13 thoughts on “Why Apps Need Some Sense and Sensibility”

  1. What do you mean by hangs? How long is it in that state? I’m asking because I haven’t noticed a problem when my Palm Pre 2 switches between 3G and WiFi. Maybe it hangs for 1 or 2 seconds, such a short time that I wouldn’t notice it. Maybe it’s a problem with the AT&T and Verizon networks (I’m on Sprint). Or do you just not consider the Pre 2 a “smartphone”?

  2. Smartphones aren’t the only devices with this irritation. There’s a public library in my neighborhood that I often work at. My iPhone has no problem with the WiFi there. It’s ‘g’ only and connects to one of two channels of 2.4 GHz ‘g’ that are relatively fast. The problem is that my MacBook always connects to an aging and woefully slow 5.6 GHz ‘a’ network and there’s no way I can force it to connect to anything else.

    WiFi utilities that let me choose what channel to join don’t work. Moving around to find a place where the 5.6 GHz signal is weakest does no good. OS X is apparently hardwired to connect to a 5.6 GHz or ‘A’ signal whenever it’s available. That leaves me feeling like screaming, particularly when I have to wait for a slow file download. You’d think Apple, with its state-of-the-art wireless lab could fix something like that.

    And you’d also think they’d give us a mode that would allow us to be informed about our actual choices, so we can select which WiFi channel to use when, like this library, multiple channels have the same name. No, all I get in one choice that hides four channels. With effort, I can force OS X to show me two of the four channels, but without being given a clue as to which “spl” is which channel.

    No, Apple seems intent on giving users a system that ‘just works’ based on rules that might have made sense years ago but doesn’t ‘just work’ now. Mac users need a way to make more intelligent choices. Right now, we can’t even make choices.

    1. Agreed and that is why I think what the MIT crew has done is actually very valuable and it would be great to see that roll into modern products.

      On your comments about Apple and your woes with the 5.6 Ghz signal, I am sorry you have to suffer.

  3. For years I have a weird thing going on with my iPhone 3G and iPhone 4 on the AT&T network. Sometimes in areas where lots of phones are being used, my 3G data rate will drop to near zero because of all the shared users. By switching manually to 2G (switching 3G off) I always get a faster rate. It seems to me the network, and not me, should switch the phone to 2G if the 3G is overwhelmed.

    1. The same thing happens here (UK) as well. I do what you do and turn 3G off when I’m at sporting events and the like.

  4. I did a comment on your post at http://www.iakttakelser.com/2011/04/why-apps-need-some-sense-and.html

    I’m stunned that you described our aim so clearly, namely: “The mobile phone is not made for textual interactions, but instead, it is one, which has similar visual and contextual capabilities as we have.”

    In our billing apps we are using GPS, search, camera and gestures. That’s four senses. Just to reduce need for textual interaction.

    Great article!

  5. I was having a similar discussion with a friend yesterday. Why should I need to manually turn on a GPS logging app on my iPhone when it should be able to pick up signals that tell it I am driving or cycling and automagically switch on its logging function. Like a personalized Shazam for movement tracking.

  6. “When we think of mobile phones, we need to stop thinking of them as computer-like devices, and instead, think of them as extensions of us.”

    very very well said.

  7. “When we think of mobile phones, we need to stop thinking of them as computer-like devices, and instead, think of them as extensions of us.”

    very well said indeed.

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