Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Mobiles Saving Lives By Deflecting Bullets: That's It, I'm Wearing My Tablets And Smartphones Now - Even My New Macbook Pro

Source:  TUAWTwitterCNN.

Earlier, we learned that a store clerk's life was saved when his HTC Android device saved his life by stopping the bullet of a robber.  Now, we learned that an iPhone cable saved the life of a Los Angeles sheriff deputy.  This isn't the first time we've heard of smartphones saving the lives of their owners.

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Maybe I should start wearing my tablets and smartphones when I venture out.  Maybe the Google Glass will save someone from a head shot.  Who knows, right?

Back in 2007, an iPod saved the life of an US soldier when it stopped the bullet from an AK-47 fired by a terrorist.  Then again last year, another soldier who was hit in the leg was lifted away for medical attention.  The iPhone in his pocket deflected the bullet's trajectory away from his femoral artery.  Had it been severed, he would most likely have died.

By the way, supposedly HTC will replace the clerk's damaged phone with an HTC One.  Now how I'd want to get a new phone but I'm glad in all instances, the victims were all able to get away with their lives if not walk immediately away from it.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Australians Prefer PS4 By A Large Margin To Xbox One

Accords to CNET, Australians prefer the Playstation 4 from Sony by a 2-1 margin over Microsoft's Xbox One.

Personally, I've already preordered an Xbox One and plan on keeping it despite some uncertainties and favorable views from the media for the PS4.

For Microsoft, making sure the Xbox brand stays on top is very important. It's one of their bright spots outside of the business and Windows divisions.

Lose the next gen console badly, Microsoft can kiss the consumer market good-bye.

Remember, in the coming years, the incumbent players in the console market may have to contend with dark horses like media boxes running Google's Android. There are at least half a dozen media boxes running Android that might have potential to serve as a media box and as a gaming console like the Nvidia Shield.

Heck, maybe even the Apple TV. I don't know if Apple has TV hardware aspirations but I do know they've got their eyes on gaming in the living room.

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Prediction: iPad mini With Retina Display Will Go On Sale On...

I think the iPad mini with the new Retina Display will go on sale on November 15th, two weeks after the iPad Air goes on sale.  That's my own prediction and nothing more.  I think I have a perfectly logical explanation for thinking it'll be on the 15th, and not any other Fridays in November - that being the 8th, 22nd, or the 29th.

And obviously, we can forget about November 1st, this Friday since that's the date Apple picked to start selling the iPad Air.

So, what makes me think that Apple will begin selling the new iPad mini with the new Retina Display?  Just some common sense and picking the odds.  Obviously, it can't be the 29th, that is Black Friday.  Apple is not going to try to deal with a rush of Black Friday shoppers and the iPad mini crowd.  No way they'll do that.

That leaves the 8ths and 22nd.  I don't think it's the 8th because it'll only be a week after the Air goes on sale and, personally, if I run Apple, I would give the Air a bit of "air" to itself before releasing another product for sale.  And the rush to the website and the stores for the Air will continue to be fresh even a week later.  It'll continue to be quite busy for Apple employees.

Apple always has a crowd for the Christmas shopping days and it doesn't need to exacerbate needlessly the situation.

That leave the 15th and 22nd.  I don't think it'll be the 22nd because it's a week before the Thanksgiving week and Black Friday. For the nearly the identical reason why Apple will not sell the iPad mini on Black Friday, 22nd won't be either.  It's just cutting it too close.  Imagine the onslaught of the crowd and the online rush to try to get the new mini.

That leave the 15th.  It's two weeks after the Air has been on sale and two weeks before Black Friday.  And since Apple typically releases new products for sale on a Friday, the 3rd Friday of this November makes the best sense for the iPad mini with Retina Display to go on sale.

Apple can obviously break its mold and start selling the iPad mini on another day of the week but I find that unlikely at this time.  So, I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say it's the 15th.  Hey, I would not mind being wrong if it's the 8th but I hate for Apple to start selling the mini later in November.

Note:  I was right in my prediction about the iPad event date.  Think I can make it 2 for 2?

The Case For An iPad 2: Everyone Still Wants One

The iPad 2 will probably go down as one of the best iPad since the 2010 original iPad and, perhaps, along with this year's iPad Air.  Sorry, mini, you're, well, a mini.  It explains why Apple is still keep the iPad 2 around, at least for another year.  So, what makes the iPad 2 such a rocking indispensable tablet?

Let's get the Apple angle out of the way.  By now, the iPad 2, which from what I've been able to find out, is still in high demand.  And given that it's already more than 2.5 years old, Apple is making a hefty margin on it and adding to its growing pile of cash.

So, why are people still buying it?  It's $399.  And probably lower if they're bought on lots of hundreds or thousands.  Businesses and schools come to mind.  Tim Cook unveiled yesterday that Apple has an unprecedented 94% of the tablet share in education.  And schools are looking at the full sized iPad to give their students.  I'm willing to get a large number of those are iPad 2 tablets.  The only competition I see the iPad 2 has in the near future is from the iPad mini coming in at $299, which is essentially the iPad 2 with a 7.9" screen and a better camera.

Also, businesses are still buying iPad 2 for their workforce.  It's light, performs decently still, and, again, cheap.  If you want to use it as a transaction register (I didn't call it a cash register because the iPad 2 just doesn't take cash) along with a device like Square, it's cheaper than buying a big bulky and expensive cash register.  I've seen more and more businesses turn to iPad use in the manner.  There is no need to get a more powerful and expensive iPad 4 to do this simple task of swiping a credit card and taking money from it.

And on top of that, the iPad 2 does run iOS 7 which comes with it more features and better security which is a plus for enterprise,small biz, and schools (assuming Apple can find a way to keep resourceful elementary kids from hacking its lockdown system).

Want an example?  Check this out.  Southwest will be deploying the iPad 2 as an entertainment solution on its flights to let flyers watch shows on the Dish network. How awesome is that? (9to5mac). And how many thousands do you think the airline have bought from Apple?  And also, Dish is giving out a free iPad 2 if you sign up with it and get a Hopper too. (Dish)

The question is what happens next year?  Conceivably, Apple could make iOS 8 work on the iPad 2 and iPad mini with further limitations but it is also moving further down the road on the 64-bit roadmap.  We'll have to see how Apple deals with the $399 sweet spot that the iPad 2 as well as the $299 iPad mini sits on now.  But that's speculation for another day.

Monday, October 28, 2013

iPad Mini With Retina Display Ship Date Clue In Financial Call

There is an ongoing financial call between Apple and analysts right now.  One of them asked  a question about the iPad and Tim cook mentioned something about iPad mini with Retina Display shipping later in November.  He might have also mentioned late November.

I'll be listening in tonight to review the financial call. I'll check back if there is anything new about this.  I think we should get a definitive ship date from Apple next week, after the Air has had a full week of sale.

My guess would be 15th, two weeks after the iPad Air has gone on sale.

Spoiled Moronic Media/Pundits Who Are Not Wowed By Apple Events/Products Should Stop Reading Rumors And Spoiler Blogs

Remember the TV series, Lost?  Of course you do.  After the first season, I stopped watching it. And I didn't get into it until the whole series became available on Netflix.  And 24?  I waited until the DVD set is out every season and binge-watched it.  And these days, with movies or TV series that I wanted to avoid learning info about, I make sure I don't read the title or posts that have spoilers.  I did that with Star Trek Into Darkness and I had no idea what would happen going into the theater.  I was more blown away than most other fans.  And I also do with same with The Walking Dead.

And fans who go online and search for every bit of information about a movie or TV series before premieres end up not being as excited as they should be.  There's an element of a let-down.  That "wow" factor is no longer there when you know what to expect for the most part.

Well, that's the same thing for the Apple media events and products that they unveil.  The media, bloggers, and pundits all go online and read rumors and see pics of leaks of the next iPhone or iPad.  They join Apple's developer programs to get beta versions of the OS. And then when Apple finally unveils the finished products, they claim that they're bored.  That there is no longer a "one more thing" or claim that the "wow" factor is no longer there.

Well, those guys are morons.  It's the same thing in other media. If you jump to the end of a book, read how it ends and then go back and read it from the beginning, obviously, the reader won't be surprised when he knows how it all ends.

For Apple unveilings, when there are surprises like the A7 chip with 64-bit architecture, the media and pundits are too stupid to understand the implications of it.

So, for those who complain about how boring Apple is these days, try avoiding the rumor sites for a year and then sit through the live blogs next year and see how you react then.  Trust me, that wow factor will be back when you don't know what the ending is.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Why I'll Be Getting the Last Gen iPad Mini

Obviously, I'm not made of money.  I wish because I would not be writing posts like this: I’m thinking about getting an $299 iPad.  I rather be able to say I WILL BE GETTING an iPad mini.  Not the new one with the A7 chip but the one from last year at $299.

Yeah, that price point got me.  I know that it's essentially an iPad 2 in a smaller form factor and a smaller screen at 7.9" than the regular 9.7" iPad screen.  Why now and not at $329?

First of all, I will be getting a T-Mobile version of the 128 GB iPad Air to replace my 2010 32 GB iPad.  It's a big jump.  And with the iPad Air, a lot of it will be for work.  Be going a lot of work on there.  It'll essentially replace my Mac.  I'm still out on whether I'll be getting a new Macbook Pro.  I'm trying my best to hold off on that for another year.  My Air for a lot of entertainment use.

Second, that’s what the $299 iPad mini will be used for.  Entertainment.  Streaming video, gaming, and Facetime.

Third, having a second device seems insane.  Well, I’m a mobile fan.  I don’t see this as an issue.  Right now, I’ve got a 4th gen iPad, 2010 iPad, and a Nexus 7.  Oh, and I’ve also got Palm Touchpad as well.  After I get my iPad Air, I’ll be passing along my 4th gen iPad to my nephew.  On top of that, having two devices like this makes sense for mobile warriors.  Two devices with twenty hours of battery life.

The closest thing you can come to that is a reported 2013 13” Macbook Air running on Mavericks giving an estimated 15 hours of battery life.  Even then, that’s not the same thing as having two devices.  Sure, I’ve got only two hands and can really use just one device at a time.

Even so, I figure I’m going to be able to do get quite a bit done with this setup.  Imagine being able to do work on one iPad, the Air, and maybe read or do research with the other.  You can already do this with one iPad but, with AirDrop, I’m going to be able to send pictures, links, etc. from on device to another seamlessly.

But why the $299 and why not wait for the $399 iPad?  Well, money is an issue.  Otherwise, I would be getting a 128 GB iPad mini as well.  But alas, I’ve got to eat and have lots of bills to pay.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

iPad Versus MacBook: Air What?

Lots of people had the same reaction when Apple told us the next iPad would have a new name: iPad Air. Momentary silence and then polite applause.

Me? The same. Then I thought "iPad Pro, next?"

Then the next thought was "iPad Air versus MacBook Air".

9.7" Versus 11.6" screens. Not a big diff but the iPad wins because it had a Retina display. Both have long battery lives: 10 hours versus 9 hours for the iPad and MacBook respective.

The iPad Air wins on weight but the MacBook Air runs Mavericks.

While the IPad starts at $499, a 128 GB model moves it into the MacBook Air price range. Even closer if you had the cellular version.

Oh, yeah, the iPad has a cellular option that the MacBook doesn't.

In a few years, with Apple improving the iOS and the iPad, especially with the 64-bit chip, the line between what we can do on the iPad and the MacBook will be further blurred. The computing and graphics power of the iPad has been increasing faster than on the PC side. It's unlikely the tablet will catch up to the PC anytime soon or if at all. But it may not have to. Closing some of the gap might be enough.

And a couple of more iterations from now, when people talk about the Air, they could be referring to the iPad rather than the MacBook version.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Cloud: I'll Be Download And Backing Up All My iTunes Purchases Tonight Because The Studios Can Take Them Away At Any Moment, Disney Took Away Lion King From iTunes

I've pretty much stopped downloading stuff I buy from iTunes onto my hard drive at home because of the cloud, specifically, iCloud.  With the ability to re-download movies, TV shows, and music from iTunes, I did not find the need to store them locally.  That is until today.  And frankly, I'm surprise it took this long for the story to get traction and, even then, it's still not widely being reported.

Apparently, a few movies from Disney are not longer available for play or download.  Disney.  Apple's best buddy, Disney.  It's almost like Buzz and Woody.  Their association has to do with the fact that Steve Jobs was the CEO of both Apple and Pixar and Jobs eventually sold Pixar to Disney.  On top of that, Bob Iger, Disney's CEO, is on Apple's board.

So, I'm was perplexed and skeptical that this 9to5Mac post about a user who found himself unable to download Lion King.  It was one of the first posts I saw this morning.  I quickly did a search and found no other site has reported on it so I thought maybe this was nothing.

Now, it's been confirmed.  And Disney is working to make sure those who have bought movies from them can still do once a fix is avaiable.

The question is why is this happening.  Most folks think this is a licensing issues as Amazon is apparently suffering from the same thing.

So, I'll be firing up the old backup hard drive and putting it to work tonight.  All my movies.  Screw streaming from the iCloud.  This just isn't what I got into when I began buying from iTunes.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

All Those Talks About Free Apple Apps and OS And How It's Bad For Microsoft, It's Too Early

Whenever I can get a great deal on things I like, I feel pretty good about it.  When I can get it for free?  Hallelujah!  That's what Apple made possible on Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013, during their iPad media event when Apple showed us their vision and paved the way to the future.

Many things are being talked about and sportscentered (like that?  I just turned the ESPN Sport Center into a verb) over.  One of them is how Apple has made a lot of apps free.  iLife.  iWork. And of course, the soul of all Macs, OS X.  This year's update is called Mavericks.

Of the three, Mavericks and iWork are being talked about in a specific manner:  how this will impact Microsoft.

To put it into context, we have to take a couple of steps back.  Apple may have started the personal computer revolution in the late 70s and really turned the world on its head with the Macintosh in 1984.  Then, Microsoft was but an app company by today's standard.  It sold Excel on the Mac in 1985 (wiki).  Word joined Excel on the Mac in 1987 (wiki).  Microsoft made apps.

But then it released its Windows OS and the rest is history as each subsequent release was improved up and, eventually, Microsoft, won the PC war.  I won't go into the details of what happened.  

To this day, Microsoft still dominate the PC market in terms of OS shares.  And not only that, it also dominate the office productivity share with its Office suite.  And Microsoft makes the vast majority of its profit selling licensed copies of Windows and Office.  

So, now you see why folks are saying that by giving away OS X and iWork, Apple is going to hit Microsoft where it hurts.  Maybe.

I don't agree or disagree with that assessment.  I like to offer possible reason why Apple is doing this, at least, with giving iWork away for free.  What Apple did on Tuesday was not a one-two punch but a block and a punch.

It's trying to block Microsoft's attempts to make further inroads into both the smartphone and tablet markets while trying to show the market that it has the office apps that are good enough for the vast majority of the market.  Be it the home, education, or enterprise market.  Not everyone is going to need the 80% of all the tools that Microsoft Office has like the pivot table.

We're okay with Pages, Numbers, and Keynote functions.  And all those functions may represent just 20% of all that Office apps can do but they are all of the 20% of Office that 90% of the market really needs.  

It's a good rational on Apple's part.  iWork is free and will always be free but anyone who wants to use Office will have to fork over around $130 a year.  That's also a good argument.  

But don't count Microsoft out.  Google Docs has been free for years and has made some inroads into government and enterprise but it's still nothing Microsoft is all that worried about.  Microsoft has learned from the market and adapted and I'm sure the same could be said how it will deal with Apple.

As for Mavericks and future OS X updates being free,  I don't think the majority of the PC market cares all that much.  Not in the short-term.  

iOS Multiple Account Support: Forget About It! Not Likely To Happen

This BGR post is clamoring for mutiple account support for the iPad.  Maybe all iOS devices including the iPhone and iPod touch.  Well, you can forget about it.  iOS devices are more personal than personal computers have ever been.  This is probably the reason why Apple will unlikely ever offer multiple account support.

What Apple might offer one day is a sandbox feature that allows someone, say the owner's child, access to the iOS device when turned out and can only exit once the user's print or pass code is entered once the device is returned to the rightful owner.

That's as much as I see happening.

Today, smartphones and tablets are carried around by their owners.  They're typically not shared at all.  The husband has one.  The wife probably has one.  Maybe even the kid.  Try prying that iPhone or iPad from their hands.

Besides, it's in Apple's self-interest that it gets its mobile devices into the hands as much individuals as possible.  Sharing isn't something they really like to see or care for too much.

And let's say the author does eventually get this feature from Apple.  Great, he got his wish and he's able to load differently profiles for use for his wife and children.  How long before he goes out and buys each and everyone of his family member an iPad because they've been hogging his and he had not been able to use it?

Mobile: T-Mobile In Its "Unleash" Plan Will Offer 200MB of Data To All Its Tablets

Initially, I thought it was just the iPad but it looks like T-Mobile will offer 200 MB of free data a month to all. I think this just about says it.  Supposedly, they've got a $10 a month plan as well.  I can see them going with one GB for $10.

This pic from T-Mobile's twitter feed just about says it.

Tmonews has more information. The gist is that you can get unlimited data for $10 a month with the first 500 MB at LTE speed.  And you know what happens after that, right?  It's down to EDGE speed of course.  For none intensive use like messaging or e-mailing, that ain't bad at all.

Then there's the T-Mobile scheme that allows you to pay for the tablets over the life of 24 months.  Already know that part.  Nothing new there.

This definitely is a game changer.  Guess which network I'll be getting my tablets from from now on?

iPad 2013 Line-Up, $299 and Up, Will Be One Of the Richest But Most Difficult To Settle On (Part 1)

Apple's iPad event yesterday did not disappoint.  I got my target Macbook Pro and an assortment of new iLife and iWork. But I also need a new iPad.  Sure, I've got two of them in my mobile arsenal but I'm gonna be passing my 4th gen one to my nephew.  And as for my 2010 original iPad?  It's getting a lot of mileage as a home tablet for streaming videos and whatnot.

So, I'm in the market for a new iPad.  Before the event, I was gunning and hoping for an iPad mini with Retina display.  I love the Retina Display on the iPad but that thing weighs more than twice that of the mini.  And I'm not that particular about using my tablets with one hand, not like I do with my phones, so that isn't an issue.

See, I carry around lot of gears and notebooks still.  So, any less weight off would be great.

Then Apple dropped the iPad Air.  And with it, comes a new form factor that comes in at 1 pound.  And to make matters worse, while Apple did offer the iPad mini with Retina Display, it also increased the weight to about .75 pound.  The different is only about a quarter pound.

There are a couple of factors that might drive me towards the Air.  One is that it will be available sooner rather than later.  Also, I've might be more productive on the iPad than on the mini.  Third, bigger screen also means bigger text.

One caveat for me about the iPad is the charge time.  It takes a freaking long time.

Anyway, I'll go check it out on November 1st at my local Apple Store.  It does sound like I'm settle on the Air.  I'd say it's more like 55-45 that I'm leaning towards it.

For now.  I'm sure more info will leak out over the next few days as Apple insiders gleefully share much coveted information.

Air: iPad Versus Macbook

There's so many direction I can go with this and I think I will go with all of them.  Because it's fun to speculate about Apple products and how this will impact mobile warriors.

First, I've got a late-2010 Macbook Air, the original iPad, iPad 4th gen, and an assortment of iPhones and iPods.  I'm just an Apple fan like that.  In general, I'm a huge mobile fan.  Got Google and Microsoft gears too.  But Apple has been more fun to talk about because of its history and secrecy.

So, imagine the surprised looks on many people's faces, those at the live Apple event, those watching them on their Apple gears, and those following the live blogs, when Apple announced the "iPad 5" will be called the "iPad Air".

So then I got to thinking almost immediately once the shock wore off.  Air?  Doesn't Apple already have a successful product called the Macbook Air?  Two of them if I remember correctly.

So, it's Air versus Air.  iPad versus Macbook.  Is Apple trying to tell us something?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Who the iPhone 5c Is Really For

It's been nearly a month since I've got my iPhone 5s.  Been using it extensively.  That's obvious since I'm a mobile warrior just like you and it's been like that since my iPhone 4.  Having said that, I have to admit that thought I had the iPhone 5, I was looking pretty hard at the iPhone 5c - the green version.  I didn't go with it because I wanted the newest that Apple had to offer with the 5s, the speed, the upgraded camera, and, of course, Touch ID.  And I wanted 64 GB.

Still, the 5c is in its own right something that works for many people.  I think some folks were disappointed in the fact that the iPhone 5 form factor is no longer available and in order to get one, you have to go with the 5s.  Also, the colors may not be for everyone.  Perhaps, this is why the 5s schooled the 5c in the beginning.  After all, which iPhone that Apple has ever released been outsold by last year's model at a lower price.  The 3gs outsold the 3g in the same period.  The iPhone 4 outside the 3GS.  The iPhone 4s outsold the iPhone 4 and so on.

So, this is why many in the media and blogdom are using the fact that the 5s has outsold the 5c by a factor of 3 to 1 to click-baiting themselves to get more eye balls.  It's a low hanging fruit.  They don't want you to remember that newer iPhones has always outsold the older ones.

So, who are the colorful iPhones for?  Kids.  That's who.  I came to this conclusion largely because of what I saw with Nokia's Lumia phones, the low-end devices with its color choices.  It could help explain why the cheap Lumia devices are selling better and why Lumia devices are also so colorful. Sure, they cost less but they also aren't the high-end iPhones.  The Lumia offers a stark contrast to what Apple offers.

With the iPhone 5c, Apple is attempting to address the color gap.  It's only the first step.  Right now, the cost of an iPhone 5c is much higher than the low-end devices that Nokia is selling.  I was able to buy a decent one for $200.  A 5c costs around $500.   That's this year.  Next year or the year after that, Apple may well offer versions of the iPhone 5c at a lower price.

Right now, the iPhone 4s can be had for free with a two-year contract.  It's arguable one of the most popular iPhones out there.  It's wrecking havoc on Android device makers in that segment of the market.  Then there's the 5c that one can get for $99 with a two-year contract.  And right now, sales of the 5c has picked up as the consumer realized its value.  Imagine next year what the mobile market will be like when Apple offers the 5c for free on contract or $350 or $400 contract free?

Suddenly, Apple will have a premium-ish device that caters to the low-end market.  Apple is never going to compete with the $99 or $199 smartphones.  That's not them and not their market.  But at $400 for an iPhone, Apple will capture anyone who has interest in entering its walled garden, the iOS ecosystem.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

iPad or iPhone, Airplay, Bluetooth: The Future of The Truck

I've been thinking about getting a new Macbook. I'm considering moving over to the Pro version. Right now, I've got the 11.9" MacBook Air. The main reason is that I think I can use more power in the graphics department and also I really have been spoiled by the Retina Display on the iPhone and iPad. Even so, I can't help but wonder the customer base for traditional PC is shrinking by the day.

For instance, right now, I'm am writing this post through the iPad. I'm using a Bluetooth keyboard. Lots of people already do that. Well, the difference here is that I'm mirroring the iPad screen to the HDTV that I'm beginning to use more and more.

All this is made possible by the ease of use Apple provided with Airplay and the Apple TV. If you've got an iOS device capable of mirroring its screen and have $99, you can do the same thing. You end up with a pretty neat "PC setup" that works brilliantly.

The only issue that I can't help but wonder if Apple will eventually resolve in the mirroring of apps. See, with the HDTV display serving as the main display, I'm also seeing the same thing on the iPad. This is absolutely unnecessary. I like Apple to provide the tools in future iOS and SDK that will allow developers to offer added functionalities to their app and use the iPad screen as a secondary display.

This could be necessary for business apps as well as gaming apps as well. In fact, I can't help but wonder if this is coming sooner rather than later. All that depends on how Apple still sees the Apple TV. Right now, it's still a hobby. A hobby that is doing quite well in its own right. Perhaps with its own ability to run apps or allow developers to beef up their apps with Apple TV and Airplay integration, Apple could allow iOS users to be able to expand their mobile horizon if you will.

Right now, the iPad is dominating the tablet market in ways that matter. People who use their iPads in enterprise. People use their iPads to replace their laptops. Apple can solidify its position in the tablet market and the mobile market in general if it can also give users the option to tie their iPads with this added functionality.

And this is not just for iPads. iPhones can work just as well as too in this setup.

Apple will hold a press event on Tuesday. I don't think we'll see what I'm talking about next week but I hope that Apple will see that while the iPhone and iPad is not a truck, with the right tools, it can become one.

One more thing. Apple moved the iPhone 5s' chip ARM architecture to 64-bit. With it, it will beging to have PC like computing muscles. This chip, the A7, will soon make its way to the next iPad.

Note: If you don't get the truck reference I'm talking about here. Steve Jobs used the difference between a regular car and a truck as an anology to the PC and mobile devices. The PC being the truck and the sedan being the mobile device. He simply was saying that as the mobile advances, not all mobile worriors need a PC (a truck) and devices like the iPhone and iPad would be enough to serve their computing needs.



Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Mobile: T-Mobile Killing Off Older Plans and Forcing Users Onto New Ones Even If It Ends Up Costing More

Source:  T-Mo News.

The Internet is bursting with new that T-Mobile is ending grandfathered plans and forcing users over to its newer Value Plans.  It's still too early to tell just how this will impact a vast majority of its users and the level of "evilness" is involved  here, we should give T-Mobile the benefit out of the doubt given that it's been one of the more friendly, or less evil, of all of the major carriers.

It did acknowledge that for some users, it'll end up costing more but also with added benefits as well.

Personally, I could care less about added benefits like unlimited talk and text since I hardly use either. Come to think of it, only T-Mobile texts me about payment and account updates.

I'm currently on a $30 prepaid plan that offers 100 minutes of talk time. But get this.  I also get 5 GB of high speed data.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Are There Better Ways or New Features Delivery Companies Can Offer To Help Customer Track Packages Once They're On Trucks?

Tracking packages are fun especially if it's something you've been waiting for eagerly.  At times, it feels like it's Christmas, you know?  Kids have been using NORAD to track Santa for years.  However, while Santa does make door-to-door delivery and you lose track of him just before you go to bed on Christmas Eve, we don't lose track of UPS or FedEx in the same way.  Once our packages get on the trucks, we do lose track of them.  

I think there has to be a way for the delivery companies to offer a way for customers to track when they are thrown into trucks for delivery.  Now, while some of the folks who have been online in forums talking about similar situations, some want UPS and others to offer GPS information about their packages.  I don't think that works but I wonder if there is an alternative solution that might work better and safer for the drivers.

Little more than two weeks ago, I was eagerly tracking my iPhone 5s delivery all the way from Zhengzou, China to Anchorage, Alaska to Louisville, Kentucky and, finally, to Ontario, California where when my iPhone got loaded up into a truck somewhere closer and finally to my doorsteps.

Now, I'm tracking my Galaxy Note 3.  It's on a FedEx truck.  It'll be delivered by the end of the day.  They've promised me that much on the website.  I've got meetings.  I've got breaks and whatnot.  

GPS locators on truckers for customers to track is dangerous.  You don't want crazed customers to follow their delivery guy around or hound them by showing up during one of their deliveries or cutting them off of the road so that you can grab your stuff.  Heck, bad guys will be able to know which truck contains what and hijack them.

Plus, just because you see the truck that has your package appear in your neighborhood does not necessarily meant you're next.  It could go off somewhere else and come back to you later.  I think they follow certain predetermined routes.

GPS feature would be a bad idea.  

However, I think I've got a solution that might work better.  When you call into a company for support, sometimes, the automated system tells you how long you are likely to wait until an operator becomes available to take your call or how many calls are ahead of you.  

I figure the UPS guy probably has as schedule or route he has to follow.  Just the the mailman.  One walks while the other drives.  Perhaps, delivery companies can offer estimated delivery times based on how the delivery folks are doing out in the field, weather, and traffic conditions.  Maybe provide information about how many deliveries the driver has to make before he gets to you.

It's an added service that could make live easier for customers, like me who just watched two FedEx trucks passed without stopping to give me my Note 3.  

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Mobile: Man Waved Gun Around But No One Noticed - Why?

Source:  Yahoo.

I've done this before.  I'm so absorbed in my book, tablet, or whatever in public that I sometimes I notice what's going on around me.  I'm a perfect victim for a pickpocket for worse.  Well, that's what happened to a group of commuters on a train.

As surveillance video showed,a  man took out a gun and waved it around but no one noticed.  Then he sort of gave up and put it back inside.  

"These weren't concealed movements — the gun is very clear," District Attorney George Gascon said. "These people are in very close proximity with him, and nobody sees this. They're just so engrossed, texting and reading and whatnot. They're completely oblivious of their surroundings."

He even wiped his nose with the gun in his hand.  Just seem so casual.  I can't imagine what he was thinking.  In a way, he was probably shocked that he was getting away with it.  Until he decided to escalate things and shot a college kid.

Here is a more indepth report on the dangers of being too absorbed into one's mobile world and not be aware of what's going on around them.

I'll be the first to admit as I've stated above.  It doesn't have to be mobile but many times for us today, it's our mobile devices that have our attention and the main source of distraction.  This is not just about standing around looking down on your mobile device, become a victim of a crime, and then not being able to identify the assailant because you didn't see it coming.

It's not only about standing around.  It's about texting and walking.  It's about texting and driving as well.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Apple 5th Generation iPad Event: Window Between Last Year's iPad Mini Event And Invitation Was One Week


It's a new week.  So it is worth noting that we are inching closer and closer to the October iPad and even Mac event.  I just want to quickly point that that the date of the invitations sent out for the iPad mini event and the event itself last year was a week apart.

Today is Tuesday,  obviously.  October 8th. That means for an Apple event to take place next Tuesday on October 15th, we need to see the privileged few bloggers and journalists receive and brag about their Apple invitation today.

This pic here was from the invitation last October.

As I've mentioned in a previous post, Apple is likely to host their event on October 22nd and with the new iPad will probably go on sale on November 1st.  Plus, Nike, a close Apple partner, will be hosting their own event next Tuesday.  It's unlikely the two companies will host concurrent events even if they are not necessarily competing events.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Social: Girl Goes Nuts At Coffee Shop And Was Unable To Control Her Telekinetic Powers

You've got to see this!!!  There are those among us who have abilities beyond what's confined by physical laws and, you know, whatever.

You've got to see this to!

Friday, October 4, 2013

When Siri First Learned She Was Herself - Meet The Woman Who Gave Voice To Siri

I wasn't not aware of this but with iOS 7, the voice of Siri has changed.  It's too bad but again, I couldn't tell.  However, Susan Bennett does.  See, she's the original voice of Siri.  And for the longest time since 2005 on July days in Atlanta, she recorded voices that would later be known to millions for those who iPhones and iPads and even to those who don't.

Siri has become a social icon and we have Bennett to thank for that.  Here's more on CNN.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Nike Fuel Band Event Set - Going Up Against Possible Apple iPad Event?

Nike is hosting an event to unveil it's second generation Nike Fuelband, which I'm am a fan of (Redmond Pie).  That and in of itself is nothing to get all that excited about given that the American public has a weight issues and are more comfortable being couch potatoes, but rather the date of the event:  October 15th.

October 15th is one of the two days that are likely to be used by Apple to host its iPad unveiling.  The second one is October 22nd (On Apple).

Here's the thing.  It's unlikely that Nike takes its cue from Cupertino so it sets its unveiling date any day it's pleased.  Having said that, Apple and Nike are good partners and likely in close consultation.

If both companies unveil their products on the same day, I can tell you whose products are going to get a lion share of the attention from bloggers and the public at large.

Assuming that both companies have spoken and worked out their schedules, October 22nd would likely be the day Apple unveils the latest and greatest iPads.  The 4th generation iPad was unveiled on October 23nd, 2012 and went on sale ten days later on November 2nd.

And if the October 22nd is the Apple event, the iPad will probably go on sale on November 1st.  Also ten days later.

App Stores Becoming Incubators For Mobile Players

It was just announced that Apple bought Cue (Appleinsider), a Google Now-like service.  It occurred to me that the app stores, whatever you call them, have for years been a sort of service incubators for mobile players.

Siri bought by Apple.  Bump by Google.  Google also bought an office suite or two like Quick Office.  I seem to recall that both Microsoft and Samsung have also dipped into the app store and plucked out an app maker or two.  Both Apple and Google have bought map app makers too.

Even Facebook, a mobile player of sort but not a mobile platform/device maker, even went into the app store and bought out Instagram for $1 billion.

More of this is going to happen in the years to come as competition in the mobile space as well as the future of computing in general continue to become a bigger and bigger slug-match among these cash rich tech and platform companies.

So, if you're an app maker or is considering it, keep this in mind.  Selling to mobile users is great but getting bought out because your service or app is so freaking awesome that Apple or Google finds you irresistible is even better.

Samsung Caught Cheating But Issued "Nu-Uh" Response. Does It Matter? Yes

Does it matter that Samsung is cheating on benchmarks for its Galaxy Note 3?  No.  Not to me since I assumed that they did, would, and will.  And I've not cancelled my Verizon Galaxy Note 3 order.  However, the question many are asking and taking sides on is whether this matters that they're cheating or not.

And the answer is absolutely it matters.  And this is why so far, Apple and Motorola/Google (Macrumors) has not gone into the benchmark game.

Most of us don't buy our smartphones or tablets based on just benchmarks.  Okay, in the past, some of us might make that decision to go with a certain PC maker or customization based on that.  However, most of today's mobile devices does not allow chip or memory customization like the PC market.

So, being able to claim on a benchmark test that could be important to some device makers, especially Samsung because it is facing public relations pressure because if patent issues, copying issues, and competition from the likes of not just Apple but other Android device makers like LG, Sony, and Google.

And coming out first is very important to them.  And if you were force to pick whether you trust Samsung's words (BGR) or that of tech sites like Arstechnica (post on Samsung's cheating), I'll take the tech guys any given day.

Furthermore, given that Apple's iPhone 5s sports a 64-bit chip architecture which gives Apple a head start in the next stage of mobile chip race and experience, Samsung probably found itself having to respond in mind.

And being able to say that you've got the fastest device makes it easier for the marketing guys to sell it to the public.

I'm not sure where Samsung's insecurity is coming from. They're the biggest phone maker in the world in terms of market share.  It's unlikely anyone will come close any time soon.  And the Galaxy brand is right up there with the iPhone.

The benchmark scandal, if that, will only confuse the issue for its fans.  And the public is not going to care one way or another if one device is a bit faster than another.  What they will be irked about is stories about cheating.

We Should Hear About iPad 5 Event Soon

Although I have no specific information, I think we should the hearing from Apple regarding a new October iPad event fairly soon. Perfect like everyone else, we wait for Apple to tell us when to mark calendar and call for the live blogs does who are fortunate enough to be invited to Apple's campus for the iPad event.

It's already October 3rd. Its typical the Apple give you a couple weeks to prepare. That means, we can text and it sent to fall on October 15th or the 22nd. Both of those days are Tuesdays. And we all know how Apple love to do events on Tuesdays.
I'm willing to wager that if it's the 15th, we should hear those privileged few bloggers and tech reporters to begin to receive their invitations this week. However, it is on the 22nd that's likely to fall on next week.

Then the following up question is how long after that will we be able to pick up or ordering the new iPad. That's a little hard to guess. It really depends on inventory build up Apple has prepared.
It is possible that Apple will open up pre-ordering on Friday after the event. Then, they will make it generally available for the public to go into the Apple stores and other retailers to buy them in person.
Between the 15th and the 22nd, I think it's like we were talking about the 22nd rather than the 15th. 

That is just me. Hope it's the 15th but life as you know has a way of disappointing you. So to be cautious I'm going to pick the 22nd as the likely date for the 2013 Apple iPad event but if it turns out to be the 15th, hey, that's even better.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

iPad 2 Still On Sale - What Happens After iPad 5 Comes Out?

There.  You see?  iPad 2 is still on sale after it has been out since 2011.  We've gone through the iPad 3 in the spring of 2012 and then the iPad 4 the Christmas shopping season later that year.  Nothing in the spring of 2013 so we know something's up for Christmas of 2013.

And that would be the iPad 5.  I wonder if the iPad 2 will remain on sale?  After all, sitting at $399 with 16 GB, it's enticing.  Schools or folks who just want to save that extra $100. They can go with the iPad 2.

My feeling is that it'll still be around.  Maybe it'll be called the iPad Classic and might get an upgraded CPU to go with the times.  If that's the case and if there is enough demands, Apple can continue to put the iPad 2 with CPU updates each year without increasing the screen resolution.

However, it's also possible that Apple will get rid of it entirely.  Maybe drop the iPad 4 down to the $399 spot with 8 GB of storage for anyone who's interested.  There are plenty of people who can live off 8 GB.

One other scenario is that Apple will just get rid of the $399 entry point and point iPad owners to the mini instead.

Mobile: Blackberry Tells Wall Street What Main Street Already Knows But Was Surprised Anyway

The title of the post didn't quite get it.  Essentially, Blackberry is in a lot worse shape than they thought.  Worse than Wall Street expected as well.  Essentially, things are unraveling at a rate that Blackberry had not expected and the pace is picking up as customers look else where for their mobile fixes.

How's this to wake up to.  A $400 million charge out of its cash reserve, which Blackberry is burning through rather quickly, is 4x the expensive it thought it would cost to cut about 40% of its workforce.  Essentially, someone screwed up majorly.

It also says that the company could be worth less than what the Canadian insurance/financial company, Fairfax Financial, is paying for with the deal valued at $4.7 billion.  As of this moment, Blackberry has dipped below $4 billion.

The worrying thing is the defection.  I know this feeling as I expected it as an Apple fan back in the late 90s when many around me, particular the university environment which I was working in, began hooking up HP PCs in labs, replacing the rooms and rooms of Macs that were there before.  And while some of the professors and post-docs remained true, the departments were beginning to save money by going with cheaper Windows options.

Unfortunately for Blackberry, the smartphone market and is current situation is vastly more different than the one that Apple faced.  While Windows 95 and 98 had their issues, Apple was still able to convince enough of its fans that it can turn things around.  Sure, the Macs then were not that great but they were still enough to make us stick around.  And then, of course, Steve Jobs came back to Apple.

For Blackberry, the alternatives to Blackberry was not like Macs and Windows PC.  The iPhones and Androids are very good.  Not to mention that Windows Phone is beginning to take hold in certain markets.

It is over for Blackberry.  I'm hoping that we will see another refresh in the hardware before everything begins to unwind.  I'm hoping there is an improved Q10, maybe a Q30 that I can pick up before Blackberry abandons hardware development and focuses exclusively on software and app 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...