kiranlightpaw: (apple)
Normally, I'm not one to be too taken with the death of a "celebrity" ...

... but this one fucking hurts.

We truly lost a titan of our generation. A man who became synonymous with the company he founded, and whose products made life more awesome for millions of people. As I look around my house, pretty much every room has some touch of Apple, and all of that thanks to Steve.

Rest in Peace, Steve Jobs. The world was enriched by your presence and is saddened with your loss. Thank you for everything you did.

Steve Jobs

Aug. 25th, 2011 11:47 am
kiranlightpaw: (apple)
So, unless you've been living under a rock, you now know that Steve Jobs is no longer CEO of Apple. Yesterday, he resigned from his position as CEO, but announced that he will remain on as Chairman of the Board. In essence, he's doing what Bill Gates did at Microsoft: leaving behind all the boring parts of being CEO.

There are some parts in this that I think are important to keep in perspective:
  1.  Steve Jobs is not leaving Apple. He's stepping down as CEO, but staying on as Chairman of Board. He remains Apple's largest shareholder as well.
  2. Tim Cook has been effectively running Apple since January as acting CEO. Essentially, this is just formalizing that arrangement.
  3. We all knew this day was coming. Steve won't last forever, but he's still gonna be involved in Apple for now. Just at a higher level.
A lot of the media seems to have taken his announcement as his "grand finale." As if he's riding off into the sunset never to be heard from again. This just doesn't seem the case to me.

Still, reading the platitudes from the press is yet another indication of how one driven individual can do amazing things by inspiring others to do amazing things. This list of quotes in the Wall Street Journal was a great read. But of all the quotes, this one struck me as particularly prophetic:

“The most compelling reason for most people to buy a computer for the home will be to link it to a nationwide communications network. We’re just in the beginning stages of what will be a truly remarkable breakthrough for most people––as remarkable as the telephone.” 

He said that in an interview with Playboy in 1985.
Also, on a side note, Tim Cook is now the CEO of Apple. He's also an Auburn grad (he even spoke at Commencement a few years back), so a big bit of pride for my alma mater there. :P

iPhone 4

Jul. 23rd, 2010 11:21 pm
kiranlightpaw: kiran_likeshine (Default)
My iPhone 3G, even though it was only 1.5 years old, was starting to feel a little long in the tooth. So I bought an iPhone 4 this week. Well, I had been on the waiting list for about a week and a half, so they finally got around to fulfilling my order. The Apple store here in Huntsville is still out of them for walk-in orders.

The display is freaking gorgeous. I put a high res movie on there just to test it out and, holy cow, it's amazing. And the apps that have been designed to use the new resolution look so much better than the 3G. Put them beside each other and you can definitely tell the difference.

I also tried a FaceTime call yesterday to a buddy who also has an iPhone 4. When Jobs was premiering it at WWDC as his "One more thing," I was underwhelmed. I was like, "that's it?" and was kinda hoping "One more thing" would be availability on other GSM networks (namely T-Mobile). When I tried it out, I was actually pretty impressed. Setup took a little bit of figuring out (I didn't realize we both had to be on Wifi for it to work), but once we got that sorted out, it was literally just the push of a button and me and a buddy were having a videoconference.

Holy shit, it's the fucking future. No complicated software to install and set up. No accounts to create. No being stuck at my computer. No dealing with stupid ass firewall issues. Once I was on wifi, I pushed a button and saw my friend. It was that fucking easy.

Has it been done before? Yes. You can do it with Skype (and Fring, but I was never able to get it to work right). But what makes this great is how easy it was. It takes no thought, and thats how things like this should work. And best of all, it's all based on open standards. There's absolutely nothing stopping this from being available on any device.

Interesting thing I noticed. I don't have any bumpers or cases or anything like that. Never have for any of my phones ever - I just don't like how it feels with them. Anyways, I have tried over and over, and I simply cannot reproduce the infamous "antenna" issue. I get great signal in my house, and no matter how I hold it (even holding it like they do in the videos) I cannot get it to lose signal. My office is a different matter - weak/no signal at all there, but that's not just me - every cellphone on every carrier has problems in the black hole that is work. What little signal there is to receive, the iPhone 4 seems to get more consistently than my 3G, but that may just be my imagination.

Am I saying there's no issue? No. The videos make it pretty clearly obvious that there are situations where holding it a certain way will cause reception issues. Every phone I have had that's had an internal antenna has had this problem (including my Motorola Razr - if you covered the hinge with your hand, you'd lose about half the signal; discovered that at my old apartment where coverage was shitty). What I'm saying is that, I don't think the "antenna" issue will affect me in any meaningful way.

Now that I've said all this, I'm sure I'm going to have a bunch of Android fanboys jumping all over this. Save your keystrokes. The short of it is, I'm happy with my purchase.
kiranlightpaw: (apple)
So, yes, I bought an iPad. I'll buy pretty much anything with an Apple logo on it. If Steve Jobs put the Apple logo on a Yugo, I'd want one of those, too. Having said that, here are my thoughts on the iPad after 24 hours.
  • The battery life is as amazing as they claimed. I plugged it into my Macbook Pro yesterday (through a hub) to sync it up. It wouldn't charge from the hub, so it was just running on battery. In the 4 hours I spent loading it up and messing with it, the battery only dropped about 20%. I charged it at home while we went to dinner (back to 100%), and used it all evening, for about 4 hours and it only went down to about 85%.

  • The display is gorgeous. There's no way around it. Between the battery and the display, it was totally worth the price. The colors are vibrant and deep. Watching a movie on it was far better than my previous attempts at watching movies on mobile devices (first on my iPod 5G, and then on my iPhone) and even better than my laptop (because I can hold it more comfortably).

  • It is fucking fast. Amazingly fast. Nothing like my iPhone. Scrolling is smooth, the animations are smooth, apps start and stop quickly. I'll be interested to see how this continues, but for now the speed is amazing. I hope they put the A4 in the next iPhones.

  • The bigger keyboard is a massive improvement over the tiny one on the iPhone. And while I'm nowhere near the speed I would be on my laptop or a fullsize keyboard, it's remarkably easy to use considering you're typing on glass. I'm probably about as fast on it as I am on any tiny netbook keyboard.

  • I feel like I'm Captain Picard in fucking Star Trek walking around with this thing. I keep telling people to "Make it so!" Not really anything to do with the iPad per se, but I think it's pretty sweet.
There are a few things that irritate me:
  • Charging seems to be slow - closer to the length of time it takes to charge my Macbook Pro rather than my iPhone. Which makes sense, really, as the battery size is probably closer as well. Still, if you're running low on juice, don't expect to get much out of a 15 minute charge on the airport floor.

    It will also only charge when plugged directly into my laptop or plugged into the wall. It won't charge through even a powered hub. Again, this makes sense, as the hub probably only supplies enough power to actually run devices, and not charge them. Still, it would have been a nice feature, considering my iPhone can do that so when I travel I usually just bring the sync cable.

  • The screen gets smudgy after use. Nothing you can really do about that - it's the same complaint I have with my iPhone. Just have to wipe it off occasionally.

  • It's heavier than I would have expected. Not uncomfortably heavy at all - I can still use it with one hand - but it could use to lose a few ounces.

  • No multitasking support (well, insofar as it's the same as the iPhone). But it looks like that's about to be fixed.

  • I wish iTunes on the iPad could natively stream content from network iTunes shares, but that's kind of an edge use case scenario, and I think there are other apps already in the app store that can accomplish the same thing.

  • No flash support. This has been done to death, but frankly, I really don't miss it. Flash is a resource hog and a dying technology soon to be supplanted by HTML5's canvas in most use cases. Besides, most of the sites I've browsed to - yes, that includes Youtube and CNN - already support HTML5 and work just fine on iPad.
Overall, I'm very happy with it and consider it a worthwhile purchase.

And, much like the iPhone (and iPod, and any Apple device), I think a lot of the people criticizing it are doing so without reason, or are doing so out of the hipster mentality that they must criticize anything that's cool in order to be cool themselves. The device (as I've indicated above) is not without its faults and it could rightly be criticized on those faults, but I think a lot of the things people are criticizing the device about are not things that it is actually designed to accomplish. So, if you'll indulge me, allow me to explain how I see this device.

It's pretty much exactly what Steve Jobs said it would be. It's emphatically not a computer replacement and it's not an iPhone replacement. It's a separate device from those, and is not intended to duplicate the functionality of those other devices. I wouldn't want to make calls on my iPad - I have a phone for that. I don't want to connect my camera or other devices to my iPad - I have a laptop for that.
  • It's fantastic for traveling. I can take this on an airplane with me and it would be good for heavy use for a flight from Atlanta to Rome (Italy, not Georgia!). Considering I'll be flying to San Jose next week, I should stay entertained for the entire flight at half battery. I can watch movies and listen to music. I can connect it to inflight wireless to surf the web or check my email.

    The form factor makes it perfect for this. I can just barely open my laptop in a coach class airline seat, and I have to do funky things with my arms to be able to type. But the form factor on the iPad means I'll have plenty of room. I can sit it on my lap or on the tray table.

  • It's great for mindless couch surfing. A lot of times when I'm sitting on the couch with my laptop on my lap, I'm not actually doing anything that requires that kind of processing power. I'm usually just surfing - checking the news, reading Wikipedia, whatever. For that, this is great, and more comfortable to boot.

  • It's great for meetings. Occasionally, we'll have long meetings at work. A lot of times, I have my laptop in these meetings but I'm not really doing anything with it other than referencing tickets and taking notes. With iPad, I don't need to hunt for a power cord. The battery will get me through the longest of meetings.
Seeing a trend here?

The iPad is not meant to be the everything-to-everyone device that a full computer can be. It's meant to be a specialized companion device used in situations where using either a mobile phone or laptop really doesn't make a lot of sense, but you do it anyway because you don't have the option.


kiranlightpaw: kiran_likeshine (Default)
Kiran Lightpaw

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