Rage Shake

…If they run across a problem in one of the Android (or iOS) apps, they can take advantage of a bug reporting feature Facebook builds into its internal betas.

It’s called “Rage Shake” and the name is spot-on. Employees just violently shake their phone and it automatically logs its current state and sends in details to Facebook’s mobile bug-squashers. The Google+ team apparently also has a “Rage Shake” feature and even gave access to it to end users, though it’s unclear which company had if first.

By avoiding a more complicated manual reporting process, Facebook maximizes the number of bugs it hears about from its 4,000 employee-testers. If Facebookers like the taste of Droidfood, they could make sure it’s not their actual users shaking their phones in fits of anger.

Sounds like a neat way to pick up a frustrating bug. I wonder how it works with the native iOS “shake to undo”?

Via Techcrunch

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Remove Declined Facebook Events from the iOS 6 Calendar

If you’re using a device with iOS 6, and have enabled Facebook Integration, you may have noticed its annoying habit of displaying events you have said you’re not going to. I don’t know about you, but I like to keep my calendar looking as clean and concise as possible. Any invite I decline gets removed immediately to avoid any confusion.

That Facebook Events would still appear even after I had declined was an annoyance – and I hope, a bug. What exacerbates the issue is there is no way to remove the event from the calendar app manually. The straw that broke the camel’s back, however, was one particular event which instead of repeating every Thursday, showed as running every day for the next few years. Every. Damn. Day.

I needed a solution to this. In the end, I hit on two things which must have sorted it… one of them worked, I’m just not sure which. “Huzzah!” for clear documentation!

1. Remove the Event through the Facebook Website.

Hover over the event in your event list. A blue “X” icon appears in the upper-right corner. Click it.

2. Change your Event Settings to Hide Declined Events.

In the upper-right of the Events page is a small cog icon.

Click it, then click “Settings” in the drop-down menu.

In the dialog box which appears, untick the box to “show declined events”.

Chris McLeod:

This pretty much fixes every gripe I’ve had with WordPress on iOS. Lately I’ve been using Blogsy for blogging from my iPad, as it supported Custom Post Formats. Now the Official app does so too I may switch back.

Originally posted on WordPress.com News:

Screenshot of Version 3.1 of WordPress for iOS, showing Panels & Sidebar

Today is an exciting day! A new version of WordPress for iOS was just pushed live, and it’s been dubbed the “biggest update ever”. It features a completely re-imagined interface for both iPhone and iPad that takes mobile blogging to the next level. It’s most noticeable on the iPad: a sliding panels interface enables you to quickly get to any part of the app and rediscover your content.

New Interface

As soon as you download the app you’re greeted by a new welcome screen that guides you while adding your blog(s) to the app. Once authenticated you’re taken right to the Reader, where you can catch up on the blogs you follow, find topics you like, and now use a friend finder to discover your friends’ blogs on WordPress.com.

On the iPhone you’ll see a list icon in the upper right hand corner of the screen. Tap or swipe to…

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6 Hours of Switching from Sparrow to Apple Mail

I bloody hate it. I’ve cut down the interface so it’s as “Sparrow-like” as I can make it, but there’s just something… wrong… about the whole thing.

For me, Sparrow felt fresher; a good take on an email UI. There was nothing groundbreaking, but it worked very well. It was email given a much needed facelift. Mail, by contrast, feels essentially the same as the Pegasus mail client I used back at university. In 1999.

Yes, there are some improvements, such as conversations, and sender photos – though to make use of these, the sender has to be in your contacts… which isn’t so handy when (like me) 90% of your mail is notifications from various services. But is essentially the same as the mail client I used in 1999. That is crazy.

I did this little switching experiment to see what would be involved in moving away from Sparrow when the time is right. After all, Sparrow isn’t going away overnight, and what is there now works, so there’s no reason to do so immediately. But eventually I – like every other Sparrow user – will have to move on. Abandonware applications become unusable eventually, with no hope of a fix. It could be the next major version of OSX introduces some breaking change, or could be the first update to Mountain Lion. We don’t know, which necessitates looking at the alternatives. That the only alternatives don’t seem as good makes things frustrating.

Daring Fireball: On the Lack of User-Choosable Default Apps in iOS

Daring Fireball: On the Lack of User-Choosable Default Apps in iOS.

Conrad MacIntyre:

I suspect the reason is because of the deep system integration of things like Safari, Mail, Contacts, and the like. Take Mail, for example, if you could set Sparrow as your default client on iOS you’d still have to configure Mail because any email sent from other apps uses the Mail API. Then rely on IMAP to sync those things up. Inelegant and un-Apple.

That’s a good point about email, but it doesn’t apply to web browsing. There is no “Safari” sheet in iOS. And even for email, the answer is that iOS should allow third-party apps — like Sparrow — to provide their own system-wide sharing sheets.

Jailbroken iPhones can install a “tweak” from the Cydia store called Sparrow+, which completely replaces Mail system-wide with Sparrow – sharing sheets and all. So it’s evidently possible to do this deep, system-wide integration in some manner. Perhaps Apple needs to find some way of doing this while avoiding a potential privacy PR nightmare, like in the Path/Contacts saga?

The more the iPhone is opened up to third-party apps, the more they receive access to a lot of very personal information, and ultimately any privacy snafus tend to be reported as a problem with the iPhone itself, not the app. This is not something Apple wants. I think if they can solve this conundrum then we’ll be allowed to set different default apps.

Everything Wrong with the Facebook Mobile App, in One Picture*

screenshot of the facebook mobile app, highlighting the wasted space and wrong priorities

I don’t know about you, but if I’m checking Facebook on my iPhone, my priorities are one of two actions: add something new, or see the latest from my friends. So it baffles me that they would devote so much space at the top of the main view to friend suggestions. That feature is not important to 99% of mobile users, 99% of the time (yes, numbers plucked out of thin air… so sue me). By all means include the friend suggestion feature, but put it in the friends view.

[*] Yes, the image is slightly contrived by showing the screen in landscape orientation, but not much. I see one extra status update if in portrait view.