Introducing Games!

It is not every day you release an app on the AppStore, and even less on your birthday!

So let me introduce you to Games.

Games iphone library

As you may know I have a quite large collection of video games, and I wanted a way to manage it easily from my phone. So a few years back I started working on a small app that will allow me do to exactly that.

Between my family, work, and life I didn’t have a lot of time to work on it, so I started in september 2017, and used it personnaly since then, adding small features from times to times when I needed something.

Games ipad library

In September of 2021, after 4 years, I thought that it could be a good idea to allow others to be able to use it, and thought about finally releasing it to the world. As you can see we are in March, which means it took me 6 more months to cleanup everything and finalize what I left on the side.1

Games ipad charts

And, here we are, you can now enjoy it for yourself.

All of the data are provided by TheGamesDB, so if you don’t find a game or some data are missing, you can go there, create an account and help the community by providing more information.

Here are some key features:

Do not hesitate to follow me on twitter @StrAbZ, or @maroniethq.

And do not hesitate to make some feedbacks!

  1. Obviously since I was using it personally it was fine letting some stuff unfinished, it is not quite the same when you want to put it in the hands of other peoples. 

Leaving Paris

Tomorrow (Friday) will be my last day living in Paris.

I’ve lived many lifes and did many things here, to name a few, student, intern, in a relationship, employee, husband, freelance, father, moved 3 times, made new friends, meet new people, been drunk, stolen, bought a bike, met Roland, released an App, been to Epita, been to the WWDC, ran naked around the Place du Chatelet, travelled, discovered the Babka, worked for many great companies, saw friends have kids, lose a brother, tried a Twizzy, slept in the subway, ate junk food early in the morning, woke at 5pm on sundays, seen 3 movies in a row in the theatre, had sushis and burgers for my wedding, met Aylan, met Ilyas, met Mayssane and loved (still) Malak. 1

So after 16 years, it is time to move. New adventures await.

  1. Also, when I moved to Paris, many thought I wouldn’t adapt, to many people, to much noise, to many many.  

StopCovid, Stop your bullshit.

Exceptionnellement je vais écrire ce billet en Français et en Anglais.

For once, I'm going to write this message in both French and English.

J'ai passé un peu de temps à me demander si je devais poster un message à propos de l'app StopCovid qui sera déployée dans les prochains jours, mais après une semaine hors du web et au vu de ma timeline Facebook, cela me semble utile.

S'il vous plaît, arrêtez.

Arrêtez de diffuser ce message :

À tous mes amis et connaissances qui installeront l'application du gouvernement COVID-19 sur leur téléphone ce week-end, ne le prenez pas personnellement, et merci de respecter mon choix :

Je vous prie de bien vouloir me supprimer de votre liste de contacts téléphoniques et de toutes les plateformes de médias sociaux que vous utilisez et ceci, surtout, avant d'installer l'application sur votre smartphone.

Vous n'avez pas mon consentement pour utiliser mon numéro de téléphone en connexion avec cette application pour l'identification, le suivi ou la localisation de ma personne car si vous chargez cette application, tous vos contacts seront connus et pistés à leur tour, contre leur gré.

Merci de votre compréhension.
Cela n'enlèvera en rien l'amitié ou les liens qui nous unissent.
Je n'utiliserai pas cette application. Je protège aussi mes contacts.
Merci d'avance.

Vous diffusez de fausses informations.

On se moque de savoir vous êtes, ou qui vous avez rencontré, on veux juste savoir si votre route a croisé celle de quelqu’un de contaminé.

L’application n’envoie pas le carnet d’adresses (on se fiche de qui), il n’y a pas besoin de géolocalisation (on se fiche de où), rien ne permet de savoir qui est qui.

Vous n'êtes malheureusement pas aussi important que vous le pensez.

La chose la plus utile partagée anonymement par l'application est que vous avez été contaminé par le COVID-19 (personne ne saura que c'est vous) pour permettre aux autres de se faire dépister et de se protéger.

Étonnamment, vous partagerez publiquement sur Facebook que vous avez eu le COVID-19 et qu'il faut que l'on prenne soin de nous.

S'il vous plaît, arrêtez.

Si vous ne voulez quand même pas installer l’application pas de soucis. Mais s’il vous plait, plus de désinformation.

I spent some time wondering if I had to say something about the StopCovid app that will be deployed in a few days, and after a week out of the web, and just by checking my Facebook timeline I felt I needed to say something.

Please stop.

Stop posting this message:

À tous mes amis et connaissances qui installeront l'application du gouvernement COVID-19 sur leur téléphone ce week-end, ne le prenez pas personnellement, et merci de respecter mon choix :

Je vous prie de bien vouloir me supprimer de votre liste de contacts téléphoniques et de toutes les plateformes de médias sociaux que vous utilisez et ceci, surtout, avant d'installer l'application sur votre smartphone.

Vous n'avez pas mon consentement pour utiliser mon numéro de téléphone en connexion avec cette application pour l'identification, le suivi ou la localisation de ma personne car si vous chargez cette application, tous vos contacts seront connus et pistés à leur tour, contre leur gré.

Merci de votre compréhension. Cela n'enlèvera en rien l'amitié ou les liens qui nous unissent. Je n'utiliserai pas cette application. Je protège aussi mes contacts. Merci d'avance.

This is spreading misinformation.

We don't care about where you are or who you met, we just need to know if your path crossed someone’s infected.

The application does not upload your address book (we don’t care about the who), there is no need for geolocation (we don’t care about the where), nothing will allow to identify you.

You are clearly not as important as you think.

The important information shared anonymously is that you got infected with COVID-19 (nobody will know it is you) so others can check and protect themselves.

The irony, is that you will gladly share non anonymously on Facebook that you got COVID-19 and that we should be careful.

Please, stop.

In the end, if you still don’t want to install the application, it is fine. But stop spreading bullshit.

Quelques liens/some links:
Application StopCovid : que sait-on du projet français de traçage des contacts ?
Application installée d'office, répertoire aspiré, géolocalisation : trois fausses informations sur StopCovid

Leaving the freelancing life.

I never thought I would have but, guess what, I did.

After 8 years of being independant1, I took back a full time job in a really promising startup.

I can’t wait to tell you more about it! 😁

  1. Around 5 years with French Fry (and my 2 associates) and almost 3 years solo freelancing, with my own company Maroniet. 

Tatakon time

As I said on twitter, I really like the Taiko no Tatsujin serie. I only played the PSP version before buying the Nintendo Switch one, but it stuck on me. I think playing the Donkey Konga1 👏 serie on GameCube helped a lot.

Also, having lot less time to play video game than before, I kind of enjoy more quick and challenging play, therefor arcade game type works well for me these days, and Taiko does not disappoint.

I didn’t try playing with the Tatakon, mostly because I play at night, and it can make a lot of noise, I just don’t wan’t to wake up everybody. That’s for me the big difference with Donkey Konga. If I remember well, we could just « touch » the kongas and it would register the input, so you could used it at night without bothering your family2. On the contrary, for what I tried, you really need to hit the Tatakon for it to accept input, when I just tried to touch it softly I was getting « Bad » scores.

The track list, is just as good as I remember. Maybe it could be great to have a bit more international titles, but that is not something that prevents me from playling. It helps discover a kind of music I don’t listen to, or rediscover songs in another language, like How far I’ll go 3, from Disney’s Moana. As expected, some of the tracks are just incredibly hard, and I’m not sure I will be able to finish them some days. Just take a look at the video to understand what I mean.

  1. It has been developed by Namco, which are at the origin of the Taiko series. 

  2. Except for the handclaping, but you could tap the kongas on the side to produce the same effect. 

  3. Here is the original: 

Back in business

Almost a year ago (27/09/2016 from the git history), I started working on a small, easy to use, good looking Markdown editor for Windows 10. I already had everything I wanted on macOS, but I found nothing interesting on the Windows Store. 1

Unfortunately, but for a very good reason, like having my second kid, I put that development on hold for months (since January 2017, again from the git history), then sometime in April, Bardi released its great app Appy Text, which is an awesome text editor with markdown support. 2

This left me wondering about what I should do with my app. So I finally started to work again on my sides projects. I still need this app, it cover my needs, and I'm sure will also cover the needs of some of you, and if it don't I still learn a lot building it.

Anyway, I don't have a release date yet, I'm aiming for sometime during the summer. I feel like sharing a bit, so here is a screenshot of the current build.

Markdown app

  1. Most of them have a design dating back to Windows 8, and are mostly over complicated. 

  2. Go download it. There is not many that good apps on the Windows Store. 

On the verge of switching

On november 2011 I fell for Windows Phone. I bought a Nokia Lumia 800 running Windows Phone 7.5, and it was an amazing phone. Two years later in december 2013 I bought a Nokia Lumia 925, which was also an amazing device, running this time Windows Phone 8, and two years later I finally purchased my current device a Microsoft Lumia 950, running Windows 10 Mobile.

When I first came to Windows Phone I really liked it, it was clearly a new way to use your phone, I fell in love with the live tiles, the me tile, the deep social network integration within the OS. I was surely going to miss some apps, but I was OK with it. As the time passed, Microsoft fucked the whole OS, removing what make it great to turn it into an Android clone, but I was still OK with it. The release of Windows 10 Mobile and the UWP platform should have made the OS great, bringing more apps developpers, and making it the true third mobile platform.

But as you know this never happened.

Almost 2 years after the Lumia 950 release, there is still no new flagship device from Microsoft while we’ve seen great new phones from Apple, Samsung and Google. Windows 10 Mobile still lacks a lot a features and as is development seems to be halted, I don’t except anything new for now. I could continue to use my phone as it is, I now have all the app I need1, I’m able to use all the services I want2. But unfortunately, my phone is turning more and more into a brick each day. It became barely usable. My battery is draining faster than I use my phone3. When it reaches 18%, it can shutdown (just the same as if it reached 0%). The less battery I have the slower it become, taking ages to take a picture, or open an app. I cannot use Spotify anymore, the audio service doesn’t start. I even tried to reset the phone to factory settings, but nothing changed.

That is why I’m on the verge of switching. I don’t see Microsoft improving the mobile part of Windows 10 for now, and I can’t continue to use a phone that is barely working. Sure I’m going to miss some feature, like the photo library linked to OneDrive, so I don’t have to rely on the OneDrive app to upload pictures. I’m going to miss the live tiles, they bring so much life to the start screen, and give me some useful informations.

So, next week, on April 25th, Microsoft should release the Creators Update for Windows 10 Mobile, I know it won’t bring new features to the mobile part of the OS, but I hope it will fix some of my issues. If this is not the case, I’ll switch to iOS 4.

  1. Except Mario Run, Snapchat, a working version of 1Password, Citymapper, Twitch, Tweetbot, Trainline, Airbnb, etc… 

  2. I managed to use my CardDAV and CalDAV settings from Fastmail, by modifying the iCloud account configuration of Windows 10 Mobile. Yes you read it well, in order to use a custom [Cal|Card]DAV account, you still need to setup an iCloud account and change is settings, meaning that this is not supported by default by the OS. 

  3. If I use it normally, it last less than a day, If I don’t plug it by the end of the afternoon, I won’t be able to use it at night. 

  4. My wife just switched from Windows 10 Mobile to iOS, so I’m the only one left with a Windows device. Also, because it works well on the desktop part, I plan to buy a Surface Book, since I have apps I want to release on Windows desktop. It will not be my only contradiction. 

2016 to 2017

2016 was the year of changes, tomorrow will mark the 5 years of French Fry’s birth, what a great adventure. It was also the year I started teaching iOS development, something totally new for me. I liked it very much. It was also the year I started freelancing, doing iOS development for others, on my own. It was also the year I learned I was going to be an uncle, and best of it, it was also the year we learned we were going to have another kid, another boy! So, even if everybody died in 2016, a lot of stuff, a lot of good stuff also happened.

2017 will be the year when all the changes started last year, will be finalized, will be completed. I’ll still do some work for French Fry. I’ll continue teaching iOS development, I’ll continue freelancing (I even created an new company, I’ll talk about it another time), I’ll be an uncle, and I’ll be a father again in few weeks. I also have stuff I want to do this year, I want to learn Android development, I want to release new Apps with my new company, I want to buy a Nintendo Switch, I want to help my wife succeed in whatever she wants to do, I want to help my sons enjoy their lives as much as possible. Maybe buy a house and have our home. I can’t wait for this year to start.

Happy new year!

The Skype issue

When Microsoft announced that Skype will merge with the Messaging app on Windows 10 Mobile (and desktop) I had high hopes to see a great competitor to Apple's Facetime/Message, so we could have an easy way to make video calls and send messages between Windows devices without having to use the full Skype app.

This will not happen.

Earlier this year Microsoft announced that they will break the integration of Skype and the Messaging app, and bring a new UWP Skype app (which looks like the current desktop version, except for the Dark theme).

Now, we'll have to use Skype as we always did, by using it as another message app, along WhatsApp, Messenger, Telegram, and many others. It will become another third party app, having to compete on all levels, it will not be an easy task.

I really think Microsoft don't know what to do with Skype. It targets a lot of different users. Users that used it for work and video conf (and still use it that way), users that were forced to it after Microsoft closed MSN Messenger, and at last, user of Windows 10 devices that just had there Skype account created along their Microsoft Account. It seems to me impossible to have all these kinds of users using the same app. There is a need for a split.

First, Skype should stay Skype, a multi-platform messaging app, not specifically tied with a Microsoft account (but why not), that user can rely on to do chat, video call, all of what Skype already do. It will still compete with WhatsApp, Messenger, even Slack if they want to. Since the Skype team seems to do whatever they want, they can continue that way. They can continue adding more emoji before stabilizing their platform if they want, they took care of their own product. They can monetize it as they want. It sill stay the same as it was before the merge.

Second, Microsoft should start working on an integrated solution for Windows 10 devices. Yes, it will be another "Redmond, start your photocopier" situation again, but I think we need it. I'd really like to have an easy way to send messages (that are not SMS) to my contact that also have a Windows 10 device, so it will allow me to chat with them from my Desktop/Tablet computer, I'd really like to be able to switch from a call to a video call (or directly start a video call) without having my phone trying desperately to launch the "Skype" part of the Messaging app and crash right in the middle of it. It will also a lot more easier to explain everything to non tech users, everything is in the same app, installed on your phone by default, no need to add another app, it matches your phone address book, and not some weird mix of old Skype/Messenger contacts and address book contacts.

Finally, the most important part, these two apps needs to be totally separated and never merged! They have to different purpose, and targets two different sets of users.

The Windows 10 Mobile update problem.

Microsoft finally officially released Windows 10 Mobile. Great. It took them almost 4 months between the release of the Lumia 950 and its not so stable version of Windows 10 Mobile, and the official release last week. And they successfully screwed everything again.

After the big mess of the Windows Phone 7.5 to Windows Phone 8 update, Microsoft stated that all phone running Windows Phone 8 will be updated to Windows 10. (Not Windows 10 Mobile yet).

Guess what? It is a big mess again.

Not all the Windows Phone 8 devices will receive the update, only 15 Lumia will receive the update. If you have a Lumia in the x20 series, you can forget about it. Meaning no update for the Lumia 1020, Lumia 520, Lumia 920. It also means no update for Lumia Icon, and no update for my beloved Lumia 925. Which by the way runs fine with the Windows Insider Preview builds. I've only listed here Lumia devices, but it is the same for HTC devices or Blu devices. Microsoft please, stop making promise you can't keep.

Quick comparison, take the Lumia 925, it was released on June 2013, almost 3 years ago, it was released with Windows Phone 8 GDR 2, (Nice naming by the way), and it received these updates:

And nothing more, it was never updated to Windows Phone 8.1 Update 2. A total of 3 updates.

Now, take the iPhone 4S, release on October 2011, 4.5 years ago, it was released with iOS 5. Here is the list of available updates:

The iPhone 4S received a total of 35 updates, only 14 if I exclude the x.x.x releases. During the 3 year life of the Lumia 925, the iPhone 4S received 11 major updates, and 3 new OS version. I won't bet on it getting iOS 10, but why not?

I really really like my Windows Phones, but Microsoft clearly needs to learn from Apple on this one. Not being able to support phones released less than 3 years ago, that are at least as powerful as phones released after, (Lumia 735 for example) which will received the update is a shame.

Microsoft is unable to update all Lumia, O.K., but it seems they also doesn't know how to easily push the update to customers. To update to Windows 10 Mobile, you have to download an app.. You cannot get the update right from the "update my phone" menu, you need to install the Upgrade Advisor app, that will check that the update is available for your Manufacturer/Carrier/etc... and it will also help free space on the device to successfully install the update.

I'd really like to know how many Windows Phone users, will discover they have to install an app to get an OS update. Maybe it will change over time, but right now, as I tested on my wife's Lumia 735, if you check for update nothing appears, you install the app, run it, and you get a message saying the update is available and you can install it. What. The. Fuck.

Not only Microsoft doesn't update all Lumia as promised, but they make the update as hard as possible to found.

I've followed the iPhone since the release, you might not like Apple, but the way they update the iPhone, is way better. Right now for Microsoft it even seems worse than Android.

Microsoft, good luck with Windows 10 Mobile.