Samsung’s Wireless Charging

It is always fun to watch Samsung’s Ad on Apple.  In the latest Sumsung’s jab on Apple, it shows how Apple users would always have to fumble with cable, especially Apple’s lightning cable.

This short Ad from Samsung ran about 30 seconds.  It spends about 2/3 of its time on talking about Apple and about 10 seconds talking about its own wireless charging.

That is, giving about two-third of its spotlight to Apple.

When I look at this Ad, I do see that there is merit in this type of charging technology.  Samsung called it wireless charging and I wonder if that is the right term for it.

You need to put the phone on the charging station and in a way, you can say that the phone needs to be docked to the base charging station.  I believe you can’t have the phone too far away from the station, not even 1 inch away from it.

Samsung might call this wireless charging even though the phone needs to be very close to the station.

This type of charging technology should belong to a new category of wireless charging method.  Instead of calling it wireless, let’s suggest to Samsung and have them called it dock station charging.

iPhone 6S Plus could be a premium phone

A report from Bloomberg has it that Apple is arranging with manufacturers and suppliers to make some early production units of iPhone 6S.

Those early production units will have a feature called the force touch similar to Apple Watch.

Those units are probably meant for evaluation of the force touch feature and the same report has it that iPhone 6S will retain the design and look of iPhone 6.

The report is likely to be true as there are so many suppliers working with Apple and it will be easy for such a news to be leaked and got out of Infinity Loop.

Another earlier report has it that because of force touch, the iPhone 6S will be slightly thicker than iPhone 6.  There was also a possibility that force touch feature would only appear in iPhone 6S Plus and if this is true, the next iPhone 6S Plus could become the premium iPhone model.

iPhone home button

An article in Digitimes of Taiwan has claimed that Apple would be ditching the home button and integrate the finger print recognition in the button to the touch screen.

The article said that Apple is experimenting with a new technology called Touch and Display Driver Integration.  If the rumour is true, it means Apple would need only one chip to control the display and its touch technology including forced touch and finger print recognition.

Electronic touch button has been around for a long time.  About 6 years back, I had bought a 24inch Samsung monitor and the monitor came with no buttons at all.  It took me a while to figure out how to switch on the the monitor as the power button on the bottom right was not easily recognisable as a power button.

If you have used a Samsung Galaxy before, it has already done away with mechanical buttons for a long time.  But for the iPhone, you would be wondering why the button is still there.

Now that Apple had integrated the touch ID to the button, it is obvious why the button is still there.

If you have an iPhone, you will find that if there is a part that could fail easily, it is the home button.  The main reason is that iPhone goes to sleep mode easily and this force us to touch the button each time we need to turn it on.

Mechanical button is prone to failure.  But because it is mechanical, you could feel the clicking sound each time you click on it.

Have you heard of a story on how Steve Jobs could pay attention to very little details.  It was said that he requested his iPod team to redesign the iPod headphone jack simply because it did not produce any clicking sound when you put the phone jack into the iPod.

I actually thought that having the mechanical button does make the phone feel more humane.  The one reason that I thought it would be good to have the button gone was that game gadget designers would be able to design a controller that could clip easily on both sides of the of the phone.

When it comes to gaming, I still prefer to play on a well designed controller rather than playing it on the touch screen.  Mechanical controller like a playstation controller Sixaxis, I believe, is still a better choice for many gamers.

What Apple Got From NextStep OS

We have heard of the story that Steve Jobs went for a walk with Gil Amelio and Gil Amelio agreed to acquire NextStep OS for $400 million.

If you think about it, the whole deal doesn’t quite make sense.  Just ask ourselves this simple question, why couldn’t Apple revamp their own System 7.  Microsoft had successfully done it when they released Windows 95.  Apple could do that for its outdated System 7 too.

The crux of of the matter was Apple’s failure in releasing the planned Copland OS.  Gil Amelio had tried to revive it by hiring Ellen Hancock of National Semiconductor but was later forced to source for a new OS in the market.  Even with a new OS, it would take several years for the new OS to be integrated with the features of System 7.

That was exactly what happened and Mac OS X was only released in 2001.  Mac OS X was the Apple OS that was based on NextStep OS.  It was Unix like and because it was a NextStep OS, it was designed to run on different platforms, be it Intel or PowerPC.

The story had it that at around 2001, Steve Jobs had wanted Sony to license Mac OS X to run on Sony Vaio system.  It was said that Jobs and his team actually made a demo to Sony executives showing a Sony Vaio notebook to be running on Mac OS X.

The saying had it that it was Jobs admiration for Sony that made him to be interested to have its OS to be running on Sony notebooks.  But take note also that at around 2001, Sony music was one of the labels that were carried in iTunes store.  So I think it was more because Apple wanted to get cozy with Sony.

The single most important thing Apple got from NextStep was a platform agnostic operating system.  They had failed to have it ran on Sony Vaio but in 2006, we had our Intel based Mac system.

iPhone iOS was actually a slimed down version of Mac OS X and so it is also platform agnostic.  The A8 iPhone chips that we are using are based on ARM architecture.  Apple could easily switch the iPhone processor to Intel chip and they almost did.  It was said that the then Apple Senior VP Tony Fadell strongly opposed Jobs plan to switch from ARM to Intel based CPU.

It was said that Tony Fadell planned to resign if Jobs was to switch to using Intel chip in iPhone.  If he did resign early, we could have Nest Thermostat earlier in our home.

 

The Apple Music Fiasco

Today, the news is all abuzz with the response by Eddy Cue to Taylor Swift announcement that she was not interested to have her latest album 1989 in Apple Music.

Just a few days ago, I wrote a post saying that Apple would likely be launching a service that include Taylor Swift’s latest album.  I was wrong.

The reason given by Taylor Swift was that 3 months without pay is a long time to a lot of artists.  Many artists could have just made their first cut and were waiting for their first pay.  The response given by Eddy Cue of Apple was fast.

This made @startupljackson to jokingly say:

In the Taylor Swift post in Tumblr she chided about not asking for free iPhones from Apple,

We don’t ask you for free iPhones. Please don’t ask us to provide you with our music for no compensation.

As a not so authentic Apple fan boy, I have to say that last year during the September keynote, Apple did give us something totally free.  A 100% free U2 album Songs Of Innocence that till now, I still listen to occasionally.

Asking for a free iPhone could be a bit too much but at least Apple did give us a free U2 album last year.

Pixar, a company without a business model

When Steve Jobs bought Pixar from George Lucas, he was likely to have bought it on a whim.  He was amazed by what George Lucas had demoed to him and since he was then interested to sell workstations for institutions, he probably thought that the piece of technology shown by George Lucas could one day compliment his own products.

When reading Becoming Steve Jobs, I could not even figure out what was the final product that came out of Pixar.  Was that something like 3D-max?  Pixar started out more of a software company and they were selling software systems that ran on Sun Microsystems.  The software system was hard to learn and one of their customers was actually Disney.

To show how powerful their software is, one of their designers, Lasseter developed a 3D animated story that featured a lamp known as Luxo.

The amazing thing about this was that at that point in time, Steve Jobs and his team did not see Pixar as a film making studio.  Up at around that point, Steve Jobs had been shopping around Pixar and there were a few companies in his list for selling.

It was only when Disney wanted to poach Lasseter that Lasserter came out with this idea of making 3D animated movies with Disney.  This was also how Toy Story was born.

And so as you can see, it was at the last moment that they decided that they wanted to make movies.  Now, was that a stroke of luck?

 

iTunes and the Napster effects

When iPod was launched in  2001, most of us have already tried Napster and see how easy it was to download free music online.

The initial iPod worked similar to Creative Nomads player.  That is, you can just upload any MP3 files to it.  So if you had bought a CD from Tower Records, you can convert the tracks to MP3 and upload them to iPod easily.

But that obviously was not how we use it.  Downloading music online was at its peak leading some universities to block Napster service in their campus.  Napster was then sued by the music industry and was shut down at around 2001.

The entire music industry is a complex web with many different smaller labels.  You might be surprised that even Madonna has her own music label called the Mavericks.

Just today, there was news that Taylor Swift latest’s album would not be available even in Apple music.

In a way, Apple was lucky and they must had carefully threaded it along a very fine line.  Their iPod could let anybody rip a CD and store MP3 files and there were accusations that users were user iPod to rip CD tracks.

Somehow, Apple was able to convince the different labels.  Initially, it seemed that Apple was telling the music labels that there was no harm in trying out a small company like Apple.  You know, Microsoft was  then the behemoth.

It was also said that Apple had told the music executives that only a technology company like Apple, that run its OS on proprietary platform could make selling music secure.

I thought the ability for Apple to get all the big five labels to sell in its iTunes store was one of the greatest achievements by Apple.

 

The Misfit

Do you remember this Think Different Ad?

Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers.

After the running of this Ad, we saw a series of products from Apple that were truly different.  Now Apple had got the license to thrill us.

iMac was  then launched in 1998 and the clamshell iBook was launched in 1999.

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I remembered when I first saw the clamshell iBook, I thought I would never buy an Apple product again.

When iPhone was launched in 2007, I wasn’t interested in it at all.  I thought Apple was only here to thrill us.

I bought an Apple product only when iPhone 4 was launched.  Along the year, Apple products became whiter and shinier and there were still way too fancy for me.  It was only in iPhone 4 that I thought Apple had toned down their design.

I had used a Macintosh LC before and when iMac was launched, it was either that creativity was getting out of hand in Apple or that I was a misfit.  I did not want to buy a Mac where I couldn’t even name its color.

Apple and iPad for the enterprise

In WWDC, when Apple unveiled the split screen multitasking iOS, there was a saying that Apple will be unveiling the 12 inch iPad.  This feature is well suited for a larger iPad and for many of us, we dream of one day where we would not have to bring a lab top to work and we could complete most of our daily work on a tablet, be it on a Surface Pro or Apple iPad.

In the past few days, there was a controversy on a WSJ article suggesting that Apple should kill off its Mac.  The WSJ article suggests that Apple could put in more effort into its other products including beefing up the iPad.

iPad is still not a product that is widely accepted by the enterprise.  In 2014, Apple partnered with IBM in the hope that through the partnership, more iPads would be sold in the enterprise.

I have like to think that the main reason was that there was a lack of killer applications for enterprise to use iPad widely.

Recently, Microsoft has released its Microsoft Office on the iPad and we have yet to see how it will impact the sales of iPad.

Its been widely said that Apple does not understand the enterprise.  Even Steve Jobs admitted that Apple did not get the enterprise.

To see how truth is that, maybe we could just look at how iPad is faring in the enterprise.  And without a widely used iPad in the enterprise, Apple could never kill of their main Mac computers.

The monstrous Call Of Duty

The sales of Call Of Duty seems to have peaked.  At its height, Call Of Duty Modern Warfare 2 achieved a sales of 13 million copies for PS3.

CoD Modern Warfare 2 was also the first game in the series that I had played.  When I was playing Black Ops II, I could see from the heat map in the game that at any one time, there could be half a million users playing this game from all over the world.

Have you heard of the song Jersey Girl by Rick Springfield?  There was a saying that you could always remember where you were the first time you heard this song.

I could still vividly remembered the first multiplayer game that I played and at which point I had spawned in the map.  The map was Favela and I remembered I was fumbling with the assault rifle when I first spawned in the map.

The thing about playing a game like Call Of Duty is that it is very intense.  A typical multiplayer game would last 10 minutes.  There are so many good players that even if you put in a tremendous amount of time in playing this game, you will always be the average player.  The reason for this is that you are always matched with players with your level of skills.

The bad thing about playing an intense game like Call of Duty is that after you have played this game for a while, you are unlikely to pick up other games.

For example, recently I tried playing Metal Gear Solid Ground Zero and I found the pace so slow that I could not keep up with it.  This is a game that I used to like when I first had my PS2.

There was another game that I used to like before I started playing CoD and that was Resident Evil.  I tried Resident Evil 6 and I did not even finish the game.

So if there is anything that killed other games, it is Call Of Duty.