Tagged with apple

Apple Watch First Impressions: Beyond the Obvious

Apple Watch
Much has been said about the Apple Watch already. Much of it has been obvious, especially if you’ve been following along with the technology media’s obsession with the device. In light of this, I wanted to write up a quick blog post detailing my experience with the Watch over the past week, while trying to avoid some of the common threads that you’ve likely already read.

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Microsoft: Drowning in a Sea of Partners

As I type these words on my Macbook Pro, there is an iPhone 4 in my pocket and an iPad 2 propped up on its Smart Cover in front of me. If you had told me a couple of years ago that I would be using three Apple devices at the same time, I would have laughed at you. (In a nice way; I don’t like hurting anyone’s feelings.) So I couldn’t help but ask myself recently: what happened? Why have I turned to Apple when, traditionally, Microsoft has been the one to satisfy my geeky gadget needs?

The answer doesn’t lie with Microsoft alone. Microsoft is predominantly a software company. They write
the OS, the productivity software, the games, or the utilities that run on your device. They provide a solid platform that anyone can use in any capacity that they desire. This is something that has always appealed to me: if you want something in a small form factor, then you can build it that way — and you can be sure that the OS of your choice will run on it.

But what happens when your beautiful software gets put on ugly, underperforming hardware?

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Apple Announces the i_______, Available Immediately

Earlier today, at their Cupertino headquarters, Apple announced the latest entry in their “i” product line. Named the i_______ (pronounced “eye blank”), it allows customers to take their ideas for an iDevice, and make them official. “For years, we’ve been creating lustworthy gadgets that make friends, coworkers and complete strangers envious,” Steve Jobs explained in a press release. “Today, we are giving customers the ability to keep the people in their lives constantly envious, driving home the power of Apple’s innovation.”

The i_______ contains no electronics, and isn’t an actual working version of a customer’s idea. Instead, it is a sturdy, laminated piece of cardboard mounted on a solid aluminum back. The front features typical Apple minimalism, showing only your chosen i-product name, what it does, and when your idea was officially recognized by Apple. An idea plus three features is priced at $299. Additional features can be added for $49 each.

Only a few media representatives were allowed into the unveiling at Apple’s headquarters, ensuring they were the first to lay eyes on the product. Initial responses were positive.

"I’ve actually had an i_______ for a week now," admitted The Wall Street Journal’s Walt Mossberg, much to the envious glances of other nearby journalists. "While it looks simple — just a sheet of cardboard declaring your official i-product concept — it takes on a whole new meaning when it’s in your hands. It becomes personal."

Surprisingly, the i_______ was available for purchase today, and lines have already started forming at Apple Stores across the United States. While select members of the media got the first look, it wasn’t long before everyone else got their chance to see Apple’s latest innovation.

Paul Thurrott, who runs the Windows SuperSite, offered a more measured response. “Quite simply, the i_______ is an evolution, not a revolution. It was only a matter of time before Apple moved beyond material objects, and into the realm of ideas, dreams and vaporware.” While Thurrott generally seemed impressed after buying an i_______ of his own, he found it difficult to ignore several shortcomings. In particular, Thurrott noted that, “…. Apple still hasn’t learned anything from the iPad. The i_______’s glossy, laminated front made it impossible to read in direct sunlight.”

Many happy customers were leaving Apple’s stores, even hours after they initially went on sale. Unlike the iPad 2, there appears to be plenty of stock. Customers were showing off their concepts for iAlarms, iCars and even iSpoons.

Marcel Jones, from Nashua, NH, was one of the early adopters. “It’s amazing! No other company lets you turn your ideas into something physical and real, in such an easy and innovative way. But Apple does, and it’s going to change the game forever!”

Mr. Jones did realize one possible issue with the i_______, however. “While obsolescence is always a problem, it seems particularly bad when your imagination is in charge. For example, for my iToaster, it would be perfect if there was a WiFi module that could send real time updates about your toasting adventure straight to your computer.”

Realizing he had just made his own newly-purchased i_______ obsolete, Mr. Jones’ smile quickly faded.


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I’m a PC — AND a Mac

The secret is out — I decided to get a MacBook Pro.  It’s something that I have been considering for a while, but it still feels a bit strange getting an Apple machine.  As anyone who’s met me knows, I’m not a big fan of Apple.  Sure, I have an iPhone.  But I’m not a particularly big fan of OS X, and I’m often critical about Apple’s software and business practices.

So why a MacBook Pro?  Isn’t that like buying into the dark side?

Well, let me assure you first of all that I’m not a "switcher".  I’m not going to port Trowl to OS X, and I’m not going to start wearing black turtleneck sweaters.

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I think most geeks wish for a completely connected world: where all the gadgets they invest in can talk to one another, and information can be shared without restriction.  Needless to say, it is a wish because it has not yet happened.  We come close, of course.  But nothing is ever perfect.

And, sadly, I am not starting off this post with such a wish because the iPhone makes it a reality.  Rather, after using my new gadget for a few days, I want to point out how far we’ve come — and how far we have yet to go.

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