Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Apple product bashing continued...

...2 weeks passed and I had hopes that my initial frustration with Apple products will disappear in expectation that getting used to iPhone, iPad and iTunes will change my mind towards these products.

Forget it...it gets worse by the day!

I knew that the iPhone4 had this antenna flaw and have been told I would be able to fix it using a phone cover. But that is all bull shit (pardon my French). The iPhone4 has a miserable reception, regardless of holding it left handed, right handed, with or without cover. My wife is on the verge of freaking out as I never understand her when she calls me. Call and sound quality is crap.

Which leads me to the second problem, my iPhone4's speakers at full volume whisper at best - well that is a polite way of describing the sound. I never hear the phone ringing. And before you post a response telling me I should get my iPhone4 checked/repaired/changed, it will happen this week. Let's see what the experience to that will be.

The next problem developed recently with iTunes and the synchronisation with the iPhone and iPad. I used to sync my iPhone and iPad with an HP laptop. Unfortunately after 3 years of working hard for me, the fan decided to die and I had to give the laptop for repair.

Whilst the HP is under repair I'm using a Sony Vaio laptop and here is where the problems started:

iPhone and iPad sync only with ONE PC; with the iTunes library on one PC to be precise. Whilst that could be a limitation I can live with as long as a transfer of libraries would be a piece of cake, it unfortunately isn't.


Any files synced that are not purchased (downloaded) through iTunes/Appstore get deleted from the linked devices when linking it to another iTunes library. There seems to be way of saving all other files through the backup feature and factory resetting the devices and then restoring from the backup, but frankly speaking this is a NO GO! As I had only a few music files not purchased via iTunes, I decided to let them get deleted.


After some messages on screen telling you that all files will be removed from the device before you can sync your device with the new iTunes library and confirming it, syncing still doesn't take place. You need actually to go through all device tabs in iTunes and enable again all the stuff you want to sync. Whilst it somewhat does make sense (though the information of what is to be synced could also be on the device), the fact that there is no message box telling you what to do, makes the whole process not particular intuitive.


At least you can transfer all purchased apps and media files from the device back to the new iTunes library, but you cannot transfer the information on how you organized the app icons on your "desktop" (or whatever it is called). Hence you have to arrange them ALL all over again (inclusive the creation of folders).


In matter of fact ANY icon arrangements done on the device are often lost when syncing with iTunes. I have not found a pattern of this behaviour yet, but it definitely happens regularly that changes done on the iPad are overwritten by the iTunes configuration. Unfortunately one cannot define rules, such as the device always wins (in case of sync conflicts).

To summarise the experience:

It took me 3 full days to find a solution to a simple problem: change of hardware that holds the iTunes library. And the really annoying bit is that as soon my HP laptop comes back from repair I have to do the whole story all over again.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

I just had it. After 1 week of being an iPhone and iPad user I already had enough...

I was forced to change to Apple devices as the company I'm working for decided to use Apple products for its teaching environment. I have been asked to develop a specific application that can only be developed natively. Fine I thought, the company pays for the hardware, so be it.

All wrong. I'm about to change back to Android and ask the company to pay for a second data contract for the iOS devices, which I will use for the development only. And here is why...


Battery live of the iPhone 4 is a disaster. I thought that the 8-16 hours (depending on usage) I got out of my HTC Desire HD (Android) is a pretty short battery live. Well, my iPhone 4 gives me maybe 6-8 hours max. I need a charger everywhere I go :-(


I'm an IT professional that does not only development, but also network administration. I need network tools, such as a WiFi Signal Scanner and Analyzer. Sorry, not available. This kind of functionality violates Apple's General Terms and Conditions. Yes, you read right, Apple doesn't want you to scan any (even if it is yours) Wifi environment.


Apps for Sound Profiles share the same faith. Whether you are a professional user or not. Sound profiles and the ability to quickly change the active one are an extremely useful functionality. On my Android phone I have profiles with different volume and sound settings for many different situations, such as when I'm in the office, in a meeting, on the road, in the car, at home, in the bed etc. Nada, no sound profiles for iOS devices.


If an app is not available in the Appstore of your location, that's it. No app! For Android devices you can search in probably a dozen online stores. If you don't get it in Google Play, you almost certainly find the app in one of the alternative stores. Even on the Blackberry Playbook (and the new OS10) you will have side load capabilities.


After configuring all my different mail, calendar and contact accounts, iOS did synchronize them all. So that at least works. But whilst the Blackberry OS and Android "links" the same contacts of the different accounts, iOS does not. As a result I have many contacts doubled and tripled. Some have just the email address, others a phone number (because the contacts have been created in a different context.

Can you imagine how easy it is to identify the contact with the number, rather the one with the email address? It is a nightmare! With my Android phone this is a no brainer. You just select the single contact and Android looks for the required info (if you make a call it takes the linked contact having the number, sending an email takes the linked contact with the mail address...as simple as that).


A statement I often hear is "Apple just works". Right? No it doesn't. 2 days ago I thought I bricked my new iPad 2. Whilst I had the iPad connected to my PC and having it synch'ed via iTunes, I got a message on screen saying that there is an update to 5.1.1, do you want to download and install...

I did, and in the middle of the process a damn error message came up after both the PC and the iPad froze. After that the iPad could no longer be booted. Well, being in the IT business long enough I staid calm and did some research and eventually found a way to re-install iOS on the iPad. I just wonder if a normal user would have been hit by this.

Well, the iPhone looks better though. Maybe I frame it and hang it somewhere on the wall.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

n-Mobility Client 2.5.2 released...

The new release is available for Android phones and tablets and the Blackberry Playbook. The iPhone and iPad releases are posted for approval. We will keep you posted about the iOS availability. 

The new release requires an upgrade of the soapgate Q! database to version 2.6.7+. The n-Mobility 2.5.2 client is compiled and packaged with Adobe AIR 3.2 for Android (captive runtime) and iOS. The Playbook release is compiled and packaged with Adobe AIR 3.1.  

New Features

  • View Options

    The Database Access Profile in the soapgate Q! database provides support for additional view parameters {...}

     {number of docs, disable grouping, disable design cache, disable data cache, Total columns x:y:z}
    In the now released n-Mobility release 2.5.2 only the first parameter is supported. The other parameters will be included in future point releases. If the number of docs option is used, it will overwrite the default as configured in the n-Mobility Configuration screen.
  • New Field Prompt Options
    A new color options allows a better "grouping" of field blocks...


    Valid only for Richtext fields. Adds a summary text of the richtext in front of the to HTML rendered richtext. The three parameters are to set the font color for the prompt and field, as well as the backgroundcolor for the field.


    Set the font color for the prompt and field, as well as the backgroundcolor for the field.

  •  Design and Data Cache

    The list of database (Workspace View), the list of views (Navigator View) and the view content (data) will be cached in SQL Light databases on the device. This new caching feature is the first step towards the provisioning of off-line services and data synchronisation. For the time being on-line access is still required for the initial authentication with the server.

    All n-Mobility views provide reload buttons to update the cached data from the actual data from the server.
  • UI Improvements

    The Configuration screen has been completely redesigned. The Error Notification screen is providing a Re-connect button, as most errors are related to connection loss or connection time outs.  


  • Local filter condition on larger data sets took forever (endless loop bug)
  • When creating multiple Database Access Profiles to the same database (e.g. to split functionality into modules), only the first profile would be used, all other ignored.
  • UI rendering issues mostly related to the iOS versions.