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Collected web clippings, ramblings, and scribblings from me to you.

Friday: July 29, 2011

Apple has more cash on hand than the United States government.Apple has more cash on hand than the United States government.

Apple's last earnings report (PDF here) showed that the company had $76.2 billion in cash and marketable securities at the end of June. In other words, the world's largest tech company has more cash than the world's largest sovereign government. That's because Apple collects more money than it spends, while the U.S. government does not.

 

Posted to Weekdaily filed in Apple @ 2:58 PM | Tags (8) | apple | billions | cash | ceiling | debt | government | tech | united states |  | Discuss (0) |  | facebook | twitter | 8 Clicks | Posted by Vin


Monday: July 25, 2011

Apple Store definitely coming to Grand Central Station at some point in the near future.Apple Store definitely coming to Grand Central Station at some point in the near future.

According to The Real Deal, Apple will be shelling out $800,000 per year in rent, which seems a little high given that the previous tenant was paying about half that. As for me, I am both happy and sad for this news all at once. Happy because I will be frequenting this location quite often and sad because of the overall effect it will have on my bank account. The crowding of my overall commute to NYC will most likely be more annoying but I'll learn to live with it.

Posted to Weekdaily filed in Apple @ 11:21 AM | Tags (8) | apple | grandcentral | lease | manhattan | nyc | retail | store | therealdeal |  | Discuss (0) |  | facebook | twitter | 3 Clicks | Posted by Vin


Thursday: July 21, 2011

Mac OS X Lion: First Impressions.

The latest version of Mac OS X is finally here. Being the diligent Mac fanboy that I am, I've have gone ahead and installed Mac OS X Lion twice now. Once on a brand new MacBook Air and once on my only slightly out of date MacBook Pro. The best part about this?  I didn't have to drive out to the Apple Store or wait for a FedEx truck to show up. You buy Lion online from the Mac App store and that's the only way you can buy it. By far this has been the most gratifying delivery method of any OS X release I've seen so far. My download speeds were quick and in both installations I was able to get the install file from Apple's servers in under forty minutes. Another neat thing about Lion? The licensing. As you read before, I installed the new operating system on two machines already. If these were Windows machines, I would have had to fork over some dough to Microsoft to get two product keys. Apple takes a different approach. Buy it once, put it on whatever machine you like. I happen to love this approach.

Now that I've spent a good 24 hours with Lion I'd like to spout out some first impressions.

Installation: Total breeze on the MacBook Air. With only a few clicks and some setup time and I was up and running. Slightly different story on my MacBook Pro though, for some reason Lion rebooted the machine into the special setup options and required another reboot to truly kick off the installation process. Minor issue, really just kind of a strange thing since the Air installation was ridiculously fast and smooth.

Inverse scrolling: This was a maddening experience at first. Apple calls this new feature 'natural scrolling' but it feels anything but when you try it out. I understand that this is how we 'naturally' scroll when using iPads and iPhones, but on those devices you are actually interacting with the content you are touching directly. You can see how your touches affect what you see, it's a visual experience that your brain just gets when you do it. On a trackpad the same kind of interaction doesn't exist. You are looking at the screen while your fingers are off doing something else, there is no direct visual correlation. Long story short, it certainly doesn't feel natural - not at first anyway. I'm going to stick with this for a couple more days and see if I can get used to it. For those overly frustrated, you can relax - the option to turn off 'natural scrolling' is tucked away in System Preferences under the Trackpad pane.

Gestures: There are ton of them, some are intuitive and some are not. Apple has a rundown of the ones you should know about. For the most part though, love them.

Fullscreen Apps: Love, love, love.

Gestures + Fullscreen Apps: This is a joy to use. Swiping between apps feels good and let's each app shine in their own way when in fullscreen mode. It's a little disappointing to use third-party apps that aren't taking advantage of the fullscreen APIs yet. Granted of course that Lion hasn't even been out for a week yet so I'll give said developers a pass. But pretty please, update your apps soon and utilize this feature. I would love to see Evernote in fullscreen. Hint hint.

Launchpad: Not really digging Launchpad all that much as an application launcher, app folder replacement, iPad clone, etc. It just seems a little repetitive since there is already a dock, an apps folder, a spotlight search. The gesture to bring it up (three finger pinch) is quite useful and dare I say, fun to use. I've seen Launchpad exhibit some weird behavior in regards to moving and deleting apps. For example, drag an app from Launchpad into the trash. In my case, the app doesn't actually get deleted - I had to go into the Applications folder and drag it into the trash. Fire up Launchpad again, the app you just deleted may still be there. When you click it, you'll get a question mark as if the operating system just said 'WTF' out loud. After a reboot the deleted app was removed from Launchpad. Making folders is a little strange in this regards as well.  Folders you create in Launchpad seem to only exist in Launchpad. Interesting, but a little confusing at the same time when used in conjunction with the Applications folder. The coolest part about Launchpad is it's integration with the Mac App store. Downloading an app will drop it into Launchpad and present itself in the same fashion as when you download an app on your iPhone or iPad.

Safari: There doesn't seem to be a gesture for switching between tabs. You can swipe left and right to shuffle around history of a given tab you're in, which is nice but my general workflow with Safari is each website gets its own tab. And maybe it's just me but I can't for the life of me figure out what purpose 'reading list' serves other than being an additional bookmarks folder. At first I thought Reading List would save an article offline for browsing later on but that is not the case. Turn off your Internet connection and you'll see that Reading List tried to grab the page you saved from the actual website. Perhaps I am not grasping what use this feature is in the scheme of things.

Mail: The new Mail app is a welcome change. It seems that it has some smarts built in when you setup accounts from other platforms. For example, try setting up a GMail account and you'll prompted by Lion to import your calendar info as well as your chat friends (Jabber). That was a neat little feature that I wasn't expecting. There seems to be an issue with the new 'conversations' feature, it seems to work a little bit too well for my taste. Here is an example, I sent myself a test message from GMail to verify that my Mail.app was setup correctly. The message was simple, subject line 'test', message body 'test'. Evidently, I've done this many times over the years. Mail decided to group my most recent test message along with any and all test messages I've sent to myself since the oh, the year 2007. That doesn't feel like a 'conversation' but rather more like an archive. Just thought it was interesting behavior, I don't think the GMail client functions this way in terms of grouping emails.

Conclusion: I am digging Lion so far. I think more gestures could have been worked in to make certain workflows easier. In iPhoto, I'd expect to be able to swipe left and right when in fullscreen mode to browse my pictures. At present time, you can't do it. That's not to say a software update couldn't add that feature later on.

Posted to Verbose filed in Apple @ 1:17 PM | Tags (10) | apps | day | gestures | impressions | lion | mac | one | osx | scrolling | verbose |  | Discuss (1) |  | facebook | twitter | 4 Clicks | Posted by Vin


Wednesday: July 20, 2011

Apple's latest operating system now available for download in the Mac App Store.Apple's latest operating system now available for download in the Mac App Store.

As of writing I have just started downloading the new operating system from the store.  Download speed seems to be going very well, I'd say I'm about 40% into it right now (officially kicked off the download at 9:20).  I'll try to post a review sometime this week after I've had time to play around with Lion a bit.

Posted to Weekdaily filed in Apple @ 9:44 AM | Tags (7) | apple | osx | lion | mac | app | store | macrumors |  | Discuss (0) |  | facebook | twitter | 4 Clicks | Posted by Vin


Friday: July 15, 2011

In the market for a new MacBook Air? You might want to wait until next week.In the market for a new MacBook Air? You might want to wait until next week.

While most sites pointed to this week as the possible refresh of the line AllThingsD says that all said rumor mills have been off by a week. They predict that the new MacBook Air will contain Intel's Sandy Bridge processors, Thunderbolt ports, flash storage in the realm of 128 gigabytes or 256 gigabytes. Lastly, the backlit keyboard may make a triumphant return.

Posted to Weekdaily filed in Apple @ 10:49 AM | Tags (8) | airs | allthingsd | apple | configurations | macbook | new | product | rumors |  | Discuss (0) |  | facebook | twitter | 5 Clicks | Posted by Vin


Tuesday: July 12, 2011

Next version of iOS to bring bluetooth keyboard support to the Apple TV.Next version of iOS to bring bluetooth keyboard support to the Apple TV.

Navigating around on Apple TV isn't exactly all that fun of an experience. Adding the ability for a keyboard (or some other form of navigation device) would definetly be helpful. Interesting to note that 9to5mac also points to rumors of an updated Apple TV coming out sometime this fall.

Posted to Weekdaily filed in Apple @ 1:46 PM | Tags (10) | 9to5mac | apple | appletv | apps | bluetooth | ios5 | keyboard | support | television | tv |  | Discuss (0) |  | facebook | twitter | 5 Clicks | Posted by Vin


Friday: July 8, 2011

Twelve cool Apple iPhone concepts for you to gawk at.Twelve cool Apple iPhone concepts for you to gawk at.

Toxel has put together a list of iPhone concepts from all over the Interwebs ranging from cool to never-gonna-happen-this-lifetime. Some of these mockups may or may not already be in violation of several pending Apple patents. Seriously, has anyone taken a look at Apple's patent portfolio these days? It's quite extensive, they hold over 16,000 of them worldwide. Just reading this post probably puts you in patent violation.

Posted to Weekdaily filed in Apple @ 12:59 PM | Tags (7) | apple | concepts | iphone | mockup | patents | toxel | transparent |  | Discuss (0) |  | facebook | twitter | 12 Clicks | Posted by Vin


Thursday: July 7, 2011

Apple would like you to know that they have surpassed 15 billion downloads in the app store.Apple would like you to know that they have surpassed 15 billion downloads in the app store.

Engadget reports on Apple's latest press release in which not only have they hit the fifteen billion download mark, but they also want to point out that they've  paid out 2.5 billion dollars for developing said fifteen billion apps. This number accounts for app sales across iPod Touch, iPhone, and iPad users (of which there are 200 million) - just in case you were wondering

Posted to Weekdaily filed in Apple @ 9:42 AM | Tags (12) | 15 | app | apple | billion | developers | downloads | engadget | hits | payout | press | release | store |  | Discuss (0) |  | facebook | twitter | 8 Clicks | Posted by Vin


You may be charging your next Apple device a little differently according to latest rumors.You may be charging your next Apple device a little differently according to latest rumors.

In yet another report of a report, the Wall Street Journal points to a rumor that Apple may be experimenting with charging via induction for their future iPhones. Makes sense, the new iOS software essentially cuts the cord in terms of syncing (of which I am very excited for) so it would be safe to assume that eventually they would want to cut the power cord as well.

Posted to Weekdaily filed in Apple @ 7:13 AM | Tags (7) | apple | batteries | battery | charge | charging | induction | iphone |  | Discuss (0) |  | facebook | twitter | 2 Clicks | Posted by Vin


Wednesday: July 6, 2011

A report of a report says that Apple will introduce a thinner iPhone sometime this fall.A report of a report says that Apple will introduce a thinner iPhone sometime this fall.

Who knows what to believe these days. Perhaps Apple will pull the curtain on an iPhone 4S or an iPhone4GS (the 'G' standing for insanely great). Either way your current iPhone 4 will no longer be the coolest iPhone on the block. You should just throw it away right now. Go ahead, stop crying. You knew this day was coming.

Posted to Weekdaily filed in Apple @ 4:31 PM | Tags (7) | iphone | 9to5mac | wsj | apple | thinner | lighter | faster |  | Discuss (0) |  | facebook | twitter | 3 Clicks | Posted by Vin


Monday: May 17, 2010

Apple beats out Whole Foods and Nordstrom for best shopper experience title.Apple beats out Whole Foods and Nordstrom for best shopper experience title.

Factors that contribute to a good shopping experience, according to the survey, include having customer-centric store design, maintaining shopper history data, creating ambiance, and carrying and displaying a well-organized, 'rationalized' product assortment.

Posted to Weekdaily filed in Apple @ 7:00 AM | Tags (14) | ambiance | apple | ars | assortment | design | experience | history | nordstrom | product | shopper | store | survey | technica | wholefoods |  | Discuss (0) |  | facebook | twitter | 25 Clicks | Posted by Vin


Wednesday: May 12, 2010

HTC asks for ban on Apple products after filing patent complaint.HTC asks for ban on Apple products after filing patent complaint.

Engadget is taking a deeper look at just what patents are involved here between the two companies and the implications of the federal lawsuit (which HTC has filed along with their patent suit). Should be an interesting battle - or about as interesting as Nokia versus Apple.

Posted to Weekdaily filed in Apple @ 3:33 PM | Tags (13) | htc | patent | complaint | apple | ban | iphone | ipad | ipod | engadget | nokia | dispute | lawsuit | federal |  | Discuss (0) |  | facebook | twitter | 14 Clicks | Posted by Vin


Apple seems to have lost yet another iPhone prototype.Apple seems to have lost yet another iPhone prototype.

Here we go again - not sure how Apple would've been able to make the same mistake twice given the publicity of the last prototype that was lost. A teardown of the device has revealed an Apple branded microchip, just like the iPad.

Posted to Weekdaily filed in Apple @ 11:39 AM | Tags (13) | 4th | another | apple | chip | generation | iphone | iphone | lost | macrumors | new | photos | prototype | teardown |  | Discuss (0) |  | facebook | twitter | 48 Clicks | Posted by Vin


Tuesday: May 11, 2010

Rumors swirling that Apple might make their MobileMe service free for all.Rumors swirling that Apple might make their MobileMe service free for all.

This is an interesting rumor and would certainly make a lot of sense given that most, if not all, of the current functionality of MobileMe can be done elsewhere - for free. If this happened, I'd drop some of current Google services I currently use in less than a minute.

Posted to Weekdaily filed in Apple @ 9:00 AM | Tags (14) | apple | apps | calendar | competition | contacts | email | linking | mail | mobileme | rumors | service | services | sync | syncing |  | Discuss (0) |  | facebook | twitter | 19 Clicks | Posted by Vin


Monday: May 10, 2010

An interesting writeup on iPad usability from Jakob Nielsen.An interesting writeup on iPad usability from Jakob Nielsen.

This post contains most of my reasoning as to why I haven't purchased an iPad just yet. I can't seem to rationalize how the device fits into my overall usage scheme. The iPhone seems to do everything I would use an iPad for - and it does a heck of a good job at everything it already does.

Posted to Weekdaily filed in Apple @ 2:04 PM | Tags (14) | apps | design | device | findings | gadget | interface | ipad | iphone | nielsen | screen | size | studies | usability | wonky |  | Discuss (0) |  | facebook | twitter | 14 Clicks | Posted by Vin


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