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“Open” Google

2 min read

Listening to TWiT the past week or so and they’ve been talking a lot about the Apple education event, and making a lot of comparisons to Google. Leo would consistently talk about how Google is more “open” and Apple is closed. One person during one of the shows (I can’t recall which) even said Chromebooks were better because they could have developers make web apps, but iPads required iOS developers. Did they forget that iPads have Safari?

And on the topic of Google being “open”, I don’t think that word means what you think it means. Google has done a good job convincing everyone that they’re “open”, but they really aren’t. If Google were really open, you’d be able to develop a 3rd party Google Docs client and collaborate with people using the 1st party Google Docs app. What Leo really seems to be saying is Google has more cross platform apps, but cross platform does not equal open. That would be like saying an email provider that only allowed you to email other people on their service is open as long as they made apps for all the major platforms.  

This isn’t to say Google hasn’t contributed a lot to the open source community, they have, but so has Apple

I guess all of this is to say cross platform <> open.

 

Advertisers are furious with Apple for new Safari 11 updates - The Verge

“Blocking cookies in this manner will drive a wedge between brands and their customers, and it will make advertising more generic and less timely and useful,” the open letter reads. “Put simply, machine-driven cookie choices do not represent user choice; they represent browser-manufacturer choice.”

I feel if the ad industry is this upset by this, it's probably good for the user. 

The thing is, many users don't have a choice when it comes to tracking. They can't easily stop it, and when they try, the advertising companies usually try to work around it. 

 

Been using the Ka-block content blocker on both iOS and MacOS for about a year now and I'm very happy with them. Anyone have any other good recommendations?



 

Safari Favicons

2 min read

John Gruber wrote recently about favicons in Safari

The gist of it is two-fold: (1) there are some people who strongly prefer to see favicons in tabs even when they don’t have a ton of tabs open, simply because they prefer identifying tabs graphically rather than by the text of the page title; and (2) for people who do have a ton of tabs open, favicons are the only way to identify tabs.

A lot of people seem to agree that Safari should display favicons as a way to quickly find a page among a sea of open tabs. Personally, I've never found that to be all that useful in finding a particular tab. Gruber makes some good points, but the way I deal with a large number of tabs is through the tab exposé feature in Safari. Just pinch on the trackpad (or use the shift-cmd-\ keyboard shortcut) to see a grid of thumbnails of all your tabs. From there, you can visually identify the page you're looking for. Alternatively, if you just start typing, the grid of thumbnails will be filtered based on the search.

I find this method to be much better than trying to remember where in a row of tabs a particular page is, or trying to identify a site based on the favicon in the tab bar, but that's just me.

 

Why the iPhone is more important to Google than Android

Underscoring the importance of the iPhone to Google’s bottom line, consider this: If Apple changed the default search engine in mobile Safari to Bing, Google’s revenue would drop by over 13%.