June 4, 2016

Thoughts on why mobile first isn’t a good thing.

OK OK, I’m probably not going to tweet this and it will most likely make it’s way over to the personal blog as well. I might get in trouble for tweeting it so I’ll just stay away from that whole thing. A lot of blind people on Twitter have been raving about an app called Vorail lately. It’s an Audio-only forum that lets you ask and answer questions. Naturally, I wanted to try this thing, (it seemed interesting enough, even though I have a special hatred for mobile first companies!) I started the process of downloading it, and of course, Apple wanted me to verrify my purchase information. I don’t download apps very often, (probably about once a year,) and this is why. This is a free app, and I have to verrify my purchase information? What the… My card information has changed, (I just got my chip card from Chase about a week and a half ago,) so I needed to update it. I started the process of doing this with iTunes on Windows, (but of course, iTunes wanted to update!) After the update I couldn’t get anywhere with iTunes, (let’s just say my system and it weren’t getting along very well,) so I decided to finish the process on my phone. I have to go into the settings for the app store, find the account information, and find where it says, payment information,” and then start editing everything. I’m doing this with a bluetooth keyboard, (it makes me about 10 times faster, if I were doing it all with touch, it would probably take me about an hour.) I did this and I was actually aple to get it to work this time, (I’ve actually had to have someone help me before because there were errors and it never said what the errors were.) So I went back to download and install Vorail, (the app I wanted to try along with everyone else in the blind community.) Well, it turns out that they need me to enable iCloud drive. I disabled iCloud backups, iCloud drive, and everything iCloud during the Apple legal case. Not that I actually have any sensative information on the phone, (I only use my phone for texting, actual phone calls, and tweeting sometimes.) However, I really don’t want to re-enable it because well, we all know we shouldn’t back stuff up to a service that Apple holds the keys to. I understand that I don’t have anything extremely sensative on my phone, and if I were doing overly private communications, I’d definitely think of using one of the secure apps for messaging. However, I don’t believe that any app should ask you to enable a cloud storage service just to use it. They should either let you log in with a username/password combination, or at least use Twitter and/or Facebook, because usually everyone who’s using the app is probably going to have one of those. That brings me to another thought, and that’s the fact that you can’t really do anything with these questions. You can’t reply to someone’s question if you aren’t using the app, (they don’t have much of a web interface at all. If someone shares a question on Twitter, it should be as simple as plug the headset in, log in with my Twitter account, push a record button on their site and respond. I shouldn’t have to go through all the purchase verrification crap! Then I could check a box and post that response to that person’s question to Twitter as well. It should be that simple, it isn’t because they decided to go mobile first because it’s what everyone else is doing most likely, (and it’s probably easier.) I was replying to someone on Twitter, and I told them that the best way to record something was using Audacity and Sound Upload, or Dropbox, etc. You shouldn’t have to use a native app to do that, just like you shouldn’t have to use one to stream music, live video/audio stream, or do any number of things that mobile first is being used for right now. here’s an example of a Vorail question, I should be able to click a button that says something like, respond to this question,” and be able to start recording. I should also be able to see everyone’s public responses, (I’m assuming they’re all public, of course.)

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