Sunday, February 27, 2011

Seniors and Mobile- Make It Easy To Use And They Will Come

I was pretty elated when I saw her eyes lit up on how easy it was for her to send emails, initiate video chats, and, of course, advance through the early stages of Angry Birds.

All this was done on the iPhone. And yeah, the iPhone is legendary for its ease of use. The simplistic UI just works.

I think the folks, like my mom, aunts and uncles, are an unserved population in the mobile market. I would like to see Google and HP examine their OS and products and honestly see how they fit in for the boomers.

And despite the global economy in the pits, this group have quite a bit of money.

My mom had even using her iPhone for years and iPad for almost a year now. She used it for just about everything she previously needed a PC for. And she never goes anywhere without one or more of her iOS devices.

And more and more, I see folks with smart phones. No, let me correct that. I see more of them with iPhones and anyone else who want to get in on it, they need to go back to the drawing board and rethink their whole strategy.

Right now, Blackberry OS is not even close to being user friendly in general. Android is subject to carrier and developer changes and I don't see anything on the market that is good for seniors. Nor is Windows Phone 7 or Web OS. The iOS's icon based UI and sliding menus work.

Note: Once the new iPhone 5 is out on other networks, I will be moving my mom and her friends away from ATT. They are just not consumer friendly.

-- Post From My iPad

Saturday, February 26, 2011

AT&T: You Suck And You're Gonna Get Hit So Hard When iPhone 5 Comes Out

For years, we suffered at the hands of ATT's draconian rule because they were the only one we can get the iPhone from.  But it was not just the bad signals, dropped calls, and lies but it was also the stupid charges here and there.

My credit card was compromised back in December.  It was also used for auto-pay for our iPhone accounts as well as our T-Mobile plans.  After reporting suspicious activities on there, all charges to the card were stopped.

Now, maybe it was my bad that I didn't update the information with all the companies I use that card to make payments with but all of them were understandable about one missed payment that was quickly rectified once I received e-mail notifications.  

Except one.  You got it.  Our iPhone overlord, ATT.  Not only that, they proceeded to charge me $40 for some kind of penalty.  Seriously, WTF?!

All I know is that we're moving away from ATT for all things.  I'm happy with my WiMax access and my security company can use other means to contact my home security system.  Adios, ATT for home use.  And certainly, ATT can say good bye to our business lines.  I am just itching to call them up and rid my life of this horrible company.

And I am sure a lot of my fellow mobile users are the same boat.  And you know what, we might just see some preview of the mass exodus when Apple releases the iPad 2 next week.  We'll see how many people sign up with Verizon instead of ATT.  It's too bad because I really like T-Mobile and I would certainly move our iPad plan over to T-Mobile and cancel my ATT access. 

Because ATT sought fit to screw me over $40 for a late charge that no one else is, they stand to lose over $55K in combined services over 12 months I've gotten rid of and and will soon be.  In the grand scheme of things, it's not much to a multi-billion dollar company but the thing is, I'm not the only one. 

No matter what Wall Street is saying about ATT's stock, I, for one, will not be buying into it in the coming months.

Friday, February 25, 2011

SSD Coming Along But Still Expensive

It's taken a while but solid state drives, SSD, are coming nicely. What I mean is that I see them more and more as an option from the major PC makers.

Everyone from Dell to HP to Apple, its MacBook Air being very popular over the Holidays and demand has not let up, are using them as a premium add-on.

Now we are seeing SSD sizes at more affordable prices. Not only that, the drives are bigger. Still, I am not quite ready to pluck down $1,500 to $2,000 for a 480GB drive.

For that kind of money, it would be more economical to get a whole new laptop. Say a MacBook Air with 256 GB or storage.

So what is in your laptop or MacBook? Have you moved onto a SSD or consider making the move in the near future?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPod touch

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Mobile Payment Is Coming In A Big Way

The mainstream media has not caught on to it yet and I've talked about it here from time to time. But be prepared to be bombarded with tons of media reports, blogs, tweets, and e-mails about it in the coming weeks or months.

At week at the Mobile World Congress, near field communication, NFC, was being talked about as if it is the next holy grail of mobile. And to a follower of mobile happenings like myself, this is a big thing. In as few words as possible, NFC allows payments be made through mobile devices.

Think of this as what you can already do at Starbucks. You can order and pay through the app. Well, this will happen in a much much better way. There are a couple of devices on the market with NFC capability, specifically, Google's Nexus S. But as with some technology, being first doesn't mean much.

However, it is largely expected that Apple's next iOS hardware updates, including the next iPhone, will support mobile payment. And I expect an explosion of next generation Android devices to support this as well.

I really recommend reading up on it because just about everyone from your bank, credit card, wireless providers, and hardware companies will be getting in on this lucrative new business. Oh, and retailers would love this as well.

Also, there are also security concerns you'll need to be aware of.

So get ready media and ad blitz coming our way. I'll be devoting much much more attention than I have in the past. I started talking about almost two years ago, pointing the ease that the Japanese users have been able to enjoy with paying through their cell phones for years.

It'll be our turn soon.

It's Official: iPad 2 Announcement Coming on March 2nd

Here it is folks. The moment you've been waiting for. Apple is due to officially unveil iPad 2 next week, March 2nd.

Here is one bit of speculation on my part. There has been talk that Apple has already shipped some crates of new merchandise to its stores and retailers. The speculation is that they are new updated MacBooks.

But what if they're not? Could they be iPad 2 units instead?

More at World of Apple.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPod touch

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Bloggers Just Refuse To Face Facts About Apple's Subscription Plans - Trashing Apple Better For Business

This is my comment response to another uninformed post with a click-bait headline.  This time, it's from one of my favorite site about ebook and publishing, Teleread. Their headline is "Steve Jobs muddies Apple subscription waters further with 'clarification'". 

I've been reading a lot about the Apple subscription issue so I can gain a better understanding of what Apple is trying to do and where the grievances are.  After all, isn't that the best way to go about getting a handle on things?  

When I first read that Apple would take 30% of all subscriptions, I was flabbergasted.  30%!  Piracy!  As it turned out, this is way below Amazon's 70% cut on Kindle subscriptions.  Publishers are not concerned about that.  What they are not happy about is that Apple still will not share with them the vast and rich treasure trove that is the iTunes ecosystem that Apple spent the better part of the last decade creating.

Here goes:

How did Steve Jobs' e-mail muddying things up?  I thought it was exceptionally clear.  This is especially tru ewith respect to Readability.

Readability became a publisher of sort when it decided to become an aggregator of published media, posts, columns, articles and it sells them as a subscription.  If instapaper, Evernote, or anyone else tries to become active participants in distribution of content, their apps will be coming publishing apps.  Dropbox can eventually enter in their service as well and the Dropbox app will too become a publishing app.

And yes, if Twitter or Facebook starts to charge for tweets/posts/articles, they'll need to fork over 30% of their subscription revenues and it would be a pretty good biz for them and gladly give Apple its cut because they're not even doing it now.  As a matter of fact, all the above mentioned companies with apps should maybe think about getting into this business because it's a revenue stream they currently do not have.  

And there will not be any antitrust issues beyond preliminary probes - Readability needs to get a lawyer and he or she will tell them they've got no case.  Basically, Readability tried to game the system and failed

Bottomline: Publishers aren't complaining about the 30% cut (Amazon takes/took 70% cut from publishers - where's the outrage?).  Bloggers are (see note below for why that is).  What publishers are not happy about is the opt-in part about subscribers sharing personal information so they can sell that information and spam their subscribers. Readability came up with a biz plan that doesn't not work within the framework and going public in this manner is their last resort.

What's not clear is what this means for Netflix, Hulu, and other music subscriptions.  But I hope they are exempted.  I'm sure Best Buy, Amazon, and the few other smart service providers who aren't going around trying to trash Apple in public are trying to work things out with Apple.  

Here is the original Macrumors about the Steve Jobs e-mail.

Note:  Here's the thing, my fellow mobile warriors.  Trashing Apple is a good way for bloggers to get folks to click onto their sites.  It gets people fired up on both sides of the issue.  Writing about the facts doesn't bring in the clicks but it doesn't require leaving the moral compass at home.  So if and when Apple screws over Netflix or the music apps, I'll be back to vilify Steve and company.  Now, that would help me gain readers!

Monday, February 21, 2011

iPad As My Newspaper and Novel - Sunday Morning Experience

I went to a Sunday brunch at Souplantation. It was the first relaxing Sunday I've had in months. Left any mean for others to get in touch with me, I decided Sunday morning was fine.

But I needed something to read why I had my breakfast. Instead, of the Sunday papers, I decided to take the iPad. Okay, so it was a device for someone to get in touch with me But it was Sunday morning. I know fees people who wakes up before noon.

How did the iPad work as a replacement for the papers?

Are you playing games. That was what some bratty kid, who sat in the next booth, wanted to know. No I answered. I was reading the newspaper.

I got a weird look and she never bothered me after that.

And I was. I started with The Daily, Rupert Murdoch's new news venture for the iPad. It was okay. I started reading an article from the day before while it downloaded the day's "papers". After a while, it just crashed. I was not able to working after that.

So I moved onto The Project. It was okay in that the app worked better than The Daily. But I was not able to download the latest issue because it would not let me download the latest issue through 3G. So I read over some old stuff.

At that point, I could have moved onto the browser for news but I decided it was time to move into a book. I fired up the Nook app and continued reading the zombie book that I left off of on the iPod touch. Muy impressivo, I though to myself. The app synced and automatically bookmarked my previous spot. Nice.
At that point, I was ready for some more OJ and eggs. Unlike a book or newspaper, I could not just leave my iPad on table. There wasn't all that many people around but I didn't want to tempt fate. So I took it with me.

I read a couple more chapters. It felt really natural. This was not the first time I read a novel on a mobile device. I have been reading on a mobile device since Palm was owned by US Robotics. But the 9.7" screen was a much better read. And it was indoor so there was no issue with glares.

Over all, I am very impressed and happy with the experience.

And if millions of users are just as content as I was using the iPad for reading news and books, publishers, beware. Whether it's Apple, Google, or someone else's subscription plans, the old days are finished. Embrace the future, guys. Innovate.

More and more folks will be continue to read Sunday papers but it won't be on papers. It will be on the iPad and other tablets.

-- Post From My iPad

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Public WiFi - Looking Over My Shoulder

I went to get an oil change for my car this afternoon. I had a book that I want to, a real book so I figure I'll be able to find diversion for the hour or so that I would be sitting there. But if I needed to connect to the internet, there was a public WiFi should I choose to use it.

I didn't. There was a few of us waiting and we started talking about the All-Star Weekend. Still, had I chose to use it, it could be a bit scary.

If I did end up access it, I find it prudent to look around and see if anyone else is around because, as you may or may not now, an unsecured access point is just a recipe for disaster.

Now, I admit that from time to time, I even go as far as to access sensitive personal information through a Borders or Starbucks WiFi. It is definitely something I don't recommend and at the time, I told myself that it looks like only a few people are on the network and they look like nice people.

Still, who knows right? No identity theft criminals is going to go around identifying themselves. And there are more ways than one for someone to steal information zipping around within the public WiFi bubble. Even without a laptop, someone on a mobile device that could have been trying to steal information from me and I would have no idea that was happening.

There are a couple of things I do once I get home. First, I clear all the cache, cookies, and anything I can think off to rid any data collected from surfing the Web during the public session. Then I changed the passwords of the sites that I might have used.

As a matter of fact, I created a Google account just for this purpose. I am a religious user of Reader on Google. And I use this public account just for this. If by some chance, it is compromised, not a whole lot is lost and nothing of value was put in jeopardy. Even then, I still change the password once I return home or at the very next opportunity I get.

I think I've got an advantage in that I've also got my iSpot from Clearwire with me. It can provide me with up to 4 hours of Internet access. There is always that.

But that is not an option that I imagine many readers have. So if you do have to log into a public network, make sure you do it knowing that your data up for for the grab and that you protect yourself by changing passwords when you get home.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPod touch

Ebooks And Online Sales Killed The Best Way To Discover Books

I know that going to the libraries is the best way for anyone to discover new books.

But with the invasion of superstores like Borders and Barnes and Noble in the 90s, they quickly became a family destination and the go-to place for looking for books to read.

And now, even that these super bookstore companies are in trouble as more users buy books online for the price and convenience and made worse in the last couple of years with the explosion of ebook sales.

I am sitting at one of the upstair windows of the Pasadena Borders store, one of the two hundred slated for closure due to the financial trouble and bankruptcy facing the Borders Group, facing the street on this rainy Saturday. And looking around, i find it ironic because it's so crowded here.

Well, everyone is here for the 10-40% closing sale.

There is a feeling of sadness in the air. The zombie-like faces of the store workers was pretty evident. Still, I have to say that they are working on even when one of them lamanted "this was still a Borders yesterday".

So where do I take my nephews to discover new literature? Well, I have been pushing for my brother to take to the library.

How about you? Are you affected by these closures? Also, are there effective ways for users to discover new books online?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPod touch

Location:S Lake Ave,Pasadena,United States

RIM: Will Ship 4th Gen Playbook In Weeks, Months, This Decade (It's a Joke But Must Read)

RIM's Playbook is kinda tied into the Blackberry for some services and it's not as severe as some in the media is misrepresenting it.

What the media really missed is that the Playbook has gone through so many changes since we heard about this back in the fall of 2010, October 25th to be exact. And Yes, in a couple of months, we will be in spring of 2011. And it's possible that the Playbook will not ship until summer, fully 9 months after the Playbook was announced.

That is the sin that the media committed. And you know why this is and allowable? Because RIM is now perceived as the underdog. Even yours truly have been giving RIM waaaay to much rope. And it's not a good thing. All that rope will only allow RIM to hang itself it it doesn't deliver.

So, when is the Playbook shipping? In weeks? Months? With 5G wireless access? More at Greenjava.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Mobile Future: It May Be All About Voice

Google has done a fantastic job in giving Android a voice, that is, the ability for the user to state keywords for search or send text via voice. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

In a couple of generations, it’s highly like that voice commands as well as the ability of the mobile devices to speak to the user is going to be a very important feature. And if this is implemented correctly, it is entirely possible this will radically change how we interact with our mobile devices as well as traditional computers.

However, it will take some doing to get to that point. I’m specifically referring to transferring much of the button pressing, touching, or swiping to voice. And it will require the mobile device to distinguish our individual uniqueness as well as our temperaments.

Suppose you want to compose an email. It may need to examine your writing style to effectively know how you write and combine that with your speech pattern – for instance, if a pause in mid-sentence is the end or just you contemplating what to say next.

This will require a very clever AI or, at the very least, sophisticated algorithms that can define specific parameters and learn them for the individual users and have the ability to transfer that from device to device.

Is this possible in a couple of years or with the next two or three OS updates from Apple or Google? I don’t’ see why not especially with Google's experience in providing voice commands for Android and its search is second to none. Plus, Eric Schmidt has said that Google can predict the future if it wanted to.

Perhaps, Google does not need to go quite that far to provide an interactive Android that can have verbal exchanges with its users. The device will sit in a permanent state of anticipation, waiting to recognize the user’s command voice, and execute whatever need is required of it.

For instance, while I think Google Map’s navigation is pretty need, I might want to ask the device how much further in the middle of the drive. It would be cool if it could continue to guide me and still answer my query.

Steve Jobs: Well Enough To Sit Next To the President Of The United States

Though this photo from the White House Flickr page showed only Steve Jobs from the back, he certainly did not look like those horribly faked photos from the National Inquirer.

Good to see him in black. Kind of funny if you think about it.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPod touch

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Steve Jobs Was Confirmed To Be At meeting With The President; Meeting About The Future (2012 To Be Precise)

Reuters has confirmed that Steve Jobs was indeed present at the dinner with the President of the United States in San Francisco tonight.

That is fantastic news. And I hope President Obama was able to have a serious conversation about America's technological lead and innovative energy. Earlier, I write that I hope some sort of discussion about green technology took place.

And it is interesting that Reuters dedicated a whole piece on Steve Jobs and nothing on the actual content of the night's discussion.

But as I read the post, I came to realized that this maybe nothing more than to provide the President political cover with those who believe he has lost the support of America's businesses. That this meeting is more about the President's future and 2012 than America's future.

I cannot understand what meaningful contribution the CEOs of Twitter and Netflix has to offer on maintaining America's technological edge and learning.

Nor can I fathom what Facebook's Zuckerberg can possibly offer the president on any number of issues that ail our economy, energy policies, or K-12 education. Seriously, what does violating privacy time after time have to do with innovation at all?

More likely, the presence of the heads of these social and media companies was merely to serve as a reminder to a segment of the electorate that the President Obama had dinner with the guys who designed a way to efficiently mail them their DVDs and offer a way for them to share their lives with anyone who will read about it.

But who knows. Maybe Zuckerberg was there for the political gravy and President Obama did get some serious advices from the likes of Jobs, Schmidt (Google), Chambers (Cisco), Ellison (Oracle), and Levinson (Genentech) that will help him to get America back to innovating and working over the next couple of years and beyond.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPod touch

President Obama's Meeting With Tech CEOs: We Need A Steve Jobs Or Henry Ford For Green Tech

At the moment, at the writing of this post, President Obama is meeting with a few of Silicon Valley's heavyweights, Apple's iconic leader Steve Jobs and Eric Schmidt. And though there are many thoughts and conjectures about what the meeting could or should be about, there is one thing that I think many missed.

Green tech. And right now even with tens of billions invested by the federal and state governments in incentives and grants and private investments, we are still a long way from getting off foreign oil and those pesky climate warming (or changing) coal.

What we need is a Steve Jobs for green tech. What we need is for President Obama to ask one of those tech visionaries to leave his current position and take up post at a new company that would revolutionize energy conservation and renewable energy production.

Imagine a healthy Steve being talked into taking reign of this new company. And it would have to be a private enterprise, perhaps with some grants from the government. That is as far as governmental involvement should be.

As a matter of fact, the Obama Administration should clear a path for this Steve Jobs led endeavor to succeed.

And how would Steve Jobs be convinced by this challenge? Better question is why would he do this?

Because Steve is Steve. The man who revolutionized computers, brought us the iPod, unleashed on the mobile market a device unlike anything they have seen before, and has once change how we work and play with the iPad.

Because it not him, who? Zuckerberg? Exactly.

And most importantly, Because Steve Jobs' ego is big enough for the challenge.

And yes, I am optimistic that Steve Jobs will beat what ailment he is offering from and has a lot of milage left to change the world again. Maybe even twice over.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPod touch

Left iPad at Work...Uuugh

I left my iPad at work. Stupid I know. And thought it was going to come in hand for me to get some work done around the house with it playing video on Netflix or a podcast.

I am on the iPod touch now and that is probably why I am not suffering from withdrawals or hoping into my car to go get it.

Still, I had planned on using it to do some diagrams.

So what does that say about the state of the tablet? Well, I don't think I have established a workflow that require it on a daily basis.

Plus, the iPad in large part is a device for media consumption. Tonight, I've enough media diversions until I can get back on track tomorrow.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPod touch

President’s Meeting With Tech CEOs Will Produce Nothing And Here’s Why

While I’m optimistic about our future in general, that I’m just that type of a kid, I don’t find that anything will come of the meeting between President Obama and the tech giants in Silicon Valley tonight.

Many of these guys are his supporters to start. And while this makes for a nice photo op and probably to solidify his support for 2012, President Obama is even more constraint in what he can do. The coffer in the national treasury is still pretty barren and he now has to contend with Republican majority in the House that are plotting to make sure he doesn’t win re-election in 2012 and a population that showed its impatience with the Democrats in 2010.

But like I said, I’m optimistic. I am, however, keeping one eye on reality. For instance, many firms will like to see a tax holiday for corporations to bring back overseas profit at a much lower tax rate.

As the average mobile warrior who’s got bills to pay and such, I think its probably pretty simple. I think this is likely to find bipartisan support and while much of the cash will go back to shareholders, I think even if 5-10% is reinvested would be positive in the current economic climate.

I’m certain the President will get great advice and ideas on education and innovation (Steve Jobs will be there, who better to ask about that) on tech and green initiatives, the layers upon layers of aides seem to only stymie any genuine effort by the President to keep America as the envy of other nations.

Perhaps, the best option is something that was born in the aftermath of the Cuban Missile Crisis. The Red telephone. It served as a direct link between the Washington and Moscow. Perhaps, Steve Jobs should give the President an iPhone that only works to serve as the direct link between the White House and nest of innovations that is Apple, Google, and other tech companies in California.

Apparently, that Blackberry the President has been carrying around for the last couple of years hasn’t helped.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPod touch

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Apple's Steve Jobs And Google's Eric Schmidt To Meet With President Obama Tomorrow

Okay. This is huge. Like him or not, Steve Jobs was put on this death bed hours earlier by the National Inquirer. Now, ABC News is reporting that the heads of these two tech giants will meeting with President Obama in San Francisco tomorrow night.

This meeting is a part of the President's agenda to bring closer businesses to help America stay ahead of the pack in research and innovation.

Honestly, who better to throw ideas with than the two most storied companies in Silicon Valley. And if anyone knows about being a visionary and coming from behind, it's Steve Jobs, like him or not.

And obviously, Schmidt's management of Google and turning it into search and mobile powerhouse, is likely to have a couple of ideas on how to make the US stay on top. Schmidt, like him or not, is on top of his game.

And I just want to say that ABC News could be wrong about this and there is an ever so slight possibility that the National Inquirer is right about Steve Jobs. And Maybe I just don't want to believe it. But man, if anyone can advise the President on education, innovation, and research, it's Jobs.

More at ABC News, MacDailyNews.

Note: Zuckerberg will be there but I can't think of a reason why.

-- Post From My iPad

Sony's tablet - just because Apple is doing it

Sony will come out with its own 10"-ish tablet running Tegra 2, loaded with Playstation Suite, and its own ecosystem.  Also, it'll be based on a customized version of the Honeycomb.  I'm guessing that once it's ready, it'll probably have Sony's own app store instead of Google's

I don't get specs on this thing.  Why not quad-core like the NGP?  I'm expecting a quality device from Sony but still, this will be competing with the NGP which has a beefier number than this Sony tablet.  

It'll be competing with the NGP for sure because it'll add confusion to Sony and PSP fans.  It's like Sony is building this because it has to.  Everyone's doing a tablet, so why not us?

It's $599 price isn't bad though.  Expect this later this year.

More at Android Guys.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Apple Subscription: Seems Fair

I am sure all the bitching, moaning, and crying to the adults helped but after reading the details of Apple's subscription policy, it seems to make a lot of sense.  And quite frankly, it's fair.

If you bring in your own readers/viewers, you get to keep all the money.  Your did all the work.  But if we helped you out, we get a cut of the pie.  For Apple, that's 30%. 

Oh, and with personal data, it's opt-in, not opt-out like Facebook or Google.  So, that means we have to actively say that publishers and whoever they sell our information to can have access to our personal data.  Good move, Apple.

My only issue is that the 30% seems a bit much and I'm sure with some content publishers like Rupert Murdoch, he is powerful enough to be able to call up Steve Jobs and ask for some kind of a special deal.  

So, I hope after this week, all this nonsense will stop.  And here's what so great about competition.  Google, Nokia, Microsoft, RIM, or HP can totally say to publishers can say we'll take nothing from you.  And that might further change things at Apple.  

So the more things change, the more things become the way they should be.

More at Apple.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Wifi Chips Need To Be More Battery Friendly

Over the weekend, I took my MacBook out for some time at Borders. I had to do work on the laptop that I cannot do on the iPad at this time.

And this is an older MacBook. Late 2008 and the battery life has been put through it's paces in the last couple of years. According to a battery utility, it's got 80% left of the original charge left. When it gets to 70% or less, I'll probably have to decide if I should get a other battery or invest in a new MacBook.

I turned it on and it attached itself to the free wifi. And the battery indicator said there was 2.5 hours of work I could do. But I wanted to spend my afternoon there working so I turned off the wifi.

It has been quite some time since I've done that. The long battery on the iPod touch, and specifically, the iPad has really spoiled me. The battery life jumped to four hours!

I was there for about four hours and got about three hours of work done so there was some change left in the battery had I wanted to stay longer.

But my point is the wifi chip. What a power hog! I hope today's wifi chips are more battery friendly. But if they are not, someone need to invest some time and research on making wifi use more efficient and the chips draw less and less power.

We'll be using wifi for years if not decades more. Bring mobile isn't just about more efficient CPU, display, or bettery batteries. It's about other components of the mobile devices or laptops. And it's also about programming for power management.

For now, wifi chip and its ubiquity is one area that I see that can help mobile warriors work longer and worry-free.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPod touch

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Borders Bankruptcy: Sad And Maybe There Is No Road Back

I am writing this post sitting at a table at the Borders store in Pasadena. I love coming here to get work done. And I generally like the music, crowd, and the overall atmosphere.

Which is why I was really saddened by the reports that it would file for Chapter 11 protection last Friday.

I tried to buy books locally here when I can. Personally I love Amazon's prices compared to the retail prices here. Who doesn't?

I bought a technical book, a couple of books for my nephews, and a large latte. I checked the prices online afterwards. I could have saved about $20 if I bought the them online.

That is not the worst part. I am browsing through Orson Scott Card's "The Lost Gate". So far I like it and I am contemplating getting it. And since I don't need it right away, I can buy it from Amazon or Apple's iBooks store.

Buying it from Borders will cost me about $25 after tax because I have the paid membership rewards card. The book is $14.32 on Amazon.

And if I was to decide to buy the ebook version, it's only $11.99. That IS the worst part. Barnes and Noble has its own struggles but they are not as bad as Borders' financial troubles because they have the popular Nook ereader and a loyal following. Borders' own ebook plan is nowhere as popular.

I truly fear for the mom-and-pop stores and, now, Borders as well.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPod touch

3D on Mobile - Nice To Have But Few Real Needs So Far

LG is pushing hard into 3D with mobile. The next LG phone and tablet for T-Mobile in the US will have 3D capability. I really applaud their first mover status in this market. It can make a difference. But as for mobile 3D, I'm still out on just how big a market it will command and just who will use it.

Nintendo will release the 3DS in a matter of weeks and 3D in gaming is something that only a small segment of the consumer market can look forward to.

3D camcorders adoption has not quite pick up pace nor has 3D televisions. It will take many more years before 3D is evolved enough as a mature technology so that regular folks like myself will compelled to adopt it. However, as the technology move mainstream, what uses are there?

Imagine a day when a doctor is able to bring his tablet into an appointment and show the patient 3D medical scans. Miners are able to see 3D images of routes to make their passages safer. Or possibly military adoption of 3D use on the battlefields or humanitarian missions that will open up new doors for the technology.

It is possible mobile market will ease the way to 3D use in the consumer market that home entertainment has failed to do. Now, it is easy to bring up Apple in this matter. After all, using hard drives in MP3 players did not become widely used until Apple introduced the original iPod. If Apple starts using 3D tech in its iPhones and iPads, it can help but that still might not be enough.

Someone has to demonstrate 3D use to the average mobile warrior and lead him to a self-realization of how they could have lived without it. From there, it goes into the living room.

Who will that be and how will it be done is history that is still being written. We've seen failures so far but success is assured. Maybe it will be 3DS or LG's mobile 3D that open the door and someone else charges through and changes our perceptions once more.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPod touch

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Too Much Mobile Still?

I decided to stay in Saturday night because I had a full today out today and I didn't want to exhaust myself.  And I thought I would get some house work done.  But I didn't really get to that.  A bit too much mobile still.  

I got a call from overseas via Skype.  My mistake was answering it.  It was a video chat.  Fine, interesting.  But it turned into a two-hour long conference.  I realized I was still somewhat of linked to my mobile habits despite cutting off my G1 data plan.

See, about six months ago, I got rid of my T-Mobile data plan to cut back on being so connected all the time.  Then I got the iSpot from Clearwire to use with my iOS devices when I needed to.  But with the ubiquity of Wi-Fi at home, that is a bit hard.  

I am contemplating to go one of these weekends without my mobile devices.  I may even go to the extreme of heading to my hometown for a weekend.  Stay in a hotel and leaving my iPad and phone at home.  I'll bring my laptop, which is fine because though it has Wi-Fi, I am unlikely to pay for access.

And to stay in touch with folks, I'm gonna have to make all arrangements ahead of time. You know, like we did before cell phones and e-mails.

Friday, February 11, 2011

HP’s Web OS Touchpad Will Insanely Cost $699

HP’s Touchpad will cost $699 for the 16GB model. This is from a source that whispered this information to Boy Genius Report. But I kind of want to put this out there even though I don’t like posting rumors.

However, I’m making an exception this time and this is how I’m framing it. I hope this is just a feeler that HP is putting out to the blogs just to see how people will react.

When it comes to launch, we may actually see it at a comparable price to the iPad with the same storage capacity. Otherwise, HP’s endeavor in the tablet market will be in for a lot of hurt. More than that, this is just the Wi-Fi model. How much will the 3G model eventually cost?

Now, this is why I think HP could be pulling an Apple. Before the actually iPad launch, Apple leaked to the media that it was going to cost $1000 and as much as $2000. But history told us it was much much lower.

Perhaps, this is where HP is trying to mess with the minds of its competitors. In this case, it isn’t really Apple that it wants to get at but Motorola, Samsung, and RIM. The Xoom is priced at $800 while the Tab is kind of everywhere. And RIM’s Playbook will probably go for around $500 because if it’s smaller size.

So I want to be clear. If this leak did come from HP to GBR, then it’s having the effect they wanted. People are reacting. And we are reacting negatively.

Let me repeat this. HP, $699 is too much. $599 And you might get more than just Web OS and hardcore Palm guys to bite (like me), but not much more. We have other options like Android.

So, I hope you receive this message clearly, HP. Eat some of that margins or it’s gonna get ugly for Web OS quickly. The Web OS is a very excellent OS. From the look of things, better than iOS and Android. But it’s not gonna matter if no one will buy into it.

One more thing. HP is the biggest PC maker in the world. I think they can leverage their position in the market to source the parts they need to be competitive.

More at BGR.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPod touch

Sony May Pull Content From iTunes: Example Of What Is Wrong With Content Providers

Sony said that content providers were being held ransom by Apple and its iTunes. Sorry, I disagree. I think it’s the ineptitude of content providers due to their archaic thinking that makes them feel this way.

Here’s why. First, iTunes is very closed. Nothing on earth comes even close. Having said that, it should be easy for anyone offer a service to compete with iTunes. And we definitely have seen how easy that is can be done with all the plethora of services, brands, and devices over the year. And yet, they’ve all failed in their own unique way.

What isn’t not unique is that how they’ve failed. I think it’s because of DRM and music studios trying to bleed their users and restrictions they put in deals. Even as the content battle is currently unfolding and iTunes success in the future is hardly guaranteed, the future tech and media historians will see if any failure to stem piracy and promote competition will rest in the hands of the providers who hold the media rights.

And at times, instead of working together, you have studios working against one another or have varying motives. Take Sony for example. Music is a failing part of the empire but it continues to hold onto the rights because they hope it will help it sell its other products and services. As far as BMG, Universal, and others, they don’t care. They want to sell music. Not help Sony sell its phones or TV.

So when I read that Sony was contemplating pulling its content from iTunes, I say let them. That means more music for the other studios to sell on the largest music store in the world.

What content providers need is an open exchange where they make everything available to all the outlets and customers. Think of this as a stock market where the worth of contents is decided by a free market.

Providers can set the price and availability and the market will decide if they’re willing to pay for it.

But first, to do that, they need to get away from these stupid deals they make with different companies in an attempt to dethrone iTunes or try to get everyone to go with the subscription models.

Maybe Google should set up such an exchange, not only for Android but for iOS, Web OS, and Windows 7 devices as well. Not just for mobile or Google TV but for Windows, OS X, and the living room. If this is about being free of iTunes, Sony should join in such an effort instead of crying to the media about having its feelings hurt by Apple.

Let’s be honest, Sony. You tried for decades to create your own iTunes and failed miserably each and every single time. And now someone beat you to it and we will not be the shoulders for you to cry on.

More at The Age.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPod touch

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Quick Thoughts on HP's Web OS Unveiling Today

Quick thoughts on today's HP Web OS announcments:

  • Palm injected much needed DNA into the boring old HP culture.
  • Web OS integration very much like Apple's iTunes-App Store-iOS than Google's loosy-goosy implementation.  You get a sense of what they hope to accomplish.
  • Synergy - get to know this technology.  It's important to HP's Web OS ecosystem.
  • Willing to working with 3rd parties and give them what they want than Apple is.  
  • Web OS is coming to PC - Desktops and laptops  Probably netbooks as well.
  • I don't get this summer announcement.  I fear it'll be too late with iOS 5 and Android 3 coming in weeks.  iPhone 5 is scheduled to be released in the "summer" too.  Remember how the original Pre go clobbered by the 3GS?
  • Web OS integration is what Google is unwilling to take Android 3, Honeycomb.  
  • Web OS likes somewhere between iOS and Android in implementation.
  • Palm with HP's deep pocket is now able to do what it could not with the original Web OS.  
  • Microsoft stands to lose a lot of HP starts selling Web OS PC/laptops than Windows.
  • With HP's product reschedule and Microsoft's Windows 8 on ARM chips, look for Web OS and Windows to go head-to-head.  iOS and Android will still be in the top two positions in terms of units sold.
  • RIM is fraked big time.  HP has deep enterprise ties.  Playbook dead.  Sorry, Blackberry fans.
  • iPad 2 will be king again in 2011.  Playbook dead.  Oh, I said that already.
  • Again, what's with the summer release?!  Xoom to be out in weeks.  iPad 2 soon after that, maybe April
  • Playbook dead.
  • No pricing on HP's mobile products.  No specs on battery life.  Lame on both accounts.
  • Hoping to see Pre on T-Mobile since it supports HSPA+.  HP can make it happen.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Reading On a Tablet Is Better Than Newspaper During Meals But With Newspapers, Easier To Discover Things To Read

Dave the Mobile Warrior is just full of great mobile thought today.  Earlier, he asked about the failure of Facetime (or lack of it taking off in a big way), and, then later on, he sent me an e-mail about his experience with the papers and having breakfast.

First, newspapers take up a lot of room.  His iPad is much smaller.  He found it difficult to juggle between putting food in his mouth and reading the papers.  I totally see that.  I like to get breakfast burritos from a local joint. And while I wait, I sometimes pick up the LA Times.  I don't know what Dave the Mobile Warrior was eating for breakfast but eating something that requires the use of fingers instead of utensils makes it a messy affair.

Second, he found the newspaper he was reading has a lot of ads.  And he lamented about the quality of the paper itself.  While this has nothing to do with mobile specifically, you can rest assure that reading on an iPad, Kindle, or Nook means you get the same amount of ads for the most part and the print quality to be exactly the same teach time.

Third, and this one does go in favor of a newspaper than the tablet, he said he would normally read stuff that interests in but not much else on the tablet.  Whereas on the newspaper, he's likely to discover more stuff to read.

I agree with this as well.  And this is why I use apps like Flipboard or Pulse.  Then sometimes, I use the NPR app to read things that you're not going to find on the front page of MSNBC or CNN's websites.  

I also find that using an RSS reader helps when you can quickly scan different sections and find latest things that the media and blogs are focusing on.  Digg And Stumbleupon is also a good way to discover new interesting topics as well.  

And of course, I've got friends with vast interests and I get emails and IM from them about cool stuff to read.  

For me, the best time to be reading a newspaper these days is when you're having tea or coffee.  On a small table, you can hold up the paper or fold it.  And even with your fingers laced with ink, holding the cup means you don't get it on your food.  Sometimes I like to have a piece of cake or pie.  The ink doesn't get on your food if you're using a fork.  

Having said all this, there is something about sitting with a real newspaper that doesn't grow old.  The same goes for a book.  We are fast approaching a generation that will not know the pleasure of touching and flipping through a newspaper, know what the smell of it is like, or seeing it folded under the arm of a person waiting for a bus.  

Monday, February 7, 2011

Two Product Updates For Mobile I’m Anxiously Waiting For From Apple

Steve Jobs promised good things coming for MobleMe, competition to Google's suite of webapps and cloud services in an e-mail to a customer.

That is one thing that I am waiting for anxiously from Apple.  Currently, subscribers pay $99 a year to get services that we can already get for free from Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo.

What makes MobileMe special is that it is highly integrated into the Mac and iOS devices.  Still, is that worth paying $99 more?  

More and more, I'm doubting it.  I'm running my own personal website and Greenjava using the MobileMe hosting but Apple has not upgraded the iWeb app in the last iLife update so I'm finding what is there a bit long in the tooth.  

Still, I want to wait and see if there is anything to MobileMe that Apple can bring to the service that is worth paying for.  

There is worth that many components like mail will be free.  And I think that is something that even non-Apple product users might be interested in even if you're running Android or WP7 devices (I don't know why but you can).

And besides, should Apple make a more compelling MobileMe or opening up some of the current services for free, it's a good thing as it'll increase competition with Google and Microsoft.

The second product I'm waiting to hear from Apple about is iWork.  This is Apple suite of productivity apps – Pages (work processor, page layout), Numbers (spreadsheet), Keynote (presentation).  The last update from Apple was more than a year ago, and while it was pretty sweet but it's time to do another one.

I'm hoping Apple will add features in Pages regarding ebooks and publishing to the iBooksstore.  Maybe even allow Website creation as well. And obviously, the needs to be updated as well.

Right now, it's already February and we have not see anything yet.  Come on, Apple.  What's the holdup?

Interesting Posts, Thoughts - politics, iPad, Android, Aliens

Interesting stuff I read today:

(Politics, Economy) President Obama spoke at the Chamber of Commerce today and is looking to reconnect with the biz community.  This LA Times post has a good summary on the challenges facing the Administration and the biz guys. It's looking like everyone is looking for the middle ground where it's easiest to do work.  Not a bad approach except there are still issues that need to be tackled where things could still get ugly (NYT)

(Green) EV owners in the Carolinas would be getting free charging stations for a study.  Not bad.  Still, Considering the drip-paced production for the Volt and Leaf, I think these owners will be waiting for a long while.  A very long while.  Meanwhile, CA is allowing electric companies to hike prices for EV owners because they would be considered customers who use more electricity than the average household.  Talk about an idiotic move.  I hope some kind of exception is in the works.

(Apple) Macbook Pro refresh is due.  However, given Intel's problem with the next gen Sandy Bridge defect, I wonder if Apple will need to fire up the old lineup and make the older Macbook Pro for a while longer.  Also, looks like Apple is moving big time to eliminate retail software in stores.  It could spark a revolutionary change in how developers, retailers, and customers get their apps.  I wonder if Frys, Best Buy, and others will start opening their own virtual app store to cash in on the coming change.

(Android) If you didn't see the Xoom commercial last night, well, it wasn't much of anything but the $800 price is.  On top of that, it's $30 less than Apple's 64GB 3G iPad (versus Xoom's 32GB) and requires a month of data access subscription in order to activate the WiFi. Maybe with enough outcry, we can get Motorola and Verizon Wireless to drop that stupid requirement. Also, check out Kyocera's dual screen device running on Android.  I like it a lot except I know it won't last more than a day in my clumsy hands (it's why I've passed on the G2).

(Health) Lifehacker's post suggests something I already know about and practice:  eat healthy and smaller frequent meals is both good for your body and wallet.  I remember times when I've starved and ended up getting whatever is easiest.  Most of that time, it's expensive and has a lot of calories, the bad kinds.  

(Green) Americans who could not stand the Bush Administration's policies (except for the Baldwins, I doubt anyone picked up and left), including it's seemingly pro-oil stance, had the option of moving to Canada during the 8-year term of President Bush.  But with Canada's economy relying more in oil production, they stance on green tech and EV is not what I had expected.  They're afraid of EVs and hybrids as it turns out, especially in the tar sands province of Alberta, which I'll liberally renamed the "Arctic Mordor".  (Gas 2)

(Android, PSP) Sony's Xperia Play will go on sale in the coming weeks.  Great and all but it's single core CPU is not what I expected.  The new NGP is going to be 4-core.  I was excited until I saw the specs.  I suggest serious gamers pass on it and wait for the NGP.

(Android) Finally a review of the LG Optimus 2X (Engadget).  Everything panned out as I expected.  But it's a no go for me.  the 2X's anemic battery life was expected, though this issue has consistently plagued high-end Android devices.  I think the Tegra 2 chip works better in a tablet where you can stick in a much bigger battery.

(Politics) The Groupon Tibet commercial for yesterday's Superbowl was idiotic and exploitative to say the least.  But with so many folks blogging and reporting about it, I reckon more Americans probably know more about the issue now than they did yesterday about the struggles of the Tibetans.

(Apple) I stumbled into this Wired post on some of Steve Jobs' quotes over the years.  It's something to tie fans over until he returns to Apple from his current medical leave.

(Privacy, Security)  Here's a great post on why I'm gonna go home and change all my secrets words are a lot more complex but it's a good reminder to change them again.

(Apple, iPad) iSuppli and others believe in iPad domination for a few more years.  The scary thing is that Apple stands a good chance to dominate in this market like they did with the iPod in the MP3 market. Unless its competitors wake up about the whole ecosystem thing, they don't stand a chance.

(Android) With ATT's feelings hurt by Apple over loss of iPhone exclusivity, it is now focusing more on Android.  And interestingly, its focus on tablets could be just what will save the wireless provider somewhat over the mass exodus in the coming months to Verizon as iPhone swtichers move on.

(Media) AOL buys Huffington Post for $315 million!  Congrats, Arianna!  

(Politics, Terrorism) Wedge between Taliban and Al Aaeda could be good for US policies - meaning our troops can come home earlier.  Interesting, I heard in the Daily Show that the average Afghan has a 62% favorable rating of the international presence in their country. However, any policy to further create a drift between the two allies is a very delicate balancing act War will rage on with 1 in 50 active participants there being robots.

(Privacy, Facebook) 10 Settings we ought to know about when trying to do what we can from Zucker and company from exploiting what we already share.  The most important ones for me are not allowing friends to be able to check you in and public search. Come to think of it, they're all important. (Mashable)

(Space) New recon satellite goes into space on a secret mission for the NRO.  Take that, Chinese and Russians!  Meanwhile, I think we are closer than ever to finding life in the universe other than our own with a bunch of planets discovered in the habitable zones in other star systems.  I still think we are inching towards the day when the government acknowledges the existence of alien life. 

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Xoom Superbowl Commercial - Good Enough To Turn Heads And Stop the iPad?

For those of us watching the on-going Superbowl game between the Pittsburg Steelers and the Green Bay Packers, we got to watch the Xoom commercial in full.

The statement being made is that 2011 is not 1984, an unmistakable reference to the iconic 1984 Superbowl commercial from Apple introducing the Macintosh. We received sneak peaks throughout the week and we finally saw it in full.

Here it is again or if you're seeing this the first time, I wonder if you think it was effective.

I like it and maybe I'm biased. I think the Xoom is a worth tablet to highlight the coming out party for Android 3, Honeycomb.

However, outside of mobile fans, I don't know if it will be remembered in any way by regular viewers. We saw no demonstration of features like Apple did with the iPad. We saw nothing in way of production that was iconic and it definitely did not rank near the top as best Superbowl commercials.

I thought the website address was hard to read and was not on the screen very long.

At the end of the day, was it effective enough to turn heads and get people to consider the Xoom over the iPad?

No. For the Xoom's sake, Motorola should do the right thing and copy Apple's approach to the iOS devices. Show buyers its strengths and why we should get the Xoom.

Maybe if not Motorola, Google should spend some of its changes and promote Honeycomb on the airwaves.

iPhone Verus iPad Touch (With iSpot or a MiFi) Update - Mobile Platforms Need To Free Themselves of Traditional Phone Services

I had a full weekend.  Dinners, coffees, trips to visit friends.  And it was my iPod touch with my Clear iSpot versus everyone else who had regular cell phones, Android device or two, and a bunch of iPhones.  How did that go?

Before I get into that, I want to say that I am very tempted to pull the trigger on the Verizon iPhone in the coming week.  I have said that my wireless combo of iPod touch and iSpot was how I want to go from now on.  And while it works very well for me, it isn't working too well for some friends and families.

I had an okay day on Saturday when I met up with friends for lunch.  It was like the old days.  We set up a place and time a day before.  And we met on Saturday as it was supposed to be.  And it worked out.  There was no opportunities for anyone else to try to call just before we were supposed to meet up and change the venue or the meeting time.  Personally, I found that to be annoying. And since no one could call me because I was on the way had really had no way to reach me. Just imagine driving on the freeways across LA in all that traffic and having to change and turn around or something.

Of course, if there was a need, they could still text or call me Google number to leave a message and with the iSpot, I would still be able to receive e-mails.  But I think the risk of me not receiving it was just too big of a risk.  And going forward, I think that would be the case.  

Obviously, I was still connected.  I was at Starbucks just before lunch and I was connected to the wifi there.  And obviously, the iSpot provided WiMax connection.  

Dinner went okay.  There was just too many moving pieces and the schedule was set up a couple weeks ago.  

However, this morning, it was a lot more difficult.  I met up with some close family friends for dim sum.  When I got there, there was a couple of hundred people ahead of us.  And waiting in line was crazy.  I was the first one there so I signed in for a table.  And I texted my friends that I had already gotten a number and they could take their time.  Meanwhile, they called me and left a voicemail telling me that they were going to be late.  

Then I called them back via Skype but that went to their voicemail.  Then then they called back and it went to my Google voicemail once again.

Finally, when our table became available, they had arrived.  

I supposed in some circumstances, having a phone would have been more convenient.  

Right now, I am waiting for a comprehensive VOIP solution.  And not just any VOIP app but a service built exclusively with mobile features in mind. 

Whether it's Apple, Google, or Microsoft, I like to see more more robust VOIP features built into the OS.  For Google, I like to see them open up Google Voice for developers to build into their apps.  This goes the same for Skype as well.  As for mobile platforms, it's time to take the next step and unleash the users from traditional phone services and really take communications mobile.  

Saturday, February 5, 2011

AT&T & Verizon Duels Over Who Has The Better IPhone, Apple Getting Lots Of Love

The seven-month old iPhone 4 just went on sale over at Verizon Wireless on Thursday, selling out the pre-order allotment in just 17 months and setting a record sales figure in just two hours, between 3am-5am. By any measure, that is an incredible feat I don't know can ever be duplicated. But every time someone says something is no longer possible for Apple, Steve Jobs and company always manages to outdo expectation.

Meanwhile, ATT and Verizon Wireless (VWZ) crossed swords on Twitter and in the press over who has the better iPhone. And this week, that skirmish spilled over into television and online as they released opposing commercials that highlight who's got the better iPhone and what features one has over the other.

The best thing about this is that mobile warriors like you and me win with this kind of competition.

More at Greenjava.

Atrix: Tweets and If Netbook Dock Will Change Mobile Computing (Android)

This is a post of my tweets regarding the upcoming Atrix with a laptop dock that will be available on AT&T:

#Atrix: The success of Atrix (or not) will determine whether #Android kills off #Chrome OS faster. #AT&T #Google #motorola (Part 1)

#Atrix: If successful, it might establish #Android as the default OS for future netbooks #AT&T #Android #motorola (Part 2)

#Atrix: It can move Nvidia out of just graphics and into mainstream CPU – Intel/AMD could lose out #AT&T #Android #motorola (Part 3)

#Atrix: This will accelerate #microsoft’s Windows for #arm chip even more if it happens. #AT&T #Android #motorola (Part 4)

#Atrix: Without need for storage, CPU, or others parts in a regular netbook, battery life sould be better. #AT&T #Android #motorola (Part 5)

#Atrix: A new mobile way of working – take your smartphone with you and plug it into any terminal #AT&T #Android #motorola (part 6)

#Atrix: Too bad it’s on #AT&T because it no longer offers unlimited 3G access #AT&T #Android #motorola (part 7)

#Atrix: $500 is a lot. #XOOM may offer better value as a tablet. No need for dock to have larger screen #AT&T #Google #motorola (part 8)

#Atrix: with Atrix & #Xoom, Motorola has a foundation for changing mobile life & computing #AT&T #Google #motorola (part 9)

#Atrix: will be available for pre-order with AT&T on Feb 13 - $199, $499 with netbook dock #AT&T #Google #motorola (part 10)

#Atrix: Impact on mobile computing depends on battery, enterprise, and #iPhone competition #AT&T #Google #motorola (part 11)

#Atrix: #AT&T just push netbook dock combo or else, it’ll just be another #Android phone #motorola (part 12)

Bottom-line: The Atrix is an incredible product on paper and promises to deliver based on the videos I’ve seen.

Motorla has a truly added a new dynamic to the mobile market. I look for a lot of copycats in 2012 if Atrix sales explodes. But like I said in the tweets, there could be things holding it back.

Pricing is one. AT&T is making users sign up for a bunch of services that they don’t need if they want to have the Atrix-dock combo.

Second, data plans. I’m not talking about the cost but the limited data access AT&T has. Seriously, as a mobile user, I want unlimited use. I don’t want to be restricted to 2GB or the limitation put on the tethering plan.

Rather than just AT&T, Motorola should have made the dock available to other networks that provide unlimited 3G access.

As it is now, it’s a very enticing product. We’ll just have to see if this is the magic bullet AT&T is looking for to replace its lost of iPhone exclusivity and if this will usher in an new era of mobile computing.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Xoom's Superbowl Commerical - 15 Sec Preview - References 1984 Apple Ad

Here is a sneak peak at the Xoom commercial for the Superbowl this sunday. I am sure a lot of folks will be talking about this Sunday night and the next couple of days because there is a reference to Apple's 1984 Superbowl Mac commercial.

It's only 15 seconds that we get to see but it looks pretty effective. It'll have folks talking about it. Question is: will it drive people to take a look at the Xoom and buy it?

Source: Phone Arena.

New Verizon Commerical: Yes, I Can Hear You Now

This new Verizon commercial for the iPhone kinda says it all.

Seriously though, I don't think Apple has never allowed AT&T to use the iPhone in any commercial at all. If true, this is Apple's payback to AT&T for maintaining such a crappy network all these year.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPod touch

Thursday, February 3, 2011

CDMA iPhones Sold-Out!

Neither Apple or Verizon Wireless has any iPhones for pre-orders to be reserved by current VZW customers.  

The next time anyone can order one starts on February 9th and can be picked up on the 10th or wake up early to wait in line for one.

No one knows just how much Apple allocated for today's pre-order or whether taking 16 hours to run out of iPhones was a success or not.

We will not know just how well the CDMA iPhones are selling until a week or two after.  That is usually when Apple gloats to the public about their numbers.

From the survey conducted by uSamp, there is a lot of enthusiasm for the seven-month old iPhone 4  We will not know just what kind of change in the mobile market this will cause until we see the actual lines (if there are any) or the effects ripple effects this has on Apple's competitors.

Simultaneous Data and Voice Is Overrated For Most Mobile Warriors - For Now

There, I said it.  Being able to access data while fielding a phone call is a good feature to have but for a vast majority of mobile users, we don't really do that all the time.  As a matter of fact, I cannot remember a time when I've had to do that while using the G1 on T-Mobile.  I think you'd have to think hard to remember having to do that and I'm willing to wager that it isn't often.

Nor do I remember a time when I'm on the 2G iPhone telling someone I'll call them back so I can access something via the wireless Internet.  Once again, if this occurs, it's a rare instance.

Having said that, there are some heavy users that live on their mobile devices and they probably need to chat and access data at the same time.  

This issue is suddenly important once more because the iPhone is now on Verizon's CDMA network which does not allow this ability that the GSM iPhone is capable of on AT&T's network.  

The millions of Droid and other Android users on Verizon or Sprint's networks obviously does not see the inability to make calls and access data wirelessly at the same time as a hindrance to their mobile life.  Otherwise, they would have long left for AT&T or T-Mobile.  

Having said that, I do believe that as more of us refine our mobile uses and behaviors, this will become a must have ability, in social as well as in business settings.  But for now, it is not a major issue for folks who want the CDMA iPhone or the biggest Droid they can get their hands on.

So, while AT&T will make an issue out of this, I say this in response:

You're absolutely right.  Between the two versions of the iPhone, only yours can make calls and access the 3G network simultaneously.  Provided we can get a signal at all.  Only the GSM iPhone have this magical ability.  But what is the point when calls drop or when the user is not able to access the network?  

For users who are leaving AT&T or current Verizon users upgrading to the CDMA iPhone or Droid, it's like Steve Jobs said, "It's like giving a glass of ice water to somebody in hell!"

So until our social needs change further with regard to our mobile devices, simultaneous data and voice access is overrated.

Here Is How Apple Can Still Offer A Retina Display For the iPad 2

This is purely fun speculation on my part about Apple, iPad 2, and the possibility of Steve Jobs and friends offer a higher resolution display on the iPad 2.

And here’s how. More at On Apple

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPod touch

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Apple Enforces Guideline to Make Sure Contents Are Available For Purchases In-And-Out Of Apps

Apple likes to shake things up.  They've done that with Apple II, the Mac, iMac, iPod, iPhone, and the iPad.  They did it with iTunes and the app store.  And now, they're doing it again by enforcing an app store rule that said content that are available for purchase outside the app must also be made available for in-app purchases.

The most publicized victim of Apple enforcing this is Sony and it's Reader app.  It was rejected by Apple for not allowing in-app purchases of ebooks.

You ask how is this different from what the Kindle and Nook apps already do?  It's not.  And if I know Apple, look for future updates to these two apps and other apps that draw purchased contents into the iOS devices to be rejected wholeheartedly or be resubmitted into the app store with in-app purchases.

This shows Apple's growing confidence in its iOS platform.  Going forward, look for Apple to apply this rule to other media as well.  Music, books, video, and even comic books.

And content providers will need to decide just how badly they want to be on the iOS platform.  By my reckoning, Apple can move anywhere from 150 to 200 million iOS devices a year and no app developer can afford to exclude themselves from such a market or risk being outcasts.  

It's a brilliant business move if you ask me.  I get the feeling that while these companies like Barnes and Noble and Amazon, that do have their own ereading platform, might complain loudly in public, I doubt it'll go beyond that.

However, I believe government regulators, right or wrong (depending on where you stand with this issue), might want to take a crack this new development.  

At issue is not that Apple is enforcing its rule.  In and of itself, it makes sense.  Contents that are available for purchase should be made available for purchase within the app to make it easier for access to contents.  

The issue is that Apple also wants 30% of any in-app purchases.  

We'll see where this goes in the next couple of weeks.  Apple has already informed European newspapers that they can no longer offer subscription to iOS users that are purchased outside of the iOS ecosystem.  

Perhaps we will see Apple come up with a payment system in the coming months that will address this.  

More at ATD.

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