Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Virgin Launches Project for iPad; Android And iPhone Soon - Is This The Future of Magazines?

I've yet to purchase a magazine on the iPad.  But I am going to get Virgin's new "Project" that was made available for the iPad yesterday.  It'll cost $3 per issue while the app itself is free.  And oh, a version for Android and the iPhone is coming as well.

What's interesting is that while magazine and newspaper publishers have waited eager for the iPad to save them, that hasn't happened. Honestly, I don't know what the hold-up is.  I cannot understand Apple's, specifically Steve Jobs,  revulsion for subscriptions is all about.

So, this model Virgin is using may well be the next best thing.  Instead of subscriptions, publishers can release apps and allow users to download new content on a weekly or monthly basis.  They can also set up alerts and auto-payments to make this work more efficiently.

And at $3, it is a fair price.  Much more so than the $5 that Wired is charging per issue.  I believe that the per-issue price will likely drop as the number of subscribers become more comfortable with digital (and more interactive) magazines than just print versions.  You know, economy of scale and all that. And over time, the cost to produce such products will go down as well.

Right now, the Project is a great and welcoming experiment.  I am sure a lot of people are watching to see how well it does.  

Anyway, I'll be taking a look at this when I return home.  But I do hope that Apple and Google do make it easier for publishers to sell content to mobile warriors.  

More at Electronista.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Do Tablets Need Two Cameras?

The Samsung Tab has two cameras. The iPad has none. And many of smart phones has two and more will follow. But do tablets need to have two cameras?

I can understand the need for a frontal camera has more mobile warriors switch over to video chats as a mean of communication. With Fring, Skype, and Apple's own FaceTime paving th way to the future, frontal cameras are a must.

But I have yet to see the need for a tablet to have a back camera. I can only see limited use for it. I get the need for the iPhone and other devices to have a back camera as a lot of users use their phones as a point-and-shot camera replacements.

Personally, I don't see myself pointing my iPad or a future Android tablet at my nieces and nephews.

A sales team might go out to take pictures on location but I am sure they'll likely have smart phones as a part of their mobile arsenal.

Maybe when the next generation tablets come out, Apple and others will show needs for the back camera on tablets that I have yet to find an use for.

What do you think? Do we need a rear camera? What use can you find it for?


-- Post From My iPad

Friday, November 12, 2010

NYT"s David Pogue Reviews The Tab...Sort Of

Here's a video of the video pushing the issue a bit about the Samsung Tab running the Android.

Honestly, I don't know what to to make of it. I went away thinking David Pogue might be Bill Nye's long lost...ah...something...son, younger brother?

Friday, November 5, 2010

More Companies Offering Employees PC And Mobile Choices

I am purposely avoiding the Windows vs Mac discussion or the current mobile war that is brewing on multiple fronts in this post to avoid having those issues get confused with the subject matter. So the discussion that cannot be ignored is that many companies, at least what we are led to believe, are offering employees choices of their own compuuter, laptop and/or mobile device to use for work.  If you had said this was possible 5 years ago, folks would have believed that you're crazy.  

Today, this is happening with regular frequency.  Again, I don't want to mention specific cases. These days, most posts in the media and on the blogs are about switches from Windows to Macs or Blacberries to Android devices  or iPhones.  Any time you have a market dominance such as the one enjoyed by Windows and Blackberry, the pendulum can only swing the other way.  Perhaps one day, we'll talk about the erosion of Mac or Android in favor of something more exciting or innovative.

So, choice.  This is an entirely new shift in thinking of corporate minds that are generally conservative in nature, culturally or fiscally.  What is more astounding is the entrenched nature of tech departments across the world.

It is simple to believe that CEO's and CFO's have their reason to create a uniform working culture across the board to reduce cost and foster compatibility for the sake of efficiency. On the other hand, I suppose I have misread IT department.

IT departments are entities much like any other corporate or government bodies and should be treated as such. And while individual technicians might be tech enthusiasts, once they enter the Borg-like influence of these beasts, their individuality ceases to exist and their natural proclivities are overwhelmed by the hive mind.

But walled garden has started to come down.  Why is that?

I can think of two reasons.  First, changing of the guards in the corner offices.  While Wall Street might still be high-minded in their conservative corporate views, the newer generation of executives grew up in the world of iPods and a culture that finds coolness in geekdom.  Thus, they are more open-minded about worker environment, including telecommuting. Plus, what is the IT guy to say when his CEO wants him to support a system that he currently doesn't?

This willingness and pressure to adopt new technology from outside the walls of the IT department

Secondly, the line has blurred in the last couple of years between consumer and enterprise technology. And this has happened across the board including the dominate players, Windows and Blackberry.  This was largely a reaction to competitive pressure from consumer electronics that added many enterprise features that started with the original iOS from Apple.

And just one more reason.  Tech is moving fast.  Especially mobile tech.  IT has no choice to but move along with it, kicking, biting, and crying or otherwise.  

Who wins?  Mobile warriors like you and me.


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

My Answer To Apple's Survey On My Customer Service Call About iPad 3G

I spoke to Apple and ATT over the weekend regarding a billing issue with AT&T for my iPad 3G.  Apple, interested in my opinion on the call with the gentleman who I spoke with, sent me an e-mail about the experience and asked me to rate it.  It was a multiple choice type of survey with a box at the end asking what else I think the service representative could done to help me solve the issue.

Here is my response:

NAME OF CUSTOMER SERVICE REP did great with my call.  My issue was ATT itself, and NAME OF CUSTOMER SERVICE REP was not able to do anything in that regard but he pointed me in the right direction when even ATT's own people couldn't.

ATT service is horrible.  I've got T-Mobile.  Please make iPhone available on T-Mobile. Or get ATT to learn from T-Mobile on how to provide great customer service.  I've got two iPhones and an iPad 3G through ATT.  

Each time I had an issue, it takes an average of 3 days and at last an one (one call took all day) to resolve.  With T-Mobile, I spend no more than 5 minutes at a time.

Again, NAME OF CUSTOMER SERVICE REP did great.  Nothing he could have done.  I just want to rant a bit...now I feel much better.  ATT customer service (let me throw in 3G network) sucks...


So, what did I learn from all this?  Call Apple first.