Entries in apple (11)


Why I Didn't Get the iPhone 6 Plus

This morning -- around 6:45 a.m. -- I approached the Apple Store at the Menlo Park Mall in NJ to buy the new iPhone 6 from Apple and came upon what was the longest line for an iPhone sale I've ever seen (I've seen a few). I briskly walked by throngs of people chatting, reading, and generally nerding-out at the prospect of getting this new device. To get an idea of the line, here's a picture of the mall map and the crazy-long line of people, some of which were asleep with pillows and blankets.

Figuring I'd be in line for a good 3-4 hours, I decided to forget it. I could wait ... or could I? This evening, I decided to head down to the Freehold Mall to resume my quest for this new must-have device. There was a line of around 50 people at the Apple Store, and word was, everyone was out of the iPhone 6 Plus. I headed to the AT&T Store around the way, which had a line of four people, and they had the iPhone 6 (no Plus).

While I was 90% sure I didn't want the Plus, I did go to the display to hold both options in my hand -- get a feel for it. My concerns that the Plus was too big were confirmed. Something about it just didn't feel right. It was like I was holding a smaller iPad Mini. And while some people (okay, many people) prefer the phablet size, I simply don't. For me, the screen would have to be so big that the keyboard is actually functional as a near-fullsize keyboard. That doesn't happen for me until we get up to the iPad, and I'm certainly not carrying that around in my front pocket.

So I'm happy with my purchase and will continue to live without screen-envy, since I'll just see everyone else as having pants-pocket-envy.

Some cool new features: 

  • Touch ID fingerprint recognition: Not new, but still a useful feature, saving valuable seconds!
  • Moving the power button to the right side of the phone is a natural placement for my forefinger.
  • The (again) rounded design fits more comfortably in your hand.
  • The camera is much better and has nice features: auto-HDR, time-lapse video, slo-motion video
  • New "Find my iPhone" feature, where it will send the location of your iPhone when its battery is near-dead. Could be a real life-saver for some people.



What Does the iPhone 5 Mean to You?

Check out my podcast interview with my colleagues Stephan Merkens and Patrick Donnelly on the updates to the new iPhone from Apple and what it means to companies and consumers.


iPad Is That In-Between Device

Now that the new Apple iPad has been fielded tested for a couple of months now, we're starting to hear stories about it beyond "look how cool this new thing is." We're hearing real-world applications of the device, and talk of future applications of such a device are starting to emerge.

It seems that Apple's vision for the iPad -- neither a tablet nor an iPhone -- is coming true. I see that people are starting to accept the iPad for what it is ... well, an iPad. It's truly a new type of device. That presents some pros (new market, new applications) and cons (may canibalize sales of MacBooks, fierce competition to come), but so far, I'm liking what I'm seeing.

The potential future applications for such a device are truly endless: sales force, doctors, hospitals, assembly line, presentations, etc. While I'm still holding out for the eventual next-gen iPad, I am impressed with this first version. What do you think?


Apple vs. Adobe, Round 3

Remember when Apple and Adobe played nice while thousands of scruffy graphic designers happily used Photoshop to retouch images on their Macs ... and all was right with the world? Well, it all seemed to go downhill over the Great Flash War of 2010.

I saw inklings of trouble when Adobe continued to not fully optimize their CS suite of applications for Mac's Cocoa OS framework throughout most of this past decade. And when the iPhone was released without Flash support, you felt there was trouble brewing. But now, it's getting ugly.

Apple and Adobe have gone tit for tat on the subject. The latest have involved Steve Jobs's open letter regarding Flash, and now Adobe has published founders' Chuck Geschke and John Warnock's open letter in response.

My take ... Is Apple right for not allowing Flash to run on their devices? Yes, it's their device, and Flash is a resource (battery) hog. Is Apple right for restricting creation of iPad and iPhone apps to Apple development platforms? No, that's just plain selfish; Apple's not the only one who knows how to make apps. Is Adobe right for whining about others trashing Flash (which they didn't even make, by the way)? No, Flash is showing its age in an era where computing is becoming more and more portable, where the need for battery life exceeds the need to play Farmville.

And Adobe's argument that Apple should support Flash because it has a 99% install base holds no merit. I'm sure the manufacturers of asbestos had a 99% install base at one point. That didn't make it a good thing. (Okay, that example was harsh, but you get my point.)


Verizon iPhone Won't Be the Savior

So if you're like me and have an iPhone and live in either the New York or San Francisco metro areas, then you probably hate AT&T. In fact, if I have one more call dropped for no good reason, they're going to have to invent a new word for "hate." Perhaps "hateT&T"?

All of this bile is the undercurrent of life as an iPhone user in the U.S. Like an old sports injury, you just sorta learn to live with it. The ostensible light at the end of the tunnel for iPhone/AT&T users is the prospect of a Verizon iPhone. As customers who have used both services know, Verizon at least lets you talk on your phone ... with someone else ... for the duration of a conversation ... even in a train tunnel.

However, what everyone seems to be missing here is the capacity issue. In short, what hampered the iPhone experience was, well, the iPhone. They were victims of their own success. While Apple didn't quite sell the expected 10 million iPhones in year one, they have sold at least (estimated) 45,000,000 of them to date. With a good percentage of those being in the U.S., that results in a mobile carrier that is quickly and consistently overburdened.

AT&T just simply can't handle it, and it only seems to be getting worse, as new iPhone users continue to outpace AT&T's capacity. Five bars mean nothing when there are 5,000 people all trying to connect to one node. But I've heard that Verizon wouldn't have been able to handle the onslaught of new users either, if they had been given the iPhone. And if millions of dissatisfied iPhone users all make the switch when a Verizon iPhone is released, they'll face the same situation.

I'm inclined to stay with AT&T on that day, when their capacity skyrockets from a mass exodus of customers. Am I defending AT&T? Certainly not. Even after the onslaught of FAIL messages months ago, they have yet to make discernible improvements in their service. But I think we're kidding ourselves if we think Verizon will ride in on their white horse and save the day.