Three Guys and a Podcast: Apple News & Analysis
Apple may be preparing a massive move that will propel Safari from niche browser to market leader. The move to merge Safari and iTunes into one software solution appears long in the works, which may arrive this fall at Apple's usual iPod special event.
Apple acquired the streaming music services company, lala, for $80 million in December 2009. The purported purposes for such an acquisition was for Apple to spearhead the way towards taking iTunes towards an online service, accessible via any browser, and away from a desktop software solution. That may no longer be the case.
There is a clear need for a Finder on the iPad and until Apple creates one, we have to look somewhere else. There are many apps trying to add finder-like features to the iPad and one of them is ReaddleDocs. The developers of ReaddleDocs added a new twist by including folder syncing between the iPad and a cloud based product like Dropbox. While ReaddleDocs still has areas that need improvement, this sync feature alone pulls it ahead of all other apps.
ReaddleDocs has all the standard iPad file management features such as WiFi file transfer, built-in file viewing, and file management with folders. ReaddleDocs can be compared with other finder-like apps GoodReader and AirSharing HD. While I have not tested AirSharing HD yet, I use GoodReader regularly on the iPad. ReaddleDocs has a number of big advantages over their competitors and they include:
Apple's app store is pulling away from the rest of the app stores as the place to introduce new applications to the world. Only if the application is successful, will it be ported to another platforms. The App Store not only makes it easy for users to find the best apps, it also gives developers a unified platform to build and sell their apps.
While Android begins to dominate the smart-phone market-share, it has no clear app store. Google Android Market is the official app store for Android, but there are as many app stores for Android as there are phones running it. Most device manufacturers have opened up stores for their own devices to increase their revenue. Amazon has created their own App Store for Android to compete with Google. With all these app stores, which one do you choose?
The talk of the town is Apple's big iPhone 4 deal with Verizon, but Google also came to the table yesterday with a little announcement of their own. Google delivered an under-the-radar announcement, stating they will be dropping support for the h.264 codec in favor of their open source WebM codec.
Google claims their Chrome browser dropping h.264 is about supporting open standards. If Google were truly concerned with supporting open standards, why does the proprietary Flash still ship with Chrome as a preinstalled plug-in? As John Gruber of Daring Fireball points out, the hypocrisy is thick.
Microsoft is currently running a television ad campaign called “To The Cloud”. In the commercial called “Airport” (seen below) a couple is stranded at the airport because of a flight delay. The man then says, “To The Cloud” and pulls up a television show they recorded at home. Magically they watch a fictious show called "Celebrity Probation’. The woman says, "Yeah cloud.”
The problem with this use-case is that it has nothing to do with The Cloud. This couple is just connecting remotely to their home PC. Any number of products have done this for several years. There is GoToMyPC, Back to My Mac (introduced with OS X 10.5) among others. Microsoft seems so desperate to be relevant these days, they are claiming things about Windows 7 that have nothing to do with The Cloud. In this commercial there is no real connection between The Cloud and watching a TV show recorded on a home computer.
Apple's launch of the Mac OS X App Store appears to be an instant success. Apple was on center stage Thursday with their iWork apps ready for download, but one application made available today from Apple caught everyone off guard —Aperture.
The arrival of Aperture on the App Store isn't a just a shot across Adobe's bow, that doesn't do Apple's move justice. What Apple did to Adobe's Photoshop Lightroom software is equivalent to hundreds of cannon rounds being fired upon a ship at point blank range. T-GAAP asked Adobe PR if any Adobe apps were heading to Apple's App Store, but we did not receive a response. But it gets worse for Adobe.
Google is the King of internet search, but there is a new game in town. Social media is the next wave of internet communication and Google has been unable to compete with Facebook or Twitter. Not only is Facebook the top social media website, it has also de-throned Google as the most visited website in the US for 2010. While Google is going after Apple's mobile market, Facebook is going after Google's core business.
Google is focused on finding another market in which to grow their business. All of these new strategies are based on free or open source software. One of these new markets is the smartphone market with Android, in which they are competing directly with Apple. Google has created many such projects and has canceled some of them like Google Wave. Google and their open source software developers have been generating software products at an astounding rate. Yet, it does not look like they have a clear strategy to all this software development. They are basically throwing mud on a wall and hoping some of it sticks. Can such a mud flinging battle be profitable?
The iPad is great platform to play casual games. It may be too limited for the hard core Starcraft gamer. For those who don't have all day to play, the iPad is the next Playstation or Nintendo. The games are cheap and fun to play. They can last anywhere from 2 minutes to an hour.
Strategy games use tactics to move your units around to defeat your opponents. Strategy board games include Chess, checkers, and Risk. Typically one plays the computer on most iPad games, but multi-player games are starting to show up in the App store as well. The iPad does not have enough control options for a really complicated game like StarCraft, but it is great for the rest. Chess has limited game control, but it is one of the greatest strategy games of all time. Now for the top three strategy games on the iPad.
According to Fortune, this past Thursday Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray released a research note on Apple, Inc.
In the release, Munster delivers a 2011 Apple roadmap that made us sit up and take notice. It wasn't just one or two ideas that were mentioned — but virtually all of them. Some of these predictions just seemed a bit too close to home for us to ignore. It brings to mind how, and where, Piper Jaffray (and perhaps other analysts) acquire their information? Let's take a closer look at Piper's predictions: