18 posts • joined Thursday 31st January 2008 15:57 GMT
Sometimes you're up; sometimes your down
Apple have always innovated in fits and bursts. iOS remains the most usable of the mobile OSs I have tried, in terms of real world usage rather than headline features.
Having recently moved from Android to iPhone, iOS 7 looks good to me. It will bring some of the eye candy of Android and Windows Phone to the iPhone whilst retaining the iOS usability.
Even better, I know I will get the benefits on my existing iPhone 5 rather than having to wait to see if my Android OEM will bother to port the latest version; and if my network will bother to release the port.
There are plenty of other annoyances with Apple, but I don't see a refreshed design as one of them.
It looks pretty...
... but inability to change default apps a killer for me. Tip: Smart Launcher by Jarvis.d. is a great, slick, no frills launcher if that is what you are after.
Re: It's worse than you think.
Insightful and entertaining. Reg should give you a column.
Re: I hope they make it
For sure. Blackberry is still fairly embedded in enterprise and I think this is now the natural upgrade path for those firms. Apple will have a tougher time getting traction there.
To be honest, I like the look of this phone. I'd be delighted if my employer decided to upgrade me to it.
Re: Competition is good.
Android is open software but the hardware it is dominated by four or five major handset manufacturers, all of whom seem inherently conservative, unable to innovate without Google's help, and as a result none of whom seem to differentiate their products significantly.
Worse, the handset manufacturers seem to be using Android version upgrades as an excuse to shift new handsets, rather than adequately supporting their existing user base with timely, reliable updates. My Atrix was effectively "end-of-life'd" by Moto only a few months after I purchased it. Its replacement, a HTC, is stuffed with gimmicks and bloatware that cannot be uninstalled.
On that basis, I'm not convinced that the Android ecosystem for me long term. As an Apple desktop user, I will probably move to iOS. If I were a Windows user I'd definitely move to Windows Phone, dare I say probably a Nokia. I'll be interested to see if I am representative of the market over the next 12 months.
I agree that it is good for competition and I dearly hope that Apple will implement a more ICS-like notifications screen, and a proper 'services' hooks to allow inter-app sharing / integration like Android does so well.
If no-one notices that they're obsolete...
... the beancounters can still count them as assets.
...there is a law against this!
It is an unfair commercial practice according to the nattily titled "Directive 2005/29/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning unfair business-to-consumer commercial practices in the internal market" (also known as the ‘Unfair Commercial Practices Directive’). This is implemented into UK law by The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.
In particular, Schedule 1 para 5 provides that "Making an invitation to purchase products at a specified price without disclosing the existence of any reasonable grounds the trader may have for believing that he will not be able to offer for supply, or to procure another trader to supply, those products or equivalent products at that price for a period that is, and in quantities that are, reasonable having regard to the product, the scale of advertising of the product and the price offered (bait advertising)" is considered automatically unfair.
It's late, I can't sleep, but I don't feel the need to set out the consequences of unfair trading. Knock yourselves out... http://lmgtfy.com/?q=The+Consumer+Protection+from+Unfair+Trading+Regulations+2008+(No.+1277)
My favourite para from a Reg article for a while...
"Sadly, Ballmer was a lot less, um, energetic we usually find him at such public appearances. He didn’t yell. He didn’t turn red. He didn’t even stomp on an iPhone. He seemed very, believe it or not, scripted."
Have a look at iRiver LPlayer
In a fit of "antiPod" sentiment, I recently purchased an iRiver LPlayer. It is a little larger (approx 6 x 4 x 1.2 cm by my ruler) but is still smaller (though fatter) than the iPod nano. It might be a good alternative to the reviewed player.
It has a 2" LCD screen and a nifty control system whereby you click the edges of the screen.
Sound quality is very good as long as you are using decent headphones. I use Sennheiser CX300 - the genuine ones not the fake £8 ebay ones - and they sound great for the price.
It reads a whole host of formats including mp3, ogg and flac. No AAC though. There is a little bit of a hiss at low volumes but this only starts when I play an mp3 so it may well be the fairly low quality encoding of my tunes. Most of my music is downloaded from eMusic at 128kbps.
It's not an iPod and won't win any awards when compared on the iPod's traditional strengths: user inferface and software integration. That said I use it on a Mac in drag and drop "MSC" mode, but I am told that on Windows it comes with a nice client called iRiver Plus 3, which works in MTP mode. Either that, or apparantly it will sync with Windows Media Player.
Personally I am very happy to leave it in drag and drop mode and use it as a USB drive too. That, and the sound quality, makes it a worthwhile purchase and perhaps an alternative to the Sansa range?
Nice device shame about the operator
After queueing for two hours and spending another hour trying to get o2's systems to accept my address, I gave up trying to buy the iPhone.
Apparently if your address is incorrectly registered with the Royal Mail then you don't stand a hope in hells chance of passing the credit check. (This is despite my having been recently approved for a credit card to the same address, having a bank statement and a driving licence proving that address, and already having a mobile phone contract with another operator to that address.)
Even the Apple Store employees claimed they were amazed at how picky o2's systems were being (when they were working, which they weren't for much of the time I was trying to purchase the phone). There was a general sense of embarrassment on the part of the staff. Hilariously, for example, they were using Microsoft Windows (via VMWare) to access to the o2 registration system!
I bought an iPod Touch instead. Got it home - it asked me to pay an extra £5.99 for a software update, which I reluctantly did, and now it's dead as a dodo (after telling me there was an unknown error - helpful). I've since followed every instruction on the internet to no avail.
Bad day for Apple. I am going to take it back, get a refund, and consider my options. I've been a fan of Apple products but the shine is definitely wearing off.
Re: Pictures instead of number woldn't work...
Tony - it would be easy to write a script that generated images with a unique URL. Not every URL is a file - many (most?) are caught and the content is generated automatically by a script. This can be done with images too.
Chris - it isn't illegal to use text only as graphics. The law says the site operator must make 'reasonable adjustments' to make it suitable for disabled users.
If there is evidence that the site is being 'scraped' - it might not be reasonable to make the prices available as text (unless there was a better way to stop the site being scraped).
Even then, websites could allow alternative methods - e.g. a button that will play a sound file of the price.
As EasyJet.com is a very well known website, EasyJet would have to be careful to make sure any changes they make complied with the law, but - as ever - nothing is black and white.
Re: Why would you hate a computer?
I agree - the amount of hatred this computer seems to have drummed up is crazy. It's also a bit suprising that people are talking as if this is revolutionary product.
It seems to me that the concept (thin, light, easy to carry around) and the implementation (no optical drive) is very similar to the Toshiba Portege 2000. If you're familiar with other Portege models, search for this one - it was significantly thinner and smaller than even other models in that series (except the Portege 2010, which was identical in form factor).
I owned that computer around 2001 - 2006. Like the Air, it was less powerful than its contemporaries and, as it got older, it struggled to keep up with newer applications designed for faster machines.
But it was perfect for carrying around and using in the places you're likely to need a laptop (at clients', in coffee shops, on the sofa etc). I was a student and a freelance developer at the time; the Portege was powerful enough to run Word and my IDE of choice (can't remember what it was, mind). Perfect.
I understand why people get irritated with Apple but there are plenty of alternatives. If you don't want the Air but fancy a small laptop you have plenty of options from Toshiba, Sony, Samsung etc. Likewise if you want screaming performance you probably need a desktop (or at least a "desktop replacement" laptop). Personally I think OS X is an excellent operating system (Unix + usability = perfect) and am happy to pay a slight premium for the hardware to gain access to that, not to mention the creative software and ease of use it offers.
I don't need one right now, but the Air will sell in crate-loads to its presumed target audience of designers and media executives! The Air isn't an innovation or a revelation; it's just a skinny computer.