Technologizer posts about Apple

Ah, But I Was So Much Older Then, I’m Younger Than That Now

By  |  Posted at 9:43 pm on Wednesday, February 22, 2012

7 Comments

[FURTHER UPDATE: As commenter Jdoors explains, I can see the video I uploaded when I'm logged into YouTube. But I'm the only one who can see it--for everybody else, it's blocked.]

[UPDATE: The original video, with Dylan soundtrack, is still playing for me here at home in Daly City, California. But Network World's Paul McNamara, commenters, and others are saying that it's blocked for them. Sounds like the geolocation technology that YouTube uses has decided that Daly City isn't in the U.S. Or something like that.]

Back in October, shortly after Steve Jobs passed away, I uploaded a wonderful video to YouTube. It was called “To Steven Jobs on his thirtieth birthday,” and was a film created by Jobs’ Apple coworkers in 1985 to show at his birthday party. (Craig Elliott, who worked at Apple when it was made and shown, was the generous soul who shared it with me.)

I’d never seen the video or many of the Jobs images it included, and thought they deserved to be more widely known. Now they are: The YouTube version has been viewed almost 240.000 times.

Continue reading this story…



Read more: , , ,

AllThingsD’s John Paczkowski, usually not a spreader of wild rumor, says that Apple will announce the iPad 3 in the first week of March and release it shortly thereafter:

As for the next-generation iPad itself, sources say it will be pretty much what we’ve been led to expect by the innumerable reports leading up to its release: A device similar in form factor to the iPad 2, but running a much faster chip, sporting an improved graphics processing unit, and featuring a 2048×1536 Retina Display — or something close to it.

Posted by Harry at 10:00 am

Comments Off

The Case Against Thin

By  |  Posted at 11:15 am on Tuesday, February 7, 2012

22 Comments

iPhone

Over at the Atlantic, Robert Wright is being sacrilegious. He says he’s unhappy with the trend–seen in phones, laptops, and other products–to make gadgets as thin as possible:

Remember when Jobs first unveiled the Macbook Air? I do, because I had long been a fan of the small, lightweight computers that had until then been available only on the Windows platform. Jobs brought the machine onstage in a manila envelope, because the thing he wanted to wow the audience with was its thinness.

I thought: Who cares how thin it is? Thickness isn’t the dimension that really matters when you have to fit a computer into a tiny backpack or use it in a coach seat on an airplane. And, anyway, more important than any spatial dimension is weight. Sure, to the extent that thinner means lighter, thinness is good, but if you make thinness an end in itself, you start compromising functionality.

Bob has several specific beefs with whisper-thin gizmos. He points out that all things being equal, a thin case leaves less room for the battery, thereby leading to shorter battery life. He says that overly svelte devices are harder to hold and easier to drop. With laptops, he says, engineering for thinness leads to compromises in keyboard quality.

Continue reading this story…



Read more: , , , ,

Which Phone OS Crashes More? It’s Not Android

By  |  Posted at 7:52 am on Monday, February 6, 2012

13 Comments

The argument that iOS is a much more stable operating system than Android has been repeated on the blogs and even in the comment threads of stories about the two operating systems. There’s a problem, though: the data indicates that is untrue.

Mobile app monitoring company Crittercism released data Friday on crash reports from the period December 1 through December 15, and saying iOS has stability issues is putting it nicely. By a 2-to-1 margin, iOS crashes much more frequently than Android, according to Crittercism’s report. The biggest offender is iOS 5.0.1, accounting for 28.64 percent of all crashes.

Continue reading this story…



Read more: , , , , ,

Samsung’s Super Bowl commercial for the Galaxy Note, directed by a Farrelly brother, is like a fancier, less entertaining parody of its earlier Apple fan-bashing spots:

While the first ads featured the Galaxy S II phone, a direct competitor of the iPhone 4S, this one is for the Galaxy Note. With its huge screen and pen, it’s both an anti-iPhone and one of the most distinctive phones on the market. So the gag feels a little muffled, and the Note doesn’t get enough explanation.

I’m still curious how the Galaxy Note will do–it strikes me as neat, but a niche. But the fact that Samsung plowed money into a Super Bowl spot presumably means that it thinks the phone can be a mainstream hit.

Posted by Harry at 7:37 am

Comments Off

Bobbie Johnson of GigaOM has a good piece on John Browett, Apple’s new Apple Store guy:

Immediate reaction to the news was intriguing, because it was split down the middle. On one side were those who read Browett’s credentials and the PR puffs. To them, it looks as if Apple has just hired a man who has succeeded at most things he’s tried, and spent the last five years steering a large retail business with more than 1,200 stores through a difficult period for the economy.

On the other hand, for those who know Dixons as it exists in the real world, the reaction was somewhat different: the most common refrain I saw was “Has Tim Cook ever been in a Dixons store?”.

Posted by Harry at 11:38 am

Comments Off

The Apple Store’s New Chief Already Runs an Electronics Retailer. Is That Good or Bad?

By  |  Posted at 7:24 am on Tuesday, January 31, 2012

6 Comments

Ron Johnson, the Apple retail chief who helped turn the Apple Store into a juggernaut, announced last June that he was leaving to become CEO of JC Penney. He departed Apple as of November 1st. And now he’s been replaced: Apple has announced that John Browett is its new senior vice president of retail operations.

Since 2007, Browett has been CEO of Dixons Retail, a large electronics merchant in the UK that owns two chains, Currys and PC World. It’s sort of both the Best Buy and the CompUSA of its territory.

Continue reading this story…



Read more: , ,

More About the Apple Cult (Even Though I Said It Was Time to Stop Talking About It)

By  |  Posted at 1:16 am on Friday, January 27, 2012

42 Comments

Over at TIME.com, my Technologizer column for this week is about the theory that people who buy Apple products act like cult members. As the theory would have it, they snap up Macs, iPhones, and iPads not because they’re good products, but because they’re mesmerized by Apple advertising and think that owning the company’s products makes them better human beings. Or something like that.

My take is that the theory was always silly–and that it’s particularly nonsensical in an age in which truly vast numbers of people are buying Apple products. The company’s customer base isn’t made up of like-minded fanatics; it consists of a large variety of people who buy Apple stuff for all sorts of reasons. But mostly, I hope and think, because they find it useful.

Continue reading this story…



Read more: ,

The New York Times is publishing an outstanding series of articles by Charles Duhigg and David Barboza on working conditions at the Chinese factories where Apple’s products are built:

More troubling, the groups say, is some suppliers’ disregard for workers’ health. Two years ago, 137 workers at an Apple supplier in eastern China were injured after they were ordered to use a poisonous chemical to clean iPhonescreens. Within seven months last year, two explosions at iPad factories, including in Chengdu, killed four people and injured 77. Before those blasts, Apple had been alerted to hazardous conditions inside the Chengdu plant, according to a Chinese group that published that warning.

Apple (which declined to comment for the Times) is not the only company that has issues like this: Foxconn, its principal supplier, assembles 40 percent of the world’s consumer electronics, period. And Apple may be moving in the right direction when it comes to doing stuff about this and discussing the situation openly. But if you own Apple products or other gadgets made in China–and you do–you owe it to yourself to read the Times’ stories.

Posted by Harry at 7:53 am

2 Comments

My First Few Questions About Apple’s Education News

By  |  Posted at 9:33 am on Thursday, January 19, 2012

21 Comments

Judging from the turnout for our live coverage of Apple’s education event–which was much sparser than for something like the iPad 2 announcement–a lot of tech enthusiasts lost interest in today’s news when they figured out that it didn’t involve any new hardware. That’s a shame. The news–a new textbook-friendly version of iBooks, a free book-creation tool called iBooks Author, and a spiffier version of the iTunes U courseware app–has as much or more potential to make its mark on the world as any new iPad or iPhone could. Everything looks really, really cool.

Continue reading this story…



Read more: , ,

Join Us for Live Coverage of Apple’s Education Event

By  |  Posted at 4:15 am on Thursday, January 19, 2012

1 Comment

At 10am ET this morning, I’ll be at the Guggenheim Museum here in New York for Apple’s education event, liveblogging the whole thing at technologizer.com/appleeducation. Doug Aamoth of TIME will join me with color commentary–and I hope you’ll be there, too.



Read more: ,

Wait! Philip Elmer-DeWitt of Fortune says that Apple’s education event isn’t about “a GarageBand for e-books” at all:

MacInnis also mentioned GarageBand in our interview. But what he was describing was a sample iPad textbook, produced in-house and packed with pedological bells and whistles, that would serve as a reference design for textbook publishers, much in the way GarageBand for the iPad showed iOS developers what the new platform could do.

MacInnis does expect Apple to unveil new tools for creating iPad textbooks, along with a new content repository to make e-textbooks easily available to teachers. But the tools are not a “GarageBand for e-books.” And according to MacInnis, they’re designed to support the textbook industry, not to do an end-run around it.

Posted by Harry at 8:07 am

2 Comments

Chris Foresman of Ars Technica says that Apple’s education event–which I’ll liveblog at 10am ET on Thursday–is about a “GarageBand for e-books.”

Posted by Harry at 1:21 am

2 Comments

Coming on Thursday: Live Blog Coverage of Apple’s Education Event

By  |  Posted at 12:13 am on Monday, January 16, 2012

4 Comments

On Thursday, January 19th, Apple is holding a press event in New York at the Guggenheim Museum. It says that the topic involves education. Lots of folks are logically assuming that iPad textbooks are at least part of the story. We won’t know any more details for sure until the event gets underway at 10am ET, but once it does, I’ll liveblog the whole thing at technologizer.com/appleeducation–and I hope you’ll join me. (Head there now if you’d like to get an e-mail reminder when the event begins.)



Read more: , , ,

Could Acer Be Any More Blatant in Ripping off Apple?

By  |  Posted at 3:15 am on Monday, January 9, 2012

15 Comments

In the tech business, there are always accusations of somebody copying Apple in one form or another, whether it’s Apple itself leveling the accusations or its legions of supporters. This time, Acer has taken that to another level with the introduction of AcerCloud at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show. From the names of the components to the promotional imagery, Acer seems to have set out to clone Apple’s iCloud as precisely as possible.

Continue reading this story…



Read more: ,

I’m still looking for the idea stylus for my iPad–I like to draw, and it’s way easier with a pen than it is with a finger. At the moment, I’m using Adonit’s Jot and mostly liking it, although I’m still not sure whether it’s possible to build a truly great stylus that works with an iPad. (I want one with a feel exactly like that of a good hard, pointy pencil.)

Serenity Caldwell of Macworld has spent way more time with digital styluses than I have. Maybe more time than anyone has. Here’s her amazingly exhaustive review. (The Jot scores quite well.)

Posted by Harry at 5:12 pm

4 Comments