Tag Archives: iPhone

An Open letter to Hulu and the Networks

(Or, “The networks are forcing me to steal their content.”)

I’ve railed about this before, but wanted to bring it back to the top. It’s simple, I have money, and I want to spend it. BUT I want to spend it on what I want, not a bundle of shit with a few nuggets of goodness in it. That means I don’t want ESPN, I don’t want MTV or Nicktoons and I certainly don’t want Lifetime, but I do want HBO, USA, the main networks, FX, etc. I’d pay per network or per show. But I’m not against paying people who make content for that content. I’m also not against suffering through ads in exchange for it (within reason)

I’ve been paying for Hulu+ since it went live. Many networks were onboard and I want to pay them for their content….  Except… The only way Hulu is usable is if you use the desktop app, because of licensing bullshit, the mobile apps can’t show certain shows, some are web only, etc. The desktop client skirted that shit and we could watch whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted, on our TV via a Macbook running the desktop app.

Too bad Hulu’s desktop app is a red-headed step child and hasn’t been updated in years. Not only is it not updated, but now it’s so old that if you update your Flash player, the app breaks. So you have to choose, new flash or hulu.

Ok fine, the PS3 has a hulu client and is HD with surround vs. our Macbook that is simply stereo. Except… The PS3 client is hamstrung with all those stupid licensing rules. Some ABC shows are ‘web only’ All USA and Sci Fi shows are too. So now I’m paying for shows I basically can’t watch. Why can I watch Castle on the  PS3, but not (it’s for my wife) The Bachelor?

So what’s the solution? Torrents. I was already torrenting CBS programming because they won’t be a part of Hulu and have even said they believe “cord cutting” is a fad that will pass and are willing to wait it out rather than offer streaming options.

The downside of torrenting TV programming is that the network doesn’t know I’m watching. The advertising don’t get my attention, and the net effect can be canceled shows, etc. It’s a trade off, be treated like shit, or risk not being counted as a viewer. I choose to not be treated like I don’t matter.

All that said, Dear CBS, ABC, Fox, HBO and the rest. Figure it out, it’s 2012. We don’t fax things anymore, we don’t gather round to watch TV when it airs, and we don’t want to pay for things we don’t want. Adjusting is up to you, not us the consumers. We’ve moved into the 21st century, and we’re waiting for you to join us.

The Kindle Fire is a great second tablet

My friend Jeffry sent me a Kindle Fire last week. He’s awesome! You should check out his Flex components if you’re a flex/AIR developer looking for some awesome turn key components. Ok that said, he sent me a kindle Fire.

I’ve been a Kindle owner since the K2 came out, and I paid almost $400 for it. I dropped it one morning and busted the screen, and bought a K3 for 1/3 the price of my K2, and I love it. It’s light, easy to use and great at the one thing it does, display words on a readable screen. Continue reading

Can i get streaming media? Pretty please?

Turns out, with the Motorola Xoom, the answer is no.

Hulu. No.

Lots of devices including the Nexus one. Really? the Nexus One has the hardware but the xoom doesn’t?

Ok not lots. Far from lots. Hundreds of handsets and tablets on the market now, and 6 can run hulu. I retract “lots”

I like my Xoom  a lot, i’ve invested good sizes bits of my $ to buying apps to make the device my go to tablet. I like the size, I like the form factor, I like the OS. But traveling with the Xoom (as I did to WWDC this year) is kind of the pits, unless I make sure to pre-load the device with downloaded content.

Netflix. No.

My understanding is that it’s largely to do with the encryption/DRM capabilities of the device. OK that makes sense.

 

What doesn’t make sense to me, as a prosumer techy with a $600 device on my desk… How did Motorola not build the Xoom with these two apps in mind?

 

Better yet, how was Moto (for that matter, Google too) NOT working with both companies from the get go, to ensure that the Flagship tablet of the Android Army, the first device to ship with Honeycomb, wasn’t at the top of the compatible devices list?

 

It was one thing when neither service had an app for android, it made using the Xoom, not a “This or that” decision with my iPad. But now, now two of the main use cases for my iPad (other than games and Omnifocus) are available for android… just not my android.

Gruber sums it up pretty well in “Fragmentation, I don’t see any fragmentation

It’s funny, there’s plenty I don’t  like about the way apple does things, but for the most part they don’t seem as determined as Google and Motorola do, to drive me away from their platform. :(

What I hope to see at WWDC

Blah blah, i know it’s that season (I think I said this last year too) but I was thinking about Devin’s post about possible retail store products for their 10th anniversary and figured I’d throw out my best guesses for the WWDC keynote. Not retail store product options, Devin covered those as well as I could. But really honest to goodness possible products.

The rumor mills are going nuts over the iPhone 4s-5-superDuper, so who knows, and I’m not gonna bother speculating there.

But what about Apps for AppleTV? We know it’s running some type of iOS, why not a subset of the full app catalog for media apps? Hulu? CBS? HBO GO, etc. How awesome to integrate an app store model into the AppleTV. Heck, with a magic trackpad paired, even iOS games could be viable.

 

Or maybe iPod Nano Touch 2nd Gen? I love my iWatch, and I’d love even more for it to do more, though I hope a camera is not one of those things. Cameras are like netflix apps, every device has 2 or 3.

Maybe take a queue from the metawatch movement? If anyone could make it a clean user experience it’s Apple. Why not have my watch show me the SMS that just came in, or my most recent push notifications? I’d love to glance down and see where certain friends are without pulling my phone out of my pocket.

Maybe even an SDK for basic apps? watch faces? etc. That’d be awesome.

This is a bit out there, at least this year. But, SSD only laptops. No optical drive, either 2 drives used separately, boot to the SSD, store data on the HDD, or 2 SSD’s in a RAID array. I’m running the former configuration right now in my Macbook and love it. Booting into Lion…erp Rawrdacted sorry, is cake. Certain features in that OS really really benefit from having an SSD as boot drive, and with the Mac App Store, who needs DVD drives anymore? Even OS X is distributed through it, and new machines can have the OS recovery on a USB drive like the Macbook Air. So why not use that space for something else? Something better.

 

That’s it, pretty simple, nothing too pie int he sky. Ok maybe the iWatch part, but I can hope, everything is in the realm of the possible, maybe not this year but next or the one after.

What do you think we’ll see at WWDC in a few weeks?

The Wrist, Valuable Realestate

I was reading this article the other day, and it pretty much jived with my review(one and two) of the ‘iWatch’

There’s plenty of “I just use my iPhone, why would i want a watch?” people, and that’s fine, as with all things, it takes all kinds. I have a nice large watch box, full of nice analog and digital watches, and now my iWatch. I’ll probably wear watches forever, or I should say, something on my wrist.

 

I’ve joked with friends, but from the moment i got my first iPod Touch, I’ve been on the look out for something that would make it wearable on a wrist. iOS doesn’t really lend itself (sadly!) to landscape orientation, but android (mostly) does. I wouldn’t care that I’d invite being beaten up.

I hate talking on my phone, I dread it. I’ve thought, and still do about ditching my iPhone, getting an iPod Touch, and just having a blackberry or android phone. I really want a multi purpose computer, that’s easily accessible, always on me, etc.

A watch, or watch like device is the perfect thing. Easy to type on (though obviously not a replacement for a phone if you’re a lotsa email, texting type of person, but for firing off a quick “Im here” sms, etc.

I think the first step will be a connected watch type thing. As mentioned in the article, a watch that lets you accept/decline phone calls, shows your calendar, etc. Either from a connected device from Bluetooth, or with it’s own connection to the internet.

But I do think eventually we’ll have a device, the size of an iPhone or so, that fits comfortably on a wrist, has a camera for facetiming/skyping, etc. I’ll be glad when that time comes. I’d love to not worry about where I sat my phone down? Did I leave it at the bar, or at home? etc.

A device like this, if it’s where my watch would be, becomes less a gadget and more a part of my life, something I grab when I’m getting dressed.

 

Can’t wait!

The Mobile playground is shrinking, buh bye Nokia

it’s been an interesting few days for those who obsess over mobile stuff, myself included.

First HP announced their new WebOS line up. In a word, “sexy”. In another, “too late to market” Ok that’s four words, but still.

The current time frame for us to play with a TouchPad or Pre 3. “Summer” not even a hard date, just the season. Here’s why that’s a big ball of fail for a company that should have the resources to push ahead faster than most.

The TouchPad will weigh 1.6lbs. The iPad weighs 1.5lbs. The iPad 2 is rumored to weigh a bit less, My guess 1lb or close to it. So the TouchPad will launch weighing MORE than the PREVIOUS MODEL iPad. If it launched now. a .1lb difference wouldn’t be a thing, but a half pound difference in weight? That’s gonna be noticed. I want a TouchPad like a crackhead needs a fix, but will I wait 6 months? maybe, maybe not. Most won’t.

Gruber speculates that we’ll see an iPad 3 or 2.5around September, so the TouchPad will likely be outmoded twice over within months of launch. Wonder how long it’ll take for the TouchPad 2? a year?

I have no clue what else HP has cooking, but clearly they still think like it’s the 80′s and 90′s and you can take 6 months to a year to roll something out. It’s gonna be a hard lesson to learn.

That brings us to Nokia. I’ve had a few Nokia devices, and liked most of them. Well the earlier ones, at least. The last two, were a confusing mess. I’m not a dummy, and can figure out most OS’s etc, and mobile OS’s shouldn’t require “figuring out” in the first place. I could barely get apps installed on my N97, and Gave up completely on my whatever it was that followed. And really Nokia, stylii? in 2009 when I got my last Nokia device, it still required a stylus. Come on guys!

Now they’ve announced they’re partnering with Microsoft. Bad move. Why? It’s becoming more and more clear to me, that the mobile platforms that will win, are the ones where it’s a hardware and software play. Apple, HP (if they can start thinking like a modern company) and RIM. All control their hardware and OS. There’s no AT&T branded crap. Sure there might be AT&T apps, and that sucks, but the UI is the same. There’s no blackberry curve with Motorola sense, etc. The experience is the same across networks (other than carrier specific apps that preload of course, which suck, but whatever, they’re not changing the UI/UX). Google and Microsoft don’t have that control. Well we know Google doesn’t, it’s TBD whether Microsoft does. I’ve seen exactly two WP7 devices in the wild, and both were developer phones. Microsoft has shown that it can’t stay competitive with Mobile OS. They dominated when there wasn’t any serious smartphone competition, but times have changed. Maybe they’ll surprise me, but I doubt it. My play had i somehow found myself in charge of Microsoft. Forget phones. Re-tool Win7 to be touch only tablet OS. Not a bastard “use a stylus” tablet OS, a complete re-tooling, like Apple did with iOS. It’s OS X underneath after all. Focus on tablets, it’s a strong market now thanks to Apple, but it’s gonna get stronger, and there’s a dirth of quality OS’s for tablet devices. Phones are consumer electronics, lost and tossed in a time span that measures months more than years. Tablets, while heading towards commodity, will be everywhere. Households will have as many or more of them than phones.

Apple leads, that doesn’t mean you have to follow.

What do you think? Will Microsoft pull Nokia out of the fires? Will Nokia and M$ fall together? Will HP miss the mark, and slide out of mobile quietly when only 3 TouchPads sell? Will we all be rolling in iCars to our iHouses, wearing iKicks?

iApp Review – Free Fallers

This is a short review for a pretty simple little game, but it’s hella fun. It’s kinda like PETA vs. the world. Animals air dropping in to attack bulldozers. Maybe a new wave of iGames with a social message?

Free Fallers (iTunes Link), is a cute game where you direct parachuting animals in to land on bulldozers and other construction equipment.

The premise is simple. Animals drop in from the top of the screen free falling towards the ground. You guide their fall and then when ready you tap to deploy their parachute. You can still guide them once the chute is deployed as well.

The more construction equipment you crush, the higher your score. That’s it. Easy.

This is one of those games that’s great to have on your phone for when you’re waiting in line at Starbucks, or at the store waiting for the lady with 13 items in the 10 item or less line, who’d paying with a check.

Go check it out. It’s worth the $1.99