Posts Tagged ‘technology’

Apple has added a series of three new TV ads for the iPhone 5 to its official YouTube channel as launch day for the device comes to a close. There has been overwhelming demand for the iPhone 5 since its debut, with Apple receiving two million pre-orders for the device in the first 24 hours alone. With an effective marketing campaign, Apple should be able to carry that sales momentum through the holiday shopping season. The ads can be found just ahead.

Apple’s had a fantastic week, launching two major new products and having both roll out smoothly and met with phenomenal success. There is a detractor, though – a stain on the blanket of Apple’s success. That stain has been well publicized (to the point that Samsung is already making and sending ads about it). This is, of course, Apple Maps.

Right now, they are a disappointment. But, if Apple is able to craft them in to something that is competitive with Google’s offerings, it could signify a great deal about everything from Apple’s ability to deploy online services, and even Apple’s ability to move in to a completely new market post-Jobs.

Let’s get the obvious out of the way: The maps will improve. Maps can only get so much better in captivity: for various features to be added, and even the overall accuracy of the maps to improve, users have to use them. Apple Maps will improve, just as Google Maps continuously do (there’s a reason why Google’s offering is still in beta, even after literally  half a decade of being available to the public). Secondly, Apple Maps aren’t “useless” – in many cases, they’re pretty great. Are they as great as Google Maps? Well, maybe, though the times that they are seem to be few and far between. One thing is for certain, though: on iOS, Apple Maps is far more extensible than the old Maps app would have ever been as long as Google held the reins.

But, as mentioned earlier, they are disappointing. The directions are generally accurate, though I have heard and seem some instances that argue the contrary, and the maps are definitely more visually appealing – that’s a typical Apple move, but it’s a legitimate point against Google. However, the product feels incomplete, with various features missing, and even certain areas not being fully mapped-out, or having slightly inaccurate directions.


That has to be fixed – and soon. In my mind, if Apple is able to fix these high-profile issues, and build Apple Maps in to a true competitor against Google, Nokia, and Microsoft’s offerings, then Apple will have finally reached the class of a company that can build off the internet. Apple has iCloud (and before that the disaster known as MobileMe, which replaced .Mac). However, this service has had internal issues: Maps can’t have these issues. Apple Maps is something that can’t go down. Not only can’t it go down, it has to continuously get better. It has to be updated, maintained, improved – all independent of iOS’ updating cycle. Everything has to be done on the back end, and there is very little room for error: having half a billion devices without a mapping application, even if it’s just for an hour, would be a huge stain on Apple’s badge of quality. If it goes down, it’s all on Apple – it will take a company that is able to go toe-to-toe with Google, the internet juggernaut, to keep this service reliable, and to reliably improve it.

Apple has never done Maps. Online mapping services are difficult: there’s a reason why startups aren’t clambering over each other to provide the new “hipster” maps that only highlight great coffee places and record shops. They require massive monetary investments, they require time to develop the back end, and (most importantly) they require the patience and perseverance to keep working, to keep molding the product in to the best that it can be. Apple has never done Maps – this is a whole new field of competition for them, and (for the first time since the iPhone), they aren’t the one inventing the product. The product, online maps, has existed for years and years, and the dominant power – Google – is doing very well. As Dan Frommer of SplatF wrote, Apple maps is now Apple’s most exciting product. This is a Jobsian transition, one that could highlight the errors in management and corporate structure of Apple as a whole, or one that could be Tim Cook’s highest honor: if he can facilitate the creation of an online service that is used by millions of people every second without ever going down, all the while making it better and better every day, he will have done what Jobs couldn’t.

A new iPhone, a new Samsung ad attempting to shoot it down. Does the marketing team at Samsung honestly believe that, by mocking Apple customers who wait in line for the iPhone 5 and other latest gadgets, it is going to attract these people to their own brand? I’m surprised that Samsung isn’t already embarrassed enough from the massive legal battle that it lost against its arch rival Apple, in which it owes the iPhone maker over $1 billion in compensation. But if you really want to watch the latest round of Samsung trivializing new iPhone 5 features, the video is down below for your pleasure. SAMSUNG its soo gelous on the new iPhone !!!

The landmark jury trial between Apple and Samsung might be over, but patent litigation between the two companies is still going strong. According to filings with the U.S. Federal Court in San Jose, California, Samsung has indicated that it is likely to sue Apple over the iPhone 5 once it has further time to inspect the device.

If the South Korean handset maker feels that the iPhone 5 violates its patents, Samsung will add the latest Apple smartphone to its list of infringing devices in a patent infringement complaint it originally filed in February.

Apple has already submitted a counterclaim in this trial several months ago, accusing Samsung of violating eight patents of its own. Apple too added Samsung’s latest Galaxy S III smartphone to its own list of infringing devices when the handset was released, so this move only seems fair game.

The interesting fact in this case is that a hearing isn’t expected to take place until 2014, when the Galaxy S III and iPhone 5 are likely to have long been succeeded by newer, more powerful smartphones. We’ll let you know about any further developments in this case as it progresses.

Loren Brichter is known for making fantastically designed apps. His most famous work was Tweetie 2, which was eventually bought by Twitter and turned in to what is now the Twitter for iPhone official client. Unknown to many is that he also designed the iPad’s official Twitter client. This client was one of the first apps to use the idea of sliding panels, which could be swiped in and out of view – this type of interface would go on to be used in various ways across platforms.

Today, however, Twitter decided to take some pretty major steps back in terms of the design of their official client. An app that was once a shining example of how a major company could create an app that truly shines on the iPad is now not much more than a direct port of the iPhone’s client. Gone are the innovative and intuitive panels, replaced by the typical button-centric UI.

It does get worse, though – nothing in a tweet is tapable from the list view. Tapping on a link, photo, or hashtag opens up a singular view of the tweet, which then allows for interaction. On an iPad, with 9.7″ of screen real estate, it’s difficult to justify such a waste. There is one highlight, though: profile banners are now available across iOS devices. The iPhone client was similarly updated, though its feature set is limited to the profile banner – there isn’t even support for the iPhone 5′s 16:9 aspect ratio yet.

Folks, this is what happens when a major brand tries to “unify” their look across devices, but doesn’t take time to do each device justice. In other news, Tweetbot and Twitterrific for iPad will likely see an uptick in sales.