Category Archives: Commentary

A Long Time Coming

Against my better nature, let me make some predictions for next week’s Apple event. I had low expectation for the iPhone event because most was pretty easy to figure out months earlier. The only surprised was Apple Pay but that didn’t really excite me much. This event, even though it’s not as “big” as the iPhone event seems much more intriguing.

First off and much to my surprise, it seems like retinal iMacs are coming. I had not expected them before ’15.1 There’s enough smoke around the 27” that I think it’s fairly sure there’s fire. That surprises me. I had thought the 27” would be the last one to get retinal. Rumors are the 24” won’t get it at all. I’m not so sure. A lot depends upon pricing. Somehow I can’t see a 27” retinal iMac price matching the current 27” iMac. A 24” retinal iMac might be more affordable for those who want retinal in a desktop. On the other hand a $5000.00 27” iMac is pretty doable – more so than perhaps a $3000.00 24”. 

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  1. That might still be the case. The 2012 27″ iMac, which I own, didn’t end up becoming available until January. I got mine in April. It’s still a fantastic machine. One of my favorite Macs of all time. But they might announce the retinal iMac and not have it appear until as late as February.

Problem of Yearly Releases

Gigaom has a good post on the problem of yearly releases. iCloud drive is a mess since there’s not a simultaneous Yosemite and iOS8 release. Honestly though the signs of change are there. With iOS8 there are major changes coming with 8.1 (Apple Pay) and then large 8.2 and 8.3 releases. (One of which will be the watch release) Ideally we’d stop syncing phone releases with the major OS release.

Ideally we’d have WWDC in March and then the iOS release in August and the phones released the end of September but with major releases – 3 or 4 – throughout the year with major features that don’t require a lot of developer work to integrate. Heck, remember the year OSX’ new release was announced in January with betas in February? We need more of that.

The other thing we need is something akin to Snow Leopard again. Those of you who’ve been using Macs a long time remember that was the release that didn’t add many, if any, noticeable features. But it did clean up all the internal code.

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Bending Phones Aren’t New

Bending phones aren’t new. “Any phone made of metal is still subject to the laws of physics, but to reiterate that this isn’t exactly a problem exclusive to the iPhone 6, here’s a look at other Android and Apple phones that have bending problems.” 

People keep buying the 6+ and then are surprised that it acts like a 5.5″ device. Yet not one would sit on an iPad Mini at an angle and be shocked that it bent or broke.

If people want pocketability petition for the return of the 4″ iPhone.

An iPod Touch I’d Buy

Lumina CM1The new Panasonic Lumina CM1 is a very intriguing product. I don’t think it’s the first hybrid Android phone. It does seems one of the most mature. It’s a camera first and a phone second. Honestly I wouldn’t want this as a phone. I’d much rather tether it to a phone. I don’t need yet an other data plan eating away at my wallet.

I can honestly imagine Apple making a new iPod Touch like this with a big lens. I think I’d buy something like that much quicker than I’d buy an Apple watch with nebulous utility. Whether Apple would ever do that is an other question. They’ve given no indication but I think many people would love it if they pushed into the camera space with real lenses.

On the U2 Kefuffle

There’s been a lot of rather silly discussion of Apple’s U2 promotion with people getting unwanted U2 in iTunes. I could understand the uproar were it something patently offensive to many people such as highly misogynist, sexual, racist or violent lyrics. It’s harder to understand when it’s simply some unwanted U2.

All that said the real issue isn’t just the U2 album but how it’s basically impossible to delete “purchased” items from the cloud. I can’t help but imagine that if the album was easy to delete the uproar wouldn’t have occurred. At a minimum the backlash would have been attenuated. I bet Apple won’t see this as a general problem but just a problem with this album. It’s not.

I’ve “bought” quite a few free books for my kids from iBooks. Most were horrible and I’d love to delete most them so they don’t show up. But there’s no way to do it. So far as I know this is true for purchased videos and music as well. 

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Initial Apple Presentation Thoughts

Not a lot to say. Other than the very well thought out UI for the watch, everything was about like rumors said way back in the early spring. Sadly this was the first announcement of this sort since the initial iPhone announcement where I felt extremely underwhelmed. There’d been times when, like a Christmas morning expecting one particular toy, I was disappointed.1 But I’d never felt underwhelmed before. I want to be careful. I didn’t think the iPad would be the hit it was. So take it with a grain of salt.

I just can’t quite figure out how many people would want the watch. I didn’t see that Apple made a compelling need case for it. Say what you will about Jobs. But he always had a killer function — even for the iPad. Exercise seems to be the attempt for the watch, but even that isn’t that compelling given the limits of the watch itself.

As for the phones. Only a 20% speed increase. No RAM increase. And no new compelling features at all beyond size. For many of us larger, despite the Anrdroid market, is a big step backwards. I hope that in the future they move to keeping the 4” form factor as the low end but put the latest chip inside. Because the 4.7” (the smallest) is just too big for my use. I remember the days when having a small phone was a plus.

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  1. Yes I’m talking AppleTV app store and interapp communication. Although we got most of that with iOS8 finally.

Competition Works

This year our city got Google Fiber. Admittedly most of the fiber had been laid by the city. Various ISPs and cable companies had been created that didn’t really successfully make use of the infrastructure.1 I’m not sure if Google approached Provo or the mayor approached Google (probably the latter) but Google came in and took over the city cable and fiber for ISP. Now Provo always had a lot of competition in the ISP space. Since we’re beside rather large mountains microwave based ISPs make a lot of sense here, for instance. Comcast was also always here and, to a lesser extent, the old phone company worked as an ISP. We have Verizon FIOS and a few others as well. So compared to most of the US we’ve always been served well.

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  1. Successful in the sense of being successful in terms of profit. Not that their offerings were worse than Comcast.

Developers, the iOS Line and Reactive Design

The great Brent Simmons linked to me about my brief comments regarding universal apps and the new form factors of iOS devices. I always respect Brent’s views and enjoy reading them. I think he’s wrong here though. He thinks that while Apple may push Universal apps it won’t require them. I’d be shocked if, a year and a half from now, the separate iPad/iPhone categories don’t disappear. I suspect they’ll maintain some semblance of them for legacy apps but will start requiring all new apps be universal. Again it won’t happen quickly. Give it a year and a half. It’s coming.

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