What It’s Like To Own An Apple Product

I came across this cartoon. I think it’s accurate enough.

Apple has got to be the only company on Earth to have a product that is barely 2 years old and still under warranty (my iPhone 3G), but is 2 generations behind and functionally obsolete.

Rumors About the iPhone on Verizon Annoy Me

Ever since the day the iPhone came out, tech blogs have been whining about how it should be released on Verizon. Every time a new iPhone or software update comes out, rumors start flying about how the iPhone will be on Verizon soon.

I want to reach through my screen and ask the tech bloggers or reporters if they remember 2 basic facts:

  1. Apple originally approached Verizon with the iPhone. Verizon would not bend it’s will far enough to allow the iPhone to be what it is on AT&T’s network.
  2. Apple has a 5 year contract with AT&T. Let’s see, the first iPhone came out in 2007.

2007+5=2012.

That means the exclusive agreement will be over about in time for the end of the world. Unless you follow Harold Camping, in which case the world will end a few weeks before the iPhone 5 announcement…

None of the “iPhone on Verizon” rumors contain any statements like “AT&T is releasing Apple from it’s agreement” or “Verizon is relaxing it’s dictatorial grip on smartphone capabilities”. The last time I had a Verizon phone, I still couldn’t transfer ringtones to it over Bluetooth.

Most of these rumors operate on the assumption that the day after the iPhone came out, Verizon got on it’s knees in repentance to Steve Jobs and said “We are most sorry. We will allow you to do whatever you want on our network regardless of our existing policy. Have your way with us, oh great Steve.”

So today The Unofficial Apple Weblog ran its 48,031st rumor that a Verizon ready iPhone has been in existence at Apple, and is being developed alongside it’s cousin until the day it can be released.

My prediction? IF the iPhone EVER is released on Verizon, it will be after June of 2012. If it’s EVER released. Show me some evidence that Verizon will actually allow the iPhone to run at it’s AT&T capacity or better on their network, and I’ll believe it.

Bezos: Kindle is “Buy Once, Read Everywhere”

I'm happy about this. One massive problem I've had with adopting eBooks, a technology that I'm really excited about, is a fear of "platform lock-in". 

Let me explain. Say you buy an eBook device. It doesn't matter which one. Kindle, iPad, Sony eReader, whatever. Now you can only buy books from a single provider. And if that provider goes out of business, or if your hardware becomes obsolete, you might lose access to your books.

I have an iPhone and a Barnes & Noble nook. I almost never use the nook. I've only gotten free books for it. It was a Christmas present (or an unmentionable solstice cultural observance present for those of you who go into seizures at the mention of Christmas). I'd hoped to be able to read pdf files on the nook, but most of them don't format properly which renders it nearly useless.

Any Barnes & Noble books I buy can be read on my PC and iPhone. But still, Amazon has a better inventory, and often better prices, so when I buy eBooks, I buy them from Amazon.

Also, Sony books can also be read on a PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, etc. But still, Amazon has a better inventory with better prices.

I'm convinced that the hardware eBooks are read on is a secondary factor. What matters most is content. Who has the best content, at the best price, with the best way to avoid obsolescence? So far, in my observation, the winner is Amazon.

Which is why I was happy to see Jeff Bezos' (founder of Amazon) quote in this blog post. Despite providing their own hardware (Kindle), Amazon is still committed to delivering content (books) as far and wide as possible. Even though I have a competing device, most of my purchased content is for Kindle, which I read on my iPhone and computer.

eReader Race: iPad in the Lead, nook Ahead of Kindle

That was hard to keep straight. According to The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW), Barnes & Noble's nook is beating out Amazon's Kindle, but the iPad is outselling both. Well, good.

I have a nook. I don't have a Kindle or an iPad. I'd like them. I read Kindle books on my iPhone. 

In the grand scheme of things, I don't see any doubt that the iPad has the most elegant user interface (UI). It also has the most function. Not only can you read a book, you can write a blog post ABOUT the book on the same device. Technically, you can do that on an iPhone as well, but it'll be more challenging.

I would say as a runner up in elegance, nook comes in second, although I've never physically touched a Kindle. I've never seen one up close. I've seen plenty of pictures and unboxing videos of them, but never seen one in person. Nook is very streamlined and pleasing to the eye. It would be #1 if the iPad didn't exist.

But when it comes to any kind of eBook reader, content is king. I don't care how cool your iPad or nook is if you can't read anything on it. At the present time, Amazon is the king of content.

I've bought a few Kindle books. I haven't bought any books for nook yet. Both Amazon and B&N offer free eBooks. B&N's don't seem to update very often though. I got my nook on January 15. At the time, B&N offered 2 books for free in a Star Wars fiction series. I downloaded them. Amazon offers those two plus book 3, which has yet to show up on Barnes & Noble. I've seen very little change in Barnes & Noble's selection (at least their free selection). 

What my nook is good for is reading pdf files. I download a lot of free pdf documents and rarely get around to reading them. I haven't found a good (free) way to read pdf documents on my iPhone, and my netbook's battery life is pretty bad (2 hrs). So I put them on my nook. But for books, I typically use Amazon.

I would love to see a universal content. Then you could buy the reader that you want, and buy the content that you want, and join them together. I don't like the current model where the reader you choose will dictate the content you can buy. The latest software update for nook allows web browsing and playing chess. Whoopee! I'd rather be able to read my Kindle content on it.

Tired of Printed Bibles? Try the iBible…

This is hilarious!

“…and a parental lock for the Song of Solomon and verses with ‘ass’ in them.”

So, What Do YOU Think of the iPad?

Today Apple announced the iPad,which has been referred to by fans as the Tablet for a while. I was getting sick of hearing about the Tablet. I was kind of hoping that it would turn out to be a figment of fans’ imaginations.

I watched the Gizmodo liveblog of the event this afternoon at work. I wasn’t interested in the Tablet, but I did want to know if the iPhone will see a software update anytime soon.

The name is cheesy. I saw Jason Dunn mention on Twitter that Apple must be moving into the feminine hygiene market now. I wanted to laugh, but there was too much activity around my cubicle again.

Through most of the event, I just couldn’t find anything to be impressed about. The iPad looks like an oversized iPhone. I already have an iPhone. But when they mentioned iWork, that got me interested. I do like the idea of being able to surf the Internet, check email, update Twitter, look at pictures, read books, and watch movies or listen to music on the go. That’s why I have an iPhone in the first place. I couldn’t make the intellectual leap as to why an iPhone that wouldn’t fit in my pocket would be a good idea.

Until I heard that you can actually work on the thing. I don’t do a lot of presentations. I’m hoping I can start doing some freelance writing soon, and the mobility and battery life are fairly attractive to me. It got me interested, anyway. I still think a MacBook Pro would be better for me.

As a technology blogger, I would be falling asleep at the switch if I didn’t offer a prediction. Here’s my prediction: this will be the last time Apple designs a product just because its fans and critics wouldn’t shut up about building a product.

That or it will be insanely successful and will revolutionize mobile computing.

Or a third option that I lack the imagination to see.

All I can say is I’m not that excited by it yet.

Nook to Get Update This Week?

Engadget has a report that the Barnes & Noble nook is likely to get a software update this week. For those of you following my eBook reader series, this goes with what I've been saying. Most of the problems up to this point reported with nook are software related, and should be easily fixed with a software update.

As far as I know, Amazon hasn't released a software update for their Kindle.