Tag Archives: Apple

我唔會買 iPhone 5s / 5c

iphone5c今次唔係搵笨,我真係唔會買 iPhone 5s,亦唔會等人買俾我

原因實在很簡單:因為蘋果造這對機都唔係賣俾我既。

貴版 5s 除了金色外殼、指紋識別、快 A7M7、膚色閃燈、大光圈等小進步等,其他就原地踏步。平版 5c 更利害,就是將原本的 iPhone 5 換上顏色膠殼,電池長了兩句鐘,減價一半,講完。在產品來看,這是最懶的進步。

但這對機的出現絕對有策略性意義。金色貴氣或平價膠色都是衝著祖國同胞而來。今次中國大陸還要在頭一水便來貨(香港作為「轉口港」的唯一意義都沒有了),更聽聞蘋果已搭上中移動,要與 Andriod 系的小米、華為、聯想(當然還有三星)等在中原爭長短(還有 Windows Phone 的 Lumia 520)。贏中國,贏世界。

我嗎?我仍會考慮去等 iPhone 7。在這之前,如果我在手的 iPhone 4s 與 iPhone 5 都瓜掉,我或會肯用零機價換部綠色膠C來一用。

Google Maps Reborn

Google Maps iPhoneGoogle Maps iPhone app has reborn in the iOS App Store on 12/12/12. It should have been a big thing but surprisingly not that many people is aware of it. Or at least Google didn’t make a big fuzz about it. Interestingly enough, when I search for “Google Maps” on App Store, it didn’t even pop up in the first two pages. Bad SEO by Google or doggie trick by Apple?

About the product, my user experience on this so far is very positive. It is a mobile product and its design is optimised for mobile. In a mobile scenario we usually want to achieve a very focus objective in a very short time frame. For this case, we are not a tourist trying to appreciate the scenery. Therefore, we don’t need the 3D world in Apple Maps. (I love to view it in toilet when I am bored — and when I have WiFi, but that’s about it.) Rather, we often want to get to an unknown place via the best route. Google strikes for the simplicity around this clear user goal and that’s how it is better: With Google, things always start with Search, and so the unknown is not a matter anymore. And for the best route, they use TomTom.

I have been using TomTom for driving direction. I get the same instruction here as TomTom and Apple Maps because after all it is all driven by TomTom anyway. However TomTom does have the advantage of having the maps and routes in App because it makes the calculation much faster (and cheaper because no 3G traffic is required).

However, perhaps these points don’t matter too much after all. In reality, for the past few days I have used Google Maps 5 times and TomTom 1 time as my GPS. As requested by Jacob, I have also tried to use Apple Maps for around 30 secs and then gave up. (By the way I have also downloaded iMelway by Melway and Here Maps by Nokia and only touched them once.) My verdict is easy: I am on the road, driving. I need to be at a place that I don’t know, and that’s why I need a map. If I know where I am and where I am going, most probably I don’t even need a map. The reason why I need a map in the first place is because I need to start from Search. That’s Google. From then on, that’s all down hill. And that’s how Google wins. Start with User Experience. Start with Why. Cheers.

Google Maps iOSGoogle Maps iOSApple MapsTomTom iPhone
(The first two screens are the direct pages after typing Melbourne Airport at the search box in Google Maps. The results also cross-referenced to any saved Maps I have created on desktop with the same Google account. Brilliant! The third screen is Apple Maps, and the last one is TomTom.)

iA Writer

I would like to start writing. Just write. Don’t care about what. Just write. The same feeling of how a guy get a new pair of joggers and has to go out and run a few miles, just for the sake of using the shoes. For me, it is the type-writer’s feeling. The feeling that I could write the full set Lord of the Ring non-stop in one night. All it is missing is the chuck chuck cling cling sound of the machine.

This type-writer I am using is called “iA Writer”. An awesome app on Mac, iPad and iPhone. Supports Dropbox and iCloud. Has a “focus” mode by dimming all text except the current line.  The ultimate illustration of “simplicity”.

iA_Writer

好靚但好悶的 iPhone 5

Apple iPhone 5iPhone 5 真係好靚!那超薄厚度、那斜角磨沙鋁邊、那玻璃金屬雙拼、那剛合適的掌闊,合起來簡直是一件完美的藝術品!iPhone 5 那匠心的細節使三星銀河S三相比之下只似是一個膠波板糖。

但 iPhone 5 同時這卻又是一件悶透的產品。設計方向仍是與 iPhone 4(s) 同出一轍(而且早已有劇透),科技上已慢過 Android/Samsung 一代,一半的賣點是在 iOS 6 上,但卻又不是新鮮事。

聽起上來很矛盾,但有跡可尋。早期的 iPhone 是一件創新和前瞻的產品,是智能手機唯一之選。但到了今時今日,隨著市場的普及,iPhone 已變成眾多智能手機中最標準甚至最傳統的型號。iPhone 5 算是悶靚,但 LV Gucci Prada 何嘗不是嗎?Classy 不是因為機身鑲鑽或鍍金,而是那外在手感、內在作業環境加上那流暢的用家體驗(UX),讓你肯定它那超然的質素。那質素不再來自大幅的創新,而是來自體貼的 fine detail,是 Evolution 與 Revolution 之別。

問題甚至是,如果我是蘋果,我甚或會說除非我找到一個石破天驚的大躍進(如可摺顯示屏、體溫充電……),否則我反而不會為了改款而改款,因為原本 iPhone 4 的設計已很不錯,因循相近的設計在品牌上可一脈相承,在用家體驗上又極易上手。在生意角度來看我要保持/提升的是用家體驗而不是科技 buzz words。不容許換電池、沒有 NFC、不支持 Flash、甚或要今代才可直接經 3G 用 FaceTalk 等等,都是嘗試從用家體驗來看,拿走風險,找尋功能、穩定性和簡約化之間的最大公因數。

結果,早年支持 iPhone 的科技革命家現在會繼續支持 Android,因為那是 innovation test bed 所在。想考慮智能手機但想追求低一格價位的也可在眾多 Android 機中找到自己所愛。但還有一大個市場要追求穩定性、肯定性、高質、易上手等 layman tick boxes,iPhone 5 絕對仍有競爭力。

在生態鍊角度看,只要 iPhone 5 繼續穩定大賣,加上其他 iOS 產品的滲透率(不要忘記 iPhone 4 在美國現在跟 plan 出已是免費了!),iOS 仍是寫新 App 的首選,配件商仍會以蘋果產品為主打,電訊商仍會用 iPhone 5 做頭版廣告。加上今次蘋果頭炮分銷的國家/地區/電訊商的比以前都廣,iPhone 5 仍不會敗。蘋果只是再進一步由以前的曲高和寡、小眾、創新的產品變為更平易近人、大眾、貼身的生活工具品牌。悶靚,但體貼。

I am all alone with iMessage @iOS 5.0

I am all alone.

I mean, in the iMessage world.

Some might say iMessage could be the WhatsApp killer.

I would say, without friends on the list, I could only iMessaging to my own self. Useless on my iPhone. At least for now.

Anyone out there also brave enough to have iOS 5.0 installed on his/her iDevices? Please iMessage me, so that I know I am not alone. Find me at mail@ngszehin.net or any email that you could link me with.

On the other hand, I must say it has a great [Note: not great anymore] some value on my iPad. Now I could send normal SMS (before I could find someone that I could iSMS with) directly from my iPad with the Messages (between non-iOS 5.0 dude, I have to take away the “i”, for now) [Note: I have to take away the whole SMS thing for now, because after the testing I found out that basically it works only with iMessage but not normal SMS].

Well, I have (sort of) signed the NDA, so I should speak less. Nonetheless, I could let you have a sneak peak of the shots I have done without me saying too much: The notification center function is cool. The camera button is convenient but I am sticking with Instagram. iCloud is not working coz I haven’t set it up yet. Reading List could be a good function but I haven’t appreciate it too much yet coz it is not always working. Reminders is clean, but if it is not syncing with the one on my iPad or the cloud, it becomes useless to me and I would stick back to my pretty TeuxDeux.

Software on this iPhone has expired

Sick leave at home. The best thing to do is to sleep all the way from 9 to 5. The second best thing to do is to update my devices to iOS 4.3.

That was fun. And the fun were two parts. The first part was about how I love the cool new feature of iOS 4.3 on iPad: new multi-touch gestures. If you swipe the screen sideways with 4 fingers, than you could jump directly to the next opened app. And this is very handy. More, if you swipe up, the multitasking bar would be revealed; and if you pinch the screen with four fingers, the home screen would be revealed. For the latter two, they were also cool, but not something you can’t do without.

The second part was even more exciting. I upgraded my iPhone4 to iOS 4.3 Beta 3 some weeks ago (and has been enjoying creating my own “Personal Hotspot” with it every since). On the day of the official release of iOS 4.3 I did try to plug my iPhone with iTunes on my Mac to detect the upgrade, but nothing had happened. Yesterday morning suddenly my iPhone stopped working and asked me to plug it in to iTunes again. I did, and it said: “The software on the iPhone XXX has expired and must be updated to a newer version.”. However, when I pressed the update button, nothing happened. It became a brick (well, not for the first time).

People from the forum said that the iTunes cannot detect the difference between Beta 3 and the officially release, and thought they were both iOS4.3, and so no upgrade is needed although the beta has expired already. What to do? I could either wait for Apple to release 4.3.1 (and by then I guess iTunes could really tell the difference), or I could do what I have done. I acted like a pro, search around on the Apple forum alongside with those real developers who are holding the same iphone-bricks with me, and found the solution:

1. Download the ipsw file directly from somewhere.
2. Force the iTunes to upgrade the iPhone by Option-Click the iTunes’ “update” button, and select the downloaded file.

iOS 4.3 for iPhone 4:
http://appldnld.apple.com/iPhone4/041-0330.20110311.Cswe3/iPhone3,1_4.3_8F190_Restore.ipsw
iOS 4.3 for iPad:
http://appldnld.apple.com/iPhone4/041-0329.20110311.Cvfre/iPad1,1_4.3_8F190_Restore.ipsw
iOS 4.3 for iPhone 3GS:
http://appldnld.apple.com/iPhone4/041-0328.20110311.Lkhy6/iPhone2,1_4.3_8F190_Restore.ipsw
iOS 4.3 for iPod Touch 3G:
http://appldnld.apple.com/iPhone4/061-8366.20110311.Fr45t/iPod3,1_4.3_8F190_Restore.ipsw
iOS 4.3 for iPod Touch 4G:
http://appldnld.apple.com/iPhone4/061-9588.20110311.GtP7y/iPod4,1_4.3_8F190_Restore.ipsw
iOS 4.3 for Apple TV:
http://appldnld.apple.com/AppleTV/061-9584.20110308.Cxdew/AppleTV2,1_4.3_8F191m_Restore.ipsw

The “somewhere” depends on what you want to get, all links to Apple download site. However, the site developer.apple.com doesn’t reveal this link to us. Lucky that someone found them and provided them on the forum. Device upgraded at a blink. Everything’s back to normal.

Now, on top of how I am feeling good using iOS 4.3, I also feel very proud of being a pretended-to-be Apple-developer-pro, for a limited period of 120 minutes.