Category: apple

Get off your high horse Ed!

There was a big bruhaha on the intertubes over the weekend when Apple ran its software update on Windows and offered the Safari 3.1 browser download as the default selected option.

Now I am not for a second condoning this kind of behaviour. I believe opt-in is the only way to do optional updates, especially when you are adding applications to a users machine.

However, I had to laugh when I saw Ed Bott get all up on his high horse about this. Ed is a Microsoft guy so it was all the more hilarious that he try to grab the moral highground here. In his post he said:

I think Apple is dead wrong in the way it’s gone about using its iPod monopoly to expand its share in another market. Ironically, an excellent model for how this update program should work already exists. It’s called Windows Update, and it embodies all the principles that Apple should follow… The right way to do it involves these four principles

* Opt-in is the only way. The update process should be completely opt-in. The option to deliver software should never be preselected for the user.
* Offer full disclosure. The software company has a responsibility to fully disclose what its software does, and the customer should make the opt-in decision only after being given complete details about how the update process works.
* Offer updates only. Updates should be just that. They should apply only to software that the customer has already chosen to install.
* Don’t mix updates. Updates that are not critical should be delivered through a separate mechanism.

They are good principles, I have no argument with them however Ed offers these principles up as if Microsoft lived by them! Ed, you are dreaming. Microsoft are just as guilty of breaching these principles as Apple. I don’t use Microsoft software much but the last time I tried to update Windows Live Writer my default search engine was changed to Live Search, and I had to opt out or I would have had Windows Live Mail, Windows Live Photo Gallery and Windows Live OneCare installed on my laptop.

Pot kettle black Ed.

Is the iPod Touch the ultimate Internet tablet?

I recorded a video on Seesmic yesterday on why I think the iPod Touch is a spectacular Internet Tablet. It has an amazing screen, great UI, and tiny form factor.

Seesmic now includes the ability to embed videos you record there, so rather than go over it again I thought I’d embed the video here. The quality of Seesmic videos is poor, sorry about that!

http://seesmic.com/Standalone.swf?video=jlX9kFp6tI

A lot of the functionality I’m referring to in the iPod Touch is new and was announced at MacWorld 2008 earlier this week.

Apple releases 10.5.1 update to Leopard

Apple released an update to OS X 10.5 (Leopard) today. The standalone update is 110mb but when I downloaded it this morning through Software Update it was a 38mb download for my machine.

According to the Apple info page on the update, it:

includes general operating system fixes that enhance the stability, compatibility and security of your Mac

The page goes on to include details of fixes for Airport, Mail, iCal, System and Finder as well as other fixes.

Personally, I love Leopard. I know some people have had issues with it but I have had the opposite experience. The upgrade to Leopard has actually fixed two previous problems I was having with 10.4 and my laptop is now running faster too. Hopefully 10.5.1 will resolve most of the early issues people have had with Leopard.

iPod Touch – a gateway drug?

Pilar gave me an iPod Touch for my birthday the other day and, wow I love it!

My new iPod Touch

As you can see, it looks fantastic. The interface is unbelievably slick and surprisingly responsive. Using Nokia smart phones means I have become used to devices this size being slow but there is absolutely no lag on the iPod Touch.

The browser is fantastic, esp. for my feed reading. YouTube videos are way better quality than on the site. In fact the video resolution, in general is spectacular.

The only negative thing is that synching with the computer can sometimes take a while so don’t try to synch as you are about to run out the door!

Other than that I have now realised how much better the iPhone experience must be – uh oh!

OS X Leopard hacked to run on PCs

With Apple’s move to Intel chips for its Macs, the last significant difference in the hardware architecture between Macs and PCs disappeared. This meant that Apple’s much vaunted OS X operating system is designed to work on PC hardware.

Leopard, Apple’s latest version of OS X was released on Friday 26th last and in just over 24 hours, a hack to allow Leopard to be installed on PCs has been published.

The installation is not trivial but the instructions are very easy to follow and it certainly looks do-able.

No doubt Apple will quickly release an update (10.5.1) which will address this but in the meantime, all you non-Mac users, enjoy a secure, reliable, easy to use OS on your choice of Intel-based hardware.

Microsoft needs a new strategy for its Windows platform

I have Vista installed on this laptop. I haven’t booted up Vista in weeks. Why? Because I installed Ubuntu on another partition and it is so much faster, and more secure (since Microsoft instructed me to remove Norton and then failed to get OneCare to work on this laptop).

Many others are eschewing Vista, not just because of the speed and stability issues it has but also because of the steep learning curve on moving from XP to Vista.

On the other hand Apple’s star seems to be in the ascendancy. In their financial statement released yesterday, for the quarter ended September 29th, they report:

Apple shipped 2,164,000 Macintosh® computers, representing 34 percent growth over the year-ago quarter and exceeding the previous quarterly record for Mac® shipments by 400,000. The Company sold 10,200,000 iPods during the quarter, representing 17 percent growth over the year-ago quarter. Quarterly iPhone™ sales were 1,119,000, bringing cumulative fiscal 2007 sales to 1,389,000.

“We are very pleased to have generated over $24 billion in revenue and $3.5 billion in net income in fiscal 2007,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “We’re looking forward to a strong December quarter as we enter the holiday season with Apple’s best products ever.”

“Apple ended the fiscal year with $15.4 billion in cash and no debt,” said Peter Oppenheimer, Apple’s CFO.

Why are Apple’s Mac sales doing so well and Vista so poorly?

At least part of the answer has to be in Apple’s strategy of releasing new versions every 12-18 months. Steve Jobs referred to this strategy in a piece in the New York Times yesterday when he said:

“I’m quite pleased with the pace of new operating systems every 12 to 18 months for the foreseeable future,” he said. “We’ve put out major releases on the average of one a year, and it’s given us the ability to polish and polish and improve and improve.”

Apple introduced OS X in 2001 and since then has brought out four newer versions (Puma, Jaguar, Panther, and Tiger) with a fifth version (Leopard – OS X 10.5) due to ship this coming Friday.

Ubuntu releases new versions on a pre-defined six monthly schedule.

Xp was also released in 2001 but the next version of Windows, Vista, didn’t ship until January 2007.

The gently, gently upgrade strategy appears to be working for Apple and Ubuntu as their uptake soars.

Microsoft needs a new strategy for its Windows platform. Its current strategy certainly isn’t working.

Is Mac OS X Leopard's Mail App Junk?

Om Malik is taking a poll on his site today about the new features in OS X Leopard. He is asking readers to say which of the new features will compel them to move to Leopard.

Om’s own choice is Apple’s Mail app.

Personally I used Mail for years and loved it but I had to drop it eventually in favor of Thunderbird because its junk mail filters are useless. I kept clicking on the Junk button to try to train it to learn what was junk from what wasn’t but Thunderbird was orders of magnitude better at stopping spam so I had to move away from it.

Reading that there is a new version of Mail in Leopard I quickly checked out its new features but I was disappointed to see no mention of improved junk mail filtering.

I don’t see any compelling reason for me to upgrade then 😦

Do you?

Crashing Safari?

I have had isolated reports that since upgrading this blog to WordPress 2.3 and the theme to K2 RC2, this blog crashes the Safari browser.

I’m running Safari version 3.03 on my Mac and it doesn’t crash but I’m told version 2.04 does crash.

I have tried turning off some of the sidebar widgets but that didn’t fix it (maybe I didn’t turn off the right ones?) and I tried tweaking the theme but to no avail.

If there are any code junkies out there who have any suggestions on why the blog may be suddenly crashing some versions of Safari, I’d love to hear them so I can resolve this.

Thanks.

iPhone EU launch limited to 3 countries

I spotted an article in the Financial Times last night which said Apple has succeeded in persuading 3 mobile operators to sell the iPhone in Europe using the same revenue share as AT&T in the US.

The three mobile operators mentioned are T-Mobile of Germany, Orange of France and O2 in the UK. According to the article:

The operators are set officially to announce the partnerships at the IFA trade fair in Berlin at the end of August

The article goes on to say that

[Apple] will continue the roll-out elsewhere in Europe next year, when it will also launch in Asia

Damn! I realise it is unlikely but is there any chance the UK O2 launch will include Ireland?

You wait for ages then along come three!

iPhone

I have read a lot about how great the iPhone is but I hadn’t seen any until last Friday; and then I saw three!

I was at a lunch in Cork with Britt Blaser and Sean O’Mahoney (amongst others). Both had iPhones.

I had a chance to try the phone out for myself and see just why people rave about it. It is spectacular.

Later that day I met Patrick Collison. Patrick also had an iPhone.

He was meeting Damien and myself. During the meeting he had to leave us briefly to collect someone. He left his iPhone for us to play with. It really is an incredible phone (although Patrick, after about 25 minutes the sound deteriorates on calls to the speaking clock in Hong Kong 😉 ).

There is no question but that Apple have re-defined the mobile phone.