Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Left hands and right hands

Duane Reade/Walgreens has an app that, among many other features, has an electronic copy of their loyalty card and permits it to be included in Passbook (iOS’s electronic wallet).  In fact, it is even location aware so that the card will appear on one’s phone when nearby the store to ease scanning at the register. And the website confirms that the phone version of the card works in the store.

So far, pretty sensible.

However, when one arrives that the register and tries to scan the phone, the cashier will say: “Sorry, we’re not allowed to scan phones so please enter your phone number instead.”  And then, “no, you may not enter your card number, only your phone number.”  What?  Why is there an electronic copy of the card?  Why is it in passbook?  Why is it location aware?

Is the unfortunate person on the app side unaware that someone on the rewards side doesn’t want people to use electronic versions of the loyalty card (which itself is baffling given that using the card is more helpful to Walgreens than it is to the customer)?

Someone at Walgreens is not doing their job.

See also this for Target's version of left hands/right hands with respect to apps and in-store.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Using Android against itself

This is funny.  As part of its efforts to switch users from Android to iOS, Apple will release an "Android Migration" app to move "contacts, message history, photos and video, Web bookmarks, mail accounts, calendars and even wallpapers" from the user's Android phone to iOS.

Why funny?  Because the loose nature of security in Android (including access to system level items such as wallpapers) means one can create an app like this on Android but not (or not without great difficulty) on iOS.

Also funny is that, given the prevalence of developing for iOS first, nearly all meaningful apps on Android have iOS counterparts and so Apple could have a "baby-version" of the app that at least shows that the potential switchee will not lose any core apps he or she depends on.

Finally funny is seeing Apple's fonts and style on an Android phone and not because it is a knock-off.