Monthly Archives: January 2011

Would Apple Survive Without Steve Jobs?

I ask myself this question everyday, and if you’re reading this blog post, you’re likely a hardcore iPhone, iPad or iPod lover. All these have had the “touch” or been graced by Steve Jobs. Would Apple be able to keep going if Steve (we’ll use first name basis when naming people) was unable to return from a medical leave of absence?

I think it all boils down to the fact that Steve is the face of Apple and firmly moulded into what Apple identifies itself as. His image has created a perception of the brand where they put people first, they allow design to lead technology, and having the courage to do things a little differently. Always keeping focused on their vision, even though sales may suffer for a while.

What we have to all remember, is that Steve doesn’t lock himself in a room for weeks/months on end thinking about what people may want, and then emerge with the iPad. There’s a team of many people (even trained by Apple people) that clearly understand what Apple’s mission is. Sure, Steve oversees all talks and demands perfection while developing the next product, but I think it would be outlandish to assume that if Steve didn’t return, Apple’s ‘team’ would all of a sudden forget what they learned from him.

They understand what makes Apple, Apple and would continue to work on products at the same high level we’ve come to not only know, but expect from Apple. About 20 years ago when Steve was forced out of Apple, he wasn’t in firm control, and Apple failed because the brand relied heavily on User Groups not the culture it’s established today.

Failure would be highly unlikely at this point.

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Payment With Your iPhone (Rumour)

NFC Payment with iPhone 5

So I’ve been talking about these with friends and family for the past few months, and today there’s more buzz about the possibility that you’ll be able to make payments, using your iPhone.

Similar to anyone using paypass or express pay; you take out your phone, swipe it through the air and payment will be sent automatically. Now how about securely? well, that’s a whole other topic. It’s still not refined to the point that it can be publicized as secure, but it’s definitely convenient. No one leaves home without their phone … but a credit or debit card, can be forgotten. According to this blog post, the NFC (Near Field Communications) is suggested to be implemented in the next generation, iPhone 5.

I’m no psychic, but if I may make a prediction for as little as 5 years from now, consider the wallet a thing of the past. I can picture the days when I’m a grandfather and sit with my grand-kids and talk about how I use to carry a ‘wallet’ with all my money and payment options and my grand kids staring at me like I was from outer space.

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10 Billionth App Winner Named

Ten Billion Apps

As part of Apple’s 10 Billionth Download promotion, the download happened around 6 am on Saturday, January 22, 2010. The twist is that when Apple tried to contact the winner to give them their $10,000 iTunes prize, the person that got the call hung up the phone thinking it was a “prank call”.

Gail Davis took the call over the weekend, and before fully listening to what was being said on the phone call, she said “thanks, not interested” and hung up. After reviewing the call with her daughter, and being informed that it may have been a legitimate phone call, they frantically tried to call back.

The 10th billion app download by Davis’ daughter was PaperGlider, a virtual paper plane app.

Eventually, Apple’s very own iTunes V.P., Eddy Cue put in a call to the Davis household to award the prize.

I would have reacted the same as her mother at first, thinking that some buddy was pulling my leg, knowing how much of a hardcore fan I am when it comes to Apple products. By the way, it’s taken the App Store 6 years less than it took iTunes to hit 10 billion downloads. That’s a staggering stat about the vitality and impact their store has in the grand scope of app buying.

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A Decade of the iPod

A little bit of a treat for anyone that’s like me and is fascinated when they come across historical stuff when it comes to Apple. I’ve managed to find the first ever announcement of the Apple iPod in 2001, made by Steve Jobs.

I find it interesting to compare the 10-year-old version to today’s version to notice how much, lighter, thinner and more versatile it’s become.

Originally, I think Apple thought the firewire would replace the USB, but that didn’t end up being the case and they built the USB back into future generations of the iPod. Keep in mind that iPod in the video was the black and white screen version.

Some key features of the original iPod.

  • Ultraportable (The laptop was portable but the iPod was ULTRAportable)
  • Firewire
  • Charges over Firewire connection
  • 20 minute skip protection
  • 10 hours of battery life
  • load 1000 songs in 10 minutes
  • ultra-thin hard drive
  • the size of a deck of cards
  • lighter than a deck of cards
  • Apple design

Enjoy a trip down memory lane.

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Playboy Coming to iPad in March

Playboy LogoIt had to happen sooner or later. Despite what Steve Jobs said that Apple is pure and the Android is for porn; the iPad will have a Playboy app for browsing back issues available in March this year.

There is no doubt that this new wave of news will create even more buzz for Apple’s device and get even more people to buy. (BTW, Apple released their sales results for the holiday season, and it was a record breaker. Selling over 7 MILLION iPads! Wow)

This announcement will come as a surprise to iOS app developers that have attempted to get “adult-only” apps published on the selective platform, only to get rejected as unsuitable for Apple’s audience. There are no further details of the launch of this app, beyond the March release date.

In my opinion, sex does sell, but the iPad has been successful without porn to this point and giving it that extra push, will no doubt put the device further ahead of the competition! At least without the porn option, the competition has a chance to keep up.

This brings a whole new meaning to “touch” screen. Yikes.

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App Review: Splashtop Desktop Remote for iPad

Splashtop App Store IconWhile I love having a desktop computer at my house (I have 5), I can hardly ever find time to sit still long enough to actually get anything done at any of those computers. That’s why I find myself using my MacBook and then iPad far more often than anything else I have at home, mainly because I can move around with them and still be able to watch TV or get on the treadmill while staying connected.

I figured for $1.99 from the App Store I couldn’t go wrong in case the app doesn’t live up to my expecatation. Immediately after downloading the app I liked what I saw. (If you’re picky like me) – I like it when an up has an on-screen tutorial that pops up as soon as the app is launched, instead of me having to search for the FAQ’s that always seemed to be tucked away in the corners. By the way, there are multiple variations of this app in the App Store, and the main reason I choose this one is because of all the gestures that are supported! (As I just mentioned, and ‘on-screen’ tutorial on how to use the app effectively)

Splashtop Hint Screen

This app also requires you to download the desktop software to the computer you wish to connect via your wi-fi network. You can install on either PC or Mac and even setup multiple connections to all your desktop’d computers.

In order for Splashtop Desktop remote to work correctly for you, you will need to:

  • Download the Splashtop app from the App Store
  • Download and install the desktop application to the computer(s) you want to control
  • Make sure you’re connect to the same wi-fi network on your iPad and desktop computer(s)

Note that I installed and tested it on an iMac and it worked flawlessly, even though the website claims that the MAC version is in Beta testing. Here’s what I see when connected to my iMac on my iPad

iPad Splashtop Desktop Remote for iPad
You can control every function of your desktop from the comfort of your couch. This is great for me, since I usually use my desktop to download large files and this way I don’t have to keep coming back to my computer every 15 mins to check the progress of my download. I can remotely begin the next download and/or check in on the progress of my download, while launching iTunes or videos without actually having my desktop monitor even turned on.

NOTE: I wasn’t able to use my bluetooth keyboard connected to my iPad for keyboard commands while using Splashtop. It only supports the iPad’s ‘touch’ keyboard.

And a final screen cap for anyone wondering how it looks on a PC. (Make sure you check your minimum system requirements for your desktop before buying the app) Splashtop has been kind enough to provide users with a FREE (limited) version in case you want to test it out first.

Splashtop App on Windows

My rating for this app = 4/5 stars (only lost points because my bluetooth keyboard wasn’t supported)

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A8 Processor for iPhone 5?

My bank account hasn’t yet fully recovered for when I purchased the iPhone 4 and there’s already rumours swirling about what the possibilities of the iPhone 5 are:

“The release of iOS 4.3 beta for developers has revealed updates to gesture-based navigation, AirPlay and Personal Hot Spot in the next edition of iPad and iPhone. However, not all changes are UI-related; it is reported that Apple is due to add an ARM Cortex A8 processor to its iPhone 5. Apple Daily, a Hong Kong-based newspaper, reported that Apple’s iPhone 5 will be powered by a dual core processor with SGX543 graphics. It is reported that Apple is in contact with a Taiwanese component maker for the A8 SoC. Currently Apple uses a custom made A4 SoC in its iPad and iPhone 4 and uses SGX535 graphics and video support.”

But what does that mean? I’ll do my best to translate. After the slew of smartphones that were unveiled at last week’s CES with dual processors and 1080p video playback, which the iPad and iPhone currently lack, it was time to consider how to match and beat the competition.

Still with me? … The SGX543 dual core processor, rumoured to be in the iPhone 5, is designed to deliver real-world performance of 35 million polygons per second and 1 Gigapixel (1 billion pixels) per second at a fill rate of 200 MHz. Making it capable to drive HD screens with high def 3D graphics.

The next generation or iPhone and iPad would offer 1080p video playback and HDMI support. There are no official acknowledgements of a release or timeline for the new iPhone, but that doesn’t mean that speculation has died down. It’s alive and well and I’m just hoping I can pay down my iPhone 4 debt before jumping ship to the next device.

My wallet may file for divorce.

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Make Music with a Piano iPad Dock

Remember when iON unveiled the iCade at this year’s CES in Las Vegas, I didn’t think it could get any geekier than that. I was wrong.

Behold: the Concert Piano from iON, a digital music-maker that is also an iPad dock.

iON Piano Dock

They’ve managed to develop an 88-key wood grain beast that comes with a music learning learning app. I’m not great at playing the piano, and I think I only really only know “Phantom of the Opera”, ok, not the whole thing, just the opening 2 lines of sheet music. If they made a guitar with a docking station, I’d consider it. I always wanted to learn the play the guitar .. and an iPod/iPhone add one would light a fire under my butt to learn.

But then again, does anyone truly break into the music industry at the ripe age of 30? Not likely. *sigh*

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First Look at iOS 4.3

Last week, I announced that the iOS 4.3 for iPhone and iPad devices was released for developers, now we have a first look at what iOS 4.3 has to offer with some previews of how gestures work on the iPad.

Video by AppAdvice.

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Apple CEO Taking Leave of Absence

Steve Jobs Keynote Address
Apple CEO, Steve Jobs is taking his second leave of absence in just as many years to focus on his health.

Apple has always kept tight lips when it comes to the health of Jobs and only disclosing information about his health after the fact. In 2009 he took a leave for 6 months for a liver transplant, but details of his condition only came to light 2 months after the surgery was done.

Jobs is an iconic figure for the company after his return to Apple as CEO in 1997 and has demanded elegance in product design and his keynote presentations have revived the brand and transformed the company into a huge profit maker. Two weeks ago, Apple Inc. was estimated at $300 Billion. That’s a lot of zeros.

Apple shares are predicted to dip, in light of this recent news. US market is closed today. Apple actually performed well in his last 6-month medical leave, rising 60%. The true effect of this recent news won’t be seen until tomorrow and over the time it takes for Jobs to return.

I’m thinking that if (god forbid) something critical was to happen to Mr. Jobs, it would be a devastating blow to the company and the ‘hype’ surrounding it’s products. Would the brand die if Jobs is gone? … Probably not but I have a strong feeling it will greatly affect the brand power. To me, Steve Jobs IS Apple Inc.

Photo credit: Getty Images

UPDATE: Apple shares drop 4% in light of the latest news that Apple CEO, Steve Jobs, takes medical leave of absence.

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