Tag - apple

Facebook Declares War On Google; Apple and Microsoft cheer

If I am Microsoft or Apple today, I’m fairly happy.

It’s obvious that Google is a huge threat to both Microsoft and Apple. Using its massive cash surpluses from owning the high-volume, high value search ads industry, Google is funding investments that are commoditizing both mobile and “desktop” operating systems … and significant chunks of the native application industry … programs that used to be developed solely for installation in an operating system environment.

The only defense is to attack the cash cow that is funding these efforts. Microsoft’s attempt is Bing. Apple’s attempt is owning the mobile OS and owning the advertising platform. Both are going to fail to significantly dethrone Google.

But Facebook might be another matter:

Facebook wants to launch the social semantic search engine as we alluded to during f8. Now that the search results are officially showing up as Facebook search results, the war has begun.

We’d expect a lot of developments in this space to emerge over the coming days, weeks, and months. We’ll be following Facebook’s entry into search closely.

via Facebook Unleashes Open Graph Search Engine, Declares War On Google.

With Microsoft attacking on the search engine front, Apple attacking on the mobile interface and advertising front, and Facebook now getting into social search … things get interesting. I wonder if Google is making so many enemies that it will have long-term trouble in spite of its apparent short-term invulnerability.

All I can say is: I can’t wait to see what will happen.

The Last Mogul: Has Steve Jobs Won?

From Michael Wolff’s excellent post on Newser:

For the machine-loving consumer, Jobs’ triumph over Microsoft and Bill Gates is a marvel. Life seldom turns out this way. It’s a first in the history of architecture, where, in the mass market, the sensuous and beautiful triumphs over the functional and economic. The cost of such beauty, however, is having to accede to Apple’s world.

via The Last Mogul: Has Steve Jobs Won?.

iPad use case #3: watch the big game, in 6 minutes

Like most Canadians, I’m mad about hockey (both in the British sense of being crazy about it, and the American sense of being ticked off that there are not enough Canadian teams).

So when I can’t watch the game … iPad helps.

Just download the official NHL app. All of the day’s games are listed on the home screen. Pick one, and click watch.

Instantly (almost) you’ve got a 6-8 minute highlight reel of that game – in the comfort of your chair, sofa, or bed.

Now that’s not bad.

Is This Really The Future of Magazines?

Why, why, why, Wired? 400 MBs of images in your 500 MB iPad app. Extremely uncool.

From the story on Interface Lab:

With the Wired app weighing in at a whopping 500 megabytes – just 100 shy of a full CD-ROM – how do they intend to maintain new editions of the magazine?  500 MB is too large for a 3G download (no help from AT&T’s less than spectacular network performance) and for those with iPad’s with the smaller storage, each issue will take a significant chunk of space on the device.  With no apparent means for managing which issues you keep on your device, this will become huge issue for a lot of people.  Obviously they will fix this with updates to the application, but I’m still wondering what they were thinking to begin with.  I’m hoping there were voices of dissent that pointed out the end product was not worth it’s weight in megabytes.  A PDF version would have been a tenth of the size, though without the interactivity.  But is the interactivity worth the 500MB price?  I personally don’t think so.

Why is the magazine so large?  Being the intrepid hacker that I am (*wink*) I mounted my jail broken iPad via AppleTalk and quickly tore into the app itself to see how it was constructed.  Similar to the PopSci+ magazine application, each Wired issue is actually a bunch of XML files that lay out a bunch of images.  And by “a bunch of images” I mean 4,109 images weighing in at 397MB.

via Is This Really The Future of Magazines or Why Didn’t They Just Use HTML 5?.

iPad use case #2: stand-up "paper-work"

This is part of an occasional series on iPad use cases … or, more generally, tablet computing. All are written on my iPad.

Today I needed a break from the office – a break from my desk, and a break from sitting. But I had an important email to review, with a long PDF document that I had to read, understand, and respond to.

So I picked up my iPad, opened Mail, and headed outside. Found the message and opened the PDF … and started to review the document in the fresh air of a beautiful morning. PDF documents are wonderful to read on iPad … each page basically is a screenful in portrait (vertical) mode, and looks stunning.

It was a perfect to both recharge the batteries a little and get some work done.

Good:
Easy to carry, easy to view, great visual quality even outdoors with bright sunlight nearby.

Bad:
Can’t thin, of anything bad at the moment.

Sad:
Would have been nice to be able to annotate that PDF and send it back

iPad use case #1: lean-back web

This is an occasional column that I’ll be writing on my iPad detailing how I’m actually using it.

The first and most obvious use-case – especially for those of us in countries where the iPad is not officially released yet and therefore has no App store – is the web.

The web is wonderful in your hand … and one of the best uses of the iPad is sitting back, laying down on the sofa, or just standing somewhere comfortable … and trolling the web.

Good:
Easy, fun, anywhere web.

Bad:
Sharing pages with others via bit.ly and Twitter is not easy in a non-multitasking environment. iPhoneOS 4 should address this.

Sad:
Tabbed browsing is slow … and opening old tabs often causes refreshing of pages. (So does using the back button!)

Why Steve Jobs Loves Adobe Flash

An interesting argument from RoughlyDrafted Magazine:

What better curse could one wish upon one’s mobile platform competitors than a bunch of performance and security problems, poor battery life, a mess of user interface inconsistencies, and a malignant boil upon their efforts to develop their own third party development platforms? Jobs didn’t express such schadenfreude himself, but he can’t possibly not be ecstatic that his competitors are all rushing to wrap themselves around the neck with the dead albatross that is Adobe’s Flash.

via Why Steve Jobs Loves Adobe Flash — RoughlyDrafted Magazine.

iPad needs social sharing features

I’m a sharer.

That’s why I’ve got a few thousand followers on Twitter, why I blog, why I save links to del.icio.us, post videos to YouTube, and so on …

So I need social sharing features when I surf … and I just got an iPad. Most social sharing is done through Javascript “bookmarklets.” They sit on your browser, and when clicked, take action: sharing, saving, or doing something else with the active webpage:

Mobile Safari lacks this, at least so far as I’ve seen:

You can add a bookmark, add a web page to the home screen, or mail a link (how 1990s!) … but I can’t yet find how to share it on Twitter, ideally with the Bit.ly URL shortening engine.

I’m not sure yet if they can be added, or if I’m going to have to move to Opera, or if Apple will update Safari.

All I can say is: there has be a better way than:

  • Tapping and holding
  • Selecting “select all”
  • Selecting “copy:
  • Switching to a new browser tab with Twitter active
  • Tapping and holding
  • Selecting “paste”
  • Writing a blurb about the link

If and when I find a solution, I’ll update this post.

How to sync your digital camera movies to iPad

If you’re wondering how to sync the movies from your digital camera to iPad, you’re not alone. I thought I had enabled everything necessary … only to find one little detail undone.

Check this screen in iTunes:

Make sure the “include videos” option is checked … otherwise you’ll sync and sync without – actually – syncing.

Be aware, however, that iPad does not support MPEG movie files … so unless you’re saving in .mov file formats, you’re out of luck.

iPad online use approaches Android, BlackBerry

In its first 10 days, Apple’s iPad has captured almost as much online usage share as the BlackBerry or Google’s Android operating system, a Web metrics firm said today.

According to data from Aliso Viejo, Calif.-based NetApplications.com, the iPad’s share has averaged 0.03% since April 3, the day Apple started selling the media tablet. Although that number is puny compared to the major operating systems — Windows XP, for example, accounts for 64.5% of the total market — it’s within striking distance of longer-available rivals.

Research In Motion’s BlackBerry, for example, had a usage share of 0.04% for the month of March. Android, meanwhile, accounted for the same figure, split evenly between Android 1.5 and Android 1.6, NetApplications said.

via iPad online use approaches Android, BlackBerry – Computerworld.

The Adobe – Apple Flame War

Who, in his right mind, expects Steve Jobs to let Adobe (and other) cross-platform application development tools control his (I mean the iPhone OS) future? Cross-platform tools dangle the old “write once, run everywhere” promise. But, by being cross-platform, they don’t use, they erase “uncommon” features. To Apple, this is anathema as it wants apps developers to use, to promote its differentiation. It’s that simple. Losing differentiation is death by low margins. It’s that simple. It’s business. Apple is right to keep control of its platform’s future.

by Jean-Louis Gassee via The Adobe – Apple Flame War | Monday Note.

Apple against the world

I understand the fury at Adobe over Apple’s moves against Flash development on the iPhone. (And I’m sad that this particularly targeted spat may have incalculable fall-out on the rest of the Adobe-Apple relationship, which will potentially impact both companies’ customers down the road.)

It’s got a bit of the feeling of Lucy pulling the football away from Charlie Brown, but with one key difference: in this scenario, Lucy never asked Charlie Brown to kick that football. Charlie Brown saw a bunch of other kids kicking the football and thought he could run up and kick it too.

Is it mean for Lucy to yank the football away from ol’ Chuck at the last minute? Yeah, absolutely. But it’s Lucy’s football.

via Apple against the world | Phones | Mac Word | Macworld.

Apple and Google: Frenemies forever?

“If you go down the list now where they compete, the list is pretty extensive,” said Peter Farago, vice president of marketing at Flurry Inc., a San Francisco mobile analytics firm. In addition to smartphones, Apple and Google both develop Internet browser software (Safari and Chrome), mobile operating systems (iPhone OS and Android), and both are buying mobile advertising companies (Quattro and AdMob).

via Apple and Google: Frenemies forever? Therese Poletti’s Tech Tales – MarketWatch.

Google: how many enemies can you afford?

I was wondering this morning: how many enemies can Google afford?

Apple
There’s of course Apple, which Google poked with a stick when they brought out Android, their OS for mobile communication devices (or: smartphones). Apple is less concerned about Chromium and Google Apps (see below) … but any other operating systems and productivity apps are inherent competitors.

Microsoft
Microsoft is an enemy not only due to Android but also due to Chromium, another Google OS for not-quite-so-mobile devices (or: tablets). And, of course, Microsoft just loves Google for Google Apps, which threaten to someday replace Office.

Not least of all, Microsoft, which has been trying for a decade to win on the web, is fighting Google for mind and marketshare in search with Bing.

Facebook
Facebook is emerging as a major competitor for Google for two reasons: sheer scale in terms of audience and pageviews, which diverts users’ time and attention away from Google … and the fact that Facebook controls what Google sees of all that fascinating and mine-able and rich user action and interaction.

Facebook, of course, is really happy that Google’s Orkut is big in Brazil and India …

Twitter, FourSquare, etc.
The whole social world that is exploding in Facebook and on Twitter/FourSquare and many other similar sites watches in dismay as Google experiments with Buzz. It’s abundantly apparent that Orkut notwithstanding Google isn’t really getting social right now, but the giant with deep pockets cannot be ignored. Even its accidental footsteps kill many trees.

China
Hmmm … Google really knows how to pick ’em. As much as we may admire Google for its principled stance on freedom and censorship, fighting with the more-or-less totalitarian government of the most populous nation with the fastest-growing economy on earth is a bit sobering.

Old media, Magazines, Newspapers, Publishing, Rupert Murdoch, New York
As much as we may laugh at Rupert Murdoch’s understandings of links, traffic, and value … there’s no doubt that aggregation and search have sucked huge amounts of value out of traditional media. And they don’t like one little bit of it … and are searching furiously for ways to re-monetize their content. (Maybe the iPad will save them? Don’t hold your breath.)

. . .
. . .

Who else? From a certain perspective, almost EVERY company on the internet competes with Google, at least somewhat.

So the question becomes … at what point does Google’s insistence on poking their nose into everyone else’s business model – which they can only afford to do because of a de facto monopoly on search revenue – start to damage Google?

One would have to imagine sometime soon. You can only fight so many Lilliputians (and behemoths) at once.

Apple's HCT lawsuit: shot across Google's bow

So Apple is suing smartphone rival HTC for the Touch.

This is not about HTC … this is about Google. Specifically, about Android.

Android is the only competitive threat to Apple’s iPhone today. Windows Phone 7 may become one tomorrow, Nokia may have something else up its long sleeves, Palm may catch a miracle and become an actual player … but only Android is a real threat right now. Google’s fairly recent addition of multi-touch support was the final straw.

And now Apple’s throwing down the gauntlet. This is going to get interesting!

More coverage:
GigaOM, AppleInsider, Engadget.

The patents that HTC allegedly infringes:

  • The ‘331 Patent, entitled “Time-Based, Non-Constant Translation Of User Interface Objects Between States,” was duly and legally issued on April 22, 2008 by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
  • The ‘949 Patent, entitled “Touch Screen Device, Method, And Graphical User Interface For Determining Commands By Applying Heuristics,” was duly and legally issued on January 20, 2009 by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. A copy of the ‘949 Patent is attached hereto as Exhibit B.
  • The ‘849 Patent, entitled “Unlocking A Device By Performing Gestures On An Unlock Image,” was duly and legally issued on February 2, 2010 by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. A copy of the ‘849 Patent is attached hereto as Exhibit C.
  • The ‘381 Patent, entitled “List Scrolling And Document Translation, Scaling, And Rotation On A Touch-Screen Display,” was duly and legally issued on December 23, 2008 by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. A copy of the ‘381 Patent is attached hereto as Exhibit D.
  • The ‘726 Patent, entitled “System And Method For Managing Power Conditions Within A Digital Camera Device,” was duly and legally issued on July 6, 1999 by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. A copy of the ‘726 Patent is attached hereto as Exhibit E.
  • The ‘076 Patent, entitled “Automated Response To And Sensing Of User Activity In Portable Devices,” was duly and legally issued on December 15, 2009 by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. A copy of the ‘076 Patent is attached hereto as Exhibit F.
  • The ‘105 Patent, entitled “GMSK Signal Processors For Improved Communications Capacity And Quality,” was duly and legally issued on December 8, 1998 by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. A copy of the ‘105 Patent is attached hereto as Exhibit G.
  • The ‘453 Patent, entitled “Conserving Power By Reducing Voltage Supplied To An Instruction-Processing Portion Of A Processor,” was duly and legally issued on June 3, 2008 by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. A copy of the ‘453 Patent is attached hereto as Exhibit H.
  • The ‘599 Patent, entitled “Object-Oriented Graphic System,” was duly and legally issued on October 3, 1995 by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. A copy of the ‘599 Patent is attached hereto as Exhibit I.
  • The ‘354 Patent, entitled “Object-Oriented Event Notification System With Listener Registration Of Both Interests And Methods,” was duly and legally issued on July 23, 2002 by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. A copy of the ‘354 Patent is attached hereto as Exhibit J.

Here's Why Apple Will Beat Amazon In The Battle For The E-Textbook Market

We made calls to universities that have been evaluating various e-readers and e-book formats and found that most expect to partner with Apple’s iPad in its e-reader initiatives.

This is because:

* Apple already has a massive infrastructure built to promote and distribute its products to universities and it will take time for its competitors to replicate that.

* Amazon and Sony have improved their devices in recent releases but universities are still not satisfied.

* The iPad appears to solve the portability issues and lack of features many universities have cited for not embracing Amazon and Sony readers.

via Here’s Why Apple Will Beat Amazon In The Battle For The E-Textbook Market.

Windows Phone 7 Series: Everything Is Different Now

The mobile picture is now officially a three-way dance: Apple, Google, and Microsoft. The same people who dominate desktop computing. Everybody else is screwed. Former Palm CEO Ed Colligan famously said a few years ago: “PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They’re not going to just walk in.” That’s precisely what’s just happened. Phones are the new PCs. PC guys are the new phone guys.

via Windows Phone 7 Series: Everything Is Different Now – Windows phone 7 – Gizmodo.

Kindle vs. iPad: Far from over

The day after Apple’s big iPad debut, Amazon reported stellar fourth-quarter results that included a 42% increase in sales and net income up a whopping 71%. Although Kindle and eBook sales still account for only a small segment of revenue — predicted to be about 5% in 2010 according to most analysts — its success continues to be a highlight.

In Amazon’s earnings release, Bezos threw a spotlight on the “millions of people” who own the e-Reader, adding, “When we have both editions, we sell 6 Kindle books for every 10 physical books.”

via Kindle vs. iPad: Far from over – Fortune Brainstorm Tech.

Big question: Microsoft on the iPad

I’ve been wondering lately what Microsoft will do for the iPad.

As everyone knows, Microsoft is one of the major software developers for Mac … Office being the most obvious example. They’ve also dabbled in iPhone applications.

But now we have the iPad. And now mobile apps have an opportunity to be more and do more than ever before. And … Apple has thrown down the gauntlet by developing special (and cheap!) versions of its own office applications for iPad – the iWork suite.

iWork includes Keynote (PowerPoint), Pages (Word), and Numbers (Excel). How is Microsoft going to respond?

Putting their own apps on iPad is a big, big move, from a lot of perspectives:

  • It would require huge redesign (lots of work)
  • It would implicitly be blessing Apple’s new semi-mobile platform (both annoying and strategically dangerous)
  • It would be at a much lower price point than desktop office … iWork is about $15 on iPad, versus about $100 on a Mac (also strategically dangerous and very financially risky)

And yet, to not do it risks being left in the starting gate as the race for mobile software really starts taking off. Above all else, after all, Microsoft is a software company.

What will they do? My guess: not get in until it’s too late, then jump in with both feet.

By then, Microsoft risks becoming irrelevant.

A Peek at Apple's Plans to Re-invent Textbooks

ScrollMotion’s been tapped to transmogrify textbooks published by McGraw-Hill, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and every standardized test-taking student’s favorite, Kaplan.

. .  .

If you’ve over-analyzed the iPad keynote as much as we have, by now you’ve probably gotten the distinct sense that something felt like it was missing. One of those things, apparently, were Apple’s ideas about re-inventing the textbook.

via A Peek at Apple’s Plans to Re-invent Textbooks – ipad – Gizmodo.

Sweet spot: eBook reader AND computer

“Most eBook readers, for whatever reason, are priced at about the level of a low-end netbook, which proves to be a significant barrier,” Mitchell said. “A tablet that is both an eBook reader and a netbook-like device would make it much more attractive to your everyday user. Plus, interactivity will bring new content and media that hasn’t been imagined yet.”

via Educators intrigued by Apple’s iPad | eSchoolNews.com.

iPad -> Future Shock

What you’re seeing in the industry’s reaction to the iPad is nothing less than future shock.

For years we’ve all held to the belief that computing had to be made simpler for the “average person.” I find it difficult to come to any conclusion other than that we have totally failed in this effort.

Secretly, I suspect, we technologists quite liked the idea that Normals would be dependent on us for our technological shamanism. Those incantations that only we can perform to heal their computers, those oracular proclamations that we make over the future and the blessings we bestow on purchasing choices.

via Fraser Speirs – Blog – Future Shock.

I need to talk to you about computers

The bet is roughly that the future of computing:

1. has a UI model based on direct manipulation of data objects

2. completely hides the filesystem from the user

3. favors ease of use and reduction of complexity over absolute flexibility

4. favors benefit to the end-user rather than the developer or other vendors

5. lives atop built-to-specific-purpose native applications and universally available web apps

via stevenf.com – I need to talk to you about computers. I’ve been….

Report: Apple tablet is a shared media device | Circuit Breaker – CNET News

On Wednesday night, the Wall Street Journal reported that Apple's newest gadget could be a hub for all kinds of media: magazines, newspapers, books, text books, music, games, and video. All of that has been speculated about before, but the target demographic and the primary use for the device–which falls somewhere between a smartphone and a laptop–has been more of a mystery. Now it seems we’re starting to have a clearer picture: the device has been purposely designed to be shared between members of a household as easily as possible, according to one of the Journal’s unnamed sources.

via Report: Apple tablet is a shared media device | Circuit Breaker – CNET News.

Android or iPhone? Wrong Question « abovethecrowd.com

I wonder if this will have any anti-trust implications ….

<blockquote>That’s right. Google will give the carrier ad splits that result from implementing the Google search box on any Android phone. FBR Capital Markets suggests that Google is taking this idea one step further in its November 24, 2009 report titled Implications of a Potential Share Shift to Android-Based Wireless Devices. “Recent support for Android-based devices appears to be correlated with significant up-front financial incventives paid by Google to both carriuer and handset vendors.” FBR goes on to suggest that these incentives may be as high as $25-50 per device. This is simply an offer that no carrier can refuse, particularly when U.S. carriers are currently in the habit of paying $50-150 per handset sold in subsidies.</blockquote>

via Android or iPhone? Wrong Question « abovethecrowd.com.

Daring Fireball: The (i)Tablet

“Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will never die, but long after we are gone will be a living thing, asserting itself with ever-growing insistency. Remember that our sons and grandsons are going to do things that would stagger us. Let your watchword be order and your beacon beauty. Think big.”

—Daniel Burnham, Chicago architect. (1846-1912)

via Daring Fireball: The Tablet.