Strong opinions, weakly held

Selected links

Former Google Reader product manager Brian Shih runs down the problems with the new Google Reader. Sometimes linking to something feels like signing a petition. This is one of those times.

Via Tim Bray, an excellent essay entitled Your code should be as boring as possible by Emmett Shear of Justin.tv. Yet another example of the brilliant stuff that’s appearing on engineering blogs from tech companies.

Ars Technica asks, how much data does Siri use?

Stephen O’Grady talks about things that should concern Google about Android. Speaking as someone who isn’t an Android fan, I see it as the least common denominator. It provides an iPhone-ish experience and handset makers can use it without paying for it, so it has taken off. The only thing its success proves is that giving something of value away for free is one way to gain traction in the marketplace, especially when no viable alternatives exist.


  1. I think that assessment may be a little bit harsh with respect to Android. There’s no debate that the user interface is derivative, or that the experience on iOS, in general, is superior.

    There are, however, areas which Android is in my opinion, better. The most obvious of these is synchronization. It’s only recently that iOS broke the tether, allowing handsets or tablets to be updated sans a physical connection to a computer. But more importantly, the experience of being able to take a vanilla Android device, feeding it a set of credentials and having it automatically recreate your device over the air – a feature that Android’s had for several versions – is impressive.

    Not to argue with your larger point. But Android does do a few things that Apple could – and is – learning from, IMO.

  2. I’m being unfair to Android. I think it’s a good product, but I don’t think providing an iOS-class experience is even a goal of Google. Their goal is to create a ubiquitous platform that appeals to as many device makers as possible. Doing that has a completely different set of requirements than Apple has for iOS.

    It’s certainly true that Android is innovative as well. The iPhone and iOS were huge leaps forward, but since then I think Android has been pushing the market forward as much as Apple has been.

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