So the iPad mini rumour storm is picking up pace. Blurry photos of components and prototypes turning up thick and fast.
I’m of two minds about the 7″ form factor. Agreed that its a better size to carry around. I’m just not sure its one thats convenient to use for extensive periods.
Given the choices, perhaps Apple should have gone the alternative route. One that was taken with the iPhone when faced with producing a budget version. That was to use the older model as the entry level. It incurs no development costs, keeps the product lines consistent and has a readymade accessories market.
So would it be better to keep the iPad 2 in production? They’d already done some design work in reducing the components within. Most importantly it doesn’t add another specification to cater for.
In some ways the iPad 2 is superior to the new iPad. Its significantly quicker to charge and lighter to carry.
What everyone forgot to include. Text book case of misleading ?
“When I’m introspective about the last few years I think the biggest mistake that we made, as a company, is betting too much on HTML5 as opposed to native… because it just wasn’t there. And it’s not that HTML5 is bad. I’m actually, on long-term, really excited about it. One of the things that’s interesting is we actually have more people on a daily basis using mobile Web Facebook than we have using our iOS or Android apps combined. So mobile Web is a big thing for us.”
Cribbed from Tobie Langel. He should know, he’s Facebook’s W3C representative.
There is a big place for web technologies still in the mobile world. We’re sliding from the system agnostic web back to specific platforms again. To my mind there’ll be a shakeout as mobile will reach saturation at some point. Things will become so fragmented that trying to deliver a useful application / service will need a strong cost / benefit analysis.
This is happening now in the Android arena. The mad proliferation of devices of different specifications makes delivering an app a challenge. Thats not even considering the wide variation in versions of Android not to mention the customisations.
Apple have now moved the iPhone to a 4″ screen. Rumours are thick on the ground of a 7″ iPad to go with the existing 10″. The use cases are becoming muddled. Everything is beginning to overlap such that clear decisions need to be made. Not just as a user but also as a developer.
The one platform / technology that can and does cater for all these is the mobile web. So I don’t discount it. After all, Steve Jobs first proposed that that was how to deliver apps to the iPhone originally. Its something that was forgotten conveniently in propping up certain arguments.
Artemis! Crew a starship and prove that Starfleet training is necessary.
Dave Winer covers off some more about Twitter in a post. That they’ve reached the point where the average twitterer, like the google user, is now a commodity.
Its become clear that Twitter’s customers are now any buyer interested in aggregated client information. Much like Google’s customers are advertisers.
He goes on to propose a modified form of RSS reader that collects news into a twitter like stream. The technology is especially simple and easy. That is if a simple broadcast system is the goal.
The issues I see are in capturing users and maintaining conversations. Its not immediately obvious that blogging software is now the front end to an RSS river.
There is no specific service that can be pointed at as the medium in the way Twitter is. Twitter has just enough form as a service for people to grasp. Dave, himself, pointed out its centralised nature is its greatest advantage.
The other issue is in having cogent conversations and the tone of those conversations. RSS in itself doesn’t encompass conversations. Acting chiefly as a broadcaster. Twitter in itself doesn’t particularly do this well either though.
As to the tone, tweets tend to have an informal tone. Partly due to the 140 character limit. Websites, on the other hand, are more long form and therefore “formal”. Take for example any author’s website, which tends to be more serious in tone. Whereas their tweets may be more relaxed and engaged.
Its totally possible to create separate RSS feeds to represent different conversations. But is it significantly simple to be widely adopted ? Can an RSS River reader differentiate the tone ? Should they ?
The internet needs messaging and conversation thats more aligned with its users. Theres a lot more about RSS Rivers and other alternatives to come. Google+ is one of them.
The issue I have with it is the crude way that its being introduced. Rather then earning users’ patronage its being forced into every aspect of Google. Painfully so to my mind. Google have terrific services. That they are generally free is a huge boon but the buy in to that grows more difficult by the day.
I’m interested to see if the conversation and dabbling materialises something concrete and influential with social media.
Once again, the whole centralised nature of Twitter is coming into question. Thanks to the change in the developer terms of service looking to effectively close off key features to competitors. Ramifications of which came to a head with the cutting off of Instagram and Tumblr.
The previous round was more philosophical, that data silos were surrendering ownership to third parties. Twitter looked on bemused.
So there was the rise of federated Twitter clones briefly. Leo Laporte championed identi.ca for a time. Now the interwebs are a buzz with new takes like tent.io and app.net.
Dan Wineman has summarised it well. I leapt to the same conclusion looking at the federated Twitter diagram, people have just re-invented usenet.
Usenet developed around the decentralised, low bandwidth internet that existed back in the 70s. Enabling water cooler talk back in the day. Then hacked into a file transfer medium thanks to uuencoding.
Perhaps we just need an app for that? Thats usenet, son. Look at me when I’m talking to you.
Since OS X, I’d returned to the Apple fold. It’s UNIX with a good useable UI. It has its quirks but for the most part it gets out of the way.
The killer attraction is the hardware. Apple have iterated through a number of key use areas. The Macbook Air being as close as perfect to my needs of a laptop.
Lately however there have been a lot of missteps. OS X, itself, has grown crufty. I’ve yet to move to Mountain Lion. Lion’s iOS attributes seem half thought out. The UI being dragged in a different direction in much the same way that Windows has done. The core of OS X has remained the same so its never been a major issue.
Apple seems to be finding its way since Steve Job’s departure. Its the little things that point to the whole. Apple stepping back from and then returning to EPEAT. The complex process of obtaining the free upgrade to Mountain Lion for a new machine. The apparently odd new Mac ads.
I’m sure that Apple is in good hands. It’ll take some time for things to shake out. However an essential element seems to be missing. That attention to detail. Only time will tell.
Sparrow is a great OS X e-mail client. Light and fast. Presenting e-mails in much the way tweets are. One of the first to adopt grouping of e-mails into conversations.
It let me deal with e-mail quickly and got out of the way after that.
It made great headway and garnered much mindshare. Definitely a pleasure to use.
I greet the acquisition news by Google with some trepidation. According to the Verge, there will be no new features added. Even though the team will continue to maintain and support it.
As a client, Sparrow is pretty much complete. What could be added that would add a significant improvement ? Theres nothing worse then feature creep for the sake of it.
I just hope that it doesn’t fall by the wayside. It’d be a shame to loose that customer base.
Best of luck to the Sparrow team. Thank you for an amazing piece of software.
Addendum – Just discovered a couple of applications have been bought up by Facebook and Google this last week. If its truly a talent acquisition, then what harm could come of selling to someone who’d continue it or open sourcing.
Note the emphasis. It happens even at Pixar.
Catching the taxi in to Hong Kong I saw this.
At night this looks like its about to take off. Its the new Ritz Carlton on the Kowloon side. It commands that harbor side with its support buildings. Its scale in a city where tall buildings are the norm, just beggars the imagination.
Even during the day, as we headed back to the airport it towered into the periphery of vision.
The cos play scene should probably just go home about now. It doesn’t get much more ultimate then this.
Or in some cases, they are.
Wandered Hong Kong for a good long day. Spent the afternoon in Causeway Bay then shot over to Mong Kok for the evening. Returned home with tired feet and sacked out almost immediately.
HTC were doing a huge push for the One. There were multiple versions including a Beats edition (yes I know the irony of there being multiple). A sales girl ran me through its combined video and stills function. That its able to shoot continuously at high rate. Its a nice handset and can be had in the jumbotron size.
Handset size seems to be a non issue. Ever since landing, I could see people using almost tablet sized phones with no issues. Walking the streets whilst reading or even watching video. In Hong Kong that could be potentially life threatening. But then I’ve seen tourists across London and Paris using iPads as cameras.
The iPhone is still well represented even though its dwarfed. Just interesting to see the breakdown in reality wandering through each of these cities. Hong Kong’s appetite for something new pretty much overrides everything else.
Personally a phone is a phone. I don’t need to trick it out so the iPhone suits me.
Grabbed a bite to eat and some shuteye. Glanced out the window at the cold grey day here in Hong Kong. Glad to have a break after the fifteen plus hours flight across the continent. Some eight hours of time zone from Greenwich mean time.
Finally a chance to decompress. Or is it compress? Going from full apartments to a Hong Kong hotel room takes some squeezing.
The taxi ride from the airport worked out cheaper then a limo or the airport express for the family. Even if the driver had to bungie cord the Toyota Crown boot lid shut after putting all the luggage in. Have to say the London cabs have a tardis like ability to swallow a family of five and all its luggage with no problem.
Looking down at the teeming city and trying to get my head around the places visited. The HK skyline has gotten taller somehow. Another tower to rival the IFC tower has sprung up, what looks like further down the island. This one is surrounded by support buildings and looks even more like a starship ready for take off.
At ground level its still the same old place. Like a favourite jacket or a bowl of thousand year old egg and shredded pork congee I had. Hearing cantonese talk radio in the taxi, frantic 7-11s and billboards as high as most buildings at home.
I miss the gentility of Paris. Sure its just as bustling. The modern day part of town lives on the outskirts. Lurking just out of sight as you look past the Arc de Triomphe. There just seemed room to breathe. Being invited to explore. But I think thats just me wanting to discover more.
London is a grand city. Sprawling willy nilly. Grown from its vast history reaching back to the roots of western civilisation. Grimy and hard. Its history competing at street level. St Pauls is surrounded by modern office plazas. Bus stop and tube right on its grand footsteps. The Gherkin as eye drawing as Big Ben.
Theres still a lot to see in England. Six days isn’t nearly enough. Barely scratched the surface.
Hong Kong is all modern city. Dog eat dog. Chrome and steel building on itself ever upward. Its people on the hunt for whats new, fashion labels piled on one after the other.
Wonder whats new out there. Time to hit the street.
After a delayed landing at Hong Kong through a major rain storm. Caught up in a holding pattern for an hour, we made it.
Looks like the London weather followed us.