iPhone 4S: a catastrophe in the making :)

The iPhone 4S will surely be a success for Apple but it will be a disaster for everybody else:

Fact: The typical iPhone (and other Apple product) owner feels the need to flaunt their new and shiny device to all and sundry.

Fact: The new iPhone 4S looks identical to the old iPhone 4, so waving it around has lost its cachet (you might be a pretender simply waving your old phone around). How lame is that?

Fact: The one way to distinguish old and new is the Siri Voice Assistant.

Sad Fact 1: It will be necessary for iPhone 4S owners to continually ask their phones about the time and the weather, etc. etc. whenever they are at Starbucks, on the train or in the subway.

Sad Fact 2: Deprived iPhone 4 owners will need to obtain voice recognition apps like Voice Assistant or Vlingo so that they can talk to their phones too!

Sad Fact 3: Not to be outdone, Android phone people will start using Android’s voice recognition capablities in public too.

A cacophonous catastrophe in the making.

Photo Attribution: Witer


iPhone media playback…Remote Pause function…Puzzling Behavior


Is this a bug or nasty feature? I first noticed this using my Bluetooth stereo headset:

In the middle of listening to a podcast in iTunes (streaming, not downloaded) , I paused it. Then went to the home screen and pressed Music, selected and started playing the music I wanted to listen to. Then, if I hit pause on my Bluetooth headset, the music paused, but then the podcast started playing. From that point on the pause button would alternately pause and start playing the podcast.

To resume the music again, I’d have to go to the touchscreen and press the play button. And of course, pressing the pause button again on the headset would again stop the music and immediately resume the podcast.

To stop this unwanted behavior, I have to go into iTunes and press “Done”.

The same behavior occurred using the button on my Griffin SmartTalk microphone/wired headset adaptor plugged into the earphone jack (and am assuming the same behavior occurs using the Apple-supplied earbuds/mic combination).

Note: I experienced this behavior using my iPod Touch second generation with 3.0 software. I am assuming the iPhone behaves the similarly.

I’m curious if anybody else has experienced this.


Apple Rejecting Google Voice a diversion?


Perhaps Apple was right in stating that the Google Voice app implemented functionality already in the iPhone…  iPhone 3.1 !

Google and Apple could be cooperating to make Google Voice a native app, with all the advantages to Google: seamless operation of a native app, and available on every iPhone that come with or is upgraded to 3.1.

I think Google is eying the market penetration of the iPhone and would like to get its apps on every single one of these phones. And a Google Voice web app could not provide quite the user experience of a native app.

  • Google Voice considered a cool app. Hard to believe that Apple would such an app on their phone, making it a less desirable product. And Apple’s strategy has always been to sell hardware.
  • Google seems less annoyed about this that one might expect (perhaps Google is not ready for the onslaught of users from the iPhone user base…yet!).
  • Google and Apple are natural allies against each have something to fear from Microsoft: Google search only has market share to lose to Bing, especially with the Yahoo deal. And the immanent release of Windows 7 must concern Apple.
  • Google has cooperated with Apple before on Google maps and YouTube videos.
  • Google Voice could come out of invite-mode simultaneously with the next Apple announcement. The timing seems right.
  • MobileMe has been a PR disaster for Apple. Wouldn’t it make sense to somehow integrate MobileMe with Google or Google Docs? Perhaps the new iTablet could come with built-in support for Google Gears/Google Docs as an office app strategy.
  • Less emphasis by Google on Android with the introduction of Google Chrome OS, which is much more of a threat to Microsoft than to Apple.
  • Perhaps all this banning-Google-Latitude/rejecting-Google-Voice/Schmidt-stepping-down-from-the-board is just a smokescreen to heighten the surprise of this Google/Apple cooperation (check Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin travel plans on the day of the Apple fall announcement).

All fantasy or could any of this come to pass. What do you think?

iTablet: Steve Jobs Checklist part II

Continuing my previous post here are further checklist items for Steve Jobs to insist on in developing and marketing the iTablet:



  • Must implement a feature that you said you would never do and make it a key feature of the device (Just like the “No Video Ipod” Video iPod). Perhaps the “Kindle is flawed because people don’t read” Ebook Reader?
  • Must remember to annoy early adopters by significantly dropping the price a month after the release, when the lines in front of the Apple store have shortened, and the shortages have ended.
  • Must assure that the iTablet is totally incompatible with previous iPhone, iPod, Mac accessories.
  • Must assure that only licensed accessories work with the iTablet.
  • Must require a new version of iTunes, that will work even worse on Windows machines (if possible!).
  • Must remember to charge $10 to future OS upgrades, and blame it on accounting.

Photo attribution

iPod Touch, Location Services, how?

I recently installed OffMaps, on my iPod Touch. OffMaps is an app that lets one download maps (it uses OpenStreetMap data) onto the device. I planned to use it simply as a way to carry a map of Montreal with me to use on my walks.

It has a “locate me” button, and it was able to locate me while I was home, in range of my home wifi. Makes sense. I know that the iPod Touch/iPhone make use of Skyhook Wireless technology that can use surrounding wifi signals for location. What surprised me was the “locate me” generally worked on my walk, away from my wifi hotspot.

I understand that the location technology makes passive use of surrounding wifi signals, and then through a database lookup is able to translate this into a latitude/longitude.

On an iPhone this lookup can be done via the data connection. My question is how this lookup can occur on an iPod touch, where there is no data connection?