Nokia. If you can’t beat ’em …

Clone them.

The Nokia N1 is a pretty gorgeous looking Android version of the iPad mini and something Nokia should have done a while back – both as a tablet and as a phone. Android is something that could have easily enabled Nokia to extend themselves well into Apple led smartphone universe of today. But that friends, is water under the bridge.

Of note here are the new USB type-C connector which works in both directions (like lightning) and that manufacturing resides with Foxconn. Could this be a new more nimble Nokia?

Should be interesting to see what happens when this launches in China in February. I’d probably choose this over the Nexus 9 if I was looking at Android tablets …

via The Verge

App Bundles should get editorial curation

IMG_0001.PNG

Just as the iPhone 6 and iOS 8 were arriving , The Verge posted a piece sharing the key games you might want to consider and over the weekend I finally returned to it and read through. For each game on the list you have to click over the App Store to install or buy and then return to the piece if you want to continue.

This is a pretty awkward process requiring a bunch of home button multi-taps and swipes as you progress. An opportunity to streamline this exists with app bundles … Though currently closed as far as I can tell to 3rd parties. Instead much as you might find a readlist quick save option, a quick install (and confirm) option would be terrific. These don’t even need to show in the App Store directly unless a certain level of popularity is achieved but instead could be served a landing pages specific to iTunes for quick access and even affiliate fees to be earned.

Apple tends to not share like this, but who knows maybe they’re thinking of something similar and we will see more advanced list making and purchase / download opportunities soon.

Unapologetically plastic.

20130923-084916.jpg
The past few days I’ve been using a blue iPhone 5C courtesy of work. It’s just a loaner and it’s been an interesting return to iOS after quite a few months of being entirely on Android. Some thoughts …

  • Solid. Plastic or not the 5C feels great in your hand.
  • Size matters. One one hand the iPhone is quite small in comparison to any recent top end android device. Typing feels a bit cramped by comparison though you get used to it. The iPhone is still largely focused on and delivers a single hand experience.
  • Responsiveness. More than general speed the iPhone has a responsive gestalt and it’s a pleasure to use in most circumstances. I found myself wanting to use it more often than my other devices. Time will tell as it’s far from perfect but really such a well considered and designed device. My last active iPhone was the 4S for reference … It’s sitting in my briefcase – updated to iOS 7 but essentially gathering dust.
  • Flow. I’m really acclimated to the android way and find the lack of app addressability beyond what apple dictates to suck. That I can’t share content to any number of apps beyond apple’s very short list hurts. Intents are an amazingly powerful function of android and it’s hard to operate without them.
  • Camera. Damn this is a nice little shooter. I can easily flick the camera open from behind the screen lock- something android makes impossible with exchange security on! One hand use really comes into play as it’s super simple to grab a shot on the go. I snapped a few pics while biking yesterday in a reasonably safe manner and would have not considered this on android without first removing my exchange account or working through a more complex root based hack. Pictures look great of course and the gallery is super fast and a visible from the usual photo apps. I do miss being able to send via a reviewed pic … Again intents are amazing with android.
  • typing. While the keyboard is a bit cramped at first the screen is so damned responsive and the auto correct generally friendly that you can sweep through longer email, note or post (like this) very easily. I read over the weekend that the scene response time on iPhone is substantially greater than the current crop of android devices and typing – something I do constantly receives a huge boost!
  • battery. The battery is terrible on this phone though sadly I have such low expectations at this point. I’m at 60% now at 9:10am. Going to be impossible for this to last a full day without some intervention.

I got a fresh start on iOS 7 with the 5C and have to say it works great. There are many improvements though largely it’s just iOS. I like it.

I’m not really in the market for a new phone but see the 5C selling a zillion. My pic would be the 5S without even seeing it as I would want the extra power, better camera and I’m very interested in the motion sensor.

Tony Fadell on the Design Process

I stumbled across a great piece on Network World recapping a presentation from Tony Fadell from the Bloomberg Design Conference. The most amazing point captured was that Apple would ship 99% of the products worked on vs his experience at Philips earlier in his career where the ratio was the exact opposite!

The video above comes from Behance via Wubbahed and is well worth a watch.

Weaker iPhone 5 Demand?

Remember when everyone could get a new iPhone on release day regardless of when their contract was set? I do … That’s changed and now we are all back to the standard mobile upgrade cycle. Price matters.

Apple’s orders for iPhone 5 screens for the January-March quarter, for example, have dropped to roughly half of what the company had previously planned to order, two of the people said.

The Cupertino, Calif., company has also cut orders for components other than screens, according to one of the people.

Apple notified the suppliers of the order cut last month, the people said.

The move indicates that sales of the new iPhone haven’t been as strong as previously anticipated and demand may be waning. It comes as the company has been facing greater challenges from Samsung Electronics Co. 005930.SE +1.24% and other makers of smartphones powered by Google Inc.’s GOOG -0.20% Android operating system.

via WSJ.com.

Great, but …

I’d have to agree. Solid, but I’m left wanting more.

But theres also another segment of the market, of which I consider myself a part. That segment thinks that theres still a lot of work to be done in mobile devices; still a lot of innovation to come. And thats not innovation for the sake of innovation. I mean real innovation in the way we use our phones, in the flexibility of those operating systems, in how those devices become an extension of ourselves. For that segment, I think the iPhone 5 and iOS 6 fall short. Theres a lot more work to be done, but right now Apple seems to be in a holding pattern, too comfortable or too scared to take real chances.

via iPhone 5 review | The Verge.

When the cloud works

I’m just starting a vacation with my family in an area with fairly limited connectivity. This isn’t a bad thing in fact it’s quite nice on many levels. The house we are renting has an incredibly slow but functional Internet connection which is essentially a satellite point to point from across the lake.

We’ve rented the same place a few times and this year found an AppleTV here which I’ve logged into for streaming music to the stereo, (very) slowly browsing Netflix and as I’ve just realized / remembered streaming a good portion of our home music collection via iTunes Match. We’d beamed some Spotify earlier while prepping dinner but it’s quite nice to have access to what’s yours as well. This is the first time I’ve connected my iTunes account on a new / random AppleTV and it’s quite excellent to see it in action.

At this point only Google an Apple offer such tightly knit systems. Amazon has much of this to provide as well but like Google lack the tightly connected hardware like AppleTV – even in its current hobby state – to make things this simple. Now that I’m logged in we can easily (bandwidth limits aside) stream “anything” on our collection purchased or not. The only restriction with Apple’s solution I’ve encountered is they do not sell an advanced package to upload / sync very large collections. Google Music seemed to enable my collection to upload but it’s nowhere near as easy to stream on a stereo here – or at home.

These services and general consumer knowledge of them are still pretty limited in use – compared to the more mainstream use case of an iPod plugged into a stereo though it’s not a hard concept to grasp … I’d love to even see guest access pop up as a feature … I guess that’s part of the Nexus Q when that makes a return. Could be an interesting fall …