Posts Tagged ‘Apple

iPhone 5 and siblings

Posted in Technicalon Sep 12, 2012

Today Apple announced some new portable devices, perhaps most notably, the iPhone 5.  Here are some of my thoughts about today’s announcement:

  • The iPhone 5 is more or less an incremental release.
    •  Incremental releases tend to follow the obvious path of making everything a little better.
    • Incremental releases show less innovation, but better iterations about what is already there.
  •  The iPhone 5 didn’t really come out with any new big features that the competition isn’t really doing.
  • I don’t think the iPhone 5 has enough new features to convince people to upgrade their existing iPhone early.
    • But of course there are those Mac fanatics who always have to have the latest iSomething.
    • I think that when phone users do go to upgrade, the iPhone 5 will likely make many people happy.
  • When the latest iPad came out, they branded it the “New iPad”.  Why wasn’t iPhone 5 branded as the “New iPhone”?
  • The new iPod Nano follows Apple’s indecision about the shape of an iPod Nano.
  • I am sad to see that the new iPod Nano doesn’t have a camera like the 5th generation had.
  • The new iPod Nano looks like an iPod Touch want-to-be.
  • I think the iPod Nano is a great option for a parent who wants to buy their kid a classy music player without the Internet (and games)
  • I think there is a small market for the new iPod Nano.
    • I think most people will be willing to pay a little bit more to get the much more capable iPod Touch.
  • Is apple ever going to allow third party apps on a iPod Nano?
  • I like the refresh to the iPod Touch.  I’m a big fan of the SmartPhone minus the phone gadgets.
    • I wish there was an iPod Touch equivalent for Android.  Yes, there is the Samsung Galaxy Player, but it is old and far behind what Android phones can do now days.
  • I had a 2nd Generation iPod Touch (still missing somewhere, maybe in the couch?).  The new iPod Touch makes it tempting to replace it.
  • Dual cameras, Retina Display, Siri, and many other iPhone features make the new iPod Touch about the most capable non-phone device that you can put in your pocket.
  • No iPad Mini, unless you consider the new iPod Touch.
    • The bigger iPod Touch display isn’t quite big enough for me to think of it as an iPad Mini, but closer!
    • The new iPod Touch price is what I would think of for an iPad Mini.
    • With the most expensive iPod Touch priced at the same point as the cheapest iPad, I don’t know that there is room for an iPad Mini.
  • At the beginning of their presentation today, Apple rattled on too long about rocks.  No one cares how you made your last Apple Store.

Recently, the new CEO of HP, Leo Apotheker, told the BBC, “I hope one day people will say ‘this is as cool as HP’, not ‘as cool as Apple’.” While I know nothing of Apotheker’s plans to be cool, I suspect he is focused on making cool products, while not understanding the source of that cool.

The style of any product line comes from the culture of the people designing the product. Apple has a culture that cultivates “cool,” while HP does not. HP’s culture is more scientific, focuses on doing more, and is more conservative. That is why products from Apple are simple and elegant, and products from HP tend to have too many buttons and too much bloat without bravely crossing into cutting edge.

I suspect that Apotheker doesn’t realize that “cool” must permeate through the company as widespread culture, instead of being a goal in product design. For example, I’ve seen some of my friends receive job offers from Apple that come in a well designed stylish folder with organized papers. My HP offer came as a poorly formatted email.

Once while I was working at HP, there was a contest to give a component board a cool “Apple-like” name. They had a few dozen suggestions, but in the end, the only name that was acceptable to the HP culture came in the form of a four letter acronym.

So if Apotheker really wants HP to be cool, he is going to have to start with the very difficult task of changing HP culture.

What is missing from Apple’s App Store?  One word answer: apps.  I looked over all the OS X applications that I use every day, and I searched the App Store for them.  I only found one: a text editor named Smultron which used to be free but now sells for $5.  But I did find lots of dumb, cheap apps that remind me of the try-and-trash apps available on my iPod.

The iPad is an enemy to openness

Posted in Technicalon Jan 28, 2010

A friend of mine who is an Apple employee, Quinn Taylor, tweeted, on the day of the iPad launch, about the use of Flash by Hulu and other online video providers. Presumably, he is responding to criticisms that the new iPad, as well as older iPhones, do not support flash and won’t play videos from Hulu. This is what he said:

When is Hulu going to get with the times and support H.264 and HTML 5 like YouTube & HD content? Flash is an enemy to openness & innovation.

So apparently, a system which requires a proprietary SDK to create videos, which then need a proprietary (free) player in order to view videos, is an “enemy to openness.”

Of course, the iPad isn’t exactly the perfect friend to openness. I mean, to develop anything for the iPad, you have to download the proprietary SDK, use it only on a newer Mac, pay to join Apple’s iPhone developer program, submit any developed application to Apple, hope that Apple approves your app, wait for people to find your app in Apple’s App Store, and then if it gets that far, users can download and use the app on the proprietary iPad device.

I just want to point out that on the conversation of enemies to openness, we could use the new iPad as a perfect example, as everything is locked down and closed from beginning to end.

The Mac Book Error

Posted in Technicalon Jan 15, 2008

Today Apple announced the Mac Book Air and new ultra-slim laptop computer. Weighing only 3 pounds, this notebook is like someone flattened a Mac Book. Here are a couple of deal breakers for me with the Mac Book Air:

  • No user replaceable battery
  • No Firewire
  • No DVD player (or optical drive
  • No built in Ethernet connector
  • $1800 starting price
  • Only one usb port
  • Only 1.6GHz processor speed (the slowest Mac Book is 2 GHz)
  • Only a 4200 RPM hardrive (pretty slow)

On the other hand, it is a cute little computer that would be quite a bit more comfortable hauling around all day in my backpack. I am still. however, exceptionally worried about the built in battery. I’ve had two batteries on my iBook be recalled because of their poof-potential. I would hate to have to go through the trouble of servicing my laptop or watching it explode if ever the battery were to explode.

Things that make me happy

Posted in Lifeon Nov 26, 2005

  • Ice cream
  • Pumpkin Pie
  • Photos
  • My hanging plant Dilbert
  • Sweaters
  • Beanies
  • Google
  • My fun job at the BYU Chemistry Department
  • Cuddling
  • Toblerone chocolate
  • Victory cake
  • Chocolate chip cookies
  • homemake frosting on victory cake
  • Getting messages on my phone
  • Writing in my blog
  • My car, even though it makes noise
  • Friends named Sara with red hair (there is more than one actually)
  • Friends without red hair
  • The Facebook
  • Ham Radio
  • Costco
  • Shopping at Macey’s
  • Stargate
  • Watching movies in the basement
  • Jiffy blueberry muffin mix
  • Hugs
  • Playing bzFlag (and winning)
  • Risk
  • Coloring with crayons
  • butterscotch chips
  • Oregon
  • Yellowstone National Park
  • My Apple iBook
  • Sleeping
  • Fresh drinking water
  • Hot chocolate
  • Happy people
  • Mount Hood
  • The echoing circles in front of the JFSB
  • Astronomy
  • Science
  • Star Wars
  • The Book of Mormon
  • Love
  • Poetry and other writings
  • Families
  • People being nice to each other when they don’t have to be
  • The Princess Bride
  • The Temple
  • My bike
  • Playing croquet late at night in my backyard back home
  • Waffle parties
  • Free music from iTunes
  • Getting mail in the mail that isn’t a bill or credit card application
  • Taking hot showers
  • People who aren’t drunk
  • Transylvania
  • Mozilla Firefox
  • Linux
  • Knight Rider
  • A well decorated apartment
  • Going out to restaurants
  • Dancing
  • Hillsboro
  • No sales tax
  • Otter Pops
  • PHP

GPG is a way to digitally sign email messages so that other people can know that they came from you. It can also be used to encrypt messages. Getting GPG to work is easy if you know the right way to do it, or difficult if you don’t. Here are some steps for the Mac user to get started with GPG: Read the rest of this entry »