Google's OnHub is a bit of a mystery. Google shipped us this box—well, this cylinder—but it won't really talk about what's in it or why it exists.
OnHub has a solid inner cylinder surrounded by a hollow plastic shell, which serves no purpose other than to look pretty. For now the shell comes in blue and black, and Google says more personalization options will be available later.
Like a lot of things on the OnHub, the USB port is mysterious and doesn't work right now. Will it be for NAS support? A debug mode? Only time will tell.
On the top of the OnHub are a bunch of ventilation holes, but one of the holes is not a hole. It's plugged up with what Google tells us is an ambient light sensor that will someday adjust the ring light based on the amount of lighting in the room. Right now it's not active.
OnHub also has a speaker—and not a tiny, quiet speaker, but a really loud speaker. So far, we've only seen it used during setup.
Launched a bit early? I mean, $200 for a WiFi router with a hint of more functionality being added in the future, just seems like an odd move. Why not wait until you know what you'll do with it an can market it properly? Especially when as just a router it can't compete with others in the same price range?
Just a Steam installer, that's it. A DVD with a whopping 8 megabytes of data. In other words, the retail version is a Steam key bundle with some useless plastic that'll go straight in the bin (no reason to keep it).
Yet, despite this waste of plastic, manufacturing and transport, the retail version is almost 20% cheaper than buy on Steam, at least here in Sweden.
Retail price is around 399 sek which convert to roughly €42, on Steam it costs €59.99.
Demonstrates the affects of Crystal, "an advert & tracking blocker", that uses the content blocking feature of iOS 9.
From Crystals website:
On average, pages loaded 3.9x faster with Crystal and used 53% less bandwidth. Just by having Crystal installed, I saved a total of 70 seconds and 35MB of data on these 10 pages.
The Next Web does a fantastic job of demonstrating this by loading sites with and without Crystal side by side.
With such fantastic results by just installing and app people will use this. With a bit of luck this will lead to a cutback in heavy ads and tracking scripts.
Funny, this is basically the exact solution people keep suggesting for Apple and iTunes (players are separate apps, so is the store), now Windows use it and it's called "disjointed"... Of course, that would likely be the same if Apple did it as well. The tech press loves being negative.
Guns on the AppStore
Last week Apple suddenly didn't want guns on the AppStore, it was rather widely talked about.
It was quite a surprise for a lot of people, but it was really just a case of Apple enforcing a rule that is in no way new.
Apps with App icons, screenshots, and previews that do not adhere to the 4+ age rating will be rejected.
I'd argue it's a silly rule, I see the point of it, but I think it's silly. It'd be better to use the age in the users account to determine if they can view the app or simply prompt for for confirmation that they're over a certain age just like when you install an age restricted app like web browser.
One of the apps hit by the sudden enforcement of this rule last week was a game called Tempo. I don't know if it was featured on the AppStore last week but it is this week. Look at the screenshots and even the video and you'll find that they had to pixelate out all guns.
But that's all fine. The rule isn't new, can you really complain? Hmm, I wonder what else is featured on the AppStore this week. World Zombination, sounds interesting let's have a look.
Those guns don't look pixelated do they? The characters holding them are even aiming, ready to fire. In the Tempo screenshots the characters are merely holding the guns. Did someone just no see the guns in the screenshots for World Zombination? Both of these games are feature on the front page of the AppStore in the big banners so I somehow doubt no one looked at the screenshots.
Apple are of course free to have whatever rules they like on their AppStore, it's their store, but I don't think it's too much to ask for the rules to be consistently enforced. Inconsistent enforcement of AppStore rules isn't exactly new, that doesn't mean we shouldn't point it out. Apple need to step up their game with the AppStore and start working out some of the issues, this one should be fairly simply to get right.