Category Archives: Technology

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Why Apple is not trying to control you with App Store

When reading my daily mix of RSS feeds I came across interesting article on Cult of Mac. It’s about what Pirate Bay co-founder Peter Sunde thinks of Mac App Store. In his e-mail to Forbes he claims that Apple is forcing users to get programs in App Store and that Apple is becoming more like Microsoft.

I just couldn’t disagree more. Everything what he says is simply not true and he does not have any facts to back it up. Instead of wanting to control people as Sunde says, Apple wants to make it more convenient and easier for people to get new software. App Store was never meant to be the only way to load 3rd party apps, you still can install from DVD, download or any other source. In post-iPhone days solution like App Store was biggest thing missing on Mac. And Apple finally delivered it.

Besides obvious benefits for developers, customers will in the end benefit the most from the App Store, both directly and indirectly. First of all they’ll have easy to use, integrated place to get new software for their Macs. And indirectly because App Store will without a doubt act like a catalyst for innovation. Developers will take Mac development more seriously which will result in new and better apps. And competitors will launch their own stores. Cydia already stated that they will make store for Mac that will sell all the apps that won’t be allowed in Apple’s store. And Bodega, existing app store will see improvements thanks to competition. App Store will make Mac software market booming. And this sure is a good thing!

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App Store is coming to Mac

Only several days left till Apple launches App Store for Mac. Original App Store was introduced back in summer 2008 and it was a runway success. It redefined mobile application development and grown to become one of the strongest points of iPhone and later iPad. Over 7 billion apps have been downloaded for iOS. It is a biggest mobile application store in the word and it’s success inspired a range of ‘app stores’ from other companies on just about any device imaginable. It was logical for Apple to bring it to the Mac.

There are many awesome Mac apps, but developers have to spend time and resources to promote their products, run their own stores and process payments from around the world. This is quite hard and takes their time away from development. With App Store they won’t have to do any of that. Instead developers will have more time for making and improving their software. Especially it will be very important for smaller companies. Mac App Store will give a giant boost to Mac software market and bring to the Mac innovation that’s seen on iOS.

App Store will provide a brilliant and simple way to discover new software, be it games or apps. Currently on the Mac getting new software is not quite straightforward unless you already know where to look. There is no centralised go-to place for finding and downloading new apps. App Store will be the main spot to go to. Yes, not everything will be allowed  in the App Store, but most apps are safe. On the Mac App Store will never become the only allowed source of software, so anything that won’t meet Apple’s criteria can always be delivered using conventional means.

It is going to be very exciting times on Mac. And it remains to be seen how exactly App Store will impact Mac application market. But one thing is for sure – it will be huge!

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First impressions of Kindle 3

I finally got a Kindle for Christmas, a WiFi + 3G version. It’s my second try with a dedicated ebook reader, first one was Sony Reader Pocket Edition that I got back in Spring. But there was very little to get excited about it. I’ve read a book or two on it and then left it in the draw because I quite hated the experience. But Amazon didn’t disappoint me with Kindle.

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My new blog

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When on 20th of October Apple unveiled their latest version of iLife app suite, one part of it was missing. Sadly iWeb didn’t get an update and it wasn’t even mentioned by Jobs during keynote. It was a bad news for me because my personal website was made in iWeb, and by that time it already badly needed upgrade. It looks like faith of iDVD is waiting for iWeb too – slowly dying out.

On the right is the last image of my old website, I didn’t update it for a while because I got quite frustrated with iWeb and just didn’t want to deal with it at all.

But fortunately yesterday I finally set up new hosting and registered new domain on godaddy.com I’ve got quite a good deal too, very pleased about it. My new domain is ivanb.me, it’s my name + first letter of surname. I’ve spent quite a long time brainstorming different domain names, but then I thought that if it’s my personal blog and I’ll be writing about everything and nothing in particular, why not to use my own name.

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Newton MessagePad at iPad launch

For iPad launch I brought to Apple Store the first Apple tablet, Newton MessagePad. It was a great device but was released ahead of its time and never gained a significant market share. But nonetheless it was the first touch screen PDA that inspired a whole new category of devices. I have the last version, MessagePad 2100 released in 1997, some 13 years before the iPad. Comparing Newton to both iPhone and iPad I certainly can find some similarities in both software and hardware. Even the names are similar MessagePad and iPad. I think that iPad is in a way a rethought and re-imagined version of Newton.

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iPhone repair

Last Friday I noticed that a thin crack appeared on my iPhone above the ringer switch. It’s quite a common problem, plaguing mainly white iPhones. You can see examples here, here and here. This are small thin hairline cracks appearing for no particular reason.
As soon as I noticed it I made an appointment for the Genius Bar at Apple Store in Brighton. I’ve read on the Internet that many people got their phones successfully replaced by Apple. To my surprise Genius actually told me that this fault does not impact the performance or function of the phone and for this reason refused to repaired it. He said that I can pay £140 to get my phone replaced with brand new republished unit. Of course I didn’t want to pay that much money to fix cosmetic problem of one year old phone.

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My thoughts about eBook market in UK

A few days ago I wanted to buy a copy of a book ‘Stormrage’ by Richard A. Knaak. I’ve got a Sony Reader and also often listen to audio books on my iPhone, so naturally I was looking for a digital version of the book, either audio or text. Paperback was already released in print back in February and it is available to purchase on Amazon.

But to my surprise I could not find eBook version on any of UK online eBook stores. Audible doesn’t have it either. I’m afraid that currently in UK the only way to buy this book is to buy a print version. That would have been just fine perhaps just a few years ago, but now so many big names in tech industry as well as smaller companies are pushing eBook reader devices. But how do they expect people to have a satisfactory experience, if there is no good way to get a recent content on them?
Another issue is the environment. One of the main reasons why I decided to purchase an eBook reader is to do my bit for environment and save the trees. But I can save the trees only if I will purchase a digital editions of the books instead of print.

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Microsoft is using Apple’s keyboard and mouse in their adverts

I saw this advert on the Tube in London a few days ago. It’s an ad for Hotmail, but when I looked closer it appears that Microsoft is using Apple’s Pro Keyboard and either Pro Mouse or Magic Mouse in it. It’s not the first time when Microsoft used Apple’s products in their marketing materials. Back in 2005 they used iBook on Windows Vista website.

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Free songs on iTunes UK, Young Americans Music sampler

iTunes has a wonderful promotion on it’s UK Facebook page, they are giving away 5 free songs. Song are encoded in iTunes Plus format, 256kbps AAC without any DRM. This means that you can play them on any device you like. Please note that this offer works only with UK iTunes accounts, it expires in the end of February.

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The Third Device

 

We all use phones/smartphones or laptops/desktops. But do we need something in between? A third device thats bigger and more powerful then phone but lighter and easier to use then a laptop.
I was searching for it for quite a long time. I’m a student and I live in Brighton, but study in London. That’s about an hour away on the train, so I spend at least 2 hours a day travelling. That’s a long time, time that I can use to do work, assignments and many other things.

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