Gerard Condon's Blog

Journal of a software developer.

State of Apple ⇒

This is a really good round up of Apple links from Michael Tsai. I just found Steve Blank’s post on Tim Cook as Steve Ballmer a couple of weeks ago and since then there’s been a few more posts on where Apple is going.

I’ve bought a fair few Apple products over the last 10 years but I’m not sure when I’ll buy one again. The phones are admittedly excellent but I get 80% of the experience on my cheap Android phablet for a quarter of the price. Also it’s really the hardware and local software experience with the phones that are good. Any Apple service has tended to be terrible e.g. iCloud - especially compared to Google’s services on Android.

Also iTunes has always been a disaster. And now their laptops seem to be becoming glorified toys - any port I used has been removed. They have a fascination with thinness but I’d trade a few mm for battery life. I’m not sure what I’d do with one now over a Chromebook - especially given that Chromebooks are about a quarter of the price and soon you’ll be able to use Android apps on them.

They never really did much with the Apple TV. I have an older model and it sits unused under the tv now. The remote for that was terrible - looks over usability. Given the way the app store took off on iOS, I thought they had an opportunity to push it as a gaming box. However that never happened. I think gaming seems to be a real blind spot at Apple and it never got the attention that music or movies got. It’s a shame really.

My first iBook got me into the Mac ecosystem and the halo effect lead to more purchases but recent hardware updates (or lack of it on the desktop) are pushing me out again. It’s more likely that Google has the halo effect now and that I’ll be switching to their ecosystem completely.

  posted on   •   Apple

OS X Mountain Lion

Apple has just announced Mountain Lion, the latest update to OS X, and it looks to have some interesting features. The main one I’m looking forward to is the addition of AirPlay to the Mac. I love being able to stream video from the iPhone to the Apple TV. It’s really handy for the iTunes U lectures. However for normal videos that I have on the Mac, it’s annoying to have to convert them via Air Video Server on the Mac and then use Air Video on the iPhone to get them to display on the Apple TV. Having AirPlay on the Mac stream directly to the Apple TV will be very handy. According to the docs, it’s just for streaming applications and presentations but perhaps they will open it up to interactive applications in future. I wonder what the latency would be like on this and if eventually it would be possible to play games via the Apple TV.

I’m finding that as I integrate more and more Apple devices into my setup, they all make each other work better. AirPlay is one example of this. Another is iTunes match which really starts to excel when you have multiple devices. Previously it was impossible to keep multiple iTunes in sync. It was a nightmare trying to add new music as it had to be added to each library separately. Now my music library is always in sync everywhere and when I add music to one library, it gets uploaded and is available on all others immediately. I haven’t always been too impressed with Apple’s cloud services (i.e. MobileMe was a bit of a disaster) but they’ve got it right with iTunes Match.

  posted on   •   Apple