Posts Tagged ‘Apple’

I emailed Steve Jobs and got a reply (or why I don't own an iPad)

The weekend before last I fired off an email to Apple CEO Steve Jobs, and to my surprise, I actually got a reply (OK, I wasn’t that surprised as Steve has been replying to a lot of emails lately). I then decided to run the story of his reply and my initial email over at TechCrunch Europe as it was a bit of a scoop and I knew it would generate a lot of discussion.

The issue I raised was that of the trend towards touch/gesture and how in general more physically demanding User Interfaces impact accessibility from a personal point-of-view. It wasn’t so much a complaint as my own homage to the desktop/GUI era that Steve and Apple helped usher-in, and how times-are-a-changing once again. Here’s an excerpt from the post:

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With iPad out of the way, AppleTV to get some love?

Remember Steve Jobs’ hobby?

Yes, I’m talking about the AppleTV, Cupertino’s long neglected set-top box. Well, apparently, it’s been getting some love after all, reports Engadget.

A completely revamped version is in the works that ditches the current AppleTV OS in favour of something more akin to the iPhone/iPad with, presumably, a similar third-party developer model so that apps can be supported. If so, this is something we’ve been asking for since the original AppleTV launched.

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3 throws its iPad hat in the ring

While 3UK’s CEO practically ruled out bidding to sell Apple’s iPad direct, with the mobile operator’s strength firmly rooted in data, it always seemed likely that they would offer up tariffs targeted at the device.

And that’s precisely what’s happened.

Announced today but available on the 28th of May (Friday) when the iPad officially launches this side of the pond, two dedicated tariffs are on offer with support for the micro SIM card required by the device. What’s more, 3UK appear to be coming in cheaper – quite a lot cheaper in some cases – than the other three major carriers.

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Nokia said to be readying iPad competitor – Windows or MeeGo anyone?

From the words of an “analyst”, so I won’t hold my breath. Nokia is said to be readying its own take on the now-credible Internet tablet, post Apple’s iPad. reports: “Nokia is working with suppliers and design manufacturers on a touch-screen tablet to have available as early as this fall, according to Rodman Renshaw analyst Ashok Kumar, who is close to Nokia’s technology partners. Nokia declined to comment.”

My take

With Internet tablets likely to soon become part of the carrier subsidy merry-go-round, Nokia will be forced to jump on the latest bandwagon – although it already has form in this space – so it would make sense if the handset maker is already putting into action plans to challenge Apple’s iPad. It’s not like we didn’t already know that 2010 is going to be the year of the tablet, just like 08/09 was for the Netbook – and Nokia was far too late to that particular party.

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iPad reviews are in – PC Mag sums up Apple's device in 4,000 words [video]

It was just the other day that I was mocking a recent claim by PC Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief Lance Ulanoff that what made the publication different from competing tech sites and blogs was its testing ‘labs’ used to conduct product reviews.

“Who needs a lab?”, I scoffed.

I get to review plenty of gear where my lounge, bedroom or local coffee shop is my ‘lab’. A mobile phone or netbook, for example, can be reviewed almost anywhere. It’s not the environment that counts but how knowledgeable and thorough the reviewer is and what products he/she has used for comparison. Or at least, that’s what I’d hope.

Putting all of that aside, however, PC Mag has put out today the best iPad review so far. It’s easily the most thorough – at 4,000 words – and, as Dave Zatz points out, hasn’t suffered from the print-length restrictions that plague the coverage of the Pogues, Walt Mossbergs of this world, never mind their perceived closeness to Cupertino. PC Mag gives the iPad a lab score of 4.5/5 😉

PC Mag have also produced a nice video review, which I’ve embedded right after the jump.

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Hello iPad, surfing the web while watching telly up 35%

This one is from the bleeding obvious department but it’s noteworthy nonetheless.

The Nielsen Company’s latest Three Screen Report, which tracks consumption across TV, Internet and mobile phones, says that in the last quarter of 2009, Americans’ simultaneous use of the Internet while watching TV reached three and a half hours a month, up 35% from the previous quarter.

“Nearly 60% of TV viewers now use the Internet once a month while also watching TV”, notes the report.

Now I won’t regurgitate the other stats (see the table below) but I will point a finger at the likely culprits: Laptops, or more specifically Netbooks, and handheld devices such as the iPhone and other smartphones, and let’s not forget the iPod touch. Along with social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter etc.) giving rise to the virtual watercooler viewing experience.

The same ‘couch computing’ craze likely behind Apple’s decision to release a tablet computer, the iPad, now and in its particular form-factor.

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People keep asking… what do I make of Apple's iPad?

iPadNow that the dust has settled and I’ve had time to gather my thoughts, here’s what I make of the iPad, Apple’s own take on the tablet computer.

It’s an Internet appliance not a computer

While the tablet computer is nothing new, the iPad is, arguably, a completely new product category, which appears to occupy the middle ground between a smartphone and a laptop. If, of course, such a middle ground exists.

Unlike the raft of Windows Tablet PCs, which Bill Gates once claimed would be the future of personal computing, replacing the desktop and laptop, the iPad doesn’t appear to replace anything. It’s certainly too big to replace a smartphone. And it’s not capable of undertaking many tasks for which a laptop or desktop computer – read: fully-fledged desktop OS/applications and mouse/hardware keyboard – is required. But in many situations – web browsing and consuming content – the iPad is arguably better.

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The unsolved Macbook Melted Key Mystery

11102009089Late last night I looked down at my unibody Macbook’s keyboard and, shock-horror, the zero key had melted! There was no obvious color degradation – in other words, no sign of external burning as if something scorchingly hot had been dropped on it (I don’t smoke anyway) – but either way, the key had definitely melted. But how?

See also: My new Macbook and me (first impressions)

At this moment, I still have no idea. What I do know is that no other keys have been affected, but I’m guessing that the rubberized keys on the latest Apple Macbooks don’t need much heat to cave in, literally (see pic above). This, naturally, brings into question Apple’s build quality.

Or does it?

Let me know your own theory to explain the Macbook Melted Key Mystery by leaving a comment.

Without Apple's help, Adobe building Flash to iPhone development bridge

Building bridges, literally.

Flash-iPhoneNo, Adobe isn’t bringing Flash player support to iPhone. That would require cooperation from Cupertino, something that Apple CEO Steve Jobs is unlikely to sanction. Instead, the upcoming version of the latest Flash developer tools – Adobe Flash Professional CS5 – will offer Flash developers a way to output their finished creations as a native app for iPhone and iPod touch.

Since the source code is iPhone OS native, presumably through an Actionscript to Objective-C bridge, the resulting apps should qualify for submission to the iPhone App Store just as they would if they’d been built using Apple’s own development tools. This means that developers can re-factor their Flash creations for the iPhone and iPod touch, with Apple remaining in control of distribution.

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Adobe Flash seen running on Palm Pre – Netbooks, MIDs, and other smartphones also set to win (iPhone aside)

Adobe has long talked up its ambition to have Flash running on all manner of screens, not just the humble PC, and today the company got a lot closer to walking the walk not just talking.

Through the Open Screen Project, Adobe was already known to be working with smartphone platforms from Palm (WebOS), Nokia (Symbian) and Microsoft (Windows Mobile), along with a raft of content providers, chip makers and consumer electronics companies. Today, the company added Google and Research In Motion to the list, with relation to Android and Blackberry-powered smartphones respectively, leaving Apple’s iPhone as the odd one out regarding planned support for full Flash (or any Flash support at all).

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