Friday, November 21, 2008

Apple Is Not Scared of Storm

I'm sure Apple is always looking ahead but may be concerned whenever someone tugs at you trying to pass you.  But for CNet to say that Apple is scared, it's going a bit far.

There is definitely a lot to like about the Storm.  Here's a few that CNet listed that I agree:

  • cut-and-paste - but by all accounts, it's not implemented with much grace.  But Storm has it and the iPhone don't.
  • removable battery - I have an issue with this one.
  • tethering - ATT said it's coming.  
  • memory - I like the expansion slot.  
Now, I have some issues with how CNet spun it.  First, the battery.  I totally agree.  110% that the iPhone needs an user-replaceable battery.  One of two things has to happen.  Either the battery becomes user-replaceable or that Apple or the chip makers find a way to extend battery power by a lot.  Personally, I don't see that happen.  

Now, memory.  Please.  Totally ignore the fact that Apple has onboard storage.  So far as I know, only Nokia's N-series has similar storage capacity.  Now, would I like to have an additional memory slot.  You bet.  But it's not coming and the Storm has 1GB.  You'll need to put out additional $$$ for more memory yourself.  

Now, the clickable screen is pretty nice.  If I'm apple, I might be concerned about that.  But having used the G1 for a bit now and the iPhone's touchscreen keyboard, I don't care one way or another.  In fact, I'm able to lightly touch the iPhone's screen, thereby alleviating any kind of pressure I need to put on my hands and fingers.  Buttons or no buttons.  Clicking or no clicking.  It's a personal preference that the two camps will argue that till the end of time.  It's like Apple's one-button mouse thing that never dies. People grip about it but still buy Macs because they like the Mac as a whole.  And if they wanted a two-button mouse, they go and get one.  

You know, CNet has some good posts and articles but sometimes, they just come out of nowhere with something like this.  It's no wonder they're losing their traditional readers.  Seriously, Apple releasing an update on the day Storm goes on sale?  The writer is SO ready for the weekend.  

Now, to be fair, the article did point out something about the iPhone.  It's short-comings.  Well, for cynics and conspiracy theorists, it's Apple of adding features a little at a time to get people to upgrade.  Possible.  Or it could be that coming out with a mobile device and supporting a whole new platform is harder than it looks and Apple is just taking it one step at a time.  I think it's a little of both.  Look at MobileMe.  

With that said, go read it and see if you agree with CNet that Apple is scared of a storm.  

Source:  CNet 

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Ads Targeting iPhone Users Booming

Ads for mobile devices in general are booming.  But ads specifically targeting iPhone and iPod Touch users are growing even more.

According to Silicon, iPhone specific ads more than doubled in October from the previous month.  236 Million in October from 103 million in September.  That is like due to the massive increase in iPhone user-base now numbering over 10 million, and will likely increase to 16 million by the end of the year (not to mention the millions more in iPod Touch owners).

Here are some quick facts:

  • The iPhone ads account for 4.1% of AdMob Network's ads requested.  37% Of requests came from the US, 17% Europe, 8% Asia.  Asian requests will likely increase as Taiwan start to get their iPhones at the end of the year.  China will likely follow in 2009.
  • AdMob accounted for 5.8 billion ads, growth of nearly 14% - we think that will increase as more smartphones like Storm, Windows Mobile devices, and iPhones get into user hands.  That will drive up demand for ads as users use their smartphones and mobile devices to surf the Internet.
  • Mobile advertising will increase to $19 billion a year by 2011 cared to $3 billion last year.

So for mobile warriors who are interested in providing mobile contents, know that the opportunity is there for you.  Something to consider in the current economic slowdown if you want to make extra cash.

Source:  Silicon

Note:  I'm going to be surprised if the iPhone ad requests doesn't increase even more as more folks use it to browse the Internet.  Also, I wonder how much ads are being provided for games. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

iPod Touch Will Have A Mic

The current generation of the iPod Touch has been greatly improved.  Lower prices.  Updated OS.  It even has a stealthy way that will eventually allow users to use the Touches with VOIP via the mic headset (please, let no one buy the "voice recorder" feature. 

And eventually, the iPod Touch will gain a mic as well.  Why do I think that?  Well, it doesn't make sense that you are forced to use a headset every time you want to make "a recording" (or a call).  And it would make sense to be able to use apps that require a mic but won't work well with a headset.

What game or app needs a mic?  I'm glad you ask. 

The app is Ocarina.  It turns the iPhone into a something like a flute.  I nearly missed work this morning after spending hours last night blowing into my iPhone (that didn't come out well, did it?).  Anyway, I'm pretty good with Amazing Grace now. 

The millions of iPod Touch users would be missing out on such apps.  In fact, we may safely go a step further and say that the iPod Touch will eventually gain parity with the iPhone.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Office on iPhone

You can do it on Windows Mobile, Palm, and Blackberries.  What is it?

Edit Office docs.  I'm a bit torn on this issue.  There are certainly limitations to working with documents on a small mobile device.  I've tried it before, and perhaps I should have given it more of an effort, it was not really my cup of tea.

However, of all the Office applications I want the most has to be Word or Page.  I've sent megabtyes upon megabtyes of text already.  I can see myself sending more be it attachment or something else.

Editing spreadsheets?  Not so much.  I've used DocumentsToGo to create workout schedules and expense trackers but nothing really elaborate.  And in the end, I hardly used either.  But that has nothing to do with the spreadsheet app but more with my routine.

I don't even want to get into a Powerpoint-like app.  I find the need for a presentation app rather than one that allows editing.

Like to hear what you think about this issue and what your experiences has been.

Monday, November 10, 2008

iPhone Updates: What Happens After Year Two?

How do you like them iPhones?  Pretty good?  With each OS update, we get more features.  And for free.  Gotta love that.

What happens after the second year of ownership?  What about it, you ask?
If you're an iPod Touch owner, you know that each time Apple comes out with a major upgrade, you're forced to pony up $10 a pop.  For iPhone owners, there is no cost associated with upgrades.  This is because of the difference in how Apple chose to account for sales of the iPod Touch differently from the iPhone.
For the iPod Touch, sales are recorded in the financial quarter sold.  However, the iPhone sales is spread over two years.  I appreciate anyone to correct me if I'm wrong on this.  Anyway, this is why there is no associated upgrade cost for the iPhone OS.
But what happens after two years of ownership?  Suppose Apple releases iPhone 3.0 after two years of ownership or for reasons related to accounting, will I, as a first generation owner be forced pay up for the upgrade costs?
If so, it'll be interesting to see how Apple is able to make the distinction between those who own their first generation iPhone for two years versus someone like me who will have owned it for 14 months if Apple does release version 3.0 in June of 2009.  
Come on, let's not kid ourselves.  Apple is out to make great products we all love.  They are also out to make money as well.  At time point, iPhone upgrades will cease to work for early adopters or they will be forced to pay for upgrades.  At some point, upgrade fees will be irrelevant because upgrades will require newer hardware.  
That day will come.  It's just a matter how Apple will handle this.  What do you think?

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Analysts Agree with Onxo on Apple's Netbook Move

Back in late October, while the whole of Internet was abuzz with Steve Jobs' cryptic words about netbooks and that the iPhone is the perfect netbook.

The dude was not kidding.  Jobs was telling us what Apple is working on.  It was right there in front of us.  Onxo believed and continues to believe that Apple's new netbook won't be a netbook.  So, I'm going to repost it here.

Why?  Because it came to my attention that Barclays Capital believes just such a device is possible.  They think it'll come in around $600-700.  I think $700-800.  Dude,  this is Apple after all.  

I don't think we have long to wait.  Macworld 2009 is just around the corner and that is likely when we'll see the "not-a-netbook" netbook from Apple.  So, while we have no idea what it will look like or what it will be capable of, we took the liberty of speculating just for the fun of it and then we try to back it up based on Apple's past behavior and where we think technology is headed.

  • No standard clam-shell form.  Not like netbooks.
  • Will not have a keyboard like standard netbooks.
  • Will not sport a removable battery...duh.
  • Will not cost $300-500.
  • Will cost $700-$800.  Here's the $800 Macbook for you.
  • Will employ multi-touch as seen on the iPhone.  More specifically, it'll use the gestures we now have on the Macbooks.
  • Will use iPod's connector.  In fact, it'll have a lot of mobile features on the iPhone and iPod Touch.
  • Will likely use iPhone's OS rather than the traditional OS.
  • 7"-8" Screen.  Possibly bigger but I doubt it.  Maybe LED, I hope.
  • Wireless connectivity.  I doubt we'll see WiMax.  Just 3G if at all.  Your standard Wi-Fi connectivity.

Now, before we whine about the OS, think about it.  This is a small device that is meant to supplement the Mac, not replace it, though I can see folks looking to do just that.  So, there is no need for a full blown OS.  Now, the software may be more sophisticated.  We might see an iWork version for this "netbook" for folks who will be using it to do work when they're away from their Mac.
So, there's your Apple netbook.  A netbook that's not a netbook.  These are all educated conjectures on my part but it's from watching Apple work all these years.  Nothing more.  It's part informative and partly for fun on a Thursday.  
  • Apple has indicated in the past that the iPhone platform will extend beyond the iPhone and iPhone Touch.
  • Natural evolution.  A mid-sized tablet makes sense.
  • In this form factor, it allows Apple to keep a premium on the device.  This thing will fly off the shelves.  We might even see the price go up as high as $900.  Yeah, you can bet on that.
  • It will leverage the iTunes and App Store even more.  
  • It will create a whole new segment of the market for growth.  
  • Perfect for those looking to get a Mac.  Or for those who think the iPod Touch screen is not big enough.
Anyway, a guess is still a guess.  What do you think?

Links  Related To This Topic:

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

No New Macs For the Rest of 2008

According to CNet, Apple has made an unusual move by announcing that there will be no additional new products for this Holidays.

They're done.  Game.  Set.  Match.

I'm glad Apple has done this.  In fact, there have been rumors flying around that Apple will be showing off new iMacs and Mac Minis next week.  And like any other Apple related rumors, it has already started taking on a life of its own.

So, what should you do if you want to get an iMac or Mac mini?  Well, easy.  If you need it now, get it now.  If not and you can wait until Macworld 2009, that is what I suggest you do.

Note that over at Onxo, we have been saying there will not no new product like a tablet or any of the crazy (but fun) rumors for 2009.  As is it not in Apple's DNA to make crappy computers, it's not in Apple's DNA to make this kind of announcement.

Alas, we ARE disheartened that Steve Jobs did not prove us wrong.  Oh well...

So, once again:  No new Apple products for 2008.  

Note:  I love Apple rumors.  Don't get me wrong.  I won't report them or give it life.  However, we love to speculate and dream.  I still like my Mac Hybrid idea.  

Another Note:  Look for speculations to go crazy in the next few weeks about why "Apple missed this upgrade cycle".  Then about the middle of December, look for rumors to warm up again on what we'll see at Macworld.  So, deskop Macs are likely.  iPhones and iPod Touches with more storage.  Even Apple TV may get some added features.  I hope to be surprised though.  Tablets or Apple's entry into the netbook market with a "not-a-netbook" netbook.

Source:  CNet

  • Macworld
  • Appleinsider - provides additional insights in what upgrades may be in stored, whenever it is (shhhh...Macworld 2009)

Monday, November 3, 2008

iPhone 3G Perfect With FastMac's Battery Glove

For anyone interested in the iPhone 3G but have been turned off by the battery life.  More specifically, the short battery life, this is the device for you.

Obviously, it's not meant for your pocket or mine.  But since I've migrated to the G1, I've mainly used my iPhone for music, watching video, surfing the web, and blogging to On Apple whenever possible.  So, it's a perfect a device for me to use.  And I think it's perfect for a lot of folks as well.

So, how much more power will it provide your iPhone?  Here are the specs:
  • External Battery Charging Unit
  • Up to 24 Hours of Talk Time
  • Up to 72 Hours of Audio Playback
  • Up to 21 Hours of Video Playback
  • Up to 750 Hours of Stand by Time
  • Flash Light for Emergency Use and Low Light Photos
  • USB Port for Multi-Charging Purposes
  • Lower Dock Connector for Charging
How much is it?  $79.  It is a bit steep but given the amount of untethered power, it's is well worth it.  Alas, until Apple designs an iPhone that allows users to replace the battery, this is the best solution by far.  

I have explored other external battery solutions.  Honestly, they are cheaper solutions.  Cheaper price-wise.  I am sure they work just fine.  But this is the longest talk time, audio and video playback, and stand-by time.  

For someone who spend more and more time on a mobile device, a true mobile warrior, you might want to consider this if you are away from an outlet for more than a day.  It's just not right for something as great as the iPhone to have to be near an oulet after a day of moderate use.  

If I do go with this, I'll provide a review.

Note:  What's missing from their time estimation is actual 3G use with Web surfing or apps that uses 3G heavily.  I'm just estimating here but I think we can get about 15-20 hours of heavy 3G use if you do a lot of e-mail and surfing.  That is excellent.  

Link:  Fastmac

Onxo Family:  Onxo, Mobile Digerati

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