I was just listening This week in google #236, and they were talking about device ecosystems. The topic of smartwatches came up obviously. The first Samsung Galaxy Gear was apparently not a good seller because it had a limited app ecosystem and it was tied to just a few devices (I only know one person who has said watch, and wears it regularly).
If Apple builds an iWatch, they will tie it into the iOS ecosystem. This is why Leo Laporte the host likes the Pebble – it works with all his devices.
How many people are Leo with an iPhone and an Android phone? And whatever else is compatible with the Pebble? End users (consumers) usually have one phone. There’s nothing wrong with the iWatch to be tied into the iOS ecosystem — its an awesome ecosystem. Soon you may get cars with iOS on it (just like you can get cars with Linux on it).
The iWatch if Apple makes one will probably be compatible all the way back to the iPhone 4S. It should cover most iOS/iPhone users. And just like the apps you buy in the app store when the iPad came along (first you had iPhone only apps, with double-size; then you had separate iPad apps that would cost more; nowadays many apps are “universal” to work on both and cost the same), I expect something similar will happen with the iWatch.
That said, I like my analogue watches. I had no interest in the Pebble or the Samsung Galaxy Gear. I’d be interested to see what they do with version 2, which has Tizen (even less apps maybe?). When Apple releases an iWatch, you can be sure I’d probably buy it — I have seen things from all sides, and I like their ecosystem.
iTunes is fixed now (11.1.3) but somewhere in-between it broke and deleted all of my podcast downloads as well as the subscriptions. It has been over four months that I’ve gone without listening to podcasts and I can’t say that I miss it hugely. Audiobooks (on phone, in gym particularly), Spotify and Rdio have taken its place.
This means a lot to me – I always thought that podcasting could be big business. Maybe its just niche business?
Apple engineering needs to QA this stuff. It’s not hard. There should be test harnesses. Heck, just testing the damn upgrade.
In other news, the up arrow key seems dodgy again on my Macbook Air. It is still only 11 months old and this is the second time its happening. I will have to find time to walk into an Apple Store to get an immediate replacement (something we can’t do in Malaysia/Singapore obviously).
Overall feeling on the Apple experience in these terms: relatively negative. Am I going to give up their stuff? No. There’s a more positive post on Apple coming soon.
New iMac’s have been announced by Apple. 21.5″ models cost RM400 more. 27″ models cost RM500 more. These are the base models suggested retail prices. In the Singapore and the USA, prices have remained the same.
Apple has revised prices in Malaysia due to the weakening Ringgit. That’s about a 10% increase Malaysians are paying for new iMac’s. This will probably be reflected for iPhone prices as well. And if things don’t improve, iTunes content.
10.8.5 has been largely a disaster in terms of usability.
The FaceTime camera basically doesn’t work with apps that aren’t Apple-released on my MacBook Air. This means Google Hangouts, Skype video, all don’t work. Grr.
iTunes (11.1) podcast library scans like crazy, and the performance is terribly slow. I can’t delete iTunes podcasts, because everytime it tries to connect to the Internet and show me what else is there. Guess what? It seems that when I’m offline, iTunes just works. Annoying because I can’t listen to podcasts with ease now.
I updated my iPhone 4 to iOS7. It seems to just work, its slow as always, but I’m noticing apps crash, the camera can cause the phone to reboot. My father updated it automatically (without a backup) because he just said “yes”. It kind of bricked his phone when he couldn’t remember his iCloud password. Rather annoying.
I think its great that updates can happen “over-the-air” since some iOS releases ago. But I should also be able to disable this, because I don’t want to remotely debug an issue. Try telling a businessman he can’t use his phone for half an hour?
What is kinda cool? FaceTime audio. This has huge potential.
In other news, I broke the up arrow key on my MacBook Air. This machine is about 6 months old. Replaced at the Apple Store, the Genius sorted it out within a minute. I’ve been using Mac laptops since about 2002 and this is the first time a key has broken. Designed in California, Made in China.
Yesterday I unboxed my new MacBook Air 13″ (full-spec) laptop. I used a USB3 disk to backup via Time Machine the old laptop (which maxed out at USB2), and then did a restore using USB3 last night and today it seems that the laptop is ready to use. This is my first experience with OS X 10.8.2 as well – I was previously on 10.7.5. What did I have to change?
- I had to re-login to Dropbox, but at least it didn’t have to perform a full sync (there was some data exchanged, but it wasn’t the entire Dropbox folder).
- I had to re-login to Google Drive. This required a full sync as the old folder was not recognised as an original.
- I had to make sure settings for iCloud were sane again (as there was a popup).
- I was asked to re-download MsgFiler and login to the App Store.
- I had to change the caps lock key to become a control key manually again.
- The Mail.app version changed and it has to reimport/reindex messages again (this takes some 1 hour 15 minutes on my machine with 33GB of mail).
- The F4 key for some absurdity goes to an application called Launchpad (that makes it look like an iOS device). I used to have Dashboard on F4 and I much prefer that. It seems the only way without a third party app like Functionflip is to press Fn+F4 to get my Dashboard. I think this is rather silly of Apple – changing muscle memory is difficult.
- My scroll continued to work from the old settings (I’m no fan of a natural scroll).
- Time Machine allows you to “inherit backup history”, thus using the same drive that brought you over to be the new backup drive.
- There now exists a Notification Centre. A little odd thinking that iOS styled notifications have made it here. Do I still need Growl which constantly reminds me that there is a (paid) update waiting?
- Seems the screensaver and the lock after it has been enabled needs to be re-enabled.
- CrashPlan would not work as you need Java SE 6 so you’d have to install it – seems odd that Apple decided to drop this rather significant piece of software. Then again, considering who drives ownership, and the recent security scares…
- sudo tmutil disablelocal – the local backups were enabled again, and I only want Time Machine to have backups to an external disk.
- I couldn’t print as there needed to be new printer drivers. Many apps had to be updated in the App Store. Gasp.
- Turn off most notifications with Notification Centre. I really don’t want to be “beeped” when mail comes in.
Initial impressions of the laptop? The machine is fast. It has a lot to do with the SSD disk, as well as the 4-core i7 processor. Out of the box, the battery capacity is meant to be 6700 mAh, though I’m getting 6669 mAh. Battery life is one of the strongest reasons why I picked up a 13″ over a 11″ – I just didn’t want to have to deal with flaky batteries a few years down the road… 7 hours brought down to say 5 is manageable, but 5 hours brought down to say 3 is annoying.
Another reason is resolution. Using a 15″ MacBook Pro to a 13″ MacBook Air has no change in resolution for me either – its all 1440×900. It seems 512MB of virtual RAM is reserved for the Intel graphics card (so I guess this Air won’t suffer the same fate as the first ever MacBook Air which was dog slow in terms of graphics).
Its good to note that the Thunderbolt port is also MiniDisplay compatible – all my old cables work. The only catch is that it is no longer on the left side of the laptop but the right side.
Here are some things I think are well worth reading (also, I’m starting the year fresh with nothing in my tabs :P)
- Wired has a great interview by Steven Levy on Tim O’Reilly’s Key to Creating the Next Big Thing. Tim taught me to work on stuff that matters (fond memories of an O’Reilly Moleskine Christmas gift), and now continues teaching everyone to create more value than they capture.
- Blood Sugar or how the diabetes market is waiting to be disrupted. More needs to be done in terms of controlling this disease. We already have sensible trackers like Fitbit, etc. what more can we do to manage this?
- Why Samsung’s Man in Silicon Valley uses Apple Devices – interesting take in the MIT Technology Review on Yong Sohn, President & Chief Strategy Officer for Samsung based in Silicon Valley.
- Another from MIT Technology Review is Installable Web Apps WIll Be the Next Tech Battleground. I see web apps as being important, and I’ve been thinking about this space a lot more lately.
- Paul Buchheit wrote an amazing essay titled The Gift. It is a must read on unconditional love & living life to the fullest.
- MIT Technology Review again, this time on disrupting college textbooks. Free Textbooks Spell Disruption for College Publishers profiling Ariel Diaz and his site Boundless Learning. I remember a time buying really expensive textbooks and realized that you only use them for a term, with very few that you plan to keep on your bookshelf forever. The second-hand market naturally thrives but they go out-of-date usually within a year. I know many in Malaysia that love to photocopy textbooks (which I abhor and would never encourage). Imagine free e-book textbooks that you can read on your tablet? Highlight? Have all your notes in one place based on the highlights? This will revolutionize education.
- Marten Mickos asks: What is Innovation?
- I’m always interested in new & innovation publishing mediums, and this summary post leaves a lot to think about: Frankfurt Book Fair 2012: Self-publishing, cell phones & startups.
- Back to a nugget from Tim O’Reilly, a must read is It’s Not About You: The Truth about Social Media Marketing. There’s a money quote there:
Keep it Real by Nalden. Branding is everything & it comes with good work.
- Activism has been the core of our marketing ever since. We tell big stories that matter to a community of users, and together we use those stories to amplify a message that we all care about. Framing ideas in such a way that they include and reinforce the identity of a group of people who might not previously have seen themselves as part of the same community allows everyone to tell their own story in a way that adds up to something bigger than any one of them might tell alone. And once they start telling their story as part of the bigger story, it suddenly looks like a parade.