Tag Archives: ipad

Reminder that Jobs wasn’t always right

1984-steve-jobs-ipad

Got to love the new Google Nexus 7.

Recently I have seen a lot of people with the Apple ipad mini, so much when I see someone with the ipad full. I can’t help but touch it and lift it. Usually saying something like “wow its really that big and that heavy!

Although I use to get ratty when people confused my Samsung Tab 7+ with the ipad mini

So ironic being the fact the Galaxy 7+ was released in the middle of fight between Samsung and Apple. Apple said the Galaxy tabs looked like the ipad and got the Galaxy Tab 8.9 and 7.7 blocked in different parts of the world. Samsung fighting the blocks, decided to make a Galaxy Tab 7+ which I ended up buying.

Back to the point…

People making the mistake of thinking my Galaxy 7+ is a ipad mini… Thats finally starting to go away now the market is flooded with 7inch tablets.

Steve Jobs famously announced, there is no need for a 7inch tablet.

No tablet can compete with the mobility of a smartphone, its ease of fitting into your pocket or purse, its unobtrusiveness when used in a crowd. Given that all tablet users will already have a smartphone in their pockets, giving up precious display area to fit a tablet in our pockets is clearly the wrong trade-off. The 7-inch tablets are tweeners, too big to compete with a smartphone and too small to compete with an iPad.

These are among the reasons we think the current crop of 7-inch tablets are going to be DOA, dead on arrival. Their manufacturers will learn the painful lesson that their tablets are too small and increase the size next year, thereby abandoning both customers and developers who jumped on the 7-inch bandwagon with an orphan product…

Well he was so wrong, even Apple themselves ended up building the 7.9inch ipad mini. But more interestingly is the overall demand for 7inch tablets is very high.

Looks like the Pacemaker app goes iOS?

Big Boom boxPacemaker?

Seems through out the South by south west festival those guys behind the Pacemaker were out in force with an ipad?

Yes strange but I assume the deal with Blackberry ended and they ported the software to another platform. iOS it seems, going by whats in his hands? Shame because I had hoped developing the app for the Blackberry would make it easy to port to Android.

Nothings been announced yet but it seems pretty obvious to me at least… Which begs the question if I would buy a ipad just as a dj tool? Unlikely…

Comparing Apples to Oranges in advertising

Apples & Oranges - They Don't Compare

Everyone knows I’m not a fan of Apple but after watching the mass hysteria over the ipad2 which was a massive yawn. I’ve been thinking what is it with the iphone/ipad which bugs me. besides the obvious stuff like a closed platform and ecosystem, etc… Then I saw Charlie Brooker on Channel4’s 10 o’clock show ranting about the Apple ipad 2… and trust me the rant is hysterical…

Anyhow it got me thinking… after drying the tears from my eyes (from all the laughing of course) the Apple iphone and ipad adverts kind of suck.

Why? Well let me explain… Here’s a series of iphone adverts.

In my view (and I’m not a advertising exec) the iphone is too in your face. Its all about the iphone and not much else. Heck even the human is reduced down to a hand puppet. Here’s the ipad advert. Shiny Shiny... Yes you have Johny Ive talking but frankly thats not enough to break it up, because he’s talking about the device and not what it could enable.

Here’s the Microsoft Phone 7 advert which to be fair does take the mick out of the people’s use of phones but look how much time the phone actually gets on screen? Microsoft was right, the phone distracts you from whats going on around you. This can be a good thing sometimes but most of the time its a bad thing. Charlie Brooker in his lovely crafted rant hits it right on the mark. You might as well burn down the locations around the users, the users are so distracted by the ipad, they might as well be no where. Its of course not just the ipad and iphone… Here’s the mac book air advert.

Orange a long time ago use (the animals not so much) to create amazing adverts which don’t include technology. Here’s the new range of adverts which don’t include a single phone at all. This one shows some quite difficult concepts using non-tech ideas. Heck even Apple use to create interesting adverts for there ipod range.

Ok I hear the cries of fowl play. Comparing Orange to Apple is like… well comparing Oranges and Apples :) But seriously, Orange are well known for there excellent adverts so maybe its slightly unfair. But you would slightly expect well thought out adverts for a company who prides themselves so much on the obsessive methods they use to make there products and the packaging. So lets look at Sony and Apple.

Sony’s make believe adverts, not quite as good as Orange’s but once again, the technology takes a back seat in the adverts. (of course here’s the new foam one, the paint one and of course the balls one) Its all about what it enables you to do.

Its about enabling and the experiences you could have. For me this is much more seductive and fore-filling than looking at shiny shiny objects.

But heck what do I know, I’m again, not a TV exec!

Kevin Rose thinks AppleTV will change everything

Plex

I think not…

Kevin Rose talks in more detail about what he thinks the new AppleTV will feature.

The rumor: Apple will be releasing a revamped/renamed version of their ‘Apple TV’ set-top box, called ‘iTV’. The box will run the Apple iOS (same as the iPhone/iPad), and be priced around $99.

Why will this change everything?

  • iOS TV Applications: Expect to see an iPhone/Pad like marketplace for television applications. Video sharing/streaming/recording apps, interactive news apps, and of course games.
  • a la carte (app) stations: With Apple’s iAds, content producers (eg. ABC/NBC/etc.) can directly monetize and distribute their content. This will eventually destroy the television side of the cable and satellite industry, as your only requirement to access these on-demand stations will be an internet connection. Say goodbye to your monthly cable bill.
  • MobileMe Picture/Video sharing: At $99 your parents, grandparents, and friends will have an iTV. Sharing pictures/videos from your iPhone will happen with the push of a button. Imagine getting a notification of new family videos the next time you turn on your TV. My mom will love this feature.
  • The iPad will turn into one big badass remote control: The iPad will be the preferred input device for the iTV. You’ll be able to editing videos, control games, and extend the interactive television experience. Imagine watching monday night football on the TV while viewing/exploring other camera angles on the iPad.

From what I hear we should expect to see the iTV launch in September.

I’ve talked in a lot of detail about the new AppleTV and even GoogleTV. Kevin Rose is usually pretty dead on with Apple stuff mainly because of his contacts but honestly everything mentioned isn’t enough. Even a $99 price tag is far too much, specially when you have to pay for everything else. I won’t even go there about the app store, I’ve covered that to death.

Playing with the ipad my thoughts

Ipad

So while in Ireland for Media 2020, I got to play with a couple of people’s iPads. Now you all know I’m not a fan but these are my honest thoughts while playing with it.

Its bloody heavy, I expected it to be much lighter. When you use two hands its ok but I can see why people end up resting it against something for a while. The screen is vivid but you can see the pixels easily and even worst with apps which are blownup using x2 option. Reading an actually ebook was disappointing and felt like readiing from my on laptop. Adjusting the backlight down helped but no where near the ease of eink.

Why is it curve on the back? It seems to make even hard to hold and its not helped by the shiny back. I really would not want to carry this in a crowd in fear of it slipping out of your hand due nudges and the usual human traffic or if someone really wanting to nick it off you. Talking of which, what on earth kind of glass screen tech are they using? It picks up greasy finger prints in seconds. Not good.

Finally I thought it was meant to be slightly bigger that my Sony Ebook reader, no actually its exactly the size of two of my sony ereaders side by side. Which says to me its far too big. One of the people who had bought one had a special rubber case which i guess helps it stay clean but geez its ugly. Obviously not designed by Jon Ive.

iPad Dj Application?

Been thinking 2 ipads to mix music with could be interesting. However where would you store all those tunes? Would you put the mixer on a third device or even a iphone/ipod touch? Could you run the whole thing on one ipad?

There are a few stories exploring the idea. But generally most of the problems related to the ipad are also related to the iphone too. Things one audio output, no ability to add an external usb soundcard, locked up music subsystem, etc, etc. I did however see that the ipad has already been hacked or jailbroken, so who knows what might change for a serious dj setup.

The rainforrest will dry out if you don’t let it grow into the open

The Apple iPad

Everyone is talking about Steven Johnson piece in the New York Times titled Rethinking a Gospel of the Web. Steven Johnson a very good author of some fine books and clever guy generally, is starting to question if open platforms is not a technological-utopianism.

FOR about a decade now, ever since it became clear that the jungle of the World Wide Web would triumph over the walled gardens of CompuServe, AOL and MSN, a general consensus has solidified among the otherwise fractious population of People Who Think Big Thoughts About the Internet.

That unifying creed is this: Open platforms promote innovation and diversity more effectively than proprietary ones.

In the words of one of the Web’s brightest theorists, Jonathan Zittrain of Harvard, the Web displays the “generative” power of a platform where you don’t have to ask permission to create and share new ideas. If you want democratic media, where small, innovative start-ups can compete with giant multinationals, open platforms are the way to go.

I’ve long considered myself a believer in this gospel and have probably written a hundred pages of book chapters, essays and blog posts spreading the word. Believing in open platforms is not simple techno-utopianism. Open platforms come with undeniable costs. The Web is rife with pornography and vitriol for the very same reasons it’s so consistently ingenious. It’s not that the Web is perfect, by any means, but as an engine of innovation and democratization, its supremacy has been undeniable.

Over the last two years, however, that story has grown far more complicated, thanks to the runaway success of the iPhone (and now iPad) developers platform — known as the App Store to consumers.

He then lists what he sees as the successes of the appstore, iphone platform.

More than 150,000 applications have been created for it in less than two years, transforming the iPhone into an e-book reader, a flight control deck, a musical instrument, a physician’s companion, a dictation device and countless other things that were impossible just 24 months ago.

Hold on a second, this is also true of other platforms like windows mobile. Yes there hasn’t been 150k of apps but I’ve seen all type of things developers for windows mobile have done.

The decision to route all purchases through a single payment mechanism makes great sense for Apple, which takes 30 percent of all sales, but it has also helped nurture the ecosystem by making it easier for consumers to buy small apps impulsively with one-click ordering.

Agreed but I think a open system could also have benefited some very interesting payment and delivery models. Up till recently Bluetooth transfering of apps and media was huge but with the apps store everything has to go through a central server, how else will apple get there 30%?

And I think this is the point, an open system gives you the freedom to get really creative.

Apple could certainly quiet a lot of its critics by creating some kind of side door that enables developers to bypass the App Store if they wish. An overwhelming majority of developers and consumers would continue to use the store, retaining all the benefits of that closed system, but a secondary market could develop where more experimental ideas could flourish.

But whatever Apple chooses to do with its platform in the coming years, it has made one thing clear: sometimes, if you get the conditions right, a walled garden can turn into a rain forest.

I will be the first to admit Apple have done a good job with the illusion of freedom, its a bit like dark city where people forget there is a daytime and how to get to shell beach. Few people rub against the sides of the rain forrest or the dark city. However this illusion is only sustainable for so long.

Even those who bought ipads and tried to use them on the way home noticed the lack of ability to be used till synced with itunes on a laptop. Theres also something Apple did in there recent announcement about iphone software v4 development. New iPhone Developer Agreement Bans the Use of anything but there own software to build software for the appstore.

Applications may only use Documented APIs in the manner prescribed by Apple and must not use or call any private APIs. Applications must be originally written in Objective-C, C, C++, or JavaScript as executed by the iPhone OS WebKit engine, and only code written in C, C++, and Objective-C may compile and directly link against the Documented APIs (e.g., Applications that link to Documented APIs through an intermediary translation or compatibility layer or tool are prohibited).

So something like Adobe’s Flash-to-iPhone Compiler is completely out the window. As you can imagine this has outraged developers and pissing off developers. This has to be like poking in the eye of each one of the great apes, its just not what you want in a rainforrest, unless you want chaos. Or back to the darkcity analogy, John Smith is working things out. And finally Apple’s idea of one device for everyone is now just a theory,

The fact that the iPhone platform runs exclusively on Apple hardware helps developers innovate, because it means they have a finite number of hardware configurations to surmount. Developers building apps for, say, Windows Mobile have to create programs that work on hundreds of different devices, each with its own set of hardware features. But a developer who wants to build a game that uses an accelerometer for control, for example, knows that every iPhone OS device in the world contains an accelerometer.

The iphone 3GS has different features to the ipod touch 2nd generation. Not only that but some generations will now have the iphone 4th generation software with all those extra apis and older phones wont. Same for the ipod touch, some will some won’t. Throw in a ipad with its already different screen size, cpu, etc then give it different software based on when the upgrade comes out in the world. Yes this is sounding a lot closer to the Windows Mobile world than Steve Jobs would care to admit. From my understanding by Christmas this year, there will be 2 types of iphones running v4 software, ipod wise, 1 v4 and 1 v3. throw in a Ipad and who knows what happens when the Apple TV joins in on the fun? Theres no doubt that Apple will tie the AppleTV to the rainforrest in someway and apps will make it on the platform at some point. Goodness knows what specs and capabilities that device will have, lets alone what software platform?

Nope shame on you Steve Johnson for falling for this trap (its a trap!) Open systems are better, there just unpredictable and when your worried about the stock price, this is would be off putting.

Jonathan Zittrain of Harvard and the book I’ve been shouting about the future of the internet is right, the Web does display the “generative” power of a platform where you don’t have to ask permission to create and share new ideas. If you want democratic media, where small, innovative start-ups can compete with giant multinationals, open platforms are the way to go.

HTML5 yes great but it should have nothing to do with the ipad

I’m getting a little fed up of seeing this company, that company are preparing to launch video streaming using HTML5 so they can catch the Apple ipad users.

Don’t get me wrong HTML5 video streaming is a good thing, finally we can get away from Flash and Silverlight type non-standard technology and give the user the video they require. I do wish they had sorted out the Theora/H.264 codec issue but its too late now, and both are a major step ahead of using Flash. But what gets me is that all these companies are doing purely for the iPad? I’m sure supporting the ipad is in there somewhere but to do a massive swing the other way because Apple launches a massive ipod touch?

Worrysome.

The Apple iPad: Underwelming but not a bad price

Apple Ipad

Apple release the islate, itablet as the ipad today. I’m sure many people will write about the device and how they really want one but even with my mac bashing hat on the table its not enough.

If you’ve not seen it, think of a ipod touch and grow it quite a bit and you got yourself a ipad.

The first thing which puts me off is the size, its too big to slot into my life. I want something which I can discreetly hold on the bus without people going hey whats that he’s got there? Something you don’t need another case or bag for. Something I can just carry with me just incase I got 30mins to do something. Some of you will argue that the smartphone is that device but I’m not so convinced. Its also quite weighty, which don’t get me wrong – is good for a large LCD but I want something really light. The real deal breaker and to be fair this was always the case even before it had come out. The Apple App store and Apple Ecosystem.

I can’t express how sick to death of the Apple Ecosystem I am. Everytime I even consider the ipad, I think about my experience with the ipod touch I bought last year. I couldn’t even turn on and use the device without the device talking to iTunes, which meant installing itunes on a work machine to just use the damm thing. Then there was the problem with storage. If I wanted to transfer something over to the device, it had to be via iTunes again. Not even Bluetooth push/ftp/send would work.

Compared that experience to my Sony Ebook reader. First day, I plug it into my Ubuntu machine and it pops up as a storage device with simply named folders for ebooks, pictures and audio. This also means later I can do automated file transfers from any media player I’m using at the moment (I tend to bounce between Rhythmbox and Banshee). Yes the Sony is a less complex device but they got the basics right. In actual fact the Sony ebook reader is the model of what I’m looking for. When I first bought it, I never knew I wanted something like it for size and use outside of reading ebooks. This is why I switched from the Sony PRS505 to the PRS600 with touch screen and ability to write/draw notes.

Since all this hype about the ipad (the last 4 weeks at least) I’ve been thinking what would I personally do to the Sony EReader to improve it.

Essentials

Add Bluetooth for file transfer, dialup, networking, etc. (Sony could still do this if the SD slot is SDIO)
Run an open operating system like a cleverly crafted Andriod on it
Add accelerometers, proximity sensors and some haptic feedback
Wireless 802.11b/g (Sony could still do this if the SD slot is SDIO)

Some would ask why not a colour screen? Well the problem is colour screens require a LCD or OLED as mentioned in the last blog post, which means less that 12hours battery life at the very best. Having over 2 weeks battery life on E-ink takes some getting use to, but I think the benefits of having e-ink certainly puts it in a different category of device and thats a good thing. Steve Jobs was trying to create a device which is in a different category but I think ended up which is too computer like in hardware but too consumer device in software.

Android would be great to have on there with a open marketplace so people can really develop for it. I don’t know if Android would work on a e-ink screen but you could imagine it wouldn’t take much to build a custom build just for E-ink screens. Bluetooth, Wifi and Accelerometers would open up a whole bunch of applications which the ipad has demonstrated. But the smaller screen would be much more mobile and friendly.

Agreed it wouldn’t be as flash but boy would it be useful and something which people might happily carry around more that this massive pad thing.

I also hope this isn’t going to start a media revolution, because if it is the publishing industry is going to put its eggs in the Apple itunes/apps store they’re crazy. This device isn’t anywhere near impressive. The only slightly impressive part is the price but I assume Apple are gambling that people will use the store to make up the difference in price. Maybe in the end the store will be the undoing of Apple, if developers move elsewhere and/or get fed up of Apple’s treatment, a sudden drop in app downloads and itunes usage could spell a lot more trouble than expected.