While the best of us are busy scrutinizing Apple’s Event invitation for cabalistic symbols and hints on the nature of iPad 3, I’m more interested in what will become of Apple TV and what can happen if Apple gets serious about its hobby.
Steve Jobs’ legacy is undeniable – both in innovative products and a company that thinks differently. Apart from thinking, Apple is also good at selling; it’s already the world biggest computer and smartphone manufacturer, and the company is growing quickly. What kind of innovation does it have to bring now to sustain such growth?
After breaking my arm a couple of months ago, I learned a bit of biology. Bones are serious buggers, you know; they don’t just Lego into place after snapping. But even at 31 and five fingers down, I applied myself very fastidiously to apps that I could use one-handed. At first, they may seem eclectic, but I assure you that they were the best medicine. If you’re intent on joining my club, send in your resumes, apply something heavy/swift to your long bones, and then follow the gap!
It’s New Year’s eve and a lonely editor at TMA headquarters has been shackled to his desk, the key hidden away in a contraption worthy of the famous Leonardo Da Vinci. The only way of getting out is to finally finish his post on the best of the best of 2010. And since, as you guessed it, that editor is me and I really want to get home to my wife, here we go.
2010 has been an amazingly fruitful year for all things Apple. First we got hit over our heads with the iPad, which has revolutionized the tablet market and against all odds is selling like hot cakes all around the world. Then the whole Gizmodo-iPhone-leak story, culminating in final release of the completely revolutionary iPhone 4. Then the brand new iPod lineup along with the long awaited re-release of the Apple TV as an iOS device. The releases of RAGE HD and Infinity Blade (TMA Review) set a new bar for graphics on the iDevice and have reasserted the iPhone as the leading mobile gaming platform. And these are only the high-high level announcements, with lots more going on in the Apple arena.
For TMA the year has been fertile as well, with the opening of the forums and several new faces in the editorial crowd. Speaking of which, to give our dues to 2010, we’ve banded together and brainstormed out our favorite games and apps of the year. Whether you’ve had an iDevice for a long time or just got your shiny new iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad for Christmas/ New Year, these are some of the titles you must check out! So, without further ado, presenting TMA’s Staff picks for 2010.
I’ve been reviewing iPhone games since the end of 2008, and there’s no question that the developers and the games keep getting better. 2009 was a good year, this past year was great, and I expect next year to be phenomenal. We pretty much expect the “big players” to dazzle us (though in a couple cases for me this didn’t happen), but it’s always much more fun to see a small developer shine. While there were many examples of this in 2010, the one I’ve chosen to pick on today is Big Bad Brush.
Apple has a great history of computer design, and these two words – computer and design, together with innovation and user experience obsession, are what made Apple and Steve Jobs what they are today.
However, in Apple’s world of perfect user experience, there’s always been one major problem – the user. The stupid thing would constantly alter it – either installing “useful” crap from all over the internet, or just opening too many apps and calling tech support because their computer is suddenly slow.
Getting advice about electronics purchases from Best Buy’s team of experts, who spend all day among rows and rows of the same three products, isn’t always a good idea. But then, every once in a while, a proper thought comes from the Big Box. In an interview, Best Buy CEO, Brian Dunn, said that the iPad is “cannibaliz[ing] sales from laptop PCs by as much as 50%” – no mean feat considering how ‘underpowered’ it seems in comparison to PC laptops that advertise everything from the OS (that every computer shares) to bundled malware and archaic Energy Star specification. But that may be the reason it is doing so well; take out the unnecessary stuff and you can Facebook and email as well as anyone. Generally, I write about 5-6 pages a day on my iPad. Yes, thanks to Apple’s Pages and Quickoffice Connect.
Ongoing’s Tim Bray wonders how Samsung did it. They managed to launch the Galaxy line of Android smart phones around the world on almost every carrier of note. That IS a significant feat, especially considering Apple’s comparatively meagre iPhone 4 rollout, but it is insignificant if you put it into perspective. Firstly, adapting Android to any piece of hardware is easy. And if you own pretty much every piece of mobile hardware as Samsung does, it is even easier. Secondly, Samsung’s revenues put it in the top ~30 of the world’s largest GDP’s. Samsung are richer than most countries in the world. They are by far, the largest conglomerate in the world. How hard is it for them to get their grungy phones to carriers across the world? For a company that dips its enormous fingers into almost every country (legal or not) and still has the resources to personally attack ordinary citizens, not hard at all (TWSS).
They’re building the tallest building in the world; getting a measly piece of plastic and glass into the hands millions of customers is easy. Of course, Samsung also have a knack for screwing up design, mucking up UI, and forgetting to slip chargers or cables with their phones. So, while Samsung’s Galaxy may by numbers become the biggest Android name out, it will more likely than not, line the bargain bins as another piece of shoddy work. Don’t look to Samsung to show the world how to make a good Android phone, only look to them to show how to make the most circulated, cheap piece of plastic with an ‘Android’ label.
Get over it Fanbois, you can’t separate your favourite product from the pile of others. Security this, security that, market penetration, user base – irrelevant to proving which product is ‘better’. Want to talk about app numbers? About OEM growth? Go ahead. But no matter how you crack it, you’ll only prove one point: that you are capable of only proving one-sided points.
In this article, I will aimlessly rail on the sort of clueless fanbois blogger we see around the net.
Canadian Science Fiction giant, Cory Doctorow, has put up a nice piece about why Apple and Sony suck. Rather than getting into boring techie talk, he very stealthily opines as a writer who longs for a DRM-less world, one where users can share, buy, borrow, and lend digital content as easily as they do non-digital content. As a content creator, his is a unique and important viewpoint that clashes directly with antiquated pro-Bono business models. Doctorow’s body of science fiction is captivatingly modern and so too are his finger-to-the-man opinions that hopefully, will help change the way digital books are circulated.
I was walking past the lovely espresso machine in my wife’s semi-lovely work place: Institute Pasteur Korea, today, and saw the ironic JoongAng Daily (a bloody big paper) headline: iPhone 4’s D-day beats expectations. Indeed, the iPhone 3gS has been a hit in the political island of the Republic of Samsung South Korea since last November when South Korea finally allowed smart phones into the country. The same 2009 also allowed the first non-Korean handsets in, severing Oprah-thick layers of corporate sabotage. Korea is beset by anti-competitive practices. While Joongan Daily and its corporate supporters may not like that a foreign company is making waves in the gaming nation, the general populace is all atwitter about the iPhone. The news of course is that in less than 13 hours, pre-orders for the iPhone 4 reached 130 000 units.
More scathe after the gap: