updated to 2.0 and successfully re-activated.  I can’t wait to see how all of this unfolds.

The cult of Marissa Mayer

MM


Looks like the media just can’t get enough of Google executive Marissa Mayer, and wouldn’t you know it: I can’t either. This woman is ridiculously fascinating to read about. The latest profile from San Francisco magazine is clearly a puff piece – you can almost hear how breathless the writer is – but I really don’t care. This is truly stuff that inspires. And I’m so insanely jealous of people that can get by on four hours of sleep a night.

Things I (used to?) love: Gmail edition

Listen up, Gmail: You’ve been my favorite web app for years and single-handedly started the whole Web 2.0 revolution so I’ve been cutting you some slack but WHAT’S WITH THE SUDDEN PROBLEMS LOADING PAGES??? What are all these new scripts I imagine must be churning in the background? The colored labels are nice (takes away the need for that Greasemonkey script) but if this is the price of admission I must strongly reconsider. Consider this your penalty flag.

Note of irony: I actually hesitated a moment just now before posting this until I noticed my Gmail got stuck again so NOW IT’S ON.

Things I love: iPhone edition

I’m a little embarrassed to admit how overjoyed I am that Gmail has finally implemented IMAP for iPhone but honestly it’s just so freakin’ sweet to have all your email synced no matter where you read it from! Poor Yahoo – for a brief window of time there I was seriously considering making them my primary email account because only they had true sync. Oh well. Say la vee, as they say.

What is OpenSocial?

So Google launched their OpenSocial initiative last week, and despite all the requisite buzz (and uber-ridiculous stock inflation) I’m still not sure I understand what’s going on here. It’s supposed to be a universal API to create apps for all social networks, but watching the intro video did nothing but bring up more questions. Consider this: at one point, Flixster actually gives a demo showing that they’ve used OpenSocial to create a canvas page on a Ning network that recreates the Flixster network. That’s right, they’ve recreated their own network inside someone else’s network. What? What’s the point of this? Who’s the winner here if all you’re doing with this open API is spamming every social network with mini-versions of your own network? It’s kinda like a webtop interface that allows you to use a browser inside of it – mirrors reflecting mirrors. I just don’t get it.

And to top it all off: what are these Google campfire talks? This one looks like it’s been shot on a studio set that’s been somewhat dressed to look like the great outdoors. Are they beginning production designers, or (gasp) might these people actually be camping together?

Yes, I’m still in tech

I realize my last few posts have not only been infrequent but also heavily steeped in the Literary (capital stuffy L), so here’s a nod back to my (other) roots. Stay with me now.

So apparently those lovably bilious writers at Uncov are now attempting to publicly crash Michael Arrington’s TechCrunch 20 conference by asking the real and hard questions, videotaping them and uploading the shenanigans to YouTube. I’ve got similar reservations about the conference itself (that $2,495 ticket price is just ridiculous), but I’m really curious how Uncov is going to evolve the more public their personae become. It’s kind of the fundamental quandary of any critic who gives a bad review to an artist he meets/knows in real life, albeit a million times worse since Uncov rarely gives a positive review of anything: how do you socialize and interact with the very same people you’ve been publicly slamming? And if you’re about to release your own product/work of art, how can you possibly avoid others attacking you in kind?