This week a favorite iPad app of mine disappeared. Well, first it stopped working, then it pretty much vanished. I’ve enjoyed using the Analytics Tiles app for years to keep track of statistics for this site and others that I’ve been involved with. It was even one of the picks in our roundup of the Best iPad Apps of 2013 – and I said this about in that post:
Website stats have never looked so beautiful. This app’s unique and clever tiles-based UI makes it a genuine pleasure to keep tabs on your site stats. Each tile on its grid represents a single Google Analytics report. With just a few quick, simple swipe gestures and taps you can scroll the tiles, switch between sites, change the color scheme for each of your sites, and add, remove and change the position of tiles. A brilliant and handy app.
Earlier this week, the aop stopped showing me stats – it just said ‘Oops’ on all its tiles. When I tried to look further at what was wrong the app showed a Google authentication error. I tried a couple of things and then figured a removal and reinstall might help. So I deleted the app and went to the Purchased section of the App Store to download it again. And it wasn’t there. I searched for it in the App Store as well – no results.
It looks as if, at least for now, Analytics Tiles for iPad is just gone. I’m guessing that maybe it’s ‘broken’ due to some change that Google has made in their Google Analytics service – but I could easily be way off.
Here’s hoping that whatever went wrong can be fixed, and that we soon see the return of this great little app.
With the recent release of Hangouts 2.0 I’ve been thinking about messaging services, and how convenient it is to have conversations syncing seamlessly across platforms. You start chatting on your Mac before you leave work, continue it on your iPhone as you head home, and then idly chat as you browse on your iPad in the evening. Hangouts isn’t the only service to offer that kind of experience of course. iMessage and Facebook also offer something similar.
iMessage promises that a fluid experience in theory, but the reality that it offers is one of inconsistent notifications, late message delivery, and duplicate chats with the same contact. I like iMessage well enough, but it is definitely inconsistent when it comes to syncing messages across multiple devices. Some messages are sent only to the iPad then appear hours later on the iPhone … and certain message simply never reach the Mac app, even after a restart.
Facebook is far more consistent in my experience, but it simply isn’t used for chatting by my friends and family. They use Facebook to post events or exhibit photos, but they don’t tend to sit and talk there. Instead, I’m more likely to find friends on (the newly acquired) WhatsApp, Kik, or LINE (which is huge in Japan, and capitalizes on insanely cute stickers). The unfortunate thing about these apps, however, is that they just aren’t on the iPad. Each of the app websites states explicitly states that iPads (or “iOS tablets”) are not supported by the service. I should state that the Kik and LINE iPhone apps can work on the iPad, but they aren’t universal apps, and LINE logs you out of your iPhone if you try to use the service on your iPad. It’s a sub-par experience all around.
It could be argued that the chatting services somehow revolve around phone numbers, and so a smartphone might be required for their use. However, LINE Messenger is available on OS X and Windows 7 + 8, with native clients on each of those desktop platforms. If it’s viable enough for companies to put time into making desktop apps, I’m honestly very surprised that we aren’t seeing more of these popular messaging services on the iPad. Even a simple blown-up version of WhatsApp or LINE on the iPad would be more useful than having nothing at all.
I can’t be the only one here who wants to message more on the iPad, can I? Or is chatting really an activity that most people feel is best left for smartphones, even in the presence of a tablet?
The 5 best-selling Dr. Seuss iPad storybook apps are on sale today for just 99 cents. The 5 are The Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, Dr. Seuss’s ABC, and Oh, the Places You’ll Go.
The 5 titles are all published by Oceanhouse Media. I’ve written about these Dr. Seuss storybook apps for the iPad many times here. They are wonderful, true to the original, renderings of these classics for the iPad. They use original imagery from the books and serve as a great way to keep these titles fresh and popular with the generations of kids who are growing up with both digital and physical books.
The sale is in honor of Dr’’. Seuss;s birthday, which is today. In addition to the 5 titles at 99 cents, Oceanhouse also has all 44 of their Dr. Seuss books on sale at at least $1 off. The sale goes on until Thursday March 6.
You can check out all of these great titles and take advantage of the sale prices right now by just searching for ‘Oceanhouse Media’ in the App Store.
Google’s Hangouts app for iPad and iOS was updated yesterday, to Version 2.0.0. With this update the app is optimized for iOS 7 and also ‘fully optimized’ for the iPad.
That fully optimized for iPad part suggests a major makeover – because this app has been an ugly mess on the iPad. It was comically bad when initially released, so just about anything would be an improvement. I’ve had a quick look at the app on the iPad this morning and it does look much better, though it’s still not going to win any UI awards.
It looks perfectly usable now though – which is a step up in this case. Here’s the full change list for this 2.0.0 update:
– Fully-optimized for the iPad, including picture-in-picture video calling
– Animated stickers that help you share exactly how you’re feeling
– Record and send video messages up to 10 seconds long
– Send a map of your current location
– Optimized for iOS 7
Hopefully Google will continue to improve this app on the iPad.
The NBA Game Time for iPad 2013-2014 app was updated again yesterday, adding a superb looking new section titled ‘Classic Games’.
The new section, as the name suggests, features videos from some classic NBA games from past decades. There are currently around 20 videos in the section, ranging from one from the 1960s (Celtics vs. Lakers) to a couple from the year 2001.
Just looking at some of the players and the moments featured in these is a great walk down NBA Memory Lane. Kareem when he was still Lew Alcindor; Oscar Robertson; an ABA dunk contest; an All-Star game where Magic has over 20 assists, playoff battles; a dominant performance by Charles Barkley, and more.
Unfortunately, access to the new section requires that you have an NBA League Pass. I was hopeful that the ‘Mobile’ level League Pass (priced at $27) might be enough to get the feature – but it turns out that will only get you access on an iPhone or Android phone. For the iPad, Android tablets, or a computer you need a ‘Broadband’ League Pass, starting at $65.
That seems quite a big premium for the step-up from phone to tablet viewing. Too steep for me, much as I love those old games.