Thursday, 5 July 2012
Tuesday, 29 November 2011
Apple iMessage and Poor User Experiences æ
Now that iMessage is finally in the wild and thanks to iOS 5 upgrades, available to most everyone with an iPhone I was able to test its functionality.
Man, was I disappointed in the user experience nightmare that followed.
If you own an iPad, or iMessage someone who owns an iPad, and either of you has a spotty data connection, synchronization problems appear. Otherwise, iMessage is a great first step towards subverting the carriers and their abhorrent SMS charges. Apple did good, but they need to do more.
Friday, 4 November 2011
Thomas Ricker, for The Verge:
When the fiscal year is done, Sony will have lost almost $8.5 billion from televisions over the last eight years. And while Sony has executed upon plans to restructure its TV business in the past, it has yet to successfully return the division to profitability.
Perhaps this says more about Sony than the TV market in general, but it still seems like it wouldn’t be easy for Apple to enter the TV market without first charging a premium. Not unlike the way the original iPhone showed up in 2007 for $499/$599. The unlocked 16-month-old iPhone 4 still costs $549 today.
Then again, Apple has a track record of remarkable innovation at the operations and manufacturing scale, and understands that consumers are willing to pay slightly more for a quality product. They surprised the world by introducing the iPad at $499; everyone expected $999.
A 42-inch widescreen HDTV today can cost anywhere from $350 to $1000. I sure wouldn’t mind Apple shooting for the competitive $499 mark again, but that might be too much to ask when a Mac mini starts at $599 and a 27-inch Thunderbolt Display retails at $999.
If I had to make a guess, I’d say that Apple’s future iTV will start at $999, and go up $200 for every size bump.
Thursday, 27 October 2011
Wasn’t The First æ
Dan Frommer, on Nest, Fadell’s new thermostat:
Yes, it’s not the first thermostat on the market that uses software to “learn” how to heat and cool your house properly, just as the iPod wasn’t the first MP3 player on the market. But it looks great, seems to have a user interface that is well ahead of the competition, reflects modern software and networking capabilities, and has an aspirational brand that I have never seen in a thermostat before.
The iPhone wasn’t the first smartphone. The iPad wasn’t the first tablet. There’s a world of difference between striving to be the ‘first’ and striving to be the ‘best’.
Thursday, 29 September 2011
Just Don’t æ
The New York Times, on rising iPad/iPhone theft on subways:
In a common situation, the thieves strike while a train is at a station platform. When the car doors open, the thieves identify vulnerable targets: people sitting near the doors who are absorbed in their music or electronic reading. Just before the doors close again, the thieves grab the devices and flee into the subway station.
Steve would say: Just don’t hold it that way.
Wednesday, 21 September 2011
Teach For America With iPads æ
It’s part of a public service program Apple initiated last spring with the launch of the iPad 2. Owners of first-generation iPads who had no use for them were invited to donate the devices to teachers in low-income communities.
It’s not clear how many units Apple collected, but in August every Teach for America corps member — more than 9,000 in 38 states — was offered a free iPad 1.
Over The Phone æ
Carol Bartz, ex-CEO of Yahoo:
I am very sad to tell you that I’ve just been fired over the phone by Yahoo’s Chairman of the Board. It has been my pleasure to work with all of you and I wish you only the best going forward.
Sent from my iPad
That was bound to happen. What has Yahoo done lately?
Monday, 5 September 2011
From Scroll To Screen æ
The codex also came with a fringe benefit: It created a very different reading experience. With a codex, for the first time, you could jump to any point in a text instantly, nonlinearly. You could flip back and forth between two pages and even study them both at once. You could cross-check passages and compare them and bookmark them. You could skim if you were bored, and jump back to reread your favorite parts. It was the paper equivalent of random-access memory, and it must have been almost supernaturally empowering.
A short history of reading devices. Great article with a cool graphic. We’ve improved a lot on device size and even searching, but we might be going backwards when it comes to browsing.
Thursday, 25 August 2011
Just A Fever æ
Reuters on Acer, Taiwanese PC maker:
The chairman said while he expects the “fever” for tablet PCs receding and notebooks regaining consumer interest, Acer will still see a loss in the third quarter, though it would be better than the second quarter.
Had no idea that Acer is still in business. Sounds like its chairman is crossing his fingers that this iPad fever will simply go away.
Saturday, 20 August 2011
Why Peter Bregman Returned His iPad æ
It didn’t take long for me to encounter the dark side of this revolutionary device: it’s too good.
It’s too easy. Too accessible. Both too fast and too long-lasting. Certainly there are some kinks, but nothing monumental. For the most part, it does everything I could want. Which, as it turns out, is a problem.
Sure I might want to watch an episode of Weeds before going to sleep. But should I? It really is hard to stop after just one episode. And two hours later, I’m entertained and tired, but am I really better off? Or would it have been better to get seven hours of sleep instead of five?
Boredom: a precious state of mind. Like air, you won’t miss it till it’s gone.
Thursday, 11 August 2011
Apple’s Ban Makes Galaxy Tab More Attractive? æ
We humans tend to crave that which we are denied. So could Apple‘s successful injunction against Samsung’s new Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Europe, based largely on patent claims, make the rival tablet more attractive?
Now it looks like Apple is also suing Motorola, suggesting its Xoom tablet is a ripoff of the iPad.
Time to stock up on the Xoom too. It’ll be so attractive once it’s banned.
Wednesday, 10 August 2011
How Apple’s Dominating the Notebook Market æ
Wired reports on global notebook market share:
Not including iPad sales, Apple ranks last, saleswise, as a manufacturer. Including the iPad, Apple soars to snag the top spot.
Consumers are buying iPads in lieu of laptops; it’s time market share studies reflect the same. Not an unexpected development, given that “non-Apple tablets” is already considered a separate category.
Saturday, 5 March 2011
People comparing the feature lists of the iPad and the Samsung Galaxy Tab often notice that one has a 10-inch screen and the other has a 7-inch.1 Most may note that one’s resolution is 1024×768 and the other’s is 1024×600.
The Galaxy Tab sounds only a bit smaller. Similar resolution too, you might think. That is, until you actually see and hold the two devices in your hand, and realize how much screen real estate is missing on the Galaxy Tab.
The iPad screen is twice as large as the Samsung Galaxy Tab screen! iPad’s screen measures approximately 45 inch2 (290 cm2) and the Galaxy Tab’s a mere 21 inch2 (140 cm2). The difference is because a 10:7 ratio (of the diagonals) converts to a 100:49 ratio when speaking about area!
Widescreen aspect ratios don’t make for better viewing; a bigger screen for video makes for better viewing. It’s a post-PC world, and people know intuitively that specs matter second.
Thursday, 3 March 2011
I got really excited about the newly-announced iPad 2, and a friend asked, so what does the iPad 2 now have? I blurted:
It’s thinner, lighter, faster… has cameras and speakers… comes in black or white… oh, and a new case. And the same battery life!
Oh, so what’s the big deal? my friend remarked, turning back to her business.
And I thought, yes, and still no integrated mini-fridge.
Friday, 25 February 2011
Bad Timing æ
Motorola PR must have soiled their pants when they found out the Xoom launch was only days before the iPad 2 announcement. At least if it were launched afterwards there might have been some press comparing the two; now the Xoom will simply be thrown into the “not iPad” category.
That, and the Xoom doesn’t come pre-loaded with Flash as advertised. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot.
Matt Rozen, Adobe, on Flash support on tablets:
Adobe will offer Flash Player 10.2 pre-installed on some tablets and as an OTA download on others within a few weeks of Android 3 (Honeycomb) devices becoming available, the first of which is expected to be the Motorola Xoom.
Maybe Motorola decided not to wait for Adobe. Or maybe they would rather the reviews compared the Xoom with a 10-month-old product.