23 September 2007

iPod Touch

Today, as part of a trip to Southampton for the Boat Show, I got to visit the Apple Store in the West Quay shopping mall. To my delight, they had demo units of the new iPod Nanos, Classics and my personaly favourite, the iPod Touch.

Starting with the Nano...That thing is small. I mean, really small. It's miniscule. There were some people complaining that with its new form factor and dimensions it wasn't really Nano any more. Well I can assure you, it is.

Despite the width, that Nano appears tiny in the hand. Likely because of the decreased height and the optical illusion of the Stainless Steel back.

The screen looks a little on the small side when the iPod Nano was docked on the table and I was standing looking at it, but picking it up and holding, it was a fine size.

The new software is very cool, and the CoverFlow is pretty damn cool to look at it. Great new model.

I decided to give the Classic a by, since it's really a big Nano - and also because the Touch wasin the same approximate area and I only had eyes for it.

To start, it's tiny. It's much smaller than it looks in pictures. In fact, in the hand, it feels perfect. And it looks gorgeous, don't get me started on that. Prettiest gadget ever, by far.

The software is just as good as we have been led to believe and looks simply lickable. I spent most of my time trying out the iTunes WiFi Music Store. It's very cool and again, looks awesome.

And now, the screen itself. I had been hearing that it was poor. That wasn't my impression. It was gorgeous in video playback, music playback and in the other areas. And by the way, MultiTouch really does kick ass.

So, anyway, all in all, I played with an iPod Touch for the first time. It's the best thing ever.

I must have it...

Jens Out

20 September 2007

Telephone

Well, I bought the phone. There were only 3 left and 2 had fairly beat up boxes. But I got one and it's sitting on my desk right now, just waiting for me to grab the necessary box to connect it to the VoIP network.

I'll be doing a review just as soon as I have it set up. I'll be releasing it initially on All Your Disney, but I might reprint it here with a tighter focus on telephony rather than the phone.

Phones are a really interesting area right now. Between Apple's iPhone and the OpenMoko project, mobile phones are going through their long-awaited revolution. Meanwhile, VoIP is making "landline" telephony simpler and better - both through cheaper services and great ideas like GrandCentral.

And all the while, the conventional landline operators are making efforts to move outward - BT for example is launching an IPTV service - and their new competitors are moving in on their territory - BSkyB offers Broadband now..!?

Yes, it's truly a time of change for telephony.

And meanwhile, the allegedly advancing television sector continues to diapoint. Between lacklustre uptake of HD broadcast and slow changes to aging systems, TV has lost a lot of its wonder.

A lot of the problem is that companies are failing to see the bigger picture. The internet is the obvious venue for expansion, yet the companies with the power continue to limit the expansion of TV into the internet. BT Vision has internet, but it's a sandbox.

iTunes TV Shows is great, but the broadcasters are being jerks.

BBC's iPlayer is hideoulsy crippled.

4OD makes me feel sick just thinking about it.

Come on TV companies, get your heads in the game.

Jens Out

18 September 2007

Telephony

Recently, for whatever reason, I have gone from having virtually no interest in telephony to being into it in a big way. For instance, I'm planning on buying a (Admittedly novelty, but that's just who I am. For those of you wondering, yes it's Disney, no it's not Mickey. Assuming I manage to get it, I'll review it on All Your Disney) phone soon to plant on my desk.

Now, I'm not planning on using it as a standard phone. I'll be getting ahold of a VoIP system, most likely Tesco Internet Phone, and using it as a VoIP phone. But there's the kicker, I will be giving that number as the primary number for people to reach me on - previously I simply gave my mobile number.

This "home" or "desk" phone (Depending on how you look at it) is the precursor to my subscribing to Google's GrandCentral. As soon as that puppy hits the United Kingdom, I'll be signing up and merging my mobile and desk numbers into one. Perhaps +441322555367 (+44-13-CALL-JENS) or something like that.

I'm not sure what it is, but something has definitely prompted me to take more of an interest in telephony recently. For example, whilst Vonage and indeed Tesco Internet Phone (Previously) never held any interest for me, when I heard about GrandCentral, I had kittens.

I'll update you with more later along in my telephony plans.

Jens Out.
Feel Good.

Safari VS. FireFox

A quick visual demonstration of my conflict between these two great browsers.



The text is rendered very differently, as is the blue of the title. Safari's rendering is more pleasing to me, maybe you disagree. But I doubt you'll disagree with the fact that these comparisons very much place favor on Safari:



FireFox's efforts are first, with Safari's second.

Safari clearly has the superior image rendering. But there's my major problem. FireFox is more reliable and seems to like Flash better than Safari does.

Looks like I'll have to use both.

iPhone UK: Telefonica's O2 for £269

We at last have closure on iPhone's UK release. It will be out November 9th on Telefonica's O2 Network for £269.

And what about those all-important contracts? Well...


Contracts will last for 18 Months and as listed above feature free Wi-Fi Hotspot access around the UK on The Cloud - the country's biggest network of WiFi hotspots.

So, is this good? Well, It is in my opinion. Yes, the phone is a little steep compared to the N95. But then there are mitigating circumstances. For instance, the N95 is very crap.

As a phone, iPhone's pretty revolutionary. It's not a great deal at those prices, no. But it's not bad.

I myself am unsure. I'm happy to pay the money, but the iPod Touch gives me pause. As such, I've decided that I will wait until after my birthday (For which I'm hoping to receive one of the three new iPods) to decide whether or not to buy the iPhone.

If I end up having an iPod Touch, I will wait for the second iPhone. If it's a Classic or Nano, then I will probably buy the iPhone.

As for it being O2, it was both my wish and my prediction.

Jens Out

14 September 2007

Awesome Contest

My favourite Blog and one which I visit regularly, in fact daily, is Fix Your Thinking. Fix Your Thinking is best described by its tagline, Not PC about Mac News. That said, it also deals with things outside the Apple world. Like how I occasionally stray outside the tech/entertainment worlds here.

Anyway, Fix Your Thinking is currently running a contest whose grand prize is a T-Shirt, a signed book and $100 Apple Store Credit. The best part is, you can enter worldwide. It's not limited to just Americans.

So, in return for allowing me to enter such a cool contest, I'm going to link that contest for you all to enter too and I hope you'll stick around at Fix Your Thinking and read the many interesting and entertaining posts made there.

06 September 2007

Apple Music Event for September 5th: Results

Okay, first things first, let's go through my predictions and see how I did:

  • iPod Touch: Yes. Things different from predicted are the use of 8 and 16GB capacities as opposed to my Flash-based guess of 16 and 32GB. Half right on that front. WiFi was indeed included. I didn't dare hhope for that. Rest of the prediciton basically dead on.
  • iPod 6: Yes, but manifested named as iPod Nano pricing wrong and ended up with half of predicted capacities.
  • iPod Nano 3: See above
  • 2GB iPod Shuffle: No such luck. 1 GB and some redone and iffy new colours.
  • iTunes 8: Oddly no. iTunes update does have ringtones for iPhone. iTunes 8 may be released alongside Leopard.
  • Beatles on iTunes: The long-awaited launch was not this time. It will come.
  • New line of games: Sort of. Emphasis placed on free games as opposed to new ones.
And the completely unexpected? Well, there was really just one thing:

iPod Classic. Essentially an 80 and 160GB iPod With Video (iPod 5) but made of all metal. Like Nano 3, it combines anodised aluminum with the traditional stainless steel backplate.

iTunes WiFi Music Store. By songs for same prices as full iTunes over WiFi. Same prices, iPod Touch and iPhone only.

Oh, there's no 4GB iPhone and the 8GB is now cheaper than the 4GB was before it got killed.

Heh. Whoah.

Now then, I must say the following: there is no iPod 6. iPod 6 is, basically, iPod Touch and iPod Classic together. They as a unit are the new top iPod. Classic is the top-end capacity-wise, Touch is the top-end feature-wise.

I know which one I want. Multi-Touch is awesome.

All in all, this was a pretty good event. Although most of the products were either unsurprising or expected, it was good. And iPod Touch starts at £199 - a modest £10 more than iPod 5/30.

September 28th: iPod Touch ships. With over two weeks to spare for that birthday of mine ;)

That said, I could be happy with Nano 3 as well.

Not so sure about Classic. I don't think it was engineered for people like me. Touch and, to some extent, Nano defintiely were.

Jens Out
This post may see updates upon the availability of video from the event.