Category Archives: Technology

iPhone Announcement Predictions

My predictions for the big announcement tomorrow from Apple:

  • New iPhone
    • 4.7 inch
    • No 5.5 inch
    • bigger capacity (smallest is 32GB)
  • New “iWatch” device
    • Won’t be a watch, but a “wearable” that manufacturers can design straps”holsters” for like cases for the iPhone
  • New Apple TV
    • Everyone has forgotten about the rumors for this since the iWatch has taken over. But supplies of the Apple TV have dwindled, and its due for an upgrade.
  • New iPads
    • I know this is a bit out of place, but I think they are going to quietly update these. I saw the old iPad mini was on a $100 discount at my local Best Buy this weekend, like they were clearing inventory. That’s typically a sign.

Google is turning into Microsoft

“Or to simplify things (!!!): you’ll have Google Play, the online store with apps, movies, TV, music, books and NewsStand; Google Play Music for downloads you purchase; Google Play Music Key for on-demand streaming; and now YouTube Music Key for on-demand, streaming of stuff from YouTube.

Apparently, just calling the whole thing “Google Music” was not considered?”

-TechCrunch on Google’s new YouTube based music service.

Reminds me of this old gem:

 

Corrections in the Tech Industry

Two pieces of bad news for various tech companies recently. First, Samsung’s quarterly reports show lower quarterly income for the first time in two years.

This should be very concerning if you are invested in the Android ecosystem. Samsung rode the wave of being the “iPhone for people who didn’t want an iPhone”. But, they have never been great at innovation. Their “added” features aren’t valued by consumers.

So, they have to stand out through hardware. But at some point, other manufacturers can catch up with big screens and other specs. Then the only point of differentiation to an end user is the price. And Chinese manufacturers are already out-speccing Samsung and beating them on price.

For the end consumer, this appears to be a good thing. You will get hardware at cheaper. However, for manufacturers this means a race to the bottom. Consumers don’t appreciate small details and will just look for the cheapest phone. So, you use cheaper plastic. You start adding junk ware programs that are sponsored and the makers pay you to include.

All of this happened to the PC market years ago. No manufacturer could differentiate on features after a certain point. Plus, all the Operating Systems were the same, some flavor of Windows, just like all these phones run Android. So the only thing to do is go cheap.

How many of you enjoy using a 299 laptop? Exactly. But very few people justified buying a super expensive Vaio or Lenovo. Which is why both of those parent companies spun off those branches of their companies.

We are going to see more and more cheap devices and some fall out in the Android Phone industry as a result. Certainly, this means more wide adoption of Android devices, but how many of those users will buy apps, which support a flourishing app ecosystem? Its hard to make money giving away your product.

Second, Apple is selling fewer iPads that expected. This is a problem in that for growth, the company needs something to be the next iPhone. There are arguments about whether this is true – in that you can just keep updating iPhones, but for “investment” types growth is sexy.

I have an iPad, but I have also told almost all my friends they do not need one. The limitations are just too great to use it as a laptop replacement. The one-app-at-a-time problem is real. Think about your desktop right now. I bet you have more than one window open. You have your web browser, a mail client, a music player, probably a document/spreadsheet of some sort, and maybe a twitter client open.

Sure, you can have those running on an tablet, but switching between them is tedious compared to a laptop. And having both open to compare or copy/paste between is impossible.

I think many consumers hoped these tablets would be a cheap way to replace their laptop. Upon discovering the limitations, they quickly ran back to the computers, relegating tablets to third device status – behind their computer for productivity and their phone for always accessible updates.

My Android Experiment

Among my circle, I have a bit of an Apple fanboy reputation. Personally, I don’t  think its warranted, but I can understand the perception.

After buying the old school iPod in college, I slowly transitioned over. Purchasing the very first iPhone, and owning nothing but them since – through the 3G, 4 and now 5. Along the way, I picked up an iPad, and even traded in my trusty Lenovo laptop for a mac.

I am fully enmeshed in the Apple universe. But, I’d argue that is because of proven capability and reliability time and again. Each purchase justified itself and led to the next.

That is not to say I don’t understand the appeal of competing systems. I tried a Windows Phone for a bit. And there are plenty of people who do find the Android ecosystem superior.

Lately, I’ve been having a bit of trouble with my iPhone. Not an error necessarily, but an annoyance nonetheless. I cheaped out on my last iPhone – getting the 16GB version instead of the costlier 32 or 64 versions. Combine this with Apple’s insistence on not including an SD card slot, and I’m running into a problem.

I am constantly running out of space. And  not for reasons typically given. I don’t store a ton of music – instead streaming Spotify and Beats. And I don’t make the mistake of keeping all my photos on my device. I use Dropbox and Photostream to backup my pics. I have taken all the easy steps to relieve my situation.

Instead, I have an app addiction. I like keeping a lot of apps on my devices. It feels silly to me to have to re-download something when I want to use it, if I even remember it exists. Plus, there are data cap concerns. Most of the time this is fine. I download an app, and still have room.

But iOS apps have a weird problem. They store cached files, so you don’t have to download the same picture in Instagram 8 times, it stores it on the device. This means that even though the Instagram app is only 20MB, over time it balloons to over 250 MB for me. And all the major apps do this – Facebook, Twitter, Spotify, and so on. Add these up, and it becomes a problem.

Android has a function built into the OS where a user can delete any application’s cache. However, iOS doesn’t trust the user to do this. In order to delete the entire app must be deleted and re-installed. Many times losing log in information, and just being a general drag.

See the difference in Instagram’s official instructions for “Instagram takes up too much space on my device”:

Apple iOS

The more you use an app, the more space the app takes up on your phone. If you use Instagram more than other apps, it’ll likely take up more space on your phone than apps you don’t use as often.

If you want to manually decrease the amount of space Instagram takes up, you can delete and reinstall the app. Your photos and profile data will be saved.

Android

The Android app may take up more internal memory than other apps on your phone because we cache photos. This makes the Instagram experience faster for you and conserves bandwidth, which means you don’t have to re-download photos over your carrier’s network.

  1. Leave the Instagram app

  2. Open the Settings on your phone > Applications > Manage applications > Instagram

  3. If you choose Clear data, your download cache will be cleared. Clear cache will reset the memory for the app.

So, I was getting frustrated. I felt like my experience was being ruined by having to constantly worry about space. Apple has an upcoming WWDC event where they are expected to show off iOS 8, and potentially some new hardware. I was able to procure an Android device for cheap without signing a contract, and thought this would provide a good opportunity. I could test out Android, see what new announcements come from WWDC and decide whether to jump ship or stick with Apple before the next iPhone comes out and I’m on another two year contract.

Continue reading My Android Experiment

Apple Passwords Sharing Across Keychain

Apple has this system of storing passwords and secure credentials called “Keychain”. It saves your passwords so you don’t have to keep entering them, and it is supposed to store it securely on your system so someone else who gets on your mac can’t access it without knowing your system password.

With iOS 7, Apple brought keychain to iOS for their iPhone, iPad and iPod devices.

From the way I understood it, this meant you no longer had to track passwords as any you entered in Safari on your computer would track to your phone. Neat.

Recently, I discovered it goes a bit deeper than that. I started at a new workplace. This meant getting my devices on new wifi networks. After I hooked up my iPhone to the employer’s wifi with their password, I turned on my iPad.

I was pleasantly surprised as my iPad was already logged onto the network! This was especially nice as my employer hates giving out passwords, and insists on entering them through IT. Ugh.

How this next part really blew me away. This week I brought in my macbook because I had to handle something privately, and wanted to do it on my own laptop during lunch. As I turned it on, I saw the wifi active! The macbook even had the stored password from the iPhone!

That is one of those small really nice things that make you appreciate an ecosystem, but doesn’t sound like much when you are trying to decide between iOS, Android and Windows.