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Showing posts from June 7, 2015

Please Microsoft Put Moonraker Back In The Game

This is allegedly the Nokia Moonraker, a smartwatch that the company was moving towards production before it was bought by Microsoft last year. Apparently it was canned because of a potential conflict with Microsoft's Band. That's a shame because this looks a lot more smartwatch and a lot less fitness band.
Whilst smartwatches haven't necessarily proven that they have a role on your wrist when compared to normal watches, as a platform Windows can't really hope to compete without having an offering and this could have been a good start.
Microsoft needs to consider whether the clunky Band is enough of a presence in the wearables market. The Moonraker looks like a product that needs further investigation. Please.

FTC Takes Down Crowdfunding Scammer

Techcrunch is reporting that the Federal Trade Commission, the US government department tasked with protecting consumers, has taken action against a failed crowdfunding project. 
Crowdfunding as a concept worries me. Backers take all the risk and gain none of the rewards. It's an environment rich in pickings for scammers and chancers. Too often we hear stories of projects that failed to deliver what was promised or, far worse, never had any intention of doing so.
Now the FTC has signalled its intent to regulate crowdfunded projects there might be some protection for consumers still willing to risk their cash.

Why The Android Blackberry Makes No Sense

So in an admission of defeat that comes about three and a half years too late, Blackberry is rumoured to be on the point of launching an Android smartphone.
It's the right thing for Blackberry to do, or at least it was in 2011. Now, I think that ship has sailed.
Remember when the Blackberry was so addictive it was nicknamed the Crackberry? Well all those engaged users are now happily engaged with Apple and to a lesser extent Android. Those businesses that aligned their Exchange platform with Blackberry's enterprise solution have found that the iPhone or Windows Phone makes for a better solution.
Android? There's a degree of risk that comes with the wild west of smartphone platforms. Look at the efforts that Google and Samsung have gone to in trying to making it an acceptable enterprise risk.
So a high end Android-Blackberry frankenphone may look appealing at first. But for consumers there are too many reasons not to choose it. For enterprises too few to do so.
For Blackb…

Apple Music For Android: Why?

One of the snippets of information that came out of WWDC's keynote was that Apple Music will not be an Apple only app, and will be available on Android as well. It will also find its way onto the desktop, but as that will be through iTunes, it isn't a huge shock.
An Android specific app though, that's an interesting decision.
There doesn't seem to be a logical reason for this unless Apple has decided that Satya Nadella's all embracing strategy at Microsoft might work for them too. Presumably Apple doesn't believe that large numbers of its users also use Android regularly and if it did releasing its Music app is hardly going to discourage that.
So does Apple see Android users as potential Apple Music customers? Maybe, and if it does then chasing their subscriptions makes sense. After all Microsoft has a serviceable Xbox Music client for both iPhone and Android.
Yet by bringing Apple Music to Google's platform Apple appears to be legitimising it as a competi…

Ad Blocking, Ad Funding And The Collapsing Future Of The Internet

Free and open to all. It's a pretty good description of the internet as we see it today. There is an on-ramp fee, which your ISP and mobile providers charge you for accessing the web, but otherwise content is available to all, equitably.
That may not be true in the future.
First of all there is the question of advertising. Large sites which run teams of journalists, photographers and editors, shipping them across the country or even the world to research, report and assess stories need to be funded, and funded well. Adverts are what keeps these guys in business. However rulings in Germany which legitimised ad blocking software preventing these adverts from displaying in user's browsers subtly change the balance of funding for these websites.
Large scale adoption of ad blocking software prevents those sites from operating as they do today. Pre-roll or inter-page adverts requiring an action from the user to prove they have viewed the advert could be one solution. Barring ad blo…

HMRC Ditches Microsoft For Google

Britain's tax authorities will be sending out your bad news courtesy of Google in future, after the HMRC decided to select Google Apps as its platform for the future.
This is huge news on so many fronts. In the past the British Government has shied away from ditching Microsoft, not least because of the leverage Microsoft has as a result of its investment in UK R&D. In itself it isn't a huge loss for the Redmond software giant, numbering 70,000 licenses, what it is though, is the thin end of the wedge being driven into Microsoft's monopoly on UK government purchasing.
That HMRC are being allowed to store its data offshore also suggests a softening of the attitude of the Information Commissioner's Office, which previously mandated UK or EU storage of all sensitive information, with very strict controls on its transmission across borders.
Having previously run into these roadblocks myself when trying to modernise Healthcare services, I'm pleased to see that a mor…

Apple News A Potential Flipboard Killer

Flipboard is one of those apps that is synonymous with the iPad. It launched on the tablet platform and despite branching out onto the web, iPhones, Windows and Android, is still far and away at its best on the Apple tablet.
Now however it looks like Apple has decided to kill Flipboard off, including a new News application in iOS 9 which seems to take the best from Flipboard and make it native.
Why does the appearance of Apple apps raise a warning flag for third party developers? It's the way that Apple is able to tie them into the iOS platform to make for an improved user experience. I have no doubts that News will tie into the new, proactive Siri in the same way that Apple Music does. That may not in itself be a killer feature, but it is interesting enough to suggest that large numbers of Flipboard users will see it as a reason to switch to Apple's own offering.

iOS Multi-tasking Brings New iPad Impetus

The big announcement from WWDC, as far as iPad users were concerned anyway, was multitasking. This ability to run apps side by side brings the promise of a more powerful, more capable iPad better suited to facing competition from hybrid Windows tablets.Ignore the requirement to have an iPad Air 2 to make use of the functionality, that's down to the memory limitation of other iPads, and instead consider how this is another step towards the blurring of the lines between iOS and OS X.A larger iPad is now inevitable. Potentially packing a keyboard that turns it into exactly the sort of hybrid device that iPad users have been creating themselves ever since the tablet was first launched. I'd wager that after a case a keyboard is the number one accessory purchased by iPad owners.For a larger, professional iPad that keyboard is an absolute necessity. And knowing that there is huge demand for such an accessory I can't see Apple not making a play for customer dollars.Add together th…

Apple Music Will Shake Up Streaming Services

As expected Apple arrived in the streaming music arena earlier yesterday, with the announcement of Apple Music, a Spotify rival that will change the face of the streaming industry.
It doesn't even need to be any good to do so. Yes, it needs to meet the basic requirements of a streaming service, which it does, but beyond that the unswerving loyalty of Apple's customers offers a real threat to other services.
Right now there are an awful lot of streaming services out there and most are probably pretty worried. For once Sony seems to have got ahead of the game by killing its own streaming service and handing the reins over to Spotify. The latter is by far the biggest service out there in terms of global paying subscribers, however that is unlikely to insulate it from the shock. Apple customers are, more often than not, those who will pay for services like Spotify. It is odds on they will be the first to switch to the new service too, unless it turns out to be an Apple Maps style…