367 posts • joined Friday 16th November 2007 12:30 GMT
It's also quite helpful on slower devices as my iPhone 4 where those animations were a bit too timeconsuming.
Re: What Won't Be
An e-ink display on a smartphone would be just unusable for most of the things smartphones are typically used for. These displays are just too slow for anything but reading one page of text and then the next. Even typing is a nightmare.
No one of you seems to have any business sense. Just the no-need-to-think comfort of walking into the store and coming out with a new phone while leaving your old one there means that if will work out fine even if people could get more money elsewhere. People are lazy and have no problems to pay for comfort and not having to deal with selling their phone by themselves.
Which does not mean that it has to be a good thing for you (or me) but seeing that this will be a totally fine option for many others can't be that hard. I know lots of people who have their old gadgets gathering dust in a drawer just because they never come around to actually sell them although they wouldn't mind to have them sold.
Apple has always been good at recognizing that polishing and cleaning up the path of least resistance is worth good money.
Re: The article seemed to miss a key point
"a growing percentage of Apple users are ditching iPhones for Android phones"
I think this may be true in your environment, but the statistics are pretty much saying the opposite. First time smartphone buyers tend to buy Android, but after that they tend to buy iPhones.
Luckily these days you can have both. For me a (smallish, pretty, comfortable, if limited) iPhone in my pocket and a Nexus 7 in my bag works very well. And should I get a Nexus 5 (provided it doesn't have a shitty camera and no battery life again) I certainly will use the opportunity to sell off the Nexus 7 and get an iPad mini instead. Having more than one device with the same OS is just wasted potential, isn't it?
But in most of the world carriers are not subsidizing phones. People buy phones and then buy connectivity. Or they pay much less monthly for a cheaper phone.
The US market is very special here and the fact that the price difference between the cheapest ("free") phone and the most expensive is just $199 artificially limits choice. Because the price delta between an iPhone 5s and a perfectly usable Android or WP8 smartphone actually can be as much as $400. In the US you're basically screwed either way, so it's almost clever to get the most expensive phone.
THIS is the most important reason Apple's market share is still much higher in the US than elsewhere. If carriers would offer a contract with an iPhone 5s costing you $199 or with a Nokia Lumia 720 and handing you $200 in cash along with it (which would reflect the actual prices) things would look very different very soon.
Re: As Steve Jobs once said:
The problem is that what Apple is selling is devices and people more and more want just a hardware interface to services and content and peers using the same services.
Market share just defines which platform people will turn towards because there are the services and the content and other users. Look at MS and WP8: Google is trying to hold it down by not offering ANY of their apps for WP8, discontinuing ActiveSync support etc. and it works fine.
In China Apple has less than 5% market share. Great hardware or not, what kind of weight Apple has there with third-party developers and content providers and so on? Not much.
And all of this is very much the same as with the PC/Mac wars of old, just more so. Back then it was prices and software and hardware compatibility, now it's prices and hardware choices and services. Apple is doing the very same thing as back then (rake in money as long as it can) and it would be very strange to expect a different outcome.
Apple's long term vision should be "an iPhone in the hands of every chinese peasant" and nothing less. The 5c would have been a perfect (maybe the last) opportunity to go full steam for market share with a much smaller margin, even if it would have meant smaller profits for a while. It's not that Apple is lacking money after all. And believe me, a somewhat cheap 5c would have been a bestseller and Apple's stock would have exploded.
What irks me most here is the wasted potential. If you have only a handful of products to focus on and $30B laying around you can do things others can not. Not doing them is a sad thing then.
The 5s is twice as fast as the 5c (look at the benchmarks), has a better and faster camera (10 full-resolution photos a second is nothing to sneer at), a fingerprint reader, an alu case and is only a little more expensive (if you look at the real price for unlocked iPhones).
I mean, if I were prepared to pay $549 for an 5c I would rather pay $649 for a 5s. I would consider a 5c if it was $299 maybe. It would fly off the shelves for that price and Apple stock would explode since THEN there would be confidence about Apple's future.
As Steve Jobs once said:
"What ruined Apple was not growth … They got very greedy … Instead of following the original trajectory of the original vision, which was to make the thing an appliance and get this out there to as many people as possible … they went for profits. They made outlandish profits for about four years. What this cost them was their future. What they should have been doing is making rational profits and going for market share."
He said this in 1995 about the "old" Apple, but it sounds true again.
Market share is everything. Apple got its reputation and its clout with developers and third parties just via market share (back when the iPhone was the only smartphone that counted). Without market share all of this will shrink too, and then less and less people will be willing to pay the premium prices. This will take a while, but it will happen. Apple is still milking what they got when they nearly had monopoly market share in modern smartphones, but this is in the past now. Compare to the iPod (more than 70% market share) and the power Apple had to basically dictate conditions to the record companies in the ITMS. Compare this to the total lack of power Apple has with movies, books and other content now. Apps will follow.
The (lack of) confidence in Apple's future is easily visible in its stock prices. Profits are just an indication that you can sell your stuff for a good part more than it costs you to produce it NOW. Market share is an indication of the money you'll be able to make later. Apple's profits are outlandish but they'll cost them their future indeed.
Once you use an Android phone they have access to everything anyway if they want to. This way you at least get something out of that deal.
Re: still waiting
To be fair, once they got around to code it the iOS copy&paste and text selection implementation is just bloody good. Much better than in Android (looking meaningful at my Nexus 7).
Seriously, an ARM-based MB Air in the form of a 12" iPad with a keyboard would totally work. OK, most apps are rather simple, but the needs of many people are simple too. Have you used an iPad with a keyboard? It even supports Emacs keycombos out of the box (carried over from OS X which inherited this from NeXTStep)!
No. I really think that we will get good and working speech recognition and halfway clever pseudo-AIs first and THIS will be everywhere. So you can just talk to the thin air at home or at work and get answers and get things done. The Moto X is a start for that, at least as far as the hardware is concerned.
Wearing such a device on your nose will never become something you (or at least most people) would be willing to do all day and everywhere. At least I doubt that very much.
I think Google basically is in a very good position to move away from displays and keyboards, they have all the data anyway - they have just not yet figured out how to make their ads work with anything else...
Re: Where there's Play there's LAUNCHERS!
These devices HAVE the Google apps and the Play Store, no hacking needed. Either that or you know better than others reporting this fact.
Re: Where there's Play there's LAUNCHERS!
Of course you can do that, these things are just Android tablets.
Of course you also can buy another Android tablet (like a dirt-cheap and high-quality Nexus 7 which even gets regular updates) and buy and read books on it just as well as on these.
Re: @uhuznaa What's interesting
"Apple don't care about market share, the only share they care about is the profit share, and they take like majority of it!"
Yes, but the profit share will not continue to be as it is as soon as iOS will be a second choice everywhere. Apple has totally failed to get a foot onto the ground in India and China and many other countries. Why do you think people should pay a premium for Apple hardware if they don't get local apps and local content and whatever? See: They just don't. Maintaining profits at the cost of market share is like winning a battle at the cost of losing the war.
All this "Apple doesn't need market share, it just needs profits!" is incredibly silly. Apple has the profits it has because it had the market share to basically rule the market for apps and developers and content providers. There's a lag of years involved here, so diminishing market share doesn't immediately translate into less support, but in the long run it will sure as fuck do exactly that. And other than others Apple will understand that very well.
Just look at the iPod back then and iTunes and the music industry: Apple could basically dictate the conditions because the iPod was a near monopoly and they were the only game in town. Compare that to books and movies now: Apple is not the only game in town and they just get laughed out of the room if they try to dictate the conditions.
But of course you're somewhat right: If Apple could one day sell just one iPhone a year, for a price of 50 billion dollars or so, the profits would still be there without any market share. Won't happen though.
Apple desperately needs market share and making people think they don't just serves the purpose to not show how desperate they really are about that.
Just look at Apple's stock price: It's falling despite high profits because the market share falls and this means that the confidence in Apple's future is shrinking which means that people don't expect the stock to rise again which means they rather sell than buy which means the stock price falls.
If you ask me, Apple has totally failed in keeping up the distance to the competition. The 2013 iPhone should have been 4 mm thick, with the SoC integrated on the display and a battery glued onto the back of this, all of this waterproof, wireless charging and a low-power BT headset thrown in with the box. Instead they hardly did any R&D, made themselves believe that Apple is great because it is Apple and are now just a smartphone vendor amongst lots of others with very little they can do much better than others. What a waste of resources, really. With the money they have piling up they could have done miracles if they would've put it to work.
What I would like
A big (about 10") and light e-ink reader with a high resolution. All the e-ink readers are too small and have a rather gritty resolution. With 300 DPI or more you can have nice fonts and with 10" or a bit more you can finally read print-sized PDFs in a decent way.
They should put some work into THIS instead of coming with bog-standard Android tablets with a pre-configured home screen.
Hmm, other's events are every bit as tacky (usually even more so) than Apple's, you just never see much about them. And Apple releases a new phone not every six months, but every 12 months and something really new usually only every 24 months.
Really, you don't need to like Apple or Apple's products but most of what some people hate about Apple seems to be coming more from their own perception than from Apple itself. If you'd stop soaking up tabloids like the Reg and just look at what's really there you'd realize that pretty quickly. After all, ALL the rumours and whatnot about plastic and colored and golden iPhones and fingerprint sensors and so on are coming NOT from Apple. Apple will have an event introducing their new phone(s) and then maybe a TV ad or two and that's it. Everything else is you and the media happily teasing and feeding your prejudices for ad views. You're every bit a victim to that as Apple's customers are victims to Apple's hype, but of course you can't see this.
is the fact that the backshells of both the alu and the plastic versions look basically identical, even from the inside. Which means that the cheaper one probably has very much the same innards as the more expensive one (probably a cheaper camera, no fingerprint sensor and less storage though).
Apple is in a uncomfortable position here: They need to cover the cheaper ranges just to make sure that their market share isn't going down too far (which would mean bad things for iOS support everywhere), but since the margins on a cheaper iPhone will be much smaller they must make sure that enough people still buy the expensive versions. This means they have to make the cheaper iPhone look a bit cheap but they can't make it too shabby since people will buy something entirely else then. This is a delicate operation, no doubt.
But if the cheaper iPhone will be still a decent device this is bound to be a success. I know of several people who're just waiting for an excuse to finally get an iPhone and I doubt these are random exceptions. Being able to opt for a not-so-expensive (and still brand-new) one will work totally fine here, I guess. "Not giving in" to Apple's premium pricing is a huge source of reluctance for many people and a cheaper iPhone gives them a (perceived) way around that bump. So they will pay twice as much as for a Nexus 4 and it will still feel like a victory... (they also probably will get a camera that doesn't suck, a speaker that isn't on the back and a battery that doesn't need charging in the afternoon).
Obviously, because there's no way to put antennas behind Liquid Metal (or any other metal) and there're also no visible cuts/divisions you'd need to turn parts of the case into antennas (as Apple did with the 4/S).
Also, Apple will need to keep the 5S visibly more "high end" and this means plastic for the cheaper one.
It's probably just that
some people have better things to do with their time than to waste it on customizing their fucking phone.
Vote me down now, please.
Re: VLP == Vain Losers Poserphone
And caring about how it looks when you hold a phone to your ear isn't vain?
I would have no problems holding a big phone or even a tablet against my ear. I would only have problems to carry a huge and heavy phone in my pocket every day, everywhere. So I prefer a nice handy phone in my pocket and a tablet that I can take or leave as I see fit.
Not that bad
Hmm, I could perfectly understand if a fairly secure way of unlocking your phone by just using it with your own fingers would be perceived as a bloody good idea by most people, all snickering about the usual "Apple and patents, haha" aside.
I agree that the screen should be larger and then come with more pixels. But I doubt very much that a majority of users would be happy with more pixels at the same screen size: Things would be smaller then and they're already small enough to begin with. And yes, I think the huge bezel looks ugly.
I'm waiting for an Air that has a (nearly) 13" screen in the case of the 11" Air. To be honest I was expecting this with this version since with the 11" Air the screen size compared to the case size looks very much like a badly concealed compromise between a case that is large enough to have a full-size keyboard and decently sized trackpad on one hand and a screen that is small enough to not suck the battery dry too quickly on the other hand.
USA, USA, USA...
Bad timing, I'd say.
Re: It could be 2mm thick
A better launcher (Nova or whatever) is one tap away in the Play Store and from what I've seen elsewhere the launcher isn't really THAT bad anyway. Certainly a bit iPhone-like, but quite straight and simple if you don't want to install hundreds of apps and have only a dozen of them on the home screen.
Still, I think EVERY Android phone should come with an option to install Android straight from Google. Google should just make this a rule for licensing out its apps to the manufacturers. This would ensure a level playing field and motivate the manufacturers to really improve on what Google offers instead of just forcing it down on the users.
This is... interesting
What really impresses me here is the camera on the back that can focus down to 4 cm. In a 6.2 mm deep body. With no camera bump on the back. And with a f/2.0 lens even. Wow. OK, doesn't help much if the photos should still be crappy, but from the specs this really is something. I'm looking forward to an actual review.
What totally sucks here are the speaker on the back and the audio jack on the side. With the audio jack on the top and a decent speaker at the rounded bottom it could have been a really nice phone.
Re: It's a style thing
"I wish someone would think about the keyboard ... why can't they get the letter case to change so it's obvious what will appear next (rather than have to go through a delete/shift/retype cycle every time)?"
Well, I suppose Apple thinks that the keyboard totally changing its appearance when hitting the shift key is visually confusing enough momentarily to better keep it looking the same all the time. I think it's pretty much a draw, both ways have their advantages and disadvantages.
Probably back then Steve Jobs just didn't like it and wanted to keep things on the screen as unsurprising and stable as possible. Which certainly was a concern at a time when touchscreen keyboards were not exactly common. Keeping things as simple and unsurprising as possible wasn't a bad idea when you weren't sure if you could make all of this catch on or not. I think much of iOS is rooted in this way of over-cautious thinking. Most people just don't like it very much when they touch something and it starts to wriggle under their fingers.
Right now Apple is cutting back on all this with a big axe anyway. Just look at the lock screen: The unlocking slider was in a deep rail, it had an arrow on it and a text next to it telling you what to do and this text was even animated. This was belt-and-suspender design. In iOS 7 there's just the naked text left now.
Anyway, I don't even know what I like better. I have a Nexus 7 and an iPhone and the Android keyboard constantly morphing around when I hit and release the shift key certainly is a visual distraction. Aiming for a letter in the very moment when it and all others around it change into capital or lower case letters makes it a bit harder than necessary. My eyes are constantly flicking around anyway on a touchscreen keyboard, this is hard enough with the keys being visually stable and unchanging. One gets used to it, but it's an additional effort, even if unconscious.
Sorry for wasting thoughts and words on that.
"Considering that iOS (if I understand correctly) does not allow you to remove unused icons, only dump them in folders, a reduced limit per screen has to be a disadvantage to users with lots of apps installed?"
There is no reason in iOS to have unused Icons, if you don't need an app, remove it (apart from the system apps of course). There's no auto-start, there's no way to have background apps doing their thing with no UI needed. There just are no apps that are of any use without you tapping on an icon to launch it. So either you use an app and will need the icon then, or you don't need it anyway and can remove it altogether instead of just removing the icon.
This is very different from Android where you can have apps you never need an icon for and having those icons laying around on your homescreen would be totally pointless.
Looking at all those tablets I think I would like one with 6-8" and hardly any bezel. Yes, the bezel is useful for putting your thumb on it, but with my Nexus 7 I rarely put my thumb there anyway.
But it just looks so like wasted space. It's a purely subjective feeling, but these things are large enough and having a fat, wide bezel around the only thing you really care for (the display) just fells so incredibly silly.
And please: Include stereo speakers at the front (or at least the sides) and a kickstand. These things are great for viewing video and to abuse them as a video phone on WiFi at home, so having a poot mono speaker on the back and no way to prop it up on the table is just like "we have no idea why anyone would buy this thing, but please just buy it, it's cheap!".
No. Why are these things all so similar? And so poorly conceived? What's so hard about some decent speakers and a kickstand and a back camera that is good enough to snap a photo of a whiteboard or a letter if you want to "digitize" analog stuff for using it later? Why is there nobody putting some thought into these things? I bet that basically the same hardware in a thoughtful design and with some cheap useful features added would make this thing truly useful.
And yes, my Nexus 7 also has a really poor speaker on the back (useless for Skype) and no kickstand and no back camera. God!
Hard to disagree
Apple has done basically nothing with iOS while others explored ways to make their OS better and prettier. Now Apple has to trot down the same paths and just to avoid looking too similar has to do it slightly different, even if it isn't as good then. Because, really: WP8 looks way better than iOS 7. Everything looks better than that.
Even more: Apple's rich style of detailed icons and photo-realistic elements at least WAS a style. This heap of pastel-colored mud isn't. It's nothing. And the OS will clash very hard with all old apps and their icons you will have to run on it.
Oak or cork seems to work fine for that, it's not much different from epoxy ablative heat-shields at all. Quality control is hard though. But there are much better materials available now.
Re: A note on rockets and parachutes.
"GE was the #1 designer of re-entry vehicles on the planet at that time (they did the designs for ICBM's and knew a lot about real world re-entry heating."
Just that ICBMs have totally different requirements than landing capsules, they hit the ground (well, ignition height) with still several km/s, something you don't want to have with something that you actually want to recover.
Ironically the stubborn engineers successfully solved (and even tested) the tank problems right while the funding was cut and the thing was being cancelled.
X33/Venture Star was a really ambitious project but it could have worked out. And a fully reusable Single Stage to Orbit craft is nothing to sneer at.
By the way, you need an empty/fueled mass ratio of about 1:10 to make this work (meaning that at launch 90% of the mass is fuel). SpaceX's Falcon 9 first stage has a mass ratio of 1:30, it could propel itself and quite a bit of payload into orbit all by itself (but of course adding a second stage gives you much more payload for not much money).
This is not the last word on SSTO.
Re: Downside of retro-rockets
The problem is that you need much more powerful engines and much more fuel for a powered landing (compared to engines you only need for orbital maneuvering and reentry). You'll also have to brake speed within seconds (since doing it more slowly would need even more fuel) before hitting the ground. And you need to do all this while having a ton or so of highly explosive and highly toxic hypergolic fuels (which need no ignition but will happily jump into fiery action as soon as they see each other) on board right beneath your seats, along with all the plumbing and valves and tanks and whatnot.
What SpaceX is trying to do here is really ambitious. Their powered landing scheme is very much a planned spectacular suicide that goes very subtly wrong if everything works right. Love it!
Just add a HDMI screen, keyboard and pointing device!
Well, you also could buy a smartphone or tablet and use it with a large screen, which has the advantage that you'd have already an integrated keyboard and a pointing device...
Besides, there really is nothing new about this. You can buy such things today and they all suffer from the fact that you need a BT keyboard and BT mouse/trackpad even for just connecting to WiFI (or doing anything with it actually) since touch screens on TVs and computer screens are still rather rare. Is Dell really ignoring this?
You can buy these today
ViewSonic VSD 220 and VSD 240, Acer DA220...
As cheap, low-power all-in-one devices somewhere between a silly TV and a full computer these aren't too bad. Keyboard and mouse support in Android is good enough to use them now and then as a "computer" and the touchscreen is fine for some browsing, youtubing, playing music and general "terminal" use in the kitchen or so. They also have enough USB ports to hang some serious storage off them (for those with huge music, photo and movie libraries).
This is to a desktop PC what a tablet is to a laptop.
If this is a "watch" I'd be very surprised
I mean, smartphones are phones only by name and a smartwatch won't be more of a watch than a smartphone is a phone. Everyone looking at the world market for watches and thinking this is the cap for a smartwatch is a bit flat.
On the other hand, I have no idea what a smartwatch is meant to do. Using it as a phone is pretty much silly and for most other things the screen will be too small. Interacting with something that is strapped to your wrist isn't really great too, especially with a small screen.
RIM was saying this since 2007
I'm too lazy to look up some quotes, but RIM back then thought that the iPhone was doomed and in no way a competitor. God, were they wrong.
To iOS: Yes, it's familiar in an almost boring way now. But do I seek excitement from a smartphone anymore? Not really. I have a Nexus 7 and will buy another Android tablet soon, but my iPhone is totally fine for what I need it for. Reliable, good battery life, smooth, comfortable. Nothing wrong with that, really. And if I will ever buy an Android phone I will immediately get an iPad to go with it just for completeness. What's more boring than having all your gadgets run the same OS?
Same with the iPhone, drag down the notification drawer from within any app, swipe up again to dismiss. You can even go straight into every email there (other than with Android where tapping on any email just opens your inbox)...
Anyway, there are a few things I like and I wish RIM^WBlackberry well. Although I doubt that it will work out.
Pressing well-known buttons on its readers since ages.
Apart from that: MS selling the Surface Pro with 64 GB is just asking for trouble. You buy this thing if you want to run "real" Windows software and real Windows software is not written with such puny storage in mind. Use it as you use a PC (and that's the point of it, isn't it?) and this thing will run into a quite hard wall in no time.
And if you want to soften that wall by inserting an SD card don't expect it to be as fast as the integrated flash. Nobody likes to talk about it, but these things are SLOW.
I still hope MS was wise enough to integrate a somewhat standard SSD there, so you can actually put in a larger SSD. If the storage is soldered in here people won't like this a bit, I tell you. An iPad is just an appliance, but a "real PC" with "64 GB of HD and that's it" is a bit poor if you ask me.
Re: Battery life...
I know it may sound smug, but my two years old iPhone 4 is right now at 79% battery after 16 hours off the charger. I usually charge it every other day just to make sure.
I was very interested in the Nexus 4 since my Nexus 7 is a nice (although certainly not perfect) tablet. But after reading the first reviews and detailed battery benchmarks I just lost interest. Just as well it seems, it's unavailable anyway.
I also didn't like the speaker right on the back -- why do they do that? Even the Nexus 7 with its speaker pointing halfway down/backwards is almost unusable for Skype without headphones if I actually want to look at the front of it at the same time. It seems I can either look at the screen or actually hear what's being said but not both.
Isn't the new Apple all about the mass market?
Since the iPod (75% market share) Apple has been trying (quite successfully) to go for the mass market. The iPad had 90% of the tablet market for a while and the iPhone still has 50% in the US. Yes, they are not cheap, but they're not in a premium niche either. And IF Apple will shrink into a 10% segment of the market, mindshare will just break away and people won't be willing to pay a premium for something nobody cares for.
Apple surely wasn't a healthy company when they sold expensive computers to 5%-10% of the market. It nearly killed them.
such a thing with the innards of the Nexus 7 and an 11" screen, running Android, for about $350 and I'll buy it.
It's X Window (or "X Window System"), not X-Windows. Really.
I think in the long run users just will happily adapt to that wall of tiles. Because even in old Windows most people immediately maximize any window they come across and I have never heard of anyone thinking that the start menu is great just because you can flap it out and still see some windows. What for?
Like it or not, but arbitrarily overlapping and piled windows are something most people won't miss that bad or at all.
I'm starting to really miss with such devices since I first saw the Lenovo Yoga: A display that can be folded back all the way. With a touchscreen it's really nice to be able to put the thing up in "tent-mode" and to use it a media hub or watching something off YouTube or put it into the kitchen. It may be not enough to turn a small notebook into a tablet, but it surely makes such a thing much more useful at home.
I wouldn't be surprised at all if Windows 8 and touchscreens would lead to such notebooks come more and more often with something like that. Even the MS Surface is rather something in between a touchscreen desktop computer and a (bad) notebook than just a true tablet.
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