Posts Tagged ‘Apple’

My Go To Device

September 24, 2010

As anybody who knows me can tell you, I love technology and I love gadgets. But mostly, I love how they can be used to make our lives better. So as it’s been about three months since I got my iPad, I thought I would reflect on my experience so far.

On a regular basis, I am asked “what do you use it for?” The short answer is ” Almost Everything”. More and more, I am finding that my iPad has become my go to device with my Macbook Pro and iPhone taking a lesser role in my daily life. Don’t get me wrong, the iPad is not for the heavy lifting. I would not use it to create a complex spreadsheet of draft a contract however for content consumption it’s awesome.

And it’s portability, easy of use and abundance of apps allow me to greatly increase my productivity. I often take my iPad with me at times where I would not have wanted to lug a laptop. Did I mention that it’s lots of fun too?

So how do I use it on a daily basis? Here are some of my regular uses:

Apps

There are over 200,000 iphone apps most of which run on the iPad so there should definitely be some that you would find useful or fun. Although those iPhone apps that have not been yet been upgraded to utilize the iPad’s capabilities leave something to be desired. But don’t fret, there are plenty of iPad optimized apps.

So far my favorites include:

  • Notes and Pages: for small documents and meeting notes
  • Keynote: for editing and making presentations
  • Things: Task/To Do Management
  • iBooks and Kindle: for reading
  • iPod: for music and Audiobooks
  • Twitterific, and
  • Scrabble

Of course my kids have their own favorites.

Web Browsing and Watching Videos

Surfing the web on the iPad is great. Web pages look great on the iPad’s 9″ screen. In general, I often prefer to use my iPad than my Macbook Pro and at 1.5 pounds and small size I take it almost everywhere.

It’s lack of flash support is definitely an annoyance. I think Apple made a mistake on this one and clearly they will lose sales by this omission, however that is the choice they made. There are however an increasing number of online videos that do support iPad friendly format.

Email & Note Taking

While I read and reply to many emails each day, I read more tan I reply and most of my replies are a few sentences or shorter. Even at my desk when my laptop is right in front of me I generally prefer using my iPad as graphically it is just so much nicer to look at. The virtual keyboard is an issue but I have found that after a while i got used to it.

I even now take my iPad to meetings to take notes. It is smaller, lighter and easier. It is also less intrusive as I don’t have a laptop screen sticking up and blocking the view between me and those in the meeting. Once the meeting is over its very easy to email the notes to others.

I could go on and on

Needless to say my iPad has become very useful to me.  And for those of you who are skeptical on being able to do real work, I wrote this post with the WordPress App on my iPad while enjoying a latte at Starbucks.

Tell me your favorite uses.

Why Must I Pay Twice For The Same Content?

August 10, 2010

Like many, I love to listen to audiobooks. Given that I read slowly, it allows me to get through books that interest me much quicker. In addition, it gives me greater flexibility as I can listen to the book while I drive.

For many books, such as novels, one listen to the book is sufficient. However as I mainly like to read business and marketing books, there are times where I would like to listen to the audiobook and yet have a copy of the ebook as a reference.

Yet today, assuming that I don’t want to rip a copy, it seems that my only option is to pay once for the audiobook and a second time for the ebook. This doesn’t seem reasonable to me.

It seems that the book publishing industry is still caught up in the old world model much like a large part of the newspaper and magazine industry. I want author’s and publisher’s to receive reasonable revenues but why should I have to pay twice for the same content?

And why can’t I buy an ebook once and use it on my iPad when it suits me and my Kindle when I want to read outdoors on a bright sunny day. Well, I guess the device manufacturers such as Apple and Amazon are responsible for this one together with the publishers.

I feel it is reasonable for book publishers to charge a premium if I want both the audiobook and the ebook but not double. And portability between devices should be a given.

And what about book rentals? There are many books that I would love to read but don’t want to buy all of them. In the physical world I can take them out at a library. Why can’t I do the same in the digital world?

This unfairness has miffed me for a long time. What do you think?

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The Facts Matter!

July 17, 2010

In a competitive world of 24/7 news channels and realtime online media, getting the story fast seems to trump getting it right. After all, if you can get 2 sources you can always retract latter as more complete information comes along.

And if you’re a big company, then it is reasonable to expect the media to be gunning for you, right? In his article in the National Post today, that is exactly what journalist Matt Hartley says about Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ response to the so called Antennagate story.

Matt suggests that by the use of facts and comparison of the iPhone 4s antenna problem to competitor’s products, Jobs will not win much sympathy and in fact many loose favor of consumers. It seems as if the media feels cheated out of not having brought Apple to its knees and receiving an apology or an embarrassing and expensive product recall.

There seems to be an implication online that upon hearing the complaints as put forward by Gizmodo and other online posts, Apple CEO’s appropriate response should have been to make an immediate apology to customers and investors and recall the entire 3 million iphone 4s. It would seem that according to many bloggers, taking an analytical measured response, like demanding the facts, doing testing and making a decision based on data seems to be the wrong way to go.

Well If the facts that Apple presented are to be believed, it seems that Apple’s iPhone 4 customers seem to be overwhelmingly satisfied with their purchase. And while the reception problem can be reproduced over and over in testing, very few real world complaints are coming forward.

After all, it is exactly because Apple consistently makes product that its customers ( and yes, Fans) want, and address their needs with the highest level of quality user experience, that Apple is no longer the little kid and has taken the dominant industry role.

In my mind, where a company and its CEO take logical steps to acquire the facts and then regardless of the outcome, offer to satisfy customers and refund them, no questions asked if they still are not satisfied, meets the test not only of being a good marketer but also good corporate stewards.

And if that still does not satisfy you, in the words of Jonathan Mann:

“if you don’t want an iPhone 4, don’t buy one, if you bought one and you don’t like it, bring it back”

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OMG, Here We Go Again!

June 28, 2010

Leaders are targets for criticism.

Apple’s iPhone 4 hit the stores this week and already controversy permeates the blogesphere surrounding it’s antenna problem. Why is it that people love to write about and read about Apple’s flaws?

Critiques require context and comparison

I have seen many reports about how if you hold the phone in a particular way the signal strength is reduced and how calls get dropped. What I don’t see is a balanced comparison of iPhone 4’s signal strength and calls dropped compared with that of the  HTC Evo 4G and Droid Incredible, the Nexus One ,or a Blackberry Bold. Here’s what a real comparison looks like.

I don’t know if it will turn out that the complaints are isolated or whether Apple will have to fix the antenna by  recall or by software upgrade. What I do know is that once again Apple has a marketing success on its hands (reportedly 1,500,000 sold already) and respected bloggers such as Walt Mossberg say that iPhone 4 is “Top of Class” with the only reason he can’t recommend it is because of the AT&T network.

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Don’t conform, let your unique creativity shine through!

June 23, 2010

Change is good. It’s how we advance the world. But to create change we must dare to think differently from the current wisdom and think outside the box. So why do we teach conformity and stigmatize mistakes?

“If you are not prepared to be wrong you will never come up with anything original” – Sir Ken Robinson

While the world has evolved, the educational system has remained largely unchanged. We continue to teach our kids that if they study hard and follow the established rules they will find success. Despite that fact that each child has unique talents and abilities, we all send our kids to schools which by design require conformity and uniformity of thought.

In his 2006 TED Talk, creativity expert Sir Ken Robinson tells the story of Gillian Lynne the world-famous choreographer, which I believe is a good example in point. As a child, Gillian was underperforming in school and unable to focus and sit still.

Gillian was lucky that her hidden talent was discovered by a doctor and that her parents chose to nurture it rather than giving her Ritalin and telling her to calm down. Had that not been the case, Gillian might not have gone on to meet Andrew Lloyd Weber and choreograph some of the worlds best musicals including Cats.

Robinson asserts that “We are educating people out of their creativity” and goes on to tell us that “Creativity is as important in education as literacy, and we should treat it with the same status.”

Another case is from the life of Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO, who dropped out of a more traditional college program giving him the freedom to enroll in a calligraphy class simply because it fascinated him. At the time it was hard to connect the dots but ten years later, as he was designing the first Macintosh computer it all came back to him. If he had never dropped in on that course, computers might never have had multiple typefaces and proportional fonts that we now all expect.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking.”Steve Jobs

So if you feel that you are not already on the right path, don’t be afraid to choose to a new course. Be creative and most importantly, don’t let the discouragement of others hold you back.

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