Monday: January 7, 2013
- Apple would like you to know that they've had over 40 billion downloads from their app store.
That's a lot of downloads. Apparently half of that number was just in 2012 alone.
Friday: July 29, 2011
- 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.
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 Once on a brand new MacBook Air and once on my only slightly out of date MacBook Pro.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.
Wednesday: July 20, 2011
- 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.
Thursday: July 7, 2011
- 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
Tuesday: May 18, 2010
- Square Enix did quite well this year with their multi-million selling titles.
One of those titles happened to be Final Fantasy XIII, a game that literally makes you literally click one button for ten plus hours and nothing else. On the flip side, if you manage to stick it out past the twenty hour mark the game begins to get somewhat enjoyable.
Monday: May 17, 2010
- YouTube now gets about two billion hits on a daily basis.
YouTube has decided to share this information just as they turn a whopping five years old. According to the source article, the first video ever posted to the service can still be found on their site to this day (and you can view it here). Congratulations and a happy birthday, the Interwebs have enjoyed many a rickroll thanks to you.
Tuesday: May 11, 2010
- A photo gallery from inside the Pavilions of Expo currently underway in Shanghai, China.
Go on in and have a gander at some photography of the event courtesy of Popular Science. You'll see some interesting things such as the world's largest IMAX screen followed by the world's largest baby (relax, it's only a model).
Thursday: February 25, 2010
- Apple would like you to know that they've hit the ten billionth download.
The downloader of said billionth song is the lucky recipient of a $10,000 iTunes gift card. Try not to spend it all one place (gift card is also good for app store purchases as well).
Friday: February 12, 2010
- Apple holding countdown contest for ten billionth iTunes song download.
The winner of the countdown--the person that downloads the 10 billionth song--will win a $10,000 gift card. You can download any song from iTunes and be eligible for the prize, the company said.
Monday: February 8, 2010
- Google will probably make over a billion via online advertising this year.
In display advertising, Google lags behind Yahoo!, which had revenue of $6.5 billion in 2009 that was generated largely from its display ads. Google has tried to catch up in part through acquisitions. Two of the biggest were aimed at the display ad market.
Tuesday: January 26, 2010
- AOL decides to acquire an Internet video firm for $36.5 million.
AOL is looking to do a stronger nationwide video push across their numerous web properties. I guess they are banking on this video thing really taking off on the Interwebs. Anything is possible right?
Tuesday: January 5, 2010
- Apple's app store crashes through the three billion download mark.
What, no contest for the three billionth download in the app store? What gives? It's not like they've slated out other things to do over there in Cupertino besides contests and giveaways. Wakka wakka wakka.
Tuesday: December 29, 2009
- Avatar flick still doing pretty well for James Cameron and company.
The film has raked in a whopping $232 billion thus far. Source website seems to think that Avatar is well on it's way to reaching the likes of Star Wars ($460.9 million) and maybe even Cameron's own Titantic ($1.8 billion). Not sure how you can equate $232 million to $1.8 billion that quickly though.
Wednesday: December 9, 2009
- Dell would like you to know they made $6.5 million in sales via Twitter.
Dell now considers Twitter to be a 'significant new channel' in which to reach customers. If Twitter landed me a couple million in sales I'm guessing that I'd think it would be pretty significant as well.