Tag Archives: iphone


12 Mar

iOS 7.1 included CarPlay! Now I can use my iPhone hands-free in my car! As long as it’s one of “select” cars from 2014. It is not.

CarPlay is Apple’s plan for incorporating their software into vehicles, so the big question is whether this is going to be great and work or whether it’s going to be like iTunes on the Motorola ROKR was Apple’s plan for incorporating their software into cell phones. We all know that sucked so massively that it led to Apple taking it all back and making the iPhone instead in a great (and entirely typical of Apple) show of “Fine, we’ll do it ourselves.”

So will Apple eventually design their own iVehicle? I’d love to see it.

Probably won’t though, if only because Tesla is already doing exactly what Apple would do if they were going to manufacture cars.

Of course Apple could buy Tesla…

Thoughts on the iPad

2 Feb

First of all, what an awful name. Of all the rumored and possible names for this thing… iPad? Seriously? (My favorite name was “Canvas” but that doesn’t fit what the device turned out to be.)

Second of all, initially it’s underwhelming, because it seems to just be a big iPodTouch. I have an iPodTouch. It’s an amazing thing. A bigger one would also be an amazing thing, and I can easily imagine that browsing the internet by physically interacting with it is much more enjoyable than using a keyboard and mouse. But the tablet seems like just a bigger iPodTouch.

When Steve Jobs introduced the tablet he positioned it as a third category of product in between the Laptop and the iPhone. I think that’s disingenuous. The iPad is clearly meant to be a replacement for a laptop and not just a larger iPodTouch. In the future, it will be. Get a MacBook now while Apple still makes them. The iPad is the “laptop” of the future. Soon almost nobody will use laptops anymore because they will have iPads, or iPad-like devices. It can run programs as powerful and sophisticated as the iWork applications (basically Apple’s version of Microsoft Office), something that my iPodTouch certainly cannot. That means it’s as powerful already as most people need a laptop to be.

I can hear the screams of protest. “It doesn’t print!” “It doesn’t have a keyboard!” “It doesn’t have a camera!” “It doesn’t have a disc drive!” and so it can’t possibly replace a laptop. But I think that it can and it will. Maybe not this initial version, but it will improve, and tablet sales will soon outnumber laptop sales. Why?

Because it does the things that most people use their laptops for, and it does them better (and cheaper). Most people use laptops for email, for browsing the internet, and for… well, that’s basically it. Maybe there’s word processing. Maybe there’s video watching. Maybe there’s digital photo sorting and editing. The iPad does all of these things and aside from the word processing it seems likely that it does all of these things better than a laptop. Combine it with the keyboard dock (or a bluetooth keyboard) though, and it’s just as good as a laptop on your desk for word processing, but when you want to travel you only have to take the screen with you and not the entire bulky and heavy laptop. It’s better for sharing photos and giving presentations. It’s better for carrying around with you when traveling. It’s better for reading.

For people who get confused when Finder is the front app but a Word window is taking up the whole screen (I think that’s most computer users), the iPad is easier to use. Touch what you want, and you get it. The “computer” is mostly hidden. The “middle-man” mouse and keyboard is gone. You just physically interact with what you want. For most people, especially people that don’t really know or understand how to use computers, that’s far easier than using a computer via a mouse/trackpad and keyboard can ever be.

The fact that the computer is mostly hidden, though, is why it can’t completely replace the laptop. Yet. There are a few people out there, like me, who do things with their laptop that the iPad can’t do (like edit video) so for us it doesn’t replace the laptop. But we’re the minority of computer users. The iPad is the laptop of the future for the rest of you. I guess that means we’ll have to get used to the name.

Writing in the Digital Age – how about learning in the digital age?

10 Oct

John August, screenwriter and director (Go, Big Fish, The Nines), has a very informative blog where he just posted the transcript to a speech he recently gave called “Writing in the Digital Age.” Some choice quotes are below, but I recommend reading the whole thing.

“as more aspects of our lives are conducted online, how we present ourselves in writing will only get more important.”

“The internet has billions of readers. What it needs are writers who write with authority.”

“No matter what career you end up choosing, or what career is chosen for you by fate, you will be a writer for the rest of your life. As the digital age accelerates, I’m convinced that writing is going to get more important each year. It’s not a noun anymore. It’s not the term papers and the memos and the screenplays. Writing is a verb. It’s an action. It’s a crucial way in which we process the world around us.”

Reading this brought to the forefront of my mind thoughts I’ve been having recently about the state of learning/information/knowledge in “the digital age.” The boy I tutor has an iPhone and a laptop, which means that he’s able to connect to the internet virtually anywhere and at anytime. That means he carries the entirety of wikipedia and infinite google search results in his pocket. If he carries all that information there, what does he need to carry in his head?

I don’t have some climactic revelation to all of this, but I do think it’s fundamentally changing something about the purpose of learning, or at least what is fundamentally important to learn. On another angle, if the space in our brains that we spent on memorizing facts can be used for something else, (since the iPhone/internet can be used as a repository for facts) what can we do with this newfound brainspace?

A bunch of things, for the sake of an update

6 Sep

The white iPod is dead, but the iPhone is cheaper and the “classic” iPod now holds more media than my powerbook. Seriously, who owns 40,000 songs and has had an unsatiated desire to carry them around?

Here’s this entry’s not-entirely-unrelated-to-Batman news bite: Maggie Gyllenhaal is now posing in lingerie. Yes, she could stand to eat more food, and yes, she still looks hot in handcuffs.

Led Zeppelin is getting back together.

Saving the world is an out-dated notion. Escaping the world is where it’s at. Some people spend almost half of their living hours immersed in a digital world.
In fact, roughly one third of gamers reported they could be ‘more themselves’ in the game than in real life. (And by “gamers” they mean “people we asked who play games online”)

Which leads to this entry’s un-technological (meaning there are no buttons to click, you have to comment with your answer) poll:

Do you hope to:
A: Save the world
B: Escape the world
C: I reject your false dichotomy! Instead, I _____(fill in the blank)___.

The iPhone-man Cometh

14 Jun

You’ve probably heard that Apple is releasing the iPhone at the end of this month. If you haven’t heard, how’s life under that rock going? You may or may not, though, have seen these commercials for it. One interesting thing about these commercials that I can’t really think of any other commercials for any other products doing is that they show only one thing: the product being used. That’s it. There’s nothing else. No slogan, no humerous anecdote, no sex, no violence, no “special offers” or deals, no nudity, just the iPhone being used. They simply say “this is the product, this is how it does what it does” and that’s it. They have enough confidence in their product that they let it speak for itself. Almost like it’s just an honest ad, and not propaganda. Almost. (As opposed to those other commercials from Apple…)

In any case, the iPhone looks damn cool, and if it had enough storage for all of my music, had already been out “in the wild” for a long enough to be tested and improved, had useful battery life, and was cheaper (or I were richer) I would totally buy one. Totally.