Saturday, April 30, 2011

The phone market

Phone market report.
Close to oblivion in 1997, Apple is now the world's second-most valuable company, after Exxon Mobil Corp.

Man, I wish I could send my 2001 self an email: "Put everything in Apple stock and hold for ten years!"

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Predicting the digital newspaper

A video from 1994!

Granted, it was not difficult logic. I predicted pretty much the same in the nineties when I thought about what would replace the paper/magazines. Obviously, it would just be like the web, only on a single flat device which would be portable. Links, colors, videos, selectable content, that all comes from how the web already worked. Elementary, my dear Whazname.

Funny detail: the video points out how you can enlarge text to your liking. It's just a logical capability given the medium. But even now, 2011, some apps on the iPad can't do that, like Apple's own main browser, Safari. Embarrassing.       :-)

Oops, and also: the iPad can't yet read aloud to me, except using clumsy workarounds. I think that's missing because of copyright fears, for sure Amazon had their troubles about the Kindle's read-aloud ability. I hope it gets fixed soon, it's really stupid to not have such a useful and obvious ability.

One odd thing that the think tank missed, was they believed that you'd need a kiosk to buy a disk with the news from Denver if you were in Miami. Why they thought so with the Internet already being global, I'm not sure.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Design variations (and Calculator HD)

It amazes me how big variations there are in design sensibilities, and I guess -capabilities. Take a look at these three calculators for iPad. The first one I couldn't stand looking at for two seconds. The second one looks nice, but the third one is clearer, looks even better (the desktop is part of the screen picture, the objects can be turned off), is only a buck (they all are, or free), and has top reviews, so I took  that one (Calculator HD).

To be honest, I can't remember the last time I had use for a calculator (except 10-second problems my Mac widget can handle), but I like having nice things like this anyway. Quality makes me feel good. 

Also, what an example of inflation/advancement in technology. A couple of decades ago a good scientific calculator cost a small fortune, now you can get it in software for a buck. 

Calculator HD has four basic faces: Basic, basic plus notes/scripples, basic with tape (brill idea), and scientific calculator. 

Who are the people doing gorgeous design/graphics like this for iPad? It really lightens up your day. (Night Stand HD is another that springs to mind.)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Screen candy wanted

I've just posted this on

I want screen candy
Hi friends, 
I really enjoy screen candy apps like Magic Picture, Aquarium, and Magic Window. Just something with slow movement to make the iPad look pretty when it's not in active use. 
But I can hardly find any more of them. You would think there would be lots, no? 
Does anybody know any more of such? 
(It's OK if it's combined with a clock or a calendar or weather app or such, but the main thing is the eye candy.)

X-Band 2

The X-band 2 (for iPad 2) is a device for sliding your hand under, making it way easier to hold an iPad one-handed when showing it to others. (I wonder if it also helps when just using it yourself. Perhaps it gives too short a viewing distance?)

I think it is reasonably priced (although it's not clear if it's the same price as version 1, $20), and that it looks like quality. And just looks good. Kinda like bondage gear for your iPad. :-)

I got this info from the company:
Thanks for your comments. The leather is functional in that it strengthens the band and provides a tighter grip on your hand, so it feels more secure. The X-Band will go on sale tomorrow afternoon for $21.99, that is why you cannot find them to purchase - yet.

The X-Band was designed specifically for using the iPad to display information to small groups of people, freeing one hand to operate the device and make a presentation. I have had people tell me that they use it for reading. One person in particular likes it when he is relaxing on a couch or laying in bed. So the answer is, yes, you can read with it, but it is really designed to show others the face of the iPad, not yourself.

Thanks for your interest, and take a look at the web site tomorrow, there will be more information about purchasing.


MacBook Air Travel Express

The regular reader will be aware that I have a weak spot for Waterfield Design's products ( Aesthetic, top quality. They have a new one, MacBook Air Travel Express.

They also have a very full range of bags and slips for various tablets, including iPad, Xoom, and Galaxy Tab, and even the Kindle.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Mac/PC profile

PC- and Mac-users survey. [The graphic will scale down in your browser, click on it to get a legible version.]
I honestly don't know if this says anything really important, but it's based on a serious survey, and there are some interesting differences.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Why publishers need to rethink iPad magazines

Conde Nast decision exemplifies why publishers need to rethink iPad magazines, article.
Sales won't get stellar until magazine publishers wake up and reduce the per-issue prices of their magazines by 60-80%. An issue of GQ on the iPad costs $4.99, but the same issue of GQ through a subscription is priced at little more than a buck. [...]
Magazine publishers should be begging Apple to create an iNewstand app, much like the iBookstore, where users could easily browse all magazines and buy an issue with a click for US$0.99 each.

Oprah Calls The iPad Her favorite Thing Ever

I hadn't seen this before, so probably many of you haven't either.
The "Beatles concert" atmosphere is perhaps overdoing it a little (maybe the audience is getting an iPad each), but I admit I feel like Oprah (and many less excitable people also): the iPad really is not only lovable, but important, durnit. I almost feel a little sorry for those people who can't see it as other than just a big iPod Touch or a poor laptop, those people who just don't get it.

If you look back, people have actually been imagining something like the iPad for many years, in SF shows and in the minds of visionary scientists (even in the seventies). But it was only now that the necessary technology and ingenuity (especially software-wise) came together and made it happen.

Web proves an unlikely saviour for investigative journalism

Web proves an unlikely saviour for investigative journalism, article.

Very promising.
Of course they have yet to solve how to monetize it.
I tend to say: "if it's worth it, it'll earn somehow".

Question is of course if journalism ever really earned for itself. Income for newspapers mainly came from ads for beer and for questionable "massage" services. And most buyers were drawn to the papers for gossip, photos of car crashes, and the sports section.