Saturday, 28 April 2012
Cue Bluetooth Toggle - an iPhone app that does, well pretty much that, toggle your Bluetooth status. Just what I need you're saying to yourself, where can I get it? Well, not in the App Store, that's for sure. Apple has revoked the app for illegally using private APIs and its now only available through the various jailbreak stores.
Leaving aside the matter of how it was approved in the first place, who's interests does this move serve? I suspect those iPhone users who would use it won't care how it works - or even that the next revision of iOS might break it (the only legitimate concern if this is the only failing of the app).
Apple must have seen the demand for this tool from the number of downloads it had received, proving that even iPhone users sometimes need to go 'off message' when it comes to Apple.
The solution? Either Apple delivers similar functionality itself (which skirts dangerously close to adding widgets to the operating system) or gives the developers legitimate access to the Bluetooth API. Most likely scenario? Bluetooth Toggle disappears forever, iPhone users conveniently forget it ever existed and suffer forever.
Friday, 27 April 2012
I've started to see the new 2012 Civic on UK roads in the last few weeks and frankly its hideous. Here's a picture if you haven't suffered the unpleasant experience of laying eyes on one in the metal:
|Honda Civic 2012|
Notice the way the front and rear seem to have been designed by teams from different evolutionary lines. Its bizarre that they could have got things wrong, considering that this is essentially a nose and tail refresh of the previous model, which was one of the best looking cars out there, with its jet fighter inspired glass house and sharp ends. Even in its most basic, economy model it looked stunning.
|Honda Civic 2011|
Monday, 16 April 2012
Tuesday, 10 April 2012
My bigger concern is with the stability of your mobile application. On iPhone its ugly but relatively stable, on Android its ugly and falls over more often than a drunk man in a hurricane.
As far as I can tell there's universal anger at the quality (or lack thereof) in the mobile application. Which has to be worrying for your bottom line when the mobile application is your biggest lever for turning free accounts into paid ones.
I'm can't claim to be a great business leader but I would definitely suggest paying some attention to your mobile product if you want to sustain a business in the long term.
Worried of Southport
About two-thirds of owners revert to a normally driven car when replacing their hybrid and I think there are a couple of very good reasons why this happens and why its probably more prevalent in Europe than the States.
Firstly, hybrids can't be boost charged from the mains. So the only time that you're running on electric is when enough power has been harvested from the regenerative systems to build a charge in the electrical system. Some of the main engine power is also used to charge the batteries. The net result is a car that isn't as good to drive as a comparable petrol car and one that also rarely runs all electric. Being able to plug a hybrid in and charge its batteries from the mains would mean that many shorter journeys could be undertaken on electric power only.
The second problem is that hybrids don't generally live up to their claims of fuel economy gains - as a result buyers are finding that the cost proposition doesn't work and abandoning them in droves. In Europe we have wide selection of family sized diesel cars that give excellent returns on mileage, which is why I think hybrid churn is probably worse here than in the States, where that option isn't available.
The answers are easy - add a mains charging circuit and build hybrids around small, super economical diesels.
Otherwise hard won hybrid customers will continue to be all too easily lost...
Tuesday, 3 April 2012
Is it just me or does the national rail network completely fail to make a case for rail travel?
As things stand the service is expensive, inconvenient and of limited use to most travellers. Going point to point on a mainline train is bearable, anything else deeply unpleasant.
That's not to say it couldn't be better, but only as a result of major investment that just isn't an option in the current climate.
So here's an idea Mr Cameron.
Sell the rights to the mainline infrastructures to foreign investors to dig up the track and re-lay them as toll roads.
Structure them around several interchange hubs and allow coach companies to run high speed bus services between them. Allow cars to use them too, but segregated from the bus lanes.
Net result? A better service for passengers, reduced congestion for drivers and a healthy slug of income for the beleaguered national purse...