A great reflection on the iPhone 4S event by John Gruber (unlike, say, this one). Three key takeaways. On the 3.5-inch screen debate:
Bigger is not necessarily better. Apple decided on the optimal size for an iPhone display back in 2006. If they thought 4-inches was better, overall, as the one true size for the iPhone display, then the original iPhone would have had a 4-inch display. It’s not like 4-inch screens are harder to make, or use some sort of new technology. If anything they’re surely easier to make, as the pixels are less dense.
That’s a great point that no one ever brings up. It’s not like 4-inch screens are some technical achievement that Apple can’t handle. They simply choose not to. And why? Because they believe 3.5-inches is the correct size.
Want bigger? You’re gonna love the Nexus Prime. But remember something else: bigger screen mean worse battery life. Add a 4G chip into the mix and well…
In the months leading up to the iPhone 4S unveiling, there were only two things I heard for certain: “October” and “3.5-inch screen”. No one wanted to listen on the latter, apparently.
On the form factor and timing:
The gist I get, after talking to some valuable little birdies over the past few days, is that a new form factor was never in the cards for this year’s iPhone. It may or may not have ideally launched a few months sooner, but the plan was always for an iPhone 4 successor that looked like the 4 but had improved internal components. I wouldn’t be surprised if the next iPhone doesn’t change, or doesn’t change much, either.
I also believe the original plan to launch this new iPhone in the summer but it was delayed (as was the Retina iPad that was originally due this fall). What I’m still not clear about is if Siri/iOS 5 delayed the iPhone 4S or the other way around…
Speaking of Siri:
I can’t help but see Siri as Apple’s first attack in the direction of Google’s crown jewels: search. Apple mentioned and promoted two partners for Siri’s knowledge back-end: Yelp for locations, and Wolfram Alpha for encyclopedic information and as a calculation engine. Every Siri query that’s answered by Yelp or Wolfram Alpha is a query that might otherwise have been answered by Google. The more people use Siri, and the more non-Google data sources Apple adds to it, the less iPhone users will use Google search.
Yep. And there will be more Siri-powered partners coming. And I bet they will come soon. I can’t believe Twitter isn’t one yet…
Bobby Ghoshal, founder of FLUD News, shares a very personal story about his interactions with Apple and Steve Jobs:
The day FLUD News launched its iPhone app last december, I emailed Steve and thanked him for his contribution to the app industry. I also asked him to check out the latest FLUD when he got a chance, the next day I got a call from Apple heads telling us that we were the number 1 featured app in the app store and that we were invited to meet with people from the app store team. It gave me goose bumps.
When engineers working on the very first iPod completed the prototype, they presented their work to Steve Jobs for his approval. Jobs played with the device, scrutinized it, weighed it in his hands, and promptly rejected it. It was too big.
The engineers explained that they had to reinvent inventing to create the iPod, and that it was simply impossible to make it any smaller. Jobs was quiet for a moment. Finally he stood, walked over to an aquarium, and dropped the iPod in the tank. After it touched bottom, bubbles floated to the top.
“Those are air bubbles,” he snapped. “That means there’s space in there. Make it smaller.”
Just an hour in and by 9:30PM last night, almost every social medium online was abuzz with the terrible news, with 1,905 blog posts, 3,836 online news articles, 1,483 forum posts, and over 570,414 tweets. Numbers continued to rise as the news spread and the world both fell asleep and awoke to the sadness. Keywords surrounding Jobs’ passing had also moved from conversation central to the release of the iPhone 4S, and onto more timely and emotional chatter related to his death. (via 2.5 Million Steve Jobs tweets sent out in just 12 hours)
Google, Apple, and Amazon are pushing more and more of your entertainment, your data — heck, your life — into the cloud. But what’s it mean for the wireless network operators who are already struggling to keep up with heavy data demand?
Each of these companies recently announced new digital storage services for music. The idea is that people can put their music in the “cloud,” which is really a remote data center. The “cloud” becomes the central repository for all of your music, pictures, and other data. And you simply connect to it via any broadband connection available to access it.
There are plenty of benefits to this, of course. For one, it’s incredibly convenient, especially when you’re connecting wirelessly. As Apple CEO Steve Jobs pointed out during his keynote earlier this week where the iiCloud service was announced, he said that it will eliminate the headache of syncing each device.
But using these services will no doubt eat up a lot more bandwidth than just downloading a song one time to your computer or smartphone. Once music moves to the cloud, you could be downloading that same song every time you sync your device or even every time you listen to it. And once Apple or Google start offering video in the cloud, the problem may get even worse.
Can wireless networks, which are already buckling under the load of simple mobile browsing, handle it?
We work weekends. Don’t all business owners? It is quite exciting though, when you love your work and your clients. We have the best clients in the world. What a pleasure it is to help them take their seed of an idea and turn it into a mobile app. This weekend will be busy working on a current client’s app project, white-boarding plans for next week, scheduling meetings with our Southern Division, and probably a Skype conference of two.
If you have an idea for a mobile app for, your business, your church, your great idea for the next Angry Birds, let us know. We would love to help you turn that idea into a reality!