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    Friday, July 16, 2010

    iOS 4 + iPhone 3G = .... "still thinking"

    the iOS4.x, is a great software update, given that your machine can stomach what it has to offer.. Now, i really wish they didn't include the iPhone 3G in the compatibility list, because if it's anything, it's sluggish..

    Yes, it fed my OCD of stacking things in folders (which i can't wait to have on the iPad, btw) the machine has become more slow and now am rebooting the phone every 3 days.. I'm actually looking into a safe way to downgrade (let me know if you have one that doesn't involve sacrificing goats)..

    Now that i shared that, let's dive into last week..
    Before we start, almost an hour ago, Steve Jobs held a press conference which he shared his thoughts and sat down to answer all those questions that hovered the iPhone 4's issue.. Here's a brief BRIEF summary of the conference..
    Free iPhone 4 bumper cases, and a full refund for your bumper purchase (only Apple's official bumper, not any 3rd party case).. And Steve also complained about how this issue is being blown out of proportion, and how some of the email conversations alleged to be Steve's words are fake.. And, the obvious which seems to evade many tech blogs, Apple is a company made of people (and people make mistakes sometimes) and they try hard to fix any issue.. And Steve also presented a sample of other smartphones suffering from the same industry-standard and/or flaw..
    So, free bumpers, eh? Will those bumpers reduce my chances of shattering the glass exterior? Will be refunded for the glass?

    I'll post a link to the full transcript of the conference as soon as they surface, so stay tuned.. And since i don't own an iPhone 4, i can't really give an honest comment on how true to point (or not) those intentions are.. Especially when Steve still stands by his claims that the "Antenna is the best out there", it's really up to you guys (assuming you own one).. So, make sure you fill me in about your reaction to this in the comment section below..

    [ Update : For now, there's a cached transcript at TUAW's.. Get it while it's fresh ]

    Yet again, the iPhone4 still stands strong as a game changer..

    Despite how over-caffeinated the voice-over is, this shows the amount of thought that was put in the software.. This wasn't showcased in any Apple keynote before, and like many other Apple products, the deeper you dig, the more you tend to get too attached to what it has to offer.. Nonetheless, this great capability is not strong enough to fend off the negativity hype the market is in right now.. It's the new trend to bite the Apple..

    Probably the highest point of negative press the iPhone received this week was Consumer Reports', umm well, report.. Hopping on the bad press wagon, the report was probably more conflictive than hateful..
    We also tested several other AT&T phones the same way, including the iPhone 3G S and the Palm Pre. None of those phones had the signal-loss problems of the iPhone 4.
    Our findings call into question the recent claim by Apple that the iPhone 4's signal-strength issues were largely an optical illusion caused by faulty software that "mistakenly displays 2 more bars than it should for a given signal strength." -ConsumerReports
    Yet, they still managed to fit some facts that the iPhone4 is still one of the best SmartPhones out there.. How does dissing the phone and then claiming it's good and then saying "we won't recommend" fit as none-conflictive is beyond me.. All i know, this is not Apple's favorite quarter in terms of PR..

    And it's doesn't end there.. There was notice to Apple's strange reaction towards the mention of that report in their discussion forms, and as much as Apple sales seem to continue in a steady rising pace, the bad PR is taking it's toll on AAPL's stock..
    Apple stock may have taken a beating in the weeks since the iPhone 4 was released, dropping nearly eight percent as of Wednesday morning. Nonetheless, indications remain that demand for the devices is brisk. Consumers aren’t returning the phones much, despite word spreading about a reception issue that can plague the phone when held a certain way, and apparently supplies remain low at retail outlets. - Wired
     If you ask me, i still think Apple is drinking too much of the kool-aid, pushing their own Reality Distortion too much, it's starting to bite them back in the ass.. And this report was before the news conference i mentioned above, so until now, there's only twitter reactions to the event.. Let's see if it really pays off using Steve as a PR front (Apple's weapon, and recently, the smartest CEO around), or will the charm fade.. Steve? I think time calls for another tech related event/announcement/anything to shush down the media before it's too late..

    [ Btw, incase you didn't check, iOS4.1 was in Beta earlier this week, and now it can be easily downloaded via the latest version of iTunes.. Comment and let me know how it goes, am not updating for reasons shown in the video above ]

    On a "PR Disaster" related note, Microsoft had it's WTF moment of the week, poking fun at Apple's iPhone 4, and hurting themselves as a price.. Was it worth it?
    A top Microsoft executive today compared Apple'siPhone 4 to his own company's problem-plagued Vista operating system."It looks like the iPhone 4 might be their Vista, and I'm okay with that," said Kevin Turner, Microsoft's chief operating officer, in a keynote speech at Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC), which runs through Thursday in Washington, D.C.
    It gets better..
    Earlier in his talk, Turner poked fun at the reception problems that have dogged Apple's iPhone 4 since its June 24 launch. "One of the things I want to make sure you know today is that you're going to be able to use a Windows Phone 7 and not have to worry about how you're holding it to make a phone call," Turner said, referring to the Microsoft mobile operating system set to debut on smartphones this fall. -ComputerWorld
    What we can understand from this is yet another public acknowledgement from MSFT that Vista was a failure (or maybe held in a wrong way, wink wink), or that this is a 100% guarantee that Windows Phone 7 is a smartphone software solution to what seems to be an obvious hardware flaw with the industry in general.. I sometimes doubt that these guys even check youtube videos on similar issues on other phones running different OS's..

    I miss Bill..

    Another interesting Microsoft statement this week was about Windows XP.. Apparently, 74% of the Windows user still see XP is still better than Windows 7 (according to Microsoft's blog)
    In fact, a Microsoft exec admitted today that practically three-quarters of business computers still run the nine-year-old OS on hardware averaging 4.4 years old, and Computerworld's now reporting Microsoft will extend XP's lifespan through 2020 as a result. -Engadget
    And Then Microsoft took that statement back..
    Update: So it seems as if that 2020 date is incorrect, according to Microsoft's PR team. We're presently waiting for an official update of some sort, and will let you know if / when we get it. Don't worry about the robots -- we've got top men working on Plan B.

    Update 2: The official Windows Team Blog has stepped forward to reduce the confusion, but they've only toned it down a tad. Microsoft won't commit to an exact date for Windows XP downgrade availability, saying instead that you can trade in your OEM copy of Windows 7 Pro or Ultimate until the company stops selling it... which is presently slated to be two years after Windows 8 ships... whenever that is. Find the complete non-committal statement at the more coverage link. 
    Things seem a bit all over the place at Redmond..

    Microsoft's Courier tablet (which wasn't confirmed to begin with) might've been shot dead before release, along with HP's Slate, there's a good chance we might see some iPad competition very soon.. Or so they say..
    According to Microsoft honcho Steve Ballmer, there are Windows 7 tablets aplenty coming.
    Ballmer's remarks came at the opening of Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference today. It's not news that Windows 7 tablets are coming—Microsoft would be crazy not to be involved in the business, and we already know about the Asus Eee Pad—but the timing and scope are both surprisingly ambitious. In addition to Asus, Ballmer mentioned Dell, Samsung, Toshiba and Sony and Windows 7 tablet partners, with products on shelves "in the coming months." -Gizmodo
    Agreed, Microsoft really needs to dust off and step in the tablet market before it's too late.. Either being a new way of doing the job (currently shaped by the iPad) or bringing their own take on using tablets (without killing their own initiative later on).. And so far, with the way the tablet market is being shaped and the user experience being defined, there will be too many spot lights shed on any device that dares to approach the iPad's user base.. Let's just hope that the competition brings out the best for the consumer, because let's not forget that those machines are meant to help YOU in the end..

    And, indeed, the iPad is owning the playground until further notice (or a new bully comes to town).. Because according to TUAW:

    A report recently published by Resolve Market Research and shared by Mashable is showing that the market is responding in exactly that manner. A full 49% of survey respondents answered that they would not by an e-reader after purchasing an iPad, followed closely by 38% saying that they would forgo the purchase of a portable game console if they bought an iPad. The iPhone has already had an impact on sales of gaming consoles, and the upcoming deployment of iOS4 on iPad as well as the advent of Apple's Game Center may prove to. -TUAW
    This "interesting" head start reminds me of Microsoft's days when it owned the 3rd gen gaming arena, releasing their Xbox 360 ahead of the competition, earning as much street cred. as possible.. Only to be yanked around later on when the PS3 and Wii came along.. Will Microsoft be the new bully in iPad's arena? I guess we'll have to trust Ballmer on this one.. (i just got the shivers saying that)

    Google, on the other hand, are on fire.. Starting with their new cloud-based tool to allow the Android to become the app developer's mecca.. Not only to utilize their API's, but to also make that developer arena more User friendly.. Too user friendly, actually..
    App Inventor is built on the idea that you do not need to be a developer to build great mobile applications. Instead of code, App Inventor allows you to visually design applications and use blocks to specify application logic. App Inventor is open by invitation only. You can learn more about App Inventor and request an invitation by clicking below. -Google's App Inventor BETA
    While it's not ABC friendly to any user with little-to-none knowledge of developing, it's platform and the way it enables many to visually develop apps for the phones, while having their tools floating in the clouds, is actually a great initiative by Google.. To increase user customization of what they need by increasing the number of developers? Maybe.. To increase the number of their Apps that seem to be slowing down and not large enough to fully compete? I'd put my money on this one..

    Moreover, the Android is now gaining grounds on Apple's Smartphone market.. While iPhone is still ranked #2 after BlackBerry, the Android is increasing in number..
    From February to May of this year, the Android platform grew an incredible 45%, from 9% of the total US smartphone market to 13%, according to comScore.  That share was pulled from the other four smartphone market leaders as shown by the chart at the right. -Fortune
    If you ask me, i think there's one simple issue that seems to never be mentioned.. The BlackBerry is a messenger-based business organizer and works in huge bundles (which gives the BBM an advantage over the iPhone, so no competition there) and the Android is a Smartphone Software that relies on different hardwares (including Google's own HTC-dependant phone).. So, when you say Android, you're not talking about an entity, you're talking about an Army of different smartphones, all using one OS.. So instead of saying Android is gaining number on the iPhone sales, you say "different smartphones, all combined in number, are increasing in sales approaching the iPhone sales".. The iPhone sale stats are based on a single machine's spread, not many machines.. There's a difference..

    Lastly, as it seems that Google is trying to achieve in different ways what the competition can't (be it in OS usability or in market spread), i seriously think they went a little bit over board on the this one..
    At  VidCon 2010 conference today, YouTube announced compatibility for the type of video that you typically see on 25 foot IMAX screens.
    YouTube will now support 4096 x 3072 video, otherwise known as 4K.
    That's if your computer and Internet can handle the huge requirements to stream that kind of video using Adobe's Flash. -Fortune
    My only question is.. Why So HIGH-FRIGGIN'-DEF?!! I spent most of my weekend trying to play that on my MBP and my iMac, and i even tried it on my friend's AlienWare, and the video was still not running in full power.. Especially using Adobe's Smart-ass formula they like to call "Flash" and how it needs a set of 4GB rams on it's own, in addition to the one you're already using, it still needs more power.. But seriously, is Google considering sticking YouTube into iMax cinemas to play while waiting for new movie releases? Kudos, google, we know you can take 4000 times more definition to your videos or lolcats, but who's going to see those? Not me, your friggin' demographic, that's for sure..

    In the end, i'd like to leave you guys with a little glimpse of a new Apple rumor.. What the rumor is, is up for your guesses (in the comments below) and i guess i'll let you know more about it next week (given news surfaces and all)

    Don't follow the image address link, cheater!!

    So, until the next update, What was YOUR highlights of the week?
    (If you think there's a highlight that should be added, let me know and i'll update this blog)



    1. dude,why dont u just say what the rumor is already!!

    2. Trying to create a rumor hype of my own, i guess :P..