Tag: 5by5

Jackal Interview

Jackal Interview

Hey y’all! Fans of the podcasting network 5by5 have been mostly lovingly coined “Jackals” for their sometimes helpful and sometimes heckling input in the network’s live IRC chatroom. One motivated jackal, Mike Beasterfeld, has been conducting a series of interviews with other jackals.

My episode aired today, should you care to listen! And you can subscribe to the show if you want to get to know the rest of the geeks who form Jackal Nation. :)

The Internet ROCKS.

The Internet ROCKS.

I swear, I don’t know what I’d do if we’d never come up with this whole interconnected awesomeness thing.

I re-launched my business earlier this year, which involved picking a new business name. It was incredibly hard to come up with a name I liked that was also what my business needed, and I was so much better at it when I had help from lots of Twitter and ADN friends. People were so generous and pragmatic and willing to share their expertise. Plus, I found a couple great blogs with loads of helpful naming advice. I wasn’t able to shell out for those experts like I hoped to, but they were still incredibly supportive of me, and I know I’d go to them if I had to name a more grown-up company with a proper budget in the future. I learned so much about this entire naming field that I didn’t even know existed when I named my thing this time around. Which is clear, because that name and URL sucked, and they’re much better now. :)

IMG_3978Since the big rename and relaunch, I’ve predictably had many woes getting the technical details of my new website together, not to mention the graphical stuff that just totally loses me. My husband Grant has been my biggest helper in the graphics department, but the amazing Berklee has been a close second. He’s been ever so generous with his time and energy, throwing business card ideas and mockups at me faster than I can download the files. This was the final design*, in case you were wondering, although I plan to change the “consultant” terminology to something that better encapsulates what I actually do. (“Coach” is the closest I’ve got right now.)

Bryan Redeagle of Capsule DX offered to help me with web stuff, and he was so appalled by some of the shoddy code in my former theme that he just full-on wrote me a new one, all custom from scratch and designed to fix exactly the stuff that was frustrating me. He never charged me a penny, because we worked out a special deal, but mostly because he’s fucking awesome and he honestly just wanted to help (and wanted code to shine like all perfectionist programmers do). I can’t thank him enough, or recommend his work loudly enough. I’ve never gotten this level of service out of anyone I’ve hired for any project, except for the amazingly affordable florist at our otherwise overpriced wedding. Most of you who know me know that praise does not come from me unless it is sincerely deserved.

Marie of Code it Pretty has also been a very generous donor of her time and expertise. She already generously writes a blog that just helps people figure out frustrating web crap, and she’s so cool about chiming in when I have something tricky to solve. And oh, remember when I wanted to make that app? Well, it’s still in the works; I’ve had to kind of put it aside in favor of earning money via my main business. But Marie is weighing in about user experience and will probably help with an Android port someday.

Martin and Doug and some other generous folks all piped up wanting to assist me, which is fan-freaking-tastic and also incredibly generous. (Oh, and I never would have gotten in touch with them if it weren’t for Rob Rix by way of The Modern Scientist, who connected things via Twitter, and whom I met via Keith Bradnam whom I originally connected to because of some Marco or some 5by5 thing.) Oh, and I’m totally going to connect with Brandon Wright to make completely different apps down the road, because we just find each other awesome to work with and he reached out to me because of Quit.

Dude, even my ergonomics are improving, not as much as I’d like but still some. Fellow standing desk enthusiasts, from Lex Friedman to Kelly Guimont have chimed in about footwear and other tips for making my home work setup more reasonable, and Twitter-whining about various aspects of it has often produced helpful results. The most helpful thing of all, though, was a visit to the Fully showroom in Portland. I urge you to set up an appointment if you’re near there. Either way, some of the best recommendations  and price quotes I’ve gotten were from them, and of course I discovered them online.

Oh, and you know how I suck at being new to Mac? Well, of course loads of people have helped me out with that. Heck, Paul Holbrook sent me a PayPal contribution towards buying the damn thing because he could tell how badly I needed to switch, and Michael Clifford straight up bought me a license for Moom because he knew it would solve my problems. Oh, and the fantastic Jean MacDonald reached out, helped me get settled with some fantastic software, and has generally been insanely helpful and fun. So all those folks and everyone else I’ve mentioned and then some have just been so full of great links, tips, and advice. Let’s see, what other resources have I fallen in love with online, thanks to Internet connections? Mixergy. Marie Forleo. Heck, even Jenna Marbles inspires me. Laura Roeder. So many more I’m forgetting. But I never would have found any of those sources on my own!

And how did I forge most of these connections? Why, by listening to shows on 5by5 and communicating with that network’s general audience. A huge chunk of my most interesting Twitter following also grew out of me baiting Marco Arment into retweeting something useful or funny or silly or random I posted, and then following every single person who favorited or retweeted whatever that thing was. And you know what? That strategy has put me in touch with some of the coolest Internet pals I’ve met to date. I’ve had great conversations with many a jackal, and I’m also launching a podcast soon with Kai Davis and Chris Zaborowski.

And, of course, Quit. Most people who are bothering to read this know that I’ve called in to that show a good number of times, and that I’ve finally taken my online dating coaching business full time thanks in large part to the nudges I’ve received from Dan Benjamin, and to the inspiration that a number of shows on his network have provided. I continue to seek ways to make it more sustainable thanks to his relentlessly business-minded approach. And, of course, his shows inspired me, but so do the connections I’ve made from listening to them and appearing on them. I even got one (just one so far, but still) paying client who heard me first on Quit! Altogether, the social aspects of the Internet and of 5by5 in particular have skyrocketed my own success and happiness and ability to easily and quickly find affordable and effective solutions to at least 75% of my tech problems on this earth.

Lastly, I made many of these connections happen because of my own output, lest you think it’s ALL just Internet magick [sic]. I made them because I was open to socializing with people and learning new things. I was willing to put myself out there even when exhaustion or shyness or House of Cards would rather prevail. I followed up on leads, wrote things down, Skyped/FaceTimed/GooglePlusHung my little heart out, learned a bunch of new stuff, flared up my tendinitis, lost sleep, called 5by5 and waited on hold for hours, checked my email/DMs/etc., read, wrote, retweeted, subscribed, shook hands, followed back, spent money, and generally put myself out there and followed up on shit. But that effort has been so incredibly rewarding, and SO much easier than it would have been without all this great Internet infrastructure.

So to my friends and family members who don’t get why the Internet is so important to me and why I sometimes can’t stop checking my iPhone, well, you’ll probably never read this anyway so never fucking mind. But the Internet rocks. :)




*Special Business Card Footnote: Futura on the front, since I know .05 people are going to ask, and a weirdly condensed Franklin Gothic Medium on the back logo. Vistaprint; wouldn’t use ’em again; saving up for proper letterpressing but first things first financially, thanks Dan. Going with a press guy in Chicago who can paint the edges red too because OMG sexy. Curt Stevens of Lithocraft if you need ANYTHING printed in Seattle; tell him I sent you. Avoid Allegra Graphics in Greenwood no matter how good a deal you thin you’re getting; you’re welcome.

A note (or novella) on harassment

A note (or novella) on harassment

On The Crossover Episode 8 today, a very important conversation happened. Sarah Parmenter and Whitney Hess joined Dan and Haddie to speak about serious harassment that both women have experienced. Sarah’s story in particular was harrowing, in that someone specifically targeted her by faking porn pictures of her and going out of his (come on, it’s a he) way to try to expose those photos to everyone in her large and prestigious professional circle. She wrote a recent blog post about the issue, which Whitney followed with a post of her own, and both women were very eloquent and amazing as they told their stories. I urge you to go consume all of that content for yourself, in this order: Sarah, Whitney, Crossover. Go back and do that before you finish this post! Or don’t, but you should. :)

I’m not a stranger to harassment, but I’m lucky. I haven’t been nearly as harassed or harassable as most of my female colleagues at most jobs I’ve worked at. I don’t know exactly why; I expect it has something to do with being naturally tall and loud, both of which are things I can’t change about myself (at least not easily). I hope part of it is my personality, too, but I honestly don’t know. I used to attract harassment when I was a teenager, but only from random strangers when I’d walk around the city, etc. Never from people I interacted with on a regular basis. That came later in life, and in a subtler costume.

I was harassed at my first “real” job after college, as a legal assistant for an attorney who turned out to be a Red Flag Elemental. I didn’t realize it until I’d been there a while, but his harassment of me was much subtler than anything I had learned to spot as harassment, even though I grew up surrounded by hippie feminist liberals. I was more skeeved out by some of the questionable law practices in that office than by any of the potentially inappropriate harassment-type stuff, and I booked it pretty quickly even though I didn’t have a good exit strategy, because I just didn’t want to be around that vibe even if it meant I was broke and desperate and totally alone.

That drove me to a different law firm job, for a high-powered attorney who was both feminist and old-fashioned. She always wore below-the-knee skirts with nylons because you never knew when you’d end up in court, and some judges are old school enough to believe women shouldn’t wear pants in their courtrooms. (That thing that happened to Alicia Florrick on The Good Wife? Totally happens in real life.) She was a very ethical senior partner, but shady things still happened out of her line of sight. After I left the firm, and I believe after my former boss passed away, I heard through the grapevine that a female legal assistant was let go after sticking up for herself when a partner (later disbarred for unrelated reasons) smacked her rear with a newspaper in the copy room. I like to think such a thing wouldn’t have happened on her watch, but I think lesser things must have.

Then I moved on to jobs with a more subtle type of harassment; the ones where you’re denied opportunities for growth because you’re female, or you inherit a higher-powered position without inheriting a commensurate salary bump, or you’re spoken to in different ways than your male counterparts for the same types of offenses, or mansplaining is inescapable. Those are standard rate at almost any place of work, and you have to learn how to advocate for yourself in those circumstances. There’s discussion I don’t care to expand upon here about how that’s partly gendered behavior; about how some men face those same challenges. I don’t doubt it. But all that was minor league stuff compared to what I encountered when I entered the video game industry.

Working as a female in games is a blessing and a curse. So many amazing women are entering the field more and more often, but I get why they’re reluctant. I get why the #onereasonwhy phenomenon struck. Women who are comfortable wearing attractive clothes are slobbered over; inappropriately joked about or to. Women who are not conventionally attractive are the subject of some seriously messed-up conversations and jokes. It doesn’t help when you work on a product that has a minimum cup size of approximately Z for all its female NPCs; I hate to think of what the entertainment (or adult entertainment) industries are like. The most wildly inappropriate things have happened at the allegedly-AAA places I’ve worked at, though I have to say it seems like working in QA is truly the dregs. Testers and people who work in testing somehow seem to have a massive overlap with people who either lack appropriate social graces, or choose to override them to deliberately harass, belittle, demean, and disgust the women in their workplace. This is insanely frustrating as a tester who simply loves being picky about errors and making things look better. I didn’t ask for the stigma that accompanies a burning perfectionist core and a devil’s-in-the-details eye. (Watch me make like nine typos in this post.)

I don’t yet feel like I have enough distance or legal protection to get into the specifics about the things that have happened to me and to my female coworkers. But you know the strangest thing? Big Tech jobs are where I’ve felt by FAR the least amount of harassment thus far. Big Tech is where everyone was professional to me, where there was a decent balance of women vs. men (even if the women tended to be more PMs and the men more SDEs), and where I generally felt that there was less homophobia, bigotry, and inappropriate expression. It wasn’t gone, but it wasn’t nearly as rough as when I worked in video games. I felt more of a dev/business animosity than any kind of male/female animosity. But I also wasn’t in any Big Tech role for long, and I was always there primarily as a linguist for hire, and not a lasting asset.

I’m grateful that I haven’t gone through the types of things that Sarah and Whitney (and yes, even Haddie) have experienced. But you know what? I suspect it’s coming. I’m prettier than I used to be (neither fishing nor bragging; I simply know how to put myself together better than I used to). I’ve gained a bunch of weight, which in some views makes me less attractive, but of course I’m curvier as a result and that invites a different kind of harassment. I’m also likely to become pregnant at some point, which will invite a different kind of creepiness, I hear. And I’m growing my business. My Twitter following has more than doubled in the past few months, and my Facebook page is growing slower but will probably take off if I do things right. I’m trying to scale up a very public business that involves very personal and intimate interactions, and I don’t know how far it will go, but I aim to become something of a minor media figure someday kinda soon.

I’m sure that unacceptable trolling and harassment  is something I’ll face again even though I don’t work in game studios or law offices any more. Stories like the ones Whitney, Haddie and Sarah shared help raise awareness, help women everywhere stand up for themselves, and help educate and encourage men to stand up for an environment free from sexism, harassment and nastiness. Please go peruse their stores, and please pay it forward in whatever way you can by impacting your own circles with an understanding of the fact that it is absolutely not okay to tolerate harassment, even the minor kind. Women everywhere need your support. (Including me.)

Shlok it up

Shlok it up

I’ve continued listening to QUIT!, and it keeps helping me as I delve into my business relaunch. I called in again to Episode 9, and I listen eagerly every week.

Last week, on Episode 10, Dan was talking to Shlok Vaidya about his emerging after holing up to write his book, and they made a crack that it was like a phoenix rising from the ashes. In fact, I believe these were the exact words:

“…a really big, masculine phoenix, with huge guns.”

I couldn’t get that phrase out of my head, so I kinda make him a crest. I wish I were savvy enough with any software to have made this on a computer, but there ya have it. old-fashioned pen and pencil (and yes, hilighter).


It’s pretty clear from this that a) I’m not an artist, b) I was limited to basic office supplies, and c) I’ve never seen a gun in real life. Anyway, Shloky, you have free reign to use this on your online dating profile if you’d like! ♥

QR codes and teenage girls

QR codes and teenage girls

I was listening to episode 28 of The [New] Talk Show, in which Gruber once again (rightfully) complains about girls at CES who have QR codes printed on their butts. For some reason my mind wandered to the TV show Nashville, and I had an epiphany. (No, stay with me.)

In case you haven’t been watching it, which is a sound choice, Nashville is an ABC show about the mostly-country music scene in, duh, Nashville.  It stars Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere as dueling country music divas who are forced (spoilers omg plot) to go on tour together. Right before the holiday mid-season break, an episode ran in which the divas co-write and perform a ditty called “Wrong Song” which is a sort of self-referential anthem about lying cheating bastards that men can be. Spoilers. Even though a) I don’t usually watch network TV drivel, b) I don’t care for most country music, c) I’m not normally remotely susceptible to this kind of music-from-TV schtick, and d) the song isn’t actually all that good, I really liked it and couldn’t get it out of my head. As soon as the episode wrapped, I immediately searched for it on iTunes.*

Understand that I am NOT one to download music from the teevee. Literally the only other time** I’ve sought out music that I first heard on TV was in Gossip Girl. Though you may knock it for its insanely bad badness to your heart’s content, Gossip Girl was frightfully on trend—I literally heard my first ever Lady GaGa song there, and the show often featured currently trendy indie darlings like MGMT, Passion Pit, Camille, and lots more I’m sure I’m forgetting. At the end of the show they would have a little “you heard music from X” before the rest of the credits, and I usually followed up on that if I hadn’t already Shazamed it during the episode.

This got me thinking. You know those truly terrible teasers during TV shows where like the entire bottom half of the screen is completely covered by a totally distracting animation for a different program that you don’t intend to watch? What if, instead of that distracting irritation, networks simply broadcast a small, unobtrusive QR code that linked to whatever song was currently playing in the episode, from whatever music vendor they’ve struck a deal with (ahem, please make it Apple or Amazon)? Look, I like this idea so much I even mocked it up with some suuuper professional graphics:


Look, it’s uncharacteristic of me to behave like a fifteen-year-old girl with a smartphone, OR an exec tasked with marketing to said demographic, but I feel like this is the ONE area where teenage girlish marketing would serve me (and other geeks) well. This might be the first valid application of a QR code, AND the first welcome application of a popup ad on TV. We could usher in a whole new era. Imagine if every time an awesome song played, a QR code were displayed? (Rhyme unintentional.) What about commercials—what if you could QR yourself up a manufacturer’s coupon for a discount on Febreeze the next time a Febreeze ad spot played? I’m just saying. QR codes are stupid, but maybe this could be the way to implement them that would piss off fewer people and actually deliver QResults.™ Can’t you at least see stodgy network execs delighting over their new customer engagement metric? I can.

Perhaps there are limitations I’m not thinking of. Maybe the contrast wouldn’t quite be right, or the duration too short. Maybe no deal could ever be struck with a specific music partner. Maybe no advertisers could be trusted with the simple specs of implementing these at the right time, or in the right place, or at a small enough yet large enough size, or for the right duration. But I bet we could overcome these sillinesses — the first time I ever saw a QR code was on the TV-like screen of an arcade game in Tokyo in 2009, and it was easy enough to figure out how to react even though QR codes hadn’t really taken off in the West yet.

Food for thought. I sure would prefer a small square code over another friggin’ animated Amish Wars promo during a majestic nature show, DISCOVERY. Ugh.


*…And came up empty. This was back in December. When the season restarted this week, I checked again and the song was finally available for download, so I snagged it. This makes NO SENSE — why would you not have that very specific hit single content available when it first became relevant in the narrative of the show?! But that weird-ass publishing coordination failure is a whole other blog post for a different sort of blog.

** I survived living in Barcelona during the first-ever season of Operación Triunfo, and l felt like the only person who didn’t rush out and buy all the nouveau pop stars’ CDs.

P.S. I just noticed that Hayden and Connie have basically the same hair. Huh.

A brief note on QUIT! and quitting

A brief note on QUIT! and quitting

I’ve been meaning to craft a more thoughtful and ever-delayed post on leaving my job and going the solopreneur route, but I realized that maybe I should get something out there in the meantime to pimp the fact that I was on QUIT!. Twice! QUIT! is a new 5by5 show, in which Dan and his various co-hosts take calls from listeners about quitting their corporate stooge jobs and/or redefining themselves in their work life. My first call-in appearance was on Episode 2 – Everyone Gets Fired, when I called while squatting in an empty conference room at my corporate stooge contract job. And the next time was Episode 6 – The Voices In Your Head, after actually quitting, in which I got some great advice about how to scale up my business to be more financially sustainable.

Both times were SO phenomenally helpful, and downright fun. In addition to getting valuable input from the actual hosts,I also got loads of great suggestions and resources from the other listeners and chatroom jackals. I’ve had my hands full following up on leads, researching information products and referral structures, and generally getting my head back into the solo game. I’m SO excited to be devoting my whole self to my side thing, and even if it doesn’t pan out in the long run, I feel like I’m finally giving it the shot that it has deserved this whole time.

photo (25)
This guy is my only coworker now.

Here’s a big quitter’s e-hug to Dan, Haddie, Shlok, Mantwan, Michael K, Alex/aomind, T.J. Barber, _Funk, and everyone else who chimed in with words of support. I love what I do, and I’m looking forward to finding a way to make it work and make me enough money to stay at home with future kids and keep doing creative things that make me happy. I even added blog categories for “podcasts,” “freelancing,” and “working from home,” because those things are becoming increasingly important in my quotidian existence and my big-picture plans.

If anyone out there is thinking about quitting their job and/or has always wanted to try a business venture of their own, I urge you to listen live (usually Fridays at 2 PM Pacific) and try to call in if you can. Call in live at 512-518-5714 or leave a voicemail at 512-222-8141. Dan would love to hear from you; I’d love to hear you on the air; and most importantly, I think you’ll love the advice and support you get (even if it’s not what you were hoping for). Okay, mushy PSA over; back to your regularly scheduled complaining in my next post. :)

Google and Apple Maps both frustrate me

Google and Apple Maps both frustrate me

I wrote a big long post about Apple Maps and Google Maps, and I wound up reworking the whole thing, because it didn’t accurately capture my alternating dissatisfaction and joy. The more I’ve used Google Maps in the past few days, the more things I notice it doing both right and wrong. So, apologies to you RSS readers (all one of you) since you received the crap version. Here’s the better one! (Or at least the more organized one.)

TL;DR: both of these apps suck and lack basic functionality. F*ck a vector graphic; make it WORK when I need to get somewhere! (All the usual disclaimers about how privileged I am to even be able to use an iPhone and its data plan in the first place, of course.)

Google gets it right:

  • Public transportation, OBVIOUSLY. This was such an insane feature for Apple to remove.
  • Although I miss the map view that used to come along with this feature, I really appreciate that I can swipe through the directions to see what my next step is.
  • Being able to mute the directions on a per-trip basis! WOOOOO! This is a terrific feature.
  • While Google doesn’t do this perfectly, it seems like the general interruption level of Giri’s (that’s Google’s Siri’s) voice is less than that of Siri’s. Somehow, as weird as Giri’s in-and-out audio fluctuation is, she doesn’t seem to dim the volume of podcasts/music nearly as much as Siri does. So if you’ve become a big podcast listener in your years of iPhone devotion, you probably won’t find Google’s voice directions talking over your favorite podcasters to be quite as jarring or disruptive as Apple’s. There’s still room for improvement, but I think the main helpful difference is that Giri breaks up sections more frequently, so the podcast audio isn’t lowered for long stretches.

Google gets it wrong:

  • No “Contacts” access. Am I crazy here, or is there no way in the Google Maps app to look up directions to your saved contacts’ addresses? Is this perhaps the kind of info Apple insisted on keeping private from Google, since they’d want it for nefarious information-farming purposes? If so, fair enough, but it’s kind of maddening to have to manually copy and paste or type in addresses just to be able to use this new-fangled Maps app. Makes me go back to the Apple version just to save that effort, because it’s not doable on the go.
  • Lack of integration with the “Google” voice search app. My main use case for a Maps app right now is to find stuff safely while I’m already driving. I can launch the “Google” app via Siri, then voice searching for my venue and select the “Get directions” option from the Google app results. But then, when I click on that link, it takes me to the Google Maps WEBsite. From that website, I get prompted about downloading the @#*$!% Google Maps app, which I already have, but there’s no “open this in Google Maps app” option. This is enough fiddling that one must pull over to safely perform it. So I manage to click the tiny “No, just take me to the Google Maps website” text, and then I have to confirm that the website can use my current location approximately six times, and I still don’t have my directions in the new-fangled app with voice turn-by-turn nav after all, and I give up and use the Apple Maps app instead. UX score: negative three for failed integration.I realize this is an early beta for Google, but isn’t that kind of a critical piece of integration for general reception of this much-awaited Google Maps app? Wouldn’t you want to simultaneously update the Google app so that it could recognize that you have Google Maps installed and open links in that app instead of a browser? I KNOW this behavior is possible, because it happens with apps like Fab.com when you click on shopping links. (Shut up; this is tech research, not compulsive shopping behavior.)Another major boon for having a Google Maps app is all the stupid other apps, like OpenTable, which haven’t figured out that they need to update their integrated maps URLs. If Google had found a way to make all legacy Google Maps URLs open in their own maps app whenever a customer had that installed, it would be a huge boon to lazy developers (and their customers) who haven’t made this update yet.
  • WHAT is with the silly “shake to send feedback” feature being enabled by default, and being accompanied by a long vibration akin to receiving a SMS? Normal cell phone into pocket movements trigger this. “Oh, so you wanted to give us feedback? FEEDBACK!” It’s like a desperate boyfriend who can’t take being dumped. No, Google, we’re done with this transaction now. Shut up and go in the purse QUIT IT STOP VIBRATING GOD.
  • Why would you keep yelling directions even during a phone call? How is that the right user experience decision? Weirdos.

Apple gets it right:

  • I… I swear I had something for this category, but I seriously can’t think of anything. Besides, you know, “is built into the OS and therefore is better integrated.” I’ll letcha know if anything comes to me at 3 AM. I guess maybe half a point for UI style? Sure. So -2.5.

Apple gets it wrong:

  • I hate how you can’t alter the voice volume or toggle it on and off on a per-trip basis, in addition to on an OS level. I’d like to have it enabled by default but be able to manually turn it down or off, say, for trips when I’m carrying a bunch of passengers who are loudly singing along to Lady GaGa and don’t want Siri to interrupt them. For example. Fiddling into the settings every damn time is irritating. (Don’t get me started on how there’s still no iOS easy brightness adjustment path. That shit makes me wanna jailbreak, STILL.) The fact that Google allows for muting on a per-trip basis is a serious advantage to them. At least Apple offers multiple volume levels, though.
  • I really miss the iOS6-* feature where you could just tap ahead to see what your many next directions would be, including a map view of those. Now Apple won’t let you do that except for perhaps one move ahead, in some contexts only (and I haven’t figured out which), or with list view. Even if I enable the annoying Apple Maps voice feature, I still sometimes get told to turn a good 30 seconds after I needed to, but if I’d been able to visually peek at the map ahead of time I might have caught that and turned anyway. Can’t tell if this is a “visual learner” thing or a “creature of habit” thing, but it’s a thing one way or another for me. Google at least lets me swipe through them, even w/o the mappy part.
  • Oh my God Apple, please know that I’m done when I get to my destination and quit running in the background. I can’t tell if this is just crappy geo-fencing 80% of the time, but I almost always have to manually end my trip in Apple Maps, whereas Giri announces that I’m there and then shuts up and effs off.

Everyone gets it wrong:

  • I wish either client had an option to force podcasts to full-on pause during voice nav, instead of just lowering the volume. I usually have trouble parsing what’s being said behind Siri/Giri and comprehending directions at the same time. I’d so much rather just put my 5by5 or NPR show on hold, process the info that I need to turn right in a quarter mile, and then go back to letting Marco complain about blade grinders or whatever when I can give him my full attention.

Most of these fiddly feature requests seem like the kind of thing Android would be much more likely to implement than Apple. I wouldn’t actually know, because all of the other advantages of iOS have kept me happily Apply since the 1st gen, despite my many complaints. For now, I think of the new Apple Maps AND the new Google Maps as tools to wean me off of the smartphone habit of leaning too hard on GPS navigation, because I find these new apps/features so cumbersome that I’m finally just remembering how to get there all by myself in the first place.


*You know how you can say “in v2+” to mean “all versions 2 and following”? I wanted the same thing for, like, “all versions prior to v6” so I created this attempt at shorthand. Look, humor me. The (long and winding) point stands, and for now we all still care about Twitter’s character limit, so this notation is shorter and sweeter. You know, when it’s not accompanied by a lengthy explanatory footnote.