So I’m very much enjoying my iPad mini – I went with the 3G-enabled 64GB version – i.e. fully tricked out and cost £529.
I was looking forward to using it everywhere, as it is small enough to fit in my coat pocket. Where I used to use a phone or briefly a Nexus 7 I owned, I would now be able to use the iPad mini and take advantage of all the iOS apps I’ve already invested in.
What I noticed was something unexpected. I started to feel self-conscious/worried about using it in some scenarios. There was something unsettling about getting out a £540 tablet on a bus in London. Us Londoners are accustomed to being on our guard and not generating attention while out and about on public transport, but this thing makes that quite difficult!
I didn’t mind so much when it was a £180 Nexus 7, which I didn’t feel was that attractive to others anyway (owning Android doesn’t exactly shout “I’m likely to have expensive things on me”), but a £540 device suddenly requires an extra element of foresight before use in public.
Maybe I just need to get used to it. Or move to Silicon Valley.
The iPhone 5 has been released, and has been the trend since the original iPhone unveiling, there’s been plenty of vocality about how it lacks the wow factor we’ve come to expect from Apple product announcements. People have mainly been unimpressed by the fact that the only major change seems to be a taller screen, or that it lacks some of the new technologies that people expect in a cutting-edge phone, such as NFC or wireless charging.
Here are a few thoughts that I think should be considered before leaping to these conclusions.
I’ve always wanted to write this post. I’ve spent years evolving my technology-based home media setup, and for some reason, instead of writing a long blog post about it I ended up posting it on The Verge forums, and you can find it here:
It provides a brief overview of the various components of my setup, and what it can do, from acting as a central iTunes hub, to allowing for remote streaming of movies and TV shows, to hosting a VPN server for secure web browsing anywhere in the world. Since this blog is really the spiritual home of a piece of content like this, you can find the post in its entirety below.
So the iPhone 5 has been announced and if you are reading this you probably know the deal. Taller screen, better display and camera, lighter, thinner, faster, bettery battery – you get the idea. All in all a very solid upgrade on the 4S. I’m not one for ‘reviews’ so instead I thought I’d do a post on the specific things that I think stand out, both positive and negative, from a hardware and software perspective.
This is an old draft I never got around to publishing but here goes…
I spotted Zeebox a couple of weeks ago and having thought about its implications I was surprised that it was the only prominent app on the iOS store doing what it is doing.
I think most people would agree that social TV is the inevitable next step; it just hasn’t been implemented properly yet (e.g. the disastrous performance of Google TV). Zeebox provides real-time twitter and cast/crew etc information about TV shows. You pick the show that you are watching, and it will show you what people are tweeting about it, and will promote tweets from cast and crew.
So, they’ve now sold 10% to BSkyB, announced on both the Sky and Zeebox blogs. This is a pretty big deal as this is a public demonstration of the sort of technology that we will see in Sky’s satellite TV service (they’ve admitted as much in the announcement). You don’t usually get such an advanced preview of a company’s plans.
Two factors are starting to have a major impact on the seamlessness of the technology experience: our increased usage of social media and the growing number of ‘screens’ we utilise.
The problem that I am starting to perceive is that all our devices are configured by default to receive alerts from the various services we subscribe to. For example, when someone replies to one of my tweets, I receive an email alert in my inbox and an iOS notification on my iPhone and iPad.
There are still loads of glaringly stupid things about using iOS that never get mentioned, so I thought I’d write this. This could be an ever-evolving post, but more likely I’ll get bored and move on so here it is, my stupid list of Apple stupidity.
Recently I have become extremely enamoured by a game on iOS. This doesn’t happen often, and I feel compelled to write about this and help spread the word. The game is called Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP and is available on the App Store (universal version) for iOS and on Steam for Windows.
The new iPad had one feature that Apple promoted more than anything, the Retina screen. my prediction is that the new iPhone will also have a similarly genre-defining feature: battery.
One of the most under-appreciated features of the new iPad is the technological accomplishment that has allowed for the same battery life while supporting the Retina screen and the upgraded graphics. The battery has more than trebled in capacity with only a slight increase in device size.
If Apple apply this sort of technology to the next iPhone, why shouldn’t they also be able to dramatically improve its battery life? The current iPhone already has the Retina screen, so that relative to the new iPad, the new iPhone battery would be able to direct more of its power towards keeping the phone on rather than powering a new feature.
Of course, Apple could continue to add new features and ensure the same battery life, but it would be such a game-changer to announce a phone that lasts significantly longer than any other on the market.