Flutter Initial Installation Experience

Installing Flutter on MacOS and using IntelliJ

From there, just iterate on brew doctor until it stops warning you about things not being installed.
In IntelliJ, I also got the following warning about the Dart SDK
Dart SDF not configured
Of course, when you click on the “Download Dart SDK” link, it points you to install Flutter, which I have done.
Recommendations for Dart Installation
After checking the flutter/bin directory, I confirmed that there was nothing that looked like “dart” in there.
After a bit of searing on “Dart SDK is not configured”, I found that Android Studio users were running into the same thing:
Dart SDK is not configured
In “Dart SDK path” click in “…” and navigate to flutter bin directory. Under that directory you’ll find “cache/dart-sdk”. This is the dart sdk path you should use.

Sure enough, in “…/flutter/bin/cache/dart-sdk/bin” were all the dart* binaries and alias scripts.

After that (I was already set up in Xcode for iPhone development), it was trivial to build and deploy a basic test app to the iPhone X Simulator.

Flutter Demo Counter App

Flutter Demo Counter App in iPhone X Simulator

Updated… Add Bookmarklets to Mobile Safari for iPhone / iPad

Today’s iPhone has a nice article on adding bookmarklets to mobile Safari:
TiPs & Tricks: Add bookmarklets to mobile Safari

However, with iOS5, I found that the steps are a little more convoluted:

  1. Add a dummy bookmark using the [->] button in the middle of Safari
  2. Copy the code for the bookmarklet
  3. Tap the Bookmark button (second from the right in Safari).
  4. Tap the [Edit] button
  5. Tap on the dummy bookmark you created
  6. (x) out the URL on the second line
  7. Paste the bookmarklet code on the second line.
  8. (x) out the title and name the bookmarklet appropriately
  9. Tap [Done] when finished.

UPDATED 01/27/2012 bufferapp has new code.


I also found that the Buffer code was missing, so I captured it and posted it below:


My experience with the Starbucks Mobile Card

When I initially heard about the Starbucks mobile card test only being expanded to Target stores, I wondered if the reason was because of infrastructure. After all, there are west coast tests of the mobile card in full scale stores.

After trying to use it, I now believe that the choice of Target Starbucks as test locations was due to their lower volume.

I presented my iPhone app mobile card for payment. It took a minute for the cashier to realize what I was doing (how long into the test?)

She was unable to scan the mobile card after a couple of attempts, and then had to make a couple of attempts at manually entering the card before the system would accept it as payment.

Another cashier was confused with what was even going on with my iPhone and the order. At some point, I can imagine that I would have been public enemy #1 if this were a standalone Starbucks at rush hour.

I successfully paid for my drink with the mobile card, but I don’t think I ever will do that again, at least not until I see others in line successfully paying in this way.

Initial Impresssions of the iPad

Initial verdict:
I like the iPad itself. However, the price is at least $100 more than I can tolerate. In reality, it’s $200 too much, but I’m giving the benefit of the doubt because of the screen size.
I would probably pay $500 for an iPad with contractless 3g, but for WiFi, it seems like too much money for too little.
From a developer perspective, I like that there is a “Universal” development option for some of the app types, as well as a “Split View” which optimizes the experience for iPad only.
Other thoughts:
  • WiFi is VERY tempermental. [TUAW post on it]
  • Typing is almost as fast as a physical keyboard
  • Really would have liked leaving the protective wrap on it. Touch was very responsive with it on. Speakers were covered, though.
  • The internal speaker is pretty weak.
  • Running iPhone apps on the iPad is often worse than running Win 3.1 applications on more recent versions of Windows.
  • Microsoft Office Outlook Web Access works very nicely.

The Apps:

  • The USA TODAY free app is a nice quick view of the news.
  • TWC MAX+ [The Weather Channel app]
  • iBooks has a wonderful free selection of children’s books.
  • Netflix app streaming is good, minus the whole weak speaker thing.
  • Tweetdeck runs pretty slowly.
  • Tweetdeck has search functionality on a per-column basis.
  • The Amazon Kindle app is beautiful on the iPad
  • GoToMeeting app makes excellent use of pinch-and-zoom and panning. It’s also to nice to have such a meeting session up on an external device and using separate computing resources. [Like having meeting TV].
  • Epicurious app – I can really see the Epicurious app on the iPad being what all those internet connected kitchen devices were always meant to be.

iPad opinions and articles

The Truth About the iPad [It Replaces the iPhone?] 2010.04.08

Ars Technica reviews the iPad 2010.04.07

iPad Teething Problems 2010.04.06

paidContent – The Numbers on the iPad’s Debut – 2010.04.04

As Expected, No One Wants Those Expensive Newspaper Apps – 2010.04.04

Mashable – Analyst: 700,000 iPads Sold [REPORT] – 2010.04.03

3 Businesses the iPad can Transform

The iPad for Small Business — It’s not just a toy.

The iPad’s here, now what?

iPad Apps: The Next Gold Mine or Just Fool’s Gold?


Former top Mac evangelist says iPad may fail

Why I won’t buy an iPad (and think you shouldn’t, either)

Calendar functionality on a smartphone?

It seems that calendars should respond to time zone changes more gracefully.

I don’t have another smartphone for reference, just an iPhone, but the combination of automatic time zone updating and calendar appointments should be handled more gracefully.

Now, I know there’s a time zone support option on the iPhone, but not all appointment sources are created equal.

Outlook Sync with iphone seems to not handle timezones well. I’m sitting in Las Vegas getting my 4 PM EST meeting invite reminders at 4 PM PST.

Meanwhile, I wouldn’t necessarily want my 5:30 AM EST to necessarily translate to 2:30 AM PST.

Given those two cases, I don’t think a global device setting is necessarily the ideal method to solve the timezone issue.

Maybe there should be switch on each appointment that indicates whether the time or the timezone stays fixed for a given appointment.

Smartphone users disappointed with handset and application performance

From Fanfare:

Research reveals 57% of smartphone users disappointed with handset and application performance

Closer examination reveals that only 155 members of the public responded to the survey.

One interesting “key finding” that I noted was that whether a problem with the device or the network, 53% blame the device for the issue. If Apple’s true intent is to control the quality user experience by keeping the ecosystem closed, this finding supports that strategy. However, it also makes them more legitimately responsible with issues do arise.

Little mention of apps being blamed for the issues

There is no commentary on the quality of the mobile apps themselves being blamed for issues with the phones, but I suspect that a user who has run into a large number of poorly written apps is going to attribute the problems with the apps back to the phone itself. This is unfortunate, because the turnover of applications on a mobile device is much more frequent than on a desktop. When there are a large number of apps available for free or $0.99, the barrier to installation of the app is extremely low.

I, myself, used to download many applications on my PCs, but they were either open source applications from SourceForge or shareware that I had to try and make a conscious decision to pay money for. I doubt that a significant percentage of the PC owners did likewise and I’m pretty sure most of the ones I know that did had malware on their machines as a result of installing something that they really shouldn’t have. In contrast, half of iPhone users buy at least an app a month.

With such application development and installation churn comes increased instability, no matter how tightly the ecosystem is controlled.

Signs of a dying business model. $S $VZ $T

My wife doesn’t text short-codes for jokes of the day, ring tones, or backgrounds. So when I started getting recurring charges for Thumbplay, I was puzzled:

thumbplay.com Complaints – Unauthorized charge.

It seems that the carriers enable Thumbplay to latch onto a user’s account without a reasonable opt-in process. The only recourse is for the phone subscriber to request a refund of the charges and formally/explicitly request to opt-out of the service.

This is a sign that your business model is failing. If you’re depending on a 30-70% cut of 3rd party billing that your average user either won’t notice or won’t ask to have canceled, then you have lost sight of how to actually make money by providing a valuable service to the user.

Carriers’ days are numbered. Why?

  • Google Voice – blocked by Apple or AT&T or whomever. The iPhone initially blocked all VOIP applications from using the phone network, with some enabled when connected to wireless (such as Skype). Imagine if you rarely used a voice carrier for voice calls.

…ideas that can be “dangerous” with a little Sci-Fi vision applied:

  • Mesh Networking – I originally saw this described in the context of OLPC, but I think the real power is if wireless saturation becomes such that wireless carriers are no longer useful in areas where the average household is within wireless range of the next nearest household.
  • Google Tablet – What if Google’s mission was to proliferate its own ad-hoc infrastructure, and the Google Tablet was a means of doing so? Picture this:
    • Google patents technology which splits the wireless network device into two virtual devices: One for local wireless communication and one for mesh networking.
    • The phone operating system version of Google Android can tap into the mesh network.
    • The Google Android phone could then operate without a wireless carrier.
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    More rumblings of AT&T iPhone exclusivity ending…

    Apple to End AT&T iPhone Exclusivity Within a Year? | John Paczkowski | Digital Daily | AllThingsD.

    I love the first comment:

    I’d pay to end my AT&T contract, and I’m only two months into it.

    I get a small discount on my AT&T/iPhone service w/ unlimited text messages, and I’m looking at a bill for one month that’s around $89. In order to get my wife on a plan:

    • 700 minutes – $69.99
    • 2 x $30 iPhone data plan – $60
    • 2 x $20 unlimited texting – $40 (I realize that 1500 messages are only $15 each, but if you run over by 100 msgs, that’s $20)

    That’s $170 per month before all the taxes and fees. If another carrier were to offer service, I’d definitely pay the early termination fee as well, and like the commenter, I’m only about 2 months into the contract.

    Yelp Easter egg gives an accessible look at augmented reality on iPhone [3G S]

    It was a little difficult to get the compass to respond correctly indoors, but you can see the results of pointing in the direction that the restaurants / businesses are below. The camera image is superimposed with the business that are in the direction that the phone is pointing in: