Digital Wellness on Android: a second look

I got a chance to look at Google’s digital wellness feature on a developer’s version of Android P and it was interesting but also a bit disappointing. As I said in my previous post last week, just having access to this data is helpful and enlightening. I opened up the dashboard at around 5:00pm and … Continue reading Digital Wellness on Android: a second look

Digital Wellness: the future of mobile app development or a passing fad?

The data is out: we’re addicted. We’re spending almost six hours a day online and of those 3.3 hours are on mobile devices. We are officially addicted to our phones.  The conversation around addictions often focuses on the addicted “just stopping” whatever it is they’re addicted to. Yet an entire industry built on gum and … Continue reading Digital Wellness: the future of mobile app development or a passing fad?

Five product trends that were showcased at Google I/O

I was lucky to attend Google I/O last week and after the excitement around the announcements had died down, I was left with five intriguing product trends that not only show where Google is headed but also, in some ways, the rest of the industry. These do not by any means include all the announcements … Continue reading Five product trends that were showcased at Google I/O

A few musings on notifications in iOS by a long time Android user

This week, after my Android phone died again, I decided to venture into the world of Apple and borrowed an old iPhone 6 from a friend. I’ve spent the last few days fighting with my muscle memory (where do I swipe?) and Googling “how do I…” when I can’t find an essential setting. Since my … Continue reading A few musings on notifications in iOS by a long time Android user

Notifications in Android O: what to expect

Notifications are tricky but are essential when building a mobile app. Nir Eyal, who wrote the book on building habit-forming products says “[notifications] are the Pavlovian bell of the 21st century and they get us to check our tech incessantly.” They are the triggers to bring a user back into an app, and they do … Continue reading Notifications in Android O: what to expect

Another reason why developing for iOS has to be first

Product Hunt, one of the best (if not the best) site for surfacing new products, announced its finalists for the various Golden Kitty awards this week. I gravitated to the “mobile app of the year” award page to take a look at the nominees. Aside from spending time trying a few of them out (how … Continue reading Another reason why developing for iOS has to be first

Android Marshmallow and the new runtime permissions – looking for best practices

I’m a long time user of Android phones and only recently installed the new Marshmallow, aka M, update. One of my most anticipated new features in M was runtime permissions which were introduced by Google at Google I/O 2015. After installing the update I wanted to see how apps were managing the change and to … Continue reading Android Marshmallow and the new runtime permissions – looking for best practices

Spotify: permissions, privacy and consequences

Two weeks ago a debate popped up around Spotify’s new EULA, foisted upon its users in the sadly common "either say yes or stop using the service" option. Most of the discussion was around new data that Spotify was asking to access and share with third-parties. Aside from musical taste, it “wants to be able to access … Continue reading Spotify: permissions, privacy and consequences

App permissions in Android: one of the unsung features due in M

During Google I/O last week, another feature caught my attention, one that I have written and, yes, complained about, a few times in the past: app permissions on Android. In the last few releases, app permissions on Android have been an all-or-nothing deal: if users didn’t want to grant a specific permission, their only option … Continue reading App permissions in Android: one of the unsung features due in M

Blackberry’s chicken and egg problem: should they follow Microsoft’s example?

Two days ago the CEO of Blackberry, John Chen, created a stir here in the valley when his letter to a few members of Congress was posted on Blackberry’s blog. In it he asked that legislators intervene and require the developers of the more popular apps to develop an app for the Blackberry platform. Using … Continue reading Blackberry’s chicken and egg problem: should they follow Microsoft’s example?