Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Mac-iPhone Update For September 30, 2008

The biggest news, although it's really a non-news, is an Adobe director announcing that a Flash player would be available pending Apple approval.

Just to chime in, I doubt it is the case and if we do see Flash on the iPhone, it will not be in the form that we are used to seeing on the Internet.

As with all things Apple, time will tell.  But don't hold your breath.

The other big news today is the availability of IBM's Lotus Notes available on the iPhone as a web app.  I'm glad for three reasons.  One is that now iPhone users have another enterprise mail option and the iPhone also becomes an option for 140 million Notes users. Secondly, this reinforces the iPhone's place in the enterprise.  And lastly, I'm glad develop on the Web front continues.

  • TUAW
  • InfoWorld - IBM had two customers participate in testing iNote Ultralight and they love the implementation.  However, they do wish that eventually, iNotes would become a standalone app.
Speculation before the release of iPhone 3G was that Lotus Notes would be incorporated into the iPhone instead of Exchange.  Either way, it's a welcoming news that IBM's subscribers now have a choice of using the iPhone.  Welcome, new iPhone mobile warriors.
iPhone-iPod Update:
  • Onxo wonders if Flash would really come to the iPhone.
  • CNet News on Apple shutting down iTunes.  Game of chicken with the copyrights board.  Macsimum News reports Apple may have to increase prices.
  • Macworld reports owners very satisfied with their iPhone despite problems.
  • Onxo feels iPhone games should contain more depth.
  • The iPhone needs a better way for blogging.
  • Taking your iPhone overseas ?
Mac Update:
  • For the last couple of days, analysts tussle over whether Apple is doomed in light of the economic woes hitting Main Street mobile warriors.  
  • Onxo on the best non-Apple Macbooks.
  • Onxo on our "Mac Hybrid".
  • eWeek reports Macbooks account for $1 of every $3 spent on laptops.  But feels Apple needs to reduce prices to capture more marketshare.  (Via Cnet )

Would Apple Really Allow Flash?

It's hard not to given the difficulties Apple has had with certain developers feeling rejected and others fearful to express how they feel (in fact, they're not allow to talk about their feelings).

So, when it was confirmed that Adobe is close to finish a Flash player for the iPhone and by one of it's senior director, Paul Betlem, it seems like something he really ought not to say in public unless he was trying to push pressure on Apple to approve the Adobe app for wide release on the app store.

Regardless, it's out and the Mac blogs got wind of it.  So, now what?  Well, we wait and see.  Previously, Jobs had complained Flash would run a resource hog and will effectively ruin the battery life on the iPhone.

However, I'm guess Adobe has been lobbying and making concessions to Apple in order to get Flash onto the iPhone and iPod Touch platform.  It remains to be seen if Apple will grant them this one wish.  Webware indicates Flash does not run well on mobile devices, including the iPhone.  If that is the case, Apple would not want any kind of user experience isn't ready for prime time.

But I for one am looking forward to see what all the big deal is.  In fact, I'm looking forward to some Hulu action.  But I am guess that if Apple does grant Flash to work on its mobile devices, there would be limitations to what it can do.

It'll be interesting to watch if the App Store welcomes Adobe.  After all, it just feels like having flash on the iPhone is like Apple allow an app to run Palm or letting someone create a browser.  It can do a lot of things that would conflict with Apple's walled garden.

Venture Beat has an update from Adobe.  It seems like they're trying to put the genie back into the bottle on this one.  It has struck a nerve at Apple.

Via Flash Magazine

Related links:

  • Daring Fireball asks very good questions about Flash on the iPhone.  They are also skeptical.
  • Venture Beat makes it sound like it'll happen.  Read the update.
  • Wired
  • Webware adds Flash doesn't work on mobile devices well, not just the iPhone.  Flash Lite isn't any better.

Note:  Dude, Jobs don't go for that, Paul.  He does what he wants and unless he already will approve of it, it wont' happen just because you mount a public campaign for Flash to be accepted into the app store.

iPhone Gaming Request: More Depth and Parity with Other Platforms

I've got over 25 games on my iPhone.  Some are free.  Some are $0.99.  Others like EA's Spore and Super Monkey Ball tops out at $9.99 a piece.  But I find myself spending a little more time with the free or $0.99 games and I'm perplexed by it.

I love Spores.  And find Monkey Ball addicting.  And I paid more for them so why am I not playing them more often?  I don't know.  I chalk it up to personal preference.  In fact, I've rediscovered web apps lately as well.  Specifically, I've been trying to find games and apps that I can use with Safari that work just as well as apps that sit on my iPhone.  But that's chat for another time.

But as I got to thinking, I also looking at some of the recent games produced by big named developers.  Star Wars The Force Unleashed looks fun but at $9.99, I don't know if I would like it that much.  I might pick it up when it goes on sale.  I'm more of a Star Trek fan.  Then there's also Kroll blogged about by Touch Arcade .  From the forums, it's got only 9 stages.  Some of the commenters stated they when through a third of the game in 20 minutes.  It's the same complaint some folks about Force Unleashed.

Even as I play Spore, I realized too that the iPhone's version of the game is a shadow of the DS version.  I really shouldn't be surprised given that the iPhone version is $20 cheaper than the Nintendo handheld's version.
And that's the problem.  We are getting games with lower price points but they are less than their counterparts on other platforms.  And to me, that affects the game play in its entirety.

I don't mind play more to get the same entertainment value as one might enjoy on the DS or PSP.  After all, the iPhone has superior hardware on paper than Nintendo and Sony's offerings.

So, I wonder, even as I tell myself that the SDK is merely less than a year old, if we'll ever truly see parity with other gaming systems.  Only when that happen will we know if iPhone can compete as a gaming platform.
Only time will tell.  Most studios have a lot of time to familiarize themselves with development and the SDK and the iPhone SDK here likely less than a year old so perhaps with more time, we'll see the games that can really take advantage of the iPhone and iPod Touch's hardware.

And to developers, give us more game depth and value to the games and I am sure iPhone and iPod Touch users will not mind paying for it.

I'm interested to find out if the iPhone version of Puzzle Quest:  Challenge of the Warlords, which will also be released on the DS, PSP, Xbox, OS X, Wii, PS2, and other mobile platforms will have similar game play as the other mobile versions.

Note:  A reader on Touch Arcade mentioned the replay value of Gameloft's Real Soccer 2009.  Specifically, he mentioned the replay value.  What I want is a great hockey game.  The accelerometer would be a great fit.

Another Note:  We have the following sports game on the iPhone:  air hockey (yeah, it's a sport!), tennis, golf, racing, soccer, volleyball.  Where are baseball, football, basketball, hockey, and synchronized swimming?!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Need Better Way To Blog On The iPhone

I totally get what a post on Pocketables was talking about when he complained about blogging in the iPhone.

Some of my issues are not dificult to solve and I am sure will be resolved eventually.

- Cut and paste. Specifically, I want to be able to great links I find on Safari. This was mentioned in the post as well.
- Ability to add images. I recently posted about LifeCast which I love because I can now post to Blogger. But now, I am not able to send text and images in the same post.
- Limitation on Safari. A lot of blog sites offer iPhone versions (except Blogger...). Still, it is a tripped down version due to mobile Safari.
- Adding tags.

I am posting this from LifeCast now but since I am limited by what I can do on the iPhone, I am going to have to reference Pocketables as the app let me.

Maybe we will get what I want soon. Maybe not, but we will have to see where we stand once developers have more time to get to know the SDK and Apple offers more features such as cut-and-paste.

Via Compromised Mobile Blogging With iPhone 3G

Note: I typed in the html code and honestly at the time of this post, I don't know if we'll a link or just the html code.

Another note: one of the reason I got the G1 is because of how closely it is tied to Google. So I am expectly Blogger to be better implemented on the Android phone.

Posted with LifeCast

Mac-iPhone Update for September 29, 2008

Once again, the dominant story in Cupertinoland continues to be the iPhone related issues. First, Apple, who has opted to remain quiet through this developer revolt (I rather think that Apple is up to something brilliant during this period of silence) about app rejections and outcries about NDA. Nevertheless, work continues to be made on the app store.
  • Now, if you don't buy an app, you can't provide reviews.  Finally!
  • A minor step back.  You can't simply find free apps with a click.  Someone will have to provide that link in a blog or something.  Why do that, Apple?  My guess:  trouble with revs from developers as everyone downloads mostly free apps.  
  • Apps are now ranked by release dates, not app updates.
TUAW thinks there are specific reasons for this, depending on how you feel about Apple and the iPhone.

Posts on changes to app store:
The other major news is the 17% drop in Apple stock today.  Heck, if hedge funds can no longer short bank stocks, let's short tech stocks!  Morgan Stanley and RBC Capital both provided short-sellers with a gift in a double downgrade today.  However, Piper Jaffray thinks there is nothing to prove that Apple will suffer from a slowdown...yet. 

Here's the thing, Apple keeps opening up new stores.  If things are bad, then what the heck are they doing?!  Well, check out where they are opening these stores.  

iPhone-Ipod Update:

For those looking hard at the iPhone or iPod Touch but have hear a bit here and there about T-Mobile's G1, Macworld (via PC World) has some facts related to these two devices.  It sounded pretty fair to me.  (For the record, I am an iPhone user and has pre-ordered a brown G1.  Yeah, brown.  What the heck, right?)
  • Apple Matters explains App Store as a prison.
  • Macworld reports Norway demands Apple drop DRM.
  • Touch Arcade on a new Kroll game.  I suppose I'll get nothing done tonight.
  • Macnn on Spreadsheet, the app, for the iPhone.
  • iPhone Atlas on take your iPhone overseas.
  • Onxo thinks the iPhone is not a gaming machine yet.  We're at least a year or so away if the iPhone/iPod Touch ever comes to term as a serious portable gaming machine.
  • Macworld feels Apple should reset App Store review.  I disagree with a do-over but I think those "one-star I'm not paying for this" review should be taken out at the very least.  In fact, do a simple database check and take out reviewers who did not buy the app they supposedly "reviewed".
Mac Update:
  • Esquire on Jobs and his legacy
  • Onxo on the best non-Apple Macbooks.
  • Onxo on our "Mac Hybrid".

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Best Non-Mac Macbooks

Will Apple eventually license OS X?

I don't know but I'm beginning to come around to the idea that maybe Apple may offer OS X to 3rd parties.  Why is that?  Intel.  Since the early days of the Apple-Intel partnership, folks started trying how to efficient get OS X installed on non-Mac hardwares.

So, in a word or two, what is the state of this form of Mac jailbreak?

Not too difficult.  That three words, ain't it?

Some of the EEE PC owners have been able to install OS X without much difficulties (Wi-Fi did not work out of the box - there is a Dell Wi-Fi card that be found on eBay).  Even before this, we have the Hackintosh where people installed OS X on desktops.  The boast is that no hacking is required.  However, it does require twicking the BIOS and having to go on the Internet and download a special version of Leopard.

Wired has now gone a step further and literally promote install OS X in the MSI Wind by associating openly with hackers (for journalstic purposes I'm sure).

I'm okay with that.  Really.  I've unlocked and jail-broken iPhones And this is why I think Apple may allow a small number of sanctioned manufacturers to make OS available in market segments currently addressed by Apple.

If it does happen, it will not be an situation like we had in the 90s.  I think it would look a bitter more like the app approval process.  Nothing will go on sale without Apple's approval and Apple will receive payment from from licensing OS X and the "verification process".

So, we've got MSI Wind and EEE PC.  Now, I'm currently looking at the Asus N10 .  It's retailed for $800 but at that price, I going to recommend getting the Macbook instead of Asus N10 to run OS X. No hacking required there.

It has 2GB, 160GB or 250GB, Vista/XP, and a hybrid graphic system, Intel's IGP and Nvidia's GeForce 9300M.  It's the GPU system that got my attention.  And this is what it's capable of doing:

So, there you have it.  I think the N10 is the best candidate for OS X given it's GPU capability.  OS X runs well on Intel's IGP but having a dedicated GPU makes things easier.

The only thing is I'm looking for a price drop.  At this price, it's no longer a netbook.  Even if it is only about 3 lbs.

Note:  There have been speculation that there maybe an Apple project or device called the "brick".  Some think perhaps this is a wider strategy to throw a "brick" though Microsoft's Windows (be it Vista or XP).  It may be a series of assaults on the Redmond's OS market dominance.

Another Note:

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Mac Hybrid - Speculative Fun on Secret Product from Apple

People are all over the place when it comes to what sercet product, if any, will Apple be introducing that require them to warn investors of lower margins in future quarter?

Some Apple fans think Apple will merely be lowering prices but others think Apple will actually introduce a brand new product that will cause panic and pandemonium among its competitors.  TUAW reportedly received information that points to changes among Apple TV marketing material and a September 30th webcast.

Pure speculation.  Simply rumors.  It'll be a couple of slow weeks between now and mid-October, when Apple is most likely to offer new Macbooks.  But for speculative purposes, it would make sense for Apple to merge it's "hobby", the Apple TV, which has been met with limited success to be it kindly and the Mac in creating a consumer-class Mac that let folks use it as a computer, gaming machine, and as an Apple TV.

What would be the sole purpose of the "Mac Hybrid". (Apple, please feel free to use this.  I mean it.  Go ahead.)
  • Do what Apple TV cannot do alone.  In corporate Apple TV into Hybrid will allow more "Apple TV" to be sold.  In stead of thousands, millions of Hybrids will allow Apple to truly move into homes, if not living rooms.  That is right, there is that much pinned up demand for a midrange Mac.  Mac Mini has not been upgraded for almost 1.5 years now.
  • A stealthy way to build a console without actually entering the console war.  It'll be more expensive than Xbox 360 and PS3 but those two cannot claim to be a real computer now, can they?
  • More integration with iPod Touch and iPhone.  Provide app developers with a larger market.  Give the Mac Hybrid to use apps will Apple's walled garden App Store to expand "its perimeters".  In fact, this feature should be extended to all Macs.  It's my belief that Google will eventually develop an Android virtual environment to do just that.
  • Limited upgrade options.  Apple will offer limited upgrade option here but it could really get a lot of hobbyists interested in using a Mac that runs both OS X and Windows.  Gamers are just as fanatical as hardrest core of Mac users.  Win their loyalty and you've got another regiment of army that will do anything for you.  
My core demand for such a machine is added integration with iTunes material and Apple's mobile platform.  The seemless ability to use apps on these Macs on TV will go a long way in allow developers and consumers more flexibility, not to mention it'll help take away some heat Apple is taking from developers regarding their NDA impementation.

Source:  TUAW 

iPhone Not Game Machine Yet

As many games as there are on the iPhone and the iPod Touch, Apple's newest mobile sensation is no closer to being a contender to even be consider a threat to DS or PSP.  In fact, we posed the question whether iPhone gaming may ruin mobile games because of the low prices and dropping prices that developers may not think it worthwhile to develop for any system if iPhone's pricing precedent takes hold.

Now, I love my iPhone and I'll be getting the new iPod Touch in days.  However, as much games I've got on for my iPlatform devices, most are by small parties, and they're excellent games.  Still, we are still being pitted as casual mobile gamers, not hard core portable gamers as DS and PSP gamers may be called.

Where are the Final Fantasies, Sonic Chronicles, and sports games like Madden and NHL.  Where is Capcom and Konami?

I'm expecting a Harry Potter game from WB but I won't hold my breath on that.

$10 cap.  That's why.  And the games that TUAW posted about pricing drops for App Store games supports this premise.    The author was noncommittal to any conclusion most blogs offer or offer analysis or forecast for App Store gaming future.  It did believe ad-supported apps could be the next thing developers try.

Most DS games are about $30.  PSP games are almost split evenly between $30 and $40.

I don't know if this is a factor of development difficulties but it would appear, all sales being equal, it may be easier for developers to recoup development costs faster and start making money with the incumbent systems.

At the same time, because of the nature of the app store, it offers a cheaper delivery system than retail sales.

I think the jury is still out as far as how the app store will work out for the traditional game developers.  If these games do come to the iPlatform, I think we should expect to see increase average prices.

We'll wait and see where this goes in the next year.  We have seen great games for the App Store.  But right now, it's still too early for anyone to call this one way or another.

My guess is most first tier developers are taking a way and see attitude for the moment.  Here are the numbers.  With both iPhone and iPod Touches being sold, we speculated there may be 30-40 million such devices by the end of 2008 and up to 100-120 million inside of a year.

Make quality games and charge decent prices, and you won't have to worry about profits.  It'll come.  I know I'm willing to pay $20-$25 for a good game that I can keep coming back to.  Amazingly Spore and Star Wars only cost $10 but it is only half the game length- and story-wise the DS version is.

Onxo Posts on iPhone gaming and app store:

Friday, September 26, 2008

Mac-iPhone Update For September 26, 2008

Biggest news in the last couple days is the unlocked iPhones that went on sale in Hong Kong.  Between $700-$800.  

Not a bad price consider that you'll be able to use them with just about any service and network.  Almost.  

We're probably looking at a $100 lower price for the US market if it ever makes it to the US.  We don't know what kind of deal Apple and ATT has but you can bet ATT wants to make sure no one can use the new iPhones with T-Mobile.

Also, a beta version of iPhone 2.2 has been making rounds.  Looks like they're up security and stability issues being resolved this go-around.  Still looking for cut-and-paste.  I know, that's getting old.

iPhone-iPod Update:

  • Wired reports iPhone battery lawsuit dismissal.
  • Yahoo News reports Visa plan may not work.
  • MacDaily News reports on Mass and Apple to make iTunes accessible to the blind.
  • TUAW on app pricing dropping very quickly.  Apple wins.  Us too.  Go here to see if your favorite app's price has been lowered.
  • Cult of Mac reports iPhones doing well.  14M units to be manufactured for the rest of 2008.  Geez...that's a lot of iPhones.
  • iPhone Atlas discusses jail-break revival after app store developer and NDA issues.
  • Now Slate is getting to the debate.  Apple's walled garden (admittedly so) and Google's "open" Android.  Please, for God's sake, Android isn't open after the wireless providers go through it with their draconian tentacles!  We'll discuss this weekend.
  • Macnn reports Tellme coming to the iPhone...could be Microsoft's first app.  Does Balmer know about this?

Mac Update:

  • Anyone notice that Apple is still opening Apple stores?  Did someone forget to tell them there's a credit crisis and Main Street, USA is crying uncle?  Onxo will look into this more carefully and report back.  Balmer thinks we'll be fine.  Maybe Apple does took.
  • There were a lot of miscues this week regarding photos of supposed Macbook Pros.  Because we're not good at tell what's what with respects to rumors, we decided to leave it out of our posts.  However, we're probably weeks away from new Mac gears.  There's a Tuesday next week.  Yeah, that's right.  So, it could be next week.  Who knows!  

Thursday, September 25, 2008

LifeCast - iPhone App for Blogging

This is the blogging app for Google's Blogger service that I have been waiting for. And guess what? It's free!

From LifeCast

I had hoped that Google would come out with a future version of their Google app with blogging functions (there is not direct way to do it on the Web either). Leave it to third parties seems to be the mantra Google has taken with their Web apps and their first Android phone.

So far, there are two blogging services available for posting with LifeCast. Tumblr and Blogger. I have scanned the comments and there is a demand for for other types of blogging services.

Also there is a beta 1.2 that I hope to participate in. Hopefully, there will be more functions like tagging and picture attachments.

This is what this version can do now:

  • create multiple timelines
  • use with Tumblr and Blogger
  • attach pictures from iPhone library
  • expanded support coming

The best feature? It can easily support multiple blogs within a service. I am able to manage different blogs with Blogger. That certainly makes things a lot easier depending what I want to post to.

Given the dearth of free apps that support Blogger, LifeCast is not the only choice but it sets a high standard for ease of use and easy Ui.

Give it a try and let me know what you think. I am posting from LifeCast now.

Posted with LifeCast

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Mac-iPhone Update For September 24, 2008

No rumors.  It's a promise but this post from Appleinsider is a bit more concrete.  You'll understand why this is important.

Appleinsider informed the world that there are now six additional placeholders in Best Buy's Futureshop computers up in Canada.  Four points to make of this:

  • New Macs are coming.  Like the usual suspects:  3 Macbooks, two 15" Macbook Pros, one 17" Macbook Pro.  
  • No Macbook Air update - MBA would take up two spaces all on its own.
  • No iMac updates - this is more obvious.  iMacs would take up three place holders all on its own.
  • No iBrick or any game changing device that will be coming with the new Macbook updates.
Again, we believe Macworld is when we'll see anything new if at all.  However, given the margin statement by Apple's CFO during the last round of financial call, it's still possible to see a drop in Macbook prices, maybe even iMacs.  
I was so hoping for a new mini Mac tower.  
iPhone-iPod Update:
  • Still no words from Apple regarding NDA and such.  Right or wrong, public opinion is not good.
  • Macenstein is reporting iPhone saber is again available.  It's now very commercialized.  
  • Onxo on using hand cranks to power iPods.
  • Onxo on mobile convergence.  iPhone will be the first step on an evolution path towards that end.
  • Onxo on detailed difference between G1 and the iPhone.
  • Onxo hates T-Mobile's 1GB 3G cap.  But T-Mobile is now less even by removing that clause.  Still, very evil though.
  • TUAW reports Stanford now offers iPhone programming class.  Go to class, sell app, pay for tuition or booze.  
  • iPhone Atlas offers fix on iPhones not checking mail.  I actually experienced that yesterday.
  • Games - Touch Arcade reports Fox launches Terminator location-based MMORPG game.
Mac Update:
  • Onxo has a tip on using the cloud to store and encrypt passwords.
  • Macrumors has more in the six placeholders.  Update being that it was done with Apple's knowledge.  Suuuure...I think they know now.
  • Appleinsider offers a look at Adobe's new Photoshop.  Supports multi-touch.

Hand Crank to Charge your iPod

I was looking to see if there is a hand crank out for the XO (OLPC's laptop) when I came across a link that takes you to a page where there is instructions on creating a hand crank to power your iPod.

Geek Technique has a very interesting way to go about it.  That post was from 2005.  Since then, there have been other more modern ways to go about it.

I also recommend going over to Brookstone at your local mall and check out their own solutions.  You'll see one of the flashlights used in GT's demo as well.

I also like this Bodyguard Survivor .  It's McGyver-approved.  It has 13 functions with a hand-crank to charge up the internal battery.  And more importantly, it'll charge your phone or iPod.

However, you will still need to create a link between the proprietary iPod connection and theses devices.   Of course, you can save yourself the trouble with the self-powered weather radio .  It already has a connection for iPods.

I initially discussed these products in an earlier post on surviving natural disasters for mobile warriors.  And as a big proponent on self-sufficiency and power, we'll keep bring this up

Using the Cloud To Hide Your Passwords

I came across a neat way to secure passwords involving a couple of handy programs and Dropbox.

I currently use 1password which works fine on just my Powerbook. I also use a notebook at home where I write all my passwords and secure it in a safe place.

But for mobile warriors like yourself, here is better way involving the cloud.  Please head to Onxo for this mobile tip.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

iPhone: Android Factors

You may know by now, Google has released G1, the first Android phone with partners HTC and T-Mobile.  For some quick notes about it, head on over to On Android for my thoughts and concerns.

Now, how does this affect us, iPhone and iPod Touch users?  Well, competition is good.  No doubt about it.  But for some Apple mobile warriors, should be concerned this new upstart will such up all the air in the room and make iPhone, for the first time in its short history, fight for the media lime light?

Not a chance.  Not yet.  The G1 is a good mobile device.  It's a platform device much like the iPhone is in that it's not a smartphone but a device built on top of a mobile platform.  Blackberries and Nokia phones are smartphones, phones with computing features.  Nothing more.

So, how does our competition look like?  Well, it's got a built-in compass.  A physical QWERTY keyboard.  Removable battery.  That's a big plus for me.

But as for the rest of the phone's features, it's very impressive for a first generation device.  And because it's got the Google name to it, it makes everything about Android a bit more shiny in the eyes of the media and maybe some consumers.

I'm sure Android has had Apple's undivided attention for a while now.  G1 is a first generation UI and technology.  It's not as polished as our iPhones.  It's second or third generation changes may not overtake the iPhone in ease of use and functionalities but maybe it's fourth or fifth generation devices might equal or overtake what the iPhone offers.

I know Apple is not going to be standing because of the competition and that's what's so great for us iPhone fans.

Now, in the short-term, Google has a lot of uphill battles to fight, particular with wireless providers it wants to partner with.  One, openness.  Android is not open as Google would like us to think.  T-Mobile has successfully cajole Google into locking out certain apps like VOIP.  Wireless providers like the control they have.  They've said as much.  Second, they're dealing with wireless providers, a cartel really, who has their own definition what "open" is (and likes to protect their revenue streams).

Third, Android will have to support multiple hardware manufacturers, technologies, and developers.  Microsoft has done this for years so it's not impossible but fragmentation is possible.  Google has a tight rein over Android but because of that, can you truly call Android open?

Apple is not shy about it's "walled garden".  And customers know it.  You and I do as well.  And where Apple has an edge?  Details.  And who commands it?

Steve Jobs.

Mac-iPhone Update for September 23, 2008

Initially, only one major even took place today.  Android.  Then the Windows Mobile delay.  And now?  Apple apparently addressed it making rejection letters a part of the NDA.  Nice.  Classy.  

This is why Apple is doing it and the sooner folks realizes this, the better (or worse).  It's not about Podcaster duplicating an existing function but Podcaster making the podcast part of iTunes irrelevant just as if Amazon were to develop an app for it's music store, it'll take away from users having to rely on iTunes, or Apple for that matter.  In certain instances, it's more about locking iPhone and iPod Touch to iTunes.

It is also entirely possible that Apple may allow podcasts to be downloaded over WiFi in future OS revisions.

I'm not saying what Apple is doing is right.  In fact, I think this heavy-handed tactic may backfire.  But from Apple's perspective, they make a few developers upset, three by my count (Podcaster, Mailwrangler, Netshare), and it sends a clear message to everyone.  

Ultimately, this is the wrong way to do it.  I'm still holding out for Apple will make changes to its policies soon.  Right now, iPhone users might not notice but they soon will.  Apple folks are pretty bright.
iPhone-iPod Update:

  • Wired claims G1 to be cheaper than the iPhone.  Oh, did they forget to mention the 1GB cap imposed by T-Mobile or the lack of VOIP T-Mobile and Google made sure would never take place on any Android phones?
  • Yahoo News reports Apple makes it easier to buy the iPhone.  Now, the customer will have to spend less time in the store.  
  • Computerworld has an analyst who believes Apple should worry about Android and Amazon.
  • Macworld provides details on Apple Remote.  Must Read.
  • Onxo reports on how iPhones are being used by DC police.
  • Onxo writes a letter to Santa.
  • Onxo discusses about iPhone users turning into reporters.
More developments on Apple's NDA

Mac Update:
  • Onxo discusses potential of Apple offering more RAM in the next Macbook revisions.
  • Macdaily News has 5 reasons why a business should switch to Macs.

iPhones Used to Lay Down the Law

So, as a police officer, you figure you have your badge, nightstick, whistle, and your trusty six-shooter.  That was yesterday.  Today, you gotta have your iPhone and Panasonic Toughbook!  At least the police officers in DC, according to Wired, carry those in their cruisers.

Please head on over to Onxo to find out more.

Monday, September 22, 2008

DRAM Prices Fall: Maybe MacBooks Will Offer 4GB Out The Door

While this is wishful thinking on my part but I've seen 3GB offerings on some Windows laptops in the last few weeks since we started tracking laptop values on Onxo.  So hopefully, an 18% drop in DRAM futures in two weeks will result in Apple offering at least 2GB on the low end Macbook model and 3-4GB on the higher end ones, particular the black Macbook.

I mean, c'mon, 2GB, Jobs?  Seriously.  As someone who is seriously considering the next refresh of the Macbook Air, I really would have to see 4GB on that baby.  Knowing Apple though, we'll probably on see 3GB.

Still given the dearth of details on the next Macbook updates, we'll just have to wait and see.  According to Macworld, the lower DRAM prices offered PC makers to differentiate themselves with from others by offering memory upgrades for a nominal fee or simply as a free option.

Love to see those iMac and Macbooks buffed up memory-wise.

Note:  Tomorrow would be a great time for Apple to take some shine off the Google phone with new Macbooks.  Just saying is all.

Source:  Macworld

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Dear Santa

I wrote a letter to Santa.

On behalf of all iPhone and iPod users, I asked for a Hulu app.

What do you think?  Will we ever see anything like that?

It's amazing how little Youtube has progressed since Google took the helm.  Supposedly, they've found a way to monetize it but it's nothing like Hulu where it actually has TV and movies.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy watching user generated videos.  Often.

What I can't find on iTunes, I can sometimes find on Netflix or Hulu.  So, I would be great to have apps for these two great services.

With Android phones supporting Flash on the horizon, I think there's a possibility that it might even allow us to watch Hulu and native Youtube videos right on the Webkit browsers.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Better App Reviews

I found this site, Apptism, that collects all apps on the iTunes app store and does it's own presentation.  There are two main features some users might find useful.

If  you recall Podcaster, a podcasting app, that was reject by Apple that became the poster child for all that is wrong with, what some would say, Apple's draconian grip on app approval and development.  Well, there is another way to add apps to your iPhone, the ad-hoc distribution system, if you want an app that Apple will not allow onto the app store.  There's a reason why this was created and not really meant for most iPhone users.  It's relatively new so I warn you to use it with a certain amount of risk.

Now, here is the best part about Apptism.  I hate the reviews that are allowed on the app store.  I know you do too.  Some guy would give one star because he felt he can or because he isn't willing to pay for it.  Something ought to be done against that.

On Apptisml, because you have to create an account, the reviewer isn't likely to do it to write something irrelevant.  And there is likely more of  a community that can be built on this.  With Apptism, you will probably come away with a better understanding of the app.  That's what I think the best feature of Apptism is.

Source:  Yahoo News

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Mac-iPhone Update For September 18, 2008

Initially, we thought about not posting an update for the Mac or the iPhone today because there was nothing that happened the average users will need to know about or have the news make any kind of impact on their mobile experience.

So, Apple app store censorship, while old news, will likely pop up again in blogs, podcasts, and in the end one of two things will happen.  Either Apple relents (a bit) or developers just go quietly into the night and end-users will never know that a great battle was fought on their behalf.

If there is anything of significant today, it's Steve Jobs in Europe looking frail and chatting it up with EU regulators on online sales issues.

iPhone-iPod Issues:
  • Appleinsider has a post on manufacturing and supplies maneuvers in the background that we may not know about.  It's an interesting read.  Highly recommended.  It's one of those things we read in books about Jobs or Apple.  
  • Onxo wants more some Japanese style games for the iPod Touch.  Who's gonna step up?
  • The iPhone Blog talks about iPhone gaming.  Nintendo said "bring it", but that political Japanese way.
  • MacDaily News reports in an iPod feature for owners with vision loss.
  • Cnet News said VMware to bring virtualization functions to the iPhone.
  • Treo Central on Palm's financial quarter.  Still looking for Palm to create something totally awesome.  Will continue to bleed unless there is a 2009 surprise.
  • Gizmodo has notes on a notification page for the iPhone when it's locked.  It'll let you know if you have messages.  Be nice if it can include weather and simple stock prices.  Or it'll let you select features to implement.  
Mac Issues:
  • Onxo discusses 3G modem growth.
  • Mac360 points out that OS and browser wars aren't over yet, not by a long shot.

Pokemon-Like Game For iPod Touch?

I was wondering about what Japanese themed RPG are out on the app store for the iPhone and if not, when will they be out.

Well, then I saw Vay (head over to Macworld).  But we're not here to talk about that.  I'l have a review this weekend or next week.

But Vay is it!  No more.  Now, I know Pokemon is Nintendo property but Sega, Konami, or anyone do not have anything to compete with Pikachu?

Heck, I'll settle for Cardcaptors or Digimons.  In a year, there will be 40 million iPhones worldwide.  In addition, there could be anywhere from twenty to thirty-five million iPod Touches.  For a combo of sixty to seventy-five million potential consumers, it looks right for these Japanese video game studios to jump into the pond.

And if these Apple devices are indeed more power than PSP and the DS and as powerful as the PS2, it's time to see Xbox and PS2 type games on the iPod.

Judging by the review for Vay, there definitely is a market for Square and more Sega RPG titles.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Mac-iPhone Update For September 17, 2008

Not happened in Mac and iPhone land today.  If you took a stroll around the Web today, you'll see a lot of ruckus being made about Android and Storm.

Incidentally, these two smartphones will fight for attention next week.  
Though I wonder if Apple may try to disrupt it with Macbook updates.  That would be swell.  I get an Android phone and a Macbook.  Sweet.
iPhone-iPod Update:
  • Feeling nostalgic?  Well, iPodNN reports Apple will have 4GB iPod Nanos, just like my first gen Nano, available in certain international markets.  I wonder if this is a defensive move against the likes of cheaper MP3 players and deteriorating global economic events.  
  • MacWorld discusses deploying the iPhone for business.
  • Onxo discusses iPhone and other mobile reporters.
Mac Update:
  • Roughly Drafted has details on the next Adobe Creative Suite.  Just in time for those Macbook things we keep hearing about.
  • While not really Mac news, Intel's next generation chip, the Core i7, as revealed by Hexus, is always a possibility for the Mac Pro line.
  • Good news about the Macbook lines.  Not new ones unfortunately.  But Apple's mobile Macs have captured 10.6% of the North American market.  (Appleinsider)

iPhone Reporters

We've got tons of social apps available to us for the iPhone.  Twitteriffic, Twinkle, and Facebook just to name a few.

They're mostly for us to stay connected with our friends and family on our daily lives or whatever happens to be on our mind.

Now, CBS is taking it one step further.  CBS News wants iPhone users to be their eyes as reporters much like what CNN's iReporter is for all mobile folks.  I discussed this a bit at Onxo.  It's a phenomenon that is here to stay and I think something mainstream media will utilize more over time.

Check out the app on CBS' eyemobile on iTunes.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Mac Update For September 16, 2008

In about a month, we'll be able to see what kind of staying power the iPhone as with Android phone being released in October and Verizon just going live with their Storm page.

We posted some analysis on Verizon Wireless' counterattack against the iPhone.  It appears to be a sign of weakness but you be the judge of that.  I am pulling for Blackberry as I think they've got very neat phones. I just hope VW doesn't pull down RIM down if sales are not good after hyping it.

iPhone-iPod Update:
  • Air Sharing is an app that works as a wireless drive.  it's free for only two weeks.  Just a reminder.
  • Virtual Monkey -  you're suppose to take care of it.  Feed it and, well, just be a good parent to it.  
  • Virtual Conquest - turn-based strategy game.  Link isn't work.  It may be like Risk.  If only someone can make an Axis and Allies game.
  • Apple's Remote has been updated with the Genius feature.
  • Verizon readies for war on iPhone.  We think it won't amount to much.
  • On Apple discusses iPhone's so-so numbers in Japan.  Here's the gist:  the iPhone 3G's lack of features today is our 2G iPhone when it first came out in 2007.  All those missing features in Japan will be on the next versions.  
  • Onxo discusses CTIA's teen survey on mobile life.
  • Macrumors discusses app store success and future apps.
Mac Update:
  • You'd think that Apple will slow the pace of new store openings in the economic shape we're in but TUAW is pointing out five additional stores will open this weekend.
  • Yesterday's Citibank play about Macbooks on the way is spreading like wildfire.  If they've already left dock in China, the ship(s) could be here by the middle of next week.  It may be too late for a late September surprise.  The containers would still have to be unloaded and Macbooks distributed throughout the sales network.  
  • Quick Muse:  I wonder if $100 off Macbook as some analysts are predicting is going to be enough.  I'm gonna go as far as $200 off across the board for the Macbook line.  Probably a bit more for the pro versions.

Verizon Readies Troops For War on Apple

One thing in politics is you want to focus on your message and you want to avoid mentioning your opponent, right?  That's before the mudslinging got to where it is today.

Well, Verizon will be doing the latter when they launch their counteroffensive on the iPhone 3G with the Blackberry Storm.  Crackberry has some notes and a video on Verizon indoctrinating their troops when it comes to Storm versus the iPhone.

Never mind that the Storm is a phone with limited computing capabilities while the iPhone and iPod Touch is a true mobile platform built from the ground up.  So, the comparison isn't apple to Apple but some-kind-of-a-berry to Apple.

Ask yourself this.  Of the two, which are we like to see mobile devices being born out of the underlying technology?  One thing is for sure, we're likely to see an Apple mobile device with additional mutli-touch functionalities before we seen something like that from anyone else, let alone RIM.

And truly, what does Verizon say about their other mobile devices that were not given this kind of campaign when it comes to competing with the iPhone?  What did Sprint say about their other lineups when Instinct is the only phone they think is worthy of comparison to the iPhone?

I'm sure the Blackberry Storm is a spectacular device and Verizon could be using it to avoid potential erosion of its customer base.  But if it does not measure up in reviews and sales, the Blackberry brand could be damaged greatly.

After Storm debuts, the likely scenario is that Verizon and ATT will continue to take additional subscribers from Sprint and possibly T-Mobile if its flagship Android phone does not pan out.  And in the end, things will be more difficult for Verizon if potential customers don't like Storm but is now aware of the iPhone because of their constant comparisons.  After all, how can Verizon say to their customers "if you don't like the best we've got, we've got these lesser smartphones you might like.  How about the Blackberry Curve for you"?

One more thing.  Price.  Whatever the price comparisons are, it's not the same unless Strom has 8GB or 16GB built in.  1GB with a micro SD card slot that supports up to 16GB is not the same as an iPhone 3G with 16GB.  I can't believe how many people forget about storage when doing price comparisons.

iPhone in Japan: Foster Domestic Developers

One of the problems the iPhone has, and it has many in Japan, is the level of sophistication and years ahead of what American mobile users with respect to mobile features such as e-reading, gaming and other forms of mobile entertainment, and paying with the mobile phones.

I hate to say this but with the exception of Microsoft's Windows (and Michael Jackson), foreign companies have a tough time cracking Japan's domestic market with entrenched players who often enjoy social advantages, and at times, aid from the government.  WSJ (via Macdaily News) indicated iPhone's price but it's not that.  This is a nation of very sophisticated and particular consumers with some owning more than one mobile devices. Cost ain't a thing.

More likely, it's what the iPhone cannot do.

  • Used as a debit or credit card.
  • Used as a public transportation pass.
  • Used to watch TV.
  • Lack of emoji for messaging (can't this be fixed with apps?)

Just like what Apple was forced to do (and a wise move) in licensing Microsoft's ActiveSync, Apple will have to license certain technologies and add them to Japan's version of the iPhone.  It's not going to happen with the current iPhone, that much we know.

I believe Apple like has stuff in the works.  Be patient, folks.  These things are coming.  The government is also actively seeking a role in bring domestic mobile technology to the rest of the world.

There is one thing I agree completely with the WSJ article.  Apple needs to leverage its app store more and cultivate domestic developers who know the market better than anyone else.  Better than Apple.

I think this is a good thing for mobile users in the US and else where.  So far where Apple goes, so goes the market. Once Apple conquers Animeland, it'll likely bring back some of the tech goodies for our US iPhones.

Note:  WSJ figured Japan has an annual sale of 50 million phones.  If Apple were to reach 500,000 in a year, that is not bad considering Nokia has been in the market for years and command a mere 1% of the market.  That's right. 500K units.  Not bad, Cupertino.

Update: An example of developers filling any function gap in the iPhone is Flutter, a MMS app.  MMS is a feature many lamented about the iPhone not having.  So, it's good to see someone step up to provide the need.  Maybe Apple's iPhone function development ends here now that they've provided a true mobile platform for others to create apps on.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Updated 2G iPhone And Unlocked

After waiting more than 48 hours, I decided it was enough time between the initial release of iPhone 2.1 when we reported on Onxo on Friday and when any major problem might crop up. So far, the biggest issues concerning the new update seem to be the lack of concrete evidence that 3G issues are history and battery life has indeed improved.

So, I took my mom's iPhone and took the plunge. What has it been like since? Before I get into that, the 2G iPhone had already been been unlocked and jailbroken previously uand worked beautifully with T-Mobile and T-Zone with 2.0.2 using QuickPwn.

The first thing I did was to download the update (~240MB) and hooked up the iPhone to it and request the update be installed. Meanwhile, I downloaded the new version of Quickpwn. The application from the wonderful folks of iPhone Dev Team.

The update, I had expected iTunes to tell me I had a sim card that did not work with the iPhone.

Here's the surprise: it didn't! I couldn't believe my eyes. I made a couple of calls to make sure it was working fine before I applied QuickPwn. So I want to ask folks, did anyone else experienced that as well? If so, please let us know about it.

Anyway, I went ahead with QuickPwn even though the iPhone was working with T-Mobile because I did not know if T-Zone would still work (I have a feeling it wouldn't) and I wanted to install some apps only available through Cydia.

Now, my mom's iPhone is now updated to 2.1. So far, she's not impressed. I told her that apps don't move around anymore after she applies the updates but she thought they shouldn't have to begin with.

She was more impressed when I told her the battery life may be better and apps would respond more rapidly.

I am curious about the stability and battery life issues. I'll be monitoring her usage to see if both have improved. Will report back after a couple of days on pertinent issues

Update: My friend, Dave, also upgraded his unlocked 2G iPhone through iTunes and was able to to make calls with the unauthorized sim card without having to unlock his phone again.  But beware.  Neither he nor I know why that is.  So be careful if you do go through with it.  You may not encounter the same results we did.

Note: There are a few forums on Macrumors discussing the battery life issue. Here is one of them. I think Apple should make it a mission to improve battery life greatly iPhone generation 2.5 or 3.

Mac-iPhone Daily News For September 15, 2008

Electronista is reporting a Citibank analyst speculating the next generation Macbooks may be on the way to the stores. While it is only a speculation at this point, the time frame for a refresh of Apple's portable Macs makes it very plausible.
Analysts do one of two things: report on things heard from someone who is married to the taxi driver who knows a cousin whose friend works at some factory in China or looks at old calendars and guessitimates within weeks of when Apple usually made their product introductions and report on that.
I don't know what "field checks" mean but he might be right this time. He gets a "gold star"!
Suggestion: If you want a new Macbook but can wait a couple of weeks, let the blogs brew over this one and see where we're at then.
iPhone-iPod Update:
  • iPhone sales flop...in Japan but doing well everywhere else (Via Macdaily News through WSJ). I think Japan is a market where Apple cannot dictate to the users what they want but has to listen to what the users and their very sophisticated electronics society demands. Dude, Steve...his is the land of the rising sun anime. A while back, Onxo had a post on mobile convergence and its a lot of what the Japanese mobile warriors have or want.
  • iPodnn's NDA analysis. Good numbers for iPod growth.
  • Maccentral reports on developer discontent over feedbacks and, now, banning of apps. Apple needs to do something.
  • iLounge provides a roundup of the 2008-09 iPod line.
  • NYT posts on next generation iPhone chip - new feature: you will be able to use your iPhone or iPod Touch to guide a missile against anyone you want.
  • Napster nabbed for $121 million. Guess who?
  • Wired on ATT's pay-as-you-go iPhone 3G. It's easier than you think.
  • Macsimum News reports Steve Jobs will meet with EU officials on online sales.
  • Check out your competition. Engadget on Zune unboxing.
Mac Update:
  • Still waiting for new Macs.
  • MacDailyNews on future buying habits - indicating on how Macs will do.
  • Fortune blogs about potential explosion of Mac sales. Just in time for lower prices, eh?
  • Ars Technica on new industry-backed scheme to sell media. Want to guess who's not at the party?

Our First Post on Mac-iPhone Related Issues


I created Onxo to discuss OLPC's XO computing but with the dirth of updates and at times it did not seem like XO was viable, I decided to discuss other mobile issues. 

I'll continue to post Mac or our favorite mobile platform, iPod Touch or the iPhone, on Onxo but you can come here for all Mac information if you like. 

Thanks and, always, love to hear from you.

When are the Macs Getting M4 Chips? Prediction: MacBook Pro With M4 At the WWDC

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