The Pros and Cons of iOS 6

iOS6 Update
iOS6 Update

So it’s that time of year when Apple presented the new iPhone to the world with a unique keynote (others would call it a sales pitch). Aside from mentioning the new iPhone 5 now that everyone is talking about it, let’s focus more on the iOS update. Even though there are camping lines outside Mac stores in Asia and Australia to purchase the iPhone 5 , the rest of the world is updating iOS on their previous iPhone versions.

There are quite a few features that have changed in iOS 6. The thing that has stirred up a few loud opinions is Apple’s move to discard Google Maps and replace them with Apple Maps. Although indeed there is a 3D mode to view these maps, there is no street view and the UI seems a bit more austere when it comes to hybrid view.

Apple Maps vs Google Maps
Apple Maps vs Google Maps

Another move from Apple is to have removed the pre-installed YouTube app. Yet on the other hand, iOS6 now has a native Facebook app; among other things, this allows for you to directly share your media from your camera roll onto Facebook, as opposed to previous iOS versions in which you had to pull your media from the Facebook app. These changes have driven some to believe that there is an alliance between Facebook & Apple to try to keep Google out of the competition. Now if we all remember the part in which the late Steve Jobs vowed to crush Android because of its “stolen” technologies, well, there isn’t much room for doubt.

Another very interesting improvement is that now Siri speaks other languages, including Spanish. You can also include other voice commands, like Tweeting via Siri.

Tweeting with Siri
Tweeting with Siri

The App Store has a whole new UI and even has recommended apps for you to download. It no longer asks for your Apple ID password. There are plenty of other sutil changes you’ll notice as you navigate through your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. If there are any you like or I didn’t mention, please drop me a line and I’ll make sure to include it in this post.

What is your opinion of iOS6? Would you stay with the previous version if you knew beforehand?


Facebook’s App Center, Switzerland of Apps?

Facebook’s user volume presents so much opportunities, that a lot of them, perhaps even the Facebook staff or Zuckerberg himself haven’t discovered yet. One of these opportunities was app development and support. It has been done for quite some time now. However, Facebook had much more potential than that. It has now announced that it will become an App hub. This “App center” will be the app shopping mall to go to.

Fear not, Facebook is not in on it to become the new king and major competition to Apple, Google or any other app store out there. It rather is the place to go to no matter what device you have. Just like in a shopping mall you can find hundreds of different stores and brands, Facebook App Center will offer these options.

Once you enter the site, you can select the device you are handling and will automatically be redirected to its main app center; if you have an iPhone, you’ll be redirected to Apple’s App Store; if you have an Android device, you’ll be redirected to Android Market and so on. Not only is it a handier place to look for the latest trends and your favorite apps, but it is also a better place to compare prices (if any), ratings, quality and just how many people are actually using certain apps or not. It is a more critical, user friendly place in which you can better trust your friends’ judgement instead of the biased opinion of their developers.

Now, if Facebook’s App Center doesn’t charge users a penny extra, what does Facebook gain out of it? Just like regular Facebook apps like Farmville and the like, Facebook credits can come into play. Although this won’t mean an extra cost for users, it will mean a commission cut from manufacturers and developers. Impressive right? What will they think of monetizing next? Stay tuned.

Steve Jobs: A Toast for Immortality

It was 740pm Central Standard Time. I was driving in my car after a long day at work on October 5th, 2011. I tuned in my favorite radio station and there it was, out of the blue: “Today will be the day in which the world will remember the passing of Steve Jobs.” Thank the universe the road was empty; I hit on the breaks so hard, I thought I would burn off my tires.

The first word to come out of my mouth in an estranged tone, “WHAT?!” All day long I had sat down in front of my Mac at work, concentrating deeply in my thoughts, in my every day tasks, enjoying every bit of it (seriously); not once did I glimpse over to learn about it through my Mac. No, I had to hear it from a radio talk show from somewhere far away.

It’s then when I turned to my phone and checked the Twitter feed. Indeed there it was on #TT, RIP Steve Jobs. Finally after a while I could open my Mac again. I found my way through the usual suspects: Twitter, Tech Crunch, Facebook, Google +. All of my friends, followers and people I follow back…. like if a chilly snowfall had stricken all of us by surprise. Then I found the saddest homepage in the Industry, and yet the PNG file is named T_Hero…

All I could come up with from the most honest part in my heart was the following Tweet: “behind every iphone, every mac, every ipad there’s a little piece of you… you’ll still change our lives every day, THAT’s immortality”. it got retweeted, it got reposted, and you know what? It is possibly one of the most accurate phrases I’ve ever said. RIP Steve Jobs; thanks for all the Magic.

Apple Kicking it up a Notch

Article first published as Apple Kicking it up a Notch; Intel not so Happy on Technorati.

With continuous progress, Apple can only raise the bar constantly in order to proof significant advancements. The recent release of OS X Lion is the most recent palpable example. However, it’s not enough for Apple.

Recently Apple asked Intel to reduce its chips’ power usage or else Apple would look for a new supplier.This definitely pushes the envelope for Intel. Not only is there a race against time (as would be expected when meeting Apple’s requirements), but it’s also a race against other suppliers that might already be developing something to get in Apple’s good graces under these new circumstances.

In fact, Apple has an entire code of conduct which obliges suppliers to behave and deliver the highest quality always. If the technology doesn’t exist, Apple encourages its suppliers to develop new technologies in order to meet standards. There are two sections: one that makes sure the minimum is delivered and another one to make sure everyone is striving to be better.

This constant improvement is key to Apple’s worldwide success. Nevertheless, it is not always the case in which suppliers are glad to indulge or even comply with what the giant is demanding. For Intel’s sake, it would be a great idea to come up with a light power usage chip; otherwise someone else will come along and steal the deal away from them.

Apple Hits # 1 in Stock Market

Article first published as Apple Hits # 1 in Stock Market… At Least for a Little While on Technorati.

Apple has been an icon for an entire generation; simply put, technology and the known world would not be the same without this brand and its star spokesman Steve Jobs.

In fact, Apple’s entire revenue fund is larger than the US government’s by almost 2 billion dollars. Today, for a short period of time, it became the most valuable company in the world, exceeding Exxon Mobil by a $0.1 billion difference. Exxon rapidly moved back up though.

In a time in which Dow Jones drops 500 points or more, how is it that Technology companies don’t get the harshest end of the stick? Well, it isn’t that they are not suffering at all; technolgy companies also get dragged down with the rest.


However, their marketing strategies are still up, and so are their brand values. Perhaps it’s the fact that we can no longer operate in a gadget-less world. Be it for business or pleasure, technology is not only accesible, but it is indispensable to keep things running.

Now, are other technology brands doing as well? Not everyone is having Apple’s fortune. In fact, its top enemy gadget – Samsung’s Galaxy Tab – seems to be almost cursed by Apple’s shadow. Not only was their tablet prevented from entering the Australian Market, but now it seems that Germany is closing off European doors to Samsung as well.

Is it an isolated case then? Is Apple the prodigal child in today’s economy? It seems so, for whatever problem comes their way, the brand seems so far, invincible.

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Apple Joins Video Streaming Trend

Article first published as Apple Joins Video Streaming Trend on Technorati.

Video streaming seems to be taking over the web. On a daily basis, online video surfing is sky rocketing, not only entertaining users, but replacing regular cable TV as well.

Major brands seem to be pitching in and making room for this fast growing trend. Amazon and CBS are sezing the moment to broadcast re-runs via the major e-retailer. Apple could not be left behind of course, rumor has it more than  just the iCloud, the brand is opening a special feature on iTunes for video streaming, iTunes Replay.

The AppleInsider reports the system will function very much like the iCloud where users don’t need to pile up their hard disk space, but rather pay for it to be played from the Web. It looks like the new feature soon to be incorporated on iTunes 8 will be a mix of Netflix’s model and other online streams like Amazon’s.

It is also complementary to Apple TV and iPad or iPhone devices. Carrying your own movie theatre in your device has certainly been available for quite sometime now; but for Apple fans and movie lovers, this may just be the push they’ve been waiting for.

You will need the Quicktime player to watch this, which will be taken care of in Apple devices; it can also be seen in similar platforms. iTunes replay also promises a much faster connection than competitors. So now, kick back and enjoy!

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