Friday, September 17, 2010
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Consider the biggest problem: there's no touch interface for the TV.
It's something that was constantly in my head when thinking about what might become of Apple TV. If you can't touch the screen, how to you interact with iOS, much less all the apps in the store. Simply put, you can't. And no amount of innovation can get around certain limitations in the interface that would make converting apps sloppy, if not impossible. You just can't play Angry Birds on a TV with a remote. I was sure that Apple would come up with a simple and elegant solution. And I think they have...
Consider the solution: a wireless connection to a large display, driven by a touch device (and not one, but two A4 processors).
So you're sitting on the couch, catching up on some news, when you decide to see what games are on. You fire up the MLB app, pick a game, and send it out to your Apple TV to watch, while all the game stats and controls are displayed on your device. Or maybe you decide you want to play some Real Racing HD, so you fire that up and send it over to the Apple TV. Your iPod/iPad/iPhone turns into the controller, and you're off to the races.
The point is that the Apple TV is basically a simple display for whatever apps are on your device. The device itself become the control, providing the missing touch interface, and allowing you to interact with the app in the way it was intended.
Monday, August 30, 2010
It's the one thing customers have been asking cable companies to provide for nearly two decades that they haven't delivered.
Netflix, Hulu, Discovery, ABC, CBS, MLB, PBS, ESPN, Disney.
They all have apps.
What do you want to watch today?
Saturday, July 24, 2010
I have long thought that Apple is waiting for a carrier-agnostic model for their devices, but they've needed the industry to get to a point where it meets Apple's criteria for ease-of-use. I think the iPhone can almost be considered a stop-gap product, filling the void in time necessary for true wireless ubiquity to become a reality.
Make no mistake: Apple does not want to be in a relationship with AT&T, or any other wireless carrier for that matter. If they could operate their own network, they absolutely would. They are well aware of the tactics the cellular industry has adopted to limit device capabilities in the name of profit., and it doesn't fit with their approach.
All Apple really wants is their devices connected to a decent network. FaceTime is the key.
Why is FaceTime wifi only? Why are we reading rumors of FaceTime on iPod and iPad being linked to an email address and iTunes account? The answers are relatively simple...
- Apple doesn't want to create a strong association between FaceTime and a cellular network. They want you to think data network, not voice. Banish the thought that you are "calling" someone. And there's no way they're going to let AT&T's network issues impact their hottest new technology.
- Linking through an email address means you don't need a cellular phone number to route through. You just need an IP address and an iTunes account and you're set.
- The stage is being set for a much bigger audience. This holiday season is going to be all about FaceTime-capable iDevices. Christmas morning opening presents? Let's FaceTime grandma and show her how you look in that new sweater! Yeah, 'nuff said.
With iOS 4 offering multitasking capabilities, and background VoIP, the ecosystem is getting ready for an influx of data-driven communications. We all know it's just a matter of time before the iPod gets a camera. What if it got a 4G/LTE modem too? Would you need a cellular number any more if you could make and receive calls using Skype, and leave it running in the background on your iPod?
Which brings me back to Verizon. It's still going to be years before the networks are robust enough that this becomes a reality. But it's only a matter of time. And in the mean time, Verizon has what many consider to be the best network in the country, and they've said they're pursuing an Open Device Initiative (fwiw). It sure would be nice to have a camera-equiped iPod with a data-only connection to the best wireless network in the country.
It's all just speculation...but a kid can dream can't he?
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
I'm starting to believe the recent rumors of a CDMA iPhone being released on Verizon before the end of the year. Here's my reasoning
- AT&T recently upped the early termination fee for canceling a contract from $175 to $375. That's a pretty big jump, and would definitely provide incentive for people to keep their new contract.
- Early upgrades for most users - AT&T made the iPhone 4 upgrade eligible early...up to six months in some cases.
Why does this point to the end of exclusivity?
Apple is giving AT&T one last bonanza of iPhone users through the iPhone 4 launch. When the dust settles, and the majority of users are signed up for their new cellular contracts, Apple will launch the iPhone on Verizon. AT&T will be in a decent position with their existing customers, who will need to pay a premium to defect.
This would undoubtably piss quite a few people off, but do you think AT&T really cares that much, considering their recent service track record? My guess is they're banking on a lot subscribers leaving for another carrier eventually anyway (once they can take their iPhone with them) and are looking to cash in now.
Saturday, June 12, 2010
I can't be the only one thinking it's only a matter of time until we see a completely revamped Apple TV based around the iOS and capable of tapping into the App Store. There are already apps available to bring the content, including video from a variety of sources (Netflix, YouTube, MLB, iTunes, etc). They would need to be modified to work at HD resolutions, but the iPad is already demonstrating that a larger interface only presents more opportunities. Of course, the TV lacks the touch interface, but there's no reason an iPhone, iPod or iPad couldn't serve that purpose.
If it were up to me I'd be mashing up an Apple TV with a Time Capsule to serve as a centralized media player/server and wireless backup device. It would backup any iDevice that's linked to it, and make media available via Home Sharing to both linked devices and other media players on the local network. You'd be able to browse the full shared library and add media for offline consumption. It's probably a few years off at least, but a guy can dream can't he?
As for Apple TV with iOS...maybe in time for the holidays?
Friday, May 21, 2010
For the record, I'm a self proclaimed Google fanboy. I've been preaching Domain Apps since they launched. I truly believe Google is building the foundation of the future of the web, and doing so in a relatively open and flexible manner. Shit, this post is even running on Blogger...
But something about how Google has positioned the TV product doesn't sit right with me. Maybe it's the smug tone of their announcements, or the statements about how they're different from Apple, or the dire warning about an Orwellian future (seriously?).
Frankly, what they're talking about doesn't sound a whole lot different than what's already on the market today. Here's a rundown of the details, in case you missed them...
- Buy a TV from Sony exclusively -or- Buy a set top box from Logitech exclusively
- Buy these devices at Best Buy exclusively
- Get a DISH subscription (only with a DISH subscription do you get the full features of the Google TV experience)
- 2 device manufacturers, but only one for each type of device
- 1 place to buy all the hardware
- 1 TV subscription service to get all available features
Here are the issues I have with this arrangement:
- Hardware: I haven't been interested in Sony hardware for 5 years. Maybe this will change that, but I don't have a lot of confidence. Back in the day I used to love them (I even still own a 10-year-old Sony CRT that sits in the basement currently, and still works great), but Sony products seem to suffer from the same 'brand tax' that plagues Apple. (Logitech, on the other hand, I love. I have a Harmony remote and other Logitech devices, so this could be a saving grace.)
- Place of Purchase: Best Buy? Personally I hate setting foot in those stores. The service is poor and the employees aren't what I would consider 'knowledgeable'.
- Satellite TV: I'm a Comcast subscriber, for a few simple reasons. First and foremost, they carry the Portland Trailblazers basketball broadcasts. There's no other provider who can show 70+ games out of the Blazers season. I know this isn't something that Google has control over, but there's no way I'm taking DISH over my home team. They also provide what I consider to be pretty good Internet service...it's not perfect, but it's a hell of a lot better than DSL.
Can someone point out the choices here? Because I'm having a hard time finding them.
Here's some real choice...
A Mac mini plugged into my TV running Boxee or Plex. Or maybe MythTV on a Linux VM. I guess I could give Windows 7 a shot on a different VM, or in Boot Camp. Or maybe I'll just use a web browser and go where I want, when I want....or maybe...
Oh sorry, was that too many choices?
Could an acquisition solve all the problems and bring in a strong, stable OS that's already built on many of the foundations and principles Google already preaches?
I'm just sayin'...
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Sony CEO Sir Howard Stringer has always been delightfully direct, and he didn't hold back at Google's I/O conference: talking about Sony Ericsson with Eric Schmidt during the Google TV launch, Sir Howard noted that the Xperia X10 is the best-selling handset in Japan, and that 'when you beat Apple, you're dominating -- it's the new definition.' Strong words from a gadget titan -- we'll leave it to you to debate their veracity.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Clicker, the Web service that aims to be the TV Guide for Internet television, just launched Clicker.tv at Google I/O. Clicker.tv is a new HTML5-based interface for Clicker's programming guide that is optimized for the '10-foot viewing experience' on a big screen in the living room. Google chose to highlight Clicker during today's I/O keynote because of its innovative use of HTML5 to create an easy-to-use interface that gives its users access to a large catalog of online video.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Nick Bilton flags a surge of job openings at Amazon, all for the Kindle team. Word is that Amazon's working on a touchscreen color Kindle, and if anything, this hiring spree shows that they're not screwing around: They're gathering software engineers, new QA staff and apparently talking to game publishers about games for the platform. This wouldn't be a Kindle 3, it'd be a Kindle tablet. More »
I really think the only way Adobe can really win this is by making Flash truly open source. It's time to give back to the web community as a whole. This would really change the face of the conversation, and signal an all out attack on the principles that Apple has been pushing.
Adobe, haven't you made enough off of Flash over the last decade to now hand it over to the web community that made it what it is today? This wouldn't stop you from creating the best authoring tools, although it would certainly create additional competition for you...and your $700 application.
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
John Gruber: Mobile phones are obviating the Flip class of pocket video cameras.
Correction: Mobile phones are obviating digital cameras.
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Take a look at the guided tours they put up this week and you get a sense of what I'm talking about...
Monday, March 29, 2010
But what interests me about all this is the underlying war going on between those playing the pageview game, and those that hate the pageview game. To put it another (simplified) way: the war between quality versus quantity.
Siegler comes close to getting it, but falls short. Pageviews, as a metric used for directly billing advertisers, are a scam. Publishers game it with sensational link-bait articles and bullshit tricks like breaking articles into multiple “pages”. Advertisers get stuck paying for valueless impressions. Readers get stuck with the sensational bullshit articles, the tricks (like breaking single articles into multiple “pages”), and suffer through too many annoying ads surrounding actual content.
It is, as Jim Coudal and I argued at SXSW, a race to the bottom. Be careful of the “everyones” who say pageviews are imperfect but the best we can do. They’re the ones who are happy with the web as a market for bullshit.
What’s the other argument?
It’s interesting, to say the least, that a device promising to be the best browsing experience — cue Scott Forestall crazy eyes — is in fact reshaping the internet. You could argue it’s for the better, moving sites away from proprietary formats and heavy, resource-sucking designs to more open standards, and more efficient layouts that are easier to use (as many have, convincingly).
There is no question that there will be more Android phones, but will they be as good? Will apps be as simple, move effortlessly between devices? Will things just work? It's entirely possible that some day, Android phones will be far better than the iPhone...but that's not today.
Here are the US mobile web traffic figures for iPhone OS and Android, getting ready to collide: Android, on its way up; iPhone, on its way down. So when will Android overtake the iPhone? Try next month. More »
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Hulu blocking a specific web browser is like a broadcaster trying to keep their shows off Sony TVs. Pure idiocy...
Read more on Mashable.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Friday, March 19, 2010
TechCrunch: Facebook QR codes and location
TechCrunch: The Location War