Technology Doesn’t Play By The Rules

There has been a lot of talk about how Android is beating Apple because it has so much more marketshare. There also been a lot of talk about how that doesn’t matter since Apple had the majority of the profits. Then there’s the also rans, Microsoft, Blackberry, Firefox.

If this was any other industry, such as automobiles, each of those players would take a slice of the pie and it wouldn’t matter. There is a difference here that no one seems to understand. These technology companies are not building the cars. They’re building the roads.

The equivalent scenario doesn’t exist in the physical world. Anti-trust laws wouldn’t allow it, but our laws have not caught up to our technology. The real-world equivalent of the Android Ecosystem or iOS ecosystem would be one where you purchase a car from Ford and then you have to drive it on roads developed by Ford. You wouldn’t be allowed to drive your Honda on those same roads.

The solution to this problem already exists, we just haven’t fully realized it’s potential yet. The solution is the web, or the future incarnation of the web. I think we’re beginning to see evidence that the operating system will be less and less relevant in the future. If you look at Microsoft for example, they pretty much own the OS environment, and yet you get the sense from Satya Nadella that the future is much more agnostic than the present.

In the past year Microsoft has done several things to help democratize technology such as providing part of the .NET framework as an open source project. They’re also placing more emphasis on the Azure platform, which is natively agnostic.

I think in 10 years we’re going to see a very different world than what we saw in the last 10 years. The biggest holdout to all of this of course is Apple. I have a strong feeling that once Apple’s sales begin to decline they’re going to shift to a more open model. They’ve done it before. Both OS X and Safari were open source projects. I think we’ll start to see a more open Apple under Tim Cook. The real test will be whether or not they open up their new Swift programming language and allow it to be used on other platforms besides Mac and iOS.

One day in the not too distant future we’re going to see a much more level playing field. Before that can happen though, there will have to be an extinction event. There are far too many developers out there that are not making any money with apps. The app store model is slowly turning into the web model, one where everything’s free. We all know that can’t be sustained. That’s exactly why these artificial walls will need to fall away and allow us to create the automobile industry of the technology world. One in which there are numerous players that all have ten to fifteen percent of the market. No one really dominates, and everybody wins.

2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 500 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 8 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Why I’m Quitting iWorks

I know, I know, the title is click bait, but there’s some truth to it. I will start out by saying that I know Apple makes some great hardware, but their software has been lacking lately. Case in point is iWorks. To twist a phrase we’ve all heard before… “it doesn’t just work”.  There are at least 3 problems I have with iWorks that don’t seem to be well documented anywhere.

  1. It’s slow… really slow.
  2. It doesn’t appear to sync documents in a timely manner.
  3. It takes up way too much space for what it does.

Slowness Issue:

Try placing 500 to 1000 documents in Pages. Once you’ve done that try opening pages on another machine. It will literally take hours just to show you thumbnails (thumbnails!!!!) of your documents. I would much rather get a bunch of generic icons with file names. Showing me a live preview of my document isn’t worth it. Once those thumbnails have all downloaded things don’t get much better. Usually you will have to wait 10 to 15 seconds just to be able to scroll.

Document Syncing:

This may go along with the slowness issue, but it’s still an annoyance. If you create a document it will show up on your Mac and iOS devices, but on iOS at least it will take several minutes to actually download the document. In one case I had a two line document that took 15 minutes to download…. wtf?!

Space Issues:

Going back to the syncing issue, you’ll notice the first thing I mentioned was adding 500 to 1000 items to Pages, I did that on purpose. There is another issue that occurs when you do that, and no one seems to acknowledge it. In order to really see this you will need to start with a fresh install of an iWork app. If you look at the free space on your iOS device before you install the iWork suite and then look at it immediately afterwards you’ll notice the apps are taking up the space they advertise. So, in the case of Pages you’ll notice the app is taking up roughly 300MB. While that’s a lot it’s not too far off from what the iOS Words App does. It takes up about 250MB. Now, here’s where the problem comes in. Open the newly installed Pages app and tell it to use iCloud. After you’ve done that wait a while (see syncing issue above). Once all of the documents have been synced from iCloud to your iDevice go back into the settings and look at usage. You’ll notice you’ve lost a significant amount of space. I can’t tell if Pages is downloading all of the documents locally, but it’s pretty close. I have ~750MB of Pages documents and I would say I’ve lost an additional 500MB of space just by having that app on my device.

BONUS ANNOYANCE: I just figured out while writing this that Pages on the Mac apparently doesn’t auto-capitalize after you end a sentence or when you use the word ‘I’.

To be honest the only thing that has been holding me back from making the jump is the fact that Office on the Mac is still not free. While the iOS variants are, the desktop app still cost ~$150 for the full version or $9.99 a month. If I wanted to make that jump I would go with the subscription model since it ensures I have the latest and greatest version. It goes without saying that $120 a year is a lot more than free. However, if the issues I’ve outlined above don’t get fixed soon or get worse, then $120 a year may be worth it.

-ED

Pinnacle Tower, Nashville, TN

Took this shot over the weekend…. just had to share it.

Pinnacle Tower

Pinnacle Tower

The end of the iPod era

Great piece over at Wired by Jim Merithew about the end of the iPod Classic.

On Death and iPods: A Requiem

While renting content is great and we can all say we’ve gained from the experience, we also must recognize what we’ve lost.

-ED

Coming Soon: Siri/Shazam Integration

For those of you using the latest version of iTunes you may have noticed there’s a new feature on the Wish List drop-down. In addition to your Wish List, Previews, and songs recently played on iTunes radio there is a new option called Siri.

Screen Shot 2014-09-13 at 2.28.47 PM

When you choose this option it says “You don’t have any tagged songs”. Today Siri cannot tag songs, which means this has to be part of the Siri/Shazam iOS 8 integration. I would assume that once you tag a song using Siri it will show up in this list. Looks like I’ll have to wait until sometime next week to actually try this out.

Apple’s iPhone Event – 2014 Edition

All right it’s that time again. Here’s the rumor mill for this one:

  1. 4.7 inch iPhone
  2. 5.5 inch iPhone
  3. 4 inch iPhone (this isn’t really a rumor, but more of an observation. The 5C will move down to the “free” position)
    1. Side-note: This means that the 30-pin connector is finally retired on iPhones. (It would be retired completely if it weren’t for the iPod Classic)
  4. Unveiling of the iWatch (expected to ship next year)
  5. Mobile payments via Passbook.
  6. NFC on the new iPhones to go with mobile payments. (I’ll go out on a limb and bet that if one phone has NFC all 3 models will.)

Here are a couple of things we still don’t know:

  1. What will the camera resolution be?
  2. What will the screen resolution be?
  3. How much will the 5.5 inch model cost?
  4. Anything about the iWatch…

In less than 24 hours we’ll know which rumors were true, and which were bogus.

-ED

Convergence iOS and Mac OS X

Apple’s Yosemite Design Page

I’ve been reading a bit about iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite. The more I read about it the more it seems that eventually these systems will converge. If you look at the last couple of years it becomes apparent that next year will be a big year for OS X. iOS 7 was a completely redesigned OS from a user experience perspective. It wasn’t until iOS 8 that they were able to vastly change the underpinnings of the OS. I expect Yosemite to be the Mac’s iOS 7. I think next year will be interesting when Apple releases 10.11.

And we have a tagline…. Now it goes to 11. :-)

-ED

Tagged , , , , ,

Now that the WWDC keynote has ended let’s take a look back at the rumors and see what came to pass. Just to recap here were the rumors that we were seeing.

  1. Updated Music app with the ability to play 24bit audio tracks.
  2. New ear pods to listen to the enhanced audio.
  3. New lightning connector. Source: BGR
  4. Multi-tasking on the iPad. Source: Multiple
  5. Healthbook – a new take on Passbook for health related apps. Source: Multiple
  6. Addition of Preview app for PDF files. Source: Multiple
  7. Addition of TextEdit app for text files. Source: Multiple
  8. Tips app that provides tips on how to use the OS. Source: Multiple
  9. Shazam support for Siri. Source: Multiple
  10. Redesigned notifications with only two tabs instead of three. Source: Multiple
  11. Wireless version of CarPlay. Source: Multiple
  12. Late Addition: Home automation

Here’s the rumor scorecard:

Not True:
1. Updated Music app with the ability to play 24bit audio tracks.
2. New ear pods to listen to the enhanced audio.
3. New lightning connector.
6. Addition of Preview app for PDF files.
7. Addition of TextEdit app for text files.
8. Tips app that provides tips on how to use the OS.

True:
5. Healthbook – a new take on Passbook for health related apps.
9. Shazam support for Siri.
10. Redesigned notifications with only two tabs instead of three.
12. Home Automation

No Mention:
4. Multi-tasking on the iPad.
11. Wireless version of CarPlay

That’s a 33% success rate. Not too good if you’re an odds maker.

-ED

 

 

iOS8 Rumors – Scorecard

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