Mobile Computing – Always there when you need it.

Sorry for the long lapse in posts. Sometimes life interrupts our best intentions. I’ve kept my ear to the ground as far as the Mac universe goes and have some news and ruminations to share concerning what’s available and what’s just ahead. There are plenty of news sites covering the Mac world, so saying it’s a crowded market place is an understatement. To address that issue I try to provide a little unique perspective since I’ve been using Mac’s since the beginning in 1984.

While the Mac in all it’s iterations has been getting the uptick with speed boosts and other system enhancements; it is the iPhone/iPod touch and the Macbook Air that have been the most notable as far as media coverage goes. In fact my first post on this blog was about the launch of the iPhone in june of 2007. We continue to see this trend of mobile devices with iPhone and iPod touch as well as the record selling laptops, Macbook and Macbook Pro.

Of course none of this works without software and Apple has continued to improve their content delivery model with improvements and offerings in iTunes as well as the app store, for iPhone and iPod Touch. There are of this writing over 25 thousand applications in the app store for iPhone and iPod Touch and the count down to 1 billion applications has begun. As of January 16, 2009 there have been over 500 million applications downloaded. An amazing accomplishment in just a year and a half. Of course this has been done through a partnership between Apple and the software development community using a robust SDK or Software Development Kit. As we speak developers are hard a work getting ready to roll out a whole new crop of applications to support the new software update to the iPhone and iPod Touch version 3.0.

Nothing is ever for sure until it sees the light of day but there are rumors out there that suggest we may see an upgraded iPhone 3G with more memory as well as a more consumer priced iphone [perhaps a nano version] to appeal to a wider audience.

So what do we see in all of this? More mobile computing with wifi connectivity via the internet and the “cloud” or centralized storage of data. The reason for this is pretty simple; mobility and content delivery. Whether it’s entertainment, sports or social media and email, people want to be connected whenever and wherever they are.

In the works: While there is lots of coverage about specific pieces of hardware and software there is less coverage as to how they work together. Future posts will show how different hardware and software packages work together to create what we call “workflow” which is simply a term for how we get things done.

Apple Retail Stores and Locations

So many of you have asked so here is all the scoop on Apple’s retail operations, below are two links that should take you to most everything you would want to know.

Apple Retail  stores and locations.

Everything you might want to know about these stores their design and histroy and what is to come.

MobileMe… up, how’s it doing? [updated]

After a period of waiting in the dark we finally get started with MobileMe, Apple’s replacement for dot Mac. This is an interim look at the new offering which will be followed up with a more proper review after a chance to review all the features. Initially not all the services were working but they did come online and for the most part seem to work but my iWeb galleries have vanished to somewhere. Not a big deal to reinstall them and not too surprising that everything does not migrates smoothly.  Everyting in my idisk is there and the upload process seems to work better, although I have not tried any large files.

The main problem I have with MobileMe is that it’s just sorta plain. I am a big fan of the minimalist approach but this is something else. Maybe it’s just me [ Please feel free to weigh in if you have thoughts on this ] plain not just in appearance but the polish and features of a desktop app don’t seem to be there. In the calendar module there is not button to produce the todo list; you have to add a todo in order to see the list pop out.  UPDATE: Actually there is a keyboard shortcut, however a button would be nice.

As I have said before this is a 1.0 release and it will be improved but lets hope that there is more to Mobile than Meets the eye.

MobileMe, AppStore Launch…. ahem!

EDITORIAL: [ UPDATED ]

This is one of those posts that will probably seem silly in about a day or so but never the less… My Question is WHITHER MobileMe… etc. It is not surprising that something as complex as launching a new web service could have problems but that there is so little information about what is going on. Apple of course has always been slow to admit that there is anything wrong until after it’s fixed. Oh look it’s available on Apple’s servers you just have to install the update, but no mention that it’s only for Leopard 10.5 users.

Then there’s the App Store; but you apparently have to have a iphone or ipod touch syncd for it to show up on the iTunes pane. So those of us who are contemplating an iphone purchase can’t see what Apps are available..

Note to self —always think of the information people need and answer those questions or at least say you don’t know the answer. In my case I don’t know why the services are not working or how I am expecting them to work.

Thanks for reading and we’ll all hang in there :-)

UPDATE Well apparently you can see the applications on iTunes but you have to search for them. Why is there no button?.. type Applicatons in the search field and they will show up.

iPod Touch ~ Making it better

One good way to make the iPod touch more attractive especially since it is more expensive than an 8 gig iPhone is to add features. I would suggest a 3 or 4 megapixel camera….. hint hint. How about GPS; is that even possible? Something has to give on the iPod Touch front….

Mobile me! …Oh My

June ninth Steve Jobs rolled out yet another suite of products for the tech hungry world in the form of a new 3G iPhone integrating with the enterprise market and previewing new software from Apple and now third party apps from developers. In addition the long awaited update to Apple’s “dot Mac” service now called “Mobile Me” was previewed and will launch in early July. What is still sinking in is that Mobile Me is not just for Mac users but also PC users which will sync their computer with their iPhone via Outlook Express. Push email, calendaring, contacts all avialable across both platforms. Phil Schiller called it Microsoft Exchange for the rest of us. That’s probably why they don’t call it dot mac anymore huh… :-) It remains to be seen, but this could be yet another inroad to diminishing the Microsoft dynasty. Time will tell if this is also another cash cow; Mobile Me is 99.00 per year. The iPhone, iPod & iTunes, QuickTime, Intel Macs that can run Windows and now Mobile Me are all avenues that lead to greater presence in the tech marketplace with the trademark Apple ease of use. Never underestimate the power of design!

Last minute iPhone observations

While I have no recon on what new iPhone device might be introduced on Monday. I did note a few, perhaps telling remarks made during Apple’s unveiling of the iPhone SDK roadmap. You might want to watch that video again while you wait out the next 30 hours or so. Perhaps the biggest revelation of the iPhone is that it is really a whole new platform which will continue to dominate the mobile device marketplace. Key to this is of course software. What stood out after re-watching the iPhone SDK rollout video was how the apps will be distributed. It was pointed out by Steve that you could download the app wirelessly via the phone or wifi. I can’t imagine downloading an app on the phone unless that connection is pretty fast, which bodes well for the 3G projection. Also some of the apps that would not be tolerated were bandwidth hogs. I am reading this as “fast connection speed required”.

I am still pretty sure we will see some sort of new model for dot mac with support for online backup / syncing for iPhone data. Shipping of the new iPhone software was said to be late June and I see no reason to doubt that, maybe even by the week of WWDC 08. 1 day 8 hours . . . .


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