Monday, May 27, 2013

CalConnect: 7 Things You Should Know About Tasks

One of those conundrums [1]: The more popular mobile devices get, the more people care about data interchange. Don't ask me, why they did care less on PCs... Probably it is easier on a PC to read and re-type a calendar event, than on a smartphone.

So, I'm glad to read that the CalConnect consortium is doubling their efforts on Task (todo) exchange/interchange/compatibility.

or is it conundra ?

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Beyond Google Reader - Part 3

So, only 5 more weeks or so to go before we geeks have to eke out our miserable existence without Google Reader.
As I mentioned in one of my previous posts, I will most probably switch to Feedly.

Here's where I stand today:
  • I mostly gave up the Google Reader app on my Android mobile, 99.9% on Feedly.
  • On my iPad I do 80% on Reeder, 20% on Feedly... and Feedly's share is increasing.
    Reeder's future is not entirely clear, except they say they plan to continue.
  • On the PC I'm also 80% still in Google Reader, 20% in Feedly.
Basically I'm waiting for Feedly to launch their own back-end service, then import (hopefully auto-magically) my Google Reader feeds in there and just continue.

Ah, and in the meantime Digg seems to be progressing with their Reader back-end. Let's hope they'll launch it openly for any reader app out there.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Syncing Google Contacts to iPad/iPhone Address Book via CardDAV

The cloudier software and services get, the less I sync my iPad with iTunes.
It took Apple a while, but even podcasts can now be sync'd over the air without iTunes.

The only thing that I really needed to go through iTunes was syncing my iPad address book with Google Contacts (in GMail). I only synced about once a month (probably even less often) so my address book really missed some contacts.

But now that we have 2013 Apple and Google both support CardDAV - if you will, the address book equivalent of the more popular CalDAV (for calendar data).

With CardDAV the iPad (or iPhone for that matter) directly goes to Google without the detour through iTunes on the PC. The benefit: you'll be really in sync, like on Android. (SCNR)

Here's what you need to do:

Create a new Account with CardDAV

In Settings find the Mail, Concacts, Calender bullet; the first section is the Accounts section, and there click on Add Account.... Create a new Other account and then select Add CardDAV Accont in the Contacts section.

All you need to provide then is for the server, and your Google credentials (userid and password). You can of course modify the description, but the default - taken from the server name - sounds quite apt, doesn't it.

That's it.


... you did sync your Google contacts previously through iTunes - like I did.

Because then you will notice - in the contacts app - that now all entries are duplicate. Once from the new CardDAV account, and once from the iTunes sync.

Let me show you the fastest way to
Delete the old Address Book

Back to the Settings / Mail, ... page.
Create a new Microsoft Exchange account with dummy parameters like test for Email, Username and Password. I used "test" for it.

Then the iPad will prompt you for a server name, say, just to have one that really exists and answers.

Next the iPad will ask you for the services on this account, make sure you turn Contacts to ON.
And now the nice part: you will be prompted if you want to delete all your local contacts. Say you do. And confirm. Be sure to save the account settings, because it will only delete when you save.

And now the old local address book will be gone.
Remove the dummy Exchange account you just created.

Now you have all your Google contacts sync'd to the iPad through CardDav... over the air. No iTunes needed.
Don't forget to go to the PC and turn of Contacts sync (to Google) for the iPad as well.

Saturday, May 04, 2013

How not to share on Android

This morning my wife told me that one of our favorite restaurant guides for Vienna (Wien, wie es isst) now has an Android app. I knew this app from the iOS version (earlier on my iPod touch) and I had not been impressed by it - largely because of the required paid subscription and lack of features.

Well, half an hour later she found a review of a new restaurant in Vienna, which we decided to try soon, and she wanted to make a note of this (address, phone, ...) in Evernote.
When I saw her typing like there was no tomorrow, I asked here, why she did not simply share this restaurant from the guide app to Evernote.

Well, turns out, you can't.  Because those (strong language deleted here) developers decided not to properly implement the share functionality (with the Android SEND intent), but implement their own.

And guess what happens then: you only implement a view of the share functions / targets... and this is not what Android is supposed to be.

Of course, we can only find Facebook, Twitter and E-mail there, because the developer had no clue that I had e.g. Remember-The-Milk on my smartphone; or Evernote, or Google Keep for that matter, or any other app that might want to receive this information.

Simply freaking share with the SEND intent, please! It is easier, less effort (for the developer) and will actually fit the user's needs and expectations. That's why it is there.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

One of thoooose popups

So, which is it...
Cancel or Stop ?

Well in this case at least it can be resolved: Cancel cancels the stopping of the download, i.e. resumes the download.

Developers and Designers, listen to me!
You have to pay more attention to  wording and/or translation.