Posts tagged apple

8 Notes

Current status. I suppose I should do something about this. (iPhone on the left, iPad on the right.)

Current status. I suppose I should do something about this. (iPhone on the left, iPad on the right.)

6 Notes

Uh-huh. “Unexpected.”

Uh-huh. “Unexpected.”

37 Notes

14 Notes

When I ordered my iPhone this morning, the accessories page clearly indicated that my order would come with a Lightning-to-Dock adapter, despite it not being shown on the “in the box” listing (I only noticed the inconsistency later).

This afternoon, that verbiage disappeared. It seems Apple is now saying this was a mistake and won’t be honoured.

UK consumer law is pretty clear — whether accidentally or deliberately, retailers cannot pull this sort of bait-and-switch. My reading of the Sales of Goods Act and Distance Selling Regulations suggests that the most hardball Apple could play it is to insist on a return of the entire phone and offer a full refund. Otherwise, it’d have to offer either a free adapter or a partial refund. It certainly can’t shrug its shoulders and say “sorry, that was a mistake, now go away”.

I look forward to talking to Apple customer support sometime after my adapterless iPhone arrives!

4 Notes

What I want: my Magic Trackpad to do “natural” (i.e. reversed) scrolling while my new mouse does “traditional” (i.e. down-is-down) scrolling.

What Apple gives me: two dialog options that appear to allow me to do exactly what I want. One is in the “Mouse” section of System Preferences; the other in the “Trackpad” section.

Why this doesn’t work: when you select one checkbox, the other one changes. Despite being two checkboxes in different parts of the UI, they appear to reflect the same behind-the-scenes value.

I deem this to be shit. It’s downright crap to have one value over here changing the value of something else over there. Why even have two checkboxes to present one value? Nothing but user confusion can result. Isn’t Apple supposed to be really really good at not confusing the users? At being logical and consistent and well thought out?

Grrr.

Update: Pilotmoon’s Scrollreverser is a piece of freeware that solves this problem neatly and effortlessly (although it does introduce another icon into your menu bar, if you’re bothered by that sort of thing, and it also disables the three-finger-tap to bring up the Dictionary app. Sadface.) I still think Apple’s dialog is shite, though.

What I want: my Magic Trackpad to do “natural” (i.e. reversed) scrolling while my new mouse does “traditional” (i.e. down-is-down) scrolling.

What Apple gives me: two dialog options that appear to allow me to do exactly what I want. One is in the “Mouse” section of System Preferences; the other in the “Trackpad” section.

Why this doesn’t work: when you select one checkbox, the other one changes. Despite being two checkboxes in different parts of the UI, they appear to reflect the same behind-the-scenes value.

I deem this to be shit. It’s downright crap to have one value over here changing the value of something else over there. Why even have two checkboxes to present one value? Nothing but user confusion can result. Isn’t Apple supposed to be really really good at not confusing the users? At being logical and consistent and well thought out?

Grrr.

Update: Pilotmoon’s Scrollreverser is a piece of freeware that solves this problem neatly and effortlessly (although it does introduce another icon into your menu bar, if you’re bothered by that sort of thing, and it also disables the three-finger-tap to bring up the Dictionary app. Sadface.) I still think Apple’s dialog is shite, though.

10 Notes

MacBook Air: yes or no?

Cannot decide if I should pick up a MacBook Air while I’m here in the US or not. Here’s my wondering aloud. Feel free to offer advice.

What I have now: an ageing MacBook Pro (mid ‘08); which is mostly tethered to a 26” Samsung monitor on my desk. One of the two GPUs is busted and the battery is shot. I rarely use it off the desk, although I might if it wasn’t so hot, heavy, and had such poor battery life.

Why upgrade: apart from the brokenness, I find my old laptop a bit slow now, particularly for Aperture (I have about 175 GB of RAW format photos and I spend quite a lot of time post-processing pictures).

Why a MacBook Air: because it’s the darling of the tech world, obviously. It’s light with great battery life and “good-enough” performance (it’s about 2x faster than my existing MBP). If I’m honest, I suspect nothing I do regularly except Aperture work will give the MBA much of a problem.

Why not a MacBook Air: even the top-dog 13”/256 GB model isn’t anywhere near as fast as a 3.1 GHz iMac, which is the other option I am considering. It doesn’t have enough hard drive room for my photos and other stuff (my existing 500 GB disk is full). I could move most of my RAWs to an external disk, but the Air’s lack of eSATA, FireWire or even gigabit Ethernet become a problem — and there’s still no affordable Thunderbolt accessories to address this. Also, if I got an iMac, I’d effectively be getting a 27” monitor for “free”. (I can’t really afford both a MBA and a Thunderbolt Display. Perhaps saving for one is the right answer though.)

Why get one from the US: it’s about $400/£260 cheaper, which is less than even a refurb UK model. Not that refurb MBAs seem to show up much. However, they have a slightly different key layout — the Return key is a different shape. This might drive me mad, although it seemed alright when I used one at the Apple store earlier. I could buy two US-layout desktop keyboards, so at least I’d always be using the same keyboards on all my computers.

So… What do I do?

Update: I’d be fitting an aftermarket SSD to the iMac (one much faster than the Air’s). And I own an iPad and carry it everywhere, and expect to purchase an iPad 3 next year.

28 Notes

My current iPhone wallpaper.

Original image by Jonathan Mak Long; I resized it for use as an iPhone wallpaper image. You can download my version if you want to use it too.

My current iPhone wallpaper.

Original image by Jonathan Mak Long; I resized it for use as an iPhone wallpaper image. You can download my version if you want to use it too.

28 Notes

Steve Jobs

Say what you like about his divisive nature but he was certainly a smart bloke and we need all the smart blokes we can find in this world. People are saying that when we look back in decades to come his name will rank with industrialists and visionaries like Edison and Ford and Disney. Time will tell on that, but I think they’re probably right.

Lots of fascinating and touching remembrances popping up around the web, like Jobs testing Photobooth in Mike Matas’ office in 2005 and Brian Lam, formerly of Gizmodo, reflecting on that stolen iPhone prototype. My favourite, though, is a touching piece written a few weeks back by his neighbour. That last one is a rare view of Jobs as just another guy, crying with pride at his son’s graduation party. Like my Apple-agnostic friend Mike said; some kid has lost his father. That’s worse than anything any of the rest of us are feeling.

As John Gruber put it: so it goes.

6 Notes

On ExpressCard/34

People complained when Apple dropped ExpressCard slots from the MacBook Pro line in 2009 in favour of an SD card reader slot instead. Meanwhile, my MBP’s ExpressCard slot has remained empty since I bought it. The only thing I’ve ever come close to buying to go in it is… an SD card reader.

Well played, Apple.

6 Notes

By me at TUAW: "Notes on the iPad 2 launch"

This one was a lot of effort, but I’m proud of how it turned out.

Speaking of the iPad 2, here’s how I did on my predictons:

Front-facing camera for FaceTime (and maybe a low-res backside one too for completeness)

Score one for me.

Increases to RAM (at least doubled to 512&nbspGB) and CPU and GPU specification

Apple’s keeping mum about the RAM but I’m still betting it’s there, and also that the iPad 1’s paltry 256 GB is why it can’t run iMovie.

A bit thinner with a flatter back.

Partial score, because it’s more than “a bit” thinner; down from 13.4 mm to just 8.8 mm.

Maybe a little lighter, but probably not much; don’t forget a beefier CPU and GPU might need a bit more battery capacity so as to not sacrifice battery life.

Score. Weight of the Wifi model dropped from 680 g to 601 g.

Maybe more flash capacity (i.e. 32/64/128 GB), but note that the iPhone and iPod Touch capacities didn’t change during their last refreshes.

Flash capacity didn’t change, but I hedged my bets with the prediction, so no credit.

Better speaker – louder and a bit more high fidelity. It’ll still sound like a fart in a hurricane though.

Some people from the hands-on session are saying it has improved, but it’s hard to tell in a crowded press room; Apple didn’t say anything. Jury’s still out.

NoThunderbolt

Score.

No Retina Display

Score.

What I didn’t predict, but did turn up:

  • HDMI out via a dongle – the thought crossed my mind but it seemed like such an ungainly idea I dismissed it. I’d argue it still is ungainly (particularly the Dock passthrough for charging), but also very practical, so fair play to Apple for putting it on sale.
  • the aforementioned Smart Covers – I don’t think anyone saw it coming beyond some vague rumblings of “magnets in the case” from one of the rumour sites.

11 Notes

How iPods are designed

The quiet is so deep you can taste it, like the silence over a graveyard after the first snow of winter. Jony Ive sits in the lotus position before a marble altar holding a single pristine block of virgin aluminium, 1 by 4 by 9. His eyes are closed, his breathing shallow. It has been three weeks since he last moved.

Suddenly he strikes. His hand is a blur, the blade of one palm impacting the cold metal with millimetric precision, just once. The moment stretches. His mouth curves, in one corner, very slightly, into a tiny smile.

With balletic grace pieces of aluminium begin to fall away from the block, one by one by one. In the centre is revealed his latest creation: a top secret new iPod, to be immediately rushed away to Shenzen by warrior monks.

Incidentally the warrior monks dropped the original design for the Camera Connection Kit down a drain on the way to the factory so for several months Ive had to make all of them himself via this method. This is why they were so ludicrously fucking hard to find.

8 Notes

My predictions for Apple’s 2010-09-01 media event

iPhone — iOS4.1 ship for immediately after the event with a fix for proximity sensor problem. They’d bloody well better.

iPod Touch — I reckon front and back cameras, but the rear mounted one might not be the full-spec autofocussing 5MP one the iPhone 4 has. I think Apple will prefer to keep the design slimmer instead. Some hoopla around Game Center. Retina Displays are pricey to make; I could just about see the range being split with a higher and a lower model, with RD only on the more expensive, but I think that’s less likely.

iPod Classic — lots of people predicting its demise but I’m not so sure. There’s a small, but vocal, group of people prepared to pay premiums to have that sort of volume of music on their person. I don’t think Apple would give those customers up for no reason, and I find it hard to believe they are selling the current model for a loss. I don’t expect it to be mentioned at all, but I don’t expect it to vanish either.

Other iPods — I’m uncertain. That 3cm square touch screen does look like a likely candidate for some sort of hardware revision to… something. Can’t make up my mind. If the Nano does get a weeny little touch screen, it might move up the range a little, which might drive the Touch up a little too and make more room in the budget for Retina Displays as standard on the Touch.

iPad — no announcements. I don’t even think we’re going to get iOS4.1 for iPad, I think it’ll be iOS4.2 that unifies the platforms. Certainly no new hardware.

iTunes — TV show rentals with muted support from the networks. Some limited social networking stuff that ties into the Game Center friends lists, but probably nothing like “your friends like this, you should watch it too”. I think any cloud-related streaming stuff is unlikely at this point.

Apple TV / iTV — far too many rumours of an iOS-running flash-based low-cost new hardware revision for it not to at least partially true, and I think they’d want to get that out before the Christmas sales, so I think this is more likely that not. I don’t expect to see any compatibility with existing iOS apps to speak of.

Apple TV remote — I think they’ll be conservative with the remote control and we’ll see something a bit like the existing Apple remote but with a few extra buttons or (at the most) some limited motion sensing. Maybe (but not likely I think) optional support for using an iOS device as a remote, but it’d have to be optional or people with less iOS devices than they have family members are constantly going to be battling over the remote. Who wants to hang up their phone call so their kids can watch cartoons? And if it is optional — how compelling could it really be?

If we do get an advanced remote, I’d suggest Apple would model it more on the Magic Mouse (think a normal remote with an added gesture surface) than a Magic Trackpad (using gestures for everything). Gestures mostly demand you hold the device in two hands and look at what you’re doing, both of which feel like a hassle when you’re channel surfing in the dark.

I-wish-they’d-fix-this-but-they-won’t-wildcard — cloud syncing for savegames. At the moment, if I want to keep my savegames for Grand Theft Auto, I need to keep the 600Mb game hanging around. Even if I sync to iTunes before deleting it, the game is still gone; there is no Apple-sanctioned way to backup the savegames. This isn’t a huge problem for most apps but for gamers it’s shit. OpenFeint are introducing cloud syncing for savegames but this sort of thing is much better off centralised on the device itself. Apple are typically conservative with this sort of thing though, so I doubt it’ll happen.

2 Notes

As in my last post — doesn’t work in a Vim session in a Terminal window. And ^ and $ don’t work in Insert mode. You raise a good point about conflicting muscle memory though. I now use this thin Apple keyboards on all my Windows machines, and have shift-2 mapped to @ instead of ” (etc for all the other small differences between the UK Mac and UK PC keyboards, of which there are a number).

As in my last post — doesn’t work in a Vim session in a Terminal window. And ^ and $ don’t work in Insert mode. You raise a good point about conflicting muscle memory though. I now use this thin Apple keyboards on all my Windows machines, and have shift-2 mapped to @ instead of ” (etc for all the other small differences between the UK Mac and UK PC keyboards, of which there are a number).

7 Notes

On OS X Keyboard Shortcuts

RAGE.

  • Number of times each day I want to hop to the beginning or end of a line: many
  • Number of times each day I want to hop to the beginning or end of an entire document: few
  • Behaviour of the Home and End keys under OS X, which map to the latter function, not the former: retarded.

Google has shown up KeyFixer, which seems like a half-baked solution to the problem. I’ll try that later. Unless anyone has a better suggestion…?

10 Notes

So, the more expensive iPod Touch equates to “loves me more”? That’s pretty crass, Apple.

So, the more expensive iPod Touch equates to “loves me more”? That’s pretty crass, Apple.

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