Posts Tagged ‘iphone’

A new phone, new for 9 months?

Apple is right. What sucks is that they make you wait one whole quarter before you get the new iPhone. So you really only have it as a “new phone” for 3 quarters. A mere 9 months.

Official Apple Store Malaysia - Buy the new iPad and MacBook Pro with Retina display, iPhone, iPod, and More - Apple Store (Malaysia)

I remember similar priced smartphones, like the Nokia Communicator, be the device to have for up to 36 months. When was the last time your iPhone device lasted for 36 months? Software wise, it usually does well though (kudos Apple, you didn’t screw up like the iPad). When was the last time you used a similar priced Android phone for 36 months?

The iPhone 5

I have been asked numerous times in the last few days: what do you think of the new iPhone 5? Will you recommend me to buy it?

Go, whet your appetite at the official iPhone page. It has a great design (thinner, lighter), it’s the same width but taller (4 inches now), comes with an awesome camera, has better battery life & comes with LTE connectivity. The feature list is impressive as are the tech specs.

Am I going to buy it? No, I’m happy with last year’s model. (ok, a little older – I’m using an iPhone 4 personally). It is a pity that I can no longer link to the site made by gina trapani & anil dash.

If you need to buy a new phone, my suggestion is of course to get the best & latest model, and that is the iPhone 5. If however your older iPhone 4S or 4 is working, I think my arguments work on why you don’t quite need to migrate yet. Put it plain & simple: the iPhone 4 I carry in my pocket “just works”. I have a mophie juice pack to extend its battery life. I have invested in the dock ecosystem tremendously (chargers for an office, two homes, as well as the travel kit; devices like a Withings BP-800 Blood Pressure Monitor, a whole lot more like music docks & those pesky things called in-car audio systems).

I wrote about the dock ecosystem a while back and Apple has decided to upgrade this, i.e. now with a Lighting connector. One has to buy a Lightning to 30-pin adapter. I understand that it was probably impossible to get the design to become much thinner, but we’re in a dilemma situation now especially when many people have i-devices, including an iPad. Gone is the ease of use of just having similar chargers. This transition period is going to be tough. Also, some countries get the adapter included for free, while others are forced to pay USD$30 for it.

Apple has decided to use a nano SIM (i.e. something smaller than a micro-SIM). People are still getting used to micro-SIM’s, and my travel kit even has a SIM cutter, because when you travel its pretty hard to find prepaid services that offer micro-SIM cards. Its impossible to cut a micro-SIM to a nano-SIM, so telcos have to support it by default. Apple doesn’t care so much about this because in their launch market (the USA), they have AT&T giving you international data roaming plans that don’t cost an arm & a leg. I have to pay anywhere between USD$12-19 to have data roaming per day.

No one knows if one of the major complaints about the iPhone is fixed – the dodgy home button. I know many iPhone users whom have owned a second phone turn on the accessibility functionality just so that they don’t have to press the home button. This is a workaround and does not work as expected. It is a disappointment for such a costly device that such things do not stand the test of time.

A lot of people sell the idea that its great to watch videos & movies on your iPhone. I’m sure many people do that, but I don’t. I watch movies on my iPad quite happily when mobile. Or on my huge LCD television when I’m home :-)

It comes with LTE. I’m sure LTE is meant to be awesome (in fact, I’ve use it regularly in South Korea, and it is fast, real fast), but my home carriers don’t support it yet. And it likely that by the time there is widespread support throughout the whole of Malaysia (heck, its still difficult to get reliable 3G access in the whole country if you step out of the Klang Valley) there will be a next generation iPhone, which is something I might pick up.

The camera on my iPhone 4 is sufficient. The camera on the 4S is awesome. And I bet the camera on the 5 will do wonders with easy panaromas, quicker photo capture, etc. It probably means I will find less need to carry a point & shoot, but this alone is not a good reason to upgrade.

I doubt that there will be much software that doesn’t run on the iPhone 4. iOS 6 will run on the iPhone 4. Apple continues to sell the iPhone 4, so it will be supported

So, am I compelled to upgrade? No. But if anything happened to my dear iPhone 4, I might consider the iPhone 5. Or with my investment in the dock connector ecosystem, I might just get an iPhone 4S :-) Happy not to be giving into the consumption economy!

iPhone dock connector

The iPhone dock connector is awesome. There are plenty of devices for it. Its what I would consider ubiquitous today.

I visit many hotels and one of the things that I totally enjoy is the fact that I can dock my iPhone and it automatically charges it. Sometimes I play music. Sometimes I’ve seen it at the back of the telephone, and the whole idea is to provide charging only. It means I carry one charger less.

The charger itself has changed over time. When I first interfaced with it, it connected to my computer using Firewire (from the days of the first generation iPod). Then it moved to USB. To the device, they had little push-in buttons. Now its just push in or pull out. 

Throughout all this though, the form factor has remained the same. Which is why there are so many devices for charging, playing music, interfacing to blood pressure monitors, and lots more. The device ecosystem is huge.

Changing it now without compatibility is going to be a real bummer. Lets hope Apple is smart about this. Optimize it, maybe. But make sure it “just works”.

iOS Cards

I travel a lot and one of the things I do when I visit a city is find a postcard, grab a stamp, and get writing to send Sara a postcard from abroad. All this does take time, effort, sometimes the card doesn’t arrive, etc. I’ve been wondering when I could just take a photo on my iPhone and have that mailed to her instead.

On my iPhone there is a folder called Postcards with apps like: Popcarte, Holiday Card, SnapShot Postcard, postcard by (this is a Conde Nast app), postagram. Some of these send physical cards for a buck or so, and some just send them via email. I’ve spent some time studying if this idea is viable and I’ve always thought that local printing makes sense. Stamps might be important too…

Apple just killed them all with Cards. Printed on cotton paper, and will cost USD$2.99 within the USA and USD$4.99 for the rest of the world. All billed to your AppStore/iTunes account. So no mucking with creating a new account, getting your credit card, etc.

The idea is brilliant. The camera in the iPhone is awesome. I take more photos with it now than any other camera. And the phone is always with me.

So there, Apple’s new iOS 5 killed a bunch of apps (cue… RIP October 12 2011). And I’m glad I didn’t hack on this idea. Guess the local stamps go the way of the dodo, and I might embrace spending five bucks the next time I’m somewhere. Now to guarantee the cards actually arrive…

MoSync 2.4 pre-beta available with some juicy new features

I was rather thrilled this past week to note that the team at MoSync have released 2.4-pre-beta, with support for not only Microsoft Windows XP/Vista/7, but also Apple Mac OS X 10.6. Goodbye Windows virtual machine, and hello native Mac app.

Check out the release notes, and you’ll also see some very interesting tid-bits. The largest request that I seem to hear from users is that they would like to target the iOS platforms. Apple iOS devices seem ubiquitous these days, and MoSync is now filling the gap. The highlights:

There’s also improved documentation, with example applications. Check out btServer (makes use of the Bluetooth features) and MapDemo (good example with various map sources).

While there are no binaries for Linux users, there is a guide on how to build MoSync using Ubuntu. I’ve not tried it recently, and the guide is a bit dated, but I expect it to work without too many issues.

Unexcited by Apple Music event announcements

Today I installed iTunes 10. Apple has stopped requiring you to reboot your computer the moment you get an iTunes upgrade – I consider this a plus point. Its now sporting a new logo, and things look a little more polished in the application.

iTunes PingNoticing no Ping, which seemed to be all the rage in the morning, I wondered what the cause might be. Quite clearly, you don’t get in on Ping, Apple’s new social network, if they don’t run an iTunes Music Store in your country! The moment I made the change to my US-based iTunes account, all seemed to be OK, and I could start playing around with Ping.

Then it became clearer why they didn’t want me to use Ping. “Each time you purchase, review, rate or like music on the iTunes Store, it will appear here” (so it said on my profile). At the moment, Ping does not fit my use case – I rip audio CDs that I purchase, and they have information within iTunes thanks to the CDDB database it syncs with. I have never purchased music from the iTunes Music Store, because I cannot be bothered with using a foreign credit card or looking for iTunes gift certificates.

Does this in any way hamper Probably a little, considering Ping is built-into iTunes. Plus you can follow your favourite artistes ;-) Does this mean people will quit for Ping? I find it highly unlikely. But is probably on their toes now, since there’s some overlap – concert recommendations, etc. Ping also is run within iTunes, you can’t use a web browser. There does not seem to be any API either.

Then, people got excited with Apple’s new Apple TV. I didn’t. Its not international. OK, not international enough. I can still buy the old Apple TV from the Malaysian or Singaporean Apple Store. The new ones seem to be available for sale in Australia, UK, the US, and probably a few other countries where you can rent/buy movies from the store.

The iPod Touch? Some good changes, but the camera isn’t all that hip. Good enough for FaceTime. Speaking of FaceTime, it is apparently based on open standards. Steve Jobs said something like it will be open. When will Apple release some information about how others can independently implement FaceTime? Or inter-operate with FaceTime?

Game Center looks interesting. Social gaming is going to be big (also, big in iOS4.1). The new iPhone 4’s don’t have iOS4.1 yet, but when the update comes (next week?), you will get Game Center too. And the iPod touch should be fast – sporting an A4 chip. Apple has successfully made devices do multiple things (iPod touch: music player, game machine, video conferencing tool, etc.). Would I buy one? I’m still too smitten with my iPad, so much so I haven’t used my 1st generation iPod Touch since April 2010!

The new iPod Nano looks cool. Its a pity they’ve removed the camera. And the shuffle, well, its a shuffle – I’ve never owned one.

So the Apple Music event turned out to mostly be a bummer, unless you live in a country where the iTunes Music Store is available.