Doesn’t China Have Some Part In This?

But Foxconn doesn’t exist solely to produce electronics for Apple. All of the largest Android OEM’s also contract Foxconn to produce their devices in factories in China, Brazil, Mexico, Poland and the Czech Republic.

HTC, Samsung, LG, Motorola, ASUS, Acer, Lenovo and others contract Foxconn to manufacture products for them in the same complex where iPhones are made. Their devices are made by the same over worked, under paid, under age workers, yet none are mentioned in the Business Insider article. None. Not one. Not even Samsung, the sometimes largest smartphone vendor in the world. Just Apple.

The quoted article (and headline) is in response to Henry Blodget’s piece at Business Insider.

The best thing about Apple’s win over Samsung in Germany

“The court is of the opinion that Apple’s minimalistic design isn’t the only technical solution to make a tablet computer, other designs are possible… For the informed customer there remains the predominant overall impression that the device looks [like the iPad].”

The above is from presiding Judge Johanna Brueckner-Hofman in her verdict.

Forget whether you think the tech world is lawsuit-happy. Forget whether you think this is a bad decision. Forget whether you think this is just Germany, and no other country will rule this way. Forget your Apple hate or Samsung/Android love. Forget all that.

Instead, remember the above quote.

It gets old seeing companies copy Apple so fully, and then claim they had no choice because there’s no other way to make whatever it is they’re making. Of course there is. We’re not talking a single function like a volume switch or camera button, but rather an entire product. If Apple used that lazy cop-out, the iPad would have been built like previous Windows tablet designs and failed miserably.

What Apple did was rethink what a tablet could be, and so could anyone else if they choose. It may then be a success or failure, but it wouldn’t be a copy. 

There Is No Plan B.

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The chart totals over 100% because respondents were allowed multiple choices. That’s too bad because it skews things a bit. Yes, the iPad is stomping everyone, but 94.5% has less meaning when the total comes to nearly 150%.

It’s better to look at this one column at a time, where we can determine a device’s absolute rejection (not acceptance). For example, we don’t know that 3.8% of respondents would buy a RIM PlayBook, because it may have been their second choice, but we do know 96.2% of respondents rejected it outright, since it’s not on their list at all.

I think of the beatdown like this: for each iPad competitor (column), 90% or more of respondents rejected it. In other words, nine out of 10 people wouldn’t even put it on their list as a second choice. Meanwhile, the iPad is rejected only 5.5% of the time. Put it all together and we know not only that the vast majority of respondents are interested in the iPad, but that for most of them there is no Plan B.

Home Sweet Home (Screen)

As of right now, and always subject to change.  

You’ll notice I subscribe to a minimalist model on the Macs. I prefer my desktop, Dock and menu bar relatively clean and uncluttered. Also, my MacBook and iMac cycle through a folder of wallpapers with the MB’s theme being blue, the iMac’s red. 

 
iPhone
Iphone_home
 
iPad

Img_0185

 
MacBook 13:

Macbook_13_home

 
iMac 24:

Imac_24_home

The iPad’s Competitors Drop Like Flies. Actually, They Never Even Took Off.

The iPad is the king of tablets and might hold that title for years to come. However, there are a ton of alternatives that we’ve featured over the last few months… But since [then], a lot has changed and while some managed to make it to the market, others were delayed or scrapped entirely.

Nice article describing what’s happened to alleged iPad alternatives (are they called alternatives to recognize the iPad has no competitors?) in the last few months.

I’ve written the iPad has no “alternatives”, and CrunchGear makes it’s easy to see why. We can dismiss seven of them out of hand: 

  • ModBook – This is a MacBook reconfigured. A laptop with a desktop OS.
  • Viliv X70 – A tablet with a desktop OS (XP, no less).
  • Archos 9 – A tablet with a desktop OS.
  • Viliv S10 Blade – A “convertibile” device. Again, a laptop with a desktop OS.
  • Spring Design Alex – This is an eBook reader, what’s it doing here?
  • Lenovo Skylight – A netbook, not sure how it made even an exaggerated list of competitors.
  • Lenovo IdeaPad U1 – Another “convertibile” that comes apart. Desktop OS as PC, and maybe Android as a tablet?

Some of these are not even available, but even if they were they’re not iPad alternatives. They’re not iPad tablets in any sense. It’s not just about form, it needs a touch, not desktop, OS and apps. The human finger doesn’t have the precision for software written for the precision of a cursor tip. A stylus can address that, but styli are a big failure, no one wants them. Why would any hardware maker (or anyone else) ignore the decade of failure “desktop tablets” have had in the market? 

After weeding out the above, of the six remaining (I left the HP Slate because rumors say it won’t run a desktop OS), four of them—Notion Ink Adam, HP Slate, WeTab, and ExoPC—are nowhere to be found. These devices are delayed, or maybe even killed altogether. In any case, they can hardly be called alternatives now. They’re vapor, and I remain convinced the iPad will outsell vapor. 

So that leaves just two devices: the enTourage eDGe dualbook, which isn’t any good; and the Dell Streak, whose too-large-for-a-pocket but too-small-for-a-tablet form factor isn’t winning any converts, and it’s not yet available in the US. 

The tech press loves for Apple to have competition, and sometimes go out of their way to invent it. In the case of the iPad, however, it simply doesn’t exist. Not even close. Maybe by the end of the year, but certainly not now.

Dear Apple: Please add decent mobile control over MobileMe photo galleries

As a MobileMe subscriber I enjoy using the Gallery for photos. I think the interface and options for viewing photos in the galleries is beautiful. However, every time I maintain the site I can’t help but be frustrated at the lack of control Apple provides. The only real control comes via the Mac using iPhoto or Aperture. And even then, photos placed on the galleries have less utility than on the desktop. 

The Mac

With Aperture or iPhoto you can create albums for upload and sync to MobileMe. You can add or delete photos and the albums stay in sync. You can add new albums, drag and drop photos between them, and any keywords or star ratings added to photos in a MobileMe album work just like any other album.

Unfortunately, once you get off the Mac some of this data is not used, and your ability to make changes are reduced drastically. 

The Web

The Gallery interface for MobileMe on the web isn’t too bad. Here you can add/delete albums. You also have some control over albums, but are missing the ability to set privacy or the download quality of the photos (see album settings below, MobileMe on top, iPhoto on bottom). These are important settings, yet they can’t be controlled via the web interface. 

Mme_album
Iphotoalbum

As for photos, you can add/delete, rotate, and drag and drop them among existing albums. Not bad, but there are no other editing controls, no ratings, and no keywords. Further, even if ratings and keywords are used on the Mac, they’re not available on the web interface. You know the keyword searches you can do in Flickr? Yeah, there’s none of that in MobileMe. 

The iPhone

On the iPhone it gets much worse. You cannot use the web interface, instead you’re routed to a page that tells you to load Apple’s Gallery app. The app is beautiful (below) and great for viewing pictures, but that’s all it allows. There’s no facility to edit information or change settings for albums or photos. There’s no upload facility, and not even the ability to delete a photo from an album. Aside from viewing all you can do is email a link to a photo or album. 

Iphone_gallery

It should be noted that a picture viewed in the native Photos app can be uploaded to MobileMe, where you can select an existing album (but not add a new one) and a title/description. Again, no editing, deleting, ratings or keywords are allowed. 

The iPad

Sadly, the iPad is the worst mobile device of all for controlling one’s MobileMe galleries. Like the iPhone, you can’t use the web interface and must download the Gallery app. But the Gallery app has not been upgraded for the iPad, so it’s either very small or very ugly, take your pick.

The Upshot

In short, you have good control of galleries via your Mac, but some of that data isn’t stored online, and when you leave the Mac you’re limited. The Web interface is OK, but lacks privacy controls, and the iPhone/iPad have essentially no controls at all. 

Apple ought to change this. The Gallery app could take some cues from Flickr’s own app, which allows title, description, photoset (including adding a new one), tags, image size, geotag, and privacy level for each upload. Further, it allows editing an existing photo’s title, description, photoset, tags and privacy. It also allows you to delete photos. 

It’s frustrating that real maintenance on my MobileMe galleries requires I get back to a Mac. Frankly, it takes the “mobile” out of MobileMe. It’s no wonder I use Flickr more often.