Alongside the various new features seen in Monday’s iOS 6 beta 3 release, Apple revealed that new and existing iCloud users will be getting new email addresses ending in “@iCloud.com” based to their AppleID account names when the mobile operating system rolls out later this year.
Well, that would make sense : Apple has always been struggling with consistency on their online services. iCloud is the fourth attempt and it finally looks OK, but the @me.com domain for email was a bit off.
People can still reach me via my @mac.com address, wonder if they’ll keep supporting these and @me.com alongside the new domain. It’s not easy to close email addresses.
Microsoft is entering an age of Metro in 2013, but its Office division is still lagging behind on its touch story and any innovation it could bring to truly improve the touch experience for productivity apps like Office. Luckily, there’s no solid competition for Office yet on emerging touch-based devices. The clock is ticking.
My belief is that Office 2013 is why Windows RT is not Metro-only. Metro is clearly the future for Microsoft but it could not release a version of Windows without Office, and it couldn’t ship a Metro version of Office soon enough.
How will the users react when they’re suddenly presented a regular desktop on their brand new Windows 8 tablet ? An Excel spreadsheet ?
It seems like it’s a step on the right track though, with a real effort on the touch experience, but is it good enough to ship on a tablet device ?
Sick of pointless in-app purchases for a game, a Russian hacker figured out a way to fool the iOS apps, making them beliee you actually buy content when you’re really not. The system looks pretty straightforward : a few certificates installed on the device, a custom DNS and a proxy that tells the app what it wants to hear. Doesn’t even require jailbreaking.
It only works for purchases that are validated on the device, not with a custom server validation. Most of the apps don’t use server validation though.
The fact that Borodin’s hack exploits an apparent weakness with Apple’s system is unlikely to sit well with app makers. “The whole point of the [in-app purchase] system and the App Store is that you shouldn’t have to worry about the system,” Tabini said. “Otherwise, what are you giving Apple its 30 percent for?”
More to the point, app makers are more likely to rely on Apple’s receipt validation approach than building their own solution. “I’m willing to bet that 99 percent of all developers validate on iOS because it’s a lot of extra work to setup a server that does the validation,” developer Craig Hockenberry told Macworld.
This could be a major hurt for Apple since there is apparently no way of fixing this issue without changing how the in-app purchase system works, thus requiring system and app updates.
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.
So they’re finally back. Looks like they eventually convinced EPEAT that the MacBook Pro Retina is not that bad.
Turner’s slide, titled “In Our View, Apple Has It Wrong!”, points to quotes from Steve Jobs in 2010 and Tim Cook in 2012 emphasizing the differences between tablet computers and traditional PCs, and announcing the beginning of the “Post-PC era” with the introduction of the iPad. Turner then introduces Microsoft’s preferred phrase, “PC Plus.” In fact, Jobs was publicly using the phrase “post-PC” in discussions of the iPhone and iPod at least as early as 2007. Meanwhile, “PC Plus” is even older; as Tom notes, it was used by Bill Gates in a Newsweek op-ed all the way back in 1999, in more or less the same way that Turner and Microsoft using it today.
What’s more, when you examine them, these two frames of “PC Plus” and “Post-PC” are virtually identical. Both are describing a world where increasing mobility and cloud storage blur the distinctions between software and data on different devices. There are some differences in development strategy and user interfaces. But mostly, Microsoft’s rhetoric emphasizes innovation moving outward from the PC to Xbox or phone, and Apple’s rhetoric emphasizes innovation moving from mobile devices like the iPhone and iPad “back to the Mac.”
Quotes from two very smart guys that were very accurate about the future of computing.
Cult of Mac, breaking down the Apple Dock Connector :
When Apple first introduced the 30-Pin Dock Connector in 2003, they made it to be future proof, with a pin available for every conceivable connection… but after a decade of tech innovation, even Cupertino’s sophisticated soothsaying has reached its limits. In 2012, many of the pins on the 30-Pin Apple Dock Connector are reserved for obsolete technology.
The whole piece is interesting, not so much for the potential future, but for the reasons why the 30-pin connector was built.
Shows how Apple, almost 10 years ago, designed this connector by using , at that time, only a subset of its capabilities. This allowed third-party accesory makers to build all sorts of devices for the wide family of iPod-like products, and to enhance the capabilities of the connector without having to change the form-factor and the backwards compatibility.
No competitors provide this kind of abstract feature, and it’s often overlooked when comparing the devices.
"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 and Microsoft clearly diverge on the future of personal computing.
Apple thinks touch and keyboard+mouse belong to distinct devices with optimized experiences, whereas Microsoft believes in a merge between the two, having laptop-tablets with a stylus and touchscreen-desktops.
I think by attempting to release a system that does everything, the result will be a system that does nothing well.
And I’m afraid that by allowing Metro to be usable with a mouse and keyboard, Microsoft will prevent developers to fully commit to the Touch experience.
Excellent piece by Horace Dediu putting side by side declarations of Steve Ballmer from 2012, 2010 and 2007.
The latest batch
We are trying to make absolutely clear:
We are not going to leave any space uncovered to Apple
We are not.
No space uncovered that is Apple’s
[…] But we are not going to let any piece of this [go uncontested to Apple]
Not the consumer cloud
Not hardware software innovation
We are not leaving any of that to Apple by itself
Not going to happen
Not on our watch.
Android Central is reporting that Samsung will be offering an unlockable Verizon-compatible “Developer Edition” of its Galaxy S III smartphone on its website for $599. Verizon is the only carrier in the US whose subsidized version of the S III, currently available for pre-order at $199, will come with a locked-down bootloader, preventing the installation of custom Android ROMs like Cyanogenmod.
Android is open when it leaves the hand of Google, but it seems manufacturers and carriers like to keep it closed.
Both Windows RT and Windows 8 run the new Metro interface, but Windows 8 can also drop down to the traditional Desktop for older apps. Windows RT can’t: while it does have the old Windows Desktop for some of Microsoft’s own apps, the desktop won’t be available to third-party software.
Many people still believe Windows RT is Metro-only. While this is true for third-party apps, the Windows Desktop will be available for — as far as I know — Office 2013, Windows Explorer and Internet Explorer 10.
That means you will be able to use the full-blown desktop Microsoft Office on your ARM tablet. Technically able, at least. That also means you will have 2 distinct versions of the same browser : Internet Explorer 10 (Metro and Desktop).
Where’s the “No compromise” in that ?
I think Microsoft was on its way to release a desktopless Windows RT but chose not to deliver a version of Windows without Office onto it.
There seems to be no doubt about if whether or not Apple is planning the release of a smaller iPad. So, the question is: if Apple is to release a 7-inch-or-so tablet, how would they do it ?
The problem is: how to integrate this new product into the idiom logic of the iOS ecosystem (it’s a tablet or it’s a phone, there’s no gray area) ? If it’s a tablet and it runs iPad apps as-is, would the touch target be big enough for users ?
The hypothesis Cast Irony gives as an answer is quite elegant: if there was such thing as an iPad with the same point-density as an iPhone, it would be 7.8” diagonally, and the touch targets would be as big as on an iPhone. Aside from a few edge cases, existing iPad apps should be totally usable on such a device.
The Retina matter depends on whether Apple succeeds in putting the necessary horsepower to run at a 2048x1536 px resolution without losing too much on battery life, and how they want to price the device.
“They said their design direction was no longer consistent with the EPEAT requirements,” Frisbee said.
Seems like the Retina MacBook Pro design choices forced Apple ask the removal of its products from EPEAT.
Frisbee said that the structure of that laptop would have made it ineligible for certification. “If the battery is glued to the case it means you can’t recycle the case and you can’t recycle the battery,” Frisbee said.
This is important since some of the biggest U.S. customers of Apple seem to be able to buy only EPEAT-certified computers. Looks like the price of this new design is higher than expected.
I wonder if this can be temporary until they figure out how to build a Retina MacBook Pro that’s easier to disassemble.
7-inch tablets are tweeners: too big to compete with a smartphone and too small to compete with the iPad […] These are among the reasons that the current crop of 7-inch tablets are going to be DOA — dead on arrival.
Maybe the 2012 current crop of 7-inch tablets (i.e. Google Nexus 7) is what will force Apple to make its move and occupy this form-factor.
I doubted the iPad interface would translate well on a 7-inch display, but the more I think about it, the more it makes sense.
Google was unable to reveal when these features will appear in the Google Play store in the UK, but due to international licensing requirements, it could take quite a while.
Not only in the UK but it seems it will be the case for the whole non-US world. The US is the only country where Google Play features eBooks, TV shows, movies and magazines.
The same is true for the Kindle Fire, which is not even for sale here in Europe : without the whole content ecosystem, it would make Amazon lose money.
I often rant about the inconsistencies of the TV Shows and Movies catalog on iTunes, but hey, at least I can buy a season pass in France. Apple is a leap ahead on the competition with this one.
Anyway, is it me or do we need global distribution regulations ?
Looks like Apple is messing up with the App Store. Better wait a few days before you update any iOS app, and I mean whether you’re a developer or a user.
The only fix for people with bad copies, once good copies are being served again by the App Store, is to delete and reinstall the app.
Looks like Apple is communicating on the issue as it usually does : it doesn’t, for now at least. Besides the obvious pain it is for developers and users as well, there seems to be a huge wave of 1-star reviews.
If Marco Arment hadn’t been a victim of it, this issue may have stayed unreported.