Okay, so now I can download and install applications on my iPhone. Lovely, lots of fun. The big energy is in location-aware stuff, so there are a bunch of handy free apps that do things like show movies and times playing nearby, or list local cafes and restaurants, faster than searching the web.

Right, I have downloaded three separate apps for local movies. There are three big chain theaters near me.

App 1 shows only one of the chains. App 2 previously used to show two of the chains, but now only shows one (the same one). App 3 previously used to show all three chains, but now only shows the same one—no wait, the next day it shows the other two chains instead. So does App 2. After a third day, App 2 and 3 are finally showing all three chains. App 1 is back to showing two of the three chains.

I also have a couple of applications to list local cafes, bars, and restaurants. App 1 tells me I have no cafés near me. App 2 tells me I have no cafés near me. Google’s customized search app, pulling from a different database, tells me I have several cafés near me. The next day, App 2 produces some independently owned cafés, but none of the Starbucks that Google shows. App 1 crashes my phone, then still shows me no cafés.

I don’t know how these things work, but clearly the various infrastructures feeding them the data have some issues.

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