Monday, August 31, 2009

A Game All iPhone Puzzle Lovers Ought To Have

I play a lot of games on my mobile devices and since they're covered by many other sites, I normally shy away from bring it up here. But seeing this game on Touch Arcade today, I have got to share this with you.

There's a PC version if you can't wait but the iPhone version is coming and it is a perfect match for your iPhone or iPod Touch's finger-friendly multi-touch screen.

More at Touch Arcade

Thursday, August 27, 2009

iPod Classic Would Benefit Greatly With A Camera

I have debated whether I should upgrade my 2nd generation iPod Touch when Apple upgrades the iPod Touch hardware this fall with similar specs like the iPhone 3GS.

My hope is that the fall upgrade will also bring us the elusive iTablet but as I have mentioned in other posts, I don't think it'll be released until 2010.  But if we are surprised for one reason or another, this is one that I hope to be wrong about.

Back to the question of whether I should upgrade or not.  Appleinsider is reporting on a report that the iPod Classic could be upgraded this fall and it won't be the last.  Not only that, it may have a camera.  In fact, I think Apple can extend the life of the Classic with just such a move.

As I've said, this puts my upgrade plan into a tale-spin.  The new iPod Touch is likely to be upgraded with a camera as well.  So this even things up with the Classic.  However, the Classic will have a larger storage.  And I can do with a player with incredible battery life and the ability to store lots of video, music, and files.

I suppose we'll just have to wait a few weeks for Apple to wow us this fall with the upgrades.  One thing that will tip me over to the Classic is if the camera addition will also mean the ability to record video.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

iPhone or Ereader Best For You? Or A Real Book?

Here is the order of how I think best to read a book today:
  1. With a real book
  2. On a dedicated reader like Kindle.
  3. On the screen of a tablet PC.  This includes the XO.  Tablets allow the user to orient the screen.
  4. On the screen of a laptop or netbook.
  5. On a mobile device like the iPhone or iPod Touch.
Now, here is a list of preference in terms of overall usefully to a dedicated mobile warrior such as you and myself:
  1. On a mobile device like the iPhone or iPod Touch.
  2. On a dedicated reader like Kindle.
  3. On the screen of a tablet PC.  This includes the XO.  Tablets allow the user to orient the screen.
  4. On the screen of a laptop or netbook.
  5. With a real book.
Notice the Kindle sat in the runner-up position on both list.  After coming up with the list, that was a surprising realization for me as well.  It's not just Kindle.  Sony's eReader and whatever readers Barnes and Noble will share with in early 2010 also fall into this category.

But if you're a traditional bookworm, a real page turner is what you want.  For us mobile folks, the devices like the iPhone is the best solution for us.  Why?  Because we don't use our iPhones just to read books.  We use them to access the Internet, communicate with others via phone or e-mail, and for other entertainment purposes.

Does that mean there is no room in our computer bag for a Kindle or Sony eReader?  Not at all.  For long vacations, flights, or camping trips (though I doubt I'll ever go camping again), an reader provides you with the luxury of going for days without having to charge it.  

Certainly, that is the main drawback of the iPhone or devices like it.  Battery life.  But for those of us who are near an outlet in a daily basis, the iPhone is the best device for ereading without having to carry an extra device.

Ideally, I'm hoping a future update from Apple will give the iPhone or the Touch e-ink technology or something better (Cupertino-approved innovation) that allows the iDevices function as true readers with comparable battery life to the Kindle.

TomTom's iPhone Car Kit Brings GPS to iPod Touch Owners

Eventually, the iPod Touch may get its own GPS chip. There's a lot of moving parts in the mobile landscape that has a good chance of making that happen. But before that occurs, the iPod Touch is pretty much left out of the GPS business part of the app store.

There is a solution on the way. TomTom's car kit is a cradle with its own GPS unit inside and it is suppose to work with the iPod Touch. In truth, when do you really need a GPS anyway when you live in the cities? If you said "in the car", then you're right.

Watch the video demo and you can see just how seamless TomTom has made the car kit for the iPhone and iPod Touch. It even comes with a charger and a connection to play your music in the car.

Impressed? Well, it will set you back $200. $100 for the TomTom app itself and $100 for the car kit.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Prediction: Apple Will Approve Spotify, Rhapsody, and Possibly Others

There's are just too much heat on Apple, ATT, and it's money making scheme, the iPhone.

I think when Apple launched its iTunes app store a year ago, it didn't expect this level of success. The growth has been phenomenal. But given the growth trajectory, there is bound to be a lot of growing pains. Hence, all those complaints from developers whose apps sat in approval purgatory or simply cast out of the bounds of the app store for one reason or another.

The latest uproar from bloggers and media (including an ongoing FCC inquiry) is the rejection of the Google Voice app. That has turned on a lot of heat on Apple. I'll leave the story out in this post but the bottom line is that all the attention on Apple is making it difficult for them to reject any apps that the bloggers will perceive as anti-competitive behaviors by Apple or ATT or Apple's approval process gone awry again.

But at the end of it all, I am not sure this has impacted the iPhone's popularity with the mobile masses. I've asked people with iPhones about what they know is going on with the app store politics and no one I know has any idea of the struggle going behind the scenes nor do they care when I told them about it.

Personally, I love for Apple to be more liberal with its approval process. It currently has 40 or so personnel working on this. I'm sure Apple can afford to hire another 40 to help streamline the process.

So, at the end of the day, Apple will approve Spotify and Rhapsody simply to avoid added attention. Also, according to jkOnTheRun, there is a button that will allow the user of Rhapsody to buy the music they like from iTunes.

Pretty Ridiculous Spin To Generate Apple Rumors

Here's one example of how Apple rumors get spun and created.

Electronista is reporting on another report about an Nvidia executive talking about a media pad.  From that, Electronista reports that it is possible they're talking about the rumored Apple tablet.

Folks, let's me be clear.  I want to the Apple tablet really really badly.  But not enough where I am going to find every post about mobile tech to be about the iPhone, iPod, or the iTablet.  And for the record, I believe it's coming.  2010 at the earliest.  Not going to be sooner.  

In fact, if past rumors are "true", Apple is likely to be using its own chip designs than off the shelf parts like Nvidia Tegra.

But I encourage you to click through and read it as it does seem that some exciting new NVidia-powered media pad is coming our way.  My take it this isn't about Apple but more about Android or WM.  Love to be wrong about that though.

Source:  Electronista, Hexus

Thursday, August 20, 2009

App Store Dynamics - Not Quite An Apology From Yahoo, FB 3.0 Countdown

Yesterday, Yahoo went ahead to call out Apple on their Yahoo Messenger approval.  The lack off.  Well, it turned out that Yahoo was trying to jump on the bandwagon to bad-mouth Apple's dismal app approval process without doing it own homework first.

Reported on CNet News, Yahoo posted a blog titled "And so we wait...on Apple".  The CNet post titled to max out the effort of the Yahoo blog, Ms. Sarah Bacon of Yahoo called out Apple for the "somewhat unpredictable process". 

Well, Bacon, it's gonna get a lot more predictable for you and Yahoo from now on.  First, Yahoo needs to do something about this. Yahoo had pulled out their update to Yahoo Messenger to add more update and Bacon was left out of the loop.  It's funny because you'd figure that someone on her team might know a thing or two about what's going on.

No wonder Yahoo has been in such a dismal shape compared to Google and has to look to Microsoft for search helps.  

Two weeks ago, Yahoo submitted their app for approval only to pull it and resubmit it a week ago.  Ms. Bacon, it's only been a week.  

Anyway, something more positive.  Facebook 3.0!  You know.  Facebook, what Yahoo should have morph into.  Facebook, what Yahoo tried and failed to duplicate and become.  Anyway, that's what I'm waiting for and I think it's one of the most anticipated update.

I'll be honest about social apps.  I'm indifferent to them at best.  I'm simply don't care for them or the games that are played on there.  Having said that, Facebook's app is well thought-out and serves as a model for other app developers (ahem, Yahoo) build upon.  

Alright, I also use the Yahoo! app and it works very well.  But Facebook is leagues better in terms of usefulness for all things Facebook.  Here's a video I found on TC.

Links: Techcrunch, CNet News, Yahoo Blog (for some reason, folks don't apologize any longer)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Commodore 64 Emulator May Be Coming To the iPhone

I knew straight away that Apple would never allow the original C64 emulation to get into the app store a couple of months ago when it was first reported.  It was an exciting prospect but, honestly, Apple's knee-jerk reaction would be to turn away any emulation apps.  I think everyone knew that was going to be the case.

But for most folks, we wonder "where's the harm in a two decade old computer"?  Well, the fear is many folks will start turning out emulators for other systems.  Palm is the obvious pick.  That's what I'm interested in.  And maybe Windows Mobile and others.

But Touch Arcade is now reporting that a C64 app maybe coming to the iTunes App Store.  Apparently, the developer was contacted by a high-up at Apple and he or she tweeted "big news coming.  Thank you to EVERYONE for the support".  I don't think we can confuse this for anything other than that a Commodore 64 emulation app is on the way.

I never had a C64 or the C128.  I've messed around with the Amiga but that was a different beast altogether.  I just remembered the vivid colors and games that was possible on that small computer with the keyboard sitting on top of it.

When the app is out, I hope it does well because this is what Apple represents.  Good fun computing.  And add mobile to it.  I think it'll appeal mostly to the computer-geek crowd but I wholeheartedly encourage the rest of my fellow mobile warriors to give it a try when it's finally available.

Those pioneering days of computing where CPU measured in single digit Mhz and memory in kilobytes. C64 provides a golden opportunity for anyone who weren't into computers in the 80s to relive it and the newer gen mobile computer users to know what the old days were like.

So, the question for me now is this:  If C64 is allowed into the App Store, how closely behind is Apple II emulation?  Now, that's one app Apple fans will go nuts over.

More info on the C64 app can be found on the Manomio's C64 page (the developer).

Link:  Touch Arcade

Apple Mobile: Game Changer? You Bet!

Right now, Apple accounts for 1/3 of all Wi-Fi use by one measurement and 25% of all music sold in the United States.

And to top it off, iTunes accounts for almost 70% of digital music sold.  69% To be exact.  That means other attempts by music labels and iTunes-wannabes (ahem, Amazon, ahem) has done nothing to change how much folks embrace Apple's mobile and music strategy.

I am certain that DRM-less change and the ability for iPhone and iPod Touch users to download music wirelessly helped.

But what's incredible how iTunes continues to dominate the market.  It makes me wonder just who are buying all these music from iTunes?  But I have to offer a cautionary note.  Music industry growth aside, there may come a time when digital growth may peak or slow.  That means don't expect to see 25% share that Apple currently enjoy is going go be 30% next year or the year after that.

A large percentage of the US music buying is still being done offline.  Meaning CDs.

Now, 1/3 of all Wi-Fi traffic are going through Apple's devices?  That's from 14% last year to 32% this year.  This is a seriously beig "wow".  And this isn't just coming from Apple.  Wireless devices from other companies are also doing well.  It's just that Apple is doing better than everyone else.

The information from Appleinsider is a bit confusing and short on details.  So we'll have to go to Meraki for the charts and details.

  • Apple's Wi-Fi grew at 221%, nearly 68K devices from 21K
  • Nearly 1/3 of Wi-Fi traffic is from Apple devices
  • RIM devices grew 419% but merely 2% of all devices.  Though it seems to be a huge jump, it means hardly anyone was using their Blackberries to connect to the Internet.  This could be a troubling sign for RIM.
  • What's worry for Nokia is it only grew 100%.  

Link:  Appleinsider

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

iTablet Idea: Detachable Keyboard With Expandability, Longer Battery Life, and Protection

We've all assumed by now that the iTablet from Apple, imagined or otherwise, will be in the form of a tablet, making itself very much different from the netbooks that are now flooding the market.  It would satisfy the analysts and bloggers, not to mention mobile warriors like us.  

Plus, such a form factor would allow Apple to say their netbook answer is not a netbook.  But the issue many folks have, even if Apple were to go this route, is the input methods.  Some people aren't going to be happy with this - typing on a screen even if Apple has demonstrated with the 40 million + iPhone and iPod Touches in the wild that its touch implementation works just fine.  

You're always going to have to small number who swear by physical keys.  So, I think perhaps Apple might offer a different solution.  A middle ground.  Because of the large size of the iTablet, there is space for Apple to create hinges and a port for a detachable keyboard should the user choose to use one.

It would give the naysayers nothing to say, effectively, shutting them up.  And for virtual keyboard purists, they can still touch away like they're already doing on the iPhone.  

Furthermore, the detachable keyboard can serve two main functions.  It can serve as an extension for expanded ports Secondly, it can serve as an external battery source for the iTablet.  If the iTablet can allow for say ten hours of use, I think the keyboard can help double or triple the battery life. Lastly, it provides protect for the screen.

Battery life of the iTablet while at the same time, increase the expandability of the device without the iTablet itself poked full of holes for USBs or memory card slots all fit the philosophy of Apple portability and design.

I have a feeling that Apple's keyboard implementation wouldn't allow for expandability but don't be surprised for Belkin or something else to come in and offer an external keyboard with additional functionalities.  

The iTablet would enable 3rd parties to produce add-ons that duplicate the success of iPod ecosystem that helped Apple padded its billions of cash that now sit the bank.

So, there you have it.  A netbook that's not a netbook.  

Apple's New Data Center Means New Reliable Services and Independence

By all accounts, Apple's new North Carolina data center , is for something huge.  500,000 Square feet.  By other standards set by Microsoft and Google, most of their data centers are around 200,000 to 400,000 square feet.

So, what is Apple doing with this kind of room and the processing power that is sure to occupy this place?

Well, there are tons of speculations.  
  • Mobileme reliability - boy, does it need it.
  • iTunes expansion - movies, TV, music, apps.
  • iLife expansion to challenge Google and Microsoft's office plans
  • Less reliance on 3rd party servers and services
  • Support for new unannounced services and products
Take your pick.  I think it's all of the above.  If the data center in NC is specifically built for one or more of the above services, others will be built in no time.  

But looking at the list, it's telling to see where Apple thinks the future of wireless and computing is headed.  And Apple is simply getting ready to innovate in those areas.  More importantly, it is beginning to assert independence from having to rely on partners that might one day challenge it in its own markets.

Do you realize that Google's entry into the mobile and desktop OS would be the second time Steve Jobs and Apple has been screwed over by a close partner and friend?  Want to guess who the first one?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Prepare for iPhone Shortage

These days, iPhones aren't in shortage in the sense that there are long lines.  But even now, you can walk into an Apple store and not find the model or color you want.

Well, prepare for more shortage if International Business Times' report are correct.  And I have reasons to believe that they are indeed on the money with this one.  According to the report, 5 million iPhones will be bought by China Unicom.  

There are numbers like value and cost attached to it but that's not that big of a deal.  What's a big deal to me is that the number seems awfully low.  It has a subscriber base of 140 million, almost twice the size of ATT.

I am sure the small number is a conservative run to see how it goes.  These iPhones will have no Wi-Fi and is WCDMA, whereas existing iPhones on the market are GSM units.  

Already, the unofficial number of iPhones smuggled into China for use stands around two million, I am sure these official units will be really well received by the local mobile warriors.

So, be prepared for shortages as Apple try to accommodate a potentially lucrative market.  Plus, we also know that Apple prepaid for the memory that goes into these iPhones.  I am guessing those prices will go up as well.

I have to say that there are numbers that don't quite add up in the IBT's article.  The prices seem very low but I suppose Apple is looking to get its foot into the door and may be looking to use the iPhone as precursor to converting Chinese consumers to the Mac and other Apple products.

Given how well the unofficial iPhone has already been received, I see China Unicom selling 8-12 million iPhones a year, making the initial 5 million run looking very low.  I assuming this is 5 million iPhones number is merely a low ball figure for Apple and China Unicom easily beat when it comes time to report earnings.  

So don't be surprised to see iPhone sales in China going as high as 15-20 million a year.  And if that number is realized, be prepared for shortages everywhere else.  

The fact that Apple may be stocking up on iPhones for the Chinese market can explain the slow rollout of the 3GS everywhere else in the world.

Mentioned Links:  IBT, Appleinsider

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

GPush: Still Working On It

Yesterday, I spoke about GPush, an iPhone app that let's the user know when he or she has new mail from the gmail account, and how it can serve to help point Google work around the lockout by Google and Apple.

Then at the end, when I tried to buy it, it was not available.  I had assumed that the app may have been censored or pulled.  

Well, good news.  The app isn't in the store yet.  However, the developer, Tiverias, pointed it out on their Twitter feed that they're still working on it.  Apparently, it was not quite ready yet.

But hopefully, they'll get it out to us soon enough.  If you like to be kept up to date, you can follow their feed here at Twitter.

Can't wait!

Monday, August 10, 2009

GPush: App to Push Gmail Notification And May Serve As A Workaround For Google Voice

GPush is an incredible app.  No, I've not yet had a chance to use it yet and I don't know if I want to just yet.  It's probably because it isn't more than a notification app for Gmail.

I want more.  Early, I had wondered whether push notification can be enabled somehow through Safari.  Well, that's a question for iPhone 4.0 or later.  The reason I asked about that is because Google is working on getting Google Voice to work through Safari after ATT, maybe Apple, rejected it and pulled out 3rd party apps that supported Google Voice.

Google Voice alerts you via Gmail when you get a voice mail.  However, it doesn't do that for SMS yet.  I'm guess it's at the request of wireless providers looking to protect their lucrative stream of revenue.

Now, maybe there is a workaround.  GPush is a good example and I'm hoping other means may be possible in the future (Growler, please do something).  According to the GPush developer, it provides notification only.  It doesn't serve to launch the mail app or open up the Safari to point to Gmail.

In any case, Maybe Google or a 3rd party developer can create a push notification app for text messages received by Google Voice.  But that may not be necessary if Google enables Gmail notification for SMS.

I guess what I'm saying is that there is hope.  I don't see how Apple can not allow apps that simply serve as messengers.  Maybe that is Google's plan.  Create notifications for texts being received by Google Voice and the user will have to go into Safari to retrieve the message.

Note:  Did GPush get pulled?  I just tried buying it on the iTunes store in the US and it's not available.  Nicely played.  FCC, your move.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

A Word On Google's Latitude Rejection

Now, that Apple is likely to engage in full-blown war with Google and it's mobile weapons, Android, Chrome OS, and its excellent collection of webapps, I began to think about Latitude's rejection.

Early, I examined the possible reasons for Apple rejecting Google's Voice app and Google's encroachment into the OS market.  At Onxo (must read), I speculated that it is possible Apple has VOIP and ereading functions for the iPhone platform.

Now, focusing on Latitude, I wonder if Apple is set to challenge Google Maps and other mapping selections from the likes of Yahoo and Microsoft.

We had all assumed that ATT is the culprit behind GV's rejection.  But suppose it's not.  Suppose, however unlikely, it's all Apple's doing.  Latitude is just so unlikely that Apple will reject something so trivial that may not really have a huge following.

So, if Apple rejected Voice because it has its own iChat alternative waiting in the wing, could Apple rejected Latitude because it also has its own competitive option in the works as well?  Given how Google has changed the mapping, directions, and image on the Web, I would love to see how differently Apple's take on this will be.

I generally use Google Maps and for rudimentary reasons.  Directions.  Directions.  Directions.  I can imagine Apple offering us other reasons beyond what Microsoft, Yahoo, and Google has provide for using maps.  I don't care to speculate how Apple will implement its own mapping app since there has been no hint that Apple is even considering this course of action.

Whatever the reasons for the rejections and whether Apple is really working on replacements for Latitude, mapping, search, or VOIP, I wonder if Apple will continue to reject other Google apps in the future as well.  If so, that would be disturbing, even for Apple fans.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Still Waiting on Spotify Rejection (or Approval)

Apple is delaying the inevitable.  Everyone was watching the Google Voice rejection and talking about the FCC investigation.  Apple should have just lumped everything in there.  

While many believe Spotify is a threat to Apple's iTunes, I'm not so sure.  It's music is only one aspect of a mobile experience.  If Spotify does TV, movies, and apps, then I think Apple would have cause for concern.

Still, the silence from Apple on Spotify app is deafening.  I hope Apple does approve the app because I've been using it and it's incredible.  Better experience than anything Napster, Real, or Microsoft has ever created.  

That said, I do look forward to the drama that'll be created if Apple does reject Spotify's app.  FCC asking more question.  ATT says to blame Apple.  Google looks on with interest.  And more importantly, will Phil Schiller take time out of his busy schedule to explain the rejection like he did yesterday about the dictionary censorship?

You can bet that Apple will remain silient about rejecting the Spotify app, giving bloggers and the media another week or two of material to write about.

What Can the Apple Tablet Do For Us?

Disclosure:  I'm an Apple shareholder.  It's from mutual funds and stuff from eons ago.  So, obviously, I'm interested in the financial well-being of my favorite computer company that has over the years provided me with the tools to be productive and mobile.  Powerbooks, Macbook, Mac Mini, iPhones, and iPods.

While I'm happy that an Apple tablet will add $1.2 billion a year to the bottom-line (which means now, doesn' it), I'm first and foremost a mobile warrior just like you.  Busy, moving, and all that jazz.  What I really am interested in is how it'll change the computer and mobile industry.

Just like the iPhone changed mobile computing, I want to know how the tablet will change it even more.  The iPhone is no smartphone.  It's a very mobile computing device.  The iTablet, if you will, will have to take that a step further in the following areas:
  • Close the gap between mobile communication.  If Apple negotiate its way into a data with the wireless carriers to include VOIP, it can really turn the industry in its head.  Think of what a Wired writer is doing at the moment.  He's carry around an iPod and a Verizon MiFi 3G modem that doubles as a Wi-Fi access point.  Well, something similar will need to be available for the iTablet.  Perhaps, Apple can even let in Google Voice.
  • Information access.  The tablet will have a bigger screen.  Anywhere from 7 to 10 inches.  This will bring us closer to traditional desktop Web surfing, document viewing and editing, and ebook reading.
  • Mobile entertainment.  Higher resolution for movies.  HD quality.  Gaming on this will be unmatched.  For the first time, I'll even say that Nintendo and Sony will really see some mobile gaming damage being done by Apple.  Right now, gamers are forced to manipulate games on the smaller 3.5" screens on the iPhone.  The fingers gets in the way.  No longer will this be the case with a bigger screen.  Any screen above 5" will work well.  But from all indications, 7" will be the smallest size screen Apple is willing to entertain.
  • Provide new elements to multi-touch and data manipulation.  It's time Apple move beyond pinching.  Microsoft will be bringing similar touch implementations to the Zune and Windows Mobile.  Pre is already do this.  Apple needs to put some distance between its competitors and really show what else it's innovating.  We'll likely see some change with version 2 of the tablet.  That's right.  It's good to know that Apple is thinking that far ahead.
Over at Onxo, I've speculated about two key features that Apple will bring to the iTablet based on its actions in the last couple of weeks.  Google's two app rejections.  Wholesale rejection of ebooks.  Those are just evidence and facts.  Put it all together, we see something cooking over in the tech kitichen at Cupertino.  

And it's the iTablet.  And when it comes out, it'll do a lot of things to change our perception of mobile computing.  It better or else, it'll be the biggest disappointment ever from Apple.  

Mentioned Links:
Onxo - Apple Will Bring VOIP and eReading
Fortune - Apple poised to sell $1.2 billion worth of tablets
Wired - iPod Touch with 3G

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Apple Responds To Dictionary App Censorship - FCC Action Helping?

By now, you know that the FCC is looking at Apple, ATT, and Google for the reasons behind why 3rd party Google Voice apps were pulled and why Apple rejected Google's official app for Voice.

Now, there was more uproar by the tech bloggers when a dictionary app was rejected for censorship reason - as it first appeared.  Now, Apple has responded to that situation with an explanation.

It's not he-said-he-said that I'm talking about here.  The meat of this post is that we're even talking about Apple making any kind of explanation regarding its actions at all.  Perhaps, the FCC's letters to the three parties here has spurred Apple to be more open already.  

Think that if the FCC wasn't looking at ATT's iPhone exclusivity deal and app rejections that Apple would even care what bloggers and developers are talking about?  

Yeah, that's right.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

LTE: Some Things To Know

There has been talks about Apple going with Verizon with their next mobile device.  iProd.  iPad.  iTablet.

We don't really know with certainty that it's coming but with faith not that borderline on religion, I think it's coming.  Now, the word on the street is that Verizon is double-timing their effort to get LTE up and running.  Apple will then release the next revolutionary production on the LTE network.

Given ATT's performance and propensity to interfere with the app store dynamics, it stands to reason that Apple will have less reason to trust ATT's network and goodwill.

Having said that, there are some things we should know about LTE networks.  Right now, it cannot do SMS or voice.  No voice protocol has been decided on.  More at Onxo that is a must read.

Now, the ideal situation for future VW-Apple-device customers is that we can get on the LTE network without interference from Verizon.  Plus, it's purely data.  That means we don't need a voice plan.  Pay a montly free for data only Buffet style - meaning it's all you can eat.

For voice, users will be responsible for their own VOIP solution.  Be it Skype or Google Voice.  My guess is that Apple is working on something (more on that tomorrow).

Source:  Onxo

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

iPhone Issues: What Issues? Work Great For Me

"What iPhone issues?  Works fine for me" is the general response I get when i talk to the folks around me about app rejections and Apple's draconian app policies.  They loves their iPhone 3GS's and take every opportunity to brandish it.

And come to think of it, why would they care?  99% of the folks out there don't care that ATT, through Apple, rejected the Google Voice app or that Slingplayer only works through Wi-Fi.  The iPhone serves their needs and to them, that ought to be the headline.  

Nor do they care that Apple has rejected apps for anti-competitive reasons.  The iPhone works.  Period.  Gaming?  Tons of them. Facebook.  Yup.  Browsing the Web.  Piece of cake.  Looking for a restaurant or ATM.  Couldn't be easier.

More often than not, it's ATT's spotty network they bitch about.  Would they recommend the iPhones to their friends and family?  In a heart's beat.  Would they continue to stick with their iPhone when their contracts are up?  Sure.  Though they hope by then, the iPhone would be available on other carriers.  

But Apple "rejected" GV apps, I would come back to the issue that irks me.  Then I just get a blank stare.  Like I'm that crazy guy on the street corner yelling about the end of the world.  

Oh, my poor poor friends who don't know what's really going on...

If Apple Developed Search

With Google CEO's leaving Apple's board of directors and the many posts now about it and a growing call or speculation about a new Silicon Valley rivalry between Apple and Google, it stands be believe that Apple will eventually launch a salvo or two at Mountain View.

And should that happen, it'll be interesting to watch.  Very very interesting.  Two giants separated by less than 10 miles (according to Yahoo Maps - trying to stay neutral in this battle, avoiding using Google Maps).  

One potential area where Apple can really shine is in the area of search, and maybe even hurt Google a bit.  If Microsoft can get Bing working after all these years trials and errors, Apple's years of software and Spotlight development experience can come up with a viable search product and maybe shake things up in the search market.

At least that is also what one ZDNet post is thinking as well.  I've long wondered about this ever since Android came on the scene.  We all know Apple isn't going to be very happy with Google's move into the mobile OS market, much less so that Chrome OS will now compete with Apple's main computer hardware and software business.  

At the same time, though not widely mentioned, is that Apple is always cooking something deep within its headquarters including its own search engine.  And more than likely, search was given a priority since competitive winds from Google got stronger and stronger.

One small drawback is that Google pays Apple to be the default search engine in Safari.  Well, perhaps in the short-term during the transition from Google Search to Apple Search, that might be an issue.  But also keep in mind that Apple might be able to charge advertisers a higher rate given that Apple users generally come from higher income brackets of our society (unforunately, not in my household).

30 million users with a potential for another 50-100 million iPhone and iPod Touch users in the world, that's quite a bit of searches and ad revenues.  Apple's search will be about results and a specific group of users, it won't need to worry about volume.  And with a savy computing market, Apple can potentially rip away from Bing and Google anywhere from 10-15% of the search market while at the same time command a premium in advertising dollars.

So, would you abandon your favorite search engine just because you're an Apple mobile warrior or Mac user?  Well, I'll certainly be very excited and definitely give it a go.  But Apple will have to get Apple Search right from day one.  

Personally, I can see myself still using Google quite a bit unless Apple Search really blows it away and I just don't see that happening.  I have nothing against Google.  I'm quite upset about Google Voice app rejection by ATT.  I've got a G1 and have learn to tolerate its rough edges.  

Overall, Apple has the best hardware-software combo.  And with the right search, watching, Redmond and Mountain View.

Post mentioned:  ZDNet

Monday, August 3, 2009

GV Is A Problem for iPhone, Not A Threat (Yet)

Google Voice is a problem on two fronts for Apple but it's not a threat.  

First, I've been using Google Voice on my G1 and I'm loving it.  If ATT folds under the pressure I'm hoping the FCC is bringing to bare, I'll love it even more on the iPhone.  So what if I'm using GV on the iPhone?  I will still love the huge app stores, the games, MobileMe integration (which I don't get on the G1), and other iPhone specific functions.

Second, GV serves to compliment MobileMe because let's face it, Apple needs to add more features to MobileMe.  Free SMS would be great.  Chatting would be even more awesome.

So, it's not a threat but GV creates problems for Apple.  One, bad publicity.  If you're aware of Apple's rejection of GV app, then you know what I'm talking about.

The other problem is that it highlights how behind the curve Apple is when it comes to cloud computing.  And it's very very far behind.  It's even behind Microsoft.  That's how bad things are for Cupertino in this specific mobile battle.

Right now, it's not a big problem because very few folks will actually leave the iPhone because they want access to a GV app.  In all likelihood, folks will abandon their iPhones on principle stemming from the GV app rejection.

But 2-3 years from now, Apple's minor GV problem today could become a huge one if it doesn't get going with a comprehensive cloud, VOIP, and other mobile agendas.

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

What are the new M4 chips? Presumably, Macs could get the M4 chip tomorrow if Apple decides to pull the trigger on them.  First, let's a...