Some thoughts about following yesterdays Apple’s event with Twitter

Yesterday I was running around New York City, bouncing from one thing to the next. And my mobile coverage was a bit spotty at times. It happens in a place like New York City with lots of mobile data users and tall buildings. 

But like many folks that read this blog, I was interested in following the Apple event yesterday. 

So I went to Twitter and did two things.

I followed MacRumors Live and turned on notifications on that account. Done.

After that, whenever I got a break in my day, I quickly swiped down to the Notification Center on my iPhone and caught up on the Apple Event. I never had to open the app and hit refresh. 

It was so simple, so elegant and so Twitter.

After the event, I went and unfollowed the MacRumors Live account. 

Catching up on breaking news is amazing on Twitter. There is nothing else like it. 

* * * 

ps: I would love to see Apple allow photos in the notification panel. 

pps: It would be cool if Twitter prompted the user after following a new account with something like: “Would you like to follow this for 1 hour, 1 day or forever?”. It would encourage a more dynamic feed I think.

ppps: I am ordering the Apple 7 Plus in matte black and the new Watch. Better camera/battery on the former and waterproof/gps on the latter. Oh, yes. 

Honey Pot Orchards

Honey Pot Hill Orchards with Ellie | October 2015

(My old Leica M3 has a pin hole in the shutter curtain. One down side owning a camera that is over 50 years old. Off to the repair shop).

New Apple stuff in my life

Well, Apple just announced their latest earnings and once again they crushed it. 

But this post isn’t about their financials. It’s about some of their new products. 

I’m typing this post on the new 12″ MacBook. It arrived yesterday. I knew I wanted to go with a retina display for my next laptop and the display on this MacBook is stunning. 

The size and form factor is wonderful. Hard to really appreciate it until you hold one in your hands. 

The keyboard is a bit odd at first but I really love it after just a few minutes. I have not done any head to head tests but it feels like I’m able to type 20% faster.

I don’t have a lot more to say about this computer. It’s great and it suits my needs perfectly. 

Lauren’s Apple Watch arrived Friday (mine is delayed until mid-May). It was sent to my office and I didn’t get to pick it up for her until yesterday. It comes fully charged so after pairing it with Lauren’s iPhone 6 she was quickly up and running. 

The reviews for the Apple Watch made it sound like battery life was horrible, with painfully slow performance and a confusing user interface. 

In my quick experience, I found battery life acceptable, performance is fine but the user interface is a little wonky at times. The two physical buttons are confusing. The brilliance of one button on the iPhone is lost with Apple Watch. And there are too many small target touch buttons while navigating various apps. Force Touch is super cool but its unclear which apps/screens utilize it. 

Some other misc thoughts:

  • Siri has improved significantly
  • Messaging is great, while email is a bit silly
  • My analog watch is more beautiful but Apple Watch is better looking than I thought it would be. It’s definitely smaller and lighter than anticipated. 
  • Security is interesting. Apple Watch requires a passcode on the watch but you only need to enter each time you put your watch back on your wrist. After that it doesn’t require it anymore. I would love to see Apple Watch unlock other things in my life (front door, iPhone, online banking, MacOS, etc)

That’s it for now. I am looking forward to getting mine. 

Would love to hear in the comments or on Twitter about your favorite Apple Watch apps so far. Thanks! 

My first Mac

Apple is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Macintosh.

The Mac is certainly one of those things that had a profound impact and changed my life in so many ways. 

The Mac wasn’t my first personal computer but (that would have been an Apple IIe) but it was my favorite computer. 

My first Mac was the Macintosh SE. It had a built in floppy drive and more importantly it had an internal 20MB disk drive. My parents bought it for me during my sophomore year in college (1988). Thanks mom and dad.

I loved that thing. I could run wonderful software on it like MacDraw, Hypercard and do some primitive hacking on my OS with ResEdit. 

A few years later, I sold that machine on usenet and bought my very first laptop — a Powerbook 140. 

So much has changed since those salad days. I’m grateful for the Mac, what it stood for and how it changed my life.

What was your first Mac?

iCloud vs Dropbox

I’ve been using iOS 5 beta on my iPhone for the last week.

And aside from a few glitches, I’m gonna keep it. The tradeoffs are worth it.

The thing I’m most curious about right now is iCloud and where it’s going. 

The implementation in this beta is pretty smooth. Basically it just works in the background. Download an app, and it’s automatically in iCloud.

Buy a new song and it’s stored in iCloud and sent to all of your devices.

Take a photo on your iPhone, well, you get the idea. It’s seamless.

In iOS 5 beta, iCloud/Photostream doesn’t handle videos you capture on iPhone. That may come in the future but this shortcoming has brought to light the differences between iCloud and Dropbox

Dropbox handles video captured on the iphone. But here’s how I send that video to my dropbox. I open the Dropbox app. I tap Upload, then i goto albums and then I upload the video. A few moments later it’s on Dropbox.

Sounds complicated? Its not but it’s a lot more steps than sending stuff to iCloud.

Yet, I’d rather use Dropbox vs iCloud at this time. With Dropbox it gives you total control and the ability to use anywhere and everywhere. When Photostream, via iCloud, sends the pics I took on my iPhone to my iPad, it’s a broadcast stream. I can’t delete or change them for example.

And iCloud feels like a seprate universe from everything else in my life. As far as I can tell, I can’t point my Boxee to iCloud. I can’t send songs from iCloud to things like I don’t think i can share my iCloud data with my friends or family.  

I hope Apple provides an easy API so that 3rd parties like Dropbox can automatically send data from native iPhone apps to Dropbox as easily as they send stuff to iCloud. I’m not sure if that will be solved with iCloud APIs or not.

But that would be a killer iOS 5 feature. 

Are we going to see an Apple television panel soon?

A Mac Mini as a home theater PCImage via Wikipedia

That Apple rumor is back. I’m not talking about the alleged Apple tablet.

We’re talking about an Apple television set.

The reality is that no one knows but it’s fun to think about.

So in that spirit, here’s what I want in my future Apple television

1 – Make it beautiful. I have no doubt it would look great. Right now we have a Pioneer Elite plasma in our family room. Yes, it’s a fine tv. But Apple could make a much beter looking physical device. The iPhone and MacBook Pros are a work of art. I’m thinking a future apple television set would be super thin and built beautifully. How about a 50 or 60" OLED? It’s not possible with the current manufacturing processing technology/limitations but a boy can dream right? .

2 – iSight camera. We have a Mac Mini connected to our Pioneer HDTV. But we don’t have iSight camera hooked up. It would be awesome if it was integrated in the monitor itself.

3 – Less is more. I don’t want anything I don’t need or want. Please don’t include tuners, speakers, cablecards, blue ray or any of those legacy video input sources. Just give me a few HDMI inputs and that’s it. Maybe an SD memory slot. I just want the perfect compliment to the MacMini in our family room. That’s it.

4 – Open.  It should be open like my Mac Mini is today. I would never buy it if it’s closed. Support for multiple media players and codecs is a must.

5 – Networking. It’s gotta have ethernet and wifi.

I’m sure I’m missing some cool stuff. Feel free of course to add away !

Apple iPhone sw update breaks hacks again

So the cat and mouse game continues.

This is the first apple update I’m not going to install on my iPhone. My hacked iphone finally gives me the feature I’ve been waiting for. Contact search.

Apple’s updates have to better than the hacks if they want to keep playing this game.

Or I suspect there will be many folks like me that we stay a few versions behind and keep their community functionality.