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Entries in Apple (5)

Friday
Jul232010

The End of Cellular Minutes

via Flickr ( by ecerverab)As we move to a more mobile and digital world, the value of cellular minutes will be coming to an end. Just think about your plan 10 years ago vs this past year. I know for me, I got the lowest number of minutes with the highest data plan this year. In the past it was all about the minutes.

With services such as Skype and the new Apple FaceTime, where your call is just 1's and 0's, the need for a minute begins to lose it's value. It's all about the data. Ars Technica had an article regarding data usage on Skype vs minutes. Yes using Skype saves minutes, but it eats your data. But you can see where this is going. 

Another example of this is the rumor that Apple will give FaceTime to the iPod Touch. This is a Wi-Fi only unit, so it's all about the data not the minutes. So seeing this in a phone with just 3G or 4G for just data handling is not that hard to believe (see the iPad 3G). 

How do you select your plan, are you going low minutes and high data. I'm willing to bet you are. I'm also sure you are sucking down the data bytes as fast as you can. Do you think in a few years, that your minutes will continue to drop and your data usage goes up. I'm betting yes.

If you don't think the carriers aren't aware of this, just look at the pricing tiers. They are already beginning to use the subsets of data usage. They also are not promoting the 1000 Minutes or unlimited minutes. Because they know, people don't use the phone for a minutes phone. Another reason in that is almost all carrier to same carrier calls don't count against minutes. So the fact that they allow this goes to show, that they know they are not going to make their money off of minutes anymore. 

What are your thoughts, I would love to hear them. 

Saturday
Apr032010

10 minute iPad Review

I was able to get in and play with an iPad for about 10 minutes. This is what I found:

It's pretty darn quick. Scrolling, zoom in and out., flipping between apps. All real smooth.

You don't want to read a book without having it resting on something. Gets a little heavy.

Holding it is not as bad as I would have thought. It seems to fit my hands just fine. Small hands may have issues.

Typing like you would on an iPhone is a bit difficult, but I can see where it can easily be learned. So you would want to do it in landscape mode having it propped up for any lengthy typing.

Reading a book was nice. Great attention to the little things, like page curls. If you hold it in landscape mode, you can see both pages at once.

Glare wasn't too bad in a bright store with a good amount of natural light.

YouTube videos looked nice and quick. You get some letter boxing, but you can full screen it.

Audio was easy to hear in a somewhat noisy store.

Well that's it for 10 minutes. Can't wait to play with it again.

Wednesday
Feb032010

To iPad or not to iPad

iPad via AppleThere have many views on how and what the iPad is. (Really, iPad, Iliked iSlate or iBook or even iTablet better.) Most of the discussionsat this point are driven by the select few that got some hands in timewith the device at the Apple announcement.

So until the iPad is in the wild, we'll all have to just wait and see.

For me, it's a tough call. I do like the book reader aspect of thedevice. I have been thinking about a Kindle. Downside was it ONLY didbooks and some newspapers. The iPad does that and more.

Also, like the iPhone, the second gen will be much better. I swearApple tends to hold back features, knowing the hardcore will buy eachand every version. I held off on first gen iPhone and most likely willdo the same for the iPad.

What I don't know yet. iPhoto and the other iLife products. Imaginethose with multi-touch.

Speaking of multi, why no multitasking. It drives me crazy on myiPhone. I KNOW it would drive me nuts on the iPad.

So now the wait is on and I'm sure speculation will run amok aseveryone says how bad it is or how it's the next greatest thing sincesliced bread.

So read up, see if it meets your needs. For me I "think" I'll bewaiting.

Tuesday
Aug112009

iPhone services that Apple needs to add now - A Users Take

Now that the 3.0 iPhone software has been out for nearly two months, I'm surprised by the lack of push notifications. This was the one feature that many thought could really help the iPhone. But as it turns out, it's either harder to implement than most thought or to costly for the developer to maintain. So let's take a look at a few features that still need to be added to the iPhone software and SDK.

  • Background processes. This is the one Apple claims would kill battery life and ruin the user experience. For me, I see it differently. Nearly every day, I want to flick an app away to look something up in Safari, then flick the original app back into focus.

  • Still waiting on my MMS and tether. Although AT&T did say by end of summer. Damn you AT&T. Guess I'll be happier at 3.1

  • Flash. Now this isn't as big a deal as a year ago, because many sites are converting to formats that fit the iPhone. Atleast for their mobile sites.

  • Over the air sync. Seriously how hard can this be. I just want to sync my phone to iTunes without plugging it into my computer. Even if they limited it to local wifi or made it part of MobileMe, it still needs to happen

  • Gmail Push. I'm blaming Apple for this one. If they are already in bed with Google with maps why not mail. As it is, there are apps making it into the app store to monitor for new gMail.

  • More video editing options. I would like to see a merge of clips, basic title and transition options.

Yes this is a short list, but these are the things that I know I want to see sooner rather than later. I also understand the iPhone is a phone, but it is quickly becoming much more than that.

As far as the hardware goes, that's another post for another day.

Saturday
Aug012009

Will Apple be the new DOJ whipping boy 

Over the years, many companies have come under the heavy hand of the governemnt, especially the Department of Justice. Most of the complaints stem from a form of monopoly or underhanded business practices. The last major tech company that comes to mind was Microsoft.

Over the course of several year the DOJ battled with Microsoft on areas of the browser, how it dealt with suppliers and it's interaction and deals with PC makers. Granted some of those deals were a bit heavy handed, but the real issue was Microsoft was making too much money.

So fast forward to today. Microsoft is basically treading water and staying the nice and steady course. And with the exception of the EU you really don't hear of any government issues. For Apple the story is a bit different.

Apple released the iPhone a little over two years ago and since that time the FCC and others have chimed in on the exclusive deal with AT&T, its application store policies, the big brother aspect of the iPhone and the information the company releases about their executives (Steve Jobs). So is it just a matter of time before the DOJ jumps and and forces Apple to change their business practices.

Granted some of the complaints and policies Apple has over the application store seem to be valid, but it is their application store thus their rules. Even if they do seem a bit over the top.

The same applies to the deal with AT&T as the only US wireless carrier to have the iPhone. I won't go into the details of why these two companies partnered together, but it only makes good sense from a manufacturing perspective. For reference, every cell phone I have had has been exclusive to one of the wireless providers. So nothing new here.

So what could be the reason, money. Apple has been above the curve in the recession. They have tons of cash on hand and they are still making money. And with the popularity of the iPhone it gives the DOJ a chance to look like the good guy while milking Apple for millions in fines. We have not seen this come about yet, but we have seen congress and others ramping up their investigations.

Is their an upside to these investigations, yes. There is also the downside of more government influence. In the end, I would like the app store to be a bit more open so that applications like Google Voice can be made available. As far as the deal with AT&T, it won't matter once LTE/4G roles out. Because this will allow Apple to make one handset for all the US providers.

In the end we won't see any major changes from Apple but we will see a lot of talking. And by the time settlements are reached the original complaints won't even be valid as tech slows down for no one.

Note: Sorry for the lack of links in this story as it was written on the go.