Apple Watch 4 Complications

I love mechanical watches (a touch of analog in a digital world) but recently I have been wearing my Apple Watch on workdays.


The customisable world clock complication helps me know the time in places where people I care about are traveling to and/or remote devs are working from.

The calendar entry on the top keeps me up to date with my next meeting (well, today is Friday).

Auto Unlock - the watch unlocks my Mac :)

4 Months of Android

The smartphone platform wars are pretty much over, and Apple and Google won

The above line is from Benedict Evans’s article “Platform wars: the final score (July 2016)

I have been using an iPhone since the last 8 years. On late January this year I decided to give Android a go on Google Pixel. I realized that both platforms have similar features and hardware (or they will at the end of every year as each one plays catch-up). To me, the biggest kicker is the software (core apps I use daily) and that makes all the difference.

Somehow, I haven’t missed iOS on iPhone 7. All the popular apps just work on both the platforms. iOS has an edge over the UI and how buttery it feels while scrolling and switching screens. Android does not have that finesse but I am ok overlooking it for what it provides — an excellent ecosystem of Google services (which I use personally and for work) all tied together with the power of machine learning (ML)and AI. Everyone is talking about ML and AI but Google is all-in. Google Assistant knows everything about me and my travel plans — I am ok with that. I am traveling today and my flight details have already popped up on the Pixel. The Amazon package that I ordered last week shows that it is delayed and will arrive after 2 days.

Google Assistant, which I use daily is way way smarter and better than Siri.

What I have noticed in the last few years is that Google has done an amazing job with their software and keeps improving them on both platforms. The following apps that I use daily on Android are just way better than their iOS counterparts (sadly, iOS 11 isn’t going to make them better either).

Inbox for Gmail (or Gmail)
Try searching your mails in the stock mail app 🙄

Google Calendar
Beautifully designed!

Google Maps 
Seriously, don’t know anyone using Apple Maps.

Google Photos
Super smart.

I could and have used these app on iOS but then Siri would be clueless. Siri needs me to use the Apple core apps which I don’t think are feature-rich. I believe that if you are in one ecosystem (Android or iOS) use the tools of that ecosystem.

But, there are things that I don’t like with Android….
1. Apps asking for access. Paranoia sets in.
2. Scrolling is not as smooth as iOS
3. Apps crash more frequently than iOS.
4. Typing is not as smooth as iOS. I just turned off vibrate on keypress and it’s a bit better.

Both the ecosystems are converging as far as features and quality is concerned. Today, it is just a matter of knowing which one you want to give your data to which in-turn will give you back meaningful data so that you can save time and make better day to day decisions.

If I had to bet on one of these companies getting ML and AI right it is going to be Google. Crunching and making sense of data is in their DNA. To me, that is where the future is. For now, I don’t see myself coming back to iOS on the iPhone.

You should pay for the software you use

A great piece by Farhad Manjoo on Why Did Google Reader Die?

I echoed his sentiment on my post last week. Pay for the software you use. They might live longer.

Here are snippets from his article which just make so much sense…

Reader’s death illustrates a terrible downside of cloud software — sometimes your favorite, most indispensable thing just goes away. Yes, software would get discontinued back in the days when we relied on desktop apps, but when desktop software died it wasn’t really dead. If you’re still a fan of ancient versions of WordPerfect or Lotus 1–2–3, you can keep using them on your aging DOS box. But when cloud software dies, it goes away for good. If the company that’s killing it is decent, it may let you export your data. But you’ll never, ever be able to use its code again.

That’s why we should all consider Reader’s death a wake-up call — a reminder that any time you choose to get involved with a new app, you should think about the long haul. It’s not a good idea to hook up with every great app that comes along, even if it’s terrifically innovative and mind-bogglingly cheap or even free. Indeed, you should be especially wary if something seems too cheap. That’s because software is expensive. To build and maintain the best software requires engineering and design talent that will only stick around when a company has an obvious way to make money. If you want to use programs that last, it’s not enough to consider how well they work. You’ve also got to be sure that there’s a solid business model attached to the code.

But companies that take your money are at least signaling to you that their software is just as important to them as it is to you. On the other hand, companies that don’t take your money and won’t even say how the product you love will ever make money — hey, they’re fun for a romp, but don’t be surprised when they ditch town in the middle of the night.

I encourage you to do the same, if you can afford it. Free stuff online is great, but nothing is free forever. If you care for something, open your wallet.