End of the year. List your favorite tech products. You know the drill.
I’ll restrict it to products and services that either just came out this year (or came into widespread usage this year).
1) The iPad
Maybe the best v1 product Apple has ever made? Maybe the best v1 product anyone has ever made? There was so much hype leading up to the launch that it seemed impossible that it would live up to the hype. But, remarkably, the iPad blew past it.
It’s crazy to think that Apple will improve it greatly with v2, but you know they will. It has already changed the face of personal computing.
2) 2010 MacBook Air
I almost feel as if Apple underplayed the importance of this product. It seems as if nearly everyone I know now has one or is thinking about getting one. And many of those people are replacing their MacBook Pros with it. That’s exactly what I did.
I think when the holiday sales figures come out, this will be a surprise massive hit for Apple. And I suspect the MacBook proper will go away in favor of the MBA. And the MBP will undoubtedly lift some of its features (flash memory) as well. It will have to. The MBP feels like carrying around a ton of bricks for no reason now.
Reading this, I came away with two things that should be looked at as a cautionary tale by companies like Microsoft:
"Our problem was that we were simply too good at what we did," explains Sebastian Nyström, who is in charge of applications and services at Nokia. "Even when Apple hit our vital nerve, we just kept on doing what we were doing. After all, we were still making a lot of money."
But, for now, Nokia is ailing, and its share price is plummeting. These days, the company is only worth about €30 billion — or 90 percent less than its market value in 2000.
That’s exactly why the logic that argues that Microsoft is doing fine because they’re still making so much money should be worrisome. You can only rest (or coast) on laurels for so long.
The typical “happy when you write positive things”/”pissed off when you write negative things” reaction.
I’m not suggesting that Google is doomed. I love Google. I use their products more than any others — yes, including Apple. But there’s no denying that all of the things I mentioned have had execution that is just off recently.
Why announce Google Music on stage at I/O if you don’t have the labels on board yet?
Why release Google TV if the TV networks are going to block you a week later?
Why pre-announce that Chrome OS would be ready in time for holidays 2010?
Why mix all this “open” talk about Android pinned to the “hopes” that the carriers will do the right thing?
The underlying idea here is great. But the following is a big problem:
Unfortunately, until carriers and manufacturers provide an easy method to legitimately unlock devices, there will be a natural tension between the rooting and security communities. We can only hope that carriers and manufacturers will recognize this, and not force users to choose between device openness and security.
The problem is that we’re seeing that Android itself is keeping the carriers and manufacturers in charge. And do we really ever think any carrier that has their way is ever going to allow for this legitimate unlocking? No.
"Hope" is a funny word that Google seems to be using a lot lately with regard to the carriers. It’s a total cop out. I hope Google realizes this before it’s too late.
I just got back from Paris today after about 10 days there. Two quick tech-related observations:
1) Everyone has an iPhone.
2) Their network is at least a hundred thousand times better than AT&T’s in San Francisco. This really takes the wind of the sails of the arguments that the iPhone itself (its hardware) is to blame for for AT&T’s shitty network.
I mean, not only could you make and receive calls there, data flow was fast and furious. The only dead zone issues I had were for a few seconds when the iPhone would switch from one network to one it deemed stronger. It worked beautifully.
Hell, it even worked in the subway!
I’m not even sure it’s a joke to say that the iPhone works better underground in Paris than it does above ground in San Francisco. I really think it might be true!
The Cr-48 trackpad is one of the worst things I’ve ever had the privilege of using.
It should surprise absolutely no one that they’re not actually releasing this product. But it is surprising just how many people, namely press, that they’re sending it to. You can say “ignore the hardware” all you want, but it still is the crucial entry point. It almost ruins the entire thing. They should have just sent out Chrome OS loaded on some Eee PCs.
All that said, the battery life appears to be amazing. Better-than-MacBook-Air-amazing. Need to test it out more though. More to come on TechCrunch, I’m sure.
One really interesting feature is that you can toggle the phone’s volume keys to navigate stories. That’s a great way to highlight the difference between Android and iPhone. There’s no way Apple would let an app do that — even one of their own.
It’s an awesome idea, but I imagine if could be really confusing. What happens if you’re playing music in the background, for example?