Category Archives: apple

Unapologetically plastic.

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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.

5 year old’s excess in-app purchasing highlights the real issue

So how did a 5 year old rack up such an expensive bill in just 10 minutes? He purchased one bundle of 333 keys, one of 90,000 darts, and another of 333 bombs that each cost 69.99 GBP ($105 USD). A number of smaller purchases added up to the final total. [phoneArena]

I’ve got three kids and we’ve discovered this problem, though thankfully to a much lesser degree. It’s easy for someone without kids to look at this and quickly say it’s bad parenting and you should watch what they are doing more closely. I agree … but the real issue is how the password system works.

When you enter your password for a download (and particularly in iOS) the gate stays open for a period of time allowing in-game purchases or even subsequent downloads through. It’s designed to make life more simple but since there are absolutely NO kid controls or functions it’s pretty easy to fall into the rabbit hole.  Just watch a kid aggressively try to clear the between level BS messaging in most “free” games ….

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.

No Early iPhone 5 Upgrade for You … or Me

Like I’m sure many people did yesterday, I checked the upgrade availability for the new iPhone 5 on Apple’s site, but I was surprised to see that unlike previous years, there is no early access.  Instead, what I found was that I am “eligible” for the unsubsidized price until May which is obviously disappointing.

I have no intention of paying $649 for the 64GB phone or even $449 for the 16GB option. I can’t imagine I’m the only one in this situation as I bought the 4S when it was initially released.  Not sure what this might do to those anticipated holiday sales, but it’s likely to slow a large portion of the potential upgraders into next year as a result.

Now would be a great opportunity for another carrier (hello, VZW, Can you Hear me now?) to swoop in and offer a competitive switch opportunity.  It could generate a great deal of good will, brand love and of course a new base of recurring payments on the network.  This is common in car sales where a competing brand might offer a dealer incentive to get you out of another car’s lease early.  I don’t believe there is any precedent in wireless for this, but hey no time like the present!

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 …

After all these years … iPhone goes unlocked

Waking up to see the iPhone finally and officially offered as an unlocked device made me quite happy. It’s somewhat ironically showing up the day Apple also agreed to settle with Nokia over their long debated patent issues which is interesting given my long history using Nokia unlocked devices.

If you don’t want a multiyear service contract or if you prefer to use a local carrier when traveling abroad, the unlocked iPhone 4 is the best choice. It arrives without a micro-SIM card, so you’ll need an active micro-SIM card from any supported GSM carrier worldwide. via Apple Store U.S..

In the years since I’ve left Nokia, I’ve also gone back to buying on contract for my personal devices as the Apple / AT&T upgrade plan has worked just fine and I’m fortunate enough to be able to migrate devices for business using a work-provided SIM. I haven’t seen anything but positive reporting about the changes to iPhone availability … some noting of course the “high” pricing though those prices are close if not even more expensive than the historical “expensive” unlocked Nokia devices which used to be counted against them.

As times have continued to evolve courtesy of the pressures Apple has been able to provide in the industry it’s likely the real buyer is the more niche traveler (able to find micro sim cards) but really the grey market. With an unlocked iPhone now available you don’t even have to jailbreak it to resell in a capable GSM country. It’s ready right from the box ….