As I mentioned in Apple's Missed Opportunities, Part 1, I have had a few weeks now to work with Apple's OS X Mountain Lion. While people have written what they like or dislike about the new operating system, I tend to look at it from a business standpoint and what would make Apple more competitive in the small business space.
In reviewing OS X Mountain Lion, I've come across two apps that I've become enamored with: Notes & Reminders. These apps were ported from the iOS to OS X. But what makes them powerful is their syncing ability through iCloud. This means if I were in a meeting I could quickly use my iPhone to write myself a reminder or to jot a note about a good idea and when I get back to my desk, there they are on my MacBook Air. However there's a problem with this "magic" called iCloud.
Losers not withstanding, here are the top 10 reasons why Apple's forthcoming iPhone 5 will be a mega hit:
- Install Base: 250 million iPhones have been sold-to-date. Apple's own addressable market for iPhone upgrades is around 170 million.
- New Carriers: By far, Apple getting onboard with China Mobile's nearly 1 billion customer base will allow the iPhone 5 to explode in new sales. In the U.S., T-Mobile may finally have worked a deal with Apple, leaving no major carrier in the states without the coveted Apple device.
- Larger Screen: Those waiting for Apple to deliver a larger screen iPhone are likely to get their wish.
- LTE: It's all but a given that iPhone 5 will deploy 4G LTE.
- iOS 6 & iCloud: The new iOS brings features like FaceTime over carrier networks, and seamless iCloud syncing for many common documents. iCloud API's will be a boon for developers, making iOS 6 coupled with iCloud an attractive selling point.
- Design: iPhone 5 may stay within the design lines of the current iPhone, but it's going to be taller, thinner, with a new camera position and an edgy feeling non-glass back.
- Hardware: Beyond LTE, iPhone 5 is likely to see a new ARM-based quad-core chip set, increased memory for running apps, boosted graphics, improved cameras, better speaker-phone capabilities. and an all new dock connector. All told, a new iPhone from the inside out.
- Mass Production: Don't count on Apple being unable to meet iPhone 5 demand. It has been rumored that Apple has been manufacturing the iPhone 5 since late June. With FoxConn producing iOS devices in China and Brasil, coupled with Pegatron's production, the iPhone 5 is likely to be Apple's most ambitious world-wide launch of any product, by any company in history.
- Lack of Competition: Microsoft has failed with it's Nokia and Windows Phone 7 debacle. RIM is on its last legs. Samsung, LG and Motorola Mobility are fighting, but Samsung shot its best salvo with the Galaxy IIIS earlier this summer to avoid colliding with iPhone 5 this fall. All the momentum Samsung has had better be enjoyed while it lasts.
- Marketing: No company does it better than Apple. When the iPhone 5 launches, nary a stone will be left unturned that won't bear iPhone 5 graffiti. Everyone living between plant earth and the space station will now the iPhone 5 has arrived.
Henry Blodget is at it again, throwing out his less than savvy reasoning as to why the iPhone 5 will be a big loser for Apple – because of it's looks. In Blodget's latest column, If The iPhone 5 Really Looks Like This, Apple May Be Screwed..., his "big idea" is that the iPhone 5 looks a lot like the iPhone 4S, which was virtually the same design as the iPhone 4, thus Apple's iPhone 5 will be a flop. Blodget's "logic" stops there.
Blodget ignores the fact that the iPhone 4S blew away smart phone sales figures, yet looked nearly identical to iPhone 4. But the ignorance continue. Blodget also seems unaware that the largest iPhone upgrade cycle in Apple's history will be this Fall, and avoids mentioning China's amazing growth story for Apple. "In short, the Galaxy feels like a next-generation phone." says Blodget. Sorry Henry, but truth be told, the Samsung Galaxy IIIs looks like a smashed down retread of the iPhone 3 and 3GS.
Episode 84: iPhone Bar Hopping: Mark, Karl and Werner talk about iPad Mini rumors, Mountain Lion launch date, 13-inch MBP retina display, Steve Ballmer claims to compete with Apple everywhere, Marisa Mayer leaves Google to head Yahoo!, and Microsoft and NBC split after 16 years on MSNBC joint venture.
The more applications are open, the more windows we use on the desktop. Apple has come out with a few tools like Mission Control to help us take control of those windows. While Mission Control helps us manage windows, it does not help placing those windows.
In a multiple application environment, being able to quickly place windows can save a lot of time. Apple has three buttons in the upper left to close, minimize and maximize windows. These won’t help if one wants to put two windows side by side and have them fill the screen. This is where Moom becomes very useful.
9to5mac.com recently reported that AT&T is laying down the tracks to charge for FaceTime video conferencing on it's 3G network. AT&T currently charges an additional $20 for wifi tethering, but also includes an additional 2GB of data with the package. It seems the telecommunications giant is set on bringing forth the same type of program for FaceTime capabilities over their network.
A question few seem to be raising, is why on earth is AT&T charging for Apple features? Tango is a decent video calling application that is not blocked or hindered by AT&T, but FaceTime will be? AT&T will cry that it is about Bandwidth, and that Tango has very little traffic, but the built-in FaceTime will see massive use.
Watching Microsoft implode one product at a time is like watching a train wreck take place in slow motion. The nightmare just never seems to end. Thankfully, only a few more cars are left to crash into place and it'll be over.
Earlier in the week, Steve Ballmer talked with Richard Karlgaard of Forbes. The discussion largely focused on Ballmer's promotion of Windows 8, but Karlgaard also brought up a scathing Vanity Fair article, which many are describing as Microsoft's lost decade. Ballmer spun and twisted his way around questions as best he could, but there is little doubt that the executives at Microsoft are riding a large wave of desperation.
If you are into hoops, or just vaguely interested in how iPad is being used in various corners across the globe, the NBA's Daron Williams, now of the Brooklyn Nets (sorry New Jersey), signed his $98 million contract on an iPad.
Evidently, based on this twitter photo on Daron's page, he signed the contract with his finger. This is a typical way in which to use the iPad of course, but this may mark the largest financial deal ever finalized via an iPad. Daron Williams tweeted, "Officially a Brooklyn Net! Signed my contract on an iPad Just thank God for this wonderful opportunity #HelloBrooklyn."
The function keys are rarely used by most programs on the Mac. So Apple added special commands for those keys instead. Users can control iTunes, display brightness, and launch Mission Control or LaunchPad. This has made those function keys much more useful.
For applications that use those function keys, there are several ways to get around these special functions. The Fn key can be used to switch between normal function keys and Apple’s function keys. With applications like Photoshop, using the fn key for function keys can create some weird shortcuts. How the fn is used can be controlled with the preference in the Keyboard System Preference panel. Yet, it would be nice to change the function key mode on they fly or be dependent on the current application. Now you can.