Ahmed Eltawil's Blog

Archive for the ‘Apple’ Category

It’s crystal clear that the BlackBerry community want both Netflix and Skype apps on either (or on both) their BlackBerry smartphone or PlayBook but their wishes and requests have always gone unanswered and for reasons that are still unknown.

We keep hearing from BlackBerry (unofficially) that they are willing to help Netflix or Skype to build those apps on their BlackBerry PlayBook QNX platform if they just asked but still their tweets get no replies (as far as we know). Why? Why is it almost impossible to get Netflix and Skype on board the BlackBerry platform considering that BlackBerry has been around way before iPhone, Android and Windows Phone? This might come as a shock to all of you but even Nokia’s old, slow and outdated Symbian OS has an official Skype and Netflix apps.

The BlackBerry community has been very vocal about this issue through tweets, Facebook posts, petitions and even sending letters to Netflix and Skype’s headquarters to spread the awareness hoping it gives them the push they need to start the development but we haven’t heard or seen any positive outcome.

Look, before I say anything more I would like to mention that as a Canadian I am proud of the BlackBerry brand and support RIM. If it wasn’t for them we would probably still be using dumb phones today. That being said, I must say that I believe it isn’t completely Netflix or Skype’s fault for not building apps for the PlayBook’s QNX platform, RIM is to be greatly blamed as well.

Ponder about this for a minute. Those Twitter and Facebook apps on BlackBerry smartphones weren’t even created by Twitter nor Facebook, respectively. They were built by RIM. So it isn’t just Netflix and Skype that aren’t interested in developing apps for the BlackBerry OS (or the PlayBook’s QNX platform), it seems that both popular social networks aren’t interested either which is probably why RIM took it on themselves to create Twitter and Facebook apps.

Here is another point to think about. As I mentioned above, BlackBerry has been around way before iPhone, Android or Windows Phone, yet all those mobile platforms got official apps from Twitter, Facebook, Skype and Netflix either at launch or during a period of at most one year after launch yet BlackBerry still gets neglected. So how did, for instance, Microsoft get Netflix and Skype to develop apps for their Windows Phone platform even though Windows Phone’s market share is below all mobile operating systems on the market? The BlackBerry PlayBook is in this same spot right now with a small market share (just like Windows Phone) yet, a year later, there isn’t a single evidence that says both Netflix and Skype are working on a PlayBook app. Why is that?

Microsoft, Google and Apple all seem to have that power or influence (or whatever you want to call it) that pushes third party companies to support their mobile platforms. Microsoft definitely did something behind the scenes to get those deal breaker apps on board the Windows Phone platform before the OS had any decent market share. So it is obvious that RIM has a role to play to get those ‘must-have’ apps on their PlayBook as well.

In other words, we can’t just blame Netflix and Skype for not developing apps for the PlayBook or the BlackBerry OS. RIM, just like Microsoft, Apple and Google, has to play their part of the game or else it will always be ‘no-dice’.

I remember when the world turned to micro USB ports as a new standard for cell phones and everyone, including myself, was glad to finally use a standard port. The conversion was quick specially with the cellphone manufacturers and consumers started using a single charger and the world seemed to be a better place.

But now, cellphones aren’t like before. They aren’t dumb phones with small screens that require little power. They are smartphones with larger than 3.7″ screens (now up to 5″ for smartphones and up to 10″ for tablets) and they get charged mostly everyday. Once you start holding your new smartphone to plug it in, you might start seeing a problem.

The micro USB port on your mobile device, whether it’s a smartphone or a tablet, is tiny. Once you’ve connected the cable it might feel loose and most of the times you could hold the micro USB connection while it’s connected to your mobile device and wiggle it from side to side. It’s not a solid snappy connection anymore.

To make my point even clearer, compare the thin micro USB connection with the iPhone’s 30 pin connection. Which one would you think has a better, solid and firm hold to the mobile device? Without any doubt, Apple’s proprietary connection wins this argument.

The problem is that our smartphones and tablets are large these days that they cannot continue using these tiny and flimsy micro USB connections. The industry might have to look for a new USB standard.

I’ve read many reviews on the Internet and heard people saying that the iPad is quite heavy but I never truly believed it till I started playing with one for a full day. Yes, the iPad is definitely heavy.

It made me wonder what could possibly add to the overall weight? Could it be the thick glass touchscreen? Or is it the massive battery that powers up the iPad for weeks?

Holding the iPad with one hand becomes tiring very quickly. But it’s not like you have an option though. You have to hold it with one hand often, specially when using the keyboard. It’s not like you will be holding it with both hands and using your thumbs to type, cause I tried that and found it very uncomfortable.

I must say, the iPad is definitely a great entertainment device but Apple really should dramatically cut down on its weight. Maybe iPad 2 will be thinner and lighter.

No surprise there. I knew it was coming sooner or later. The idea has been roaming the internet for years ever since an App Store was released to the first generation iPhone. But what bothers me is that no other operating system acted fast enough to implement this idea before Apple. I am talking mostly about Microsoft here since it’s the only company that has enough resources to make it happen. I mean, think of the millions of Windows applications available world wide. The massive Microsoft Certified developers population deserve a repository from which they submit their applications to and make it available worldwide and also make profit from. That would most certainly allow their applications to reach a lot more people than if they would market them independently.

Yet, Apple made it first…again. Their innovation surpasses many larger companies that I could think of. The number of Apple Mac applications is barely a fraction of all Windows based applications yet they still manage to make it first in the game in releasing a desktop application store, which is quite embarrassing to Microsoft in my opinion. And you know what? The number of Mac Apps will start sky rocketing when the Mac App Store rolls out specially knowing that Mac developers can take advantage of Apple’s iAds in their applications.

That being said, guess who’ll be copying Apple with releasing their own App Store for their #1 operating system?

Upgrading my unlocked and jailbroken first generation iPhone from the 1.1.4 to 2.0.1 firmware wasn’t simple but I managed to get it done thanks to all the videos and blog post tutorials out there. But unfortunately I am not so happy with the upgrade. The firmware feels like it’s still in a beta state. 

Applications take a lot longer to launch, tapping on the keyboard lags sometimes, and Safari seems to crash a lot more often. It is certainly obvious that the 1.1.4 firmware is faster and a lot more stable. I am not saying that I keep facing those issues on a daily basis (although it’s true for some) but the difference between both firmwares is hard to not notice immediately.

Apple should have waited another month or so to fix all the bugs that most iPhone 3G owners are now experiencing before rushing it out prematurely to stores. I am certainly not the only iPhone user running 2.0.1 who is experiencing these issues. A quick search on Google will prove there are thousands more with similar and possibly more problems with the 2.0 firmware in general.

Nope. I don’t care. Not even one bit. So why the hell am I blogging about it? Well, cause I have nothing else to talk about.

His Steveness is suppose to be announcing a new 3G iPhone during his keynote tomorrow. Whether he actually does it or not isn’t changing the fact that it’s coming from Apple. In other words, owning such a device will confine the owner with all of Apple’s crappy restrictions and limitations. Even more, and I say this out of experience, you will totally feel owned by Apple.

On the other hand, I have to admit that I am excited to see what’s new in iPhone 2.0 and if Apple listened to all its iPhone customers’ suggestions and feedback on improvements and requests for additional features and functionality.

You never know, people might actually be able to copy and paste on the new iPhone. But I wouldn’t get my hopes up.

So the package I have been waiting for four weeks to arrive finally showed up on my doorstep and it had my long awaited iPhone in it. I am still playing around with it trying out every feature and every detail. So it might take me a while to post on my experience with the iPhone. There is definitely pros and cons when comparing it to other devices and mobile operating systems such as Symbian and Windows Mobile. But so far I like what I see.
 
 

@AhmedEltawil

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