Thursday, April 15, 2010

Playing Catch-up!

When I started this blog, my intention was to offer a different take on “the technology that affects our daily lives” as the description states. To my despair, a very non-tech interruption prevented me from updating this on a regular basis, so now, I will play “catch-up” on my timeline.

Skype
On Friday, March 26, 2010, Verizon Wireless announced the availability of Skype Mobile integration on eligible smartphones (phones with data plans). This is a huge departure from the policies of other providers like AT&T who consistently blocked VOIP type applications on their handsets. I tested this with a friend in another state who called me from his iPod touch using his local wireless network. The call came through clearly and my phone (BlackBerry Storm2) rang as if a regular call was coming through with the caller-id of Skype! While I don’t believe that this will negatively affect Verizon’s bottom line, it is a boon for the large user base of Skype users with smartphones.

iPad
After all the hype, speculation and criticism, Apple released the iPad at the end of March. And, of course, it seems to be a hit with over 300,000 units sold during the opening weekend. My opinion of this device has not changed;
a) I personally won’t buy a first generation “luxury” device. I waited until the iPod touch had gone through a hardware and software upgrade prior to purchasing and I’m quite happy with it.
b) This is a closed system with more of the same that I have on my iPod touch so it doesn’t has a use case in my life.
c) I still believe the form factor (tablet, slate, etc.) can have more power and a real operating system like Windows 7 or Android. Chrome is not a real operating system.

That said, the iPad is a nice device for what it was designed for, to read newspapers or periodicals and view videos. The screen size does lend itself better to gaming than the iPhone or iPod touch so I’m sure that we’ll see a huge push in the touch screen gaming category.

To all those early adopters who just had to have their hands on the iPad, enjoy. If I get one, it will be a year or two and there will have to be a compelling reason.

Apple vs. Adobe
Another paradigm shift with Apple becoming the “evil empire” (instead of Microsoft). This seems externally to be more of a personal battle between not Apple and Adobe, but Steve Jobs and Adobe. Mr. Jobs consistently reffering to Adobe’s Flash as “Buggy and Slow”, but those of us who have ever used a new app on the Macbook or iPhone never complained about software. Why, because we don’t have a god complex. Jobs outright refusal to even work with Adobe to iron out some of his issues seems a bit over the top. Hey, if they did work with Apple to fix Flash, then Apple would be the hero by making it better for all of us. Betcha didn’t think about that Steve.