The mobile story for 2011 was the rise of Android.
It looks like the mobile story for 2012 is not going to be so good for Android. It appears as though the operating system is in choppy waters, and is suddenly facing a lot of trouble.
We’re going to lay out all the small and big problems we’re seeing for Android in this post.
Let’s start with the number one news story of the year: Facebook buying Instagram for $1 billion. This is bad news for Android, because it shows that a developer can build a massively successfully product that the world goes crazy for without even using Android.
He goes on to explain the reasons why Android is in trouble but most of us in the tech industry knew of these problems the past couple years. I think that suddenly the average consumer is getting irritated with their Android product.
In the words of Dropbox CEO Drew Houston, sharing documents and other files online is “bafflingly, still really difficult.” I mean, clearly it’s doable through email and, yes, services such as Dropbox, but it’s still kind of a pain. With a new feature launching today, Houston and his team are trying to make things as absolutely simple as possible. And it looks like they’ve succeeded.
Houston and Product Manager Ivan Kirigin demonstrated the feature to TechCrunch Editor Eric Eldon and me last week. It was one of those demos that went flew by — in a good way. Now, if you want to share a file in Dropbox, you just click on the file, then click on “Get Link”, and Dropbox will automatically generate a custom URL. You can share that URL via email or however else you like, and whoever clicks on it will be able to view the file in their browser. Simple, and also the first easy way for Dropbox users to share files with people who don’t have Dropbox accounts.
I’m an avid Dropbox user and this is good news. If you haven’t tried Dropbox out yet you should give it a look. A 5GB account is FREE.
Adobe has posted a warning on their website about a security flaw that affects a number of their products on just about every platform including Android, Windows, Mac, Solaris and Linux.
Following is the summary of the problem from their website – go there to read the full text.
A critical vulnerability exists in Adobe Flash Player 10.2.152.33 and earlier versions (Adobe Flash Player 10.2.154.18 and earlier for Chrome users) for Windows, Macintosh, Linux and Solaris operating systems, Adobe Flash Player 10.1.106.16 and earlier versions for Android, and the Authplay.dll component that ships with Adobe Reader and Acrobat X (10.0.1) and earlier 10.x and 9.x versions of Reader and Acrobat for Windows and Macintosh operating systems.
This vulnerability (CVE-2011-0609) could cause a crash and potentially allow an attacker to take control of the affected system. There are reports that this vulnerability is being exploited in the wild in targeted attacks via a Flash (.swf) file embedded in a Microsoft Excel (.xls) file delivered as an email attachment. At this time, Adobe is not aware of attacks targeting Adobe Reader and Acrobat. Adobe Reader X Protected Mode mitigations would prevent an exploit of this kind from executing.
We are in the process of finalizing a fix for the issue and expect to make available an update for Flash Player 10.x and earlier versions for Windows, Macintosh, Linux, Solaris and Android, and an update for Adobe Acrobat X (10.0.1) and earlier 10.x and 9.x versions for Windows and Macintosh, Adobe Reader X (10.0.1) for Macintosh, and Adobe Reader 9.4.2 and earlier 9.x versions during the week of March 21, 2011. Because Adobe Reader X Protected Mode would prevent an exploit of this kind from executing, we are currently planning to address this issue in Adobe Reader X for Windows with the next quarterly security update for Adobe Reader, currently scheduled for June 14, 2011.
Since the iPad was announced over a year ago, one of the uses that seemed to be natural for it was that of a Magazine and Newspaper reader. Real life results, unfortunately have been mixed. Many magazines such as Wired, Popular Science and The Economist were on the iPad shortly after launch. Others such as Rupert Murdoch’s The Daily and Sir Richard Branson’s Project appeared with much fanfare but mixed reaction.
The main problems users report are that the magazine interfaces aren’t consistent from one magazine to another and these interfaces generally aren’t intuitive.
This is counter to what most users of Apple software – whether it’s OS X or iOS – are accustomed too. Apple has a rather large document for their developers; Apple Human Interface Guidelines. This document describes, in excruciating detail, how an Apple App should look and act.
These guidelines are built-in to Apple’s developer tools in the form of templates. That’s why Apps for OS X and iOS operate similarly from one to another and because of that, they’re reasonably intuitive for the user.
I’m hearing that Apple is developing a magazine template that will be in a future release of their developer environment and toolkit – Xcode.
This publishing template will create a familiar consistent user interface. It also will facilitate in-app purchases for subscriptions and back issues. Another benefit Apple anticipates is that there will be a plethora of new magazines on the iPad. They believe that anyone will be able to create a magazine relatively easily and have it published by Apple and sold through iTunes.
I’m told; “Imagine a guy drawing and writing a comic book. He can’t sell it to Marvel or DC so he hooks up with a programmer and within days, he’s getting his comic book published and sold on iTunes.”
Of course, a comic book is just one example. I could see all kinds of these “Garage Magazines” as I call them, being created. Undoubtedly, quality would vary widely.
Apple hopes to have this implemented by the end of the year.