By Oliver Haslam on Jan 31, 2012
It seems right now that Apple just can do no wrong. With record sales of its devices and huge amounts of money sat in the bank, it’s all very rosy over in Cupertino. But other companies have had successful periods before, only for things to go a little awry in future years.
Despite great results from Apple ever since Steve Jobs returned to the company back in 1997, it wasn’t really until the iPhone’s introduction in 2007 that the world really took notice of what was going in at 1 Infinite Loop.
Now it’s a worldwide phenomenon, with people owning iPhones who would never have contemplated picking up a Mac.
Throw in the beginnings of a tablet market that is still being dominated by the iPad, and Apple have every right to feel smug. But it may not last forever… Read More
By Oliver Haslam on Jan 20, 2012
The iPad 3 hysteria is reaching a fever pitch, and even I am getting swept up in the excitement. So much so that I just sat down and made a short list of the things I would most like to see Apple add to its next tablet device.
Before I unleash my list upon the unsuspecting masses, I must reiterate that I do know that some of these are never going to happen, but that’s kind of the fun of a wishlist, right? Asking for things that would be mind-bendlingly awesome but are almost impossible, or just highly improbable.
With that out of the way, onwards we go to my iPad 3 feature wishlist… Read More
By Oliver Haslam on Jan 18, 2012
Right now it seems everyone who’s ever laid eyes on an iPhone is in the middle of a giant discussion about the same thing, and it’s showing no sign of abating.
The discussion of which I speak is, predictably, the one revolving around the behavior of the infamous mute switch on Apple’s iPhone. Namely: should it mute everything, or should certain alerts still sound as normal?
This discussion recently came to the fore after one unfortunate fellow found himself the center of attention during a music event in which his iPhone decided to cheerfully sound an alarm, despite the handset being supposedly muted. The result? The whole performance was halted. Oops… Read More
By Oliver Haslam on Jan 16, 2012
Our iPhones are constantly demanding our attention with little bings, bongs and flashy lights. Apple’s addition of Notification Center in iOS 5 has only heightened the need to keep your iPhone’s notifications in check, but just how much so?
I sit here now, looking at an iPhone homescreen with no less than ten, yes ten different little red bubbles telling me there is something I need to do. Something that apparently needs my attention before the world falls into some kind of disorganized chaos that can only result in it falling off its axis.
Or something like that… Read More
By Oliver Haslam on Jan 14, 2012
This year’s CES seems to have raised an interesting question, and it’s one that I’ve pondered myself on occasion. It’s an issue that often comes around whenever there is a trade show that Apple does not attend, so that’s basically all of them these days.
Take the recent CES as an example. Apple has not attended, and that has led many Apple blogs and fans to take a dim view upon anything and everything that has taken place. What it boils down to is this: if Apple doesn’t do it, it must be rubbish. Pointless, even. Why would anyone be even remotely interested?
So the question is this: why do some people seem to be such diehard Apple fans, or even that awful term “fanboys,” that they just cannot seem to appreciate anything that comes out of a company that doesn’t have a half-eaten fruit on its masthead… Read More
By Cody Lee on Jan 11, 2012
For some reason there has been a lot of negativity thrown in Siri‘s direction over the past few months. The digital assistant that was once referred to as a “major revolution in voice recognition technology” is now being written off as a mere novelty.
In fact, our very own Oliver Haslam wrote an interesting piece yesterday regarding the topic. He’s obviously in favor of the latter sentiment, saying things like, “other than setting a timer once in a while — for the sheer novelty of it — Siri just does not get any use from me.”
The post garnered quite a bit of responses from folks that were either for or against Oliver’s argument. Today I figured I would share my 3-month impression. Read More
By Oliver Haslam on Jan 10, 2012
With the latest news that Apple may be bringing at least the dictation part of Siri to other iOS devices in iOS 5.1, I got to thinking how much I actually use Siri on my iPhone 4S. The answer is both surprising and yet unsurprising at the same time.
When Apple first launched the iPhone 4S, Siri was hailed as a technological marvel; a real way of interacting with a device using the power of our voices in a way that resembled real language, not a set of canned commands that needed to be spoken in the right order. The theory was great, but it hasn’t really panned out yet. Read More
By Cody Lee on Jan 9, 2012
I’m the son of a former Nokia employee, an ex cell phone salesman, and current connoisseur. So I guess you can say that I’ve played with my fair share of smartphones.
And in my several-year quest to find the perfect handset, I’ve tried everything from the Nokia 7650 to the latest Android and WP7 devices. But I’ve only found one phone capable of being my everyday driver.
As you’ve probably already guessed by now, that phone is the iPhone. No, I’m not an Apple “fanboy” that blindly buys whatever the company releases. I just want the best handset available. And for me, that’s the handset that requires me to make the least amount of sacrifices… Read More
By Oliver Haslam on Jan 3, 2012
Steve Jobs famously said that great artists steal, and the company has often taken that mantra to the extreme over the years. Some would say that much of Apple’s current software bears more than a passing resemblance to some of its competitors’ products.
Take iOS 5′s Notification Center, for example. You’d need to be blind to say that it does not look eerily similar to the same notification system that Android has packed since day one. Some would argue that there are only so many ways you can handle something like a pull-down notification window. Some would call it stealing.
Apple has even taken some cues from its own App Store. Mobile Safari now sports a “Reading List” feature that offers a similar service to that of Instapaper, the famous web app that also has a popular iOS app in the App Store. Instapaper’s developer, Marco Arment, doesn’t seem too concerned, but others were not so happy… Read More
By Oliver Haslam on Jan 1, 2012
Twitter is the social network of choice for many an iPhone user, and it is particularly near and dear to our hearts here at iDownloadBlog. The popularity Twitter has in the world of iOS is perhaps the main reason that the latest update to the company’s app has been so controversial.
Some users of the official Twitter app for the iPhone and iPod touch (the iPad app has not been redesigned just yet) clearly appreciate the changes that Twitter has made to the interface, while others hate it so much that they have sought out other, 3rd-party apps.
Three weeks after Twitter made these big changes to its flagship iOS app, how is one of iDB’s biggest Twitter users, namely moi, finding life with the much-changed, much-maligned Twitter 4.0? That’s a very, very good question… Read More
By Oliver Haslam on Dec 21, 2011
One of the biggest things to come out of the smartphone revolution is the rise of the mobile app. Before Apple, Google and the rest all set about creating their own on-device app stores. Users were left to live a life of boring apps that needed installing via a memory stick or, in the case of some smartphone operating systems, the downloading of executables that needed to be installed manually after fighting through a selection of security issues. Windows Mobile, I’m looking at you.
Apple, along with Research in Motion, began to change all that with a little help from Google. Nokia also got in on the act, before Microsoft finally began to get things right with Windows Phone 7. Apps, as we have all learned over the last few years, sell smartphones. Now, they also sell tablets.
This is all a far cry from Apple’s early stance on an ‘app store’ when it released the iPhone along with its little brother, the original iPod touch… Read More
By Alex Heath on Nov 26, 2011
Do I really need to jailbreak anymore? I’ve been thinking about that question since I got my iPhone 4S about two months ago. I know this sounds sacrilegious on iDB, but think about it: do we really need an untethered iOS 5 jailbreak?
After taking a step back from the jailbreak scene for awhile, I’ve realized that I don’t have a desire to jailbreak anymore. Why? I think that I’m waiting for the “next big thing.” Read More
By Sebastien Page on Oct 24, 2011
The death of Steve Jobs has been affecting me much more than I anticipated. Just like everyone else, I knew Steve’s days were numbered, yet, I didn’t really prepare myself.
Instead, I did what I sometimes do to unconsciously protect myself. I put my feelings aside and kept ignoring emotions as though they didn’t exist.
When the news broke, I was terribly shocked, but not surprised. At the time, I was very sad, but I think I didn’t process the information right away. Again, I think my brain blocked my feelings to protect me.
As I watched Apple’s celebration of Steve Jobs in Cupertino yesterday, I couldn’t help but feel immensely sad, my eyes filling with tears. A few of them eventually fell on my face.
How did I get there? How can I be so affected by the death of a man whom I had never met? A man that, mind you, I had very much disliked for many years.
Yes, for the longest time, I wasn’t a big fan of Steve Jobs. While I respected the work he had been doing, I really disliked the man as a human being. Steve Jobs was a real asshole. A dictator. A selfish and egocentric man with little regard for the feelings of others.
I remember reading about Steve Jobs’ return to Apple several years ago. The article told the story of how cutting the company’s philanthropic program was one of the first thing he did upon his return in 1997. As an avid Windows user at the time, and someone with great respect for Bill Gates’ charity involvement, I thought Steve Jobs was just what I always had assumed: a big asshole… Read More
By Oliver Haslam on Oct 20, 2011
All the rumors and all the betas are over. Now we’re all using Apple’s iCloud. We’re syncing, we’re backing up, and (to certain extent) we’re streaming. Life is good… kind of.
For those of us who remember the debacle that was Apple’s launch of the now-replaced MobileMe. the initial iCloud launch is undoubtedly leagues ahead of the chaos and server failures that accompanied the arrival of Apple’s previous cloud service. iCloud seems to be more robust, but does it actually do what most of us want?
First, let’s take a quick look at the good parts of iCloud before moving onto the bad and the crazy… Read More
By Oliver Haslam on Oct 18, 2011
We talked about Siri, Apple’s new voice-controlled digital assistant, for months before it actually arrived. We didn’t even get confirmation that it existed until a week before its release, yet it feels like we’ve been hyping it up forever. For good reason, too.
When before have we been able to talk to a piece of technology in that all-so-awesome Star Trek kind of way? The way we’ve been dreaming about ever since someone in a lycra suit, (three sizes too small for them of course) first asked a question of a disembodied voice. Star Trek characters often had seemingly real conversations with their computers, and we were oh so jealous.
Until now… Read More
By Guest Author on Jul 5, 2011
“How many of you use an iPhone or an Android device?”
When Stephen Elop asked this question, just a few raised their hands. “That upsets me -he continued- not because some of you are using iPhones, but because only a small number of people are using iPhones. I’d rather people have the intellectual curiosity to understand what we’re up against.”
Stephen Elop is a canadian executive who is now in charge of Nokia, the world’s largest manufacturer of mobile phones. They sell millions of phones per day, but the models they sell are low cost devices, sold for the most part in developing countries. In the past few years, Nokia’s share of the smartphone market plummeted form 49% to 25% due to the overwhelming growth of both Android and the iPhone.
Now, at Nokia, they are facing the worst crisis they’ve ever dealt with. They lost 75% of their market value and will be forced to let a lot of their best engineers go… Read More
By Sebastien Page on Feb 19, 2011
Last week a rumor started spreading around the interwebs saying that Apple was to unveil an iPhone Nano. That wasn’t a new rumor as we had already heard that before but the fact that the news came from the WSJ gave it street credentials.
Then the rumor was debunked by the NY Times who claimed that Apple wasn’t looking into making an iPhone Nano, but was looking into making a cheaper iPhone. When I first read about that, I thought I was in my worst nightmare: a world of cheap Apple products… Read More