Posts Tagged apple

Magic Trackpad on a non-Apple computer

I’m sitting at an AMD Fusion-powered nettop, writing this post. The computer sips power, yet is still respectable enough to drive light workstation tasks on my 24-inch, 1080p monitor. I’m confident enough about this rig’s performance that I’ll be ordering another LCD soon…but I digress. The topic of this post revolves around the fact that, in addition to a trusty lowish-end Logitech mouse, I’m using Apple’s much-hyped Magic Trackpad as a fully functional pointing device for a computer that’s never seen an Apple logo. Read the rest of this entry »

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If the iPad can do this stuff, I’ll buy it

So the 3G version of the iPad (announced Wednesday) is still three months away, but I already have some expectations that, if met, would cause me to fork over $630 for the sucker…these expectations are realistic technology-wise, though I’m pretty sure they would require a jailbreak to get working…

1. SIP VoIP, over 3G and WiFi, with Bluetooth and in the background
I’ve successfully run phone calls over AT&T’s HSPA network, so assuming the processor on the iPad is “all that” this shouldn’t be difficult. If I can get a SIP client that connects to a Bluetooth headset and allows other applications “up front” without killing voice quality then I’ve got a very versatile system for nformation gathering while “on the phone.” This is particularly useful when you see my other requests below:

2. Full-fledged RDP, SSH and VNC clients…and either GoToMyPC or LogMeIn if at all possible
The iPad can be an excellent remote access tool; its screen has enough resolution to run any modern OS without having to scroll around. Add in the keyboard accessory and you’ve got a lovely little remote terminal that works anywhere AT&T has service (I’m talking about the 3G version here). Or any other non-AWS GSM or 3G carrier for that matter; the device is unlocked. SSH would be a godsend for doing command line heavy lifting, though you’d need a host to SSH to in this case (not a big deal for me). Even nicer, all of the above will likely be available for the iPad as App Store apps; no jailbreaking required.

3. A high-quality PDF viewer
I want a PDF viewer that can search and copy text, preferably at least as good as Preview. Yes, Preview can be outdone with PDFs…it’s not the most compatible piece of PDF reader in the world unfortunately. Read the rest of this entry »

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Re: The Case Against Apple

So Jason Calacanis wrote a newsletter/blog post yesterday about how Apple is becoming big, bad, evil, etc. He had some questions at the end. I emailed him my thoughts, but they probably won’t get published that way. So here they are, in reworked form.

Preliminary Notes

Verizon doesn’t use SIM cards. Neither does Sprint. While I think it’d be awesome to see a dual-radio network-agnostic iPhone (like the Blackberry Storm and some new HTC units) I don’t foresee that happening. As for a dual CDMA radio setup that would “bond” two networks together for fast downloads, not gonna happen. The engineering and billing logistics just don’t work out. The best that’ll realistically happen is either an LTE iPhone (I doubt it’ll come out for WiMAX unfortunately) or *possibly* an iPhone “world phone” with CDMA and GSM/HSPA a la the Blackberry Storm if Verizon gets the new exclusive.

Now that that’s off my, and Mike Rundle’s, chest…

Q: Do you think Apple would be more, or less, successful if they adopted a more open strategy (i.e. allowing other MP3 players in iTunes)?

A: At worst, they’d be just as successful. They might be forced to compete a little more on features, especially on the Mac side (where there’s no Windows Media Player and thus no simple way to sync music with a non-iTunes-supported player). However the influx of people using third-party devices on iTunes would make up for any people who might pick a $30 other-brand MP3 player over Apple’s own. Not like those people would buy an iPod in the first place…

Read the rest of this entry »

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Apple Schmapple, Black Friday Edition

I decided not to go to bed just yet…

…because of this and this.

First, if Apple is going to lift a commercial from the US that states something quantifiable (twice as fast [as the original iPhone]) on their iPhone 3G commercial, which is focused on speed, they had better quantify it better than “really fast”, especially when the only quantifiable thing in the ad is the (simulared) screenhot video of the phone…going much faster than it would in real life.

For all the fanboys out there, I know that, in theory, the phone could pull down a PDF file as fast as it did on the commercial over HSDPA. In reality, however, such speed would never happen on a consumer network. Surpise: Apple is selling the iPhones to consumers on a consumer 3G network, and the ad cites the iPhone’s 3G speeds. I’ll hand it to you, WiFi may be able to download at the speeds shown for Google Maps and the attachment download, but definitely not HSDPA. The reason? HSDPA (the iPhone doesn’t have HSUPA to my knowledge) has latencies in excess of 300 ms on average, so tack that on to anything you want to download. Think of it as halfway between low-end DSL and a high-quality satellite connection. Or what you get on your normal, non-super-3G cell phone.

Honestly, WiFi on the iphone isn’t much better than the practical limits of 3G. Assuming that you have a big enough pipe coming into your WiFi network, the iPhone tests out at only about 4.5 megabits per second…and this test was made via a special speedtest app on my Comcast connection, which bursts above 20 Mbps, sometimes above 30 Mbps. Certainly above 4.5 Mbps.

Random: is it just me, or did anyone else see an earlier version of this “twice as fast” commercial where the disembodied hand was downloading a QuickTime movie? It may have just been me, but if that ad was aired, let loose all the dogs of Truth In Advertising…there’s no way a phone could download a file that fast with current technology, even over WiFi.

Back to the 3G: web browsing involves rendering of the page. The only way for the iPhone to load and render like was seen on the ad? Cacheing. Possible, but not a showcase of the phone’s 3G abiity. Strike…three?

Enough with that rant…

My second point of contention: Google had to break Apple’s software development rules in order to create what’s arguably one of the most compelling apps available on the iphone right now. When you hear a hacker whining about this it’s one thing; when Google speaks, it’s quite anotherr. Hopefully Apple doesn’t go ballistic and shoo Google’s Mobile App out of the iTunes store for their infraction, but on the other hand Google did step outside Apple’s rather obsessive little box for developers (no background processes, no turn-by-turn directions, do crossing the yellow tape), and the company tends to be rather draconian when it comes to punishment for such things. But in all seriousness this would only hurt Apple’s cause, so they probably won’t do it; Google has its own mobile platform now, and the more Apple takes, the more Google will pay attention to Android.

Lastly, a potshot at Apple smugness: their Black Friday deals were unappealing. The smattering of discounts on hardware basically said “Yeah, it’s a sale day, whaddya gonna do about it?”, nothing more. Apple fanboys were doubtless pleased, but the discounts were in most cases less than what educational buyers get 24x7x365. Keep in mind that we’re talking about the biggest shopping, biggest discount, day of the year, where 42″ HDTVs are sold for well under $800, and retailers both online and on the ground slash prices by a few dozen percent to get stocks moving. But, if I may say so, typical Apple…I’m sure their products sold well enough anyway…

That is all. Good night and good luck.

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