gMail or iCloud part 2

Over a year ago I wrote a post pondering whether to move back to gMail since getting my iPhone 4s. Over Christmas I again fancied using Inbox from Google and see what it had to offer, especially with using Google Now.

The migration was pretty easy:

  1. Stop forwarding emails gMail to iCloud.
  2. Forward emails from iCloud to gMail.
  3. Export contacts from iCloud (don’t delete just yet)
  4. Import contacts into gMail.
  5. Export calendar from iCloud.
  6. Import calendar to gMail.

Not deleting contacts from iCloud was important – I had fallen foul of a bug the last time I deleted contacts – their birthdays remained in my calendar and once deleted could not be removed! You must first remove their birthday entries from their contact page and wait for the change to sync with calendar. Once there are no more birthdays showing on the calendar, then you can delete the contact.

Initially I liked Inbox, it separated out my emails into the different tabs (social, productivity, social etc). I also liked the swipe to archive or remind me later – a great idea for inbox zero! I also liked how Google Now was able to show me when a package was going to be delivered from Amazon without having to open the email.

At first I liked the change from iCloud email and Calendar – Google’s apps are fresh and colourful but I found a few issues: Inbox doesn’t show the count of unread emails if in one of the other tabs. I also received duplicate notifications when receiving an email. Even when I removed Inbox and installed gMail I noticed a few issues: the app would be slow to show the email I just received the notification for. I also noticed that my contacts wouldn’t sync the contact photos!

After a few weeks I decided to return to iCloud. My experiment with gMail was short lived but at least I got the curiosity out of my system. I have friends that are happy running gMail on their iPhones but it’s not for me. I think I’ve been converted too deeply into the Apple eco-system.

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gMail or iCloud

I have had a gMail account since gMail was invite only but moved to iCloud when I had an iPhone 4S through work. It made sense at the time to use iCloud as it syncs perfectly with my iPhone and MacBook and also has a web interface. I could have kept gMail on my iPhone but it doesn’t support push so I would either have to sacrifice battery life or have a long refresh interval and only get emails every hour or so (not that that’s too bad).
Recently though I’ve seen Inbox from Google and like what it’s trying to do. I’m now pondering whether to move back to gMail. If I do I’ll have to move all my contacts and Calendar items!

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Unit Testing

A while ago I read a good article about how the Google Web Server team took on board Unit Testing, today I wanted to share this with a colleague but couldn’t find the link. After a few minutes searching I found it again. It’s worth reading:

Martin Fowler: Goto Fail, Heartbleed and Unit Testing Culture

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The leap in memory technology from 2005 to 2014 – from global nerdy

The jump from 2005 to 2014 is mental, SD cards now have more space than my MacBook Pro!

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The ultimate guide to solving ios battery drain

Recently I read an article on Overthought about iOS battery drain. I’ve read many articles with hints and tips but this guy worked in a genius bar for 2 years so has a bit more “insider” knowledge as it were. I followed his advice here:

http://www.overthought.org/blog/2014/the-ultimate-guide-to-solving-ios-battery-drain

And found my battery is lasting a lot longer! The main culprit I found on my phone was Waze. Even though I always put Waze to sleep, it was still keeping my phone active even when asleep. I disabled background app refresh and now I still have 30% battery in the morning instead of the usual 5%! Go read, it may help you too!

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Thank you waze

Thank you waze

I really like to be reminded to rate your app update, especially when I’m in the middle of driving somewhere. It’s also really useful that this is about the only screen that doesn’t auto-dismiss forcing me to pull over to get rid of the screen.

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Apple maps

Apple should link their map search with a search engine. So many times I have searched for something for it not to be found:

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Which is annoying when you can see what you’re looking for on the map! :
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I think Apple missed a trick not buying Waze. They need more users fixing map and location issues. I added Twycross Zoo last week under Report a problem -> Location is missing, Maps still can’t find the zoo now.

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