Thursday, January 28, 2010

Apple iPad: But Does It Have Wings?

Were this anyone else, I’d say they had a snowball’s chance in hell of making it, but this is Apple, which likely has a patent on hell snowballs, so let’s chat about the Apple iPad this time.

Acer Chairman J.T. Wang among the many people in the tech world awaiting the debut of Apple's (AAPL) new tablet computer. "I'm eager to see what Apple has done," says Wang, the top executive at Acer, the world's second-largest PC vendor behind Hewlett-Packard. Trust Apple to create Hype for almost everything and have the crowd salivating weeks, even months before the actual release of their Products. So was the case with their latest kid: The iPad.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the company's highly anticipated new tablet device, called the iPad, at a media event in San Francisco. This ultra-thin tablet, a 9.7-inch capacitive, fingerprint-resistant touchscreen display, 0.5 inches thick, weighing at 1.5 lbs. is powered by a 1 GHz processor built by Apple. The device has built-in speakers and a microphone, but no camera, and can get upto 10 hours of battery life when surfing the Web on WiFi. iPad will allow users to surf the web, check email, play games and watch videos, among other things.

The iPad is scheduled to arrive as early as March 2010 and will be available in Different Flavors. The WiFi-only version of the iPad will be available , while the WiFi/3G version will be available in three months. The WiFi-only devices will be sold for $499 for a 16 GB model, $599 for 32 GB and $699 for 64 GB. The 3G models will start from $629 for the 16 GB, $729 for the 32 GB and $829 for 64 GB version. The device is fully unlocked and supports GSM micro-SIM cards.

It doesn't enable traditional wireless voice services, Which means that you'll still need your iPhone to make those Calls. Also,if you're already on a Data Plan for your Iphone there is no way of clubbing it with your iPad Data Plan. You'll have to subscribe to the Pre-Paid Data Plan separately for iPad. Apple and AT&T continue to be attached at the hip, The question here is whether AT&T can handle the additional data load? Its struggle with the data onslaught from iPhone users has been bothersome. For Indian Consumers, the only option they have is to use Home/Office Wireless network for serious surfing as most of the Network Providers are still not on 3G yet. Also the fact, that it runs all iPhone/iTouch Applications, many consider it nothing but an obese iTouch. With Networking Capabilities of course.

The problem for Apple, much like it was for the iPod, which it got done, and Apple TV, which it didn't, is getting access to the media folks who want to watch and play with on the device. there are already Kindle reader Applications available for the iPhone and iPod Touch, but then Amazon even doesn't have the perfect content for its very own Kindle. for instance, the always popular Harry Potter books are not on Kindle. Imagine That. Plus, the fact that Apple never likes the idea of anyone else owning any service critical to their device in the first place.

I wouldn’t bet on Apple to fail, though. It does that very seldom, and given this may be Steve Jobs’ swan song product, there likely will be more emphasis on getting it right than on any product that came before it. This thing could actually become an eBook, smartphone, and netbook killer, and if it did, what a swan song for Steve it would be.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Coming of Age: Nexus One. RIP iPhone

Android and the Nexus One are charging at full steam. If Apple isn’t careful, it could eventually find its cell phone in second place.

OK! Not just me but Cnet UK said it too: iPhone is the worst phone Ever! There. Period.
And now with the Google (and HTC) Nexus One out it's time the Folks at apple get a wee bit concerned. I mean, yeah, iPhone has like Zillions of Apps for almost everything, it doesn't do anyone good if you can't make decent phone calls with it. For all these features that make smart phones live up to their names, the iPhone does a bang-up job. Just don't try to actually make a phone call on one. Here's what Cnet had to say about it and in their own words I Quote:

Say what? iPhone call quality is bad
Call quality on the iPhone is pathetic, and it's mostly because of the tiny speaker. It has to be aligned with your ear canal with the accuracy of a laser-guided ninja doing cataract surgery, or else the volume cuts down to nothing as the sound waves bounce uselessly around your ear shells.

Dropped calls and data gaps
If, like Will Smith in Enemy of the State, you're trying to avoid the eagle eye of Big Brother, the iPhone could be for you. It drops calls, fails to connect and doesn't even ring sometimes -- not for everyone, but more often than any other phone we're currently using.

You can't answer if it doesn't ring
Perhaps the worst of the iPhone's problems is its ability to sit there stealthily and ignore incoming calls. With no ring or vibrate to clue you in, your friends and family are redirected to voice-mail... or just treated to silence. If you're in a two-iPhone family, it can be a case of the deaf leading the mute.

Phone battery life
Battery life is the first casualty of smart-phone development, as the power of 3G, GPS, Wi-Fi and heavy-duty processing sucks the power out of over-miniaturised cells. But the iPhone was the first to really flaunt its slim body while you watched the bars drop almost in front of your eyes. A couple of hours of Google Maps over 3G and you'll be lost in the woods without even the possibility of phoning for help.

Smart Phones: Coming of Age. Enter Nexus One

Here's the real Deal: Google and HTC in collaboration have come up with their own version of the Smart phone - The Nexus One. Call us geeks, but we can't hear the word "Nexus" without thinking of the Utopian dimension in Star Trek where all wishes were fulfilled. So How does Nexus one Stand up against our most popular Defending Champion iPhone?

Heavyweight Champions no more
3Gs weighs 135 grams while the Nexus weighs about 130 grams, no significant difference.

Hardware in your Pocket
The processor of the iPhone works at a clock speed of 600 MHz processor while Nexus One works on the speed of 1 giga Hertz. RAM inside of Apple’s device is about 256 MB in memory and the one of the Nexus is about 512 MB. In front of Nexus one Tech Specs iPhone is just craptastic. Score one for Geeks.

The Art of Networking
Both devices support HSDPA network of the cellular operators, and they support the download speed of 7.2 mega bytes per second. Upload end of the iPhone is about 384 K Bytes and the one of the Nexus is the 2 mega-bit. Score two for Geeks. Yaay!

Look At Me
The iPhone comes with 3.5 inch screen and supports 16 million colors at a resolution of 480×320 pixels. On the other hand Google’s device comes with a screen 3.7-inch with a resolution of 800X480 pixels. The Nexus screen display makes the iPhone pale in comparison.

Got Juice?
On the iPhone, unlike other devices, there is an internal battery that can not be replaced - Compared with the iPhone, Nexus comes with a replacement battery. More importantly: Nexus has a stronger battery, which provides a longer time between charging.

Shoot Me!
Here the cards are clear and open: Nexus five mega-pixels sensor against three mega pixels in the iPhone, the existence of flash compared to the total absence on the iPhone, but also performance wise- Google’s camera obtains images better, more alive and sharp. And also important: Google’s camera device can also shoot at night, where the iPhone can not do even with the third generation of the device.
Bottom line: no surprises. Nexus’s camera wins with his hand on top.

Multi-Tasking and Parallel Parking
Running parallel applications is essential for busy people . Apple has not managed to do it well, or in fact – not at all. Push messages on the screen, are really poor solution for an innovative company like Apple, and operating parallel applications on the device of the iPhone is not possible.
It’s frustrating especially when playing a game and to getting an SMS message that jumps on the screen – and throws you out. Android on the other hand can do that easily, especially with Google’s powerful processor.

Nexus wins this round in a knockout.

In fact, on Mashable the Nexus One Annihilated iPhone in the readers Vote.

So if I hadn't just poured in my Pocket money on the Dinghy N97 I would've been buying myself The Nexus One. After All I'm an Out and Out Google Boy anyway. Well maybe, Nexus Two when it comes around.