Jan 292013
 

I used to view Apple as a company that cared about the finer details but today’s update to iOS6.1 is making me change that view. Before I go on, let me just say that yes, I know how trivial this will seem when you read it, but it’s just one of those little things that is going to annoy the crap out of me now that I have noticed it!

iOS6 added a somewhat pointless feature whereby the volume knob would ‘reflect’ light depending on what angle the phone was being held at – as though you were looking at an old HiFi knob:

reflect

I’m not a fan of skeumorphism (making digital apps look like real-life objects like a leather-bound book etc) but this ‘reflection’ is a nice little touch without being too over the top – athough still, essentially, pointless. iOS6.1 has added this reflection to the lock-screen music controls and given them a bit of a refresh. And this is where I get annoyed…

See, they have updated the lock-screen audio controls but they’ve forgotten about the details – instead of the widely recognised ‘two arrows and a vertical line’ for skipping to the next/previous track Apple have replaced it with ‘two arrows’. ‘Two arrows’ is widely recognised as winding or scrubbing, NOT for skipping tracks. However, when you double-tap Home to pull up the app-tray the music controls are ‘correct’ – i.e. it shows the icon for skipping tracks and not for quickly scrubbing through the track. So now Apple have 2 different icons for exactly the same function – one of which I would argue is used incorrectly.

Swipe to the side in the app-tray and you get the volume slider – the plain, boring volume slider without the reflection-animation… It just seems odd to me that they add these new designs in one place but don’t use them again elsewhere for the exact, same function. Apple make a big thing about developers using recognised icons and consistency etc in their app but then here they are ignoring their own guidelines.

music-controls

Yes it’s something and nothing. Yes it’s petty. But it isn’t half annoying me already! And don’t even get me started on the totally different placement of ‘edit’ and ‘compose’ between the e-mail and SMS apps…

Mar 242011
 

It must be a tough life being a tech blogger / tech news reporter. I mean, there’s hardly any new technology or products being developed at all that can be written about. No one even uses existing technology for anything interesting and newsworthy either. Things are so bad on a daily basis that they must start to report rumours as news. Oh, wait, hang on. Actually, there are a tonne of new developments that could be written about… But that would be too much hard work, right?

Instead we get to see stupid rumours about Apple things that have so little substance that they are laughable. It doesn’t happen with any other company – I’ve never read a blog/news post about Company A sending an email to Company B therefore Company A must be developing product XYZ but that’s what I see on an almost daily basis with so called news reports for Apple.

Continue reading »

Mar 182011
 

I’m sick to death of having HD shoved down my throat. Everywhere you go it’s ‘HD this’ and ‘HD that’ even to the point where people make up new meanings for what HD actually is. I overheard a salesman telling an old woman that she needed a HD-ready TV so it will still work after the digital switchover – the poor old dear only wanted a 14-16inch TV for in the kitchen!!

A friend of mine (@echoingsounds) asked if I’d seen ‘Abatoir‘ (I may have misheard him though) to which I answered “yes’ – because I have an I didn’t see the point in lying about such a  trivial thing. He then said “Oooooohhhhhh, wait until you see it in HD!” to which I responded “Why? does it make the story better?”. Completely missing the fact that I wasn’t overly impressed with the film he simply said “No, it just looks amazing”.

Continue reading »

 Posted by at 1:15 pm
Sep 082010
 

So, with the launch of iOS4.1 and Game Center I thought I’d write a brief blog on my thoughts so far.

Why Game Center is the worst social network… ever:

  1. You can’t send/receive annoying/amusing messages to your friends
  2. You can’t see any information about your friends
  3. That trumpet sound when friend requests are received
  4. There are no games for it (and hence no way to see what animal your friends have just rescued on their farm)
  5. There’s actually no networking or social aspect to it (meaning you are unlikely to spend much time skipping work to ‘just check Game Center’)

And now for the good parts;

Why Game Center is the best social network… ever:

  1. You can’t send/receive annoying/amusing messages to your friends
  2. You can’t see any information about your friends
  3. That trumpet sound when friend requests are received
  4. There are no games for it (and hence no way to see what animal your friends have just rescued on their farm)
  5. There’s actually no networking or social aspect to it (meaning you are unlikely to spend much time skipping work to ‘just check Game Center’)

Congratulations, Apple, on pleasing everyone – those who love, and those who hate, social networking!

Jul 162010
 

With the on-going ‘saga’ of the iPhone 4’s reception issues (if you’re not aware then, sorry but, where the heck have you been?! Mars?!) Mr Jobs is giving a Press Conference later today about it.

Lots of people are talking about product recalls or free bumpers (cases for the iPhone 4 that, because they stop direct contact between sweaty fingers and the phone’s antennae, stop the ‘reception issue’ from showing as much). However, my theory is quite different:

When you update the firmware on the iPhone you are given a great big End-User License Agreement (EULA) that no one ever reads. Ever. Yesterdays iOS 4.0.1 release will likely have said something along the lines of:

…by installing this iPhone software update you are hereby acknolwedging that there are no issues with the iPhone 4’s antennae and there is no reception issue. Ergo, you cannot sue us or complain any more. Ever. About anything. Love from Mr Jobs.

So, later today, when Mr Jobs stands up in front of the worlds media and blogosphere he will stand there all smug and say “Well, 4 million iPhone 4 users just updated to 4.0.1 and, by doing so and agreeing to my terms, have confirmed there are no issues. Please go home and relax. Good night.”

There you have it, how many times have you been told to read everything before you agree? Now you know why.

Apr 232010
 

Going back a couple of years I used a T-Mobile MDA Compact III (HTC Artemis) as my main phone. It ran Windows Mobile and was pretty slow and clunky at times; but it worked. It had mobile internet (although no 3G), it had GPS, a Micro SD slot for expanded memory (although you had to shut it down and remove the battery to access it). I actually liked the phone – it was my first PDA / Smart Phone which brought me out of the world of Samsung who I had sworn by for the years leading up to my switch. One thing I loved about it was it’s customisability (is that a real word?!) – the sheer number of programs (they weren’t called ‘apps’ back then) you could get, the majority of which were free. Great programs that ranged from registry editors and media players through to screen capture and satnav’s. You could just… fiddle with it! Continue reading »

Nov 132009
 

T-Mobile G2 Touch (HTC Hero)Since my iPhone was stolen at the recent Green Day gig in Sheffield I thought I should actually use the T-Mobile G2 Touch (HTC Hero) I was given back in August. Up until last week I had only used it at home, on WiFI, to check email, play with the browser and grab some freebies from Android Market. You can’t really test a phone like that so, after sticking in my replacement O2 SIM, I thought I’d actually use it as my main phone for a bit.

Sadly the phone was locked to the T-Mobile network… So that scuppered my plans until I came across a link at the XDA Developers forum to Unlock Now, a site dedicated to unlocking Smart Phones. It was reasonably priced and within 20 minutes of placing my order I had the SIM Unlock code waiting in my inbox. Needless to say it worked (they buy the codes direct from HTC) and it is now an O2 G2 Touch! Continue reading »

 Posted by at 2:38 pm