Apple App Store purchases and region/country settings

I download a lot apps and software. I used to download and try everything just to know what is out there for any specific task. In the old days I had tried all the browsers for Windows. You name it I’ve tried it. Netscape, Opera, Explorer, Firefox. Unless you try them all you can’t say which is the best for you.

Software unlike apps was available anywhere for any country if you can get your hands on it. But this is not true for purchasing things online. The App Store means that things can be location, region or country specific. And sometimes apps that were once available but not anymore cannot be searched for. Updates also are no longer available to you once it is removed from your region.

Case in point is the Flickr app. This was once available in Japan but is no longer there. So when I read online about the update and availability of a universal version working with iPad I knew I had to get it. But because it was removed from Japan’s App Store I could not get an automatic update.

The workaround was to delete then reinstall it. Since I had already purchased it previously it is mine to keep. So while I would not be informed of updates I was still able to redownload it as an update. Again, this is how you do it:

  1. Confirm there is an update
  2. Delete the app
  3. Reinstall the app

So if you are like me who want to keep everything up to date or get the latest versions of an app no longer available to you this is the way around the problem.

What is the difference between an “app” and a “program”?

Typically it is best to think programs and apps as the same thing with different names, just like cyclones, hurricanes and typhoons which technically these three storms are the same thing. So an app and program are just the same thing with different names.

In common usage though you will never call a something running on iOS or Android a program, or something on Windows, Mac OS or Linux an app. These terms seem to reflect on the environment they run on. And they install differently. A program usually requires an installer and will install various files needed on the computer for it to work. An app on the other hand will usually be (or at least feel like) one file downloaded. It will have one icon. And deleting it will be just to tap on “the cross”. A program will include and require an uninstaller in order to get rid of the various files installed all over your hard disk. Programs in general are pretty messy looking things.

One must also think of what usually becomes an app. For the most part we never install anything to do, for instance, Gmail on a computer. Add-ons to browsers may be the in-between case for some functionality, but we still use online email services through a browser. Whereas on an iPhone your email will be an app. In other words some things which are usually done on a browser on a computer will be done by an app in mobile devices.

AntWordProfiler short review

I have been playing with Laurence Anthony’s AntWordProfiler for a bit now. It is a corpus linguistic tool to “profile” coverage of texts in terms of comprehensibility particularly for reading in a second language. To understand how it works one must understand its predecessor Range by Paul Nation.

Paul Nation is a researcher in Vocabulary Acquisition a subfield in Applied Linguistics. His interest was mainly how much coverage of a text is needed before vocabulary can be acquired from reading without the aid of dictionaries and from textual context alone. To this end he created a the Range program. The Range program has two main functions: 1) to show the distribution of words across mutliple files or texts, and 2) to show how much of the text is covered by carefully designed wordlists based on frequency or knowledge. It does this by number crunching and showing this through statistics.

AntWordProfiler essentially does the same thing but is an upgrade in terms of functionality. Instead of just statistics we can now look at coverage in the text itself. And with a little tweaking of the word definition you can make AntWordProfiler mirror the Range program’s  (and AntConc’s) results.

Again, Mr Anthony has come up with a slick and easy-to-use product. The controls are less intuitive than AntConc (but more so than the Range program) but still it does not take much to figure out the functions.

The selling points, for me, are:

  1. the ability to creating identical results with other products thus making research results compatible and comparable;
  2. transferability of its results in plain-text to other platforms;
  3. speed (not as fast as AntConc (especially the old versions)) but still fast, and;
  4. the ability to process large volumes of text (Range crashes at about 250,000 tokens)

This is the tool to use if you need to profile texts or look at type occurrence over multiple files.

[Update] Mr Anthony has kindly pointed out two omissions to me – that AntWordProfiler is free (yes, free!) to use, and that it is available on different platforms (Windows, Mac OS X and Linux) which Range is not.

Download AntConc

A copy of AntConc (Laurence Anthony’s excellent corpus linguistic program) can be obtained from:

http://www.antlab.sci.waseda.ac.jp/antconc_index.html.

[Update] And here is my short tutorial on how to use it.

How to make a frequency word list in AntConc

First open some files.

To make a word list:

  1. load files;
  2. click on the ‘Word List’ tab, and;
  3. click ‘Start’.

The list in ordered by most frequent first. Types with the same frequency are ordered alphabetically within. Total number of types and tokens are shown between the tabs and work window.