Category Archives: Editorial

Microsoft Office For iPad…A Bad Pricing Strategy?

Office for iPad
Microsoft yesterday launched the long-awaited Microsoft Office for iPad, bringing Microsoft Word, Powerpoint and Excel to Apple’s tablet device for free of charge. There was, however, one major catch with this approach in that users could only view documents with the apps, and would have to subscribe to Office 365 for the sum of $9.99 per month in order to be able to create and edit documents.

While this amount also includes a substantial number of other features such as access to Office 365 online apps, as well as Skype calling minutes and OneDrive storage, it also represents a major barrier to what Microsoft is trying to achieve. Microsoft itself is treating this subscription amount as a monthly charge to enable users to work on any device, anywhere. The only problem is, and it seems strange to point it out, is that they are trying to get Apple users to switch to a paid service when Apple already offers the same thing free of charge.
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Opinion: Apple’s Advertises Integrity With iAds

A new report today is suggesting that Apple is losing business on iAds because of its refusal to share customer data. According to a new report from Advertising Age citing media buyers, Apple is ‘slow, cocky and downright stingy‘ because it isn’t willing ‘to cough up enough of the consumer data that attracts advertisers to them in the first place‘. Essentially, Apple is refusing to use the extensive and private customer data that it holds for targeted ads from advertisers.
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The iWatch For The Under-30’s

iPod nano Watch
An opinion article from Forbes today suggests that the ‘health-obsessed’ iWatch may not actually be terribly appealing for consumers under 30. The article, by clearly-over-40 Anthony Wing Kosner, comes on the back of a report last night that suggests that Apple’s long-rumored iWatch will have a substantial number of health monitoring features including measurements of heart rate, distance walked or run, calories burnt, blood pressure or blood glucose concentration. The article suggests that the primary market for an iWatch with these features would actually be baby-boomers and the elderly.

The article correctly observes that these capabilities incorporated into the iWatch don’t tend to suggest that the device would specifically be a health monitoring device. So it is perhaps a misnomer to call it health obsessed. If the most recent rumors were true then it would be more accurate to refer to it as a fitness accessory, particularly if accessories were involved.
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What Could Fingerprint Recognition On An iPhone Actually Be Used For?

iPhone 5 iCloud
One of the biggest rumors surrounding the iPhone 5S has been the inclusion of fingerprint recognition capabilities, likely hidden underneath the Home button of the device. In addition, code strings termed ‘BiometricKitIU’ that were discovered a previous iOS 7 beta have pointed towards Apple’s consideration of Biometric Recognition Systems (BRS) in iOS devices as a likely feature in future releases.  In this article, we take a look at some of the potential uses and applications that biometric recognition in the iPhone could actually be used for.

The first, and perhaps the most obvious use of a fingerprint recognition capabilities would be for a user to log into their device, either by pressing or or moving their finger across a sensor. In the context of the iPhone, which can use numerical code as a lockout mechanism to restrict access to a device, this type of authentication could either replace or augment the existing passcode. However, Biometric Recognition Systems could also be used for login when operating an iPhone, for example, by Apple releasing an API that developers could use to control access to apps or, indeed, app functions.
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Is The Apple Television Killer Feature A Massive Hard Drive For 4K Movies?

Apple TV
Many have speculated upon the killer feature that could be incorporated into the long-rumored Apple television set, a feature that would turn the television industry on its head. While it’s difficult to predict what such a feature would be, one analyst points towards a massive hard drive, in excess of 2 terabytes, as the low tech piece of hardware that would facilitate the killer feature which has been the subject of previous rumors…the 4K resolution (via Motley Fool). 4K resolutions are 4 times the size of 1080p HD resolutions and, as an example, Sony has just begun shipping a tv with a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels packed into a 55 inch display.
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To Be Honest, It Would Be Great If iCloud Was More Like Dropbox

There was a problem today, in that Dropbox connectivity was sporadic and, even when connected, incredibly and painfully slow. At one point some users couldn’t even connect to the Dropbox servers and even now, although downloads of shared files are running at normal speed, in my instance it’s still taking several minutes to sync even the smallest files. In order to share some data between a MacBook Air and an iMac, I quickly shifted over to Google Drive (which I hadn’t used before). The file transfer was quick and easy, as it had been when Dropbox was working.

What was an irritation was the fact that I couldn’t go straight to iCloud because the files were in PDF and PowerPoint format. The document sharing in iCloud is limited to those applications that have been granted iCloud functionality, instead of universal file access. There’s reasons and arguments as to why Apple has done this (which many people have covered before), but with 5GB sitting right there and unable to be utilized, it was a crying shame.
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How Can Apple Build A $99 iPhone?

iPhone 4S

Several reports have appeared over the past few days suggesting that Apple is preparing a new version of the iPhone that is cheaper than the current line-up. The new ‘budget iPhone’ will apparently have different exterior materials and will incorporate cheaper internal components with a view to cutting costs. Some reports have pegged the suggested retail cost of the device between $99 to $149 which is a substantial decrease from the $649 of the iPhone 5, $549 of the iPhone 4S or $450 for the 8GB iPhone 4.

That is an interesting price comparison, but it’s difficult to see how Apple could shave so much off the price of an iPhone in order to get into the iPod nano price range. But here are some interesting figures for you to consider. At time of launch, iSuppli gave the following prices for some of the components of the iPhone 4; processor & memory (~$24), flash storage ($27), baseband chip (~$12), display & touchscreen (~$40) and enclosure (~$10). With other miscellaneous materials, the bill of materials cost of a single 16GB iPhone 4 was approximately $187. Obviously the price of these components will have decreased in the interim period since the iPhone 4 was released, but components like flash storage remain quite expensive.
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An Enthusiastic Over-Interpretation Of Tim Cook-isms

A long and deeply engaging interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook has just been published by Bloomberg Businessweek and it gives some pretty amazing insights into the man at the helm of Apple. Cook also reveals a few nuggets of information that could be wildly misinterpreted or overanalyzed, and who are we if we didn’t take some of the more obscure quotes and put forth some suggestion on what Mr Cook actually meant.

On iOS & OSX merging: “We don’t subscribe to the vision that the OS for iPhones and iPads should be the same as Mac…Customers want iOS and Mac OS X to work together seamlessly, not to be the same
The mobile and desktop operating systems produced by Apple will never merge, no matter how many people want them to.
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Opinion: The iMac And The Problems With Good Design

The new iMac was released for sale in Apple retail stores and the Apple online store yesterday and many people have rushed to pick up the latest model. So much so, in fact, that shipping estimates for the new Mac have started to lengthen significantly. However, the awesome tear-down folk at iFixit have managed to get their hands on one and have taken it apart to reveal the interior of the iMac.

While the iMac certainly looks beautiful, both inside and out, the repairability score has dropped from 7 out of 10 for the previous model of iMac, down to a rather poor 3 out of 10, meaning that it’s almost nigh on impossible for your average user to repair any of the components. ‘Aha!’ I hear you cry, ‘But that’s what the Genius bar is for’. To some extent, that’s true, we don’t tend to twiddle with Mac repair in the same way we do PCs. But, there is another big issue.
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Opinion: Incredibly Weird Pricing On The Microsoft Office App For iOS

So, a rumor floated around earlier today suggesting that Microsoft would be releasing MS Office for iOS devices early in 2013. The Office app (or apps) would apparently be free of charge and would enable the user to view Microsoft Office documents. Anyone wishing to edit an MS Office document would be required to place an in-app purchase for a membership to Office 365, which is currently priced at around $6 per month per user.

Let’s put aside the fact that this part of the rumor could be wildly inaccurate and assume for one minute that it is correct. If Microsoft doesn’t make a significant change to their pricing policy, and the ability to edit documents would require a $6 per month fee, how would that affect iOS users. Well, if you have Pages installed on your iPhone or iPad (for a one off fee of $9.99), you can view and edit Word documents to a fairly sizeable extent already. Same with Numbers. Same with Keynote.
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