Samsung Angers Judge by Sending Rejected Evidence From Apple Trial to the Media ★
The Apple vs. Samsung trial was always destined to be a circus,
but Samsung’s already causing trouble on the first day of
testimony: Judge Lucy Koh is furious that the company sent the
press rejected evidence after the court overruled repeated
attempts to introduce it at trial.
Anyone else get the feeling Samsung thinks they’re going to lose this? From Samsung’s accompanying statement:
The excluded evidence would have established beyond doubt that
Samsung did not copy the iPhone design. Fundamental fairness
requires that the jury decide the case based on all the evidence.
Are they insinuating they want the jury to see this? That last sentence sounds like something that could come back to haunt them.
The WebKit Inspector ★
Terrific guide to the WebKit Inspector by Majd Taby. (But note that it’s three months old, and thus doesn’t cover the
even-better brand-new but much-maligned Inspector in Safari 6.)
New Command-Line Utilities in Mountain Lion ★
“caffeinate” is a fun name.
Google Delays Nexus Q Launch ★
When we announced Nexus Q at Google I/O, we gave away devices to
attendees for an early preview. The industrial design and hardware
were met with great enthusiasm. We also heard initial feedback
from users that they want Nexus Q to do even more than it does
today. In response, we have decided to postpone the consumer
launch of Nexus Q while we work on making it even better.
The Stupid, Lame, and Lazy Mountain Lion Headlines ★
At this point, you stand out more by not writing obvious pun headlines.
Sam Biddle on Sony’s SmartWatch ★
No. Absolutely not. No one should own this, no matter their
lifestyle preferences or moral views. I promise you — you won’t
like it. The Sony SmartWatch is pathetic, frustrating, and
empty. There’s no way to justify spending $150 on this — this
ripoff of a thing. It’s easily gulped down at first under the
guise of luxe gadgetry, but spending any more than a few minutes
swiping with despair reveals just how much of a bad practical
joke this thing is.
Always fun to read a review that doesn’t mince words.
Andrew Sorkin’s Suggestions for an Apple Shopping List ★
Dealbook’s Andrew Ross Sorkin made a list of potential big acquisitions on which Apple could spend its $117 billion (and growing ever more rapidly) cash hoard:
The only ones on that list that make sense to me are Nuance (under Apple’s oft-cited rule that the company seeks to “own and control the primary technology” in everything they do — speech recognition is now one of Apple’s primary technologies) and maybe Square.
Acquiring Sprint makes no sense, unless you think of the iPhone and iPad as U.S.-only products, which also makes no sense. I could see Apple buying RIM for its patent portfolio after RIM goes bankrupt, but that’s more likely to happen through a consortium, like the Nortel deal.
It’s hard to spend $117 billion wisely.
Inge Druckrey: Teaching to See ★
Captivating, beautiful 37-minute documentary on the teaching of Inge Druckrey.
Hulu Plus Arrives on Apple TV ★
Moltz on the Genius Ads ★
It’s still a switcher-based game for Apple. In order to increase Mac sales, they have to get people to switch from Windows. Ads like these (if not necessarily these exact ads) are integral to the game plan.
Shira Ovide and Jessica E. Vascellaro, reporting for the WSJ:
Apple Inc. held discussions with Twitter Inc. more than a year ago about taking a strategic investment in the short-messaging service, according to a person familiar with the talks. People familiar with the matter said there are no current formal investment or acquisition discussions between the companies.
News of the investment talks was first reported by the New York Times.
Translation: “The New York Times blew it.”
Stephen Coles on the silly default font in Mountain Lion’s new Notes app.
New ‘Genius’ TV Ads From Apple ★
Reaction on Twitter seems overwhelmingly negative, but I’m not so sure. These spots don’t appeal to me, personally. They’re not cool. But they’re not supposed to be cool, and they’re not targeted at existing Mac users. This is about assuaging the doubts of would-be switchers. If you switch to Mac, we’ll help you. That’s the message.
Update: Not explicitly but implicitly, these are the first TV spots Apple has run for their retail stores, not for products. Daniel Jalkut:
Apple’s store experience is a great competitive advantage, but without ads like these, only existing customers know it.
Evelyn M. Rusli and Nick Bilton, reporting for the NYT:
Apple, which has stumbled in its efforts to get into social media, has talked with Twitter in recent months about making a strategic investment in it, according to people briefed on the matter. […]
Apple has considered an investment in the hundreds of millions of dollars, one that could value Twitter at more than $10 billion, up from an $8.4 billion valuation last year, these people said. They declined to be named because the discussions were private.
So who leaked this — Twitter or Apple? I have my guess.
JIRA Mobile Connect ★
My thanks to Atlassian for sponsoring this week’s DF RSS feed to promote JIRA Mobile Connect, their free open source library for mobile app developers for collecting feedback and communicating with users. JIRA Mobile Connect makes getting feedback from users in iOS apps as easy as texting.
You, the developer, get in-app messaging and automated crash reporting. Users can send feedback, attach audio notes or annotated screenshots, and view your responses within your app. It’s direct engagement with your users.
Check out the short video on their website to learn more and see how it works. Download the free JIRA Mobile Connect SDK today.
Correction on Amazon’s Quarterly Profit ★
Speaking of quarterly profits, my earlier piece on Amazon’s Q3 profit was wrong; I was bamboozled by Tim Carmody’s reporting of their operating profit ($107 million), as opposed to net profit, which was just $7 million.
Not to worry, though. That still compares well to Apple’s $4 million in (per hour) profit for the same quarter.
Samsung Reports Record Quarterly Profit: $4.6 Billion ★
Shameless but smart.
Update: The $5.9 billion figure I originally mentioned is also operating profit, not net profit. Samsung’s net profit was a still-juicy $4.6 billion.
Google Admits It Did Not Delete Street View Data ★
Google Inc said on Friday it had not kept its promise to delete all the personal data, such as emails, its Street View cars collected in Britain and other countries in 2010.
Apple to Buy Fingerprint Sensor Maker AuthenTec for $356 Million ★
There goes three-and-half days of Apple’s profit.
Amazon Q3 Results ★
Tim Carmody, The Verge:
On Thursday, Amazon reported an operating profit of $107 million
on $12.83 billion in net sales. Last quarter, the company bagged
$192 million on sales of $13.18 billion; a year ago (also a useful
comparison, since retail sales are seasonal), it earned $201
million on sales of $9.91 billion. So even though it sold slightly
less in the quarter, year-over-year, Amazon continues to grow like
gangbusters: 29%, according to the official release.
$107 million in profit for the quarter. That compares well to Apple’s $97 million in profit (per day) for the same quarter.
Update: $107 million was Amazon’s operating profit, not their net profit. See this correction for an accurate comparison to Apple.
Apple’s Reality-Check Quarter in Charts ★
But the big-picture story is that this is a slower period ahead of
the expected new iPhone and potential new iPad this fall (and
maybe someday, a television). Apple’s 23% year-over-year revenue
growth was its slowest since 12% growth in the June 2009 quarter,
and was almost down at Google’s 21% level!
It’s a testimony to just how remarkable Apple’s last few years have been that 23 percent year-over-year growth looks so bad on a chart.
Apple TV Outsells Xbox 360 in Latest Quarter, Still a ‘Hobby’ ★
Apple sold 1.3 million Apple TV devices during the June quarter,
an increase of 170 percent over the same quarter a year ago.
That still qualifies as a “hobby,” according to Apple CEO Tim
Cook, who disclosed the number in response to an analyst’s
question on the company’s earnings conference call. But here’s
an interesting data point: Microsoft sold 1.1 million Xbox 360s
worldwide during the same time period.
To the Xbox 360’s credit, it’s nearing the end of its life. But the bottom line is that the battle for the living room is just beginning.
Turning Off Ads in Parallels ★
You can’t. Can we get Bertrand to do something about this?
Update: Apparently you can turn them off with this
Apple’s Actual Q3 Numbers ★
iOS 6 is a lock. A new iPhone is almost for sure coming as well.
New iPod touches and maybe a new iPod nano are likely as well.
There may be a new iMac and/or maybe another Retina MacBook. And
then there’s that iPad mini…
For whatever reason, it appears that Apple is putting all its
chips into the holiday season. You might think that’s because
it’s when sales are the strongest anyway. But it may simply be
because that’s when the products will be done.
Apple Q3 Results ★
Philip Michaels, reporting for Macworld:
Apple’s sales hit $35 billion for the third quarter of 2012, up 22 percent from $28.6 billion last year while profits rose 20.5 to $8.8 billion from $7.3 billion. Earnings for the quarter were $9.32 a share, up 20 percent from last year. Reported earnings topped Apple’s forecast, but fell short of Wall Street expectations of $10.35 per share on projected revenue of $37 billion.
Apple sold 17 million iPads during the quarter, the most the company has ever sold during a quarter. The company tallied June quarter records for both Mac and iPhone sales — the latter figure coming even as customers have held off on purchasing a new iPhone in anticipation of a new model coming out later this year.
Making the Case for a Smaller iPad ★
Though I’ve long thought a mid-size tablet could be an appealing product, most people haven’t seemed to find the idea very convincing. I suspect some might start to question their opinions, however, as the best argument in favor of a smaller iPad has just been made. By Google.
It’s called the Nexus 7.
Semicolons; So Tricky ★
So the semicolon is exactly what it looks like: a subtle hybrid of colon and comma.
How David Foster Wallace Prompted a Scalia Book ★
Among the legacies of David Foster Wallace, the pioneering
postmodernist who produced influential essays, short stories and
the novel “Infinite Jest” before his 2008 suicide, count this:
Antonin Scalia, author. Or, at least, co-author of “Reading
Law,” which the justice discusses today with The Wall Street
“He was a very personable fellow,” Justice Scalia says of Mr.
Wallace in an interview. “As co-Snoots, we got along very
well,” he adds, using a term Mr. Wallace popularized for those
whose taste in diction runs to the persnickety. According to a
2001 Wallace essay, it could stand for “Syntax Nudniks of Our
Earliest Known Photos of an Apple iPad Prototype ★
Interesting find by Yoni Heisler at iOnApple: photos of a decade-old Apple tablet prototype, revealed during the course of Jony Ive’s deposition in the Apple-Samsung case. Matt Buchanan found better color photos at Buzzfeed.
Apple Plans Presentation at Black Hat ★
Jordan Robertson, writing for Bloomberg’s Tech Blog:
While many major technology vendors have overcome their reluctance
to making a public showing at the conference, Apple, now the
world’s most valuable company, has had no problem snubbing a
community whose aim is to unearth its vulnerabilities.
That will change Thursday when Dallas De Atley, manager of
Apple’s platform security team, is scheduled to give a
presentation on key security technologies within iOS, the
operating system for iPhones and iPads. Trey Ford, Black Hat’s
general manager, said it will be the first time an Apple
representative has taken the stage at Black Hat or its sibling
Good move on Apple’s part.
Martin Scorsese and Siri ★
Apple’s sticking with the celebrity thing.
Update: Great detail caught by Joel Housman.
Goodbye to Ichiro, the Man They Called Something ★
Nice piece by Mariners fan Jeff Sullivan:
Personally, I’m pleased that, if Ichiro had to go, he wound up on
the Yankees. The Yankees have as good a shot at the World Series
as anybody, and Ichiro’s never played in anything even close to
that environment, on and off the field. I hope he gets his ring.
He deserves a ring, if more for his career than for his season,
and while the Yankees are by no means the most rootable bandwagon
in the league, there’s no other playoff contender that boasts an
Ichiro. I think it’s neat that the Orioles, the Pirates, and the
A’s are in playoff contention. It’s fun to root for underdogs. I
don’t feel as strongly about rooting for underdogs as I feel about
rooting for Ichiro. I always need a reason to root for somebody,
and there’s no reason better than this one.
Canon EOS M ★
Canon’s first mirror-less interchangeable lens camera. Stu Maschwitz is ordering one.
Benjamin Mayo analyzed a million random tweets to figure out how many were sent by third-party clients.
Online Ammunition Sales ★
Jack Healy, reporting for the NYT:
With a few keystrokes, the suspect, James E. Holmes, ordered 3,000 rounds of handgun ammunition, 3,000 rounds for an assault rifle and 350 shells for a 12-gauge shotgun — an amount of firepower that costs roughly $3,000 at the online sites — in the four months before the shooting, according to the police. It was pretty much as easy as ordering a book from Amazon.
‘Dead Trigger’ Game Now Free on Android Due to ‘Unbelievably High’ Piracy Rate ★
Aaron Souppouris, writing for The Verge:
Dead Trigger, a zombie FPS for smartphones from the makers of
Shadowgun, is now free to download on Android thanks to rampant
piracy on the platform. In a statement on Facebook, developer
Madfinger Games says that even at $0.99, the piracy rate on
Android devices was “unbelievably high.”
The iOS version costs just one buck — let’s make this a good day for Madfinger and buy it.
Update, 2 August 2012: It’s now free on iOS, too.
Reuters: Apple to Shrink Dock Connector for Next iPhone ★
Clare Jim and Lee Chyen Yee, reporting for Reuters, “What’s Up Dock? Apple to Shrink Connector for iPhone 5”:
Apple Inc’s new iPhone will drop the wide dock connector used in
the company’s gadgets for the best part of a decade in favor of a
smaller one, a change likely to annoy the Apple faithful but which
could be a boon for accessory makers.
Regarding the headline: awful pun, and it’s a mistake to call the next iPhone the “iPhone 5”. We learned that last year.
Regarding the article: Apple is already abandoning its own only-a-decade-old proprietary adaptor for something better and smaller; PC notebooks still ship with huge 25-year-old VGA ports. Every time I bring this up, the VGA defenders argue that of course notebooks need to ship with VGA ports, added thickness be damned, because the world is full of VGA-only projectors. But the world is also full of Apple 30-pin dock connector cables and accessories. This is how progress is made.
Update: And “Apple faithful”? Really? What other company has its customers described as “faithful”? Seriously.
Justice Department Slams Apple, Refuses to Modify E-Book Settlement ★
Jeff John Roberts, writing for PaidContent:
The Justice Department released a document today that
characterized criticism by Apple and publishers of a controversial
price-fixing settlement as “self-serving” and ill-founded. The
Department also pointed to recent ventures by Google and Microsoft
as evidence that the e-book market is thriving and that Amazon’s
dominant position has been overstated.
I’ll bet Amazon sells more e-books in a day than Microsoft and Google combined do in a month. Not that sales numbers alone disprove the DOJ’s argument, but let’s not kid ourselves that Microsoft or Google have yet made a dent in the e-book market.
Google Debuts Its First Nexus 7 Commercial ★
Nicely done, and cleverly works around the fact that the Nexus 7 only networks with Wi-Fi. I wonder, though, how many people will be left with the wrong impression — that the Nexus 7 does support cellular networking?
iOS 6 Fonts ★
Michael Critz has updated his list of fonts to include those added in the (still in beta) iOS 6. Notable additions: Avenir and Symbol. (Avenir is the typeface used throughout the new Maps app. And it’s worth noting that Palm used (uses?) a custom version of Avenir as the system font in WebOS.)
Why Does the IT Industry Continue to Listen to Gartner? ★
Gartner is getting more than its fair share of attention today for
a controversial series of blog posts on Windows 8 from research
director Gunnar Berger, who argues that the Windows 8 experience
will be “bad” on a non-touch-enabled device.
I have one question. Why does anyone pay attention to Gartner,
which has been trolling IT professionals for as long as I’ve
been in the industry?
Just for grins, I went back and looked up some of Gartner’s more
spectacularly confident and wrong-headed predictions. Here are
some of their greatest hits. Er, I mean misses.
Best claim chowder you’re going to taste all day. One of the gems Bott cites is this one from 2006: “Apple Should License the Mac to Dell”, which called for Apple to abandon the hardware business (and which earned them Jackass of the Week honors). Clearly, they smoke the good stuff at Gartner.
Profit vs. Revenue, Google Department ★
Jolie O’Dell, writing for VentureBeat:
Google has just released the details of its second-quarter
earnings: $12.21 billion in total consolidated revenue, around
$1.25 billion of which came from Motorola Mobility, now officially
owned by Google.
Sounds great, until you realize that despite the $1.25 billion in revenue, Motorola lost $233 million overall for the quarter — almost as much as they lost in all of fiscal 2011 combined. O’Dell doesn’t mention that in her article.
Microsoft Reports First Ever Quarterly Loss ★
Their board should have fired Ballmer two years ago, if not earlier.
iPhone in the USA ★
Pretty hard to look at this chart and argue that the iPhone is doing second-best to Android in the USA…
I’m sure someone will try.
Microsoft Hires Pollster Mark Penn to Lead Consumer Initiatives ★
Lisa Rapaport, reporting for Bloomberg:
Microsoft Corp. has hired Mark Penn as corporate vice president for strategic and special projects, reporting to Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer as the company readies new offerings for the tablet-computer market.
Penn, 58, was the worldwide CEO of the public relations firm Burson-Marsteller and CEO of the polling firm Penn Schoen Berland LLC, Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft said in a statement today. Penn will focus on key consumer initiatives, Microsoft said.
A pollster. I think this bodes terribly for Microsoft. Polling works for electoral politics because everything is short-term. Elections really only heat up a few months in advance. (Penn was highly influential in the Clinton administration.)
“You can’t just ask customers what they want and then try to give that
to them. By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new. It
took us three years to build the NeXT computer. If we’d given
customers what they said they wanted, we’d have built a computer
they’d have been happy with a year after we spoke to them — not
something they’d want now.”
The message I take away from this hiring is that Steve Ballmer doesn’t know what to do, and he’s hoping polling will give him the answers. That’s how you wind up skating to where the puck was, not where it’s going to be.
Dear Marissa Mayer ★
And Flickr responds.
Verizon Quarterly Results ★
Nathan Ingraham, writing for the Verge:
Verizon just finished its conference call, and had a few details
to share about iPhone and Android sales, Galaxy S III performance,
and the immediate impact of the “Share Anything” plans. Verizon
sold 2.7 million iPhones, down from the 3.2 million it sold last
quarter — it also sold 2.9 million Android devices, 2.5 million
of which run on Verizon’s LTE network. It’s not terribly
surprising to see the iPhone sales start to slow as we get closer
to the next iPhone launch, and the Galaxy S III should help
Android maintain that advantage next quarter.
Interesting numbers. Verizon is pretty much done selling non-LTE smartphones, except for the iPhone. Those numbers make me think this year’s new iPhone almost has to support LTE.
What Is the Future of the iPhone 3GS? ★
I think it’s safe to say that, even three years later, the
iPhone 3GS still has a draw, especially for ‘free’. And Apple
is still very much looking to tap into the pre-paid phone market.
Here’s a thought: what if Apple were to cut the iPhone 4 from
the lineup, instead of the iPhone 3GS?
The iPhone ‘next’ would be the flagship, the iPhone 4S would
offer Siri and take the place of the 4 in the pricing lineup, and
the 3GS would remain ‘free’ on contract. But, if the prices
were right, Apple could expand the 3GS from a contract device to
an off-contract pre-paid model that might finally give the company
a horse in the developing nations race.
My guess is that if the 3GS stays around, the lineup would work like this: new iPhone at the top of the market, the 4S slides down to $99 on contract, the 4 slides down to free with a contract, and the 3GS is sold around the world as a low cost (by iPhone standards at least) pre-paid device. So AT&T wouldn’t even carry the 3GS anymore, they’d just have the 4 as their “free” iPhone, where the word free gets wrapped in dick quotes because it’s only free with an expensive two-year contract.
The big thing to remember about the iPhone 4 is that it’s the first CDMA iPhone. No way it’s going to disappear from the lineup, because now Apple could offer a “free” iPhone on Verizon and Sprint, too.
Microsoft: Using the New Office With Touch ★
Speaking of Microsoft, Gray Knowlton from the Office team has a long piece on the touch-focused aspects of the new Office 2013:
In this post I’ll walk you through the thinking, engineering
process and design framework we used to reimagine these
experiences for touch.
They’ve obviously put a ton of thought into this. The question is, do you need to read a 4,000-word explainer to understand how it works? From a user’s perspective, the design process is meaningless, especially for touch interfaces. You see it, you touch it — that’s it. And if that doesn’t work, it’s a failed design.
Charles Schumer: Memo to DOJ — Drop the Apple E-Books Suit ★
Speaking of ill-considered government regulators, New York Senator Chuck Schumer wants the DOJ to drop its price-fixing suit against Apple:
The suit will restore Amazon to the dominant position atop the
e-books market it occupied for years before competition arrived in
the form of Apple. If that happens, consumers will be forced to
accept whatever prices Amazon sets. […]
The Justice Department lawsuit is also unsettling from a broader
perspective. As our economy transitions to digital platforms, we
should be celebrating and supporting industries that find ways to
adapt and grow. By developing a pricing model that made e-book
sales work for them, publishers did just that.
EU Regulators Investigating Microsoft’s Windows 8 ★
EU antitrust regulators are investigating whether Microsoft blocks
computer makers from installing rival web browsers on its upcoming
Windows 8 operating system following complaints from several
He said the investigation will also focus on charges that
Microsoft allows only its own Internet Explorer browser to be
installed on devices running Windows 8 on Windows RT tablets with
British chipmaker ARM’s chips.
So Apple can do it with iOS but Microsoft can’t with Windows RT, despite the fact that the iPad and iPhone are selling tens of millions of units per quarter and there is yet to ship a single Windows RT device?
The market does not need Microsoft hindered in this way.
Bertrand Serlet Joins Parallels Board of Directors ★
I wonder if/how this is related to Upthere, his secretive startup.
Speaking of the Apple-Samsung Patent Pissing Match ★
Apple Inc. was ordered by a judge to publish a notice on its U.K.
website and in British newspapers alerting people to a ruling that
Samsung Electronics Co. didn’t copy designs for the iPad.
The notice should outline the July 9 London court decision that
Samsung’s Galaxy tablets don’t infringe Apple’s registered
designs, Judge Colin Birss said today. It should be posted on
Apple’s U.K. home page for six months and published in several
newspapers and magazines to correct any impression the South
Korea-based company was copying Apple’s product, Birss said.
I can’t figure out how Apple will play this one. They have to comply with the law, but, I just can’t see Apple paying for ads that even mention Samsung, let alone doing so in a way that absolves them of copying the iPad.
Import Ban on Motorola’s Android Products Takes Effect ★
Jon Brodkin, reporting for Ars Technica:
An import ban on Motorola Android devices ordered by the US International Trade Commission is scheduled to take effect tomorrow. Motorola Mobility says it has a plan to make sure its Android phones and tablets remain available to US consumers—but the company isn’t revealing just what that plan is.
The ITC ordered the import ban two months ago, after ruling that 18 Motorola Mobility products infringe a Microsoft patent.
You don’t hear nearly as much about this Microsoft-Motorola patent pissing match as you do Apple-Samsung, probably for the obvious reason that Microsoft and Motorola are both mobile also-rans.
11 Things You Might Not Have Noticed in ‘The Shining’ ★
Speaking of the masterpiece, some good stuff about it here.
Extended Cut of ‘The Shining’ to Get Theatrical Release This Halloween? ★
If this is true, I’ll be first in line. But I find it hard to believe Kubrick’s estate would allow even a frame of film to be altered, let alone restore 24 minutes of footage.
Update: Ah, I get it now. It’s “extended” from the perspective of Europeans, who for some reason saw a version of the film that was 24 minutes shorter than in the U.S.
We Met on the Internet ★
Thoughtful piece by Andre Torrez.
WSJ: ‘Apple’s Next iPhone Has Thinner Screen, Better Display Quality’ ★
Juro Osawa and Lorraine Luk, reporting from Hong Kong for the WSJ:
Japanese liquid-crystal-display makers Sharp Corp. and Japan Display Inc. — a new company that combined three Japanese electronics makers’ display units — as well as South Korea’s LG Display Co. are currently mass producing panels for the next iPhone using so-called in-cell technology, the people said.
The technology integrates touch sensors into the LCD, making it unnecessary to have a separate touch-screen layer. The absence of the layer, usually about half-a-millimeter thick, not only makes the whole screen thinner, but improves the quality of displayed images, said DisplaySearch analyst Hiroshi Hayase.
Hard to believe the 4/4S display is going to be antiquated so soon.
Apple Granted Patent for Disappearing Vertical Scroll Indicator ★
Remember Steve Jobs at the iPhone introduction event, emphasizing that they’d patented everything? Here we go.
Microsoft Office 2013 ★
Good overview on the just-announced new version of Microsoft Office by Sean Gallagher at Ars Technica. They’ve also got detailed “first looks” at Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. And this piece by Peter Bright on “the sad state of Office 2013 touch support”.
Can Marissa Mayer Turn Yahoo Around? ★
Good opinion roundup from The Week.
We’ll see how this turns out, but my guess is that she’s going to turn Yahoo into more of a Google rival, not a Google partner. (I don’t think this is anything like Stephen Elop leaving Microsoft for the CEO gig at Nokia, and then turning Nokia into a major Microsoft partner — but we’ll see.)
Yahoo is hopelessly behind in mobile. No way they’re going to have their own mobile phone platform. But why not make them into more of a partner with Apple as a mobile content provider? Apple already uses Yahoo for weather, stocks, and, in Siri on iOS 6 betas, sports. Emphasize that even more.
I’ve long suspected that Mayer preferred the iPhone to Android as a user. She was into Instagram while it was iPhone-only. She’s sent multiple tweets — September 2011, June of this year — using Twitter for iPhone. And her husband just tweeted that he’s switching to the iPhone from BlackBerry.
AT&T to Restrict or Charge for FaceTime Over Cellular in iOS 6? ★
If you’re surprised by this, I have a bridge to sell you.
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Apple’s Brilliant Boondoggle: MacBook Pro Retina Display ★
Antone Gonzalves, writing for ReadWriteWeb:
Only Apple could get away with charging a $400 premium for a
feature that no one needs, few people will notice, doesn’t work
with most apps, and was not on anyone’s wish list until the
company announced it last month.
Apple’s ultra high-resolution Retina display may be a valuable
innovation on the iPhone and iPad - but it’s a solution in search
of a problem on the MacBook Pro. Until Apple unveiled the new
machine at its World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June, no
one thought the resolution on current MacBook Pros was
Is this a prank? I’m being pranked here, aren’t I?
Hövding Invisible Bicycle Helmet ★
Ingenious. Seems too good to be true.
‘Command Versus Splat’ ★
This week’s episode of The Talk Show, featuring special guest star Dan “Rhymes with Homer” Frommer. Topics include the future of Twitter (and third-party Twitter client apps), the purportedly imminent iPad Mini and the tablet market in general, and the state of technology media. (R.I.P. “America’s Favorite Two-Star Podcast” slogan — the show is now rated three-stars.)
Brought to you by two excellent sponsors: The Adventures of Alex: Electricity, a smart, beautiful iPad app; and Boom, a simple system-wide volume booster and equalizer for the Mac.
Hacker Exploits iOS Flaw for Free In-App Purchases ★
A hack that lets iOS users trick the App Store into giving them
in-app purchases for free has gone public, potentially costing app
makers revenue and causing Apple a major headache. […]
Alexey V. Borodin of Russia built the in-app purchase hack, which
requires several steps — including installing bogus certificates
on your device, and using a specially-crafted DNS server. Those
ingredients combine to fool apps into believing that they’re
communicating with the App Store, when they’re actually going to
a Web server that pretends to the App Store instead. Borodin told
Macworld that his exploit works in part by faking — or
“spoofing” — the code receipts that Apple issues for in-app
purchases which developers use for validation, with the iOS
device configured to mistakenly believe that those receipts are
coming directly from Apple.
Dalrymple has a short “we’re on the case” statement from Apple PR. Friedman has a good interview with Borodin, worth reading through to the end. Be sure not to have anything in your mouth when you get to the closing paragraph.
Abuse Scandal Inquiry Damns Paterno and Penn State ★
Ken Belson, reporting for the NYT:
Louis J. Freeh, the former federal judge and director of the
F.B.I. who spent the last seven months examining the Sandusky
scandal at Penn State, issued a damning conclusion Thursday:
“The most senior officials at Penn State had shown a “total and
consistent disregard” for the welfare of children, had worked
together to actively conceal Mr. Sandusky’s assaults, and had done
so for one central reason: fear of bad publicity. That publicity,
Mr. Freeh said Thursday, would have hurt the nationally ranked
football program, Mr. Paterno’s reputation as a coach of high
principles, the Penn State “brand” and the university’s ability to
raise money as one of the most respected public institutions in
It breaks my heart knowing so much of what happened not only could have been prevented, but should have. The NCAA should shut down Penn State’s football program, and the surviving leaders of the university should be charged with crimes.
Why MacBook Airs and the New MacBook Pro With Retina Display Don’t Have Built-In Ethernet Ports ★
The photo atop Engadget’s review of the Lenovo IdeaPad U310 says it all.
How Many Lumia Phones Were Sold in the US? ★
Still speaking of those Nielsen smartphone numbers, Horace Dediu notes that they paint a gloomy picture for Nokia:
If we then use comScore’s figure for total smartphone users (110
million) then the data would suggest that there are 330K Lumias in
use in the US. This would have been accumulated over a sales
period of about four months.
If you look at the data (charted accurately, as it is on Asymco) it paints a damning picture of Windows Phone as a whole, not just for Nokia. Windows Phone 7 has less than half the share of the long-since-abandoned Windows Mobile — 1.3 to 2.9 percent, respectively.
Nielsen’s numbers are for “subscribers”, which I take to mean “smartphones in active use this quarter”, not “new smartphones sold this quarter”. So there are more people still holding on to years-old Windows Mobile phones than there are using new Windows Phone 7 phones.
Apple’s U.S. Smartphone Handset Share ★
Speaking of those Nielsen numbers, Jim Dalrymple notes that Apple’s share (34 percent) is double that of its nearest competitor (Samsung, 17 percent).
Crime Against Accurate Charts and Graphics of the Day ★
Élyse Betters at 9to5Mac flags a horrendously inaccurate chart from Nielsen, purporting to show U.S. smartphone market share broken down both by OS and handset maker. Nielsen shamelessly under-emphasized the areas for Android and iOS and over-emphasized the areas for every other platform.
A Letter From Bob Mansfield ★
Bob Mansfield, Apple’s senior vice president of hardware engineering:
We’ve recently heard from many loyal Apple customers who were
disappointed to learn that we had removed our products from the
EPEAT rating system. I recognize that this was a mistake. Starting
today, all eligible Apple products are back on EPEAT.
That’s how you correct a mistake.
Update: Interesting, though, now that I think about it, that Mansfield — who is set to retire from the company — took responsibility for this in the first-person singular.
Nice bit of Twitter history from Garrett Murray. It’s quite interesting how many Twitter conventions sprang from users, not Twitter itself.
Digg Still Exists? ★
Joseph Walker and Spencer E. Ante, reporting for the WSJ:
Digg Inc., a social-media pioneer once valued at more than $160
million, is selling for the deeply discounted price of about
$500,000, three people familiar with the matter said. […]
Digg confirmed Thursday it sold its brand, website and technology
to Betaworks. The price is a pittance for a company that raised
$45 million from prominent investors including Facebook investor
Greylock Partners, LinkedIn Inc. founder Reid Hoffman,
and venture capitalist Marc Andreessen.
The good news is, that’s like $1000 per active user.
Microsoft: ‘In Our View, Apple Has It Wrong!’ ★
Tom Warren, writing for The Verge:
Microsoft’s chief operating officer, Kevin Turner, took to the
stage at the company’s Worldwide Partner Conference earlier today
to stir up the crowd and discuss Apple’s idea of a post-PC era.
“Apple makes great hardware,” admitted Turner, “the reality is in
the OS we see things differently.” Turner went on to discuss the
company’s upcoming Mountain Lion operating system and some mixed
press reaction to the future of OS X. “We believe that Apple has
it wrong,” says turner. “They’ve talked about it being the post-PC
era, they talk about the tablet and PC being different, the
reality in our world is that we think that’s completely
Turner then went on to describe this new era as a “PC+” period,
one that Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates predicted back in 1999.
“We actually believe Windows 8 is the new era for the PC plus,”
says Turner. “We believe with a single push of a button you can
move seamlessly in and out of both worlds. We believe you can have
touch, a pen, a mouse, and a keyboard.”
Apple’s post-PC vision isn’t about input devices — mice, keyboards, pens, whatever. It’s about exposed complexity. Tim Carmody argues in a follow-up at The Verge that Apple’s “post-PC” and Microsoft’s “PC-plus” aren’t that far apart. I think that remains to be seen. With the iPad, Apple has eliminated large amounts of complexity. With Windows 8, it remains to be seen whether Microsoft has eliminated complexity, or merely hidden it behind a Metro veneer.
I think the Steve Jobs quote Microsoft should be focused upon far predates this post-PC stuff. Go back to 1997:
“We have to let go of this notion that for Apple to win, Microsoft
has to lose,” Jobs said. “We have to embrace the notion that for
Apple to win, Apple has to do a really good job. If others are
going to help us, that’s great. Because we need all the help we
can get. […] The era of setting this up as a competition between
Apple and Microsoft is over.”
Swap “Apple” and “Microsoft” and that’s the advice Microsoft needs today.
Amazon Same-Day Delivery ★
Great piece by Farhad Manjoo for Slate:
It’s hard to overstate how thoroughly this move will shake up the
retail industry. Same-day delivery has long been the holy grail of
Internet retailers, something that dozens of startups have tried
and failed to accomplish. (Remember Kozmo.com?) But Amazon is
investing billions to make next-day delivery standard, and
same-day delivery an option for lots of customers. If it can pull
that off, the company will permanently alter how we shop. To put
it more bluntly: Physical retailers will be hosed.
Yahoo Confirms, Apologizes for Massive Email Account and Password Leak ★
Ingrid Lunden, writing for AOL/TechCrunch:
There are still a lot of questions about this alleged Yahoo Voices
data breach — including whether there was a reason behind the
breach in the first place — but Yahoo has now officially
confirmed that the data did in fact come from its servers, and
that “approximately” 400,000 email addresses and passwords have
been leaked in plain text online.
Here is some interesting analysis of the leaked passwords. 117 people had passwords that were only one character long. How is that even possible?
All PC Makers Sales Drop Dramatically in the U.S., Except Apple ★
Jim Dalrymple on the latest PC market share numbers from Gartner:
Note that the numbers include “desk-based PCs and mobile PCs, including mini-notebooks but not media tablets such as the iPad.” So they included everything that would make the PC companies look as good as possible. Imagine if they included the iPad in Apple’s numbers.
Classic disruption: the old guard doesn’t even acknowledge the upstart.
I’ve Got the Answer to When the iPad Will Be Considered a Content-Creation Device ★
And I have one final question of my own: Just how much content
creation has to be happening on iPads before it’s clear to every
rational person that the debate over content creation on iPads
Every time I write about this, I get vociferous responses from the iPad-is-not-suitable-for-creation crowd. No surprise, looks like McCracken did too:
I see: We’re not allowed to call an iPad a content-creation
device until 100% of humans say it’s THE ONLY ACCEPTABLE
Reminds me of my self-centeredness definition of “Apple fanboy”. (See also: this.) For these people, the iPad is unsuitable for content creation for anyone unless it’s suitable for them.
Netflix’s Lost Year: The Inside Story of the Price-Hike Train Wreck ★
Detailed and well-sourced story by Greg Sandoval on Netflix’s tumultuous year. Must-read piece.
User Interface of the Week: Adobe Acrobat ★
ASCII checkboxes. A button labelled “UnCheck”.
Opening Links in Chrome for iOS ★
Example code from Google for app developers who want to support Chrome as an alternative “open URL with” browser on iOS.
Petition the U.S. Government to Force the TSA to Follow the Law ★
I’ve signed this petition; you should too.
Apple Issues Statement Regarding Their Withdrawal From EPEAT ★
Jim Dalrymple got a statement:
“Apple takes a comprehensive approach to measuring our
environmental impact and all of our products meet the strictest
energy efficiency standards backed by the US government, Energy
Star 5.2,” Apple representative Kristin Huguet, told The Loop. “We
also lead the industry by reporting each product’s greenhouse gas
emissions on our website, and Apple products are superior in other
important environmental areas not measured by EPEAT, such as
removal of toxic materials.”
Apple would have been better served by issuing a statement like this before it turned into a controversy. And even here, Apple is not addressing the specific concern regarding the new MacBook Pro with Retina Display, which is recyclability.
Not even in beta yet but already my favorite Mac Twitter client. (Is Twitter ever going to update their official Mac client?)
Magazines for Sale in ‘Blade Runner’ ★
Fictional magazine covers from Blade Runner as shown in the Blade
Runner bonus feature Signs of the Times: Graphic Design. The
covers were created by production illustrator Tom Southwell in
1980-1981 and appeared in the background on a magazine stand in
the city streets.
How to Retina-fy Your Website ★
Helpful flowchart from Thomas Fuchs.
The iPhone Era Is Already Longer Than the iPod Era Before It ★
In reality, the iPhone has already been around longer — 2,009
days since Steve Jobs unveiled it on Jan. 9, 2007 — than the
1,904-day period between the iPod announcement on Oct. 23, 2001
and the iPhone Macworld keynote.
How Many Devices? ★
Does it make sense to carry two, three, or more portable
computing devices around? Select from:
Regular-size laptop; say 15"-screen or higher.
Skinny laptop i.e. Air at 13" or even 11".
Big tablet at ~10" as in current iPads.
One-hander tablet, typically at 7".
This iPad Mini stuff has me thinking the same thoughts. Me, I’m an 11-inch MacBook Air man. But I’ll admit it feels a bit silly to pack a bag with both an 11-inch Air and an iPad. Two devices of nearly the same size. But, when traveling, I really do wind up using both of them. (Insert the argument for the Microsoft Surface here.) And I never go anywhere without my iPhone.
So if I’m going to pack an 11-inch Air and an iPhone, and one more device, I can definitely see the case that a smaller tablet makes more sense as the device in the middle. But, an 11-inch Air and a 9.7-inch iPad (3) combined still weigh only 3.82 pounds. The new MacBook Pro with Retina Display — by far the lightest 15-inch notebook Apple has ever made — weighs 4.46 pounds. So maybe it’s the people who carry a big notebook who’ll be most tempted to get a smaller iPad, since they’re already carrying more weight. Decisions, decisions.
Marco Arment on Apple’s Withdrawal From EPEAT ★
I think Apple no longer wants to follow the EPEAT recycling
guidelines because they think not following them allows product
designs that will be more compelling for consumers and bring more
value to Apple than their continued participation in EPEAT.
Apple Ceases Registering Products in EPEAT ★
Erica Ogg, writing at GigaOM:
Last month Apple asked that the standards group EPEAT (Electronic
Product Environmental Assessment Tool), which is responsible for
rating the recyclability of electronics products drop it from its
rankings. The group, which is funded by the EPA, complied. It
means that 39 Macs, MacBooks and monitors that were previously
EPEAT certified as causing minimal environmental damage and
promoting maximum recyclability, no longer have the group’s stamp
of approval. In making this move, Apple is signaling that it won’t
let future design decisions be governed by those seeking to uphold
It’s not just a label; many government agencies and business will only purchase EPEAT-approved computers.
Apple Cracking Down on Sites Selling Access to iOS Betas ★
Remember that piece Andy Baio wrote about the gray market for iOS beta activations? Looks like Apple’s legal team took notice.
How an iPad Mini Could Define the Small Tablet Market ★
Speaking of The Next Web, Matthew Panzarino makes the case that Apple’s worldwide content-distribution could seal the deal for an iPad Mini to dominate the small tablet market:
Amazon’s Appstore is available in 1 country in the world, the
U.S. Its movie streaming service? Also US only. You can get
Kindle Edition books in many more countries, so at least there
Google fares slightly better. Its Google Play Store books are
available in Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy, the UK and the US.
Movies are available in those countries as well as Japan, France
and Spain. But you can still only purchase movies in the U.S. […]
Notably, Apple’s music, movie, app and book offerings are
available in all 63 countries listed here, aside from Romania,
which gets no movies, bummer.
The thing is, these deals are very, very hard to make.
I think that explains Eddy Cue’s rise in stature within Apple’s executive ranks.
BlackBerry’s Latest Delay Could Lead to Shareholder Lawsuits ★
Ian Austen, reporting for the NYT:
“They’re going to get sued and they should get sued because I
think a closer look at the record is likely to unearth knowing and
willful misrepresentation,” said Jean-Louis Gassée, the former
president of Apple’s products division and the founder of the
software maker Be, who is now a venture capitalist and blogger in
Palo Alto, Calif. “When the C.E.O. says there’s nothing wrong with
the company as it is, it’s not cautious, it doesn’t make sense.”
This is just going to keep getting uglier and uglier.
FTC Set to Fine Google Record $22.5 Million Over Safari Privacy Breach ★
Jon Russell, reporting for The Next Web:
Google is reportedly set to pay a $22.5 million fine in relation
to the scandal that broke out when the company was found to have
overridden Safari’s privacy settings, with the potential to track
Internet browsing sessions.
The Wall Street Journal cites company officials “briefed on the
settlement terms” who have revealed that the firm is in line to
pay the highest fine that the FTC has ever imposed on a single
Very surprising that Google, of all companies, what with their “Don’t be evil” motto, would receive the largest ever fine imposed by the FTC.
What Would Happen if You Tried to Hit a Baseball Pitched at 90 Percent the Speed of Light? ★
I worry that this might happen with Stephen Strasburg.
Screen Size Comparison of Various Tablets, Including the Purported 7.85-inch iPad ★
Nice work by “Trojan Kitten”.
Donors Arrive at Hamptons Fundraisers With Advice for Mitt Romney ★
Maeve Reston, reporting from the line for a Mitt Romney fundraiser in the Hamptons:
A New York City donor a few cars back, who also would not give her
name, said Romney needed to do a better job connecting. “I don’t
think the common person is getting it,” she said from the
passenger seat of a Range Rover stamped with East Hampton beach
permits. “Nobody understands why Obama is hurting them.
“We’ve got the message,” she added. “But my college kid, the baby
sitters, the nails ladies — everybody who’s got the right to vote
— they don’t understand what’s going on. I just think if you’re
lower income — one, you’re not as educated, two, they don’t
understand how it works, they don’t understand how the systems
work, they don’t understand the impact.”
Mountain Lion Goes GM ★
Six months ago, we didn’t even yet know it existed.
In other words, the estimable businessmen and women at
realinsurance.com.au have been paying SEO companies to spam the
comment sections of sites around the globe. But now Google’s new
search algorithms are making that legacy spam really damaging. So
now they’re sending out cease and desist notices to the victims of
their earlier spamming demanding that they search their archives
and remove their spam.
‘More Akin to Facebook’ ★
Ben Popper, writing for The Verge:
Twitter set off alarm bells across the web in recent weeks when it
ended its partnership with LinkedIn and reiterated its warning
that it would be cracking down on the terms of its API. The
company didn’t offer any explanation for why it removed tweets
from LinkedIn, but speaking with sources familiar with the
company’s plans, The Verge has learned that major changes are
coming in the next few months which will move Twitter from an open
platform popular among independent developers towards a walled
garden more akin to Facebook.
I can’t think of a more ominous four-word description of Twitter’s future than “More akin to Facebook”. For me, Twitter isn’t just a little bit better because of third-party clients — it’s vastly better because of third-party clients. Whatever it is Twitter is planning, I sure hope it isn’t going to cut third-party clients loose.
Let’s Not Get Nuts ★
Reviews of the Nexus 7 are overwhelmingly positive. David Pogue likes it, Farhad Manjoo likes it, Casey Johnston at Ars likes it.
Ends up Dan Lyons likes it, too. And one thing all these reviews mention is that the smaller form factor is, in numerous ways, more convenient and comfortable than 10-inch-ish tablets like the you-know-what. Fits in more places, easier to hold in your hand for longer stretches of time. The conclusion everyone is drawing: Apple should make something in this size. (Tim Bray was on the record with this advice in December 2010.) So far so good.
But I think Lyons gets a little nutty with his conclusion:
But what is the point of a portable computer with a 3.5-inch (or
4.3-inch, or 4.7-inch) screen? That device is the one that starts
looking like a “tweener” — caught between embedded/wearable
devices, and tablets.
I can envision a time, maybe not so far from now, when I won’t
carry a “phone” at all. If my Nexus 7 could make phone calls, I’d
be there today.
The maximum size of an “I’ll just carry one device” device is limited by the size of a pants pocket, no? I know Lyons is proposing using a Bluetooth headset to talk, not holding a 7-inch tablet up against his face, but in his proposal he’d still have to carry the 7-inch tablet around with him everywhere, right?
Microsoft Acquires Multitouch Company Perceptive Pixel ★
Aaron Souppouris, reporting for The Verge:
Steve Ballmer has just announced Microsoft’s acquisition of
Perceptive Pixel, a company focused on research, development, and
production of multitouch interfaces. The company is perhaps best
known for the 82-inch multitouch display that Microsoft demoed at
MWC. Jeff Han, Perceptive Pixel founder and new Microsoft
employee, says the display is the “world’s largest true multitouch
and stylus display,” capable of supporting “hundreds of touch
That’s the same Jeff Han who had a sensational multitouch demo at TED back in 2006. (There’s got to be a “Han shot first” joke in here, somewhere.)
My Favorite Samsung-Apple Court Ruling Yet ★
Kit Chellel, reporting for Bloomberg:
The design for three Galaxy tablets doesn’t infringe Apple’s
registered design, Judge Colin Birss said today in London in a
court fight between the world’s two biggest makers of
smartphones. Consumers aren’t likely to get the tablet computers
mixed up, he said.
The Galaxy tablets “do not have the same understated and extreme
simplicity which is possessed by the Apple design,” Birss said.
“They are not as cool.”
Apple and Samsung should just shake hands now and agree that the law has spoken.
‘It Never Gets Better’ ★
Matt Buchanan, writing at Buzzfeed
You might buy a new phone that’s missing something, thinking, “It
will get better.” No, it won’t. If I were to tell you one thing
about buying technology, it is this: Buy something because you
like what it is right now, not because you think it’s going to
get better, or that one day it’ll be what you really wanted it to
be. It’s kind of like marrying somebody and thinking you’ll change
them and they’ll get better. They might. But they probably won’t.
Over time, you’ll just hate them even more. And yourself, at least
Great piece, but I think the headline throws it off. Sometimes products do get better — hugely better — thanks to a software update. Think about the original iPhone, which, when iOS 2 hit a year later, gained the ability to run third-party apps. Huge update. But the 1.0 iPhone was already an incredible product.
So I’d say it’s not that “it never gets better”, but rather that you should never buy something that isn’t already — right now, today — good enough.
Update: Good Marco Arment piece on this same topic from two years ago.
The Eero Programming Language ★
Interesting new programming language from Andy Arvanitis:
Eero is a fully binary- and header-compatible dialect of
Objective-C, implemented with a modified version of the
Apple-sponsored LLVM/clang open-source compiler. It features a
streamlined syntax, Python-like indentation, and other features
that improve readability and code safety. It is inspired by
languages such as Smalltalk, Python, and Ruby.
Looks nice, to my eyes.
Long story short, there’s still one open sponsorship spot for this week’s The Talk Show, recording tomorrow (which may well be today by the time you read this) and airing Friday. If you’ve got a product or service you’d like to promote to the best podcast audience in the world, get in touch.
Update: OK, this week’s open spot is sold, but there are still a few openings for the remaining shows in July.
iPad Mini and Supply Chain Leaks ★
If Apple were to launch a $200–300 7.8-inch iPad, they’d probably
sell a ton of them for the holiday season — which means they’d
need to start ramping up production pretty soon, if not already.
If they were doing that, we’d probably see legitimate-looking
parts leaked from the supply chain by now, but as far as I know,
Actually, I’ve seen at least one purported leak: a month ago at a site called ZooGue. No idea if it’s legitimate, but I like it. It hearkens back to the original iPhone with its flat back and round sides.
Update: ZooGue link is fireballed, but Google has it cached.
Update 2: I’m hearing it’s a fake, so take it with at least a few extra grains of salt.
The Dismantling of the Windows Hegemony ★
This piece by Horace Dediu explains — perfectly — what I was talking about this week with my iPhone disruption piece. Except what Dediu shows is that the disruption started in 2004, three years before the iPhone shipped. But the introduction of iOS accelerated this disruption dramatically.
Bottom line: In 1984, DOS PCs outsold the Mac 6-to-1. By 2004, the ratio of Windows PCs to Macs sold peaked at 56-to-1. Today it’s under 20-to-1 and still dropping — but if you include iOS devices, it’s down to 2-to-1. Staggering.
Dediu’s graphs are the best illustration I’ve ever seen of the waxing and waning of Microsoft’s Windows hegemony.
No Flash, No Problem ★
Ed Baig, listing the pros and cons in his Nexus 7 review:
Pro. Thin and light at sweet price. Jelly Bean. Excellent screen.
Fast, fluid. Includes $25 spending credit.
Con. No cellular connectivity. No rear camera. Fewer
tablet-specific apps. Limited storage.
Three months ago, here’s Baig listing the pros and cons for the iPad 3 (emphasis added):
Pro. Stunning screen, 4G speeds (on certain models), decent
dictation and improved camera optics. Strong battery. Apps galore.
Con. Shooting with camera can be awkward. No Adobe Flash. No
camera flash. No expanded storage.
Baig called out the iPad 3’s lack of Flash Player support in the article itself, too. No mention of Flash whatsoever in the Nexus 7 review. Funny how the lack of Flash Player support was only a problem with Apple devices.
U.K. Nexus 7 Won’t Feature Music, Magazines, or TV Shows ★
Carly Page, The Inquirer:
Speaking with The Inquirer, a Google spokesperson confirmed that
the Nexus 7 won’t feature these three categories, which will
remain an exclusive in US for the time being. They said, “The UK
version will feature all of the options currently available in the
UK Play store”, which means users of the Nexus 7 will be limited
in their choices movies, apps, games and books.
I wonder if the iPad Mini will have music, magazines, and TV shows in the U.K.?
Why Apple Would Release a 7-Inch iPad ★
If Apple can make a 9.7 inch iPad for the same price Apple’s
competitors can make a 7 inch tablet, how much would it cost Apple
to make a 7 inch tablet?
It’s hard to imagine a $200 7 inch iPad having huge margins, but
it was hard to imagine a $500 9.7 inch iPad having huge margins in
2010. Now the entry-level 9.7 inch iPad 2 sells for $400.
I bet Apple could make a $199 iPad Mini and turn a profit on it — especially with a $249 version sitting next to it with double the storage. It’s that simple. If Apple thinks people would buy a smaller cheaper iPad and that they can turn a profit making them, they’ll do it. No reason to overthink it.
Keep in mind too that Amazon still only sells the Kindle Fire in the U.S., and Google is only selling the Nexus 7 in three countries — and outside the U.S. it won’t have music, magazines, or TV shows. Even if this iPad Mini doesn’t ship until October, Apple will likely beat Amazon and Google to market in much of the world.
Bloomberg, Too, Says iPad Mini Is Coming ★
Peter Burrows and Adam Satariano, reporting for Bloomberg:
Apple Inc. plans to debut a smaller, cheaper iPad by year-end, two
people with knowledge of the plans said, to help maintain
dominance of the tablet market as Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp.
prepare competing handheld devices.
The new model will have a screen that’s 7 inches to 8 inches
diagonally, less than the current 9.7-inch version, said the
people, who asked not to be identified because Apple hasn’t made
its plans public. The product, which Apple may announce by
October, won’t have the high-definition screen featured on the
iPad that was released in March, one of the people said.
Here’s the logic behind such a display. Displays aren’t manufactured at their finished size; rather, they’re made on big sheets, and then cut to size. I believe the iPad Mini (or whatever it’s going to be called) uses the same display as the iPhone 3GS. So instead of cutting these sheets into 3.5-inch 480 × 320 displays for the iPhone 3GS, they’ll cut them into 7.85-inch 1024 × 768 displays for the smaller iPad. Same exact display technology, though — display technology that Apple has been producing at scale ever since the original iPhone five years ago. These are displays Apple knows they can produce efficiently and in enormous quantities. All they have to do is cut them into bigger pieces.
And then for developers, the iPad Mini acts just like an iPad 1 or 2: same number of pixels, just a little smaller physically. It’s not a new target.
WSJ: Apple Starting Production of Smaller iPad ★
Lorraine Luk, reporting for the WSJ (Google link to circumvent paywall):
Apple Inc.’s component suppliers in Asia are preparing for mass
production in September of a tablet computer with a smaller screen
than the iPad, people familiar with the situation said, suggesting
a launch for the device is near. Two of the people said that the
tablet’s screen will likely be smaller than eight inches. The
iPad’s screen measures 9.7 inches, unchanged since the first model
was released in 2010.
Officials at the component suppliers, who declined to be named,
said this week that Apple has told them to prepare for mass
production of the smaller tablet.
If true, it should be a 7.85-inch, 1024 × 768 display.
CERN Physicists May Have Discovered Higgs Boson Particle ★
A great day for science; not so much for typography.
10 Percent of 9to5Mac’s iOS Readers Are on iOS 6 ★
Visitors to sites like 9to5Mac certainly are not representative of the iOS user base as a whole, but it’s an interesting statistic nonetheless. Here at DF, 7.75 percent of iOS visitors yesterday were on iOS 6. (83 percent were on 5.1.1, 5 percent on 5.1, 1.6 percent on 5.0.1, and all other versions of iOS were well under half a percent.)
More interesting to me is that iOS now accounts for just under one-third of DF web traffic. These are numbers the past month:
The iOS split is 19/13 for the iPhone and iPad, respectively.
Amazon Buys 3D Mapping Startup UpNext ★
Ki Mae Heussner:
It looks like Amazon is building up its presence in the mapping
business. The tech giant today closed a deal to acquire 3D mapping
startup UpNext, GigaOM has learned.
The maps war is in full swing. Got to give credit to Google for committing itself to maps so long ago.
Designing Bond’s World ★
To mark the 50th anniversary of the 007 film franchise, The
Barbican sits down with set designer Sir Ken Adam, Aston Martin’s
Head of Design, and the designers and the makers of the legendary
Golden Gun to talk about the creation of the iconic world
inhabited by Bond.
See also: Designing Bond’s Look. (Via Joe Caiati.)
Preview of Vanity Fair Feature on Microsoft’s Downfall ★
Eichenwald’s conversations reveal that a management system known
as “stack ranking” — a program that forces every unit to declare
a certain percentage of employees as top performers, good
performers, average, and poor — effectively crippled Microsoft’s
ability to innovate. “Every current and former Microsoft employee
I interviewed — every one — cited stack ranking as the most
destructive process inside of Microsoft, something that drove out
untold numbers of employees,” Eichenwald writes. “If you were on a
team of 10 people, you walked in the first day knowing that, no
matter how good everyone was, 2 people were going to get a great
review, 7 were going to get mediocre reviews, and 1 was going to
get a terrible review,” says a former software developer. “It
leads to employees focusing on competing with each other rather
than competing with other companies.”
The Scene at BlackBerry’s Only U.S. Retail Store ★
You can hear the crickets chirping from here.
Ryan Kim, reporting for GigaOm:
Monetate, which analyzes more than 100 million online shopping experiences, said that in the first quarter of 2012, tablet traffic to commerce sites hit 6.52 percent, overtaking smartphones (5.35 percent) for the first time. In the last year, tablets’ traffic increased 348 percent while smartphones visits grew by 117 percent over the same period.
Which tablets, though?
Almost all of the traffic (95 percent) was from the iPad, said Monetate.
So why is the headline about “tablets”?
Does Google Have Any Social Skills at All? ★
Good piece by Sam Biddle at Gizmodo. Same goes for Andy Rubin’s public admission that the Nexus 7 has “no margin” — why admit that publicly? Not just because it surely annoys their OEM partners who are trying to build Android devices for a profit, but why be proud of this at all?
Uncle Drew ★
NBA rookie of the year Kyrie Irving plays pick-up basketball disguised as an old man. So great. (Thanks to my dad, Bob Gruber, for the link.)
Windows 8 Pro Upgrade Price: $40 ★
Brandon LeBlanc, Microsoft:
We set out to make it as easy as possible for everyone to upgrade
to Windows 8. Starting at general availability, if your PC is
running Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7 you will qualify
to download an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for just $39.99 in 131
markets. And if you want, you can add Windows Media Center for
free through the “add features” option within Windows 8 Pro after
By comparison, the Windows 7 Pro upgrade is $199.99; even the less
full-featured Windows 7 Home Premium one lists for $119.99.
Mac and iOS App Icons Compared ★
Extensive comparison from Chris Sauve.
Where the Growth Is ★
Fred Wilson, “Mobile Is Where The Growth Is”:
There is a significant shift going on this year, much more
significant than we saw last year, from web to mobile. It is most
noticeable in games, social networking, music, and news, but it is
happening across the board and it presents both great opportunity
and great challenges.
Mobile native services like Foursquare and Instagram have the most
to gain from this transition. Big feature rich web apps like
Facebook and Google have the most to lose from this transition.
A sea change is indeed underway, but Wilson either misses it or is being obtuse. Companies Wilson mentions: Microsoft, Google, RIM, Facebook, Yahoo. Not mentioned: Apple.
There’s no mystery here. We’re talking about two platforms: iOS and Android. (Microsoft is doing its best to join that party with Windows 8.) It’s not “mobile vs. the web”. The web is a huge part of what people do on iPhones, iPads, and Android devices. It’s post-PC vs. PC, in Apple’s parlance. Modern vs. traditional computing devices. Pretty much every instance of “mobile” could be replaced by “modern” in Wilson’s piece, and it would read better.
RIM’s Tailspin ★
Horace Dediu illustrates RIM’s decline.
By the numbers, Nokia looks like it’s on a similar trajectory, but there’s one key difference: Nokia has their next-generation phones on the market. It doesn’t seem like the Lumia handsets are setting the world on fire, but at least they have a chance. With RIM’s next-generation phones not coming until 2013, they’ve got no chance.
Tampa Bay’s Fauxback Uniform ★
Paul Kafasis on the Tampa Bay Rays’ fake throwback uniforms. I don’t mind that they made up a fictional uniform, but it’s a shame they didn’t do something more than just change the colors of those classic ’70s Padre uniforms.
A Weekend With Chrome for iOS ★
Edge swiping to switch between tabs works great and hopefully will
make its way into other iOS apps in the future. Switching between
tabs on the iPad is even better, as you can switch between
multiple tabs with a single swipe. Opening a new tab instantly
refreshes the tab, showing you the old version of the page in
black and white until the new one is available. Sounds pretty
great. So, why switch back to Safari? Here’s why.
I agree with pretty much everything in this review. Chrome’s experience is all about the omnibox. Me, I actually make pretty heavy use of bookmarks (and bookmarklets), so it makes a big difference to me that Safari puts those one tap away. Especially on the phone, I prefer tapping to typing.