Thursday, July 30, 2009

Apple Crossed The Line With Google Voice Apps And Will Continue To Do So

More and more, I believe Apple's dealings with apps that enable iPhone users to use Google Voice has some things to do with ATT but also something to do with some bad blood created by the threat Android is increasingly becoming to the iPhone and Chome OS' challenge to the status quo in the OS market.

Caught in the middle are developers.

Macworld posted an article about just this matter.  Kevin Duerr in his blog vented his anger over how Apple had treated his app first by pulling it from the app store, then refusing to offer him an explanation for the action, and creating a refund nightmare for him.

And he's right.  The refund was not due to a flaw in the app but Apple's unexplainable reason for pulling it from the app store.  And some users do want their money back since Duerr will no longer be able to provide support and updates.

The app, VoiceCentral had gone on sale in April and it was only when apps for the Blackberries and Android phones became available did Apple started acting this way.  Oh, yeah, Apple also rejected Google's official Google Voice app.

Duerr, like everyone else, believes ATT is to blame here.  ATT simply doesn't have to capacity to handle all the iPhones in the market.  For the most part, I have to agree but Apple cannot be happy with Android and Chrome OS as competition.

I'm sure Apple had a message to send Google as well.  Maybe.  I don't know with any certainty.  There are a lot of theories flying around the Internet.

Apps are either rejected for indecency or for duplicating an existing function on the iPhone.  Frankly, I don't see anything that VoiceCentral or Google Voice app has done to duplicate iPhone functions that existing apps haven't already done.

Let's examine it a bit here with some app examples.

  • Skype.  Okay.  It makes calls over Wi-Fi but it duplicates the iPhone's telephony function.
  • Fring.  Same as Skype.
  • Yahoo Messenger.  AIM.  Other IM applications.  The iPhone doesn't have an IM app but it does have a SMS application.  If users are sending instant messages instead of SMS, when ATT is out of a revenue stream.
Those quickly comes to mind.  But there are others.  Suppose Apple starts streaming music through the iPod.  What happens to all the radio apps?  Right now, everyone is watching one app in particular.

Spotify.  Since it started streaming music to users (including myself), it has been considered as a competitor to iTunes.  Everyone is watching and waiting to see what Apple will do.  Now, some bloggers believe, given the bad press now with GV apps, Apple will think twice about a rejection.  Folks, if you believe that, you don't know Steve Jobs.  

However, for you mobile warriors with a legal background, what do you think?  A few more examples of rejections due to apps duplicating functions on the iPhone, can an anti-trust case be made?

This is not a subject I like writing about but Apple is wrong here.  I had hoped that Apple will evolve more liberally with app store policies over time.  It's been more than a year.  The app store has been wildly successful.  Millions of iPhones sold.  Still, nothing has changed.

Source:  Macworld, Duerr's Blog

Note:  If you want a Spotify account, which I highly recommend, visit Onxo for instructions.  It is not yet widely available.

Another Note:  Jailbreak, jailbreak, jailbreak, baby!


So, we don't know with certainty that the iTablet will be forthcoming but by all indications, it is.  If not for the sake of satisfying the mobile market, it is an evolutionary step in mobile computing.

But Macinstein doesn't think the iTablet would be a great mobile device at all.  It even goes as far as to say it's ruse created by Apple to make its competitors like Dell waste millions in research and development on something that will not work.

Well, if this tablet was coming from Dell, Acer, or Asus, I would agree.  But hey, this is Steve Jobs we're talking about.  Let's not forget that.  The iTablet will be coming from the folks who brought us OS X, Macbooks, iPods, and the iPhones.

For all the shortcoming mentioned in the post, it makes sense that Apple's brilliant designers and engineers would have thought everything through and patent the heck out of it to make sure it works. If it doesn't, trust me on this, Apple will not come out with a tablet.

So, no, it wouldn't just be a double-sized iPod Touch as simply twice the price.  Okay, maybe twice the price of an iPod Touch is plausible but it'll be so much more.  There is a lot we don't know about it.  As we get closer to the release date (which I firmly believe to be early 2010), there will be a lot of hype, rumors, and sleight of hands by multiple players, but I think at the end of the day, we'll be pretty happy that we mobile fans will have another Apple gear in our mobile arsenal.

Let's just hope Apple doesn't really call it the "iTablet".

Source:  Macenstein

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Push Notification Via Safari

You might know by now that Apple, with the gun to its head, was forced by ATT to pull two 3rd party Google Voice apps and to reject the official app from Google.

I don't want to get into that.  I don't agree with it and Apple had to comply.  Fine.  Perhaps this was why Google developed Android a couple of years ago.  It's why we have G1, myTouch, and HTC Hero today, all running Android OS.  

And this exactly why Google is now pushing Chrome OS and, in doing so, pushing Webapps.  

Honestly, the wireless providers' days are numbered in terms of how they can have so much dominion over us.  One day, Safari, Chrome, mobile Firefox, and mobile IE will all be able to allow webapps to work like traditional apps.

When that day comes, good luck trying to block specific websites.  Verizon Wireless or ATT would be stupid trying to tell Apple, Android developers, or Microsoft to block some sites because they don't like the competition those sites offered.  If that happens, seriously, isn't that what China does now?

The only reason ATT can get way with this is because folks aren't making the anticompetitive connection.  Regardless, I hope Google succeeds with Chrome OS because it'll benefit us iPhone users as well.  Whatever features Webkit gains, Safari will as well.

So consider if Safari offers more traditional app features, Google would still be able to offer fully working webapps as their traditional apps.  That means push notification, being able to stay connected simply by leaving Safari running.  Calls, voice mail notifications, and incoming texts would all be pushed through Safari.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

FT: Forthcoming Device From Apple To Change Mobile Entertainment

As if we didn't already know given the evolutionary changes and growth of Apple's mobile gear.  But if what Financial Times is report is in fact correct in the way presented in their exciting article, mobile folks, especially Apple fans, will be extremely happy.

I have indicated in the past that Apple is likely to introduce new products in early 2010 rather than late 2009 as there is virtually no need to do so given the strength of its already robust mobile lineup.  However, I have also indicated that I love being wrong and that we'll see this new mobile device, dubbed iTablet by many in the blogworld, as a larger iPod Touch.

There have been a lot of rumors generated late last week about something from Apple but I don't want to get into that.  However, given the strength in reporting financial news, I'll give FT the benefit of the doubt (though WSJ has just a strong reputation but they have been known to be wrong in the past).  

So, what is the Financial Times report?

  • Tablet-sized device for this Christmas shopping season.  I'm still thinking 2010 but I hope I'm wrong.  Still, given Apple perchance for perfection, don't be surprise of the target of late 2009 is pushed back or my early 2010 prediction is also pushed back.  Until they've got it right, Apple will not put out an half-ass device.  And yet, they know people will be buying this up in droves.  What better than a paying public willing to beta-test your product?
  • Apple and music labels are working on a new product that will be perfect for the tablet.  This includes an interactive booklet for music to entice buyers into purchasing whole albums.
  • Apparently, prototypes have already been seen and tested as an entertainment executive was quoted as saying "It's going to be fabulous for watching movies."
  • Watch out, Amazon and Kindle!  Literary publishers are trying to get in on the tablet.  As one publishing executive put it, the Apple device is to the Kindle as a color LCD TV is to an old black and white TV.  That's gotta hurt.  Perhaps, this is why Kindle app in the iTunes app store.  
  • It will be priced between $600-$1000.  I'm closing that gap a bit and day it'll be $699 and $899.  This is in line with past Apple product pricing.  Expect this price to hold for a couple of years and drop as other competitors, like Microsoft's Zune, bring their own clones to the market.
There is something that does seem a bit off.  At the end of the article, it was mentioned that movie executives were not consulted.  I don't know what that really mean but it just sort of sticks out.  

So, there you have it.  Four quarter of 2009.  There are still a lot of questions and we'll get into it later.  We'll just let this one sink in a bit before going further.  


Friday, July 24, 2009

iPod Touch VOIP: Changes Need To Be Made To OS For It To Work

There has been some talk about the next generation iPod Touch and if some 3GS features will eventually migrate over to the Touch.  Most obvious would be the camera.  In fact, don't be surprise if the Touch has more features like HD recording.  

But the most surprising of all is the talk about a microphone included with the Touch, thus, providing a true VOIP solution.  

So the issue isn't whether the next iPod Touch will incorporate a microphone like the iPhone or users will be forced to use the headset but rather whether it is Apple's intention to position the Touch as a VOIP device as well as a music, video, and game player.  

If that is what Apple is attempting to do, regardless of its reasons (like trying to wrestle some control away from the wireless providers), there is something that Apple must enable that it has not done yet:  allow fully or partial background processing.

At the very least, there has to be parity between someone making a call using an iPhone versus someone making a VOIP call with his or her Touch.  Otherwise, the experiences would be different and cause, at best, confusion among potential buyers or worst, wholesale outcry from the community.

I can make calls now with Skype to buddies or Skypeout to anyone with a regular phone number.  However, unlike calling on an iPhone, I can't continue to call on Skype if I also want to go into Safari to look up information.  Once I press the home button, the Skype app quits and prematurely hangs up the call.  And as you well know, a call on the iPhone allows you to stay connected while you perform other tasks like taking notes or using Safari (though I've never tried playing games while chatting with someone).  

So two scenarios are likely.  Apple will open up the iPhone OS for apps (like VOIP or social apps) to run in the background or limit the number of apps that can run in the background.

The second scenario is that Apple may be developing an unique solution that works similarly to the telephone app on the iPhone to allow it to run in the background.  Perhaps it'll work with a carrier, Skype, or even Google Voice.  

Of course, there are many pros and cons to either scenario but I'm betting Apple will opt for the second one since it give it more control, not to mention, a likely stream of revenue.  

We probably will not know until iPhone 4.0 and thereafter.  Right now, it's upgrading the iPod Touch with a camera and the 3GS hardware is compelling enough to get people to buy or upgrade.  And word is that no background processing is coming until then anyway, assuming Apple will allow it at all.

Note:  If Apple does add a mic, it is one step closer to the video chat I'm hoping for.

Google Voice Addition Would Make IM Apps Even Better

For my fellow iPhone and iPod Touch mobile warriors who have been waiting patiently for an official Google Voice app, I can tell you that I love using Android's GV app as it allows me to record important calls (of course, only with permission - even with family members), send free SMS, and access everything from the app or Web.  

Would it be great if the IM apps in iTunes also support Voice?  

If you're aged, like me, during the era of IM craze, you've got an account from ICQ, gTalk, AIM, Yahoo, MSN, and, now, Facebook or Myspace.  You want to stay in touch with everybody across the various chats so you likely use Adium or Trillian.  If not, you're truly missing out.  

So this morning, just as I was considering beejive with push ($9.99) because it now supports push and there's no point in waiting for Trillian's iPhone app.  And while beejive does support SMS, it doesn't provide the voice and text center that GV support.  And it doesn't even try.  That isn't the app's domain.  

So, it would make sense these apps to support GV in the long run, even as early as the next version.  It'll give folks a reason to upgrade (not to mention making extra money).

In the future, Voice might be integrated with gTalk.  In fact, I'm betting on it.  

Note:  If you don't have Google Voice already, now's the time.  Use it for your social life.  Use it for your business.  You wonder why it's taken this long.

Turning Off Plug-Ins To Extend Battery Life For Your Macbooks

I am immensely jealous that my Macbook doesn't sport one of those newer enclosed batteries.  So, while I've got decent battery life with my 8-month old unibody Macbook, I don't have insanely great battery life in the neighborhood of 7 hours (or 8 as some have claimed).

And if you're in the same boat as I am, here's a quick mobile tip I heard while I was running and listening to one of my favorite podcasts, Powerpage.

It's so obvious.  You can turn off your browser plug-ins when you're running your laptop or netbook off the battery.

I only heard it tonight so I'll give it a go tomorrow and let you know if it makes any difference.  And whether you're running Firefox or Safari makes a difference in how you manage plug-ins as well.
On top of that, make sure you use this great application to monitor your battery use.  Coconut Battery.

As you can see, it provides you with information about your MB or MBP battery.  Charges, capacity, and cycles.  The 3C that is very important to health and maintenance of your battery.
More at Onxo Tips.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

iPhone 3GS Sold in 18 Countries So Far

Apple reported their earnings today.  May you know about it.  May not.

I'm reading blogs from the financial conference call.  So far Apple has been selling the the 3GS in 18 countries where as the 3G is available on 80 countries.  And when the 3G launched, it was available on more countries as well.  And still, Apple managed to sell over 5.2 million iPhones while supplies are tight.

Oh, and 130% increase in iPod Touches sold compared to a year ago.  This number will go up next quarter and next year.

iPod Touch With VOIP: Happening Now

We've got the iPhone 3GS.  Maybe we'll get the iPod Touch V for VOIP.  It's a matter of when and under what wireless connection. Maybe i'll be with a LTE network.  Perhaps it'll be white spaces or under President Obama's vision of an utopian wireless society.  

Fact.  We know that a version of the iPhone 3GS without the phone and GPS is coming to the iPod Touch.  Without knowing what's it going to be called, we'll call it the iTS (iPod Touch S).  It's been speculated and it only makes sense that with all the features that are being talked about for the iPhone 3GS, Apple will include many of the features and updates in the next Touch update.

This means camera.  But it's the evolution of the Touch that is the headliner.  It no secret that I'm no fan of the wireless providers. Nor you I suppose and I know Apple, Google, and perhaps even Microsoft are all plotting their destruction one days in their own ways.  But suppose the telecoms go away, what will replace them?

It's difficult to say that they'll go away.  In all likelihood, they won't.  The likely possibility is that over time, we mobile warriors rely less upon them for our services.  It may be on the form of municipals blanketed with Wi-Fi access.  Could be that WiMax ISP suddenly taking off all over the country.

However that plays out, the iTS will be in a prime position (and other devices like it - Nokia's N800 series) to supplement traditional smartphones and other telephony devices.  For communication, VOIP will be choice among users.  Services like Fring, Google Voice, and Skype will be the backbone of voice communication.  

Perhaps then Apple will introduce some form of video conferencing.  And I'll admit that I was fooled by all the mocked frontal camera as was everyone else.  

We're not going to see an iPod Touch V this fall's iPod upgrade and we probably won't see it for a few more years.  But I can tell you the possibilities exist for mobile devices to be freed of mandated voice plans from ATT or Verizon because the technologies already exist for that to happen.  

Take for example.  I've signed up for a Skype service that allows me to dial out to traditional telephone numbers or my Skype contacts (including unlimited international calls).  Folks can also call me up as well on my Google Voice number if they wish and I can stay in touch via SMS.  Completely bypassing my G1 or any other cell phones.

My only weak link here is wireless connection.  But over at Onxo, I noted Toyota's solar-powered flowers that offer Wi-Fi and charging stations.  It is a campaign for the Prius but who knows if this will accidently set off a wave of mobile access points dotted through out shopping or business districts to drive traffic.  

Thursday, July 16, 2009

New iPHone Owners In UK To Have Three Carriers to Choose From

Mobile Today UK is reporting that Apple will open up the iPhone 3G, last year's model, to two additional carriers, Orange and T-Mobile.  

Prior to that, O2 had exclusive rights to the iPhone.  Three carriers for British mobile warriors to choose from.  O2, supposedly unhappy ("furious" was the wrong MTU used), will retain exclusivity to the 3GS model.

It is obvious why O2 will be furious.  This means competition.  It means it will have to deal with iPhone owners more seriously.  Roll up its sleeves to get users to buy iPhone from it instead of taking them for granted.  

On this side of the pond, I've been reasoned since the WWDC keynote that depending on the contract with ATT, Apple can find cause to bring the iPhone 3g to T-Mobile (provided they're willing to pay for it) because ATT has not lived up to what its part of the deal since it has late in getting MMS and tethering ready for the 3GS launch.

And from what I can tell, the three UK carriers do not share frequency so that means Apple would have to release different iPhone models specific to each network.  I am certain this is something Apple had planned for a long time.  This goes the same for iPhone versions for Verizon, T-Mobile, and maybe even Sprint. Though these models will likely never see the light of day, it just makes good business sense to be prepared for any changes in business conditions.

And with LTE not going live until late 2010 or early 2011 with Verizon Wireless, Apple's only option to increase iPhone sales is through other GSM networks in the US since it had already publicly declared it will have nothing to do with CDMA.

Source:  Mobile Today UK

Note:  Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg stated it is up to Apple to bring the iPhone to his network.  I'm betting that he's seen it.  Steve Jobs or Tim Cook probably let Ivan hold it in his hands only to take it away.  

Another Note:  I'll try not to talk about this subject for a while but you have to admit the prospects are very enticing.  

Google Voice: Just See Comcast's App To See GV Possibilities

I kept this sort of hushed up all of yesterday.  Google Voice is out on the Android and Blackberry platforms.  But not the iPhone.  And also, I wanted to keep hushed up how much I enjoyed using it.  If my iPod Touch knew why I didn't use it at all yesterday...

The reason is not that Google wanted to leave out the iPhone but but that it was working with Apple to getting GV to work properly.  While, they're at it, Google should make it's Google app work properly.  It's a good app but not a great one I have come to expect from them.

Perhaps, there will be a combination of both GV and Google's other web apps into one nice efficient app.  Simply look at Comcast's mobile app to see the possibilities of what Google's GV, gmail, and reader app can do.  Put in blogger, Google, and I'm in heaven.

If you don't know what Google Voice (GV) is, let me explain what I was able to do with it.  That might help.  I was able to get a GV number, link it with one of my mobile numbers.  All calls that goes in and out of my phone shows up GV (option I selected).  I also have access to voice mail on my phone or through a desktop browser, I can record conversations (podcasters will love this).  

But this is what I'm most excited about.  Free SMS.  Access it on your phone or the browser.  Send from your phone or your browser through your data plan (there is a mobile GV page).  So you know what that means right?

Using through SMS will cost you nothing as far as I can tell.  That means the wireless providers who has been nickle-and-diming us all this time will not get a penny.  It means as soon as the GV app is out in the open, get rid of your SMS plan.  Simple using GV's SMS feature and send out your text.  Then having it pushed back to you via iPhone's push notification.

So you see now how powerful GV is?  That's just the bare surface I just scratched in the description above.  It's why a lot of folks are waiting for their invitations from Google to access Voice.  

With a similar app like Comcast's mobile app, Google can centralize all the most used services with a swipe or touch.  It can even create tabs for gmail, voicemail, SMS, and gTalk.  When the app is not running, SMS, e-mails, and IMs can be pushed to the user.  

Of course, I'm speculating here but it stands to reason the lack of update from Google stems the amount of work it would take to put togetherl what I'm taking about.  Seriously, anything less from Google would be disappointing.

Note:  I suppose it isn't a matter of whipping up an app in a matter of hours like Apple would like us to believe.  In this situation, Comcast would need to work the backend and make sure things work as it should. Note the October 30, 2008 date on the app.  Comcast has put a lot of time into this.  There is no mention of push notification with the Comcast app for voice or mail.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

ATT's Chances Without iPhone Exclusivity

I don't know if I'll ever go back to ATT in the condition they're in. I mean with T-Mobile and G1 and T-Mobile with EDGE and iPhone, I'm pretty happy.

But I have wondered where ATT will be once it loses its exclusive deal with Apple or when it will have to share the iPhone with someone else. What will happen then?

At Onxo, I've gotten into it a bit but I want to say something a bit different here. The iPhone 3GS is a fantastic mobile device. It is second to none. Only the iPhone 3G comes close.

So, what are you to do if you're on another network but aren't so sure about ATT? I've been calling for Apple to bring the iPhone 3G (I doubt they'll do it with the iPhone 3GS) to T-Mobile because ATT hasn't held up their end of the bargain with them dropping the ball on MMS and tethering, not to mention the crappy 3G coverage and signal. On T-Mobile's GSM, it's easy for Apple to make iPhone work on it than with Verizon's CDMA.

So, I'd say wait and see what Apple might spring on us through 2009 and 2010 as far as picking up another carrier. But if you really want the iPhone, go for it now. There simply isn't anything wrong with the iPhone so long as you can put up with ATT and prices.

And you can still pick up an iPhone or iPhone 3G on eBay, unlock it and use it on a GSM network though you will not be able to get 3G speed. This is a popular enough option that T-Mobile is even unofficially providing support to its own iPhone customers.

I suppose what I'm saying is some in my circle and a lot of you are keeping ATT going by going with the iPhone. It's a wise decision as far as pick up the best mobile device. And yet, given the chance to get a fully functional iPhone with another wireless network, a lot of us will do it without a second thought.

ATT will lose iPhone exclusivity one day. And when that day comes, I hate to see what happens to its stock price. I would hate to be a member of its executive team.

As with a lot of executives today, I don't think they're thinking too far down the road as they are only concerned about their short-term bonuses and padding their nest while the getting is good. And it's certainly very good at ATT now. They know people want the iPhone and are will to pay a lot for it in monthly fees. ATT can also take its time in beefing up their 3G network and work on their LTE network because for the sake of the iPhone, users will tolerate the substandard services. Less expenses mean better profit.

But just ask GM's stockholders and creditors how they feel these days. The old GM execs were looking down the quarter rather than ahead in terms of years. SUVs were selling hot so why worry about the days when people might not want to buy SUVs anymore. Now, ATT will no go bankrupt when their deal with Apple is over. But just watch the performance of the ATT stock the day Steve Jobs lets the world know that Apple has secured a second carrier for the iPhone in the US.

Then see how many subscribers ATT is likely to lose that quarter and the quarter after that. At Onxo, I mentioned that maybe there isn't anything ATT can do about that. But who knows. Maybe somebody there will wise up and realize how good they have it and finally come up with a plan to create a better network.

At the end of the day, it's about us, the iPhone users and having the best mobile device today.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Verizon Only App Store: This Sure Complicates Things With A LTE iPhone

The iPhone is the one that got away from Verizon.  ATT was struggle so it decided it needed the iPhone.  And judging by the sales numbers, Verizon does as well.  However, Verizon's decision to allow only its own app store to be installed on phones sold by it can complicate any kind of deal between the largest wireless network in terms of subscribers and Apple.

Apple has said that CDMA sucks.  So naturally, many folks believe that Apple is waiting for LTE, the next generation wireless, to come online before buddying up with Verizon Wireless.  Naturally, Apple will want to control its own app store.  Naturally, Verizon thinks not.

So, how does thing change things about a potential deal between Apple and VW?  Well, perhaps VW might make an exception.  Perhaps not.  And there's no way Apple will allow Verizon to dirty up the app buying experience we all love and enjoy.

The only way the iPhone will ever work with VW agrees to Apple's term on the app store issue.  I don't see this move being made as a shot across the bow of Apple but merely to serve as a reminder to anyone (even its own subscribers) who think that Verizon's pledge to maintain an open network a year ago means anything but.  

But this serves as a reminder to everyone just how evil wireless providers truly are.  To them, an open network means we are free to do anything on the wireless network so long as it is something they approve of.  

Source:  Appleinsider, Onxo

Monday, July 13, 2009

T-Mobile UK Joins O2 In Offering iPHone: Can T-Mobile USA Follow?

It's widely believed that the current issue preventing Apple from making the iPhone available with Verizon is CDMA and that won't happen until LTE, the next generation wireless Internet access, become available.  Conventional wisdom is Verizon Wireless customers won't see the iPhone until 2011 if at all.

It is also widely believed that Apple isn't thrilled with ATT at this year's WWDC and the absence of ATT, the booing of ATT, and the negative blogs directed at ATT was largely due to its inability to support all iPhone 3.0 features from day one.  I have also indicated that Apple can perceive this as a breach of contract if allowed and begin to look elsewhere for a second partner in the US.  The obvious being T-Mobile.  

MacNN is reporting T-Mobile will begin to offer the iPhone 3G in the UK in a few months.  There is no mention of the iPhone 3GS as they've noted.  Previously, Orange was the exclusive iPhone provider.  Perhaps this is a realignment by Apple across the pond by playing off two players for more money or a simple desire to expand the pool of buyers.  We'll know once those "in the know" start to talk.  

In the US, with a tweak of 3G chip, Apple can easily bring the iPhone 3G to T-Mobile for a short time at $99 or even $199 to punish ATT or simply to exert pressure on Verizon and ATT in future negotiations.  

The only thing that is going to prevent such a deal from happen is T-Mobile's 3G coverage.  But hey, it's the iPhone.  Who cares, right?

Source:  MacNN

Note:  This is not a rumor and I have no secret knowledge of Apple's plans.  I'm simply speculating based on what I know about Apple's past behavior.  For instance, once Apple dropped ATI in favor of Nvidia because ATI made the stupid mistake of preempting an Apple product announcement.  So don't be surprised if Apple sucker-punches ATT for not keeping up with the times.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

A Look Back: When A Powerbook Saved The World

I love movie placements and this one I especially am fond of.

Know which movie this frame came from?  That's right.  Blockbuster, ID4 from 1996.  It was an alien invasion movie from back in the days when US hasn't invaded Iraq and it was okay for our fighters to use their bases a counterattack on the aliens.

What you see is co-star Jeff Goldblum (who is still alive) using his Powerbook 5300 to make the connection that the aliens were using our satellites to time a simultaneous attack on Earth.  Later in the movie, it was Powerbook 5300 uploading a virus that took down the alien's defense shield, thereby, enabling a successful counterattack.

Those were the days, wasn't they?  As much as I love my unibody Macbook, I have yet to see any of the Macbooks save the world yet.

Just saying...

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Google (Eric Schmidt) Should Stay Involved With iPhone And Apple's Mobile Development

Some Apple fans are very competitive.  Downright scary at times.  I go into that role when I want to have some fun and creep out the remaining holdouts in my circle of life who aren't worshipping at the alters of Cupertino yet.  

I just love a good gadget.  I've got a G1 that's so-so but is full of potential.  I'm in love with the Pre except for the facts that it's got a crappy battery life (worst than even the G1 by some estimates) and that it's only available through Sprint and not a GSM network.

Of course, I'm a fan of Apple mobile products.  But when Chrome OS was unveiled by Google yesterday, the mobs were out in the streets calling for Eric Schmidt, Google CEO, to step down from the Apple's board of directors.

There is no denying where his loyalty lies but I am not call for security to haul him out of the building just yet.  Apple has benefited from Google's iPhone support.  I'm sure that would remain strong for years to come but more so if Schmidt is around.

Plus, there is no guarantee that Chrome OS is going to compete directly with Windows or the Mac OS.  We don't really know what it even does or where Google's taking it.  Android and now Chrome OS?  

One aspect of the future in our increasing mobile society is cloud computing and Google's got a good handle on its pulse.  And let's be honestly. Apple isn't really lighting it on fire with MobileMe just yet.  

Look, what I'm saying is deep down, 90% of us want cool, innovative mobile devices (with long battery lives) like the iPhone.  Apple and Google has made beautiful music together in the past and will continue to do so.

Under Apple's terms of course.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Evidence of 3rd Generation iPod Touch and Autumn Possibilities

According to research firm, Pinch Media, there is growing evidence of the 3rd generation iPod Touch.  Okay, we know it's coming just as we know the 4th gen iPod Touch will be available in the 2nd half of 2010 and the fifth gen Touch the year after that.

What's interesting is the frequency of these spottings.  Suffice to say, we're looking at a fall intro just like previous years to gather steam for the holiday shopping season.  So why are we even talking about something we already know.

Pure speculation but there is something.

There was a rumbling a potential Apple even in August and it's hard to say what's about.  It may be a late push by Apple to heat up the back to school shopping, a couple of months that can really give Apple a lot of momentum into the fall.

What can happen is that Apple can detach the iPod Touch from the other iPods and make its own introduction.  Though unlikely, Apple can be trying to steal Microsoft's thunder when the Zune HD comes out in the month of September.

See the iPod Touch doesn't have to be a crippled iPhone.  It's likely to have a camera so there is a  potential that other features like GPS or perhaps HD video recording can be included.  After all, the 2nd iPod Touch had a higher clock speed than the iPhone 3G.  At a higher speed, Apple can differentiate the Touch from the iPhone and really put a hurt on Microsoft's next Zune attempt.

The problem with this is that it would be a minor event and making the iPod event in the fall less glamorous.  Well, there are other products that Apple can bring out to spice things up.  Perhaps, Apple can offer new iMacs around that time.  Apple TV has not been addressed for a while either and more likely than not, Apple might make things interested for their "hobby".

And let now forget that Apple could be looking at a iPhone OS-based tablet.  Speculation is that it's coming in 2010.  I tend to agree with that time frame but don't be surprised if it shows up this fall either.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

iPhone and Porn

Apple has tried to make sure porn stays out of the iTunes app store.  Perhaps, Apple should just let the issue be and put some sort of stricter access to the apps that are not for general consumption.

I think, eventually, such a move may serve Apple in the long turn.  Maybe porn wouldn't be the only category of apps that it will find offensive. 

Don't be surprise if the ACLU or a group dedicated to digital freedom sues Apple and anyone else looking to restrict access to apps based on  or a court with an unique sense of net neutrality will force wireless providers and app stores to open up regardless of the materials or values provided by the apps. 

More at Onxo.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Apple Issues Docs Addressing Heat With iPhones

Apple quickly addressed issues regarding heat issues with the iPhones today.  Crediting Cult of Mac here, we get a better understand of Apple's thoughts on the issues.

Titled "Keeping iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS within acceptable operating temperatures", Apple provides some common sense approach to protecting your mobile investment

Essentially, you need to keep the iPhone from situations where it could really heat up.  Direct sunlight or an environment with excess heat, like in a car.  Truly, common sense.  

Here is what folks need to keep in mind.  The iPhone and other mobile devices like it are not really mobile phones.  The iPhone is a mobile computing platform that happens to be able to make phone calls.  Other than that you can do 95% of your daily Internet tasks, computing, and entertainment all on this excellently engineered mobile computer.

Apple provides two temperate ranges.  One for operating and another for storage.
  • Operate iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS in a place where the temperature is between 0º and 35º C (32º to 95º F). Low- or high-temperature conditions might temporarily shorten battery life or cause the device to temporarily stop working properly.
  • Store iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS in a place where the temperature is between -20º and 45º C (-4º to 113º F). Don't leave the device in your car, because temperatures in parked cars can exceed this range.
Operating the iPhone outside of recommended parameters can affect battery life and iPhone functionalities.  Discoloration of the case would be the least of your worries.

Using Voice Memos As A Podcasting App

With iPhone 3.0 and 3GS soaking up all the attention, perhaps Voice Memos is the most ignored feature of the iPhone.  There really has not been enough attention given to this most excellent app from Apple.

I spent an hour chatting with my cousin about politics, the potential of green tech growth, and international trade, I decided to make a podcast out of our conversation.  My cousin's a PhD in economics  and as for myself, I keep up with current events in economics, politics, and, for the most part, I am fairly intelligent.

I had my choice of my Macbook, an iPhone 3G, 2nd generation iPod Touch, and a G1 all are capable of recording the podcast.  I decided since the iPhone 3G was running low on battery and I didn't want to take my Macbook out of the backpack, I decided to use the Touch and the G1.

How did it go?  First the setting.  I don't like quiet rooms that some podcasts are created in.  There's nothing wrong with that. I just like to record the podcast in a more relaxed setting.  We were at a coffee shop, there was music playing, and some background conversations but none of these ambient noises were too overwhelming.  It wasn't as if there was a band playing or anything like that.

We started chatting with the iPod Touch and G1 recording.  After an hour of podcasting, I stopped the recording.  So which of the two devices did the job?  Or did it worked at all?

The quality from the Touch was incredible.  Using the headset from the iPhone 3G as the mic, the Touch picked up our voices clearly and crisply.  We could here the ambient noises, music, the machine churning out espresso, and other minor sounds but the focus, our conversation was not affected.

And on the G1?  Well, not so good.  The recording was through a headset mic as well.  Our voices were faint and there was a lot of white noise.  Imagine what a subpar AM reception.  That was what it sounded like.

I can't say enough how great the podcast quality on the iPod Touch is.  It definitely shows the attention to the app that Apple gave it.  I'm sure Apple created the Voice Memos to do no more than create short memos but podcasting?  I doubt that.

So, if you're at a conference, show, or anywhere else where you don't have your podcasting equipments with you, just take out your iPhone or iPod Touch and use Voice Memos.

MacBook Air M2 - I Love It And Any Laptop You Get Will Always Be Right For the Time

The 2016 MacBook sitting off to the side still has some value as I gleefully starting using my MacBook Air M2 that I got for a decent price ...