SkyDrive app on iOS is finally updated, paving the way for Office on iPad maybe?
Blackberry 10 is almost here. I suggest it should target iOS in the enterprise and Android in the consumer space.
Despite being tempted by iOS and iPhone, I have decided to stick with Windows Phone. See why.
Wow, time has flown. It feels like only yesterday that I was rocking my Blackberry Curve 8300 (no WiFi) and actually proud of it. I did not buy into the iPhone hype when it was released and stayed out, mostly because my Curve had video recording capability which the iPhone didn’t. Believe me, I took some videos on that thing that I still cherish, bad quality and all.
Instead of doing a normal retrospective I thought I’d pick up random articles written around the time the iPhone launched, and laugh at the ones that mocked the iPhone and predicted its doom, some even before it was released. Hindsight is so beautiful, innit?
Ad Age: Why the iPhone Will Fail
Prediction No. 1: The iPhone will be a major disappointment.
The hype has been enormous. Apple says its iPhone is “literally five years ahead of any other mobile phone.” A stock-market analyst says, “The iPhone has the potential to be even bigger than the iPod.”
Prediction No. 2: The media will blame the execution, not the concept.
Instead, the iPhone is going to fail because its design is fundamentally flawed.
First, the iPhone ignores the main reasons that the iPod succeeded: simplicity and ease of use.
Second, the iPhone crams too many functions into a single box.
Third, users will detest the touch screen interface due to its lack of tactile feedback.
An iPod with just a cell keypad on the back would have been, may still be, a smash hit product for someone. But the iPhone as currently consituted? Forget it.
Because its designers forgot Platt’s First, Last, and Only Law of User Experience Design (“Know Thy User, for He Is Not Thee”), that product is going to crash in flames. Sell your Apple stock now, while the hype’s still hot. You heard it here first.
The Register: Why the Apple phone will fail, and fail badly
This one is a great read because all the reasons mentioned in the article are exactly what Apple destroyed with the iPhone. Incredibly, a lot of the same type of chatter is heard now for the TV business, except the bad guys in control are the Hollywood mafia and not the carriers. We shall see how that story unfolds later in 2012.
Commsday: THE LONG VIEW: Why the iPhone will fail
But then – and here’s my prediction part – something strange will happen. In a week or two the fuss will fade and people will start to realise an important point: it’s just a phone, and not a particularly “smart” one at that. And then people will start to find flaws in it, because let’s face it, version 1.0 of anything is going to have flaws, particularly something loaded with sensitive radios and electronics like a mobile phone.
And finally, there’s the competition. The likes of Nokia, Motorola, Samsung, Sony Ericsson and LG won’t be idle bystanders as Apple tries to do to the mobile phone market what it did to MP3 players with the iPod. Building a mobile phone isn’t rocket science – it’s much more complex than that. And the traditional guys have been doing it for the best part of 20 years.
It’s hardware, it’s proprietary, so I really planned on keeping my mouth shut about it. But there is one point I have decided to make, one related directly to this beat, which is the real reason I believe the iPhone will, at best, disappoint in the market.
Open spectrum. We don’t have much, and we are nowhere near getting more.
The iPhone is nothing more than a luxury bauble that will appeal to a few gadget freaks. In terms of its impact on the industry, the iPhone is less relevant.
First, Apple is late to this party.
Next, the mobile-phone industry depends on cooperation with the big networks.
Lastly, the iPhone is a defensive product. It is mainly designed to protect the iPod, which is coming under attack from mobile manufacturers adding music players to their handsets.
The best one, by John C. Dvorak on MarketWatch: Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone
There is no likelihood that Apple can be successful in a business this competitive. Even in the business where it is a clear pioneer, the personal computer, it had to compete with Microsoft and can only sustain a 5% market share.
What Apple risks here is its reputation as a hot company that can do no wrong. If it’s smart it will call the iPhone a “reference design” and pass it to some suckers to build with someone else’s marketing budget. Then it can wash its hands of any marketplace failures.
It should do that immediately before it’s too late. Samsung Electronics Ltd. might be a candidate. Otherwise I’d advise you to cover your eyes. You’re not going to like what you’ll see.
(Thanks to Kevin Nunez for reminding me about Dvorak’s classic.)
Finally, a couple of point-by-point mythbuster pieces by Tom Reestman, which in fact were inspiration for this blog post: Red Ferret’s list of “serious problems” with the iPhone touchscreen, and What a shock. Another BS (Baltimore Sun?) list of reasons to avoid the iPhone.
Oh, how the world has changed. “Late to the party” is now Motorola and Nokia. “Carriers control the whole thing” is now flipped over to carriers like TMobile begging to get the iPhone. “Too complex” is now flipped over to the iPhone being the simplest and the most intuitive user interface.
Let’s all use this 5th anniversary of the iPhone to thank Steve Jobs and everyone at Apple who opened this new world up for us, where it’s not just smartphones but mobile, highly-connected devices that help to get work done more efficiently and in more places than ever before.
Hat tip, iPhone.
In my series comparing iPhone 4S to Windows Phone (Nokia Lumia 800), I look at the amazing Retina display.
In my series comparing iPhone 4S to Windows Phone (Nokia Lumia 800), I compare setup and out of the box experience.
I start using iPhone 4S as my primary phone to compare the experience to my Nokia Lumia 800 Windows Phone. I document what I like and what I don’t like.
Plex, the “media center” software application built for a multitude of devices, has a Windows Phone app now. They wrote up a blog post about it and while I am excited that there is a WP7 app now, it was heartening to see the praise they had for WP7 both from a user’s perspective as well as from a developer’s perspective.
There are so many gems in that post, I felt compelled to not only write this blog post, but highlight a bunch of the gems from the post:
Android phones never managed to capture my interest. They just looked and felt like bad photocopies of the iPhone, and didn’t offer anything new I was interested in, like the ability to install a custom theme that looked even uglier than the default, or download torrents on my phone, or play a Matrix animation in the background, or remove my battery, or spend time killing random processes, or over-clock my CPU, or any other beardy sort of thing.
Fast-forward to this January, I ordered a second hand Samsung device to help with development, and promptly fell in love with it.
As much as Android felt like (poorly) recycled ideas and bad new ones, Windows Phone felt original, well designed, and fun to use.
The performance was great, really smooth in a way iOS is and Android isn’t even in ICS.
[Ice Cream Sandwich, or Android 4.0, from a Windows Phone User's Perspective (my Techie Buzz post from earlier)]
The “pivot” and “panorama” UI concepts were fresh and a great way of making good use of a small screen in portrait mode. The typography was clean and brazen.
The integration of Facebook and Twitter made them feel like first class citizens, not an afterthought.
The live tiles on the home screen were a great way to make the phone feel alive.
But the iPhone felt staid, for lack of a better word. I wanted to be able to pin a few email folders to my home screen and watch them update live. I wanted to see all my social updates in a more integrated way. I missed being able to go to a contact (which I could also pin to my home screen), and easily see the conversations (Facebook, or SMS) I was having with them, and recent photos they’d uploaded.
The iOS development environment is quite good, with the weakest link being Objective-C, which has a steep learning curve and feels like it stepped out of the 80s with a cocaine hangover.
Android, oh, Android, I don’t mean to pick on you once again, but your edit-build-deploy cycle is long enough to make a grown man cry, and then stab himself in the eyeballs, and then cry some more. Java is fine, but the surrounding environment and piss-poor emulator makes it much harder to develop for than it should be.
So how is the Windows Phone development environment? It’s scary good. C# is a great language, .NET is a solid framework, XAML is a really nice way to design user interfaces, and the edit-build-deploy cycle is fast.
We were able to write the [WP7] app from start to finish in two months, between two engineers working part time, which is almost an order of magnitude faster than it took for the iOS and Android app.
Related (linked to from the blog post):
58 minutes later an a new wp7 Instagram client is born. I think that’s a record for me (but #nuget helped me along the way)
— Bil Simser (@bsimser) January 13, 2012
My last thought on Windows Phone is that it’s got all the ingredients it needs to be successful: It’s a fun, useful, well-designed platform, with sexy (Nokia) hardware, and it’s as good for developers as it is for users. It deserves much more marketshare than it has, and Microsoft seems to be making most of the right moves (about time).
Since I use WP7 all day and follow a bunch of WP7 developers on twitter, I am very well aware of all these benefits. I am glad the folks at Plex thought of putting all these thoughts on their blog.
Hope to see many others release their WP7 apps. Are you listening, Instagram?