Streaming & Subscription is the Way to Go

 

Bradley Chambers:

We’ve actually been doing it with music for years. How’s that tape collection working out for you? What about that CD collection? Can you play that in your new Mac that doesn’t have a CD player? Even digital media has a shelf life. We’ve moved from 128k songs from iTunes with DRM to 256 AAC iTunes songs. Do you think this is the end for digital music quality? As time goes along, formats will change and devices will change. You might own a lower quality version, but what about the new HD format that goes along with those fancy new bluetooth headphones that someone is probably working on? You’ll want to upgrade to new copies of your favorite albums.

Content as a Service (CaaS) is the future. I think Netflix really primed the pump for people being willing to pay for a monthly content access fee. At $9/mo, you get a decent back catalog of movies, a really nice TV show inventory, and a really nice selection of kids shows. Why do I care about owning a movie that I’ll watch one time? Why do I need to own season 3 of Breaking Bad? I’ll probably watch it 1 time. CaaS is also key for discoverability. In my testing of the Beats Music service, I’ve discovered some new artists based on some of the recommendations. I probably would not drop $10 on an album that Beats recommends to me, but I’ll certainly add it to my library and listen to it later. I know that if I hate it, I am only out a little time. With Netflix, if a movie stinks, I can turn it off. If I rent it from iTunes, I’ll be out the $5. A-la-cart pricing for media basically kills discoverability. People will go with what is safe when they are having to make a conscious decision about what to buy.

Bradley makes some interesting points. I have always embraced digital content – i.e. stop buying CD’s, DVD’s, Blu-ray’s etc but now that we have switched to digital, maybe it’s smart to stop buying digital content for when digital is no longer compatible in it’s current form soon. For music, stop buying music off iTunes – get it from Spotify or the soon-to-be-bought-by-Apple Beats Music. Get your movies & TV shows from services like Netflix or Amazon Instant. You pay a regular monthly fee but if you think about it, it’s cheaper than buying/renting 2/3 movies/albums per month and you are future proofing yourself continuously.

Apple plans to Introduce split-screen iPad multitasking in iOS 8

 

Mark Gurman:

The ability to use multiple applications simultaneously on a tablet’s display takes a page out of Microsoft’s playbook. Microsoft’s Surface line of tablets has a popular “snap” multitasking feature that allows customers to snap multiple apps onto the screen for simultaneous usage. The feature is popular in the enterprise and in environments where users need to handle multiple tasks at the same time.

Microsoft has even released an ad comparing multitasking features for the Surface and iPad:

The feature has opened up the door for the Surface to be a true laptop replacement, and will further herald the iPad as Apple’s vision of the future for mobile computing.

In addition to allowing for two iPad apps to be used at the same time, the feature is designed to allow for apps to more easily interact, according to the sources. For example, a user may be able to drag content, such as text, video, or images, from one app to another.

A sure sign of Apple evolving the iPad and iOS is when they embrace ideas that competitors already have, but ideas that Apple have stayed away from to make sure they get it right. I have always preferred the focused-one app at a time scenario but even if Apple just made the feature an option in settings, it still further makes the iPad and iOS in particular more powerful still.

Apple just hired the man behind the best camera phone in the world

 

Brad Feed:

The absolute best thing about Nokia’s high-end smartphones in recent years has been their cameras. Not only are they head-and-shoulders above the competition in terms of megapixel count but also when it comes to camera software features that let you take clear, vibrant pictures in just about any setting. Now, however, it seems that the iPhone may be poised to steal some of the Lumia’s camera thunder.

Engadget reports that Apple has just hired former senior Nokia Lumia engineer Ari Partinen, whom Nokia has in the past described as its “own camera expert.”

One of Partinen’s biggest achievements during his time at Nokia was working on the PureView technology that the company debuted in 2012 and that has helped Nokia smartphone cameras deliver best-in-the-industry low-light photography, so it seems that future iPhone cameras stand to get a big boost when it comes to snapping pictures in the dark.

iPhone takes arguably the best daylight photographs of any smartphone. The Nokia Lumia (no argument) takes the best low-light photographs. We can all look forward to the iPhone having potentially the best camera in any smartphone, for day and night photographs in future models soon.

Switch from Google Search to DuckDuckGo Now!

 

Chris Smith:

DuckDuckGo touts its service as “the search engine that doesn’t track you,” a reminder that’s still posted on its home page. Following the numerous reports detailing the various sophisticated mass-spying tools that allow the NSA and other secret agencies to collect data in bulk from various devices connected to the Internet, and from online services, many users have switched from DuckDuckGo from other search engines, an earlier report revealed.

Hopefully, Apple will make DuckDuckGo one of the default browser choices in OS X and iOS this year. I urge you to make it your homepage for your PC or Mac.

The Diminishing Relevance of Blu-ray

 

Yoni Heisler:

Just last week, Sony warned shareholders that revenue from the company’s 2013 fiscal year would be much lower than previously anticipated. This was, of course, in large part due to Sony’s decision to exit the PC business. But also playing a role in the company’s bleak financial picture was the diminishing relevance of Blu-ray.

Anybody in their right frame of mind could see back then that Blu-ray was never going to last. Yes, it had great quality with arguably better quality resolutions compared to its streaming and physical rivals like Netflix, iTunes etc, but the physical disc format will follow the floppy disk, CD-ROM, HD-DVD etc.,and will gradually become irrelevant going forward. Digital is the future.

New Samsung Galaxy S5 ad forced to cherry pick lines from lackluster reviews

 

AppleInsider:

He added, “the Galaxy S5’s finger sensor is unusable. It has failed to recognize my finger just about every time I have tried it. It has been so terrible that the sensor feels more like a marketing gimmick than a legitimate feature. And it makes me wonder about Samsung’s capacity to keep up with Apple’s innovations.”

Talking of Samsung, this is a great read. Shocking how far Samsung went to get positive review quotes from reviews that upon reading, were far from positive.

Apple’s iPad is still the most beloved tablet

 

Ben Zigterman:

Despite an onslaught of competititon, Apple’s iPad received the highest marks on the latest J.D. Power tablet satisfaction survey. According to the survey of over 2,500 tablet users, the iPad ranked first in every category except price and its overall satisfaction score of 830 out of 1,000 beat Samsung at 822, Asus at 820, Amazon at 817, and Acer at 769.

The survey mesaured satisfaction across five differrent categories with some categories receiving more weight than others. They include performance (28%), ease of operation (22%), features (22%), styling and design (17%), and cost (11%).

Samsung performed well in the features, styling and design, and cost categories.

Apple has traditionally performed well in J.D. Power surveys. The iPhone has received it’s highest ranking for the past few years, and in 2012 and 2013, the iPad was the top tablet, although in a survey from the second-half of 2013, Samsung briefly took the lead. Overall, Samsung’s tablets have improved their satisfaction ratings over the past couple years, while Amazon’s Kindle Fire’s ratings have declined.

There’s iPad – then there is everything else.

Samsung fires its mobile design leader

 

Reuters:

Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, the world’s biggest handset maker, has replaced the head of its mobile design team amid criticism of the latest Galaxy S smartphone.

Chang Dong-hoon offered to resign last week and will be replaced by Lee Min-hyouk, vice president for mobile design, a Samsung spokeswoman said on Thursday.

Will be interesting to see if Samsung stop their blatant copying from now on in their new products or whether Mr Dong-hoon was just a fall guy to show the court (and their shareholders) that it’s not really Samsung’s strategy to go down a route that ends in expensive and very public litigation.

Facebook Adds ‘Nearby Friends’ To Notify You if Your Friends Are Close

 

Buster Hein:

The new feature is a lot like Apple’s Find My Friends in that it allows you to share your location with friends and family so you can hopefully get in touch with each other in the real world. Nearby Friends will also send you push notifications to let you know when a group of pals just happen to be close by.

A similar ‘Find Friends Nearby’ feature was rolled out by Facebook in 2012 but was quickly pulled, but Facebook swears this Nearby Friends will hit iOS and Android in the next few weeks.

Facebook mentions that the entire feature is opt-in: first you have to turn in on, then you can only see friends’ proximity if you choose to share it with them, and vice versa.

Precise locations can also be shared with friends for set periods of time – like say you just want friends to know where you’re going to be at in the park for the next hour. It can also be turned on and off whenever you want so you don’t have to worry about friends stalking you all week.

Privacy concerns to one side, I like how the feature can be automatic, unlike Find My Friends which needs manual intervention to set alerts.

Unlike Android, iPhone users are totally safe from mobile malware

 

Luke Dormehl:

For those keeping score at home, this means that 99% of mobile threats are aimed at Android. That number’s increasing, too. In the same three month period in 2013, just 91% of new mobile malware was aimed at Google’s mobile platform.

iPhones, for their part, benefit from Apple’s stricter security measures. The single instance of iOS malware detected by F-Secure was designed to target jailbroken iPhones — meaning that the majority of iPhone users are 100% safe from mobile malware.

How’s that for a statistic to throw out next time someone tries to make a point about the merits of Android vs. iOS?

iOS is not perfect and there have been some scares recently, but overall for the average user this is certainly a telling statistic and is a big reason to own an iPhone.