Trash Talking the T-Mobile G1

I haven’t used the G1 for a call. Its underpowered GPS hasn’t led me in any direction. There has been no music or video to entertain me. I have not used a G1 for anything, really… Because I knew months ago in reading a paragraph of specs and seeing a picture that it was guaranteed garbage.

Don’t mistake my statements as a knock on Android. Android is great. I love it. My statements in this post are not directed at Android. The G1 is an unfortunate first hardware release of that OS.

There are certain laws mobile manufacturers must follow: You may not offer a media device without a standard headset jack. You may not offer navigation with a week GPS. You may not double the actual required width soley to add a physical qwerty foldout keypad. Above all else, you may not offer a lifestyle device without style.

Now, I’ve said all this based on reading the spec, viewing the pictures, and palming it for 10 minutes. I’ve owned and reviewed many HTC made devices and this a completely obvious failure to me. Perhaps that’s not fair without real-world use though?

So I’m going to endure some pain and suffering so you don’t have to (not that you would buy a G1 – you wouldn’t). I’m going to replace my N82 for the rest of this week with a device I know has no hope. I’m going to use it side-by-side with my iPhone 3G. Wish me luck.

100 Miles Stronger w/ Nike+

Today I hit 100 miles of running with Nike+. It shows how poorly I’ve been keeping up with running (Galina is in to 200+ now). It’s a nice feature they offer… Rewards keep participants interested. I’d still like to see more non-flash integration with blogs.

The stats for my first hundred with Nike+:

  • 26 runs
  • 3.81 miles per run
  • Average pace of 7’24”

I’m still tracking with both Nike+ (today’s) and Nokia SportsTracker (today’s). The SportsTracker, with GPS, is slightly more interesting because it maps your progress while on the run and offers live mapping. I’d still like to have SportsTracker integrated in a blog – it’s a pain to share otherwise.

Something else of interest during today’s run… Everyone on the trail was in a great mood! I offered, “Good Morning!” to eight people and received eight positive responses. In Philadelphia this is a first. Maybe it’s the weather. Maybe it’s a fluke. But either way, it’s awesome to return from vacation with a strong positive vibe.

Good Morning!

How to build a really successful web 2.0 service on top of another service and screw it all up

Twicecream – a fake service to demonstrate a point about single sign-on…

In web 2.0 there is a determination to screw up potentially great services. It’s my number #1 pet peeve with software development these days. Here’s a fictitious example of a service you might create…

You’ve built a service that automatically Twitters your geo-position and the name of an ice cream parlor when you’re in front of it. Your phone buzzes when an ice cream parlor is detected and begins sending photos to SnapTweet and TwitPic, including Zagats ratings and commentary. Other patrons respond back and generate conversations. This is your social network: Twicecream – a social network for twittering ice cream enthusiasts.

In front of Ben & Jerry’s on the Wharf, Zagats 4-stars, pics:

Congratulations! You just failed.

You didn’t fail by creating a service few would use. You failed because you didn’t utilize the authentication mechanism your patrons preferred. You built an unnecessary barrier to your garden by requiring an unnecessary account creation. Don’t do this, it’s arrogant and inefficient.

Your patrons have Twitter accounts. Twitter has an API. Your service should have asked the patron to log in with their Twitter credentials.

This isn’t just for social networking. This goes for all web services. SaaS solutions that require secondary account creations are a bad idea. Single sign-on, whenever possible, should be used.

The whole idea is to simplify access to what the customer needs. If you’re requiring unnecessary account creations, you’re screwing it all up.

GPS Running

Link to today’s run

I love running. I skip wearing headphones or listening to music because I love hearing the world race past me. Things that interfere with the actual experience of being there aren’t interesting to me.

Nike+ on an iPod (a music player first and foremost) thankfully has the option to do a workout without music (and without a headset). I’ve been using this since Christmas 2007 when my wife gave it to me. It’s great! Nike has training programs you can follow to get you the next level.

Recently discovered when I got an N82 is the Nokia Sportstracker app. It keeps track with GPS and gives an amazing amount of live metadata. Not only are you able to follow your speed, pace, average pace, distance, location, etc, in real time, you can pump the data live to the web.

There are a couple things lacking with both systems: Social interaction outside their gardens. Both offer links to back to your workout pages, but neither supports easy placement of the data elsewhere (read: No RSS feeds of the content).

An RSS feed of the workouts would be an ideal next step for either company. RSS being available would allow WordPress and TypePad widget development much more easily.

It would also be slick to have Twitter and Facebook integrations (Nike+ has some Facebook apps written by third parties – I haven’t been impressed with these since they’re all Flash).

Running profiles:

Nike+ and Nokia GPS

Having some fun with the iPod Nike+ and Nokia GPS at the same time while running down to the John Kelly statue along the Schuylkill. While stretching decided to shoot a quick video (didn’t Qik).

The results for the Nike+ are extremely accurate. Since the iPod measures pauses, I believe both devices were pretty much in sync.