Thursday, February 28, 2013

When An Apple Product Goes Out of Stock, It Makes A Lot of Sound Even If No One Is Around

Source:  Appleinsider.

Every time something that Apple sells goes out of stock or low in inventory, it’s news.  The reason is because it’s cause for belief that something new is around the corner.  This time, it’s Apple’s Thunderbolt display.

It may well be just an update to the display is coming so it’s nothing to get excited about.  After all, it is just a display.  A FCC finding earlier revealed that a minor update to the Apple TV which was largely met with a “meh”.

You never want to discount anything though.  Yesterday, I talked about the lack of news about the next OS X version as well as anything new on iOS and iPad.

Still, keep your fingers crossed until we know more.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

2013 Expectations: Where Is The New OS X beta and iPad Media Event?

It’s the second to the last day of February of 2013 already.  Fast does not even begin to describe how fast the year has gone by so fast thus far.  I have a couple of questions that don’t exactly fit into the 140 characters of the Twitter limit.

Where is the beta release for the next OS X?  Last year, a few lucky folks, Apple friendlies and journalists, were granted the privilege of playing around with the beta of Mountain Lion before everyone else.

Also, will Apple be holding its annual iPad media unveiling this year?  My guess is that this isn’t going to happen this time around.  Apple updated the iPad to a 4th generation in October of 2012 and just released its 128 GB version.

Right now, I’m leaning towards no new iOS information from Apple until the second half of 2013 – that includes Apple TV or whatever else that is mobile releasted.

If Apple does unveil anything new, it could be a new Mac Pro and updated Macbook Air with Retina Displays.

HP Moving Focus To Tablets – Others Will Follow Giving the PC Market to Apple

It’s interesting that HP is finally getting into the tablet market.  It’s latest tablet entry into the market is an uninspiring Android tablet for a decent $170.  I think they finally figured how what they need to do and it could come from Tim Cook himself.  If the tablet market is going to cannibalize the PC market, you best do it yourself or someone else will do it for you.

Having said that, as more and more users move from Windows-based PC to likely iOS and Android tablets, who will have the remaining PC market?  It’s likely all the main PC guys will have some kind of laptops running Windows but most who truly need a PC may opt for a Mac.  Should that momentum carry, don’t be surprised if Apple ends up owning the PC market in a few years.

Don’t think so?  Consider that in five years, the tablet will be vastly different.  In fact, they may look more like Microsoft’s Surface Pro – a tablet will more robust features that one used to only be able to find on a laptop.  Not all but enough that people will buy tablets instead – for office work or gaming.

That leaves the more specialized markets to the PCs.  Probably higher end PCs where Apple is sitting.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Mobile: Built-In Batteries Equal More Money For Device Makers

When Apple first made its iPods and then iPhones and iPads not user-friendly in terms of allowing us to change out the batteries, it was for look and feel of the designs.  Some what annoying but I understand why.  Also, not that many people like carry around an extra battery in their pockets.

But now, more and more of Apple’s competitors are doing the same thing except maybe for Samsung.  But why?  The same reason as Apple – design?


However, I have another theory:  battery cases.  They go from around $99 and up.  Meanwhile, you can buy a battery for the Galaxy S 3 for $40 from the carries or as low as $11 on Amazon.  Heck, the GS3, which has an user-replaceable battery, has a battery case as well for $99.

The last time I went out with a bunch of friends, there were plenty of iPhones about.  Half of us had battery cases.  Even if just 25% of the iPhone users also use a battery case, that's a lot of licensing money for Apple.

So, if these top device makers like Google, LG, or Sony license their names and allow for the production of battery cases and charge for more for it, it would provide an additional revenue stream.

Right now, what’s one feature of mobile devices that everyone universally complain about?  Battery life.

With Every High End Android At 1080p, Apple Cannot Afford Not To Outdo Competitors

Source:  On Apple.

Others and myself have laid out how Apple can deal with the increase in screen sizes and resolutions it has faced from competitors.  The iPhone 5 is definitely the top selling mobile computing device in the world but it's still looked up on as a phone.  Devices from Samsung, Sony, and LG with their 5+ inch 1080p screens, initially laughed at by pundits and doubters have picked up in sales and momentum largely because mobile warriors now use their smartphones as actually mobile computing devices rather than a phone as its primary function.

Having some time to think about it, I can't think of a scenario and justification from Apple or its defenders for it not to release a 5" iPhone or whatever you wanna call it and not retain a Retina Display capability of at least 326 dpi or just a bit less (because you can  hold the a 5" screen further).  Many have argued that Apple can keep the resolution of a possible 5" iPhone the same as the iPhone 5 resolution, 1136x640, and still have the same 264 DPI as the iPad.

If Apple does go this route, it will be a test of its brand power in the face of a powerful mobile momentum where its top competitors will have better technology than Apple.

Otherwise, Apple better make up for that with some pretty awesome features and improvements to iOS. Siri with a deeper sexier voice?

Monday, February 25, 2013

Abandoning Android: Samsung Folding Bada Into Tizen (Which Has Intel’s Support) - Opening for Apple?

So Samsung is phasing out Bada and folding it into Tizen.

Kinda saw this coming.  Who didn’t?  Bada hasn’t been lighting the mobile world on fire and Tizen seems more promising given Intel’s into it as well.  2014 Is going to be a big year for Samsung as we’ll see more how it’ll go about switching from Android to its own OS.  I’m sure Samsung will always making Android devices to some extent. If Samsung is fully committed, this will be a multi-year transition.

But Samsung has to publicly make a declaration.  Otherwise, Samsung fans won’t bite and they’ll stick with Google as the safer choice.

Meanwhile, Google already has shown that it will make a move into the hardware business.  This is now an opportunity for it to take the high-end device mantle from the Galaxy brand.

This is an opportunity for Apple. iOS has had issues with perception of late.  For some reason, Apple’s devices are being perceived by the market as boring or even dated.  There is calls for Apple to drastically change iOS 7.  However, given what could be happening in the Android camp and potentially uncertainty, Apple can gain from the stability it provides in the market.

The iPhone will be faced with plenty of competition in 2013.  Make no mistake that every mobile player is still bring their A-game.  If some how Samsung goofs up its transition from Android to Tizen or that Google looks like it might be hoarding Android, Apple can address some issues regarding iOS and other mobile questions, and gain back some momentum with new schemes to get more iOS devices into user hands or come put with their own phablets, Apple can begin to quiet its critics.

As in really go in for the kill.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

iOS 7: The Higher Security (And Maybe Killer Of One Of Our Favorite App)

This post started off as a post about a particular company I thought Apple should buy but, instead, it turned into what I like to see Apple incorporate into OS X and iOS 7.  That company is the maker of 1Password, Agilebits.  But after pondering it for a bit on a short run, I realized this isn't like to ever happen.

The security implication would be too much for Apple to happen in the manner 1Password currently works.  It's why I think previous suggestions based on Apple's security purchase, AuthenTec, provider of mobile security solutions including fingerprints.

I can't think of no better way for security to one's fingerprint.  The issue though is how feasible this is on an iPhone, iPad, or even a Macbook?  Will Apple come out with a keyboard outfitted with a specific fingerprint scanner?

Right now, 1Password still requires one to have remember a master password.  Should something happen to me, hit my head hard or something, and can't remember the password, I'm toast.  However, I'm less likely to lose my fingers (I hope) than lose my password.

It's high time that Apple implement something like this for mobile.  And if it happens, it will be elegant.  And it won't be just for remember passwords.  Apple is likely to implement any new security feature for mobile commerce.

So, what would you prefer?  Accessing sensitive information with a password or your fingerprints?

Lighter iPads Coming. Meanwhile, Go To The Gym And Work Your Arms

I think it's same to say that the next Apple update for the 9.7" iPad will including the fifth generation iconic tablet shedding weight. How much? It would be nice to see it closer to 1 pound. Right now, the current iPad stands at weighs in at 1.44 pounds for the wifi only version while the 3G comes in at 1.46.

If the next iPad does indeed shed about a third of its former weight, we would be looking at another engineering breakthrough from Apple. What's more, it'll like be faster and exhibit the same awesome battery.

Of course, only Apple knows when we'll see the next iPad.

Even now, I continue to use my original iPad from 2010, "Steve's iPad" I call it, and for some issues with memory, I love it still.

Until then, for those who whatever reason wanted to find something to complain about the iPad and they come up with its weight to talk about, all I can say is "really?".

Go to the gym and work on this weak muscles in your arms.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, February 22, 2013

150 Video Clips of Steve Jobs Together on Youtube

No Netflix or Hulu?  Not even willing to shell out for iTunes?  But you've got a lot of time this weekend?

Well, you can spend it watching this Youtube channel that has 150 videos of Steve Jobs.  I've seen one version or another of his most famous ones - Mac unveiling, iMac, iPod, iPhone, iPad, etc.  Still, I think there are some gems in there.

I'm not a die-hard fan but just a regular Apple enthusiast.  But if you are...

Source:  Macobserver.

Google And Microsoft (Mostly Google) Move Into Hardware Is For Profit - Could Be Bad for Samsung

Source:  Cult of Android.

If you look at the chart below, you'll begin to see why perhaps Google is getting into the hardware business.  So far Google has done a fantastic job on Android but it has seen its subsidiary Motorola stuck in the mud while Samsung, its partner and future rival, reap in all the money and glory.


I still believe Google's move into hardware is more about setting things up for the future, regardless of who makes the hardware (though I'm sure Google prefers we buy theirs) as long as it remains the backbone for our searches, purchases, and apps.

Maybe Microsoft sees the value of hardware sales too but it's most likely interested in making sure it stays relevant in the mobile and post-PC era.

For Android poster-boy, Samsung, the talk about moving over to Tizen in the future, becomes more and more urgent.  The trick is to one day install a non-Android OS on its Galaxy-class hardware and convince people they won't lose a beat when they move away from Android to Tizen or Bada.  It'll be hard but if anyone has shown resiliency and willingness to take risks, it's Samsung.

I think Samsung could take a hit but it won't go away.  How bad will depend on the Tizen game plan and excecution.  For others like HTC, Dell, HP, etc, boy, things don't look too good.  And if you're wondering about Apple, it'll be alright in the short-term.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

LEGO Michael Jackson Dances!

Source:  Mashable.

This could be the start of something new using Lego pieces to create dance routines.  But first up, my man, the King of Pop, Michael Jackson!


Hey, Apple: Macbook Air with Retina Display Coming? Google Kinda Has One Already

Source:  On Apple.

Okay, so Google released the best chromebook that anyone has ever seen on the market, including HP's.  What's so different about Pixel, the name Google gave it, is that it has a higher resolution display than anything on the market coming in at 2560x1700.

While a comparison between Pixel and Apple's Macbook Air makes no sense given the OS, specs, and Apple's app store ecosystem, it'll happen because that's what most pundits and bloggers will want.  It's unfortunate but I do want to point out one thing.  If Google can release a Retina caliber display for a netbook, why can't Apple for the Macbook Air?

MacBook Pro

We know it’s only a matter of time before Apple releases a Macbook Air with a Retina Display and eventually do away with non-Retina displays for the Macbooks.  Obviously, sooner would be better than later for Apple fans.  So, where are we now with the resolutions?

  • Chromebook Pixel: 12.85" -ish display with 2560x1700 
  • Macbook Air: 11”  1366 x 768
  • Macbook Air:  13”  1440 x 900
  • Macbook Pro With Retina Display:  13.3”  2560-by-1600
  • Macbook Pro With Retina Display:  15.4”  2880-by-1800

Somehow, Google has managed to get more pixels per inch into its chromebook than Apple right now.  I’m still on my late-2010 Macbook Air with the 1366x768.  I’m definitely not going to be switch just because the Pixel has a Retina Display but I do know this.

Apple would be wise to release its Retina Display Macbook Air sooner rather than later even if it’s at a premium over the Pixel.  After all, we are talking about a Mac, OS X, and apps that the Pixel may never see.

Source:  Google.

Wow...just, wow...I did not think this was going to happen this quickly.

More thoughts on it later...for now, know that it's main competitor is Apple. Specifically, the Macbook Pro with Retina Display.  Here are the more important specs:

  • 13" -ish display with 2560x1700
  • Touchscreen - not even Apple has that. However, you may never see a Macbook with touch display. 
  • 3.35 lbs
  • Intel Core i5 running at 1.8Ghz, HD 4000 integrated graphics - same GPU as those on Apple's Macbooks (those without dedicated GPU).
  • 4GB, 32 GB onboard storage, 1 TB cloud storage for three years
  • 5 Hours of battery life - Apple's are closer to 7 or 8 hours.
  • 100 MB of wireless data via Verizon.
For now, we know who Google is gunning for with this - Apple and Micrsoft.  At $1,299, I wonder who its target audience is.

Theory: Better Quality Apple Devices In the Future Because Foxconn Has Higher and Happy Returning Workers

Source:  Cult of Mac.

Interesting theory on why Apple’s Foxconn factories are hiring less workers this quarter.  The reason is, according to CNN, is that more workers are returning from their Chinese New Year break than previous years because of better treatment by Foxconn as mandated by Apple.

If you’ve got happy workers, it could also mean they are happier about their work.  And that probably will translate to higher productivity as well as quality.

PlayStation 4: Event Was A Disappointment But Potential Is There; Sony Should Have Provided More Details

Source:  EngadgetInsider.

I thoroughly loved the PlayStation 4 demos yesterday.  I eagerly await its arrival in November or just before the Christmas shopping season starts.  But, boy, to say that the whole PS4 unveiling was a sorry affair is an understatement.  There are plenty of questions that Sony needs to answer so my personal judgment, and maybe yours too, should be put on hold.

PlayStation 4

Apparently, others are not so kind.  Such as Goldman Sachs who was not blown away.  I’ve got a few issues but again, I don’t think we should judge until we know more and right now, Sony is holding its cards very, very close to its chest.

So much so, in fact, that the US head of PlayStation sounded weary. And this is the guy who will lead Sony’s PS4 effort in the US!  In fact, he doesn’t know what the specs are but he hopes that it won’t cost $599 like the PS3 did.

Given the specs that Sony has laid out so far, I reckon the cost cannot be more than $250-300 if you grab similar components from online electronic retailers.  Sony should be able to market it at $399 a most.  Maybe even $299.  Sony should forget about trying to make money off the hardware entire like Amazon and Google and go after making money from media and game sales or ads.  After all, isn’t that why Sony seems to be making a big push for indie development?

Heck, there are even signs that Apple is heading in that direction.  Sure, Apple will make wants its pound of flesh from hardware sales but that’s Apple. Sony could have been Apple but that’s another story entirely.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Apple's Macs Hacked Via Java Bug

According to Reuters, Apple confirmed it was hacked via a Java bug.  A new tool from Apple will be released to fix the problem.

Wanna bet it's from a five-lettered country that starts with third letter of the alphabet, ends with the first letter of the alphabet, and "hin" in the middle?

According to Daring Fireball, Java is the means of the attack.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Samsung Out Innovating Apple? Depends

Source:  CNN.

This CNN posts declares that Samsung is innovating faster than Apple has.  It points to the split screen feature in the Samsung Note 2 that allows for more than one app to be used at the same time.  Over all, it's not the greatest example but I do feel that it is a fair argument.  But it really depends on where you're coming from.

I think a fairer argument is that Samsung has more models than Apple on the market with a variety of screen sizes.  Even that is also oversimplifying things.

Both companies take different approaches to how their release products to their customers.  Apple obviously has one model but in all likelihood, it has also many prototypes that they work with in their secret lairs that will never see the light of day.  They then decide on one that works that works best for their customers from a hardware, design, and experience standpoint.  At that corner where all the factors meet.

Samsung, and not just them, likely take the same approach but has a more liberal view on what to give its customers.  Hence, you’ve got a range of devices with varying capabilities and screen sizes from 3” all the way up to 5.5”.  The good thing about this is that it gives users plenty of choices.  The danger is, obviously, having too many choices.

For Apple’s users, it’s easier.  Just the iPhone 5 at the top and iPhone 4 or 4S at the bottom.  It’s not a lot of choices but you don’t hear a lot of complaints about it either.

Where I see Google and its friends doing much better is working on adding new features and services faster than Apple.  Between Apple and Google’s cloud services, I have to say that Google is years ahead of Apple.

Furthermore, the article made a very good point: with the 5” and up devices, Samsung and others have entered into a category of mobile devices that is changing with the times.  People are using their devices to consume data more than making calls.  And to communicate, they're doing video or text, not calling as much as before.

And trend is growing in that direction.  Consuming content and communication beyond voice.  On this, Apple is lacking.  Sure, Apple has the iPad mini for that in some respect but it’s not exactly easy to fit into one’s pocket.

Somehow, since 2007 with the original iPhone debut, Apple has become an underdog in eyes of some.  Well, Apple does  have its advocates but, lately, it does seem like they’ve been playing defense when making argument on Apple’s behalf.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Apple Posted Apple TV Manager Job - What If It's To Throw Us Off?

Source:  Macrumors, 9to5Mac.

Apple has been working on Apple TV for years now.  It's one of the longest beta, oops, I mean hobby I know.  The original Apple TV was introduced on January 8th, 2007.  It's been more than six years.  And Apple just posted that they are looking for engineering manager to run the Apple TV project.

I find the timing a bit weird.  And on top of that, Apple was very open about what the job is for.  Based on the wording and timing, I wonder if this was an open attempt by Apple to mislead the media through the blogs and its competitors.

I've got no proof of this.  However, Apple has been through three generations of one of the most paid-attention hobbies, not to mention expensive in terms of R&D resources put into it, in six years so I like to think Apple already has a team and structure in place to move things forward.

If I'm right and Apple is trying to throw us off the Apple TV scent, I've got a couple of theories why.

  • Apple TV, some finalized version that is good enough to graduate from being a hobby, could be ready for unveiling along with associated services.
  • In hiring a new manager, Apple is trying to get everything to think it's going in a certain direction with the job posting which is what we are seeing now but they could be heading towards another direction entirely.  
  • There has been a lot of chatters about Apple TV lately.  A job posting now about Apple TV may be an attempt to slow down the rumors or talk about some kind of new release for 2013.  Back in end of January, a FCC filing showed a new slightly changed Apple TV.  What was unusual was that Apple reached out to The Verge with an explanation.  Essentially, Apple's message was "stop looking".
Apple has had other job postings that various blogs have talked about.  This has different feel to it.  The thing with Apple is that nothing is what they always seem.  One other possibility is that the Apple TV has fallen apart and Apple wants some fresh looks at it.  And I hate to think that is why Apple is hiring a new Apple TV manager.

Friday, February 15, 2013

iWatch: Cannot Tell From Website If One Is Come

So, all the rage is about Apple working on a watch with connectivity to other iOS devices or what not.  I've been a bit behind on it because there just is too much going on from the NYT and WSJ to former Apple designers who are opening up about what an "iWatch" would be like.

So I decided to check on a URL that I think Apple might call its watch.  First up is obvious "".  This is what I got.

Okay, so iWatch is a bit too obvious.  Still, don't be surprise if Apple does pick up this URL.  So, URL and trademark squatters, ready, set, go!

Next up, I gave a try.  Why not.  The watch will be on your wrist and it'll "grab" anything your hand grabs.  Also, one of Apple's watch's main function will be to "grab" notifications from your Mac or iOS device.

Finally, I gave iWrist a try.  You know...the watch sits on your, well, wrist.

Interesting about iWrist, no?  Forbidden?

As a bonus, I decided to give a try and this is what I found.

Interesting how there's a fold called "tim".  Hmmm....

Anyway, I'm did not bothering checking out who owns any of these URLs or who might own the trademarks.  Even if Apple owns these URLs or trademarks, it's likely created layers upon layers of companies and lawyers to keep us from knowing the truth.

Hey, don't be surprised if Apple does call its watch "iGlass" or go with "iWrist".  But I like "iGlass" better than iWatch or anything else because Apple's watch will be much more than that.

So, what do you think?

Creator Of Instapaper Makes Good Argument Apple Can Ship A Non-Retina 5" iPhone - Good Argument But...

Source:  Marco.orgOn Apple.

This is post from the creator of Instapaper, which I use and think is a great app, argues that there is no reason why Apple can't ship a 5" iPhone with the same resolution as the current iPhone 5, which is 1136x640.  He listed many reasons, among them being that it's close to 720p that most users won't care.

I agree.  And I also think he has made a very compelling argument.  However, I also question why Apple isn't above going 4X on the next generation iPhone isplay.  Meaning that the 5" iPhone resolution would increase to 2272x1280, essentially doubling the resolution and four times the pixels.

After all, when Apple went from the iPhone 3GS to the iPhone 4, that was exactly what they did. And it's been two years since that happened and will probably be another year from the release of what comes after the iPhone 5.  I really think a compelling argument can be made that Apple has been working on trying to make this possible.

And Apple many not necessarily need to go 4X on a bigger screen iPhone.  As I've said before, 3X works perfectly fine.  Even at 1704x960, we are looking at a resolution close to 1080p which is what high-end Android devices will be shipping in 2013 from Samsung, HTC, Sony, and perhaps even Nokia for the Windows Phone.

On top of that, Apple already has the chips to power such a device.

I think for sake of speculations, all sides, including the ones mentioned here and ones that I've come up with, are valid.  There are a couple of points I like to add to that.

One thing we have to remember is that Apple is an exceptional company.  Sure, one of the points that Marco made that ran counter to pundits have said was that Apple would not release a non-Retina display device.  Well, Apple did just that with the iPad mini.  However, that is not to say that Apple will do the same for a 5" iPhone.  Apple has invested billions in buying manufacturing equipments as well as billions more in R&D.  I believe that Apple could well have been laying the groundwork for this all along.

Another point is that the resolutions we're seeing here today may well be changed at any time.  Sure, people from pundits to developers will moan and groan about it.  Obviously, for the pundits and bloggers, that is their job.  For developers who are on their way of being paid about a billion dollars a month if not more by Apple, I think that kind of money does take the sting out of it all.

Plus, by going further than anyone expects, as in going 1.5x or 2X on the resolution for a theoretical 5" iPhone, it shows the market that Apple can at least keep up if not get ahead of the competition.

At the end of the day, Apple will have weighed in on all the factors that we have laid out and others that we have not considered like manufacturing yields, OS updates, battery lives, etc.  Apple will deliver and millions of us will go out and buy it even if some of those are tech pundits or bloggers who will complain about it.  But they'll still happily hand over their hard-earned money to Apple.

Meteor Impact Over Central Russia - 1K Hurt

Source:  CNN.

Wow, this is an incredible sight.  More than one thousand people were hurt when a meteor exploded over central Russia.  You'll want to watch this video from CNN.

If you recall, one of the biggest explosion in recent memory was the 1908 Tunguska impact that leveled 80 square miles of Siberia.  Meanwhile, a near-earth asteroid will be making its closest pass to Earth around 11:24 PST.

And yes, folks, this meteror was a itty-bitty tiny one.  This second video here offer more dramatic views of the impact.  Hollywood ain't got nothing on the real thing.

Privacy: Google Sharing More Play Information About Users Than Developers Need To Know

Source:  News.auMashableZDNet

If you buy apps from Play, you might want to reconsider though you don’t have a whole lot of choices. Google has been passing along app buyer information to app developers?

To what end?

So far, Google has been pretty quiet about this which isn’t a good thing.  I like to think that this is a flaw but the stories about when this started happening and the fact that it could be a deliberate move by Google has me worried.

However, I do question why it's taken so long for someone to speak up.  Now, if you're a malicious developer looking to steal user information or perpetuate some sort of criminal activity like identity theft, you probably thanks Google silently and go about your biz and not say a word about this.

Google has said that they could potentially share user information with magazine publishers but this is going beyond that.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Never Count Out Microsoft

Windows 1.0 didn't work so Microsoft went back and worked on it some more.  Then after a couple more tries, Windows 95 took the world by storm and has not relinquish control of the PC market since.  And it never will.

Xbox was okay but Microsoft learned quickly, put together some exclusives like Halo, and Xbox 360 pushed out Sega, relegated Nintendo as a second class console maker, and really turn up on heat on Sony.

Those are example of Microsoft, even when down and seemingly out, always has a way of getting back into the game.  It clawed, scratched, and fought really dirty to make it happen.

Here is another example.  The browser war.  Netscape who?  It's Internet Explorer all the way and despite competition from Firebox, Chrome, and Apple's weak Safari challenge, IE still dominates the browser market.

And right now, Windows 8 devices, smartphones and tablets, does not appear to be doing so hot.  And as we transition away from the PC market to the mobile market, Microsoft's game face is on.  Windows Phone 7 was okay but Windows 8 devices appear to be gaining traction.  And Microsoft will come at the competition again and again until...well, we've never seen Microsoft really fail just yet.

It's the same for the Surface tablets.  I honestly did not believe for a second that the current crop of Windows RT tablets was going to do any major damage in the tablet market this past holidays.  Maybe not even Surface Pro.  But it's still early and there's plenty of time left.  Microsoft will come at Apple and Google as hard as ever.

If there is anything that will hurt Microsoft's chances to get back into the mobile game, it's likely its CEO, Steve Balmer.  Guys is smart.  And he has made a lot of money for its shareholders since he's been on control.  But he has also made many missteps that allow Apple and Google to dominate the mobile market.

Frankly right now, Microsoft's main threat could be itself.  However, it's competitors cannot count on each other or Microsoft to falter in order to stay ahead.

I look forward to increase competitive pressure from Microsoft and its partners in 2013 with a better game plan and lessons learned from 2012.

Apple Will Continue To Innovate But Microsoft (And Others) Won't Be Going Away

Source:  Macdailynews.

Steve Jobs and Tim Cook has an unique of explaining about Apple's unmatched position in the PC and mobile market when it comes to trying to innovate and create magic.  And Apple truly believe its devices and services are magical.  It's what they strive for.

And I agree that when it comes to Apple's services, apps, and products, its easy to use, gets you excited about using it, and waiting for the next generation of innovation.

No Magic – But Not Inferior

Having said that, Apple's rivals don't have this kind of magical formula.  However, they don't need it.  This is evident by Microsoft's dominance and Google's Android market share of the mobile devices even though Apple's products and customer satisfaction are so much better.

Yes, yes.  Market share means nothing and I agree with you.  But those less willing to look past that only cares about that as do many who cares more about cost.  And iOS devices do cost than their competitors.

For Samsung's Galaxy Tabs or phones or Microsoft's Surface tablets, they don't have Apple's iOS magic in terms of design and ease of use but they're also good enough that many in the market will discount the difference.

Then There’s The Price

Then there's the price.  Apple's designs is unlike anything on the market and Apple doesn't cut corners when it comes to parts and components and attention to the details.  Again, Apple's competitors don't have that issue: good enough is the mantra.  This allows others to price their devices cheaper.  And for many, "good enough" devices with a lower price point is very attractive.

Consumers probably know this when they pick up an Android device but they can live with it.  Again, it is not saying non-Apple devices are inferior.  Far from it.  Have you seen the iPhone's competitors on the market now and what new devices are waiting in the wings?

At the same time, Samsung and others are going on different directions.  For instance, they're going with bigger screens.  It may not offer better mobile experiences but "bigger" always sounds better because it makes one think he is getting more value. Also, there are gimmicky features that looks great from a marketing perspective but adds little value to the mobile experience (some might argue that Siri falls into this category.  For now, I can’t argue against that).  Honestly, what good is wireless charging if you still have to leave your phone by the charging station.  But being able mention this for marketing purposes sound good.

Furthermore, Apple's competitors do recognize the magical characteristics of Apple's products and some are even trying to duplicate that.  There are some OS features that Android, Blackberry OS and Windows 8 are ahead of iOS.  And Woz was right when he mentioned the iPhone has fallen behind some of its competitors in some respects.

Need Something Magically New

With all that said, there really is only one thing Apple can do.  Continue to innovate and create magical products that allow its fans to use them to create their own magic.  And I think that’s key here.  Many of us are not only on our iPhones and iPads to consume information and communicate but to also create.  It’s an added element to the whole mobile experience and a shift away from the PC dominated production.

I’m definitely not demanding that Apple produce a revolutionary device every other year or distrupt a brand new industry every five years or so.  However, I’m used to see Apple far, far ahead of its competition like when Steve Jobs unveiled the iPod. Or like when Steve released the original iPhone back in 2007 all the way through iPhone 3GS.

I began to see the gap close around the time of the iPhone 4 release.

So, I don’t know what the right call is as an Apple or even a mobile fan.  I like the competition that the mobile giants offer each other and the market pressure exerted by changes in mobile behaviors and tech advances.

How ever Apple wows us with the next iOS update or hardware changes, Apple fans will continue to appreciate the magic coming out of Apple and that the “good enough” crowd will always be around.

Samsung's Tizen Devices May Split Android Alliance

Source:  Appleinsider, Tizen.

Google or Samsung could be in for a rude awakening.  See, Samsung could be in the process of unfriending Android as Google become more and more of a competitor than a partner as Google is looking to dethrone not on the iPhone but the premier Galaxy devices as well.

First a little history of how these tech giants used to be friends but changes and advances in technology has forced their hands and shifted alliances.

So we know that Apple and Google don't get along these days.  It wasn't always like this.  Back during the PC days, it was Apple versus IBM and then Microsoft.  As Apple floundered and came back to life again with Steve Jobs' second coming, newcomer Google and Apple buddied up to take on Microsoft.  

The Apple-Google alliance was one to be reckoned with.  It would take on mighty Redmond and relegate Microsoft to the fringes as computing, both desktop and emerging mobile, shifted to browsers and apps on mobile devices.

Of course, Microsoft fought back as best as it could against the iPhone.  RIM gave no heed to Apple. Nor did Palm.  Things were good until Google's Android began to take hold of the market.  Well, it's more complicated than that but the gist is that Apple and Google began a multi-year process of splitting up.

Then there's also the Apple-Samsung alliance where Samsung made much of the little components that goes into the iOS devices.  It was a relationship for both until Samsung decided to copy Apple's designs and look of the iPhone.  At least that is Apple's side of the story.  It's a lot of "it said, it said" from both sides.

Google's relationship with most Android device makers like Samsung were good in the early days.  But after Google purchased Motorola, you can fee the change in the air.  The news was met with chilled responses at best from Google's partners.  

And we come to today.  A new alliance was formed last year between Samsung and Intel and the result is a new mobile OS called Tizen (wiki and website). It's another Linux-based open source operating system.  It's one that Samsung is looking towards as Google becomes more of a competitive threat by the day.  And Samsung will be unveiling and selling Tizen-based devices this year.  

Of course, as mobile fans, we want to embrace this.  More OS on the market means more competition.  It's a good thing.  A great thing.  We've got Android, Blackberry 10, iOS, Windows 8, and Tizen along with a few other smaller ones (Firefox OS, Ubuntu) looking to break out one day.  

No one knows for sure what Samsung is hoping to do with Tizen here.  Is Tizen just shot at Google to warn them over Android competition?  Or will Samsung really begin the shift from Android to Tizen?  No one really knows right now.  It really depends on the market.

For the foreseeable future, Android and Samsung smartphones are joined at the hip with Samsung making a few token Windows 8 phones.  We'll have to watch carefully just how hard Samsung pushes Tizen as an alternative.  

What will happen if Tizen does take off?  Again, it's great for us because competition is good for the market. It'll drive Apple, Google, and anyone else to continue innovating as hard as ever.  It'll prove that the mobile  landscape can change overnight.

However, for Android, there could be come big changes.  Perhaps there will always be a Samsung device running Android but should Tizen take off, Samsung will start making more devices, especially high-end ones like the Galaxy S and tablets.  And what's also interesting is that Android apps can run on Tizen devices.

That is key. Apps.  And you bet Samsung has already considered this issue.  

In the future, Android users will have to choose if they had been following the brand or the OS.  If they wanted high-end devices, they'll likely have to see what Google, LG, and Motorola has to offer.  For Galaxy S devices, obviously, it could be just Samsung's Tizen.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Social: LinkedIn Gave Every Employee an iPad mini - Hey, Zucker, How About Facebook Employees?

Source:  Business Insider.

LinkedIn Logo.svg

Via Twitter, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner gave each of his 3,500 employees an iPad mini.  That's about $1.2 million which I am sure Apple gave him some sort of a discount.  At least, I hope so.

And why not?  LinkedIn is on a tear and there really is no end in sight as the social network has found a way to monetize is service and actually provide value for its users and partners.  Whereas Zucker is still trying to figure things out and Facebook continues to deploy shady schemes to sell out its users to the highest bidders.

Yeah, I just don't see Facebook ever doing something like this.

Cult of Mac Destroys Analyst - Love To See More Of This Kind of Article

People don't like lawyers and where Apple is concerned, no one likes Wall Street or tech analysts.  And there are many reasons we hate them.  And this Cult of Mac post documenting all the wrong predictions of one analyst, Peter Misek, is just so juicy.  Dude has been more wrong than most Apple blogs.  And for the blogs, they have a reason to traffic in rumors (which we don't do unless it is for a specific reason other than to spread them).  Blogs rely on readership to generate revenues.

Analysts are to do what?  You like to think they know what they are talking about but it's just been the opposite.  Analysts often ask wrong questions if they were not stupid questions to begin with.  They often bring attention to one data point and make absurd assumptions.  What's worse is when they blame Apple for making them look stupid.

Also, they are like spoiled children - wanting things both ways as in the case of iPhones.  Analysts had assumed that iPhone sales were weak, which they're not and Apple has trouble making enough to satisfy demands, so they believe Apple needs to make cheap iPhones.  Then they go on to lament about falling profit margin.

So, if rumor-trafficking sites like the Cult of Mac thinks these guys are nuts, we want to take notice.  I do enjoy reading CoM posts because they offer insightful analysis and speculations and juicy rumors (but not when the source is DigiTimes).

But this post shredding Misek's credibility is just awesome.  The douche said Apple will be holding a media event to introduce an Apple TV SDK which The Loop already debunked.

Cult of Mac has more than five other Misek blunders worth reading.

Note:  With these Wall Street guys, you have to wonder if they're really this stupid or if they're really pretty smart by looking stupid for the day when (or if ever) the SEC comes after them for stock manipulation.

Another Note:  Sometimes, these Wall Street and tech analysts show frustration when the most successful tech company, or any company for that matter, doesn't take their suggestions.  We should see that as a positive sign that folks at Apple know what they are doing.

Who Will Make the iCar?

Today, all the media seems to focused on Silicon Valley and advances in moble technology but it’s the greening of the auto industry that may be more exciting.  Furthermore, they represent the early days of a revolution in how we view cars and the energy it takes to power them.

I consider the Priuses, Volts, and Leafs just the early stages of this new auto revolution we are witnessing.  Cars before the hybrids were like regular cell phones.  Single purpose.

Hybrids came along.  The mobile parallel would be like the old 3COM’s personal digital assistant, the Palm Pilot.  You can do a bit more.

As we go down this road, it’s tempting to call the Telsa all-electric cars the iPhone of the auto industry but I don’t think we’re there yet.  Maybe the Telsas are more like Blackberries.  Because the Telsa cars are expensive, only a few can afford them.  Just like the early days when Blackberries existed mostly in the corporate world.

The true “iPhone” vehicle, iCar is still sitting in someone’s lab or possible garage waiting to roar onto the road.  And who will make this “iPhone” car?

For the record, I doubt it’ll be Apple in case you’re wondering.  I don’t think it will involve any of the tech giants except for perhaps Google.  The auto industry is a vastly different market after all.  I do believe that this iCar will encompass all the characteristics that has made consumer products so desired.

Sleek design, revolutionize the one or two things that makes a car a car and how we operate it, and provides features that we did not previously know we wanted.  It would revolutionize personal transportation not seen since the saddled horse.

Maybe we’ll have to look to George Jetson for inspiration in this area. Oh wait, doesn’t Google already have a self-driving car?  Or does Apple have what it takes to disrupt another market?  Also magine Google Now- or Siri-controlled vehicle that can plot out an efficient course for you based on your workday and dinner plans?

Amazon Prime Not Worth It Unless You Shop A Lot And Don't Already Have Netflix

This CNet post wondered if Amazon Price is worth the $79 annual fee.  It's a good read and very fair in its praises and criticisms.  Personally, I don't think so.  Here's where I'm coming from.

I'm a Netflix subscriber and I enjoy the experience thoroughly if not for the occasion video that I want to watch that goes missing.  Case in point is that I'm a science fiction watcher.  And the very popular Stargate TV shows are not gone from Netflix.  I irked me immensely.  However, that had no made me quit the service and go over to Amazon Prime where the Stargate TV shows are still available for steaming.

Sure, Netflix cost more but it also has a wider selection of videos.  On top of that, Amazon's video is not available for streaming on most major platforms.  Like the post said, it's not on Android at all.  You have to buy into Amazon's Apple-like ecosystem if you want to stream videos on a tablet.  And yes, you can now stream Amazon's videos on iOS devices san the Apple TV.

Also, as for book borrowing that is available to Prime users, I'm not a big enough reader that I would join up.

And lastly, I don't buy enough to justify the 2-day shipping.  Honestly, unless I can get something overnight, waiting two-days is too long.  If I need something really bad, I need it and I'll get it locally, say, at Best Buy or a local department store like Target, Walmart, or Costco.  For anything else, I can deal with the 5-8 days long free shipping.

So, what will get me to become a Prime user?  More videos obviously.  More original content but not necessarily exclusive content like Downton Abbey (Engadget) which Amazon will carry exclusively soon.  Then again, if Amazon is willing to fork over more money to obtain more shows I want to watch and it's exclusive only to Amazon, yes, I might consider jumping ship.  At the same time, Netflix is showing that it ain't no pushover - developing its own shows and getting more movies than anyone else.

As for the other features, I like to see Amazon opening book borrowing on other devices and stream videos to Android devices.  That plus add more videos that I want to watch.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Pokemon On iOS (And Coming to Android Soon)!!!

Source:  Joystiq.

Holy Cow!  Pokemon, the company which is not related to Nintendo, has just released the Pokemon TV app that allows viewers to watching videos, including the Pokemon cartoons ANYTIME and ANYWHERE!

iPhone Screenshot 1iPhone Screenshot 2

I've already downloaded it and I'm freaking watching Pokemon on my iPhone!  Woohoo. Guess what I'll be doing at the Lakers game tonight against Phoenix during time-outs!

I've got a few comments to make about it.  The video seems a bit off for some episodes and, right now, I am not getting any sounds out of the iPhone app.

Also, I don't see how I can access season one where is where I want to start - from the beginning.  According to the press release, there are more than 700 espisodes and it looks like they'll be refreshing new episodes on a weekly basis.

Hey, nothing to complain about.  It's free.  It's Ash, Pikachu, and the gang.  What more can you ask for?  Oh, yeah, Pokemon games on iOS and Android.  Yeah, that would be super.

Cord Cutting: Intel Gets Into Online Video Service

Source:  CNBC.


This came out of nowhere.  Intel will be getting into the video biz.  We're talking about live streaming video.  Stuff we already see on cable/sat TV.  Okay, it's not cord-cutting but its still quite interesting that the world's premier PC chip provider is doing this.

I don't know why they're doing this or why they think they will succeed but I like it a lot.  Thinking outside of the box.

So, when?  Well, we just got a vague "this year" from CNBC and that Intel is still talking about it with content providers.

So, why?  This is fun.  Well, as Apple and Google move into the living room along with console makers like Microsoft and Sony, these devices, Apple TV, Xbox, and Playstation will be sitting in the living room without "Intel Inside".  On top of that, Google's efforts also like involve ARM-based chips.

By providing a bundled video service along with a set-top box, Intel is trying to assure it has a place at the table, or at the very least, in the showrooms.  In a way, Intel is trying to sell chips.  And if providing a video service, and I'm gonna go out on a limb here, also video games and apps, Intel is trying to create another platform.

Tizen logo dark.png

It'll be interesting to see what kind of OS Intel uses.  It's conceivable that it could go to Microsoft or work its own Android OS.  Keep in mind that Intel does have is own mobile OS called Tizen that is it working on with Samsung, the largest provider of smartphones even a rival chip maker.

Whatever or however Intel implements this, folks, this is very good.  It's competition and it is a very good thing.  I'm hoping it is another step towards cord-cutting somehow and unbundling of services and channels.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Battery Life - Size Matters

Source:  GSM Arena.

I came across this post from GSM Arena when I was looking into the Droid DNA's battery life.  It was adequate but it was the comoparison between the DNA with the iPhone 5 and Motorola RAZR MAXX that got me going a bit.

In the post, the iPhone 5 and the RAZR never went head-to-head in the battery tests.  The RAZR blew away the field of Android devices in just about every category.  The iPhone 5 dominated in the Web browsing categoy but the RAZR was not a part of it.

Based on the information provided in the post and what Apple listed for the iPhone 5 in its tech specs page, we can surmise, though scientifically inaccurate, that the RAZR with its 3300 mAh battery has about a 60% advantage over the iPhone 5's 1440 mAh battery.

Here's what I gather and I think I've been right about this.  Companies sacrificing battery life in the name of the thinness and lightness race.  I'm glad Motorola came out with the MAXX.

Also, Apple has done an incredible job with the battery life for the iPhone 5.  The iPhone generally has one of the smaller battery among competitors in the high-end of the mobile market.  It's advantage comes from the fact that it owns both the OS and hardware teams that is capable of working together to get the most mileage out of the system.  This results in giving Apple a pretty good increase in profit margin.

To that end, I think Motorola engineering team should also be able to do great things with with Google's Android operations.  After all, they're both a part of the same company now.  I see great things in terms of efficiency and battery life for future Motorola devices.

This is also why I think Microsoft will eventually release its own smartphones given that it can achieve the same things Apple is doing and what Google's Motorola will be able to do.

What is disappointing is that Blackberry's Z10's battery life (from early reviews) has so far failed to live up to standards we've expected from Blackberry devices and the it's chief competitors.

SOTU: What Will President Obama Say About Tim Cook Or Apple Tomorrow?

Apple’s Tim Cook will be joining FLOTUS for President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address to Congress and America (and the world).  I’m sure it’s about giving lip service to innovation and entrepreneurship.  But what if it’s more?

I don’t think it’ll be about President Obama saying something like “Apple has given me permission to tell the world about the iWatch…”.  So, it makes me wonder about why Tim Cook is flying across the country for this.

Obviously, when you’re invited by POTUS for an event, you don’t say no.  And it helps Apple’s agendas to have your CEO chatting up the President.  I’m sure Tim Cook whispered a thing or two about Apple’s feelings on immigration, corporate tax holiday and rate, and patent reform.  And maybe about the dismal state of American schools and how having and iPad the hands of eager students will help propel America back to the top again.

In 2012, Steve Jobs’ wife, Laurene Powell Jobs, was a guest of Michelle Obama.  In his speech, President Obama highlighted the need to find the next Steve Jobs.  While the sentiment was likely appreciated, the mention of Steve Jobs proved problematic as Apple off-shored much of the manufacturing of its products if not all of it.

Perhaps, Tim Cook’s presence means that Apple could well return some of those jobs to back to the United States.  Apple has gone on record to say that it will manufacture some Macs here.

Whatever the reason Tim Cook will be in DC tomorrow, it’ll be interesting to see what the President has to say about Cook and/or Apple.

iOS 6.1.1 Update Released - Use If You Have Connectivity Or Battery Issues

Source:  Macrumors.

Apple just released iOS 6.1.1 for those who have had connectivity and/or battery issues.

Media Fail: WSJ, NYT Reports Apple Testing SmartWatch – But So Is Everyone Else Like Samsung, Microsoft, Google

Here is another opportunity for me to discuss a rumor in a different context other than to spread them and take a jab at the media by pointing out how stupid they are.  WSJ and the NYT both reported that Apple is working on a smart watch, AKA iWatch as it is called in the blogworld.  But then again, who isn’t working on a smart watch either as a replacement for the smartphone as another mobile device or as an extension to the smart devices like the iPhone, iPad, or Galaxy devices?

I bet that Apple is working on this but so is LG, Sony, Samsung, and even Google and Microsoft.  There will be plenty of these smart watches on the market soon enough.  It’s not certain that Apple will be among them. You never know what Apple will or will not do.  At the same time, do expect a bunch of these smart watches running Android, Linux, and, perhaps, Windows 8.

Another point I like to make is that not only are these guys, Apple included, play around with watches, they are looking at glasses, HUD, televisions, and other house hold appliances to make them all smart in one form or another.

I reckon Apple is even working on an iCar just to see what they can do with one.  We already know Google’s ambitious plan to make me a car that drives and parks itself (I totally suck at parking).

Of all these companies, I would not bet on Apple to spread iOS love about in just about every direction.  It’s not in their DNA.  However, I do see Google and Microsoft try to seed its OS, apps, and vision further.

So, WSJ/NYT, go a step further and report how Google will eventually own its network of satellites that will reignd own free wireless broadband all over the world.  In fact, maybe they all have to so they can send data to the smart mobile devices, tell when the appliances needs to turn on, and where the cars need to go.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Macbook Discounts So Soon After Christmas, Wonder Why: Bad Sales, New Models

Source:  Appleinsider.

Over the Holidays, you could have gotten a good deal on Macbooks.  After that, prices go back up to where it's high Apple usually likes it.  But according to Appleinsider, you can get a $200 discount off the most basic Macbook Pro with Retina Display.  That would put the Retina Display model at about a $300 premium over a regular Macbook Pro on the low end - much better than the $500 premium we were looking at.

There is no word on how long this will last.  But what's the reason behind the price cuts?  Apple's regular Macbook Pro and Air models have not been discounted much to such an extent but where were still inline with the Christmas discounts.

So, I'll just the basis here for you.  And depending on the reasons for the cuts, it could be a good time to buy.

One theory is that Apple's Mac sales have fallen on hard times.  First quarter sales were off by 1 million units.  Much of that could be attributed to the  inability page for making the iMacs for the quarter.  In fact, you for the iMacs has not improved.  Test, this could be Apple's way of trying to improve Masson's in terms of units.  If this is the reason, no you're good scientific new MacBook if you like.

Another theory, is that Apple has found a way improve yields on the Retina Display.  All along, Apple has been working to lower the cost of Macs for years now. We always knew Retina Display prices would drop.  The $500 premium for the retina display shocked everyone when first released.  Honestly, I thought it would add almost $200 premium.  Of course, I totally discounted how Apple would redesign the Macbooks.

Thirdly, it could be that Apple is on the verge of releasing new Macbook models.  The 15 inch MacBook Pro retina display was released in June 2012. The 13 inch MacBook Pro with retina display was released in October 2012.  It's been about seven months since Apple has updated the 15 inch model. So it is possible Apple is looking to refresh at least a 15 inch MacBook Pro model.  It is unlikely, no let me correct that, it is IMPOSSIBLE Apple will update the 13 inch MacBook Pro only after three months on the market.

Other three series that I laid out for the price discount, I believe the first one is the most likely scenario: Apples MacBook sales have slowed. Discount now will help Apple to meet financial obligations.

Here will be a good place for me to end this post I suggest to my readers what they should do.  But, I am going to offer my "one more thing".

That is, Apple is looking to put another nail in the PC market's coffin. Well PC sales has been dropping, tablet sales have been skyrocketed. As we know, the iPad models is dominating the tablet market. At the same time, people are looking to cabinets as laptop replacement. That would mean more sales for Apple, less sales of laptops, and it will put Microsoft is a very difficult position.

It is not as if Microsoft own hardware plans is doing all that well. The Surface tablet have not been generating the kind of buzz and sales that Redmond had hope.

On top of that Apple has been on the offense lately.  Just last week Apple released the 128 GB iPad models.  This was a direct challenge Microsoft Surface Pro.  Furthermore, by reducing the price of Macs at a critical juncture for Microsoft's Windows 8 sales, Apple is putting more pressure on it's own PC follow.

For instance, with the discount on the 11" MacBook Air, Apple has position it's low-end MacBook Air as another direct alternative, along with the 128 GB iPad, to the Surface Pro.  Both models offer strength for mobile warriors that the Surface Pro is unable to provide.

Apple's offerings has better battery life, larger selection of apps, and first-class designs its competitors cannot offer.

Maybe the Macbook price cuts are about Apple looking to beef up sales, lowering prices due to better yields,  about to release new models, or it is looking to challenge Microsoft.  For potential Macbook buyers, there is no time to buy a Mac than when you need it right away.

Plus, my Spidey sense isn't tingling at all.  I don't think Apple about to release new models.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Plug-Gate: Senator Marco Rubio Hates America Because of iPhone Plugs

Let me be clear.  I'm a fiscal conservative as in I think I should live within my means.  So should the government.  While I think charity and helping neighbors should be the innate duty of every American and there are some things that governments can do that is good for the people, it's not the government's role to legislate many things and overspending.

So, my political views are probably closer to the dumbass gentleman from Florida, Senator Marco Rubio. So, I don't want this to seem like a Democrat bashing a Republican.   Why dumbass, you ask?

As an US senator, he's suggesting that he would migrate over to a phone made by a foreign company from an American one.  An iconic company no less.

In this case, it's Apple and Samsung. Why migrate from Apple over to Samsung?  The reason is stupid to say the least.  It's not even an iOS versus Android issue.  It's because he thinks he has too many Apple plugs!

I have Android devices. I’m considering getting a Galaxy Note 2. My issue isn't him migrating to an Android device.  More power to him.  It's that Rubio is an US senator to tweet about it, it just seem kinda stupid.

Again, my issue isn't related at all to the mobile platform war.  It's his reason and who he stands for. And you know what?  Personally, I don't think you can have enough plugs.

And this is the guy the GOP wants to run for President of the United States in 2016.  Let's spread this around.  Let's call this "Plug-gate".

Note:  I think Romney should have picked him for VP.

Greed: Fund Manager Sues Apple So He Can Create Illusion of Creating Value For Shareholder

Source:  9to5Mac.

Back when Apple was still struggle, Michael Dell was asked what he would do if he was in charge of Apple.  Well, he said he would do what exactly is happening to Dell right now:  give the money back to the investors.  Irony aside, maybe today’s Apple executives probably don’t think that is such a bad idea after all given what happened today.

Apple is being sued by a greedy fund manager to use financial trickery to “unlock” shareholder value.  Believe me when I tell you that all this is about greedy and getting Apple to do what it won’t.  Of course, by nature, fund managers are greedy people.  They have to be so you can’t really blame them.

So, no extra value is being created for Apple shareholders if this fund manager gets what he wants.  It’s all about Apple’s cash.  Cash that Apple can use to do what tech pundits and Wall Street analysts want Apple to do more often:  come out with revolutionary products the consumers did not know they want or need.

This is a simple case of Wall Street wanting everything.  Just like they want Apple to sell cheap iPhones while magically maintaining profit margin.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Asleep Baby Wakes Up Instantly And Dances To Gangnam Song

This is too funny. You have to watch this baby named Amaya.  Apparently, she can sleep through anything but once a particular song comes on, she wakes and dances to it.  Even in the car seat.

And yes, it's the Gangnam song.  I'm sick of the song but it's worth it to watch the video below.

As if that was not cute enough, check out her older sister laughing so hard she started to cry.  Both very adorable.



Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Apple TV: Square Enix Loss Shows Why Apple Is Being Careful About Apps

Source:  Destructoid.

You and I both want an app store for our Apple TV.  Games galore and whatever fancies you.  However, it's a no-go yet even as others experiment with it.  I think I know partly why that is so.

Square Enix, despite having awesome titles still have not managed to make a buck last year on the consoles. That's Playstation, Xbox, and the Wii.  It seems to be doing a better on mobile like on the iPhones and iPads.  I'm sure developers will be pleased when Apple TV gets an app store.

Of course, it's anyone's guess.  Apple has always been very careful about these sort of things.  Until they figure out a perfect way for users to access apps, it won't happen.

In the post, SE blamed the mess that the console market is in.  They blame the cost of doing business which inflates the prices of the games which users shied away from.  Apple is very likely looking to avoid the console makers' mistakes.

I also believe that once Apple decides to launch the app store for Apple TV, gaming will be a major marketing ploy.  Both Apple and publishers will have to sit down and figure out just how they can make sure users can stay engaged while not repeating any of the issues console makers have had to go through.

5-Inch iPhone: Rumblings, Cravings, And Lots of Speculations

I’m sure Apple has iPhone prototypes in Jony Ives’ lab ranging from 3” all the way up to 6”.  It makes sense that Apple would play around with different screen sizes and UI to see what is best for users.  Now, it’s anyone’s guess whether Apple will ever release an iPhone with a bigger than 4” screen current on the iPhone 5.  


However, momentum is building within the Apple blog circle that Apple could conceivable release a 5” iPhone and they speculated how Apple could go about it.  The way they’re doing it is through mockups, speculating about resolutions, DPI, and icon sizes.  I read just about every post I could find on it and love every one of them and hope to God that they’re right.

Here are the more recent ones in the last week or so (Marco, iMore, Daring Fireball).

There are just a few problems.  One is Tim Cook saying that they found the perfect size with the 4” screen that is great for one handed use.  However, Apple has a history of saying one thing and doing another.  What Apple tells us today is what they want the media and its customers to think for today.  Tomorrow is another matter.  It’s an issue but not a major one.  Apple has been known, rather notoriously, for saying one thing only to do the complete opposite a moment later.

The second is that many of these mockups and speculations talk about the 5” DPI being less than the Retina Display.  If falls somewhere between the iPad mini and the iPad Retina Display.  Between this issue and the one-handed use, I think this is much more problematic.  It would not be Retina anymore by Apple’s own definition (as it is today).  Okay, fine.  Neither is the iPad mini or the iPad 2, two Apple products on sale that do not have Retina Displays.

However, a 5” iPhone will be considered a flagship device that will go just against competing flagship phones from Samsung, HTC, Nokia, and RIM.  And basically any punk on the mobile mean street looking to knock off Apple.  By keeping the same as the 4” at 1136x640, Apple leaves itself to cheap marketing shots by its competitors.

In fact, the upcoming Galaxy S 4 will have a 5” 1080p display.  That’s about 440 dpi.  If Apple keeps the 5” display at 1136x640.  I see the marketing from just about everyone who wants to tear one into Apple even if they don’t succeed in destroying iPhone’s good name.

What I Like Apple To Do

What Apple has to do increase the resolution again to keep the DPI within the parameters so that it can call its 5” iPhone display a Retina Display.  Go even as high as 2272x1280, twice the resolution of today’s iPhone 5 display and 4X the number of pixels. There will be added cost but Apple is free to price this higher than the regular 4” iPhone display.  I’m okay with even a 1.5X increase in resolution at 1704x960.  It’s quite feasible from a technical standpoint.  As for the apps, well, I believe app developers will fall in line.

And you know what? I’ll buy it.  Tens of millions of Apple fans will buy it.  Millions will wait eager wait in line for it.  At 2272x1280 or 1704x960, it would blow my socks off!

It would be Apple’s crowning achievement in mobile but it would cost more.  For instance, I see Apple release a 5” iPhone with a $100-150 premium over a comparable 4” iPhone.  And it’ll come with a 32 GB as a base model rather than 16 GB and go all the way up to 128 GB.  Depending on Apple’s willingness to absorb some margin hit and it has shown that in the last couple of financial quarters, Apple could really take the 5” and up segment of the market from Samsung.

My guess is that Apple has already laid the ground work for this.  For one thing, Apple already has the chips capable of running in the iPad 4 when it refreshed the 9.7” iPad with a better CPU just before the Christmas.  According to Apple, the A6X chip inside the iPad 4 has about 50-100% the processing and graphics power as the iPad 3.  And they both run the same display.  So you have to ask yourself what kind of awesomeness this chip will do in a 5” iPhone.  (If you like tech analysis and benchmarks, check out BareFeats and Anantech on the A6X chip.)

Will It or Won’t It?

All these speculations aside, which I’m loving it, it’s hard to say if Apple is going to go for it.  Times have changed since the original iPhone came out of Steve Jobs’ pocket in 2007.  A lot.  The incumbent leaders in mobile have come and gone with Palm being gone and Blackberry look at its new Blackberry 10 devices as make or break for 2013.  Microsoft has yet to mount a comeback (though I think Redmond’s patience will win the day eventually).  Nokia is in the same bed with Microsoft.

For the Android device makers, they’ve gone the bigger screen route and with a lot of success.  Apple’s biggest foe, Samsung, has differentiated itself from the rest of the Android pack with brilliant branding, copy Apple’s success to one degree or another, and really innovated with the bigger screens in the Galaxy Note line.

On top of that, the 5”-ish Galaxy S line is lighting up the high-end segment of the market where Apple usually like to have all to itself.

More than just phones getting bigger, so are the habits of mobile warriors and their behaviors towards their smartphones.  Calling is out.  Texting and other forms of social communication is in.  Twitter, Facebook, blogging as well surfing the Web or using apps take up more time than before.  Bigger screens helps.

We simply don’t use our phones to make calls as much anymore.  Our smartphones are for absorbing information.

I think Apple will eventually relent just as they have with the iPad mini.  However, when it happens, it’ll be on Apple’s terms and parameters.  It will not because investors, pundits, or market forces dictate it so.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Social: Twitter Was Hacked - So Were Others LIke the NYT. Expect More Of This

All Things D.

More than 250,000 Twitter accounts were hacked. Luckily, mine wasn't among those but I'm sure that day will come. And this happened via Twitter, not individuals who were phished or something.

With today's short term media attention, I want to remind ourselves that earlier in the week, the New York Times claimed to have been targeted by Chinese government backed hackers. I know there is no evidence that Beijing had a direct hand in it but, come on, it's China we're talking about.

Later, the Wall Street Journal as well as the Washington Post revealed that they too had the honor of the Chinese probing them from the back.

Needless to say, it's only February and we've for 11 more months to go in 2013. We're looking at a lot more of this for the rest of the year and beyond.

It won't be just social media sites or media giants. I think government sites are next as are public facilities like water, gas, and power facilities.

So ATD is right. It isn't who will be the next to be hacked but who will admit to being hacked.

And what's also right is that there are companies out there that are not aware of security breaches into their networks.

So it kinda makes you wonder about any PC, phones, or tablets you own.

For mobile users, our fear isn't necessarily about our smartphones or tablets. However, it's the data that apps you download and install that we have to worry about. We simply don't know what kinda of data these apps are pulling from our devices. On top of that, we have to trust Apple, Google, Blackberry, and Microsoft to police their app stores on our behalf. The trust we put in Google is doubly more important because it make money off user data.

Just this week, up and coming social network Path was fined $800,000 by the FTC for violations. The fine was for allowing children onto their network and collecting their information. And this is a very good iPhone app that we thought Apple would have done its vetting before allowing the app into the store.

So whether it is companies or individuals, hacking is going to be the norm and the only one thing to know about this and one defense we users have.

We have to know that companies we give our information to will most definitely get hacked. And the only defense we have is common sense.

- Posted using Mobile

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Mobile: Thin Should Be Out, Battery Life In

Google's mobile division, AKA Motorola, is working on a new device. An Android device, obviously. No one really knows what specs the device will have but I do have one request to make.

Google, think Droid Razr Maxx HD. Think iPhone 5. By this, I mean consider the long battery life the Maxx has and what the battery life on the iPhone 5 would be if Apple doesn't go for thin.

The Maxx HD has a 3,300 mAh battery coming in at 9.3 mm thick while the iPhone 5 is 2mm thinner at 7.3 mm with only 1,440 mAh of battery.

The weight difference is more apparent with the RAZR coming in at 156 grams versus the iPhone 5 at 112 grams. However, the RAZR is a bigger phone after all.

Having said all that, I gladly take battery life over thinness any day. In the last few days, battery life issues has been a recurring theme for many bloggers and people I know as CES just ended, Blackberry just introduced the new Z10, and a wave of new Android devices are waiting in the wing.

Everyone wants longer battery life for their mobile devices. Almost everyone thinks their current device is thin enough. Instead of going even thinner, users want any space saved with each new chip or hardware change to be used for bigger batteries.

iPhones and Android devices have brought huge changes to our lives in the last five years. But mobile computing has not come close to its potential because of limits in battery life.

Not processing power, screen sizes, or other newer features like BT 4.0 or NFC.

Mobile warriors have been living on their devices and we are ready move away from laptops and cut that cord to the older PC era. We want to cut the cord to the outlet as well.

The RAZR Maxx HD is probably the closest thing to a mobile device that frees the user to do whatever he or she wants without worry about the life line of the phone dying on them before the day is up.

So hopefully, we will see tech companies put more into longer battery life than continuing the arms race of having more cores and/or going even thinner.

- Posted using Mobile

Friday, February 1, 2013

Apple TV: Pending HBO Deal Shows Tech Pundits/Bloggers Are Getting Ahead Of Themselves

Earlier, I wrote about how Apple's attempt to bring HBO to the Apple TV is a good move but doesn't make sense for those who want to cut the cord or have already done so.  Here, a post from The Atlantic that agrees with that assertion.

On top of that, HBO on TV for the consoles have been around for about a year if not longer.  There are a couple of points that I like to further make on this issue.

One, Apple's history of changing lives, how do we do things, and whole industries has spoiled us badly.  Apple TV started off as a hobby for Apple and continues to be so.  A lot of deal was made about television when Steve Jobs' authorized biography claimed that he has cracked television.

What he means only he and Apple knows and Apple remains just as secretive as ever.  But this notion only serves to generate the craziness and irrational exuberance that we have come to expect from every bone-headed rumor or news about Apple.

Tim Cook only indicated Apple has plans for the living room and they continue to work towards that.  The small incremental change to the Apple TV may just be that plan.

Second, Apple's TV plans may not be revolutionary at all.  Tim Cook and his team may come to terms that content providers and the power structure in place in Hollywood will not change for years if not decades and any revolution for television may not happen as quickly as we like.  So, what does Apple do?  It'll have to take what it can and move the goal line by inches rather than leaps.

When you take both points together, you come to one conclusion about Apple's plan for the television.  It's a ground game like in football where you fight for every single yard.  It's not going to be a Joe Montana like bomb and throws everyone into a frenzy.

We may get HBO in 2013.  Maybe more video services or app store in a year or two.  And 4K a few years after that.  It'g going to take a whole to get to media nirvana in the living room.

Oh, and if you think that someone else is going to come along and do what Apple can't, think again.  It will not matter if it's Amazon, Google, Microsoft, or Samsung.  They have their own battle plans for the living room and they looking exactly like Apple's.

The gatekeepers of media content has learned from the music industry. Giving Apple the key to the kingdom in their minds was a mistake and they won't let what happen to the music industry happen to them.

Apple: Any Deals For Media Has To Revolutionize TV, Otherwise, No Point

Apple is always negotiating for content with rights owners so I don’t think I’m breaking my “no rumors” pledge when I point out Bloomberg’s post about Apple negotiating with HBO to bring content over to the Apple TV.  The reason I’m bringing this up now is because from what’s being talked about, it makes zero sense from Apple’s perspective unless it’s about making a few pennies here and here.

See, Apple is a company that prides itself on big changes.  The kind of changes that wows the world.  Apple is the type of company that wants to bring a product to you and me and say, “thanks, Apple.  I didn’t even know I needed this until you brought it up”.

So, what we know about the HBO talk is that Apple is looking to bring HBO Go to the Apple TV so that users can watch HBO shows on it.  Great.  With me so far?  The only thing is that the deal being worked on doesn’t cut the cord.  Users still have to have cable or satellite TV services in order to access HBO’s contents.

How does that help those of us who don’t want to beholden to Time Warner, Charter, Dish, or anyone else who forces us to buy bundles of channels we don’t want or care for?

I will see the HBO app icon on Apple TV taking up valuable screen real estate, get annoyed by it, and skip right over it because I don’t want to sign up with Charter.  I have enough to watch on Netflix, Hulu, and even Redbox Instant.

So, why is Apple even negotiating with anyone about putting HBO Go on Apple TV?  A lot of people feel the same way about cord-cutting like myself.  It is possible that Apple is trying to get a small piece of the pie from HBO and providers for making it accessible on Apple TV.

And should this become a success, I see other channels and providers following HBO’s move in this respect if a deal is struck.  Apple is brilliant for working with HBO on this.

Again, why?  Well, Apple wants to sell hardware.  Apple TV, iOS devices, and maybe the unicorned Appled HDTV.  Unfortunately, I don’t see this helping Apple selling TV at all.  Millions of us are not going to pick up an Apple product to access HBO or other contents if we also have to have cable/SAT TV services.

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

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