All Day, Every Day

I try not to, but I always find myself doing work, even when I am told to rest.

It comes with the job description, but being a constantly connected only adds to it. I start up my computer, I switch between my Facebook page and the company page. I check Twitter on my phone, and again I am switching between my account and the company account. I have also never refreshed my email more times then I have in the past few months. When I open iTunes, the first thing I check are the reviews for my companies app. Good thing we don;t have company music, because I would probably listen to that first as well. That’s clearly a joke, but with startup customer support, anything is possible.

 

It’s a new iPhone… Well, a slightly newer iPhone

Today Apple introduced its newest iPhone, the iPhone 4S. The past week brought plenty of rumors, which included a complete redesign and the iPhone 5 moniker. That didn’t happen, but Apple did up the specs on the newest version, adding their dual-core A5 processor, 1080p HD Video, and the admittedly neat Siri Personal Assistant.

The catch here is that Siri is an iPhone 4S exclusive. However, with the upgrades that iOS 5 will bring to current iPhone users, waiting for next years iPhone 5 with the same technology and even more upgrades seem just fine.

Also Sprint will now offer the iPhone, making it three out of four leading carriers to carry the ever popular Apple smartphone. All of this along with the October 12th release of iOS 5, which is free, makes this incremental update great for users both old and new.

I’m looking forward to iOS 5 more than anything since I won’t be in the market for a new phone for some time, and the allure of what iPhone 5 will bring are just too great to ignore. That is what’s great about mobile phones, something even better is always on the horizon, and while the 4S may not be the phone many were looking for, it follows Apple’s pattern of updates (3G/3GS/4/4S). That means that next years iPhone will be something new, something exciting, and phone that I will definitely look forward to!

Yahoo!!!

Carol Bartz no longer at the head of Yahoo is rather interesting. However, the writing has been on the wall. The company has taken a hit recently, with Microsoft’s Bing becoming the default search engine on a site whose key feature was search. At the same time,search has evolved, and like Aol, Yahoo has tried to keep up, but just has not been able to do so.

What may be even better is how Bartz responded to her dismissal. Microsoft had offered over 40 Billion dollars to acquire Yahoo, and right about now that offer looks pretty good. However, Bartz and Co. carried on, even with Yahoo Mail, or YMail if you like, as the only redeemable feature. Let’s see where Yahoo goes from here, because if Bartz plans to stay on the board, the future is quite intriguing.

Back To Snow Leopard

The title says it all. After about two weeks of running Lion on my MB Pro I decided to revert  back to Snow Leopard, technically a “downgrade” of my system. However, I feel as if it is far from that. In the end, and thirty dollars after the fact, I realized that many of the new Lion features were not for me. Now don’t get me wrong, for many Lion fits there computing needs. The new OS would obviously run better if I had at least  and i3 or i5 machine, which I don’t. So why exactly did I go back to Snow Leopard?

For starters, I still have the install disc! Secondly, I really just like the way Snow Leopard runs on my system. I tried Mission Control, which is a grand version of Expose and Spaces, but I found the simple window layout in Snow Leopard better for managing multiple tasks. I really don’t need 3 or more desktop views, and in all honesty I have gotten so used to my Spaces setup, so Mission Control seemed a bit excessive.

Then there is Launchpad, a feature I thought would be useful, but was rarely used. The iOS layout makes sense on iOS, but on OS X it becomes another dock icon to launch apps, which is of course to whole point of the feature. However, I have my apps in a folder on my dock already, so I never really clicked on Launchpad except for right after I installed the OS. In the end, my folders won!!

Lastly is the feature I could never use even if I wanted to, AirDrop. I was looking forward to using a native Mac to Mac file sharing app, but Apple did not share the goodness with 2008 Macbook Pro’s, my model FYI, so I continued with DropBox.

By the way, this was a half a day process, as I had to back up my files, which I do often, partition the hard drive, erase the partitioned drive, install Snow Leopard, then transfer my files. A long sentence, a run-on maybe, but in the end I gained tons of storage back, almost 120 GB’s to be exact!! Plus, It was a good lesson in computer management.

When it came down to it, I installed Lion to try the newest, latest, and greatest. Yet, at the end of the day Snow Leopard does what I need it to do, and aside from my hour and a half battery life, which is a story for another day, this system should be kickin’ for quite a long time.

 

 

There’s a Lion in the Room

So today OS X Lion was released via the Mac App Store, the next iteration of the ever-popular OS. I have yet to download and install OS X Lion on my 2008 Macbook Pro, but in due time I think the upgrade will take place. Like almost all techies, the latest and greatest is a must have, especially at a price not much higher than the Snow Leopard upgrade, which was more or less a refinement then Lion.

I have seen the features, with Apple boasting about the 250 new features, most notably trackpad gestures, Launchpad, Mission Control, and AirDrop. The names given to the features are quite dramatic, but enough to pique the interest of any nerd! The iOS-ification of OS X is what tech blogs have been describing Lion as, and that has its benefits and drawbacks, depending on who you ask. I own an iPhone and an iPad to go along with my Macbook Pro, making my connected life completely Apple. I am obviously familiar with iOS, so maybe a few features, such as Launchpad, will be a welcome addition to my computing experience. At this point I break out my Macbook Pro for document editing, job applications and blog posts. Maybe those three can use a little iOS love!?

Then there is the issue of whether or not you want certain aspects of you mobile computing life to mirror your mobile life, and that is ultimately a decision that the end consumer has to make. Taking what is new and making it work for you is essential. So rather than criticize Lion based on tech blog reviews and screenshots, I want to try it first to see that it fits my overall needs and expectations of what an evolutionary OS upgrade should be. After all, like many people out there, my connected life depends on solid hardware and more importantly software. In the end 30 dollars to make my life more productive might be a solid investment, an investment that just might enable one of by favorite tech phrases, “true multitasking”!

How Many “G’s” Are There? Proposed Wireless Disclosure Act

I was doing my daily news search when I came across a BGR article outlining telecom legislation that is making its way through the U.S. House. The proposed Next Generation Wireless Disclosure Act, or NGWDA for fans of acronyms, is in my opinion a step in the right direction as 4G gains momentum. If you have been reading tech news for the past few months, who know that AT&T and T-Mobile have been touting their 4G service, a service that AT&T seems to have created by simply adding “4G” to the name of their latest smartphones.

The most recent example of such branding is the remarkably small HP Veer 4G, which runs one of my favorite operating systems, webOS. The phone itself runs on an HSPA/UMTS network, so HSPA+ is really what customers are signing up for. T-Mobile’s latest ads champion a 4G network that has yet to be proven, maybe I am wrong, but I haven’t seen any evidence proving that they have speeds comparable to Verizon’s LTE network, which already has phones, most notably the HTC Thunderbolt, running on a network that I have used and can confirm that it is indeed more than just HSPA+.

When selling a phone and a network to customers, what is being advertised has to be there. I can’t imagine upgrading my phone only to find out that the network is not as advertised. Today’s  smartphones make heavy use of 3G networks, unless you have a knack for finding free WiFi! Future phones will require even more, so accountability is paramount as customers look for the latest, newest, and best priced technology. The proposed bill will require wireless service providers to provide guaranteed minimum data speeds to customers which is important as the term “4G’ has been used so freely that it’s true value has yet to be realized by the most important people, the customer.

iOS 5 and Then Some!

iOS 5 was announced today and given a release date of “this fall”. While many may be saying “why such a long wait?”, you have to realize that this is the biggest change in the short history of the OS. Let Apple take it’s time in releasing the new version, work out any kinks it may have and then release it to eager customers worldwide. The new features are a great evolution, from notifications to single sign-on Twitter integration. Twitter has become such an integral part of mobile life, and Apple has embraced it and made it an integral part of the next iOS version. Better late than never!

Now, in my opinion, Notification Center is the change iOS users have wanted for quite some time, and today the dream is now a reality. I switched from Blackberry OS to webOS to iOS in the past three years, so I have seen quite a variety of notification systems, with webOS being the best by far. Notifications are part of what makes a smartphone smart, across all forms of messaging and social networks, and saying good riddance to iOS modal notification boxes will make for a much more streamlined user experience, allowing user to be notified without stopping what they are doing to tap “close” or “view”. The simple act of swiping down shows all of your notifications in one spot so you don’t have to open and close an app just to get rid of the number counter on the right of the app icon. I’m loving it!

If notifications don’t excite you (and for many they don’t), try not being excited about OTA updates! Apple has been known for mobile devices that still require Mac or PC syncing. Coming this fall that will be a thing of the past, a past that will free you of countless 30 pin connectors for everything. When I was a webOS user I got used to OTA updates and the cloud-based Palm Profile which backed my device up daily. When I switched to iOS I said goodbye to the cloud and hello to a more wired life. Soon that will change both for me and the millions of iOS users, who will be able to bask in the glory of a truly mobile experience, only plugging in to charge their device. Trust me, you’ll love it!

Lastly, there is iMessage, a service that I did not expect to be announced. Here is, for the lack of a better term, Apple’s BBM (It was nice knowing you RIM!). A messaging platform exclusively for iOS users is huge! With one the largest user base, this service in my opinion is a guaranteed success, connecting millions of users across all iOS devices.

Those were just a few of the announcements from today’s event, but are the ones I think will be a big hit for Apple and a joy for users both old and new! Apple is evolving and embracing the ” post-pc era” they have been talking about for a while. Now we wait, knowing that an awesome iOS experience is on its way!