I’ve been reading reactions to Apple’s latest major event and so far this piece on techcrunch has been the best I’ve seen yet. It hits all the points.
Apple announced yesterday that they will be streaming their September 1 event live. The catch? It’ll only work in Safari on Mac and on iOS devices. So in other words, only about 9/10’s of the internet will be able to view the live stream.
But that 9/10’s of the internet will be able to enjoy the exact same video stream no matter what device they are on, be it laptop or the tiny iPod touch. No need for a desktop optimized version and no need for a mobile optimized version. The same stream will play on any sized device.
Make no mistake, this is a giant stab at anyone who is arguing that flash is needed on Apple’s devices. If you need any further information about the state flash on Android you need only watch the video here and then read the comments. People love to rail on Apple while completely missing the point that having flash at all doesn’t mean flash works and a half-assed flash experience is not what Apple is willing to allow on their devices. Reading through the comments you’ll find a few people who argue that “at least it is there” and that “it doesn’t matter that flash sucks today because there are better phones coming out tomorrow.” That makes no sense.
This is something I’ve actually noticed on their machines and I’ve always wondered why nobody else bothers to make a computer look like it is actually “sleeping.”
AppleInsider is running a story about a possible iPhone 4 launch on the Verizon network in 2011. This seems to jive with a bit of information from I got from a Verizon worker on the roll out of LTE beginning sometime in the end of 2011 or beginning of 2012. In fact, towers in the Fargo ND area are being upgraded to LTE capable equipment right now. I have my doubts we’ll see a CDMA only version of the iPhone on Verizon’s network and I am betting on a simultaneous iPhone and LTE launch. iPhone being the first LTE capable phone on Verizon’s network would be big marketing win for both the iPhone and Verizon.
Since Steve Jobs came back to Apple there has been one thing Apple has done that nobody can really argue. Innovation in the PC industry. While everyone, including Apple at the time, was producing boring looking beige computers Apple decided to completely rethink how a computer can look and introduced iMac. Love it or hate it, the iMac was completely different than anything else at the time and soon other manufacturers tried to add some amount of flair to their PC lineup.
Skip a head a few years later and Apple did it again. While everyone else was basically creating incrementally different smart phones in 2007, Apple simply destroyed how everyone assumed a smart phone should look and work by bringing to market iPhone. They made it far easier, intuitive and beautiful and from that moment on, they made it so that any phone on the market that didn’t have a touch screen or had a touch screen that required the use of a stylus was simply awkward and outdated.
Apple’s most recent market disruption was none other than iPad. During the summer prior to iPad’s release the netbook craze was in full swing. Just a year later there are reports that sales on netbooks have slowed considerably and some reports even show netbooks are losing out because of iPad.
At iPads reveal in January of 2010 Steve Jobs quipped that netbooks weren’t better at anything, they were simply cheaper laptops. Many people argued that netbooks were most useful for consumption and were never really meant for creating content. Yet netbooks looked and worked just like any other ordinary PC. Apple changed this by creating something that looked and worked nothing like a PC. Note too that iPad was the first tablet device on the market. Microsoft has been trying to get consumers using tablet PCs for years but I don’t think anyone could argue they’ve been anything near the run away success that Apple has seen basically over night.
The inspiration for my post comes from Marco Arment’s recent post. He also poses the interesting question of, “How do you think the subcompact, inexpensive computer category will look in three years?”
AppleInsider has photos of what is believed to be the screen for the upcoming iPod touch. Photos show an opening for a front facing camera which too isn’t much of a surprise with the recent release of FaceTime. THe idea here is anyone with a WiFi connection, email address and compatible iPod/iPhone would be able to place calls to each other. It’s really nothing overly revolutionary except that unlike before where you’d need a full computer to do effective video chatting you can now use a much more portable device.
Honestly I don’t think this is news except for the information they provide at the bottom while comparing Macs. You can now take a look at the amount of greenhouse gases generated during the life of the Mac and a break down of how much of material is used in production. You can also see how much power each one uses in various modes.
Try it for yourself at the Apple Store
AppleInsider is reporting that ASUS will be shipping fewer netbooks in the third quarter of 2010 because of strong competition from Apple’s iPad. Anyone who has been reading this blog or following me on Twitter knows what I think of netbooks so this is hardly a surprise to me.
It’s being reported in a number of places, including Engadget, that some code has been found in the most recent firmware allowing a development phone to bypass the activation routine in iTunes. Some are thinking this is in reference to the rumored CDMA (Verizon) iPhone. Evidence is also there to support that a new type or updated version of the iPad is also in the works, though that should hardly be surprising.
Filed under: Software
Adobe’s Flash Player has never performed as well in Mac OS X as it does on Windows-running PCs. The traditionally poor performance of Adobe’s plugin on the Mac has led many iPhone and iPad users to support Apple’s decision to keep Flash off of its mobile devices. While the upcoming Flash 10.1 does boast some significant performance improvements over its predecessors, the performance is still pretty terrible compared to h.264, which has access to hardware-accelerated video decoding via the GPUs in Macs.
Adobe’s stance has long been to blame Apple for the poor performance of Flash on the Mac, citing Apple’s unwillingness to allow third-party developers access to APIs necessary for hardware-accelerated video. Adobe no longer has that excuse to fall back upon: Apple posted a technical note back in late March that removes this restriction and allows third-party developers access to hardware-acceleration APIs for h.264 decoding in compatible GPUs. The technical note describes ‘a C programming interface providing low-level access to the H.264 decoding capabilities of compatible GPUs’ — meaning only the latest Mac GPUs, the NVIDIA GeForce 9400M, GeForce 320M and GeForce GT 330M. ‘It is intended for use by advanced developers who specifically need hardware accelerated decode of video frames,’ the note continues.
So there you have it, Adobe. The one thing that’s supposedly been holding you back from getting decent Flash performance on the Mac is now gone. Now that Apple has removed this ‘stumbling block’ and you’re unfettered by Apple’s restrictions, the onus is on you to prove that you can deliver a well-crafted Flash plugin for the Mac — preferably one that doesn’t crash constantly or send my fans into a cyclone any time I try to watch full-screen Flash videos.
It will be interesting to see how Adobe responds to this. If Adobe takes advantage of the hardware-acceleration APIs, how much improvement Flash’s performance sees as a result will settle the debate once and for all over who’s been at fault for Flash’s subpar performance on the Mac. Even if Flash sees substantial performance on the Mac as a result of this move, though, there’s probably no chance that Apple will relent on its stance regarding Flash on iPhone OS.