Monday, January 31, 2011

Motorola Signals New Tablet War With Superbowl Ad

Check out Motorola's Superbowl XOOM commercial.

It's digging at Apple by referring to the 1984 ad.

Awesome! I love competition!!!

It's time for the tablet way to begin. We saw a bit of that when Samsung Tab and other Android tablets took on 25% of the tablet market. Let's be clear. It isn't as if it was stealing from Apple as the iPad sales racked up over 7 million iPads and billions in sales.

The market is wide wide open for newcomers as well as current players, Apple and Microsoft. Yeah, I'm including Microsoft in all this. And it makes sense.

The tablet war will soon be joined by the one-two punch of HP and Web OS as well as RIM and its hopes in Playbook.

There's going to be a lot of trash talking in the coming days. Apple had 95% of a market that no one knows anything about. This is a war that will last years if not decades. I am looking for Google to be a strong player with Apple fighting and biting to retain the top position.

What I see is a dark horse coming along and disrupt things along the way. I don't know who but pay attention folks, it's game on. And this Motorola commercial on Superbowl Sunday is just the start.

More at Android Guys.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPod touch

Sunday, January 30, 2011

AT&T's "4G" Network Is Nothing To Write Home About

I inherited Mom's 3G iPad last week as she waits for iPad 2 with the better resolution and frontal camera so that she can conduct video chats for work and with friends. I have been using a Wi-Fi only version and more recently, bought an. iSpot for use with it to get the wireless Internet access.

And while ATT prides itself on having the fastest 3G network in the United States, I cannot be sure if that means much. And here is why.

In one day's use and based on past experiences with ATT in the past and with T-Mobile's own network and now Clearwire's WiMax service, I am in a good position to pass a long a few conclusions.

Today, WiMax is excellent if you can get it. It is wicked fast. I consistently get about 4.5 Mbps. When T-Mobile turned on their HPSA+ network last year, I went from about 1MBps on the Android G1 to about 3 Mbps. And my understanding is that things have vastly improved by quite a bit. We could be looking at speeds up to 20 Mbps by the end of 2011.

These two current scores are in contrast with an average of 2 Mbps that I am getting on the 3G iPad. There was about three bars.

However, all the speed on the world means nothing if you can't good signals. And while I might be able to see a couple of bars, I can't say that I am happy with the 3G speed from AT&T. On the iPad, I am still unable to get anything close to the WiFi signal through the iSpot or the G1 acting as a MiFI versus just the 3G on Ma Bell.

I still don't understand why that is the case. This is something that I'll probably need to get Dave the Mobile Warrior to chime in on this.

And this is a huge deal going forward. Presumably, the next iPad may have native wireless access to Verizon's CDMA network along side AT&T. Unless it is able to somehow shorten the latency time or flip a switch to boost signal, it will not matter if users cannot access AT&T's HSPA+ speed running 14-21 Mbps while the slower CDMA networking running 1-2 Mbps is accessible by users on the same area.

Trust me, Verizon will be going after potential iPhone switchers from AT&T. A side-by-side comparison of signal strength could be just what Verizon is eagerly waiting for.

-- Post From My iPad

My First Podcast Via iPod Touch That You Won't Hear

As I prep to go out into the great Sunday morning to do some mobile work at Starbucks, I decided to talk to my iPod touch as I walked out the door. With the Apple headset with the mic and the iPod touch, I started chatting away. My first attempt at a podcast.

Earlier in the week, I brought up the possibility of using the Voice Memo app on the iPod touch to podcast on the go. So, how did it go?

Well, it was a grand success. I got clear voice signal and I was definitely not going for the clarity of an indoor professional recording environment. I got the background noise that I wanted with the more natural conversational tone.

But you're not going to hear it ever. The reason isn't the sound quality, rather it is the content quality. I was woefully unprepared. I chatted away on subjects of the President's State of the Union address to the nation to how I hope the recording works out the way I hoped.

In all, it was a successful ramble. Nothing more.

The reason for doing this is because it is an ongoing attempt of this blog to maximize mobile use of mobile Apple gears for productivity. And so far, I don't know of a podcast that utilizes the iOS to create podcasts.

I am encouraged and, hopefully, with more preparation and practice, I will be able to add a new dimension to my blogs.

-- Post From My iPad

Apple To Ship 300 Million iOS Devices A Year? Let Do The Math

According to a report out of Korea Times, Apple and Samsung has signed a deal for the Korean tech giant to quadruple its chip shipments to Apple in the coming years.

The article specifically mentioned AP, application processors, which is just a fancy way of call the CPU inside the iOS mobile devices.

So, quadruple? Yeah looks like. Though it is possible that this is a misinterpretation and that it actually meant that Apple and Samsung signed a four year deal for Samsung Sung to supply Apple with APs.

Let's suppose that this article is correct with its facts and we really have no reason to believe that it's not, Apple will soon ship up to 4X the number of iOS devices! If we loosely take the number of iOS devices shipped in 2010 (which I estimates to be 80 million devices) and multiply it by four times, we are talking about 300 million devices a year.

Furthermore, the post suggested that Apple's business will take up 50% of Samsung's chip making capability, an increase of 20,000 sheets from 5,000 out of a capacity of 40,000 sheets.

I really hate to doubt these numbers but we cannot dispute the $3.9 billion in investments that Apple put forth for future parts for the iOS devices. Securing screens and APs seems like a prudent thing for Apple to do with the $60+ billions in cash. Maybe this was to help finance fabs for the AP and factories to crank out screens.

According to Apple, it could have sold more iPhones over the Christmas quarter had they been able to sell enough of it. Also keep in mind that Apple will start selling a CDMA version of the iPhone in a few days. And after that, these CDMA iPhones may well make their way to China, Japan, India, and Korea.

So would the other members of the iOS family. Many Apple may be gearing up for a major iOS assault on the mobile and tablet market unlike any on the previous years.

More at Korea Times,

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPod touch

Friday, January 28, 2011

Verizon iPhone Might Be In Short Supply, So Move Fast

Can you believe it has been almost three weeks since Apple and Verizon Wireless (VZW) announced the availability of the iPhone on America's largest (maybe second largest - VZW is disputing reports in the media that AT&T is now number one) wireless carrier and on its CDMA network.

And we are less than a week from current VZW customers getting first crack at ordering it. And the week after that, it'll be the general public's turn.

And while I am trying to stay strong and wait a bit longer, I wonder if Apple and VZW are underestimating the demands.

So far, all the folks I have spoken to are very excited about the iPhone on VZW and seemed ready to pull the trigger on it. And all surveys back in late 2010 as well as recent blog polls suggests an iPhone rout in the mobile market.

Not convinced? Let's take both Ma Bell and VZW's earrings this week. Both reported less new subscribers than Wall Street estimated. The conventional wisdom for this is that many mobile warriors held back purchases or upgrades, despite being the Holidays, and waited on faith, because we didn't know if the iPhone really was coming to VZW, that they can get the iPhone on VZW.

So the pended up demands is there. While we don't know just how much, I think we can safely say that there are going to be long lines again.

This time, however, the lines will all be outside the Apple stores and VZW stores. AT&T guys can just take it easy. At least, until June.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPod touch

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Podcasting With The iOS Devices

I once tried to recording a meeting I had with a couple of people (yes, I had their permissions) using the Android G1 and it did not come out well at all. So I tried it with an iPhone using the Voice Memos app and the quality was excellent.

Obviously, it was not to the level of a studio or even a semi-decent environment set up do record podcasts but it was workable.

So I did a test podcast with a friend at a coffee shop where you could hear the background noises.

To my surprise, our voices came out pretty clear. So I was considering doing a podcast on tech, both mobile and green tech, and on current events with social impacts.

I am still in the formulation stages but I am seriously considering doing this via iOS or other mobile devices only.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPod touch

Should Apple Release A 4" iPhone?

Should Apple release an iPhone with a 4" screen?

The 3.5" isn't all that much bigger than the 4" that we see on some of the Android devices but you can feel the difference.

And while these 4" devices are heftier, it allows more room for folks who want to see bigger images and videos.

I think Apple should consider it. Here's why. Such a device would allow Apple to differentiate the iPhone line and provide users with more choices.

After all, Apple has only one device and that is the iPhone. By providing a 3.5" and one that is 4" to 4.5", Apple can open itself up to a greater segment of the mobile market.

We can finally have the iPhone nano.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPod touch

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Next Big Thing For Apple Should Be Medical Equipment

Medical care cost are rising despite the best efforts of the Obama administration and who know what the health care reform law will do. There are just too many moving parts. While I applaud the President's State of the Union Speech last night about medical malpractice reform, more must be done and more can be done.

This is why companies like Apple should get into the lucrative field of medical equipment. Imagine what Steve Jobs and Apple doing for hospitals what it did for the content creation industry.

Ease of use, low IT maintenance, and the cost savings. I can see hundreds of billions saved when techs,doctors, and other health care personnel can easily access and operate machines to do scans and perform tests.

If Apple is looking for an opportunity to invest its $60+ billion in cash that helps Apple's bottom-line and change the world once more, this is it.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPod touch

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Verizon's iPhone Data To Be Unlimited, For a Time Only - Brilliant Move To Steal Customers From Others

Today, we got confirmation that the data plan for the Verizon iPhone will sport only the wireless data plan for $30 a month.  Plus, it's only for a limited time though Verizon Wireless declined to say what this time limit would be.

Two quick thoughts.  First, great move by Verizon to provide unlimited data.  Otherwise, this added an incentive for switchers, current customers, and newcomers alike to get the iPhone from Verizon rather than ATT.  

Second, without provide a time limit on when they'll discontinue offer unlimited data for potential iPhone buyers, mobile warriors do not know when that'll end.  Perhaps, Verizon might provide a future date when they will discontinue the wireless data plan or it might just end it abruptly without any warning.  Facing the unknown, buyers are more incline to pull the trigger than take their time getting it.

I'll be honest.  If I need a phone, I'm inclined to get the Verizon phone just to lock in the wireless data plan.   

And by not revealing just how long Verizon will keep this unlimited data plan going, the uncertainty and the expected overwhelming demand for the iPhone works in its favor.  

Furthermore, ATT is no longer sure what it should do in response.  Should it start offering unlimited data plan once more to keep users from defecting or provide parity with Verizon to attract new users?  Or should ATT wait until Verizon discontinues the unlimited data plan, which it may not if it continues to find success attracting more customers than ATT.

Anyway, this is what competition is all about, folks.  

So by not saying when it'll take away the unlimited wireless data plan, Verizon Wireless is sitting in a good position – maybe it will end it at some future data or it might not.  The point is, you don't know and I don't know and that just might be enough to get us to lock ourselves in with VZW sooner rather than later.  And judging by the comments on various blogs, that is exactly what is going to happen.

Brilliant move.

More at WSJ.

Note;  Some commentors on Appleinsider are alluding Verizon's announcement on limited time for the unlimited data plan as collusion with ATT.  Very interesting.  I'm suspicious enough of the carriers to believe this as well.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Verizon's First iPhone 4 Commercial

A clock ticks down. Kobe taking the ball down the middle of the court for a final last second shot, with the hands of Lebron and Wade in his face, to win the NBA Championship in game 7. Or Jack Bauer disabling the relativity bomb at CERN that would collapse the planet. Or the end days as we get closer to 2012.

Nope! It's Verizon Wireless' new iPhone 4 commerical. Nay a mention of the iPhone 4 until the last seconds of the commercial. But it was effective. I got really really excited. Until I realized that I'm gonna stick it out with my iSpot and iPod touch setup.

Perhaps, I might finally see the iPhone 4G or 5 on T-Mobile sometimes this year. Meanwhile, this was a pretty effective commercial. Talk about freezing the sales in time.

For folks who have been waiting years for this, this is it. This is your time.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPod touch

Thursday, January 20, 2011

15" or 17" Macbook Pro With MacBook Air Features - Like Removing Optical Drive?

We all knew when Steve Jobs introduced the re-engineered Macbook Air, the current edition last winter, much of the features it gained were from the iPad.  And Steve said much of the what MBA inherited will be passed a long to the other Macbook line-up.

Naturally, many think Steve is talking about the SDD or the month-long sleep period.  Or perhaps, and this is something that has not be brought up for a while, it is that the other Macbooks and MBP will lose the optical drive.  

The question is would users want that?  And is the market ready for such an eventuality?  

Let's examine this for a bit and see where it can possibly go.

By removing the optical drive, Apple opens quite a bit of engineering possibilities.  First, it is possible for Apple to slim things down quite a bit.  As in nearly MBA thin.  It's doubtful we'll see them as thin as the MBA because of chip and heat issues.  The MB may go that route because there are no dedicated GPU inside of them.

On the other hand, the MBP line have dedicated GPU that can contribute quite a bit of heat.  Obviously, we are assuming that Apple has not already found a way to dissipate the heat from the CPU and GPU.  But we have seen Apple do the impossible and leap ahead of its competitors.  

For now, I think Apple, by removing the optical drive, can slim down the MB or the MBP quite a bit more but not MBA thin. 

Second possibility of is that Apple keeps the same form factor of the current MB and MBA even after removing the optical drive.  What can Apple do with all that space?

I've got some ideas and they might be wild:

  1. Add more battery.  Right now, the Macbook and Macbook Pro are rated 10 hours and 9 hours of use respectively.  I love to see that space used to pack more battery and increase use by 30-50% more. That'll be good fro a flight from SF to Tokyo.
  2. Room for more SSD.  You can never have enough space.  So why not allow additional SSD to be inserted in place of the optical drive?  
  3. Room for a second CPU.  This is one of the more crazy idea.  But if Apple is about mobile, I would love to see this happen and I think it can especially on the 17" MBP.  This would be a designer's dream machine.  And I can use the power for my Final Cut projects.  
  4. This is the craziest idea of all.  Add an iOS device in there.  Allow users to have the dual use of the great screen.  Consider this a 13", 15", or 17" iPad.  The trackpad is fully capable of functioning and substituting as the screen's touch functions.  The electronics that house and power the magic of the iOS devices is so miniaturized that, while I admit this is a crazy idea, can fit into the space where the current DVD drive sits.
A bit more about point number 4, fitting an iOS device into the Macbooks.  Think of this as selling two machines in one.  Furthermore, this Apple can increase profit margins because it doesn't have to fully build out the iOS device like it would have to otherwise - battery, memory, and LCD screen.  

I'm all for getting rid of the DVD drive.  I haven't used it for a while and I've got plenty of options when it comes to viewing my DVD collection at home.  And much of them have already been converted into digital copies so I can already take them on my Macbook or iPad.  

I hope this is what Tim Cook said on Tuesday's earnings call when he reiterated that the Macbook Air was the future.  I like SSD and long sleep but I also like removing the optical drive to make better 21st Century use of that space.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

February Will Have a Busy Second Week

You want proof that 2011 is going to be very very important for mobile?  What? CES wasn't enough?

CES in the first week of January did not end quietly as Apple and Verizon lit things up with the CDMA iPhone last week. This week, we had a bunch of earnings, trashing talking during earnings calls, and, oh, Steve Jobs taking his 3rd medical leave of absence.

We might have a quiet week next but Sony may be brewing a PSP2 meal for us.  I'm hoping to see a PSP phone as well.  

Just about the only week we might have a bit of time to catch our breath is the first week of Feb.  Then mobile activities will spike from there.  Check this out:

  • Feb 7th: Sprint is hold a mobile event.  Calling it a mobile first.
  • Feb 8th: Dell will likely show off their smartphones and new laptops
  • Feb 9th: HP jumps back into the mobile war with Web OS 2 and new hardware.  Maybe a couple of slates.  Probably some smartphones too.  

That's the second week.  We've yet to hear from T-Mobile but I can see that they'll probably save their best for the Mobile World Congress that'll take place after that.  

Basically, what you're seeing is a bunch of companies and carriers lining up at the scrimmage line, positioning their pieces, and waiting to work hard for our hard earned dollars.  

So,  get ready for what's ahead.  Come back here for analysis.  Do research.  And when you're finally ready to pull the trigger on your next smartphone or tablet, I have a feeling you will have the best stuff that these companies have to offer.  

And if you're a crazed mobile warrior like me who follow the industry like folks follow sports, you're in for a treat.  These events are like bowl games.  Each with their own theme and personality.  Loving every bit of this.  This sure makes up for a boring December.

Two Companies Hurt Most by the Verizon iPhone

According to an unofficial and certainly non-scientific poll taken by Business Journal, a full 40% are ready to jump over to Verizon for the iPhone.  Still, even at 30% (maybe the poll points to 50% because this is not scientific after all), that is quite a high number.

And maybe this is good for Apple, it certainly isn't good for a few companies with a lot to protect and, maybe, even their futures are in jeopardy.

Let me begin by saying that none of them is Google.  Android is going to be huge and nothing is gonna stop it.  Not Apple.  I'm also not saying that Google will rule the mobile realm but I am just saying that Android is here to stay.

The first company I think will be going through a lot of pain is RIM.  RIM was thrown aside when its Storm was unable to match the iPhone blow for blow.  And with the iPhone going on sale on Verizon's network starting Feb 3rd, I can see sales already coming to a screeching halt.  And it might get worse if Apple opens up the iPhone to Sprint and T-Mobile.  

Even with the Playbook, it might not be enough to stop enterprise adoption of iOS devices as workers take up Apple's mobile gears.  And if you didn't know, Playbook works okay as a standalone tablet but only shines if it is coupled with a Blackberry.  Well, if less folks are using Blackberries, what's the point of the Playbook then?

The second company I think that will get hit hard by the tsunami of iPhone sales through Verizon, though the effects will not be as immediate as it will be for RIM, is Microsoft.  Why?  Because of this pattern.

As consumers, who also happen to be workers, adopt the iPhones and iPads and take them into their workplace, they may inevitably rely less on Windows.  And the halo effect of the iOS devices are strong.  And that could be more iOS and Mac sales for Apple.

Don't believe me?  Apple just sold its best ever number of Macs at over 4 million and along the way, moved over 7 million iPads.  The number for iPad will increase in 2011 as Apple also add native support for Verizon's CDMA network.  

So far, Microsoft has not positioned Windows Phone 7 as well as I hope.  But 2011 through 2012 will determine just how much Microsoft fades in mobile or whether it can mount a Steve Jobs-like comeback.  

I seriously doubt that Apple will be able to repeat the dominance it has had on the ATT network on the Verizon network.  But even if it manages to attract 30% of mobile users to use the iPhone, this will have devastating efforts on Apple's competitors across the mobile market.

Note:  On ATT's network, the iPhone outnumber Android devices 15 to 1.

Preliminary Speculation on Apple's nearly $4B Payment For Future Tech: I think It's About Glass

I'll have more to say on this but right now, I want to give my initial speculation on what I think Apple may have paid upfront for with the $3.9 billion Tim Cook mentioned in Apple earnings call yesterday

Glass.  Not just LCD or the Retina screen that many folks are speculating about but glass that goes on the iPhone.  The gorilla glass from Corning.  And more than just trying to find a stronger material for the iPhone, Apple is looking to add touch put to the underside of the iOS devices.

Beginning with the iPhone.  Probably not iPhone 5 but I'm guess it'll be for iPhone 6 and beyond. 

And while this doesn't mean twice the LCD screen, it does mean twice the type of glass that's needed to take in touch controls.  And a few weeks ago, there was a new patent granted to Apple that allows the touch contacts to be placed closer.  

Speculation then was that it will allow Apple to make thinner iOS devices but it could mean that it'll allow Apple to add touch to the bottom of the iPhone or iPod touch without increasing the thickness of the devices.

I've got other speculations on what Apple might have put the nearly $4 billion down payment for.  But this is what I'm most excited to share with you.  Again, these are my own speculations and one that I like to see.

Back touch input will put a whole new dynamics in how we interact with our mobile devices.  I fully expect other device makers to be looking into this.  But if I'm right, it does look like Apple has a jump on everyone else again.

Friday, January 14, 2011

iPad 2: CDMA or GMS Version?

Cat’s out of the bag about Apple offering native CDMA support for Verizon. And given the timing, it’s not likely Apple will offer this support in the current iPad. Rather it’ll have to be for the iPad 2.

Now’s the important question: should you get the CDMA version or the GSM version of iPad 2?

For me, it’s a bit more complicated. I’ve got the iSpot that I use as my main wireless Internet hub. However, I am still interested in the 3G version of the next iPad because of the added GPS functionality that is likely to be available only for the 3G+WiFi version. Right now, I rely totally on the WiFi signals where I happen to be, which is useless since I already know where I am.

The cell signal on the iSpot is good but not great since there are parts of LA that still have no WiMax coverage.

So you see, this is different from deciding between getting an iPhone or an iPod touch. With the iPhone, you’re required to sign up for a two-year contract in order to get the GPS function. Having said that, which version should I, or you, get? And for a moment, forget that I have to pay a premium for the 3G with GPS version of the iPad.

I like the possibility that the CDMA version running on Verizon’s network might have unlimited data access. You might ask why would I need it since I can obviously get faster WiMax through the iSpot.

Well, between the two, I would use the iSpot because, for one, I’m already paying for the service. And you’re right, it’s also a faster service. But call my decision about this saving up for a rainy day.

See, Clearwire is in a bit of a financial trouble. It has quite a bit of debt and, recently, one of its main investors, Sprint, passed additional investment. I am a bit worried that one day, I’ll wake up to find out that wireless Internet through my iSpot has been shut off because Clearwire can’t pay its creditors.

And then there’s the announcement from Virgin Mobile that started throttling its “unlimited” service after 5GB of data has been reached. Clearly, Clear can do the same thing to its customers as well.

By going with Verizon, it's possible iPad users might get unlimited wireless Internet for $30 a month. With GSM, you obviously have to go with ATT. And Internet access is metered at $15 a month for 200MB or $25 a month and you get 2GB. Sorry, that isn't anywhere nearly enough for my needs.

Now, you might argue that with ATT, you get faster 3G access. However, what is the point of having faster limited access? It only means that we get to the 2GB limit faster on ATT.

I am leaning towards the CDMA version. But I still hope out hope that competition from Verizon might prompt ATT to wise up and go back to the unlimited Internet access it once offered when the 3G iPad first went on sale.

Outside of my unique situation, a regular mobile warrior's need would be a bit different. I think most folks will look favorable upon the CDMA version should Verizon give users unlimited 3G access.

Consider the situation, anyone can think of a reason to get a GSM iPad anymore?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

T-Mobile Wants the iPhone And Diss Slow Networks of Rivals Carrying It

T-Mobile is my network of choice. CDMA doesn't work for me and until Verizon has build out a sufficient LTE network, VW doesn't work for me. And forget ATT. So I don't mind the series of commercials that dissed ATT's poor wireless coverage (perceived or not, I don't like ATT).

And now, T-Mobile has released a new commercial that dissed both of the US networks that carry the iPhone. And it's a great one.

Having said that, Seattle Times is reportedly got a T-Mobile representative on record saying We would be interested in offering the iPhone, but ultimately it is Apple's decision".

So would commercials like this put any chance of the iPhone on T-Mobile in jeopardy? No. T-Mobile disses the carriers but not iPhone. Just like a year or so ago, it was Verizon that dissed ATT in a near identical good-natured manner.

And here we are a year later, a CDMA iPhone.

Will it take another year before T-Mobile or, for that matter, Sprint get their own iPhone? It's like the T-Mobile rep said, it's Apple decision. While I hope it will not take that long, keep in mind that VW's CEO made a similar statement about six months ago.

More at Seattle Times.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Future iOS Devices Found In New iOS Codes

We are 3 to 4 months away from a new iPad and about six months away a new iPhone if past Apple patterns hold.

And tech blogs, many Apple- or iOS-centric ones, have been focused on new codes denoting models that have not been released.

There are some explanations for what they are. MacRumors has provided their own.

  • iPad2,1
  • iPad2,2
  • iPad2,3
  • iPhone4,1
  • iPhone4,2

I have read other explanations about what they may mean.  And generally, it made sense.  Regardless, here's what I think as far as the iPhone and iPad on the market for sale.  If you can wait, I would, just like I am doing right now.

I am in the market for a new iPad so I can pass along my current one to my nephew.  But if you need one now, the iPad is second to none in the tablet market.

And if you're in the market for an iPhone, the iPhone 4 is only at the midterm of its cycle as the top mobile device from Apple and it is by one the best smartphone on the market.  You can't go wrong with it.  And obviously, you will have the option of buying from ATT or Verizon Wireless on Feb 10th.

But you want to wait, I don't see why not.  Buy now or buy later, there is always something new that will come along the way.

More at Macrumors.

White House App, Tuscan Memorial, Need Update For Comments

I watched the full memorial service at University of Arizona on CSPAN.

It was a great speech by President Barack Obama. So I wanted to see what the White House app on the iPod touch offered in the way of news and a better video of the president's 30-minute speech.

I took some screen shots to show you.

I like this very much. I think apps like this can work both ways. Government apps can allow messages and news to be conveyed and stay in touch with citizens.

What I like to see is some way for citizens to voice their ideas and concerns through the apps as well. President Obama has expressed concerns about the cocoon that is the White House and the layers of security and aides that stand between him and Main Street.

Forget the Blackberry that the President carries. He needs to get an iPhone and just have an updated White House app that allows him to read comments from the voters.

Again, great speech by the President tonight and a decent White House app. Let's see if it can be improved.

iPhone: Switching Carriers, Depends On Where You live

Before Tuesday, the thought of choosing between Whig carriers to get your iPhone would not have been possible. Now that you can get the iPhone from Verizon or AT&T, there is much you have to consider.

And no, you don't automatically go with Verizon. In this post from Yahoo News, one of the analysts made an important point.

You get the iPhone where you have the best signal between the two carriers.

And if you already have one, it depends on where you live. If you're in an urban area with a high concentration of iPhones using the AT&T network, you might consider taking a look at Verizon if you are having a hard time getting calls though or have connection issues.

However, if you're doing alright in a less dense area with lesser concentration of iPhones, AT&T's superior network would be a better pick.

Where I live, I see iPhones just about everywhere. Going with Verizon might be a smarter choice.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPod touch

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

For Some, the CDMA iPhone Is Perfect

I don't talk a lot on my phone and that's why I no longer have it.  And as you know, my iPhone and G1 has been replaced with an iPod touch and Clearwire's iSpot which costs me $25 a month of WiMax access. And for folks like me but aren't willing to go to such extremes to avoid paying for voice minutes I don't need, the CDMA iPhone is perfect.

Now, one of the complains about the CDMA network, not specifically about the CDMA version of the iPhone, is that it cannot allow the mobile warrior to talk and use the data simultaneously.

However, for some folks, that might not be a huge drawback.  For most mobile users, talking and surfing does not occur all that often.  It's either or.  

And if you're paying for about the same price, I think the CDMA iPhone is probably a better deal.  Here's why.

It's beginning to look like Verizon will offer new iPhone users unlimited data access.  Albeit it's on a slower CDMA network compared to ATT's newer HSPA+.  But we're talking about mobile access here, not downloading huge 2GB movies.  

Plus, as I imagine it, most people will be socializing on the Twitter or Facebook apps, gaming, or surfing away on the browser.  There simple is very little need or time for chatting. Worse case scenario, get a Google Voice app and have it alert you of incoming calls, voices, or SMS.

And yes, data could cost $5 more at the high end of the data plan with Verizon but it is unlimited.  Personally, I don't see saving an extra $5 with ATT's limited data plan worth it.  Seriously, that's like just one trip to Starbucks these days or 40% of the cost of a movie ticket.

Note this though.  While I did not hear anything about VOIP like Skype or video chat through FaceTime, imagine being able to do that with your CDMA iPhone as much as you want.  But with ATT, you're limited by the 2GB monthly restriction when using Skype or other VOIP apps.  Furthermore, ATT does not allow Facetime use over 3G.  

And if you absolutely must chat, Verizon seems to have a better connection than ATT.  With ATT, what's the point of a faster 3G network when you get drop calls or simply unable to make connections at all.

Again, this really depends on the user and what you're mobile habits are.  If I did not have the option of the iSpot and I'd have to choose now between ATT or Verizon, well, you know which I'd go with.  

Note:  This post isn't a slam against ATT. If you know me, my disdain for the wireless providers is universal.

Another note:  Between ATT and Verizon, I'd pick the CDMA iPhone if I had to.  Right now, I am happy with my iPod touch and iSpot hook-up while keeping an eye and ear out for a T-Mobile version of the iPhone.

2 Hrs Until iPhone-Verizon Event

Judging by my last few posts, you know very well by now that I am immensely excited by the fact that we are ever closer to having the iPhone available to Verizon customers.

And in the last, I have said that I am a dedicated T-Mobile customer, I just might be swayed if this was a LTE rather than a CDMA model.

Having said that, I have gotten up early this morning, did my workout, came into work early to finish my morning tasks (e-mails, faxes, phone calls with folks in other time-zones). The mocha is set and my buttered bread ready to be toasted.

I have allocated the hours between 8AM to 10AM PST for nothing other than to enjoy the live blogs from a variety of sources and to read about the post-event thoughts.

It's likely I'll get nothing done for the rest of the day as I chatted excitedly with friends about what we've seen or be disappointed by what we don't hear.

I wonder, on a macroeconomic scale, if Apple events have an impact on loss of productivity.

Monday, January 10, 2011

8 Hrs Until iPhone-Verizon Event; Pass On That $49 iPhone 3GS, Now, Thank Me

ATT lowered their price on the iPhone 3GS and Apple followed with their own price drop today. And no, it's not a competition between Apple and ATT. Rather, it's likely a concession to ATT from Steve Jobs' softening heart (dude's become a wuss of late). Or it could be a previous contractually agreed upon move.

Regardless the intention of this 50% price cut, don't get it. You'll thank me for this.

Here's Why.

The iPhone 3GS was a leap and bound ahead of the iPhone 3G. It was a spectacularly more powerful device and it really bought serious gaming into the iOS ecosystem. Not only that, it was a very strong device with a very long battery life when used moderately.

However, all those praises I just lavished on the 3GS means nothing now that it has been eclipsed by the iPhone 4. And who knows what'll happen in two or three weeks or months. Apple might time it right and lower the price on the iPhone 4 (say by $50 to bring the 16GB model down to $149) when those new phones from running on Android and dual-core chips from the just ended CES finally goes on sale.

And we know for sure that when the iPhone 5 (or iPhone 4G) goes on sale in June, the current iPhone 4 will sit nice and pretty at $99.

Back to the 3GS. Even if Apple doesn't lower the price for the iPhone 4 until June, the $150 will seem like nothing as you happily enjoy all the features of iOS 4 as it was mean to. And thought I have only the latest generation iPod touch and not the iPhone 4, I know what I am talking about.

The speed alone is well worth the $150 premium.

Having said that, if you must get the 3GS, I can say it is without a doubt, the second best mobile device out there. You won't be disappointed, especially if you compare it to the other phones on the market. Just make sure you're not comparing it to the iPhone 4.

10 Hours Away from iPhone-Verizon Event - Expectation of a CDMA Version May Mute Subscriber Response

One of the most amazing thing about the average Joe mobile warrior today is how informed we are.  This includes the busy doctor, the throng of soccer moms, and my mom who is a grandmother, business woman, and who's English is okay but no what I consider spectacular.  And of these folks know about the iPhone coming to Verizon, you can bet they also know what network it'll run on.

That's exactly what my mom e-mailed me about over the weekend.  She wanted to know if the Verizon iPhone would run on the CDMA network only or on both the CDMA and LTE network.  Yup, she knew the difference.  And if this grandmother knows this distinction, so do other folks with better English able to go on the Web and do their own research.

See, these days, we're all pretty tech savvy.  Having said that, my mom said she'll only get it if this is a LTE iPhone.  AndI get the feeling that is what a lot of folks are wonder too.  Some might not care.  They just want an iPhone that does not require signing up with ATT for two years.

I kinda of agree with Mom here.  I don't reckon I'm gonna be okay with the CDMA version and I'll probably wait until the next big release from Apple in June.  I don't know if it'll be the iPhone 5 or the iPhone 4G, being that it is a LTE version.  

So I think the response will be a bit muted until then.  Oh, Apple will still move millions of CDMA iPhones but I am more cautious about those optimistic 10-12 millions that Apple is expected to sell just through Verizon alone that Wall Street is expecting.

Now, if Apple surprises me with a T-Mobile version capable of HSPA+ connection, we'll get four of them right away.

BCS Game Not Watchable On The iPhone or iPad

I am watching the BCS game between Auburn and Oregon on the MacBook. And while I marvel at the ability to do that, I lament the fact that I cannot do it on my iOS devices.

Why is that, EPSN? Why is that, Disney? Steve, why not?

Hopefully, next year, I will be able to do that with my iPad 2 while I FaceTime with a buddy of mind who is a huge college football fan.

-- Post From My iPad

Ahead of iPhone Launch, Trash Talking Between ATT And Verizon, Android Deals Coming

We are less than twelve hours from Verizon officially introduce the iPhone on its network and something funny has happened. ATT and Verizon have started getting into it on Twitter.

This isn't just trashing talking. This is a new form of psychological warfare for the dollars and minds of the mobile warriors.

First of all, I don't see many of us coming to the aid of either of these wireless providers. After all, for too long have they tormented us with stupid fees, limitations, and anti-innovative schemes. Second, some of the stuff they say about each other are truth, especially all the negative stuff because we have been saying them for years.

Now, one of the things that we can expect from iPhone on both two of the largest networks is that for anyone else who doesn't care about the iPhone, you're potentially looking at great deals.

Anyone competing with the iPhone can expect deals in this young year should the iPhone uptake at Verizon be as huge as it has been at ATT. I can see handset makers from Motorola to HTC to Samsung doing deals to maintain momentum they carried over from 2010.

And for those rumored not to get the iPhone, such as Sprint and T-Mobile, they will be looking to protect their subscribers.

Anyway, we will have some better idea tomorrow at 8AM PST when Verizon makes it official and we know what Apple and its newest mobile partner has up their sleeves. A week or so later, we can see their competitors respond in kind.

I love competition!

More at Techcrunch.

-- Post From My iPad

Apple Selling iPhones on Verizon May Be Good For Google

I was going to say that having the iPhone on Verizon is a good thing for Google largely.  Why would that be?  Would it not mean that there will be less Android phones like the Droid or the Galaxy devices sold to run on Verizon's network?

Here's why it's good but it could be turn bad really quickly.

Right now, some of Android devices being sold by Verizon are using Bing (including the Fascinate) as the default search engine.  Meanwhile, as far as we know, the iPhone's default search engine is still Google.  And while on the surface, Google wants Android sales to continue to go up or hold its own against the iPhone, there is no revenue going to Google if users are searching via Bing on Android.

So, selling less Android devices but more iPhones on Verizon might be a good thing for Google.

Unless one or more of the following happens.

Apple has a contract with Microsoft to use Bing as the default search engine for iPhones running on Verizon.  

Second, Apple plans to bypass mobile search and use Siri as the default search gateway for just about everything.  After all there was a reason why Apple spent $200 million to buy Siri to begin with.

And I wholeheartedly believe that Apple will try to disrupt traditional search in a big way.  And not just on mobile.

A third but much more unlikely scenario is that Microsoft pays Apple to rid the iPhone of Google entirely.  That, like Apple's Siri plan, would definitely hurt Google big time in the long run  And this may be something that Steve Jobs is quite open to if there are enough trucks in the world to move all that money to Cupertino from Redmond.

iPhone Pricing: 3GS Lower, Wonder If More Is In Store From Apple And Verizon Tomorrow

Just today, I learned that Apple has lowered the price of the 18 months old iPhone 3GS to $50.  So this begs the question why and what will fill the $100 price point.

We can easily speculate that the iPhone 3GS isn't sell well at $100 compared to the $200 iPhone 4 so lowering the price of the 3GS to $50 makes it more palpable for those looking for an iPhone but aren't willing to go into the $200 range.  And with a $150 gap between the iPhone 4 and the 3GS, it makes it an easier choice to make.

But what will sit at the $100 price point?  It is hard for me to fathom Apple leaving it wide open for Android or anyone else on the market.  And while Apple might see fit to lower the price of the 16GB iPhone 4 to $150 to reestablish the $100 gap between the 3GS and the iPhone 4, I doubt that will happen.

So, I am going to look into my transdimensional pool and travel into another universe where anything is possible.  

First, Apple lowers the price of the iPhone by $50.  Makes sense.  This will put a lot of pressure on its competitors.  And between the Samsung Galaxy S at $200 or an iPhone, its easy to go with the iPhone $50 cheaper.

Second, Apple lowers the price of the iPhone 4 by $100 to get the iPhone into the $100 price range.  This will hurt the market of its competitors big time. And I think this is a very likely scenario.  In any kind of contractual agreements, there are no longer exclusive agreements with Apple which may allow ATT to buy iPhones at a lower price.  

Between the $50 or $100 price drop scenario, I think the $100 is far likelier to happen.  

A third unlikely scenario is the launch of a new iPhone model sitting at the top.  Maybe Apple will surprise us with an LTE iPhone that commands a premium with 32 GB of storage, which would give Apple reason to lower the price of the iPhone 4 to $100 or $150.  Any number of new features would enable Apple to do make this move.  I can see folks willing to pay a premium for the fabled white iPhone or one with NFC capability.

What is more likely is that lowering the iPhone 3GS to $50 provides ATT with the coverage and competitive edge it needs to convince new users and some upgraders to stay with it using the 3GS as bait.  

However, Steve Jobs goes to NYC just to say "you can now buy the iPhone to run on Verizon" seems a bit much.  Perhaps he's there to clarify his previous statements disparaging the CDMA technology or unveil iPhone 4G.  

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Disney's One Million Book Apps Proves Apple Needs iBook SDK

Disney reported that it has pushed out more than one million ebooks to iOS loving children.  And adults I'm sure.  I cannot underscore the significance of this enough.  In a previous post I published on December 29, 2010, I had suggested that perhaps, Apple should create release a SDK with a subset of tools for the iBooktore.

An iBookstore SDK.  This will provide a more enriching experience for writers and publishers for the readers.  After all, the iOS devices can do so much more than read books.  If you want to do just that, the Kindle or the Nook would suffice.  

And interestingly, these one million books are not ebooks.  Rather, they are iOS apps that are books that provide text and rich media like sounds, pictures, and video clips. The sales volume from Disney is a testament to this idea.  I created book using Shutterfly for my nephew last Christmas.  If there was a tool to easily create an interactive ebook, I have all the materials I need to do just that.  Heck, I might even be able to sell it on the app store if there was a easy way to create what I am talking about.

So, Apple.  Time for you to step up and seize this moment.  I have a suggestion how Apple can do this easily.  And there are two routes Apple can do this:

  1. iWorks.  Pages has all that we need in terms of layouts.  And Keynote provides a page-by-page presentation.  The combination can be used to create an interactive ebook app.
  2. iAds tool that Apple released for develops is a great opportunity for users to create apps running.  From what I understand, it is an even easy tool to use than the iOS SDK.

Obviously, creating an iBookstore SDK that can publish to both the iBookstore and the app store would be idea.  And this would be a golden opportunity for Apple revolutionize the book industry and, more importantly, how contents are created and consumed.  Let text readers have their ereaders.  For anything else, there's the iOS devices.

More on Disney's 1 million book app sales at TUAW.


iPhone 2G - Legacy iPhone, What Do You Use It For?

I am writing this post on my Macbook but I am listening to the latest podcast from Maccast.  And Yesterday, while I was donating a couple of units of platelets, the nurse whipped out her iPhone.  Earlier in the week, there was another iPhone that was still being used.  Now, seeing iPhones in public isn't like seeing the white tiger but seeing the original iPhone still in use is.

And while I know a few other folks who still happen to be swiping and tapping away on their iPhone 2G, they are quickly giving way to the iPhone 4.  So I want to know what they will use it for once their uses give way to more and powerful models.  

For myself, there is limited use as the battery life in my 3+  years old iPhone begin to give and crap under years of charges.  There is a slight crap on the upper right corner of the glass though unless you're looking directly at it, you can't see it.

Still, it works well as an iPod.  And while I go on runs, I use the iTreadmill app that more or less give me a sense of just how I am doing.  Accuracy in the general sense.  It's also a good device for my nephews to practice on.  In particular, the 14 months old loves to play with the pond apps and stare at his fingers and hands wondering why they're not wet.  

My mom has graduated to the iPad 3G for her Internet and Web use and her iPhone still works as her main phone. But years of drops has her claiming that the volume is erratic and sometimes, she does not see incoming calls.  But when needed and near a Wi-Fi hotspot, she is still able to e-mail and use the camera function.  

I don't know what the nurse was doing on her 2G iPhone.  I thought about asking but she seemed very immersed in her experience.  But I reckon she could be chatting away on SMS or updating her Facebook status complain how her patient's veins were so freaking hard to find.  

Here are some points that I think the 2G iPhone still shows that its still got some fight left:

  • Browsing is still a first rate experience.  So far, not even anything from Nokia, RIM, or Android's browsers come close.
  • A rich library of apps in the hundreds of thousands still work on the iPhone 2G.
  • Slow on the 2G but let's be honest, 3G use is still spotting while the 2G network, EDGE, still provides the widest coverage.
  • For Facebook, Twitter, emails, SMS, it can handle all your social needs as well as anything else including the iPhone 4.
  • Multi-touch.  Intuitive.  Only its iPhone cousins match its use.
  • Ease of use and clean UI.  Again, this is the only area where the 2G iPhone is matched by other newer iPhones.  And while devices on other mobile OS like the Android might be able to do more, it does not mean it is easy to use.  The 2G holds itself well in most areas and still manages to exceed anything else on the market.
  • 2MP camera.  Alright.  Not the 5 or 8MP that are on the iPhone or competing devices but for quite shots, it is still okay.  
  • Jail-breakability.  It has gotten easier over the years.  This is me we're talking about and if I can do it, it doesn't get any simpler than that.
  • I can go into specific tasks that the iPhone 2G can do but it would have been apparent that you can do them on other devices.  And these would have been tasks that 90% of the things you do on a PC anyway.  E-mails, todo lists, texting and IM, surfing the web, and other rudimentary tasks.  So yeah, the iPhone is still powerful for every day use.

Back to me.  There are a couple of main issues that is keeping me from using the 2G as I did in the past.

  • The battery life, I've mentioned above, was not quite it was like before.  And it is one of the main reasons that has kept from me using it even as a phone.  
  • The speed.  Having been on the iPad and the 4th generation iPod touch, I can say the slow response and using more of the sophisticated apps is maddening.  It's no fault of the iPhone.  Rather, it's largely due to the age of the device.  Once known for speed and the revolution features it sported, it has now been passed by the new iPhone editions.  It's the nature of things.  
  • Limited features.  The iOS 4 was the OS where Apple took the iPhone and really showed the world what mobile computing and communications was meant to be.  Folders, multitasking, and push notifications are just some of the new features that allowed the iDevices to stand further ahead of competition.  The increase ease of use is also something that may never be matched by other mobile OS platforms.  Unfortunately, the iOS 4 cannot be installed on the 2G and is stuck in version 3.  This is also the nature of things but I really love having folders.

Having said all that, I am not about to give up on my original iPhone.  I bought it outright from ATT to keep me busy when my dad was in the hospital for cancer treatment.  And it has been so good to me over the years and while it has been relegated to a glorified iPod, it still provides quick access to weather, stocks, and even quick memo recording.  

And the design is still unmatched as far as I am concerned.  The aluminum back cover is just nothing that was not matched until the Gorilla glass back of the iPhone 4.  And forget about the competition, shall we?  They're still stuck on the cheap plastic covers that are easily scratched up.  

So, this is what I plan on doing to prolong the life of my 16 GB 2G iPhone.  

  • I'm planning on sending it in to have the battery changed later in the year.
  • Having the front glass plate changed.  The crack I mentioned does not impede use but if I'm gonna get the battery changed, I may as well have that changed as well.  Or should I keep it and have it serve as a scar from the mobile experience?  

So, if you're still on the 2G, you still have one of the best mobile devices out in use.  In my opinion, this was the start of the mobile revolution we are currently going through.  It was upon the 2G iPhone that the current crop of iPhones and competing devices was built on.  And the future owes itself to this social-changing device from Apple.

And I owe it to prolong its use.  

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Excited About the iPhone On Verizon? Yes? So Are These Folks At CES

While I am hoping for an LTE version of the iPhone, I think we're a little too early for that. But nevertheless, I am happy about the prospect that in 6 months or so when the iPhone 5 or iPhone 4G comes out, I will have a choice of network providers.

Here's a video WSJ provided. They interviewed a few folks about it. Yeah, they're excited. Too bad T-Mobile has not made an announcement of a special event where Steve Jobs might possibly show too.

Notice there was quite a bit of ATT trashing. Come on, Apple. T-Mobile's HPSA+ network is sooo ready for the iPhone too. Maybe June?

Source: MacDailyNews.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Mobile War – Gaming Front and How Pivotal It is

For folks who don’t use their iPhones or Droids for gaming, that’s fine. You’re a Facebook, Foursquare kind of dude or gal. For the rest of us do are in this for more than casual gaming, having a wide selection of top tier games is important and gaming itself is a very big deal to those companies that provide the mobile platforms.

It’s important to Apple, Google, and anyone else who want to topple them. It’s why Microsoft is pushing the games they’ve got and what Windows Phone 7 can offer in terms of gaming. Don’t’ think that there isn’t a special Halo version coming to Windows Phone 7. Yours truly will be the first in line to get one.

And now, gaming will become instrumental to even app stores. Just this weekend, Amazon opened up their own Android app store. JB knows that there’s a lot of bucks in selling those 99 cent apps. And even more importantly, some app stores, in order to stand out, will likely request exclusives.

Earlier in the year when Angry Birds became available on the Android platform, it was available exclusively to GetJar and no one else. Not even Google’s own Marketplace that sits on every Android smartphone. How’s that for a coup?

Oh, and the wireless carriers have their own app stores in case you’re wondering. And soon, just about every hardware maker, if don’t they already have one, will have their own flavor of app store. Dell, LG, Samsung, Sony already has a vibrant PSP store that it'll likely channel over once their Android-based PSP phone is ready, HTC, and many others.

And who started all this? Apple. But there were app stores even before Apple came along and created a market for the iOS. That’s another matter entirely.

Back to gaming. This year at CES, the headline seemed to be about tablets and which one would dethrone the iPad.

Unfortunately, there’s was something just as important but it got lost in the media blitz. Nvidia’s dual core CPU, Tegra 2, that just about every Android tablet worth buying is running on and a few new mobile devices running on it.

Soon, hardware for WP7 will also sport the same Tegra 2 chip or similar ones.

And Apple is probably readying and itching to unleash their next generation hardware running on newer chips that I reckon will rival anything Nvidia has to offer.

All that graphics muscles and what for? Games. What else could be for? To run Flash? Puuuleaze.

When Steve Jobs gets onto the stage in a couple of months to introduce the iPad 2, he’s not going to demo how cool 3D mapping is. He’s gonna have an army of guys from EA, Sega, and others demo what the iOS platform has to offer in terms of next generation mobile gaming for hard core gamers. And bloggers will drool all over themselves reporting it.

And that could make the difference in the mobile war.

Going forward, I continue to believe that exclusives will be offered on one platform or another just like what’s going on now in the console war. And that will be just as pivotal as the processing power and the sheer numbers of gaming apps.

So, look around. As pretty as some of the UI coming out of RIM or Web OS is going to be on their smartphones and tablets, without games and apps in general, the 18-35 year old demographics are gonna avoid them like the plague.

And while the majority of millions of mobile warriors, who were good in 2010 and found themselves rewarded with iPads underneath their trees this Christmas, probably aren't hardcore gamers, having more gaming apps than what they know to do with is is better than having none at all.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPod touch

Special Verizon Event Next Tuesday

Verizon Wireless is planning a special media event next Tuesday in new York.

Speculation is that this is the fabled iPhone with CDMA support and the venue looks like it might be true.

What does this say?

First, this is a CDMA phone, not an LTE version. And second, Verizon is just another carrier and nothing beyond that will be shared with the public.

Still, for any other company, this would be fantastic news. However, this is Apple no less. Gaining an extra eight to ten million new users just isn't "special" enough for a full on Cupertino treatment.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPod touch

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Mac App Store Impressions

After dinner, I finally got an opportunity to play around with the brand new Mac app store that appeared magically on Intel Macs all over the land, provided you upgraded your OS to 10.6.6. Once that little business has been taken care of, you'll notice a small icon that appeared on the left-hand side of the dock.

So, good is this app store for? And who does it benefit? And will this translate into something that will be as successful as the iOS app store?

App Piracy: Does Offering Free Apps Help Stem Theft?

You would figure that 99 cents is not a whole lot to pay for a decent app.  However, you'd be surprise just how many folks will go to length to avoid paying for it.  I don't get it.  Developers put in hard work and paying them that isn't really asking a lot.

But since the inception of the iPhone store, many app stores including the Android Marketplace has sprung up.  Web OS has its own as does Window Phone 7.  Almost no mobile platform I know of does not have an app store.  In fact, though you might be not aware, Android has quite a few operated by carriers, hardware makers, and, apparently now, even Amazon.

And while generally paid apps vary in quality, I have to say the price reflects just how much users are willing to pay for it.  But piracy is still rampant.  

And with some developers offering both paid and free but ad-supported versions of their apps, I wonder if that has helped things some what.  I really hate to find out that folks will continue to pirate paid apps to not only avoid paying developers for their work but avoid ads as well

In my own little world, if I were a developer, I probably would offer a free and a paid version just to cover my basis.  

So, any developers out there know how things have turned out?  Does offering free ad-supported apps help stem piracy of their paid apps?  

Apple, Thanks for the Mac App Store - Now, How About iBookstore for Mac Too?

iTunes, Then the app store for iOS.  After that we got the iBookstore also for the iOS.  And today, we got the Mac app store.  And while my Macbook is at home waiting for me to update it to 10.6.6 so I can start downloading Aperture for dirty cheap, I want to know when the iBookstore will come to the Mac too.

It does make sense that Mac users, possibly even Windows users, will want to be able to read and buy books from the iBookstore especially if they also own an iOS device.

I know I will.  I spend a lot of time browsing on Safari, for Mac and Windows, to check out apps before I purchase it for the iPad.  I think this is a similar behavior repeated by millions of users.  

I know I'll do that with an desktop iBookstore as well.  Fine, don't let us read the book except on an iPad or iPhone but at least let us browse and buy books we want and have it remotely downloaded to the iOS device or iTunes for syncing later.  

What do you think?

Note:  Just so I don't make a bigger ass of myself than I already am, I checked iTunes to see make sure Apple did not sneak iBookstore in there for desktop purchases.  I was not able to find it.  

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

iPad Versus Everyone Else

Is this about Apple and its iOS versus everyone else more like iOS versus Motorola versus Samsung versus RIM versus HP versus Sony? I can go on and on and name more companies in the mobile and tablet market. However, the gist is with many of these same companies fight to for a piece of the Apple pie, what are we Apple fans suppose to think about it?

Well, first, I want to say this is a great thing. More likely than not, competition has given us a lot of tech that we might not have otherwise seen on the market. Google and Android has certainly up the game. And let's be honestly, there are areas where Android is doing better than iOS such as voice control.

And it becomes necessary for Apple to try to catch up or surpass any advantage that Android might have over the iOS. And that is a great thing.

Today at CES, we saw a slew of tablets based on the Tegra 2 chip by Nvidia promising to run on Honeycomb, Android only version for tablets. And from the looks of things, Android tablets have come a long long way since the Samsung Tab running on Android 2.2, which by the way, cannot be upgraded to the latest Android tablet OS.

Imagine if Apple had done that to us original iPad owners. Regardless, I fully expect Apple to up the game when it comes time for the iPad 2. And let's be clear, looking at the specs from these new Honeycomb tablets, I see a lot of promises but we have yet to see Google and its partners deliver on the experience. And by no mean does it mean that competitors managed to create an iPad killer.

I still put the iPad head and shoulders above the competition. Nevertheless, I hope this has kicked Apple in the butt and force them to try and pull further ahead. And I fully expect Apple to deliver more powerful specs in the next iPad version but more importantly, I like to see Apple show us what else this magical device can do that no one else can.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Intel's Sandy Bridge In Macbooks Should Take Performance And Battery Life To A Whole New Level

Right now, Macbook users should be happy with Apple has to offer. I've got the late-2008 unibody Macbook and I'm happy with Apple offered then. And obviously, in what should be another great Christmas for Apple, their brand new Macbooks are giving users something to smile about.

But wait until you see the next upgrade that Apple is likely to offer. Intel's new mobile offering, Sandy Bridge, should offer even greater performance over all.

I won't be able to get into into too much detail here. But let's just say that I think I just might be compelled to upgrade the next time around.

Anandtech has a very detailed post on Intel's new mobile solution. I think it's worth a read, especially if you did not pull the trigger this past Christmas. Judging by the battery life and increased performance in graphics, future Macbooks should gain measurable performance increase.

More at Anandtech.

CES Impact On Apple - Summary

We know Apple's impact on CES this week. Even though a no-show, as expected, Apple has a huge impact and it shows.

Competitors are out in force with just about everything they've got to throw at Apple. On deck today was Asus.

It showed off four tablet devices running Windows 7 or Android. Some have keyboards while others are just touchscreens. One of them even can detach from the keyboard.

The Transformer, as it is called, showed the largest promise. With the keyboard attachment, the 10" tablet-network runs a combination of 16 hours running on Nvidia's Tegra 2 chip.

And with an entry price at $399 for the 16GB, it does look like iPad competitors are off to a strong start.

Obviously, we cannot take Asus at their words. Not until folks have had time to play with it and see for themselves. But forget about the tablets running Windows 7 or anything that running other than Android 3.

This is the tablet to watch. Tomorrow, we'll see others get into the ring.

One more thing. The Transformer, like many Android 3 tablets won't be available until June. So, these guys will not be going up against the iPad. They'll be dealing with iPad 2 or whatever Apple decides to call it.

Monday, January 3, 2011

What Does Disney, Netflix, Dell, and Sony All Have In Common?

What does Disney, Dell, Netflix, and Sony all have in common? Well, one way or another, Apple has dealt with them directly as competitors or in cooperation to gain access to media for the iTunes ecosystem.

However, there's one more that these four companies have in common as it relates to Apple.

And what would that be?

iPad and WWDC Prediction: Apple Will Upgrade Siri And Users Will Not Be Able to Choose Between ChatGPT or Gemini

At this year's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), Apple is set to unveil major upgrades to its virtual assistant Siri. These enhanc...