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Showing posts from March 2, 2008

MacBook Air Hands On

I suppose there's very little to say about the MacBook Air, its a slimmer, slower less well connected MacBook Pro.How slim is it? Well, its quite slim, but to be honest I didn't find it so much thinner than other thin notebooks of yore. In fact the whole experience was hugely underwhelming. To the point where I find it hard to find anything remarkable to say about it. There's the problem with accessibility to the USB port, but then that's easily solved with a USB extender. The multi-touch trackpad is an interesting aside, but most of its features only really compensate for only having a single mouse button.I'm afraid the whole premise of the MBA is compromised in my eyes, there are more powerful full size machines that take little or no more room in a briefcase and don't require the level of compromise that the MBA demands. Even the MacBook, Apple's own entry-level machine makes a better case for your money.Nice points? Erm... Sorry didn't really strike…

Advantage Still Lags Universal

When HTC announced the Advantage, close to a year ago they were probably expecting a significant take up. After all its predecessor, the Universal was taken up by all four of the major mobile networks, five if you include 3's unbadged version. Instead, other than an unloved appearance in the T-Mobile range (where even their retail stuff are disuading potential buyers) its been something of a non-event. In fact apart from the unit I have here I have yet to see anyone else using one anywhere on my travels. Which seems strange for or device stuffed to the gills with useful technology. HTC have now updated the Advantage to include a larger hard drive (like that was ever the problem) and made the attachable keyboard even worse. So why no replacement for the much-loved Uni? I'm at a loss to explain. It trumps the competition in so many areas that its amazing someone at Microsoft hasn't had a quiet word about an update. Just to rundown why I think the Universal form factor still …

iPhone Gets Exchange, Remote Security Management

Apple's conference for the iPhone SDK also marked the launch of Apple's new iPhone Enterprise initiative. As predicted yesterday Exchange push email comes courtesy of a licensed version of Microsoft's Exchange Activesync. Remote wiping of memory is also a new feature and means that two of the three tests for enterprise suitability are completed. The arrival of the SDK virtually guarantees that someone (probably Dataviz) will come up with the Office compatibility that completes the checklist.Apple also released details of its App Shop delivery method, with over the air installs and access to the full application catalogue direct from the handheld. The whole package will costs developers 30% of the software price - which they can set themselves. Freeware will be distributed without charge from Apple.Existing iPhone users will get the new iPhone 2.0 software for free, whilst iPod Touch users will have to make another nominal payment to get the upgrade which includes updated w…

iPhone Enterprise Features - What Will They Be?

As well as announcing the iPhone SDK tomorrow Apple has been hinting at the arrival of some enterprise features for the iPhone too.As an enterprise device the iPhone lacks in three main areas. Firstly its has no support for exchange/blackberry push email. Whether you think that this is a good or bad thing it is a pre-requisite for any device hoping to make a mark in the enterprise market.Secondly there's a need to be able to perform at least basic level edits on Microsoft Office documents and finally there's the need to support central management of devices for security purposes.Clearly its a little optimistic to hope that Apple will have addressed all three, however I'm fairly confident that if Apple are hinting at enterprise features its because they have at least one exchange/blackberry client push email based solution ready.Still only another twenty-four hours until we find out for sure.

Acer Acquires E-Ten

Acer has produced a few interesting PDAs in its time, however its never really managed to hit the sweet spot in terms specs, price and desirability and has remained something of a bit player in the market.E-Ten has been responsible for all manner of impressive smartphone devices, combining high specs with impressive industrial design. Not to everyone's taste but good enough to build a hard core of supporters and a decent chunk of market share.Acer has paid out approximately 6% of its held share capital in a share swap deal which promises some interesting devices to come.Expect Acer to make a big play for the smartphone market an the imminent arrival of Ferrari badged devices to tempt the badge-impressed.

Asus Eee PC Has Amazing Wireless

Had  a play with the Asus EeePC, the little notebook that seems to be taking the world by storm, which was an interesting comparison to the OQO which I currently use.

The Asus feels and looks like a kids toy compared to the very industrial design of the OQO, however in use its pretty impressive, with a good selection of pre-installed software and a nice keyboard and screen.

The most impressive thing was its Wifi performance though, maintaining 100% signal strength across the length of a 60m office. Nothing I've tried has achieved that kind of signal strength that far from our (admittedly very impressive) Aruba access points.

Silverlight On Symbian

Just as Google releases Gears for Windows Mobile, Microsoft signs an agreement with Nokia which indicates exactly how important it feels its own mobile platform is: not very.

Silverlight is Microsoft's prospective competitor to Flash, its big because it supports DRM and will ultimately force Adobe to do the same. Of course to start selling it as a content creation platform Microsoft has to get plenty of clients out there. Therefore a deal to supply Silverlight mobile to the huge majority of 'smartphones' in the market (i.e. those that run Symbian) is a big deal for Microsoft, even if the upshot for Windows Mobile is a missed opportunity to score a point over its big competitor.

I imagine that Adobe will now pull its corporate fingers out and release updated versions of the, somewhat outdated, Flash Mobile that are available.  Even so, I suspect Adobe has a long hard struggle ahead to keep Flash's market share from evaporating in the Microsoft onslaught.

Google Gears For Windows Mobile

Little things that Google does makes me wonder how much they want Android to compete with existing mobile platforms. Like announcing Google Gears - the tool that lets you run online web 2.0 apps like Google Reader offline - for Windows Mobile and promising versions for other platforms (read Symbian, Android and possibly UIQ).

If Google really wanted to own the market this sounds like the sort of stuff they'd be keeping to themselves, obviously there's more potential around the supply of services to Windows Mobile users than anyone would have thought.

Footprint vs Depth

Apple, Fujtsu and Lenovo have all announced superthin ultraportable notebooks in the last few weeks. Apple's MacBook Air has taken most of the column inches, but the new X300 from Lenovo is gradually catching up in the column inch war.As you've probably guessed from previous posts I'm nota big fan of ultrathin devices with huge footprints. I want something which is portable by virtue of fitting into a pocket.That's not to say I claim the high ground in any argument, there are valid arguments for wanting the ultrathin machines too. What is key though, is the spread of the market. Some want thin some want pocket sized and still others want tablets. What is clear though is that ultraportable as a concept really demands that pocketable is the way to go. After all, next time you're in the check-in queue toting your laptop and a few essentials stuffed into a laptop bag, check out the guy carrying no bag at all. Fo all you know he's carrying enough computing power in …

iPhone SDK To Become Reality This Week

Its time for Apple to release the beast that is the iPhone SDK and at the same time fill in some of the details of the how's, why's and how much's that go with the ability to install applications onto the iPhone.The how seems pretty obvious, installation will almost certainly be via iTunes, suggesting a new release of that software is also due. But will it be centrally controlled via Apple or will you be able to install applications locally via the iTunes install on your PC/Mac? The difference will be vital to small software companies and the hobbyist. If everything goes via the iTunes Music Store it means handing over marketing and distribution to Apple. In itself not a bad thing, certainly not likely to be a worse deal than that currently available through other software distribution points. It puts Apple into a position where they could concievably control what is and isn't made available to the market.I suspect the model that most vendors would prefer would be one …