Crippled Google Latitude Web App Spotlights iPhone Fault
Posted 24 July 2009 - 07:16 AM
Every Phone has its streagths and weeknesses. and the Iphone is no exception.
I will not discuss the decision of offering the app as a web app as that is political and has nothing to do with phone capabilities.
It is true the iphone does not have background processing, and that can hamper certain applications but google lattitude does not need background processing, or at least A WELL DESIGNED application with lattitude's capabilities doesn't.
Google lattitude on the other platforms uses background processing to alert users to change in location, You could do something similar with apns on the iphone.
But google lattitude is crippled because the google app engine does not handle server push very well.
A well designed Iphone application, using a backend engine with good grizzly comet-d support and a well thought out APNS implementation could run circles around the other lattitude versions.
(of course it would need to be a native application)
We Iphone developers are still learning our way around apns and the 3.0 capabilities. Just wait a few months you'll be eating your manuscripts over the apps that we produce.
Posted 24 July 2009 - 07:22 AM
Even if Latitude did generate enough network traffic that AT&T put the kibosh on it, a la, Sling Player Mobile, Google's statement still holds. Even if AT&T did "allow" Latitude, it still couldn't run in the background, so it still couldn't be used the way it was designed. Besides, I doubt Latitude would generate as much, or more, traffic as streaming video.
Unfortunately, in this case, the fault lies with Apple and not allowing background processes.
Posted 24 July 2009 - 07:37 AM
I'm not sure I understand what you're saying/asking. Your first question seems to be, "Exactly what does not having background processing have on what was clearly a political decision?" Which can be rephrased as, "what advantage does not having background processing have over the political decision?" Which doesn't make sense, because they're not two things that can be compared, since the political decision led to not having background processing.
Your second question seems to be, "Exactly what does not having background processing have on a poorly designed version?" This seems to be circular, since one systems relies on the other, so one wouldn't have an advantage over the other. Also, I assume you're referring to Google's Latitude by "poorly designed version", based on your previous post, not Apple's push notification system. Additionally, what do you mean by, "Maybe is was poorly designed for a political reason to"? Are you referring to Latitude or Apple's push notification system. Are you talking about current design or a past design? And political reason to do what?
Posted 24 July 2009 - 07:50 AM
But putting some thought into how lattitude would work , Here are some ideas This is based on a native application implementation because again its not a phone deficency and may have to do with contractual arraingements between goolgle and apple. This type of app does not violate either the apple or att tos, so its a bit perplexing.
First , the server must be robust at multitasking, able to handle long polling Comet-d style requests. Java is a good candidate for this.
1) Whenever a new friend to track is located the server would send a push notification message to the iphone. if the user is not actively using the app, the user could open the application my clicking view. Unlike other platforms there is almost zero lack for setup teardown of app/ or http connection
2) If the user is using the app, realtime updates are being displayed in a uiwebview within the app. A webview has most of the functionaliity of a safari browser, more than one webview may exists on a single form and webviews may be tied to the same or different browser sessions. The realtime updates are of course handled via server push from the background server.
This is actually more efficient than using background processing, because realtime updates are being sent to all users on all platforms at the same time.
Posted 24 July 2009 - 07:58 AM
Ok let me rephrase.
1) The political decision of not being a native application has no bearing on the capabilities or limitations of the iphone.
2) Lattitude type applications with realtime updates can be designed without background processing, we are learning to live with that limitation, and hope Apple will consider it.
3) The web version of lattitude is poorly designed, either purposely because in protest of (1) or because more likely google's backend technology can only support that type of implementation . (dependent on phone resources) A lot of similar applications are in the works or forthcoming.
Posted 24 July 2009 - 08:24 AM
Posted 24 July 2009 - 08:26 AM
But, saying that google lattitude is crippled solely because of the lack of multitasking on the iphone, and then launching into a discussion how other phones that include multitasking are so much better, requires a "hey a wait a minute response".
We developers are always asking apple to give us more abilities, some times they give in , I can't discuss because of NDA and sometimes they don't background processing.
I would much rather than develope for the iphone than winmobile, I used to do that a long time ago, And one thing that always caused issues was misbehaved background processes that required reseting the phone to clear.
Posted 24 July 2009 - 08:31 AM
But they do make some interesting compromises, I can't discuss except in private developer forums.
Posted 24 July 2009 - 08:45 AM
Are you able to switch from I-Go8, to Telenav, Tom-tom, Google Earth, and Garmin GT, all at a touch of a finger? How about playing with Hulu.com, Slingbox, Pandora, Sirus, XM, Youtube, and movies, and Flash? I surf the internet on Skyfire, Opera, IE, or Iris. Keep all of my contacts backed up over the air with Dash Wire and on the “removable storage” via PimBackup. If my battery goes dead, no problem, pop a fresh one in! Wmwifirouter lets me surf the net on my laptop via the Wi-Fi signal from the phone’s net connection. Somebody steals my phone, no problem there either; I send a text to it that will lock and/or wipe the phone and the card both clean, or ping the phone and track the punk down via GPS. Tech support is via PPCGeeks.com + XDA, thanks guys! CBM for life!
As far as work I have MS Office, I can plug my TP to the projector and handle the PowerPoint show without needing a laptop. Copy + Paste, got it. Push mail and all email/networking sites are covered. I can remotely control the phone from a PC over the net and visa versa. 16gigs of storage with an extra 16 gig card in my key ring. File sharing is supported via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to other computers on the network as well.
What good an I-Phone can do for someone? It is a rather crippled device in my opinion. Bad enough you have to jailbreak the phone to do anything with it, worse you are stuck with AT&T’s substandard internet speed, unless you hack it over to T-Mobile. If you just need to play your I-tunes and make phone calls or play a game or two, then the I-Phone may be just for you. I myself need a bit more out of mine, A Touch Pro PPC on Sprint’s Simply Everything Plan, try and keep up now, ya hear me?
Posted 24 July 2009 - 08:50 AM
As for WebOS supporting background? So what? I have a WebOS emulator on my iPhone; it's called Safari.
I for one don't care about having background apps.
Posted 24 July 2009 - 09:03 AM
1) Clearly, there is a way for the iPhone to transmit location data in the background: MobileMe subscribers can find out their iPhone location without user intervention at the iPhone.
2) GPS/location information is a double edged sword. Do you really want someone else to know where are at all times? If I somehow got access to your phone (or someone else's phone) and I could track you, I would know where you were not home (or were home!) and could easily plan some pretty bad things. Creepy.
Posted 24 July 2009 - 09:04 AM
Selfish much? Can your friends find YOU reliably? Obviously not if you only open the app when you want to find someone else.
Michelle, you wrote "Every Phone has its strengths and weeknesses. and the Iphone is no exception."
That's all the article is pointing out, and this time the tired 'multitasking' debate has a new example of why the iPhone sucks when it comes to the topic at hand. So, I really wouldn't call the article "Pretty Lame" when the author is completely correct.
Posted 24 July 2009 - 09:05 AM
I'm not impressed I was using winmobile devices for almost as long as there were pocket pc's, in fact I had one of the first hp ones . I was in the dev program from day 1. Sure the background processing was useful, even better when the os finally gave you an easy way to stop background tasks, originally you had to go through the settings menu and it was multiple key strokes , later some 3rd party app management utilities came up. But still you could easily find an application that ran over its own address space and into another application.
Then there's ie, not the greatest browser in the world.
But try this on your winmobile.
Shoot 10 minutes of video, and 20 pictures, make sure you geocode the pictures with the date and location. I'd like you to share that video with me and my facebook and twitter friends and your facebook friends but no one else. Don't tell me about it, just go to a wifi-hotspot, like one of 10 million starbucks and my friends and me will find your phone via zero configuration. and we will just connect to you and watch the video and view the photos. Oh and by the way we can chat with each other via bonjour and/or twitter.
I just described an app that will be available in a few months on the iphone 3gs.
Posted 24 July 2009 - 09:58 AM
Posted 24 July 2009 - 10:08 AM
Better would be an app the iphone could handle quite easily, which would be , lets say I;m in the app and I want to know where my friends are. I click a "where is everyone" button , which sends a push notification out to my friends. And then its up to them if they want to start the app and talk to me.
At least then I Know I have some control.