The Weekly Rant

It’s my blog, and I can rant if I want to, rant if I want to…

There are a couple of things as of late that have me somewhat annoyed. Here they are:

Packaging apps in with unrelated (or even related) toolbars. Adobe Acrobat Reader, I’m looking at you. If I download an app, I want that app. I don’t want the Yahoo or Google toolbar. If I did, I’d download it separately. That, and the default option for these things are usually checked which snags any unsuspecting users. Evil. Evil! I’m not an unsuspecting user, but I do get called on to provide tech support by friends/family who could easily get snagged by such evil things. Seriously though – if I want a toolbar, I will go and find it. The same goes with bundling apps together, such as QuickTime and iTunes. The only way to install one without the other is to install both and then uninstall iTunes. Whoever bundles these things needs to be punched in the face, or something to that effect. Great from a marketer’s perspective, but bad from an end-user’s perspective. So much for the customer always being right.

Things that steal my window focus. I strongly dislike (but hate less than bundled apps/toolbars) applications that steal my mouse focus. If I start up an app, then switch back to another program before the recently started app is fully open, it shouldnt’ steal my window focus. This becomes especially annoying on a 3 monitor setup, where you are working away on the leftmost monitor, fire up an app that appears on the rightmost monitor, then go back to the leftmost monitor, only to discover that the app on the right monitor has stolen your window focus. Not so much of an issue for regular users, but still annoying, especially when the freshly started app absolutely demands your attention for whatever reason.

Things that look like an iPhone UI. Ugh, seriously – why can’t all these phone manufacturers use an ounce of creativity, and come up with a touchscreen phone that isn’t plastered with a bunch of brightly colored buttons on the main screen? You’ve gone so far as to create new/different hardware and software, so why steal someone else’s UI? I really don’t think it is that great looking. I’d rather be seeing a beautiful wallpaper with a few handy snippets on it, like the date/time, maybe something showing if I’ve missed a call or have a new text message (and who it’s from), or the weather or something. I don’t need to see icons to all 50 apps I’ve got installed on the phone every time I look at it. To use an “icanhascheezeburger-ism”: HTC – ur doing it right. iPhone imitators: stop now plz k thnx.

I do admit – that is one area where Apple has really outdone themselves – the App store. It’s no wonder that Apple iPhone apps are eating a huge chunk of the market: it isn’t so much that the applications are that great, but it is about how easy they are to find and download. If I want to find an app for my WinMo based phone, I’ve got to go hunting around on the internet through tons of crapware to find something decent (and hope that it isn’t bundled with a toolbar or some other app). From what I hear, it’s a lot easier to find software for the iPhone through the App store. One centralized location for apps. This is where Apple seems to have Microsoft taken. If Microsoft were to try something similar, it’d be completely swamped with apps (which, from what I understand, is happening to the App store as every Tom, Joe, Dick, and Harry find out that they can write an iPhone App and make some money). What some intelligent person should do is create an App store for Windows Mobile phones, and become the leading WinMo App store – sort of like what Steam has done for PC games. Maybe such a thing already exists, but if it does I haven’t heard about it.

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