Android app updates

An Android app I needed to use refused to allow me into it unless I updated it.

BONUS: Every time I hit the update button, it took me to the iTunes Store.

So, I went to the Google Play Store. It said I had the current version. So, I visited the store from a laptop computer which said I was two minor versions behind. (2.0.9 was current and I had 2.0.7.)

I tried re-installing the app. It installed 2.0.7 again.

I tried the nuclear option deleting the cache & data and then restarting the phone. When it came back, it recognized that it needed an update.

In retrospect, maybe the Google Play app needed to be the one I deleted the cache for? It seems the problem was it not getting the new information about apps.

Crappy Geofencing

A friend claimed geofencing is the solution to the problem of minor league baseball players clocking in and out for work. (Sure, I had other issues with the plan, but this is specifically about how if all that other stuff is wonderful, how geofencing would fail.)

The concept is that when one arrives at a destination, then a phone undertakes certain behaviors. Across a few phones over the past 4 years, I have been very, very underwhelmed.

  • Hit or miss: Location services are often inaccurate. Not like the wrong city inaccurate, but they often indicate I am at the wrong address which is just enough the action does not trigger. For example, a reminder app will trigger when I visit the grocery store to get things on the list. Except, it doesn’t half the time because it thinks I am at a business next door.
  • Battery drain:¬†They usually demand one have GPS enabled. They also demand that you not be in a battery saving mode. So, you better have a great device with a huge battery or frequent access to recharging it.

I will admit this generally works much better today than it did 4 years ago. So, there is hope for the future. And the optimistic view is it probably just a couple years away, so the pessimistic view is more like a decade, so splitting the difference: 6 years.

Dear App Makers

Listen, I get it. I used your app. Yay! I even like it. So, maybe my friends will like it too? Seems reasonable.

BUT, I am not one of the jackholes who post that stuff on Facebook and Twitter.

The sad reality is, the more painful you make it to escape your requests to spam my friends about your app or even make me have to dismiss it too much, there are dozens of competitors who I will gladly try. The odds are very good I am using your app because I became too annoyed with one of your competitors.

I like you, but I am not in the least very loyal to you.

Thanks,
Ezra