What’s The Big Deal With Green Texts?

Lock-In

The iPhone is very popular, so a whole slew of people chat with the iMessage app. I often hear that it’s one of the biggest reasons for “platform lock-in.” That’s to say, many folks don’t or won’t stop using an iPhone because they’re chained to iMessage. But I don’t get it.


Blue Vs Green

In the tech sector, iMessage lock-in is often described as blue bubbles versus green bubbles. Why? If a person using iMessage receives text in a blue text bubble, then the sender is also using iMessage. But if it’s green, that means the sender is using an app that is not iMessage, which most often means they’re using Android instead of iPhone.

So what’s the big deal about that?

As blue is to sky, green is to grass; they’re both pleasant colors. So it can’t be the color itself but what the color means. Still, I don’t see a real problem. So what if someone sends text from an Android phone? There are only two reasons I can think of. The first is petty. The second is important.

The petty reason has something to do with status. There seems to be an air of superiority among some people who prefer iMessage and iPhone over Android and whatever pathetic chat app is used. It’s as if not only the hardware and software are inferior, but so is the person who happens to use it. I think this attitude is found in more immature people.

The important reason I can see for making a good distinction between iMessage and other chat apps is about security and privacy. iMessage texts, by default, are encrypted on the inbound and outbound side. This means whoever (the NSA) intercepts and collects your texts should not be able to decrypt and read your messages. For more on how this works, read this article.

iMessage is encrypted; that’s a nice feature. But despite how good and reliable iMessage is, it’s not perfect. Personally, I dislike how full of stuff it is. It has too many options and features and sub-menus and screens to access more stuff. The balance has been tipped from simplicity to complexity, which detracts from delight in it.

Now there is more reason why iMessage lock-in is a thing. A recent Fast Company article details some technical and related social reasons that are more important than petty. Basically, a non-iPhone text message that is sent to iMessage reduces its rich experience and, to some degree, limits functionality. Still, while there’s some merit to these reasons, I think they’re just inconvenient and a dent in luxury. In other words, no big deal.

And for more on the default Messages app on Android, check out Google’s info page here. I don’t think it is encrypted at all. Some chat features are limited compared to iMessage, but those are just bells and whistles to me. They’re nice to have, not need to have. Just give me letters and emoji and I’m good. Okay, I like the occasional GIF too, but it’s not a deal breaker if missing.


Emoji Please

So there are some reasons and my thoughts about so-called iMessage lock-in. If you send me a text and it comes in green, that’s perfectly fine with me.

Actually, what I really would like is to have what was once found on Android Messages. It used to let you change the color of the message bubbles based on the color of the contact. I loved it! My wife was all purple, my dad was red, and I was orange; it all looked very cool!

It would be more important, though, if Android Messages was encrypted like iMessage. Google, telecoms, and the NSA are collecting our texts and metadata, destroying any semblance of ambient privacy. Not good.

But hey, as long as we all get those GIFs, right? Color…encryption…just give us our emoji. 🙂


Are you locked-in because of iMessage? Do you prefer Android Messages or Signal? Comment below, or write to me here! Thanks for reading!

Bunches Of Bluebonnets

It’s that time of year again when the Texas Bluebonnets fully bloom! And that means it’s time to dust off my “real” cameras and get to shootin’!

 

 

Every Spring, we get blessed with bunches of blue flowers called Lupines. In Texas they’re called Bluebonnets. They grow in small clumps of bushes close to the ground and to one another, so they can spread like a blue and green blanket across wide swaths of land.

Here’s my Bluebonnets 2019 Gallery.

They’re beautiful! They also attract bees – lots of bees! So you have blue flowers with orange bees, which is a nice complementary color contrast.

One of the great joys of making these pictures was settling down outside amongst nature in the pretty and calm countryside. The fragrant smell of the Bluebonnets was strong and sweet. The breezy wind was warm and soothing. I found rest while waiting for bees to buzz around the right flowers. I think I could almost hear God whisper serenity to my soul. It was quite satisfying.


At our house, the Bluebonnets have spread more in the past few years. So I had lots of good places to try and get nice pictures. I used my Canon S5 and Nikon D60. I also used my iPhone 7 for a few landscape establishing shots and edited those in the Photos app right on my cellular telephone.

With the Canon, I typically used either the Super Macro setting and varied the aperture a bit to get a good depth of field, or I used the 12x (72mm) optical zoom to capture subjects with the background nicely blurred.

For the Nikon, I tried the 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 kit lens and the 85mm macro lens. This last lens made some of the best photos with nice bokeh in the background.

I did edits in old-school Lightroom on the PC – although I’d like to do all my edits on my iPad, but that’s another story here.

I’m trying to improve my Bluebonnet shots each year. Here are my 2017 Bluebonnets and 2018 Bluebonnets galleries. And here are the blog posts for them: Bluebonnets In Bloom and Blooming Bluebonnets.

This year’s flowers are in my Bluebonnets 2019 Gallery.

If you’re curious, you can also read how a Bluebonnet photo with my first digital camera sparked my photography hobby.

Enjoy!


Like these Bluebonnets? Have any questions? Leave a comment or email me. Thanks for your time!

Excited For The Blue

After all these years, and after all the training and discipline, even in various martial arts, you know what? I finally got a blue belt! Yeah! Do you know what this means? I got blue!

Ok. I take chill-pill now.

But really! I still can hardly believe it. I just rejoined my karate class in January, then crammed for the belt test!

Lots. Of. Fitness. Training.

And after last week’s 2-day ordeal, I passed!


I awaited my turn to stand in front of my peers and the table full of black belts scrutinizing my every move. Literally! I practiced controlled breathing while waiting just to keep my nervousness low.

Some katas (forms) and combos of techniques are done in unison with others of similar rank. But some are done solo. And that can lead to being nervous and maybe sketchy.

By this point, your Sensei knows that you know the moves. The test is like a formal presentation to officially declare the fact to all. Of course it also tests your focus.

When your nerves are kind of jittery, it’s more challenging, more mental than physical. So for my solo katas, I relied on muscle memory and also tried to focus on correct breathing while controlling my speed.

And even though the testing is formal, it’s good to keep some fun and levity in the back of your mind so you don’t take things too seriously. You know what I mean?

Overall, it really was not too hard to do the skills portion. I did about as well as you’d expect. Not perfect, but well enough to pass anyways.


So where do we go from here? In a few weeks we will have the Belt Ceremony. That’s when we get our certificates and actual new colored belts.

And we’ll also get to do special stuff. This time, it’s breaking boards. I know Bruce Lee said boards don’t hit back. Oh well. It’s still good and fun training!

Already, though, I hold my new rank of blue belt. In Kyokushin karate that’s 6th kyu (level 5 going up). I listed the ranks in my other post.

Anyways, I’m stoked that I pushed myself towards a goal and accomplished it! Victory and congratulations and all that is sweet. It has a sense of value and fulfillment that is hard to express in words.


What goal are you working towards? Is there something hard you’ve recently accomplished and want to celebrate? Leave me a comment or email me. It’s nice to hear from you!

Blooming Bluebonnets

Every year, I like to add a fresh batch of bluebonnet pictures to my collection. They’re the Texas state flower, and they only last about 3 to 4 weeks a year–plus they’re blue! The bluebonnets for 2018 sprung up a day or two before the equinox; I first noticed them on March 20th and started taking photos. Continue reading Blooming Bluebonnets