Apple was right, widgets just ain’t cool

Without a doubt, one of the biggest differences between iOS and Android is its fundamental handling of information. Google decided to allow widgets onto a phone’s Home screen so that, theoretically, users would have the information they need right at their fingertips. Apple, on the other hand, has doggedly stuck to its guns over the years, with iOS remaining a collection of app icons rather than live widgets.

Over the years there have been plenty of arguments amongst those in the tech community as to which was the best way to go. Android users will repeatedly point to widgets as one of the main reasons they prefer their phones over the iPhone or even one of the Windows Phone handsets. Sitting halfway between iOS and Android, Windows Phone features live tiles that offer up information from the phone’s Home screen a la widgets, but that’s just not enough for some. It’s widgets or nothing, man, and that’s the way it is.

But iOS users can have their cake and eat it. They can have widgets on their home screens just like Android users, whilst still having that iPhone they so love. But the real question is: should they? Even if they should, I’d argue that fewer people actually would than we might think…

Apple customer loyalty rate falls for first time, but why?

A report by Strategy Analytics yesterday claims that Apple’s customer loyalty fell for the first time since records began, which may come as a surprise with huge lines and waiting lists abound for the latest releases of the iPhone and iPad.

The report tells that when asked, 88% of US customers said that they were likely to buy another iPhone at upgrade time, which is down from the 93% that claimed the same thing last time around. It’s a similar story in Europe, with a result of 75% being well down from the previous year’s 88%.

While any company should be happy with a loyalty rate of 88%, why is Apple seeing a reduction in customer loyalty? That’s the real question I think we should be asking…

Initial thoughts on the iPhone 5

Designing and developing a new iPhone every year has to be one of the most difficult things Apple does. Essentially, it has to take the world’s most popular smartphone, not to mention its biggest money-maker, and make it different enough so people will buy it, but not so different that it messes up the obviously-winning formula.

That’s a tall order. And it was probably even tougher this year due to seemingly higher expectations and stiff competition from Samsung, and others.

So was Apple able to pull it off?

3 reasons to get excited about this year’s iPhone

It’s October 4th, 2011, and Apple is hosting its highly anticipated iPhone event. SVP of Marketing Phil Schiller is on stage, and after about 5 minutes of discussing changes to the iPod line, he utters the words that everyone has been waiting to hear: “Next, iPhone.”

A sense of disappointment spread throughout the tech world as Schiller went on to unveil a familiar-looking iPhone 4S. Where was this teardrop-shaped iPhone 5 that we had been hearing so much about? With the bigger screen, and LTE? What about all of those leaked cases?

Of course, the 4S would go on to be a huge hit for Apple. But the whole experience has left a lot of consumers with low expectations for this year’s iPhone release. Well it’s time to raise them. There are actually a few reasons why you should be excited about Apple’s next handset…

Apple’s most underrated WWDC announcement

Looking back at it, there was no shortage of announcements during Apple’s WWDC keynote on Monday. An all-new MacBook model, major updates to its desktop and mobile operating systems, and a new Maps app — not bad for an afternoon.

But amongst all of the oohs and ahhs of the new products and updates, there was one particular announcement that sort of flew under the radar. According to Apple, it now has more than 400 million active credit card-linked iTunes accounts…

Why Apple would want to make the iPhone’s screen bigger

According to recent rumors, reports and speculation, Apple’s next-generation smartphone will finally receive a bump in screen size. It seems like everyone is convinced that the next iPhone, expected to drop later this year, will be sporting an all-new 4-inch display.

But while we’ve heard a number of theories regarding how Apple could go about implementing such a change, we’ve yet to hear any explanations for why it would want to. Why would it all of a sudden want to change the iPhone’s display size after 5 years?

Two months on – why I am still glad I didn’t buy a new iPad

The eagle-eyed amongst you will have already spotted that the title says “two months on” and, clearly, we are beyond the two month mark since the new iPad was made available to an expectant public. The reason for my tardiness is that this post has taken the better part of two weeks to write, and I almost scrapped it on a few occasions.

To understand why that is, let’s delve right on in to why I didn’t buy the new iPad and, importantly, why I am glad about that fact.

So, before we continue, and before I open myself up to more than my fair share of abuse, I suggest you make yourself a good cup of coffee, and get yourself comfortably. We’re about to begin…

Samsung’s hand shown, will Apple come through with the next iPhone?

We may still be a good five months away from Apple’s expected iPhone 5/Next iPhone announcement, but Samsung has already shown its hand with the Galaxy S III.

Building on the already hugely popular Galaxy S II handset, the third generation of the Galaxy S line will feature some interesting software additions alongside a reasonable speed bump and rather large screen. All in, it’s an impressive-looking update for a company that has already shown that it is more than capable of going toe-to-toe with Apple when it comes to kicking out huge sales numbers and satisfied customers.

But shy of taking the Roman numeral approach to naming conventions and calling the next iPhone the iPhone V, what will Apple do to take the fight to Samsung now that the Koreans have firmly placed their stake in the ground? What must Apple do in order to compete with a handset that has seen almost as much excitement and expectation as any Apple product? The truth is that it might not actually need to…

Who says all jailbreakers are pirates?

“After all most jailbreak users are only in it for running unlocks and pirating apps.” This was the last line in a series of tweets by infamous iDevice hacker I0n1c, talking about the state of the jailbreak. While I’m not typically the kind of person to get riled up over such an ignorant comment, I feel like there’s a similarly negative consensus about jailbreaking that needs to be addressed.

It’s a fairly true statement to say that all iOS app pirates are jailbreakers. After all, I don’t know of any other way to pirate apps – and if there is, it can’t be easier –  than by jailbreaking. But to say that all, or even “most” jailbreakers are pirates is asinine. From where I’m sitting, the jailbreak community looks pretty awesome. And it’s made up of much more than just pilferers….

Thoughts on the 4-inch iPhone theory

Yesterday, an intriguing theory on how Apple could build an iPhone with a 4-inch screen made its way around the tech world. The idea is based on the fact that Apple could make the display larger, without drastically increasing the size of the handset.

Judging from the feedback I’ve gathered from our readers, on Twitter, and on other websites, the consensus seems to be that this theory is way off base; Apple would never do anything like it. But to me, it feels like everyone is overlooking a few things…

Thoughts on the new iPad

The new iPad has been out for nearly three weeks now, and most of the folks who are going to weigh in on the tablet, have. The Retina display looks great, and LTE is lightning-fast. But otherwise the consensus seems to be that it’s not much different than its predecessor.

This has spawned quite the debate throughout the internet on whether or not iPad 2 owners should consider upgrading to the newer slate. And the, once again, consensus seems to be that it isn’t. Does this mean that Apple is losing its touch? Read on for my thoughts…

What Apple should do with its money

Sunday night, when Apple announced that it was going to be holding a conference call the following morning regarding its plans for its massive cash pile, the internet ran wild with speculation.

We heard all kinds of theories, ranging from a surprise Twitter buyout to a small carrier acquisition. But Apple’s actual announcement of dividends and stock buybacks was much more tame.

While this outcome might have appeased investors, it left some of us wanting more. Here’s what I think the company should do with its money…