Tag - apple

Apple Said to Be in Talks to Buy Music Service Lala (Update3) – Bloomberg.com

Dec. 4 (Bloomberg) — Apple Inc., maker of the iPod player and iTunes music software, is in talks to acquire online music service Lala, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The terms of the deal weren’t known. The people declined to be identified because talks are still in progress. Investors in Palo Alto, California-based Lala include New York-based Warner Music Group Corp., Boston-based Bain Capital Ventures and Ignition Partners in Bellevue, Washington.

The Lala service lets users listen to any song on its site once for free. Customers can then opt to buy the track for 10 cents and listen to it on the Web. The service differs from iTunes because the music is stored on servers via so-called cloud computing, instead of being downloaded to the user’s computer. If customers decide to download a track, the cost is 79 cents — compared with iTunes’ price of 69 cents to $1.29.

via Apple Said to Be in Talks to Buy Music Service Lala (Update3) – Bloomberg.com.

Psychedelic: Apple releases WebOS

Classify this as a happy accident:

webos

I just happened to accidentally align a Mac OS X finder window with the TwitterMass website … which just happens to have a very similar color palette. After a couple of seconds I did a double take and realized what was happening.

Funny!

100,000 laptops for Maine students

eye-pod1Maine is planning to expand its seven year old 1:1 computing initiative to 100,000 students.

Currently, the state provides 37,000 Apple MacBooks for students in grades 7 through 12, plus 10,000 teachers and administrators. Now they’re looking to expand to serve an additional 53,000 high school students.

This is one of the largest 1:1 computing experiments in education, though it could pale in comparison to the 1,000,000 Classmate PCs Venezuela has ordered. So, what’s the cost to the state of Maine? According to Ars Technica …

The state would like to pay $242 per year for each MacBook, for a grand total of $25 million per year, or about twice what Maine is currently paying for 37,000 notebooks.

More details at Ars Technica and the AP on Google.

iPhone WiFi Access is buggy

iphone-homeTonight I failed the husband geek-test: fixing something electronic for your wife.

“But it’s not my fault,” I told my wife. “It’s Apple’s fault – WiFi is buggy on the iPhone.” And I think that’s more than a excuse. I think it’s true.

Here’s the deal: we have a wireless network. My iPhone connects to it when I’m home, as does her iPhone. No fuss, no muss: fast free connection to the internet.

But when Teresa puts her phone in Airplane mode at night (as do I) and then wakes it back up again in the morning, turning Airplane mode off … WiFi never comes back automatically.

On my iPhone, turning Airplane mode off returns the phone to the state it was in when Airplane mode was first activated. On my wife’s, it changes the state to something different. In other words, it does not fully undo Airplane mode.

Now, before you ask:

  • same phone (iPhone 3G)
  • same firmware (latest updates from Apple)
  • same settings (General, network, WiFi, you name it)
  • OK, hers is black and mine is white

So what gives? In doing some googling, I notice that someone has the exact opposite problem. Others, on Apple’s support forums, have the same problem. Some can fix it by resetting network settings, some can’t. (You can put us in the can’t category.)

Very, very, very odd.

Here’s a visual overview of the problem in a slideshow:

Phone Wifi Bug

View more presentations or upload your own. (tags: iphone wifi)

iTunes: "sync" actually means "export"

My iPhone is currently paired with my iMac, and I want it paired with my MacBook. So I go to synchronize it and this is the message iTunes gives me:

“Are you sure you want to sync applications? All existing applications and their data on the iPhone “John Koetsier’s iPhone” will be replaced with applications from this iTunes library.”

Interesting.

To me, synchronization means that two or more applications have a little chat. They find out what each other knows, and update each other to include any data that each individually has, and the most current version of any shared data.

Anything else – such as this iTunes “sync” – is just export and import.

Which means that in this case, iTunes synchronization is at best a white lie, and at worst deceptive.

itunes-sync

Unbelievable iPhone Numbers

Read this slowly:

But late last year, he crunched the numbers and came to a shocking conclusion: that the 13 million owners of iPhone owners had already downloaded as much software as—are you sitting down—1.1 billion other cell-phone owners.

The “he” is Jeff Holden, an Amazon alumnus, and founder of Pelago, a mobile applications development company. The quote is in a BusinessWeek article announcing that iPhone users have downloaded 500 million apps from Apple’s App Store.

Think about that: 13 million iPhone users … more software than 1.1 billion other cell phone users.

If anyone thinks that the game has not changed, they are deluding themselves.

If anyone thinks that there’s nothing all the special about the iPhone, they’re delusional.

If anyone thinks that all the iPhone excitement is just hype, they’re not living in this world.

This is simply amazing. And the reason is: a device that works, a device that is friendly, a device that is usable, a device that invites use.

More on that last though later … as my wife just got her first cell phone: an iPhone.

Apple Must Improve iPhone App Approval

Imagine this: you spend $50K developing an iPhone app. You submit it to Apple for approval and posting on the app store. Then you wait for 4 months … with no word whether or not your app will be approved and place on the store.

That’s precisely the situation that Newber finds itself in with its location-aware business phone number application for iPhone. And it’s exactly the kind of situation that companies who are thinking of investing in iPhone application development have nightmares about.

Newber is an innovative app that doesn’t obviously contravene any of Apple’s
app acceptance standards. As Cult of Mac reports:

If you’re in the office at your desk, Newber will send calls to your work phone. At home it can ring the house phone. On the road Newber will ring your iPhone, the phone extension in your hotel room, even the payphone at the gas station in the middle of nowhere where you’re getting a flat fixed – if that’s where you want it to ring. Your callers have one number for you and you can receive their calls anywhere.

The problem is obvious: how willing are companies and developers going to be to develop innovative, cutting-edge applications if they can’t tell in advance whether or not they’ll be accepted to the App Store?

There have been 6 publicly announced reasons for app rejection:

  1. porn
  2. malicious apps
  3. apps that invade your privacy
  4. illegal content
  5. unforeseen issues
  6. bandwidth hogs

Porn is obvious. Malicious apps would presumably include viruses, malware, adware, and so forth. Privacy – again fairly obvious, as are illegal content and bandwidth hogs. Unforseen issues, however, is a little vague.

You would assume it means software and hardware compatibility, but what else might fit into this nebulous category?

Answering that question simply, quickly, and publicly would give more developers confidence to invest time and money in building innovative new iPhone apps.

Please, no: the iFart invasion

The walls are coming down, the barbarians are storming the gates, civilization as we know it is coming to an end.

Yes, you guessed correctly: iFart is now the top paid application for Apple’s iPhone. It’s just as the slogan says: thousands of reasons to love your iPhone:

ifart

This is a sad day for highbrows … but maybe not quite so bad if you have a sense of humor!

The worst thing about Windows

I’m using a lot of Windows lately, via VMware Fusion … recently installing both Vista and XP. It’s for work, and it’s for certain apps that need to be tested on a PC.

The most annoying thing I’ve found so far – besides the way Windows is always mothering me to death me with little messages, asking me if I’m really, totally, quite absolutely sure I want to do something – is that fact that there are no visual cues that an application is launching.

You double-click an app … and nothing happens! Or so you think. Actually, it is launching (usually). But it’s entirely invisible until it appears, fully loaded, on your desktop. In the meantime, of course, you’ve double-clicked it a couple more times … and more of the same open like jack-in-the-boxes.

Annoying!

Mac OS X tells you an app is launching. First by changing the icon background color, and most importantly, by bouncing the icon in the dock until it is fully launched. Plus, if you double-click the app again by mistake, OS X is smart enough to not launch the same app twice.

Now that makes sense.

. . .
. . .

I’m sure this is in actual fact not the most annoying thing about Windows. But it is the most annoying thing right now for me.

iPhone "hanging email" problem resolved

I love my iPhone, but it is not without its warts.

One of them, unfortunately, is an extremely annoying “hanging email” issue: you want to check your email, the Mail app checks for mail … and never, ever finds any, or stops.

This was happening for the past week, so I decided to delete my email accounts (easy enough and unproblematic when they’re IMAP) and re-create them. No lunch.

Finally today I found this article on FreeIphoner.com, where an improbably-named “Fred Bloggs” posted this:

go into the email app, watch it sit there ‘checking for mail’ and just hold down the main/home button for 6 seconds.

shuts the app down. problem solved.

I had the same issue

I knew how to shut down misbehaving apps, but never connected the never-connecting email with a hung app … particularly after a number of recharge and sleep cycles.

iPhone family

We went to my sister’s place yesterday where we were having a family party for my nephew Jacob, who was turning 14. The place was lousy with iPhones.

  • I had one.
  • My sister Maria had one.
  • Her daughter Megan had one.
  • My sister Renee had one.
  • Her husband Jeroen had one.

Naturally, since I’m the technical one in the family, I was immediately pressed into duty helping everyone figure out everything they wanted to know about how to use their iPhone. But it was fun.

You know something is going mainstream when suddenly your entire family starts buying it …

Not so mobile me

I signed up for a 60-day trial of Apple’s new MobileMe service today only to find it is not currently compatible with OS X 10.4.11, more commonly known as “Tiger.”

The latest version of Mac OS X is 10.5.x, or “Leopard.” My home machine runs Leopard; my PowerBook still runs Tiger – and the preference pane that is supposed to be Mobile Me is still the old .Mac.

Which means, unfortunately, that all of Apple’s instructions regarding how to sync my iPhone and laptop are useless.

Hopefully an update will soon be forthcoming …

WALL-E and Mac OS X

Did you catch the Mac start-up sounds in WALL-E?

Teresa and I took the kids to see WALL-E last night (great movie, paradigm-breaker, lots of fun). One particularly interesting part for long-time Mac users are the Mac start-up sounds that accompany WALL-E’s and EVE’s reboot cycles. Notcot has already noticed that EVE is an iPod of the future (can’t wait to get that incredible laser attachment) but you never would have guess that the rusty, clunky WALL-E runs Mac OS X.

There weren’t wholesale signs of recognition among the crowd in the theatre that I could recognize, but I’m sure that the levels will rise in future years …

New iMac

Teresa, the kids and I just got home from the Apple store in Pacific Centre, where we picked up a new iMac.

First impression: wow! The screen is amazing and the speed is great.

Second impression: Apple Migration Assistant failed to assist, and all our user accounts, data, and applications are still on the old iMac.

Time to do some research …

HP Scanjet G4010: Not actually Mac compatible

I just bought the G4010 and am having the exact same problems as this poster on Apple’s support forums … which leads me to believe that the G4010 is not actually Mac compatible, as HP claims it is.

1. If I power-up the scanner while the iMac is running, the mouse pointer freezes, and the only way out I have found is to restart the computer. Bluetooth mouse or USB mouse are the same. This is very irritating.

2. If I leave the scanner powered up all the time, whenever I wake the iMac from sleep it causes the HP scanner application to launch and a blank scan is started. I have to abort the scan and quit the application. However, I use the scanner only occasionally, so really don’t want to leave it powered up.

And, of course, that HP’s software is a steaming pile of you know what.

AppleInsider rips Adobe AIR

Interesting take from AppleInsider on the Adobe AIR thing:

Adobe lists a variety of phone makers and chip manufacturers as its partners in the Open Screen Project, but notably excludes any mention of Microsoft, Apple, and Google. How will ARM, Intel, and Cisco have any relevant impact on pushing Flash on Microsoft’s desktop, Apple’s mobiles and the Mac, or Google’s web apps and Android platform?

And how are the existing licensees of Adobe’s Flash Lite on mobile phones (LG, Nokia, NTT DoCoMo, Qualcomm, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Toshiba, and Verizon Wireless) going to do anything to promote Flash-based rich Internet apps when their devices can’t even run the full version of Flash?

Adobe seems to be hoping that nobody notices these problems and that its vigilant marketing efforts can entrance the public into thinking that a drawing app extended into an animation tool and then retrofitted into a monstrous hack of a development platform is a superior technology basis for building web apps compared to the use of modern open standards created expressly to promote true interoperability by design rather than retroactively.

Brands are results, not causes

Here’s a response I posted this morning on a Seeking Alpha story on Apple’s brand that seemed to imply it was all about marketing:

“All Day Breakfast” hit the nail on the head.

What people who don’t really understand branding don’t understand is that the best branding, the longest-lived branding, and the most financially remunerative branding is branding that is a result, not a cause.

The brand is authentic because it first arises from actual value and actual experience.

Brands that are invented via marketing alone are typically short-lived, expensive, and doomed to crash and burn. The product and the client experience need to be what the branding says in order to generate long-term value.

(The comment’s not showing up yet on Seeking Alpha … I had to sign up … they have an email authorization … I haven’t got the email yet … )

OpenMac: ugly but cheap

Please see the comment on this story from David Boone. This whole company appears to be a hoax – Gizmodo has the story.

PsyStar Corp‘s new OpenMac is a game changer for Mac switchers. It’s not pretty, and it’s not small. But it is very, very cheap.

Here’s the basic box. It’s available without any extras for $399.

And here’s the price … loaded up with a big hard drive, faster processor, 4 GB of RAM, a fast graphics card, and 3 FireWire ports:

I’m tempted to pick up one, but a couple of things hold me back.

First of all, I love Apple fit and finish. Aesthetics are important to me, and I don’t want objects in my house that I don’t love. Secondly, I’m fairly certain Apple’s next OS update will include some code checking if it’s on an OpenMac, and potentially brick your computer. (I’m also fairly certain that enterprising hackers will find a way around that, but I’m not the type that likes to do open heart surgery on my operating system.)

But I bet a lot of potential switchers will pick one up – primarily technical types who have wanted to check Apple out, but have not wanted to drop the grand or more that is the current price of admission (Mac Mini aside).

And the end results will actually be good for Apple with an expanded market, OS sales to anyone who antes up, and a cheap entry point to Mac that does not compromise the Apple brand.

iPhone is a trojan horse for Mac software development

I’m watching VP of iPhone software for Apple, Scott Forstall, in today’s Apple Event.

He’s demo’ing the API and development environment, and my first thought was: this is a trojan horse for Mac OS X development.

Thousands of developers are going to want to write applications for the hottest mobile device on the market … and as they do so, they’ll all be learning how to program for a Mac, using the same tools – the same development environment.

This is going to pay dividends for many years to come.

iCapital for iPhone

This is a big, big deal:

KPCB’s iFund is a $100M investment initiative that will fund market-changing ideas and products that extend the revolutionary new iPhone and iPod touch platform. The iFund is agnostic to size and stage of investment and will invest in companies building applications, services and components. Focus areas include location based services, social networking, mCommerce (including advertising and payments), communication, and entertainment. The iFund will back innovators pursuing transformative, high-impact ideas with an eye towards building independent durable companies atop the iPhone / iPod touch platform.

“A revolutionary new platform is a rare and prized opportunity for entrepreneurs, and that’s exactly what Apple has created with iPhone and iPod touch,” said John Doerr, Partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. “We think several significant new companies will emerge as this new platform evolves, and the iFund will empower them to realize their full potential.”

“Developers are already bursting with ideas for the iPhone and iPod touch, and now they have the chance to turn those ideas into great companies with the help of world-class venture capitalists,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “We can’t wait to start working with Kleiner Perkins and the companies they fund through this new initiative.”

Let a thousand flowers bloom.

FastCompany.tv on AppleTV

I’ve been wondering lately if the shows that Scoble is putting on FastCompany.tv will be available on AppleTV.

See, here’s my problem: I’m interesting in the shows that Scoble (and presumably other) will be doing. They’re with fascinating people doing interesting things. All great and good.

But the times when I’m browsing are NOT times when I’ll kick back and watch a 15, 20, or 30 minute show.

I’m usually browsing to take a quick break – it’s lunch, I want to know what’s going on, and I surf my favorite blogs and PopURLs for a couple of minutes. But my break is short – I’m not going to put my feet up and just watch something.

So the only other alternative is to let the video run while I’m working. Sorry, that’s a non-starter. I need to focus and be intent on what I’m doing, and I can’t have a running distraction like a podcast or a video.

So …

I need FastCompany.tv to be available in my evening downtime, when I might look for something to watch on TV. Most shows on regular TV are a waste of time, but there are a lot of great podcasts – and I’m thinking FastCompany.tv shows would be among them – that I’d like to surf and watch.

But that would mean that FastCompany.tv would need to put its shows on either YouTube or the iTunes directory.

So … the question is … will they?

UPDATE:
I see on Robert’s latest post that FastCompany.tv will be available via iTunes. See #4 of what they’re working on … “RSS Feeds that work with iTunes. That’s the first thing to fix after the developers get some sleep (they were up most of Sunday night working on this).”

mini-blogging

Thanks to an extremely generous brother-in-law, I’m blogging this from my new iPod touch.

Far, far, far too cool.

Of course, I quickly picked up the $20 extra apps package from Apple, which really makes this useable as a mobile platform …

Well, enough for now.

I’m super-happy with the Touch, but I’m not going to start writing novels on a touchscreen.

Takes all kinds …

I tell you, I get the weirdest email sometimes …

This one was in response to my Sony camcorder & Mac OS X: Not happy together? post from a year or so ago.

i saw your blog about about the mac and sony cam! I am the victim of samsung not connecting with mac! kinda like pam anderson and kid rock! it sort of works but not the full throatle

anywho sorry to bother you i am sure you are busy! My problem i bought my cam yesterday from compusa which is going out of buisness so all sales are final!

now i think i can take it back raising h*ll in a calm way! i would even take a credit and buy something i can use! but i did drop 230 bucks so i am pissed not break a nail pissed I cant sleep at night pissed, because i was wrong

anywho why this random email well is apple coming out with a new usb chord?

you seem like you know yo sh*t and frankly i am a new user to apple just bought the imac beast 2 days ago!

take care!

mary

More power to you, Mary. Hope everything worked out OK – and thanks for brightening my day with your email!

If Apple's website doesn't work on Safari, what will …

apple websiteYou would think that Apple would ensure that it’s website works on Safari, the browser Apple created. So why is it that 9 times out of 10, when I go to check out the new MacBook Air commercial, it doesn’t play?

(And yes, I’m as up to date as 10.4 gets: Mac OS X 10.4.11, Safari version 3.0.4, latest version of QuickTime, high-speed connection to the internet, etc. etc.)

Odd.

Even odder that: occasionally, it does.

IMHO: Incremental but important

I’m sure everyone and his dog knows what Apple announced today at MacWorld:

  • iPhone and iPod Touch updates
  • Movie rentals on iTunes and new Apple TV
  • Time Capsule backup appliance
  • MacBook Air

There was no iPhone, no huge incredible surprise. But there was incremental improvement on a wide variety of fronts … and the new Apple TV is an amazing product that now I’m interesting in buying. (Though, once again, Canada has to wait for full service availability.)

There’s a lot in today’s MacWorld that’s going to make a lot of money for Apple.