1377 posts • joined Thursday 18th June 2009 14:54 GMT
And a nice part of it is...
In the US the price is $139 (the $99 is the ad-supported version). $139 is £87.13. £87.13 + VAT is £104.56. So Amazon are charging pretty much exactly the same price in the UK as in the US.
Re: Is size really an issue?
Besides the obvious points about taking the iPhone rumours with a pinch of salt and the fact that smaller internal components means bigger batteries, larger screens only mean a larger top surface area. The bragging game of who can shave a further 0.2mm off the depth seems to continue apace. So there's still quite a lot of effort to get them smaller by volume.
Re: I wonder how much rovio is PADDING numbers?
Per standard money gouging practice, the iPhone and iPad versions are different builds and therefore probably have different Game Centre entries. Assuming that's correct you're probably looking at between 2 and 3 million on the iOS side, possibly even more.
It's also got a front-page banner and is number two in the charts on the Mac App Store, which probably makes for a sizeable part of another million or so.
I'm going to guess that Android contributes about the same amount as the iOS ports or slightly more because there are a lot more Android phones than iPhones and the app is free, but on the other hand you've got the iPad and the iPod Touch working against the prima facie numerical advantage of the platform.
That leaves a few million for the PC, which I find difficult to believe because of the limited distribution channels (they seem not to be in Steam, for example) but not hugely unlikely given that everything above is just a massive guess.
Re: The saving
You've got to love straw man logic;
"OMG they pointed out that the plucked-out-of-the-air £400 was a misrepresentation; they must be saying that money doesn't matter!"
Takeaway conclusions: the Viewsonic looks lovely, the iPad isn't as much more expensive as some people seem to think even though it is much more expensive in relative terms, transparent attack hounds make Internet comment boards boring.
Re: consol fanboys
If I dare stick my head above the parapet, I reckon more El Reg readers are likely to be interested in mobile games than in console or PC games. My reasoning being that the percentage of readers who don't own a smart phone of some variety is going to be significantly less than those that use Linux or Mac and mobile games are almost always multi-format whereas PC games are almost always exclusively for Windows (albeit sometimes with a Mac port a little later).
Conversely, if El Reg are listing the ten games worth playing but most easily overlooked then I'd actually have expected the minority platforms to be better represented. You're more likely to miss a game on a lesser used platform.
Re: 144DPI, ultra-high resolution graphics ?
It's a bit of a fiction; the point is that the nominal 144 DPI graphic is double the nominal 72 DPI that the existing graphics declare. The Mac I'm typing this on now has a widescreen 1440x900 15.4" screen, for a lower-than-2002 110 DPI, but still significantly more than 72. I also make it 220 DPI on the 15.4" in the article (approximately 3396 pixels along the diagonal of 15.4") but whatever.
I think this is why Apple have gone to the other extreme and embraced Twitter, building its APIs directly into the current iOS and the next OS X and putting the effort in to make them sit naturally amongst Apple's own.
Ping is not only a laughable failure, but I don't even understand the logic behind it in the first place. They thought it'd be a good idea to shoehorn yet more functionality into iTunes so that we could sort of tweet, but not to very many people and only about a small subset of things?
Analogue signals are present on the dock connector but so is a full USB connection and all iOS hardware supports USB audio hardware (or, at least, did when the iPad 1 came out; I haven't necessarily kept up). I think there's also a way to get audio out without presenting yourself as USB audio hardware but it may rely on licensing IP from Apple, to supply the correct unlock code. Failing all of those options, you could just strip digital audio from the HDMI output.
As a rule, cheap docks just use the analogue audio out, expensive ones substitute their own DAC. As you can imagine, the tiny thing built into the iPhone isn't of audiophile quality.
Re: Free stuff
While I agree that open source is only free if time is free, the story is about open source being _cheaper_, not being free. I can easily see how it would be cheaper.
Firstly, there's an open market for supporting software like Linux because it doesn't come from a single source. You can shop around to find the best support deal for your organisation.
Secondly, most system support in most organisations is provided internally by a department hired and trained for whatever software stack happens to be in use. It's relatively rare that you kick a problem back to the supplier and very unlikely if they're going to restrict what they use to the big name projects that have seen wide deployment, like the Apaches, OpenOffices, etc of the world. So in-houe support costs probably remain the same.
That all being considered, you hopefully end up spending slightly less on support in total and nothing whatsoever on licences.
On the assumption that someone reasonably intelligent has set up the computers and locked them down in the same way that most corporate machines are locked down (so, e.g. for a desk staffer it'd boot up to a GUI desktop with a browser, a Word-like word processor, etc, and all customisation and package management would be disabled) I also don't imagine you're looking at any real extra training costs and in any case training costs are a one off. You'd budget for maybe a month of slowed productivity as a switchover cost, which probably would pay for itself within a year.
Re: Something in what you say....
It's technically not tethered to iTunes any more, thank goodness, though the disconnection isn't immediately as helpful as it could be.
Apps, music, movies, etc can all be bought and consumed directly on the device. The free part of Apple's iCloud service keeps your device, apps and app settings backed up and synchronises them across multiple devices if you want.
Where they haven't eliminated iTunes is in importing music (and, to a lesser extent, movies) from anywhere other than the iTunes Store. If you want to buy MP3s elsewhere you'll need to put them into iTunes at some point. If you opt to subscribe to iTunes Match (US$25/year, I think) then they can sync to your device over the Internet so there's no physical tether — and I guess you needn't technically keep the original file if you don't want to — but that's a relatively minor sop.
I say movies are a problem to a lesser extent because I don't think anybody sells them DRM free so they're less of an issue in practice, and in any case you can import them straight from SD card or USB stick with the camera connector if you want. You have to copy them from the card/stick to the device before you can play them so this explicitly isn't a completely satisfying way to circumvent Apple's desire that all storage be internal.
Photos similarly can go in via USB or SD card, and most people with photos they want to import probably start from having an SD card so I'm willing to give Apple full credit there.
Me? I've paid for iTunes Match because I have a Mac and therefore a copy of iTunes that doesn't gunk my whole system up to hand, and like you I don't really want my tablet to be dependant on a tether.
The core is written in C++. That's well known because it uses the open source Box2D framework, slightly controversially without giving any credit (short version: the licence doesn't require it; people think they should anyway as a courtesy).
Windows Phone 7 uses the Microsoft-invented C# and shuns any language not invented by Microsoft. For security reasons, we're told. All the other major and minor platforms can be targeted with C++ (including iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, Bada...) so there's a significant extra cost in supporting them for a multi-platform title.
Quite probably the original port was subsidised and Rovio thought it worth the punt. As El Reg imply, they're probably otherwise aware that the time they have to milk the franchise is likely to be short and that decisions need to focus on the facts right now.
I guess that at a the existing 9cm screen (yes, it's all metric really) and aspect ratio of 3:2 gives a width of close enough to 5cm and a height of about 7.5cm.
If you were to keep that width but extend the diagonal to 4.6", which I'm going to take as 11.7cm then you'd get a height of about 10.6cm and an aspect ratio close to 2:1. So the screen would fit on the front of the current sized iPhone (quoted by Apple as 11.52cm) with almost a centimetre to spare for a home button, speaker grille and so on.
Furthermore, all existing apps could be displayed identically, in letterbox.
That said, like you I remain sceptical just because of Apple's regard for the ecosystem. Fine, the autoresizing masks on UIViews mean that a large number of apps could be made to work just by ensuring the correct boxes were ticked but it definitely wouldn't be that easy for everyone.
Re: Could have had it all
Although I'm still awaiting publication of the follow-up to Commodore: A Company on the Edge, my feeling was that the Amiga was killed because Commodore decided to market it entirely in the computers-that-connect-to-the-television category so it became known as a high-end games machine and then the consoles became an easier way to play high-end games.
It's not that a properly supported Amiga would inevitably lose to Windows on the desktop so much as that Commodore never let it compete.
Re: And wait for the....
If you're just collecting photos, cropping and possibly adjusting colour balance, don't you probably have Picasa or iPhoto, or you can probably do it directly on Flickr? The number of people that want to do only basic editing and also want manually to manage storage has to be vanishingly small.
I may give Photoshop a spin out of curiosity but Pixelmator matches my slender needs — though pretty much anything with layers and a clone brush would. Including Ifranview.
I think I was overly negative before; to pick a favourite set I'd go Baker + Sarah Jane + Harry. I seriously considered Troughton + Jamie but couldn't pick a favourite third (or third and fourth).
That being said, another thing I can't be that negative about is the current cast, as I think they're all excellent. I'm not willing to say the same about the stories. I'm finding one or two episodes a year to be really good television and most of the rest to be, well, like they want to be Lost but without any discipline. If you're going to invest in story arcs then there's only so many times you can cheat the audience by answering a question with a question or by inserting some get out of jail free nuance into established events before it just becomes impossible to suspend disbelief.
Are you kidding? Even if you restrict yourself to the Pertwees then I'd still pick either of the others above Jo Grant. And I wouldn't even go Pertwee if given free choice — his stuff always appears to be self consciously trite.
Sadly for us, it doesn't appear that having strong opinions in this area is helpful in securing the job.
Re: Wake me up when it's news... (@Hey Nonny Nonny Mouse)
Given that they've sold three million of them in the first three days, and judging by the full-year sales figures for the previous two devices, one assumes iPads are being bought by more than just Apple's hardcore customer niche. Compare to the AppleTV to see how well an Apple product does when people on the whole just aren't all that interested.
Re: No local pornographic services
It wouldn't have been too much of a problem; these little vanity channels don't sound like they'll have much of a lifespan to me. In a small country that already has regional news broadcasts, who exactly are they for?
Re: Wake me up when it's news...
I make it almost 47 celsius (don't you subtract 32 and multiply by five ninths?), so it seems to be the difference between the iPad 2 topping out at almost exactly healthy body temperature and the iPad 3 pushing on through to about 10% above healthy body temperature. So I can understand why people are noticing even though I agree with your executive summary.
Re: And now a word from our sponsors...
I was working on the assumption that developers are showing an increasing interest in Windows Phone because Microsoft's development tools and languages are very nice. So they're interested in developing for Windows Phone in the sense that they're likely to play around with it because they expect it to be a pleasant experience and because learning additional platforms and languages never hurts.
They're probably also optimistic that a sufficiently large market will appear for it to be worth releasing products. We're probably only talking about something minor like a 10% share for the sort of apps that are not in themselves directly profitable (Facebook, DropBox, other service front ends, anything promotional or sponsored) to be worthwhile to port, and that wouldn't exactly disturb the Android freight train.
So, no, I don't think developer interest need always be a trailing indicator of market share. Indeed it's almost the only way I can make sense of the survey.
Re: Time for a Change of Plan, Nokia ..? (@Nigel)
I received a brand-new, fully unlocked N8 from Nokia because I'd turned up to a developer day. So although I haven't upgraded it to Belle, I think I can claim unadulterated experience of Symbian's last commercial stand.
Problem one: consistency. It felt like three or four separate widget sets glued randomly together. I'm talking about things like the bundled applications exhibiting at least three different types of scroll view. In the settings there were still a few that required me to poke at and drag a nub on a scrollbar. In most of the apps they'd settled on a direct manipulation metaphor but with no inertia. In a few they'd decided to go with direct manipulation and inertia. So the experience is muddled and confused, and basically relies on me learning to adjust my expectations on how to scroll content for each individual app by rote.
Problem two: tacked on touch screen hacks. To enter text into a text box in Symbian as shipped on the N8 you tap the text box. You're then taken to a completely separate, mostly blank screen — often with almost no context — to enter your text. When you press okay you're taken back to the screen with the text box and the text box is filled with whatever you just typed. I don't care how hard it was to hack an on-screen keyboard into the OS, that's just unacceptable. And, again, I'm talking primarily about the bundled apps, supplied right on the handset, not third-party offerings that someone somewhere couldn't be bothered to adapt.
Problem three: incredibly poor use of screen real estate. I seemed forever to be having to navigate little pop-up menus down three or four levels just to access basic app functionality. Again I suspect a junior somewhere was told to 'make the menus work on touch screens' and given about three days in which to do it.
Problem four: poor development environment that fosters all of the above problems. On my developer day they'd invited an ex-employee who was then gainfully employed outside the company in Symbian software creation to evangelise about the state of the platform. He primarily boasted about how incredible it was that he'd managed closely to duplicate an iOS app he'd built while only spending about three weeks on replicating things like animated transitions between views that iOS gives you for free. They made lots of promises about QT Quick, which at the time still hadn't even shipped, showing how neat it was that if we (i) put a graphic down on the canvas; and (ii) put a touch area in front of it then we've managed to reproduce something a bit like a button. It doesn't give any feedback cues on user interactions or anything, but obviously as a developer you should be implementing that stuff yourself for every single app, right?
As a mature platform with a history of techy users I'm sure Symbian is just feature packed. But as a user I don't care when even the basic features are so obfuscated that I have to spend days learning the phone before I can use it.
Re: hires - needed?
It's not fair to compare it to a Kindle; on electronic ink devices the pixels exactly meet up so that a grey line is a continuous black line. On LCD devices the red, green and blue elements have gaps between them so that a grey line is a series of discontinuous half-lit red, green and blue pixels. As a result the electronic ink looks infinitely better at a much lower resolution.
It's the iPad 1, but check out http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2010/08/pictures-kindle-and-ipad-screens-under-microscope/ to see the difference under a zoom lens and a microscope.
Re: Depends. As usual (@Windrose)
I think quite a lot of the discussion is manufacturers trying to find a way to distinguish their products and the usual partisans trying to turn it into a wedge issue. Which explains the pattern of up and down votes here, I think — even discussion it like normal people puts you a bit too close to areas heavily ploughed by the trolls.
Me? The 4:3 is closer to A4 (and US letter) so feels better for reading, especially with a pixel density that looks almost as good as printed material. Widescreen is trivially better for most modern video content because most modern video content is widescreen. So I agree with you that it's a preference.
So the conditions described aren't prima facie wrong, it's merely that there's a certain amount of profit above which child labour, employee poisoning, etc becomes unacceptable?
I prefer to think all the named manufacturers are in the wrong. If placing disproportionate blame on Apple makes everyone have to act a little more properly then I accept that it isn't fair but I'm all for it.
Re: No pre-orders on iPad 2
It may also be a more muted launch but we won't know until the numbers are in. I'm of the opinion that the new iPad is a bigger step onward from the iPad 2 than the iPad 2 was from the original iPad but either of the early models easily passes the threshold for comfortable usability.
You probably have a point though — we have several of the sort of people that probably queued last year in the company but all they've done is preorder, with someone planning to head down (to the SF shop, no less) at lunchtime to pick the things up.
And the weather here is indeed very glum. It's been raining since Monday so I'm starting to wonder why I didn't just stay in London.
In this case the term fanbois would offend me since only exactly one person turned up four days early. What are you going to do next? Split the infinitive?
Re: Retina screen?
They said the pixels have to be small enough that a person with normal eyesight can't tell them apart at the distance they normally hold the device. Then they said that's 300ppi on a phone. At the iPad launch they sort of argued that, you know, people tend to hold tablets further away, so the density can be less while still fitting their definition of retina, etc.
I'm not sure I buy that since I seem to hold both phones and tablets at approximately arm's length and in any case if I play, say, a polygon-based game without antialiasing at the full screen resolution on my 4s I can make out the aliased edges. And I've had routine eye tests so I know that I'm average and not some sort of super human.
In theory if the pixels actually were too small to see it wouldn't matter exactly how source content maps to them — aliasing errors would be present but invisibly small, just as how magazines have been able to print TV snaps for years without someone doing arithmetic on exactly what size the picture needs to be to come out well when the printers are done. In this case I would expect that errors will be visible to the keen sighted but basically not a major problem.
Don't buy what everyone else tells you to buy! Buy what everyone else [on El Reg] tells you to buy!
Apple hasn't been lazy; this year's model has four times the pixels, twice the processing, etc, etc of last year's model. That's not below the progress rate seen across the industry as a whole.
The article's right though; it's just an iPad. This does not change the world.
Re: iPad 2s
The claim in the launch was that the iPad 2 remains faster than the Tegra 3; the new iPad is even faster still. I, probably like you and everyone else reading this, have never cared enough to bother seeking out an independent assessment.
But, yes, it's a product refresh. Like every other piece of consumer electronics you'll hear about this year, and probably all but one of those you've heard about in the last five.
Re: eye strain
Backlit screens have to compete with all other light sources and so perform worse as ambient lighting increases. Electronic ink screens reflect light and so perform better as ambient lighting increases. If you like to read outdoors that's a big win for the Kindle crowd.
And, yes, I have one of each.
It's a result we all know is coming though, right? Apple's sales, though still growing meteorically, aren't going to keep up with such a rapidly expanding market — especially now Amazon have jumped in.
The interesting thing is going to be whether Amazon's fork of Android ends up deviating so far from the original that it becomes a different market segment again.
I agree — if that's what they've done then they've basically killed the privacy of private mode.
That said, the release note is "allow cookies set during regular browsing to be available after using Private Browsing", which could equally just mean that entering private browsing mode no longer throws away all your session cookies (assuming it did before?), it simply temporarily hides them. That is, assuming Apple meant "using Private Browsing" to signify an ongoing state of affairs rather than just hitting the switch for private browsing.
To be honest, I think Apple could have been clearer. El Reg's interpretation could equally be true.
The article doesn't say Atari invented Pong (the game, not the brand), merely that it's iconic, that Bushnell and Alcorn produced the first successful arcade game and home console game with their versions of Pong and that they're looking for an iOS successor worthy of the brand (which, obviously, Atari did invent).
Re: "The ageing Galaxy S"
If anything I'd have expected ICS to run better; obviously it's not the only factor but the Google I/O presentation on how drawing has finally and definitively moved over to the GPU as of Android 3.0 sounded like a major performance win and the Galaxy S has a pretty good ES 2.0 compatible GPU.
Re: Can anyone spell durrrr?
I guess the difference might be that most people get iPhones through their mobile carrier, not directly from Apple? There was certainly a long queue outside Apple's Covent Garden shop for the iPad 2. I wasn't in it so I've no idea how demand compared to supply.
Re: "multitasker," "power user," or "content creator"
When I was a copyeditor I routinely had just Outlook and Word on screen at once, side by side and without overlap, with time spent elsewhere very minimal. That's probably not too common a use case though; even in the job before that I was juggling at least InDesign, CorelDraw and Outlook.
Re: Its AT&T all over again
I think it's more that Android brings a decent interface to products across the market, from the budget end upward and in a variety of combinations. Although they've made concessions recently, such as continuing to offer the 3GS for free or almost free on a contract, Apple primarily target only the premium end of the market, with a single product.
Sure, Verizon were first to give Android a big push as something larger than the individual manufacturers combined and in that sense Apple's strategy may have given Android some early momentum, but Apple was never going to overwhelm Samsung, Motorola, HTC and a bunch of others combined.
@a_been: people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. banjomike accuses Jobs of attempting to get _ownership_ of email, I point out that Unicode wasn't _owned_ by NextStep or Apple. The exact point of open standards is to divorce ownership from creation — it doesn't matter where the thing was developed, what matters in this context is that even if Unicode had been used for the initial MIME standard that would have given NextStep and Apple no control whatsoever over email as a whole. I'd suggest that in future you pay more attention to what people have written before charging at them with playground insults.
@boltar: I said 'better', not 'perfect'.
Re: Wow, that was close...
Unicode is and was an open standard. It has never in any sense been owned by NextStep or Apple.
Had Jobs succeeded, international text support would have been better from day one, except in the real world where a whole bunch of functioning systems would have been unable to implement MIME and it would probably have taken even longer for a standards-based approach that isn't Anglo-centric to win out.
Re: Shot across the bow
The people saying there's no performance problem with Flash on budget Android devices (and I accept that the discussion is essentially my anecdote versus yours so there's no reason for a third party to believe any of us over the others) are missing the other significant part of my point against Flash — it's deprecated. As in, by Adobe. It will no longer be developed. One day soon it simply won't work.
I would therefore maintain that it simply isn't an option, regardless.
As for the allegations that Flash isn't on the iPhone because of greed, I strongly disagree. Flash didn't make it to Android until 2010 — three years after the iPhone's launch. That suggests it genuinely wasn't ready in 2007. I think it's more likely that Apple's initial decision was a technical one and that the subsequent fighting between the companies, from which I don't think Apple comes out looking all that good, caused it to entrench its position.
Re: How about old school HDMI?
Or you could just buy the HDMI 'adaptor' (cable, essentially, but to female HDMI). Everyone seems to want about £25 for it though (including third-party alternatives), so you're already a quarter of the way to an Apple TV.
Re: Shot across the bow
If Google were to dump H.264 and go WebM/Flash on YouTube they'd instantly cut off most Android devices. Flash is deprecated and in any case works really poorly on ARMv6 models — such as most budget phones of the last few years. Hardware decoding is also generally H.264 only.
So the Apple angle hardly comes into it.