EEF33646-832E-47C7-9329-A006153AD436 iphone | Baghdad By The Bay

Posts Tagged 'iphone'

WWDC Nerd Fest

Darth Trash CanWell Apple is in town this week for the World Wide Developer Conference and along with that comes the requisite keynote address. I’ve watched it a couple of times before writing this to let it sink in.

Not a single product was released. That means that there wasn’t a throng of Apple fans rushing to update their software right after the Apple love fest in an attempt to bring down the internet for the rest of the world. On the upside I think this keynote was Apple’s answer to everyone saying that Apple just isn’t as cool without Steve Jobs. Sure they had to pull out several people to cover for the missing omnipotent Steve, but I think they did a pretty good job. Here’s my breakdown of the speakers:

Tim Cook: He’s been seen as a bit milquetoast-like. He doesn’t offer the wow factor Jobs did, but he was always the voice of reason to come back to. I noticed a bit lispy precision in his voice making him sound a bit like a gay account as he was rattling off the numbers to us of how popular Apple has been in the past year.

Craig Federighi: This was the wow factor guy. He played the audience of balding 20 year old nerds quite well in such a way that he also made those who were watching that weren’t of the nerdish variety go weird. You know the type. Those people who think plugging in an appliance makes them technologically advanced. Craig played to the hecklers who tried to interrupt him without breaking a sweat and even through in a bit of self deprecation which always goes over well in my book.

Phil Schiller: He’s Phil. He’s always there and he’s got a sort of low brow, I’m not going to throw numbers at you, but big words that sound cool. Can’t innovate my ass was his best line of the show. Phil is the type of guy that you place a shot of 50 year old single malt scotch in front of and start to explain all the care and forethought that went into making it and when you turn your eyes back to him from the glass he’s downed it and ordered another couple of shots while pulling out his corporate card to pay for it. Phil to me represents the end user that just wants the box he sunk his money down on to do the job.

Eddy Cue: METALLICA! I was waiting for him to scream that out during his presentation of iRadio, but he went a little more subtle and chose Whole Lotta Love by Led Zeppelin with a couple of required head bangs during the start of the song. Eddy Cue is like comedian Jim Breuer in that he took the stage looking like he had just finished off a few too many beers and can’t pronounce the big words Phil was throwing out. Oddly enough he did a pretty good job explaining iRadio. I’m going to use it when it’s available. Something tells me he has Nickelback on his playlist though.

All in all it was a pretty well thought out presentation. So much so that it wasn’t until afterwards that all the people who use Apple at home finally realized, They didn’t release a single product today!!!! The various people talking about how great Apple is was interspersed with shots of the audience to include Al Gore, Woz and Jony Ive just to add to the cool factor of the day.

From what they showed of  iOS7 looks like it was created by someone who watches far too much 80’s Japanese Anime, but after all the talk about flat, simple icons I could finally understand why when Craig started tilting an iPhone running iOS7 — the wallpaper looks like it sits about 6″ below the icons. I’m sure there’s someone at Apple who gets paid a lot of money who said the line during a meeting that 6” is enough for anyone. That was probably Jony Ive who used to be Jonathan Ive, but I guess that was a bit stuffy sounding for Apple. Then there was Darth Vader’s trash can™ or the new Mac Pro. It had a very slick look to it and it’s sleek black is something I welcome back. I’ve missed Apple’s black laptops because black will always be the new black. Black has always been cool and will always remain cool. Kind of like why we call the Yakuza the Japanese mafia and not the mafia the Italian Yakuza, because it was the first to come up with a cooler name for organized crime.

Looking cool seemed to be the focus of this keynote. Gone is the skeuomorphic design, replaced by flat icons that every designer has now redesigned in 15 minutes. Sure the new OSX Mavericks does some cool things, but it’s doing things it should have been doing a few years ago. Speed and functionality took a back seat in the presentation to showing off how tilting the screen lets you see more of the wallpaper or that animated thunderbolts accompany your weather prediction. It’s kind of like a new coat of paint on a old car with a few tricks thrown in. Yes Apple can still innovate, but at the same time they’re adding on features that other apps have been doing for awhile, so while they innovate they are also coming up to speed. San Francisco will be changed this week and hopefully the city can suck every last penny out of all the techies who’ve come to San Francisco and not live off the outside sponsored hipster buffets™ that no doubt will be going on all over the place.

Fun With FourSquare

foursquare-logo-iphoneI decided to have a little fun this weekend with one of San Francisco’s tech companies, FourSquare. The family decided to take a run out to In-N-Out burger in Daly City and as usual, daughter and I sat in the car while wife scoped out the place to put our order in and see if there was a table available. I had some time on my hands, so I pulled out my iPhone and started tapping away.

I pulled up FourSquare to allow me to check into In-N-Out burger. I’m not really sure why I do this. I don’t get anything for it and FourSquare gets lots of data from me and everyone else who uses it just to give me a badge-like picture for checking in at a lot of places. I at least got an Apple TV from Viggle, so today it was time to have fun with them.

As I was checking in I noticed the picture icon where you could take a picture of the place you’re checking into which gets added to the list of pictures for that particular place. I happened to notice something really fun. It was so fun that I had to make the Dr. Evil face. It gave me a choice to add a picture from my library. Oh dear, what have they done now. So I can add a picture of anything I want to the place I’m checking into. Me being the rebellious type decided to choose a picture of a taco that I had on my camera. I know. It’s not the most rebellious thing to do, but it was a start.

I could see something that was at our disposal where you could make a statement with your check in. You could get a picture of drunk fails and post that to a bar you frequent. A herd of cows would be appropriate for a check-in at Costco. Come to think of it a herd of cows would be fun to post at a gym. PETA [People for the Edible Ethical Treatment of Animals] would have a field day posting pics of slaughterhouses at meat friendly places. I posted a picture of my old roomate’s dog Bear licking her lips with a beer in front of her looking like she’s about ready to pass out to my check-in at Krispy Kreme doughnuts because when you look like that what kind of food sounds really good.

These are places that I like. Imagine what I could do if I was given bad service at a place I checked in to? Pictures are worth a thousand words and I think there are many ways that FourSquare can now beat out Yelp.

iOS 6 and San Francisco

Well it’s here and I spent yesterday updating my iPhone and iPad. For the iPhone I can’t really say I see much difference. The iPad update on the other hand with the update to maps is freakishly stalkerish. You may not notice this if you don’t live near Cupertino or in San Francisco where Apple always gives their keynote speeches, but look at the picture I’ve taken of West Sunset Playground and that will give you a close idea of how freaky the maps app is here in San Francisco.

When I show my wife the pic of our house with the tilt and shift and zoom we could easily make out the  table and chairs in our backyard along with the kiddie slide on our deck. I didn’t include it because my wife just felt like we were spying on ourselves. So you get a pic of a playground instead. This pictures doesn’t do it justice because when you spin it around and do all the tilt and shift stuff you get a feeling like you’re really there.

There have been lots of complaints about the new maps app for iOS 6, but most of the complaints are coming from people far away from San Francisco. So if they want to enjoy the app they need to start stalking us in 3D mode on their iPads. Unfortunately, there is no 3D on the iPhone version of maps, but I suppose it’s a processor thing. I only have an iPhone 4 not a 4S or 5 so I could be wrong. I have noticed that in 3D mode that the it is very slow to load the maps, but if you’ve got time to kill it’s a kind of cool experience. I still feel that the accuracy and detail make it seem like you’ve got an app to spy on people, but at least there aren’t real time updates. I guess living in San Francisco we get the most detail first at the expense of our privacy. At least I don’t nude sun bathe in my backyard.

Autism vs. The iPad: Part II

As you read before we had a little mishap with the iPad and it was replaced for free by Apple. The day it was replaced we searched for a case that would keep it protected no matter want and we decided on the Survivor by Griffin Technology. I watched their video of their case with the iPhone and searched for reviews and figured that if the case was considered military grade in the US and UK it could hold up to a moderately autistic child.

Well I was right and I’m glad now. In the three days it took to get the case we’ve been keeping a watchful eye on our little spud to make sure she didn’t throw it or bash it again. Well, it turns out that our over protectiveness only encouraged her to do so. Nothing really terrible, but if we moved toward her in a preemptive strike to keep her from damaging it she knew and would try and toss it.

Luckily we have quick hands and got it before any damage occurred. Now about the case. It’s really good. It’s a polycarbonate housing that’s strong and I liked it because it took me awhile to get it apart so her getting it out of the case will be difficult. The polycarbonate case is covered with a silicon/teflon outer soft cover with flaps covering all of the access ports. This would be great in the sands of Iraq, but what I liked most is that it muted the sound a bit which our daughter like to turn up full blast. This isn’t a problem when you hold it in your hands, but when it’s flat on a table the sound ricochets off the table and is amplified by about 30db making it very loud and annoying whenever there’s an elmo video playing.

Watch the video below. It’s a great case and I found it online for $39.95. It’s a bit thicker than the iPad or iPhone, but it’s worth it for the practically hermetic seal it gives to the iPad. While for some people $499 isn’t too high a price to have to replace, if you have a young kid you’ll want a strong case to protect it so that you can keep your iPad for as long as possible.

[Ad#Adbrite]

Muni Needs WiFi

For a short period of time I had to take the 48 Quintara down to the Mission on a daily basis. I found it actually a relaxing and interesting trip that I wrote about previously as I could sit there with my iPhone and read my email and get constant updates on what was going on along with all the other riders because of the 3G access we all had, but if you like the other thousands of riders who have to take the metro downtown you’re out of luck.

There’s no signal in the tunnels at all. Granted, traveling from West Portal to Embarcadero can be rather quick, but it leaves you with unproductive downtime where if there was an emergency at home I couldn’t even get a phone call in most cases for 45 minutes. On the other hand, BART when I got on one day politely asked me if I’d like to connect to their free wifi service. Hell even going through the bay tunnel I could make cell phone calls. Why isn’t San Francisco looking into this?

There was a time a couple of years ago where I saw buses in San Francisco touting free wifi service they were testing out. You don’t see those today. In a city that says it’s so tech friendly I would expect wifi to be everywhere and available. Well, it is pretty much everywhere, but not always available.  There was a plan at one time to make wifi available throughout San Francisco, but it never took hold. Couldn’t we at least find a way to first make wifi available in the metro tunnel running downtown and then making it available on the buses? It would make the need for 3g/4g data plans almost superfluous and give everyone with a smartphone/tablet computer access to the internet while they have to sit during their commute. Most people complain about how slow Muni is, but if you had something to do during the time you were waiting you wouldn’t notice it so much.

Hell, if I could watch Indiana Jones while I was stuck in the tunnels for two hours I wouldn’t mind the wait as much.

[ad#AdBrite]

Forgive Me Apple, For I Have Sinned

I try to talk about San Francisco things during the week, but with the release of Apple’s iOS 5 yesterday I learned a few things that Apple doesn’t tell you so I have to give them a smack today.

My wife is not an early adopter. She is still using Tiger just as my workplace is using. I knew iOS 5 was to be released yesterday and was notified yesterday morning that there was an update to iTunes. I figured this was a tie in with iOS 5 since you went through iTunes to update your iOS devices previously. At work, we have a strict IT department so that wasn’t possible, but when I heard the announcement that iOS 5 was finally released I tried to update, but had to wait until I got home.

I get home and plug in the iPhone and try to update and was informed that it was having trouble contacting the update server. So I tried again, and again, and again with no luck. I figured everyone was doing it so that was the problem. I did check the suggestions to get around this and finally checked for new software updates and low and behold there was an update to OSX 10.7.2. After installing that I found out that I could update my iPhone to iOS 5. The only problem is that my wife’s iPad is hooked up with her computer and she is wary of updating because for some reason she always finds something that goes wrong. Well, it turns out that she can’t update to iOS 5 until she upgrades to Lion. Now I also have friends with mac’s that can’t upgrade to Lion because they’re computers don’t meet the specs who also have an iPhone or iPad. They’re out of luck completely.

On the plus side I have to say that both Lion and iOS 5 are nice, but there isn’t much shockingly different at first look. I say this to people who aren’t early adopters that feel like they’re missing out, you’re not really. There are a few new cool things, but nothing majorly WOW. I have noticed a few problems also, well one problem and that’s with the move from MobileMe to iCloud. First when you try to transition to iCloud you’re told to log into me.com to start the transition. This is wrong. You go to iCloud.com and enter your MobileMe user name and password and that is what starts the transition. After I transitioned I’ve found that while iCloud gets the mail it keeps telling me that my password is wrong and I need to re-enter it. This could be from the fact that many people are changing over to iOS 5 that it’s putting a strain on their new server farm. Also as I am typing this for some reason Safari has started to automatically hide itself under 10.7.2.

While I don’t totally understand the #OccupyWallStreet phenomena that’s going on, if you’re not an early adopter of Lion I suggest it’s time to go down to your Apple store and #OccupyApple and make them fix the problem. Yes, I know you need to have Lion installed in order to use iCloud, but if you have a mac that doesn’t meet the specs for Lion and you’ve been using MobileMe as of June next year it will all disappear on you. Which means that in moving forward you’ll have to get a new mac and switch to iCloud to continue to use your mac.com or me.com email address and all the other new features. You will be as useless as a Newton in a short time.

Steve Jobs R.I.P.

Yesterday evening I happened to take a look at twitter and got hit by a ton of bricks. Steve Jobs died, October 5th 2011. I kind of felt like I lost my breath for a second or two, but then I realized I had seen it coming, we all did. I’m almost certain that Steve took his last medical leave because he knew he didn’t have much time.

It’s odd that sometimes you learn more about people after they die than when they’re alive. Steve Jobs and Cupertino were coupled together like Brangelina, yet Steve was born in San Francisco. I didn’t know that until I read that after the fact. He was always the big keynote speaker at the MacWorld’s at Moscone Center. My funniest memory of MacWorld was getting an hour off work to go to MacWorld and because it was so big way back then I found myself stuck behind some slowly meandering idiot in front of me talking to a woman. To myself I’m thinking, get out of my way moron, I’ve only got an hour to see the whole place and then the moron turned his head…It was Steve Jobs. I had heard some pretty bad things about him such his dismissive behavior of fans yet I still blurted out, Mr. Jobs! and he turned around. I just said Thank you and extended my hand thinking for a second that he might possible give me a smirk and turn and walk away. He extended his hand shook it and smiled at me.

That was my entire extent of meeting Steve Jobs. I quickly walked around him and continued on with the rest of MacWorld. I figure I got my 15 seconds of Steve Jobs and that was much more than most people got. I have always been a Mac evangelist even though I’ve never worked for Apple. If you think back to the year 2000 and how life was you may remember things were a little different. Mp3 were just coming on the scene, but there wasn’t any way to organize them. There was no iTunes or iPods. There was no super fast gigaflop G4 computers yet. No iPhones, iPads or Apple TV. Airport were around to offer WiFi, but wouldn’t get extreme for another three years. We did have the sleek all black powerbook that had a clock speed of 400Mhz that was fast for the time, but it didn’t have the power anywhere near my iPhone 4 does today. By comparison, my stove was purchased in the late 70’s and if we were to purchase a new one today it wouldn’t be too much different.

When Steve returned to Apple in 1996 things changed. He became an iconic figure to the company that was parodied on numerous television shows, Saturday Night Live being one of the funniest where he was shown giving a keynote speech as if he were a God.We have to remember something though, while Steve built the first Apple computer along with Woz, he wasn’t building and designing so much as time went on at Apple. He may have inspired others to come up with the designs and if you look now Apple has people like Jon Ive and Phil Shiller and Tim Cook who will inspire those at Apple to continue when Steve left off. Apple will continue in the manner Steve intended it to because he picked the right people to lead the company.

Oh, and I last thing…

I’m sure we’ll all warm up to Tim Cook almost as much Steve, we just need to give it some time.