Tag Archive: Apple


So, Apple has finally launched a smaller version of its best selling iPad, and it looks, from initial reviews I’ve read to be yet another high quality product.

But, was it really necessary for the mini to be made in the first place?

For a start, the pricing seems really extreme for a tablet with the spec of the mini, with the current 7 inch tabs, such as the Kindle Fire HD, Nexus 7 and Nook HD, all having higher screen resolutions and ppi figures, and equally good or better CPUs and similar storage capacity.

The base iPad mini is £269 for the 16GB Wifi only version , £70 dearer than the 16GB Wifi Nexus 7 @ £199. The Kindle Fire HD 16GB can be had for just £159, with the Nook HD coming in somewhere in between.

That £70 difference might not seem that much, but given that people are economising still, I do wonder if the price point could be a dealbreaker, especially if you follow the pricing structure up, where the mini overlaps the full size iPad quite deeply, and begs the question ‘Why buy a mini when you can get a full size one?’.

I personally have not had any hands on, but looking at the reviews and videos so far, I find myself answering the question ‘Does it offer anything compelling over the competition? (Including other iPads)’ with a ‘No’.

I don’t doubt that it will sell by the truckload, but I can’t help that its Apple thinking they’ve missed a trick to cash in and racing to play catch up when they saw the success of the Nexus 7.

It seems these days that Apple is just about the money, and as I’ve said before, I think that’s a shame.

So, I’m totally astonished at the screen grabs and errors being published online in all quarters, centering around the poor quality of the new IOS6 mapping app. It is truly amazing, that an important app like this, replacing as it is the venerable Google product, even got out of the door. Terrible joins are visible in images, with distortion that makes some objects appear melted, items are missing, labeled incorrectly etc.

I’m sure Steve Jobs would be turning in his grave over this quality control blunder.

The worst part of it seems to be for the businesses who spent time, and probably money, getting themselves visible on Google maps are often unfindable in the Apple product, since it uses Yelp and not Google for searching.

Looking at other reviews, and I’ve read quite a few, Apple seems to have got stuck in their continuous product improvement cycle and are only able to evolve what they currently have, rather than being able to do anything revolutionary, and to me that’s a shame.

One final thing before bed, and that is to remind you all that whilst Apple designed the A6 core, guess who builds the chips for them? Yep, you guessed it, Samsung. 🙂

So, I’m not generally known for my rants about Apple, but more and more I am beginning to think they have turned a corner down a very dark road.

Many years ago, when I first got into IT, Apple was the radical, different company, whose tech was the preferred tool of writers, artists, musicians and the like, and in a world where computers and computing was generally biege, they stood out as being different, and we loved them for it.

So what’s changed? Well whilst nobody was looking, Apple decided that they should become Global Super MegaCorp no1, and have slowly and insidiously become like all the other major corporations, only with much, much more money in the kitty.

It seems to be the Apple mantra now, to obliviate (Harry Potter ref there) all other companies using their fantastical industrial design and their huge piles of cash.

This just isn’t the Apple of old, and I’m wondering how long it will be before people start to notice.

IMHO, Apple has become a money grabbing patent troll, that has lost its way in the pursuit of greed and global domination.

Rant over, but to me it’s a shame that special something they had has vanished behind a pile of cash, a briefcase full of patents and more biege.

So, my wife would like an iPad, so we take a look at eBay to see how much 1st gen ones go for.

Well to say I was shocked is an understatement, because you can go and buy a refurbished 2nd gen one for less straight from Apple.

Why do people persist in paying more on eBay, I just don’t get it.

Shop around fools……

I’ve had some discussions on forums of late, which have made me think long and hard about the almost religious fervor  some people get into over iPhones in this particular case.

I am an Android user, but I am more than capable of looking at the iPhone and saying ‘Yes, it is a standard setter, and has, and always will be a great piece of industrial design, and does what it does very well’.

Although I have an older model as a spare phone, and my wife has a 3gs, I’ll never go down the route of having one as my primary phone, because as a techie, I love the freedom I get with Android, and the iPhone leaves me a bit cold, because it is too rigid and fixed. I can’t tinker with an iPhone so easily. Oh, and it doesn’t have Flash either, or an easily changed battery. And it has a SIM card that is so small, that if you drop it on a brightly coloured carpet it vanishes for good.

So as a droid user, I can see both sides of the  argument, and am prepared to believe that both devices have pros and cons, and ultimately, its down to the individual to choose the device that best suits their personality.

iPhone users however, seem to be incapable of accepting that both devices have pros and cons, and simply wish to pour damnation on everything remotely droid.

One forum I posted on had an iPhone user saying that droids were laggy, fragmented, malware infested and had no updates, and wouldn’t sync with iTunes. Another described the Market as a cess pool!!

Folks, all I’ll say is this. Look back at the iPhone and it’s recent past, such as antennagate, alarm clocks that won’t recognise summertime, baby shaking apps, flashlight apps with hidden tethering, and a serious WiFi security bug in the iPhone 3g, that won’t be fixed because support has ceased. Not much consolation for those with a year or two old iphone 3g.

Back in 2009, which is not that long ago people, Apple had to close around 46 bugs in iOS, some of which were serious security vulnerabilities.

There has been malware in both the App Store and the Android Market.

Apple is no more perfect than Android, they are just better able to put a spin on things, and divert our attention away from the bad things by launching new, sexy things just when something bad happens.

When comparing an iPhone to an Android handset, don’t compare with a handset that is way down in the specs. Make sure you’re comparing Apples with Apples (So to speak).

Get your facts right. Android gets updates, and some manufacturers do this over the air, rather than having to plug into iTunes to get them. I can also choose from a selection of ROMS to install on my phone at any time I choose.

Oh, and finally, both my HTC Desire and Samsung Galaxy Tab can sync to iTunes.

So if you are an Apple fanboy, and you want to slag off Android you’d better:

  1. Get your facts right.
  2. Don’t be standing in a glass house.

Try and see both sides.

Reminds me of a long time ago when my friends and I owned things like a Sinclair Spectrum, CMB64, Atari 800 and all those other long lost home computers, when the ‘My Computer Is Better Than Your Computer’ argument raged on.

Except then it was much better natured. Sighs….

Android vs IOS

I recently obtained an older 1st gen iPhone as a spare, and thought it would be interesting to compare the Android and IOS operating systems.

I know that immediately people will say ‘How can you compare a 1st gen iPhone with a relatively new Android device.

Well, truth be told, I’m not comparing speed, since I know the Android device, an HTC Desire will (Should) be faster.

What I’m more concerned with is how do the standard apps stack up in terms of functionality, and how does the phone make me feel?

In fact most of the standard Apps don’t really operate that much differently, so things like Contacts, phone, calendar, maps, weather and web based mail, such as Hotmail or Gmail, or work very similarly, and with those, I couldn’t find anything that made either platform stand out for me.

However, despite being a big Android fan, I can say the iPhone, despite being an older model, does have some features that the Android based phones would do well to pick up on.

Firstly, and quite importantly, the iPhone standard on screen keyboard is much better than the Android one. I haven’t had a chance to properly try the keyboard in Gingerbread, but I know it is an improvement on the Froyo standard keyboard.

That being said, the iPhone is better still, in that it is simpler and more accurately detects the key pressed. There are better Android keyboards available, such as Swiftkey (My favourite at the moment), SlideIT and Swype. For me I’d still go for the Apple keyboard.

The next item that I think the iPhone does better is Exchange email

I run my own Exchange 2003 mail server, and the Android mail client will only let me see my emails in plain text format. The iPhone client lets me see them in their full glory, as intended by the sender, images and all. Why can’t my Droid do this?

Apparently Exchange 2003 doesn’t support HTML emails via Activesync, but if the iPhone can do it, why not the Droid.

I am upgrading to a later version of Exchange anyway, but that would be a big step to take just to get HTML emails on my Droid. Harrumph.

Finally, nobody has yet, IMHO, been able to surpass the iPod, and despite a great attempt by HTC, which now allows you to sync your iTunes to your HTC device, the iPod functionality of the iPhone is still streets ahead.

What does the Android do better then, I hear you ask. Well for me the Sense UI provided by HTC is much slicker than the iPhone interface. I may change my opinion if I get to play with a later iPhone, and if so I’ll update this but for now that’s where I’m at.

In fact, the standard Froyo and Gingerbread interfaces are, for me at any rate,  better than the iPhone UI.

Why is this? Well, I mentioned earlier about how the phones make me feel, and with the iPhone, I feel like it is somebody else’s device that I’m just borrowing. It feels restricted, and I don’t like that.

The Desire, on the other hand feels like it is a blank canvas you can customise to your hearts content, and I feel like its mine, and not just on loan from Steve Jobs! The Droid has proper multi-tasking too.

That’s why, despite the good features of the iPhone, which is an iconic piece of design and a standard setter, I will always plump for the Android device, simply because of the way it make me feel.

These are my opinions, feel free to comment!

Well, i’ve now read a few articles about ‘Antennagate’, and it is beginning to look like Apple have truly got no understanding of reality.

Instead of putting their collective hands up and saying ‘Ok folks. We messed up, let’s get things fixed’, Apples illustrious leader proceeded to say that iPhone 4 was no different to other brands like Blackberry, HTC, Nokia and Samsung.

Now that’s all very well, but past experience has shown that running down other peoples products to make your own look better doesn’t always work so well, especially if at the same time you’re giving away something for free that fixes the problem with your own product, and offering refunds for those who want them.

It seems the backlash has already started, with RIM and Nokia fighting back.

I guess only time will tell, but I know that my HTC Desire is not affected by the way I hold it, and does not need a case to make phone calls.

Bad show Mr Jobs, you shouldn’t treat people like nincompoops, because if you do it once too often, it’s gonna come back and bite you eventually.

I’ve now come to the conclusion that going for the HTC Desire over the iPhone 4 has meant I might have dodged a bullet given the furore over the antenna (Aerial for us UK bods).

Reading this article here: iPhone Antenna issues, it seems that those people making the decisions, blatantly ploughed on and built the device, with the expectation that people would just buy it and love it because of their particularly strong brand position.

Apple may admit to it (The jury is out until the press conference this afternoon), but until then it is a serious blow, IMHO, to their credibility.

I freely admit, I know several people who have iPhones, and none have reported this issue (And I have asked them), but they do have rubber bumpers on their phones. Not everybody is going to want to have to buy an extra accessory to just make phone calls.

And, I must admit that if I’d just shelled out for a new iPhone, and my calls kept dropping out, I’d be mighty peeved.

No phone is perfect, not even my HTC Desire, but surely if you’re going to make a new model of your best selling phone, you’d better be damn sure that it can make phone calls.

I’ll be very interested to see just what Apple come up with at the press conference, which I believe is happening at 18:00 BST today. I wonder if anybody will find themselves joining the unemployment queues. I’m sure Mr Jobs wont be.

It’s not been so good for posting for me lately, having been on my holiday and returning home with a sinus/ear infection which makes my head feel like an over inflated world cup football!

I have however been able to look at the iPhones 4’s owned and operated by the fanboys in my office, and my spangly new HTC Desire, received just yesterday as a free upgrade from 3.

The Apple device, whilst good, seems to only score over the HTC in robustness of construction/industrial design. I freely admit, that Apple have got that really right, and if I’m honest, the retina screen is also awesome.

However, the HTCs Android O/S is a complete joy, and I had migrated myself over to the new phone from my trusty Nokia E71 (Also a superb phone) within such a short space of time that I was truly astonished at how quickly it was done.

I feel like I’ve had the phone for years after less than 24 hours, and ok, maybe the App Store is good, the Android equivalent is also pretty good too.

I guess maybe my ideal phone would be an iPhone 4 running Android, and I believe this has been done on older iPhones (see here), but for the time being, I need to spend some quality time with my new toy!

Back soon with more stuff.

Hmmm, a colleague has just appeared with new iPhone in hand, and I have to say, comparing the old and new iPhones side by side, I have to give Apple a point for the design. It looks fabulous to be honest.

In fact, I have to say that the photo’s I’ve seen don’t do it justice, and I confess it has turned my head a bit. Two weeks now until I get my new phone, and although I still think it will be an HTC Desire, I’m having a bit of a wobble right now.

I like Chrome as a browser, and thought that as I like it so much I’d add it to my Mac, which I use for browsing mostly, and the odd blog post like now.

Being an iBook G4, I was pretty disappointed to find that Chrome is not supported a) on my hardware and b) on my O/S (Tiger)

I suppose now that Macs are more likely to be Intel, it makes sense to not spend time developing for them, but there must be a considerable number of machines out there which are still useable, and could do with a choice of browser.

I found this article: The Best Browsers For Older Macs Running Tiger.

I have Firefox and Safari, but the above article reminded me of Camino, which I’m off to download and try out now.

So, it’s three nil to HTC, but why?

Well, Apples new OS now has multi-tasking, but articles I’m reading, such as this one here: iPhone Multi-tasking, are all saying that whilst it can multi-task, there are restrictions.

Apparently only Apple apps, and not many at that, will be available in the beginning, and only certain apps will be allowed to multi-task. Add to that, apps that are allowed to multi-task will need re-writing to do it at all. Apple have always been open about these limitations, and in the cause of stability and battery life, maybe they make sense. For me, I want multi tasking, sorry Mr Jobs one for HTC and the Desire.

Point number two? Well, I guess for me it’s the look. I actually like the iPhone look and feel. It is a classic piece of industrial design, even beautiful some would say.  But the new phone just looks (to me at least), like they decided to hand over the design to a generic smartphone designer. Is this just me?

Number three? Well, I’ve mentioned before the ring fence that Apple puts around the iPhone. For me this is just too much. Ultimately, I’m paying for the ‘Free’ phone I get over the term of my contract. Therefore, it is my choice what I do or view on the phone. I don’t want somebody else’s values imposed on me.

Sorry Mr Jobs, so far it looks like my next phone will be an HTC Desire.

According to the article here: Dell Streak, Dell’s new baby will be launching on O2 tomorrow, and the tariff’s look reasonable.

At around £429 for a contract free device, it is similar to the lowest priced iPad, but to me, it is a more sensible option than the iPad, since it is much more portable.

Only time will tell if this largerthansmartphonesmallerthantablet format will be a winner.

I am in a bit of a quandry. I love gadgets of all shapes and sizes, would have an iPhone by now (If they were available on 3), and have PC’s and an iBook, both of which I use regularly.

But the iPad. I just don’t get it right now. I get the concept, I get the general ‘Tablets are the way forward’ thing, but for me it is just too expensive. For something of that type I’d want it to come in at a much lower price point, and not be ring fenced by Apple with regards to the content I can see.

Kudos to Apple for having the guts to go ahead and do it, but for me, I’m waiting to see what round 2 brings, with the Android powered units that are on the horizon.

By then, you never know, maybe I’ll have an iPhone and will get the whole thing better……

What are your favourite twitter clients? My vote goes to Tweetdeck on the PC and Gravity on my Nokia E71. I’m hoping to go Android soon with an HTC Desire, I hope it lives up to the press reviews.

I’ve tried lots of phones and always seem to come back to Nokia, so I’m wondering if Android will be just what I’m looking for. Not tried the iPhone yet as 3 don’t have it!