Three years ago, I was really excited. Though the magic of serendipity, I had purchased an original iPhone while driving from L.A. to Seattle, and I was just beginning to discover the seemingly limitless possibilities of having a web-connected personal computer in my pocket.
Sure, there were problems here and there, but, at first, the iPhone was new, it was transformative, and most of all, it was a helluva lot of fun to own. Apple had done amazing stuff in the past, but this felt like the pinnacle of their work. The iPhone combined everything great about Apple into a single beautiful device.
Fast-forward three years, and all that joy is gone. Kaput. My iPhone 3G is used as an iPod at work, to check traffic while driving, and (occasionally) make phone calls. It’s gone from being a fun device to something that is kind of a drag to own. And I blame Apple.
The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.
On Twitter, there is a hashtag for complaints like this: #21stcenturyproblems, which adds a level of irony to the tweet by acknowledging that a few years ago, noone could have complained about this, and — by the way — most people probably don’t give a shit in the first place. Fair enough, and yet because the iPhone permanently established the smart phone as a must-have device, it’s weird that we’ve gotten to this point in such a short period of time.
Apple’s latest gadget is everything we hoped for, and so much less. Granted, the iPad is very cool, but it’s more evolutionary than revolutionary. It is essentially an extra-large iPod Touch with optional 3G wireless.
In my last post I identified five things I’d be watching for during the iPad event.
Here’s what I saw: (more…)
Forget the Super Bowl. Tomorrow is the big game.
Unless you’ve been hiding under a Blackberry you’re aware that tomorrow is the day that Apple unveils its highly anticipated new product. After nearly three years of speculation, tomorrow is the day we all get to see…the Unicorn.
Rumors abound about the alleged capabilities of this mythical beast. Some say that it can fly. Others have suggested that it’s invisible. Those same people insist that it’s already here and we just can’t see it yet. There is actually a rumor floating around the net theorizing that tomorrow morning when Steve Jobs walks onto the stage to introduce us to his new creation, a shiny new Apple tablet will materialize in each of our homes. These invisible unicorns have apparently been hiding in the corner for months just waiting for the right moment to come out and meet us.
Steve Ballmer will bow down to this supernatural new technology. Pat Robertson will condemn it as satanic. Newt Gingrich will buy three.
As for you and me? Who knows. Whether or not this “revolutionary” new product actually transforms our lives in the ways that we’ve been lead to believe it might, depends on any number of things.
Here are a few of the things I’ll be looking for to determine whether the Apple tablet turns out to be a unicorn or a duck-billed platypus. (more…)
After two years of non-stop rumors and wild speculation the Mythical Apple Tablet (aka the Unicorn) will apparently become a reality later this month.
Among other things, the Unicorn is expected to single handedly (hoofedly?) save newspapers, magazines, and book publishers, while simultaneously killing Amazon’s Kindle. That’s a tall order for a device that no one outside of Apple has actually seen yet. These expectations are not surprising considering the amount of wishful thinking that has been projected onto the device by print industry insiders desperate for salvation in a world that is increasingly turning digital.
I have no intention of adding to the ill-informed speculation about the Unicorn’s specifications or magickal capabilities. Instead, I’d like to take a moment to dissect the claim that an Apple tablet will somehow kill the Kindle.
The logic seems to be that Apple’s tablet will provide a superior user experience to the Kindle (a reasonable assumption), and that consumers will favor a multi-purpose device over a dedicated reading device (probably true). As a result, the tablet is expected to become the digital reading device of choice. In other words, the Kindle is toast!
Well, maybe. (more…)
This post was published on 1/27/09 – exactly one year to the day before Apple announced the iBookstore. For an update on what was announced, see The Day Apple Didn’t Change the World
Confession time. I was wrong about reading ebooks on the iPhone.
When I evaluated various ereading devices a few months back, I came to the conclusion that the iPhone was not suitable for long form reading. Months later, I’ve now read several books on the iPhone and I have to admit that the experience is growing on me. In fact, I frequently find myself looking at my bookshelf and thinking, “I wish I had that book on my iPhone”.
In most cases those wishes are an impossibility because there’s no (legal) way to get the book in question onto my iPhone — or any other reading device, for that matter. In some cases, where digital editions are available, they aren’t available in a format that would work with any of the current iPhone reader applications.
There’s hope that all of this may be changing soon, as publisher interest in the iPhone/iPod Touch seems to be growing by the day. Publishers are rushing to experiment with all manner of ebook releases targeted at the iPhone.
In part, publishers are turning to the Apple platform as a way to neutralize the momentum building behind Amazon’s proprietary Kindle platform. Ironically, not long ago record labels were headed in the opposite direction, offering up their catalogs to Amazon in hopes that Amazon’s MP3 Store might neutralize some of iTunes’s momentum.