Showing posts from July 9, 2013

What's Going On With The iWatch?

There's a lot of noise and iWatch related to-ing and fro-ing at Apple right now, if the tech news industry is to be believed anyway. I'm struggling to see why.

Apple might be getting overly hung up on the iWatch as a product, but really its already delivered most of what it needed to in the last generation iPod Nano.

That Nano is an interesting product. My suspicion is that the radically different form factor was chosen specifically to test the ground for an Apple watch. And on that basis it was a phenomenal success. The reversion back to the standard Nano form factor earlier this year pretty much confirmed that Apple was going to build a watch - why else the radical volte face on the Nano design?

To deliver the iWatch Apple doesn't have to change that Nano design radically. Add more traditional watch band mounts, low energy Bluetooth 4 for connectivity to your iPhone for alerts and a set of Bluetooth earbuds for use as a music player. If they can squeeze in some of the t…

The Lumia 1020 Won't Appeal To Everyone - And Why That Doesn't Matter

Other than pure tech-heads, a few photography specialists and some Windows Phone addicts early response to Nokia's new Pureview 41mp camera toting Lumia 1020 has been along the lines of "how many consumers want a camera in their phones that much?"

While its true that its a niche market, there are plenty of people who are going to be interested in the capabilities of the 1020's camera. If Nokia and Microsoft take the time and marketing effort to make people aware that it exists.
One of the biggest uses for smartphones has always been the camera. The best camera you have is the one you have with you. With the 1020, for most users, the camera you have with you is now the best camera you have.
Parents of young families are going to be a key area here - these are the moments that can never be recaptured and by demonstrating the capabilities of the lossless digital zoom and the Optical Image Stabilisation it should be no trouble demonstrating why the Lumia is a better cho…

Five Years of the App Store: How Apple Really Changed Everything

How do you remember the launch of the original iPhone? For me the iPhone looked like a killer device, up until the announcement that it would only run web apps. That was a complete disaster in my view - I was running Windows Mobile at the time and the variety and quantity of apps available for the platform was a particular reason for me doing so.

Web apps? They weren't going to do the job.

So when Apple launched the iPhone 3G and with it the App Store I was sold. Within days of the UK launch I was rocking an iPhone 3G.

The first week of the App Store was a portent of things to come - the initial choice of 500 or so apps swelled to over a thousand in about a week. The apps were very different to what was available on Windows Mobile and Palm OS at the time though.

Whilst my first purchases was an eBook reader, it was the free apps that I picked up which foretold the direction that the App Store would take. A Guitar Hero clone, a light sabre app and a beer glass simulator. Complete…

China Coal Use Equal To The Rest of The World

A throwaway line in an article on The Verge prompted me to do some research and some worrying trends emerge.

Chinese use of coal has more than doubled in the last recorded decade, to the point where coal usage in China, as measured in 2011, was all but equivalent to all of the coal usage in the rest of the world combined.

The report from the US Energy Information Administration is a couple of years old now, so in all likelihood China has probably reached the point where its coal usage has surpassed the rest of the world now. Chinese coal usage has been almost entirely responsible for the increase of coal usage since 2000.

Coal burning is a concern because of the significant emissions produced during the process - some with short range impact, such as the particulate emissions that cause cardiorespiratory problems; and others have a more global impact, like the sulphur dioxide and heavy metals that are responsible for acid rain.

With the growth of industry in India demanding more and …

WP8.1: Seriously Microsoft, Don't Feck This One Up

Windows Phone is on the cusp of receiving its first major update, almost a year since it first appeared on the scene. Whatever else Microsoft delivers in this update it needs to fix a problem that has existed since the very first WP7 launch: no systemwide rotation control.

We've been through several updates since then and still Microsoft fails to recognise the importance and utility of being able to lock a handset to portrait or landscape rotation. Both iOS and Android do this properly. Microsoft force individual developers to implement rotation lock on a per app basis.

This is crazy.

Especially when different screens of the same app support rotation differently. Even some of Microsoft's own apps are guilty of this. The end result is that users end up dancing the phone from landscape to portrait and back again in an extremely annoying attempt to get things done.

And you can imagine how that looks to potential switchers.

We've gone through WP7, WP7.1, WP7.5, WP7.8 and now …