Category Archives: Editorial

Opinion: Massive Changes In Apple Execs Will Translate To Big Changes In Software

In a significant restructuring of top-tier management, Apple yesterday announced that Senior Vice President of iOS Software, Scott Forstall, and Senior Vice President of Retail, John Browett would be leaving the company. Forstall originally started with Apple directly when it purchased NeXT in 1997, and Browett was there for a less-than-glamorous tender of less than six months.  The implications of these guys leaving are, particularly in Forstall’s case, obviously huge.

The biggest impacts will come as new division heads move into place. Eddy Cue is now in charge of Siri and Maps, two areas of iOS which are essentially in beta at the moment, and will require a significant amount of work in order to bring them up to the standards that are normally associated with Apple products. In addition, Craig Federighi is now head of iOS development and will likely seek to put his own stamp on the flagship mobile software. Bob Mansfield, who earlier in the year was looking to retire, is staying with the company for another two years to lead the Technologies group, responsible for all wireless teams in Apple.
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With The iPad Mini, Apple Is Obviously A Failure; Isn’t It?

The iPad mini went on sale just three days ago and, unsurprisingly sold out within three days. While most people reacting to the launch of the iPad mini were overwhelmingly positive, there is always a small bunch who would gleefully love to see the company fail to shift the a substantial amount of devices. I refer to one such example in the form of this column written a few days ago, with the author suggesting that the iPad mini was a big fail.

The main accusation is that Apple has ‘diluted the market to the point of of ridiculous now’. Just for a second, consider that phrase. My interpretation is that, instead of the company diluting the market, there is now a $329 iPad mini, a $399 iPad 2 and a $499 iPad 3 in a variety of storage options. Sorry, but is there anything wrong with having a choice?
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It’s Weird Now; Why Is There No iBooks App For Mac?

Apple yesterday released an update to the premier reading app for the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch, bringing iBooks up to version 3.0. The app was originally launched almost three years ago in January 2010 and is now reaching its third iteration with improved iCloud integration, a new scrolling theme, improved social sharing and extended language support. So, it’s been through three versions in almost three years and perhaps the weirdest thing in this time has been the fact that there is no iBooks for Mac.

It’s something I’ve talked about previously and I’m racking my brains as to why Apple has not released an iBooks equivalent for the Mac, instead forcing users to download third party software like Calibre. I thought perhaps that Apple was simply avoiding the issue because there was no easy or straightforward way for them to make an e-reader for the Mac that was ‘Apple’ enough, but Amazon seem to have managed it pretty well with their browser based reader.
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Siri Is Still In Beta…No Really

When iOS 6 was released, many people expected that Siri would be moved into the mainstream as a major feature of the new operating system i.e. taken out of beta. Well, Apple is indeed touting Siri as a major new feature in the iOS 6 operating system (for iPad 3 at least), but are still using the safety net of a ‘beta’ tag. Much in the way that Google kept Gmail in beta for more than five years, could Siri be going down a similar route?

Apple today updated the Siri webpage with some clarification text. “Siri is available in Beta only on iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPad (3rd generation), and iPod touch (5th generation)” Siri arrived, in beta, when the iPhone 4S was launched midway through October 2011, and received a significant update with iOS 6 when it gained the ability to offer up sports scores, movies, restaurants, the capacity to launch apps and offer directions, and tight integration with Facebook and Twitter. Should it still be in beta now?
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A Reflection On The Scratchability Of The iPhone 5

The iPhone 5 was unleashed upon the public on Friday and, as soon as it was in the hands of the public, more than a few reports emerged suggesting that the iPhone 5 was more susceptible to scratching than its predecessor. Disgruntled consumers quickly took to forums and discussions boards to note their displeasure at the fragility of the panel coating on the new iPhone 5. Some sites even went as far as to scratch the iPhone 5 with metal keys with a view to assessing the scratchability of the new device.
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Reflections On The iPhone 5

After playing with the new iPhone 5 for the past few days, two things have become apparent. First, it’s worth the cost, and second, Apple have absolutely nailed it with this one. From the moment that you take the new iPhone out of the box, you’ll wonder how we actually got to this extraordinary point, an iPhone this thin and light, with this level of performance is astounding. Indeed, the first thing you notice about the new iPhone is how different it feels in your hand compared to previous versions of the iPhone. With the new design, it’s almost a surprise when you hit the power/lock button and fire iOS 6 up. It feels, almost, as if it is a toy phone.

Once you have turned it on, the second thing that hits you is how Apple has improved the color saturation of the screen. Holding it side by side with a 4S, you’ll see that the colors are richer, denser and offer a noticeable improvement in visual quality. This is also particularly evident when viewing photos in your photo stream. You’ll also notice a significant improvement in color saturation when looking at pictures taken with the iPhone 5 on your Mac screen. The camera on the iPhone 5 is dramatically better.
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An Opinion On Apple’s New Maps App

There are two sides to every story and this opinion is no different. Having spent some time using the developer preview and final releases of Apple’s new Maps app, the replacement for Google apps, it is perhaps easy to come to one of two conclusions. The first, and perhaps most obvious, is that the new Maps app is pretty inferior to its predecessor, with less detail and some glossy features, like city fly over, that aren’t much use unless accompanied by Superman-like functionality, or a helicopter. In addition, some of the 3G mapping that Apple has incorporated also looks pretty awful at the moment, and some locations are just missing altogether.

That said, the alternative opinion is that Apple seems to manage to make seemingly innocuous functionality come alive with their touch. By including turn by turn directions in the new app, the company has included a pretty nifty feature that most people will love. In addition, the smooth animations, more responsive feel and anecdotally faster load times can offer a completely different experience from Google Maps.
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The Best Damn Apple iPhone 5 Media Event Live Blog

The Apple Media Event to announce the iPhone 5 takes place on September 12 at 10am PST / 1pm EST / 6pm UK.

We’re blogging it right here with what you want, and need, to know, so crack a beer and get comfortable…
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Opinion: AT&T Offers A Piss Poor Excuse For Limiting FaceTime

AT&T has responded to the public outcry over the fact that the carrier was planning on restricting FaceTime over 3G only to customers who were part of their mobile sharing plans. Many people were upset with AT&T’s policy that only a restricted group of customers were able to utilize FaceTime over 3G and even went as far as suggesting that the policy appeared to violate net neutrality rules, and should be the subject of an FCC investigation.

AT&T has responded to this by suggesting that FCC net neutrality rules “do not regulate the availability to customers of applications that are preloaded on phones” and has pointed out that AT&T is allowing FaceTime on the iPhone subject to some reasonable restrictions. In AT&T’s view, these restrictions are in place out of an “overriding concern for the impact this expansion may have on our network and the overall customer experience”.
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Editorial: High Expectations For The New iPhone Dock Connector

Apple is expected to launch the highly anticipated iPhone 5 next month at an event that will apparently be held on September 12. While the rumored features for the new device have included a larger screen, faster processor, completely new design, and 4G LTE compatibility, the feature that has perhaps some of the highest expectations is a brand new dock connector.

The new dock connector is expected to be rolled out across the entire iOS device line-up, but the iPhone 5 will reportedly be the first device that will receive it. According to the latest reports, the new dock connector will only possess 8 pins instead of the 30 pins that are found in the current dock connector, and will feature a much smaller interface. While it has been established with relative certainty (relative certainty in as much as any Apple rumor), very little is actually known about the new dock interface, which is pretty interesting how much is riding on the new interface.
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