Microsoft’s latest Windows 8 mobile phone ad is admittedly somewhat clever. It shows a wedding where the bride’s side of the aisle is filled with Google Android phone users, while the groom’s side is made up of all iPhone users. Another, and more subtle note, is that the Android side is filled with mostly hip, young people, while the iPhone side of the aisle is populated with older people (40+). During the ceremony an iPhone user asks a person from the Android aisle, “Would you mind moving your enormous phone?” because the Android person is using their oversized phone to take a picture. This question is really a thinly veiled derogatory statement. What quickly follows is a humorous exchange of insults between Android and iPhone users. Soon after a fight breaks out.
Standing in the middle of the fight are two caterers who have red and yellow Nokia Lumia phones running Windows 8. For some reason they aren't drawn into the fight nor does the fight ever come to them. As they stand in the middle of this chaos taking pictures and scrolling through the Windows 8 tiled interface (for whatever reason), one caterer asks the other, “Do you think if they knew about the new Nokia Lumia they'd stop fighting all the time?” The other caterer responds, “I don't know. I think they kinda like fighting.” The commercial ends with a man ripping his shirt open (ala Superman) and tattooed onto the center of his chest is an Apple logo. Immediately he is knocked over from behind by an unseen Android user. Microsoft’s tag line is “Don’t Fight. Switch.”
What the next version of AppleTV will look like or whether it will even be called AppleTV (some rumors think it will be called iTV) is anyone's guess. Mark Reschke has postulated that the next AppleTV will include a 60" screen and be 4K. It is not a far fetched idea, if Apple can keep the price down so mere mortals can afford one. Apple surprised everyone with the incredibly low introductory price with the original iPad. They certainly could do this for a 4K HDTV too.
Yet another feature rumored to be on the horizon for the next generation AppleTV is Siri. Siri would change the way people interact with their TVs. Instead of looking for that silly remote that likes to hide between couch cushions and run away to rooms far, far away, you could just use your voice to control what show or movie plays on your TV. However, a big feature no one seems to be talking about, that would be huge, is Game Center for AppleTV.
Apple's former Senior VP of iOS, Scott Forstall has been missing in action ever since his abrupt ousting by CEO Tim Cook in October 2012. Forstall does has a Twitter page up, with an impressive 60,988 followers, but has yet to post a single tweet. Forstall is following one account, and it's Conan O'Brien. Ironic, since O'Brien was also treated with little respect upon being ushered out the door by NBC.
Google announced a slew of new services at its I/O developers conference today. Many of these services are new from Google, but they are not new to the market place. The company showed their continued march to integrating as much as possible into Google+, clearly taking aim at converting Facebook users to Google+ users. But the overall results of Google's announcements were very Microsoftian, being late to the table with little to differentiate their products from others already in the market with well established solutions. The show seemed more tailored towards Google fanboys, and the fact they should give up Pandora or Facebook simply because Google now offers their own also ran products.
Photoshop is the best image editor on the market. It is being used in a vast number of professions, from medical imaging to 3D graphics. Will that change with Adobe’s Creative Cloud, which has change the way users purchase Photoshop? Under Creative Cloud, users no longer purchase the software, but rent it for $240 a year. For many users, this price is just too expensive.
Users who can’t afford, or don't want to spend $240 a year for Photoshop are now looking for alternatives. This is a difficult task as there are really no feature-to-feature competitors to Photoshop. Yet most people looking for an alternative do not use all of the features of Photoshop. The following is a list of possible alternatives for some users and how it can replace Photoshop.
Adobe has been changing the way their customers can buy their software lately. During the past decade, users of Adobe's software were stretching out their upgrade cycles, choosing to forego every single update, as the costs didn't justify, and the new features were not that compelling. Many were upgrading only when a major OS or hardware change required them to do so. When Creative Suite 6 came out, Adobe told its customers that they would only be able to upgrade from one version back instead of 3 or 4. This meant users could not upgrade every other version, doubling the cost for many.
Sony recently announced aggressive price points for its all-new XBR 55" and 65" 4K Ultra HDTVs. Sony will be launching the 55" base model for a seemingly jaw dropping $4,999, while its largest 84" set continues to drop jaws for the exactly opposite reason, coming in at $24,999.
Rumors continue to swirl about Apple entering the market with an all-in-one Apple TV plus HDTV device rumored to be called "iTV." Assuming Apple dives into the living room, a recent article by Mark Hibben sheds some light on why Apple would be wise to jump into the game with its own 4K set (displays with 4x more resolution than current 1920 x 1080 HDTVs).
Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion gave Mac users some parity with iOS users through the introduction Notification Center. OS X Notification Center is a non-intrusive way of alerting Mac users of incoming messages, like emails, appointments and OS X updates, through badges or alerts. Badges are little notifications that appear in the top right corner of the screen for five seconds then slide away. While the badge is still present, one can click it and be transported to the specific application and particular message. Alerts are a little more intrusive as they require action to be taken (close, open) before they disappear.
The idea behind Notification Center is to let the user know that a new message has come in, but not to disturb the current work flow. Notification Center also has a side bar to the right that allows for viewing of several different notifications, from different apps, all at once. That said, Notification Center has much growing up to do, and below are some suggestions we have for Notification Center in OS X 10.9:
The current MacBook Pro 15-inch comes with two graphics processors or GPUs. The HD4000 is integrated into the Intel chip and the Nvidia GeForce GT650M is a discrete graphics card with 1GB of memory. The MacBook Pro 13-inch just comes with the HD4000. While the Nvidia card is much faster than the HD4000, it uses more battery power. That all may change this summer.
The Mail application was one of the first apps that Apple wrote for OS X. Those who remember the first official release, OS X 10.0 (Cheetah), know that Mail.app was there from the beginning, as it was to be an example for developers on how to write an app for the OS X platform. However, Mail.app soon was adopted by many and Apple started improving it with each release of the OS.
That said, there are several things Mail.app doesn't do very well or could do better. Below is a list of improvements we would like to see in the OS X 10.9 release: