Tag Archives: iPhone

Techno zombies beware! You will be assimilated!

Walking down the street.

Waiting for the train.

Standing in line at Starbucks (or Dumb Starbucks).

You’ll see them.

Disembodied.

Half-human.

Staring bleakly.

Wide-eyed.

Faces illuminated.

Tapping furiously.

Oblivious to the world around them.

You know what I’m talking about. Don’t you?

You’re probably not even aware that you may one of them.

Zombies.

Techno-zombies to be exact.

What’s a techno zombie?

I thought I made it up, but the Urban Dictionary describes them as follows:

A person or persons who walk through public areas (shopping malls, sidewalks, etc) text messaging on their cellphones, not paying attention to their surroundings.

My definition is a little more expansive.

In my universe, a techno zombie is anyone whose life revolves around their device. Their every waking hour is devoted to an absolute (or near absolute) obsession with their device.

How do you know whether you’re a techno zombie or not?

Simple: answer the following questions.

When you get up in the morning, do you automatically check your phone or tablet?

When you head out the door, do you reflexively check your phone?

When you’re walking to the train or subway, do you frequently check your phone?

When you’re riding the train or  subway, are you checking your phone?

When you’re sitting in a meeting or on a conference call at your job, do you find yourself checking your phone?

At various points throughout the day, do you find yourself checking your phone?

Do you find yourself checking your phone even when you haven’t received an alert, buzz or notification prompt?

Have you ever experienced the ‘phantom vibration’?

If you answered “yes” to four or more of the questions above, you’re a techno zombie.

And I don’t want to hear that you’re always checking for missed calls.

You’re not that important and who actually calls anyone anymore?

You’re checking for a response to that last text message.

Or the latest Facebook post in your feed.

Maybe you just got an alert from the NY Times.

Or someone invited you to play Words with Friends.

Perhaps it was a notification that someone started following you on Twitter.

Whatever the reason, we have become a people inextricably tied to our devices.

Somehow, insidiously, we have slid from a people who thrive on physical interaction to ones who subsist virtually.

We have become the Borg.

Borg 1

Oh, I’m exaggerating, am I?

Check it.

The next time you leave your office, count the number of people walking down the block with their faces buried in their phones.

Walking and texting is so commonplace that one can navigate an entire city block without ever looking up.

Instead of bumping, pinball like, off other people, eliciting “Hey! Watch where you’re going!s” in your wake, people part like the Red Sea, allowing you to pass unaccosted.

Because no one wants to disturb you mid-text.

The next time you’re on the train, observe how many people whip out their devices and remain glued to them the entire ride.

Gone is the polite banter among riders, replaced by mutes, immersed in tiny screens.

The walking dead.

walking dead

Zombie-like we wander, shunning human interaction for virtual pleasure.

Seeking validation in likes, retweets and shares, instead of in the company of other people.

We have lost our individuality.

Subsisting instead, as part of a large undifferentiated mass of eyeballs, to be sold to the highest bidder.

And what is this collective to which we belong?

Who profits from our lack of individuality?

Facebook? The Government? Microsoft? Google? Apple?

Who knows?

We certainly don’t. Nor do we care.

Today, February 11th, is a rally to protest data collection by the NSA.

How many of us will be there?

How many of us are even aware of the data collection practices of the numerous carriers, apps, websites, and online service we happily sign up for?

Which of us actually takes the time to read the Terms and Conditions associated with using Gmail, or Facebook, or Instagram?

When was the last time you opted out of a request by a third-party app to “post on your behalf” when “signing up using Facebook?”

When was the last time you actually turned your phone off or (even more daring) left your phone at home? On purpose?

With all the data collection being done, hackers lurking around every public wi-fi spot, and swiss cheese privacy policies making your every keystroke fodder for marketers, I’m surprised that more of us are not alarmed at our steady decline into digital complacency.

Rather than fighting to ensure that we safeguard ourselves against the insipid practices of Big Brother, we’re checkboxing our way to our own demise.

And we’re taking our kids down with us too.

We happily hand our children Nintendo DSIs, Kindle Fires, PlayStations and Xboxes and wonder why they’re fat, lazy, with ADHD, short attention spans and don’t know how to socialize with their peers.

While my rant today may seem random, it was inspired by my own personal descent into digital oblivion.

The other day, I found myself staring downward, at my iPhone, as I made my way towards the train.

I had become that which I abhorred!

How often had I cursed the wayward walker ahead of me, bobbing and weaving, oblivious to all else but their precious device?

Imagine my shock to find myself the wayward walker.

When I got home, I took and hid all the kids’ electronic devices in the house, and none too soon.

I realized that my children were being assimilated and I was contributing to the their social demise.

Who knew how much longer I had before I was LOLing with my kids via text and ‘liking’ on Facebook instead of hugging and playing with them in real life?

Take this as a cautionary tale, my friends, before you too end up assimilated…

…or crumpled under the bumper of a car.

8 Comments

Filed under advocacy, mobile

iOS 7 is the most unstable, unreliable OS ever. #iOS7sucksballs

The white screen of death.

The white screen of death.

Yeah, I said it.

iOS 7 is unquestionably the most unstable, unreliable, defect ridden OS (operating system) that Apple has ever released.

I wish I were simply going for dramatic effect, as I am prone to do.

But I’m not.

Unfortunately (for Apple and Apple users) I’m serious.

Since I’ve had the iPhone 5s, which came preloaded with this garbage, and since I stepped up to iOS 7 on my iPad 2, I’ve experience more crashes than I care to mention.

Even though I’ve meticulously kept up with all updates, my devices seem to crash frequently.

I’m rocking 7.0.4, but I might as well be on a Windows phone for the frequency with which I find myself staring at the white screen of death.

It got so bad that I started keeping a crash log detailing the dates, times and activities I was engaged in.

To date, I’ve recorded several (although I’ve experience many more), to wit:

  • 11/24 @ 7:03 pm Facebook app crashed on iPhone
  • 11/26 @ 11:37 am Chat crashed on iPad
  • 11/26 @ 7:59 am Kindle app crashed (switching between Kindle and Chat)
  • 12/13 @ 6:16 pm MyTix app crashed on iPhone
  • 1/2 @ 10:48 am iTunes crashed on iPhone

I was just going to record these crashes for internal use with my team, but as I was tapping out a post in WordPress on my iPad, it crashed.

When I opened OmniFocus on my iPhone to add it to my crash log, the iPhone crashed too.

Back to back crashes on two different devices within seconds of each other.

I can’t make this shit up.

I was hot.

I started to post a tirade, blasting Apple’s latest OS as a drug-induced, hippie-hued useless waste of time.

But cooler heads prevailed, and I paused.

What would that get me (aside from jeers, cheers and a round of applause from jaded Android uses)?

Instead, I’ve decided to do an informal survey, asking folks about their experiences with iOS 7 to see if my experience is anomalous or par for the course.

I’m posing the following questions to Apple users and will post the results of my survey in a subsequent post.





Remember to click “Vote” after each question to have your answer tallied.

Your opinion matters, so please take the time to complete the poll, comment here, on Facebook or wherever you encounter this post/poll.

If you don’t answer the poll here, you can tag your responses with the hashtag #ios7sucksballs to be included in the survey.

My blog is so popular that WordPress will likely crash from the overwhelming traffic, so if you re trying to leave a comment with your responses, but are unable to do so due to system constraints, please try again later.

Now I don’t want to be a complaining complainatron, so here’s a link to an article from Digital Trends, with solutions to some of the more common problems with iOS 7.

2 Comments

Filed under iPad, iPhone, opinion

NJ Transit’s MyTix app saved my ass (and some bread)!

mytix

Has this ever happened to you?

You just make the train by the skin of your teeth, and as the train pulls away from the station, you realize that you forgot to buy a ticket.

Or you’re sitting on the train and the conductor asks you for your ticket. As you rifle through your pockets, you realize that you forgot your wallet.

Or you make the last train out of the city. Didn’t have time to buy it from the machine, but you’re prepared to pay the on-board surcharge. You reach into your wallet and you have no cash.

Or each month you purchase a monthly pass, but as you pull out your pass, you realize that its for last month and you’ve forgotten to re-up.

Don’t you hate that?

I’ve had each of these ridiculous scenarios happen to me (and some more than once).

And each time I cursed myself, lamenting the fact that there wasn’t an app which would have allowed me to remedy the situation right from my phone.

Instead of having to shell out an extra $5 (the penalty they impose for purchasing a ticket on the train).

Or experience the shame of being reprimanded by the conductor for either (a) not having a ticket; (b) not having a wallet; or (c) not having cash (or enough cash).

Why wasn’t there an app which would let me buy my tickets on-the-fly (and avoid these shameful encounters)?

Alas, my oft-repeated curses were not for naught!

Because NJ Transit now has an app that lets you buy etickets!

That’s right.

The app is called MyTix and it provides customers a secure and convenient way to buy rail tickets and passes from a mobile device.

I overheard two commuters talking about it a few weeks ago and promptly downloaded it from the App Store.

And it’s everything I’d hoped it would be.

No more running for the train like an idiot.

Or panicking as the train pulls into the station while you’re still in queue to by your ticket.

Or nervously fumbling through your wallet or purse to find your ticket or cash as an impatient conductor breathes down your neck.

Panic no more fellow commuter, your savior is here.

Using MyTix is as simple as creating an account and inputting a few data fields.

Last week, I found myself without my monthly pass, so I opened the app on my way to the train.

A few clicks later and I had purchased my ticket.

No fuss no muss.

MyTix ticket to Montcleezy

One way MyTix ticket to Montclair. Note the “expires” countdown clock.

Now there are a few wrinkles with the app.

You’ve got to activate your pass before your board the train.

If you don’t you may not be able to access your ticket on the train (if no signal is present).

And once you do, you’ve got 2 hours and 45 minutes to use it.

So don’t activate your ticket if you don’t plan on getting on a train immediately or you’ll be ass out.

And the app is just for buying tickets.

You can’t get schedule information or anything else, so don’t get gassed thinking it’s the be-all-end-all for your commute.

It’s not.

Currently the app supports purchasing senior, adult or child one-way or round trip tickets, as well as weekly and monthly passes.

MyTix is only available on select lines, for now, but NJ Transit plans on expanding the utility throughout their service areas.

Now if you’re not in Jersey, don’t take NJ Transit or are not on one of the supported lines, you can ignore this post entirely.

But if you are, this app is a life money saver!

16 Comments

Filed under apps

iPhone 5s. The “s” stands for sucka.

iPhone 5 sucker

Apple is notorious for making us want things we don’t need.

Think about it.

A few weeks ago, they dropped the kaliedascope 5c and the FBI-inspired 5s with fingerprint recognition.

And who bought those phones?

Were they iPhone newbies eager to own their first iPhone?

No.

Invariably, they were iPhone veterans stepping up to the latest and greatest.

Although if you copped the 5c you were actually stepping down.

I digress.

Folks who stood in the long lines or pre-ordered a new iPhone probably had nothing wrong with their current devices.

The only thing wrong, was that a new iPhone had just dropped.

More likely than not, they were salivating over all the features the 5s had to offer, and looked upon their current phones with disgust.

Why can’t you be more like the 5s?

But if they were already on the 5, which countless millions were, the 5c and 5s were nothing more than Apple’s oft-rehearsed slight of hand.

A shell game as it were.

Seriously, how many times have they run this play?

Get us all hot and heavy for the latest iPhone.

Queue us up like lambs to the slaughter, waiting in long lines to pay a pound of flesh for our shiny new bauble.

Let us bask in its shiny newness for a hot minute.

Only to drop a better, shinier, more feature-filled device immediately thereafter.

And the cycle begins anew.

Why do we fall for it?

Are we stupid?

Is obsolescence that quick?

Do their upgraded devices simply work so well that we can’t live without them?

Or is Apple’s marketing that persuasive?

I’m going to go with “Apple knows a mark when they see one.”

That’s right.

We’re all a bunch of hopeless marks.

Seriously.

What is the 5s anyway?

A new OS?

No. They released iOS 7 and you didn’t need a new phone to get it.

A new shape?

Nope. It’s the same body shape as the current 5. Buttons, ports, everything’s in the same place.

Fingerprint recognition?

Not likely, since it’s universally acknowledged that its the most nonsecure method of protecting your device.

I can’t imagine that we’re falling over ourselves to cop a new phone for that useless feature.

The “gold” back plate and accents?

Nah. Sure that little gold “O” around the home button is kinda sexy, but not everyone likes gold or could get that limited edition.

And the vanity factor is quickly eliminated once you drop it in a protective sleeve (like I do).

So what Made Apple so sure of themselves?

One little letter: “s.”

Adding an “s” to any of their phones makes us crazy.

Think about it.

3gs. 4s. 5s.

Every time they released an “s” phone, cats queued up.

We didn’t know that that effin’ “s” meant, but we knew we had to have it.

It’s got an “s” in it’s name, damn it! Get out of my way!

While some surmise that the S stood for Siri, Apple’s voice assistant, that theory fails to pass muster when other iOS devices also have Siri – and no “s”.

Others suggest that the “s” could stand for “special” or “super” or even “speed.”

No. No. No.

I’m going to let you in on a little secret.

It took me months of clandestine research, bribes and subterfuge to uncover this information.

“S” is a highly classified designation at Apple.

It applies to a select subset of products.

Ready?

The “s” stands for “sucka.”

Which is what you are for falling for Apple’s little tricks time and time again.

Present company included.

Damn you Apple!

5 Comments

Filed under iPhone

What the f*@# do you mean you don’t have an iPhone?

20130701-183251.jpg

You can file this under rant.

One of the things that boggles my mind, is when someone in the mobile space says that they don’t own an iPhone.

Whoa!

Hold your horses.

Before you start prattling on about the whole Samsung/Apple debate (Winston), know that that’s not where I’m going with this.

Simmer down now.

iPhone is just a placeholder.

The title to this post might have been “What the f*@# do you mean you don’t have an <insert name of mobile device here>?”

But that didn’t quite roll off the tongue.

Feel me?

Honestly, I could care less about your mobile device preference.

Apple, Samsung, HTC, LG, Nokia, Motorola, I could give a rat’s ass what you like.

As long as you own a smart phone capable of approximating the intended feature or functionality you’re trying to vet, we’re cool.

But when you’re building a mobile site, developing an app, using QR codes, or integrating augmented reality…

ANYTHING that requires a proper smart phone to experience…

And don’t own a proper smart phone…

You. Sound. Crazy.

At least to me you do.

I can’t tell you how often I’ve talked to folks about how a feature works or is supposed to work.

And learned – in the midst of that discussion – that they’ve never actually tested the issue being discussed on a device.

Or, worse yet, that they don’t even own the friggin’ device to test on.

I mean really?

How do you form your lips to critique something you’ve never tested?

Why are we even having this discussion?

Trying to describe a function or feature to someone who doesn’t have the device in question is like trying to describe color to a blind person.

No. It’s actually worse.

Especially if that person is making decisions in the absence of valid information.

Sure, wireframes, mock ups and emulators can help you imagine what the finished product will be like.

And they’re great for what they’re for – modeling.

But there is nothing like experiencing a thing on the platform for which it was intended.

And there’s nothing more valuable than getting feedback from an actual user.

Now, truth be told, I used to be one of the people of whom I speak.

Back in the day, I blacked out on Android users, but never owned an Android device.

My opinions of Android’s inadequacies were wholly based on conjecture not fact.

I have since seen the error of my ways, copped a Samsung GS3 and tested countless other Android devices.

So the disdain I now feel for Android devices, is steeped in fact.

But I digress.

My point is, don’t be like the old ignorant Stephen, casting stones in a glass house.

Be like the new Stephen, who opens the window to cast his stones carefully and with precision.

Now class, what have we learned today?

1. Stephen has a low tolerance for BS.

2. If you’re developing for mobile, you’ve got to have a mobile device.

I’m done.

Rant over.

3 Comments

Filed under iPhone, mobile, opinion, rant, technology, Uncategorized

The iPad 2. My “new” favorite device.

Stephen and iPad sitting in a tree, w-o-r-k-i-n-g.

Stephen and iPad sitting in a tree, w-o-r-k-i-n-g.

Have you heard?

I’m in love!

No. Not with my wife.

I mean, I’m in love with my wife.

Don’t get me wrong.

She’s a sweet chick that doesn’t get on my nerves too much.

Just kiddin honey. You don’t get on my nerves at all.

The point is, I’m in love but its not the wife.

No. Not the kids.

Love the kids (by default, not design).

But I’m not talking offspring here.

My job? Gimme a break!

Check in with me when I’m clocking seven figures.

For now, negatory.

Alright, last guess.

Wrong!

I do love sex.

But it’s an act, not a thing.

You suck at this.

Remind me never to pick you as a game show partner.

It’s my iPad 2!

I am head over heels in love with it.

I recently got it from wifey for my birthday.

I was, in a word, verklempt.

Why all the emotion?

After all, this is my second iPad.

I had the original for three years.

Mind you, I was pissed when Apple dropped the 2 within months of my copping the 1.

But I wasn’t going for the okey-doke and buying into Apple’s manipulative bait-and-switch (and rape your pockets).

So for three years, I made do with my camera-less, FaceTime deficient, slower iPad.

Don’t get me wrong, we had our run.

But when the 4 was released, followed by the Mini, and talks began about a 5 and a retina display Mini, I realized enough was enough.

I had to step up my game.

Then came the dilemma.

Do I cop the 2, 3, 4 or Mini?

The Mini was out of the question.

I tooled around with it in the office, and it was so not a tablet.

I mean it is a tablet, but its not a tablet.

Knowhatimean?

You’re daft.

Try to keep up with me, please?

Anywho, the debate really centered around the 2, 3 and 4.

Do I just go for it and drop coin for the latest and greatest, the 4 with its retina display, 4G LTE and all the bells and whistles?

Or do I settle for something less bells and whistley from an earlier generation?

The decision was easy.

The 2.

Same (general) features and functionality of the (now defunct) 3 (and 4), less price.

Sure it’s maxed out at 16GB.

And there’s no Siri.

Lower resolution photos and video recording.

But for all intents and purposes, its the same thing.

Truth be told, my love affair with the 2 started the day I beheld it in the wild for the first time.

My man’s girl had one in Miami, during Art Basel.

And before I knew what was happening, I was one of those dorks shooting video with a big ole tablet in my outstretched arms – Frankenstein’s monster-like.

Get it right. Frankenstein was the man, not the monster.

The foolishness of my appearance did little to dampen the unbridled affection I felt – and presently feel – for it.

Even today, well after the novelty has worn off, as I cradle my very own 2 lovingly in my mitts, affection wells in my chest.

Why the love affair, you ask?

Well, nothing in my arsenal impacts my day-to-day productivity more than the iPad.

My iPad helps me get shit done.

Shout out to Moses.

If you’ve every tried to work on your iPhone while out and about, or even on your laptop, you quickly realize there are – limitations.

One’s too small and cramped.

The other’s too big and bulky.

But my iPad is just right.

I power through emails.

Schedule appointments.

Knock out to-do’s.

I’m generally bout-it-bout-it.

Bout-it bout-it=handling one’s business in a professional and thorough manner.

When I’m rocking with my iPad, you might as well give me a cape and call me the Black Superman.

I gets that busy.

So if you see me out and about, fondling or kissing my iPad, and it makes you feel…uncomfortable…

Avert your eyes.

Nothing’s going to stand in the way of my love.

2 Comments

Filed under digital advocacy, iPad

The Galaxy S IV is coming! Apple be very afraid.

Is Samsung the Apple-killer?

Is Samsung the Apple-killer?

Back in the day, I could have cared less about non-iOS device leaks.

If it wasn’t an iPhone or an iPad, it didn’t matter.

The only leaks that interested me were about Apple.

Period.

Whenever a new Apple product was announced – or rumored – I’d scour the interwebs, looking for photos or reviews.

I’d follow endless threads of speculation about which features would be included and which would not.

I would consume any article from any source like manna from heaven.

But if it wasn’t an Apple product, I could give two shits.

But yesterday, something unusual happened.

I saw a Techcrunch article with leaked pictures of a Samsung.

It was the new Samsung device, the Galaxy S IV.

And I found myself…

Wait for it…

Reading the article!

Who knew that there was this whole other world of leaks?

Who knew that non-iOS leaks were newsworthy?

Who knew the Chinese were as inept at keeping Samsung’s secrets as they were Apple’s?

I have to admit that I was intrigued with what this new Samsung has to offer.

Although I despise Android devices, they’re giving Apple a run for their money.

In fact, Samsung is outselling Apple in China.

Analysts predict that Samsung will completely overtake Apple when it comes to innovation with mobile devices.

So they must be doing something right.

But if leaked photos weren’t enough, now there’s a video too!

Notice the background iPad audio in the video.

Ironic, isn’t it.

If these leaked photos are any indication of the public’s interest and penchant for non-iOS devices, then I need to pay attention.

I must be ill.

2 Comments

Filed under iPhone, mobile, technology

Sorry Siri. But you suck. Siri-ously.

siri

I was struck by a really good idea the other day, driving home.

Ordinarily, I’d just whip out my iPhone, tap a few notes as a reminder and keep it moving.

But since I was driving, I couldn’t.

I’ve got a voice memo app on my phone, which I could have used.

But I’ve never gone back to listen to any recording I’ve ever made, and this time would be no different.

So I quickly deaded that idea.

But immediately, another, more intriguing solution sprang to mind.

Siri!

Since my previous phone was the 4 and not the 4S, I never got caught up in the whole Siri frenzy.

Martin Scorsese, Samuel Jackson, and Zooey Deschanel did nothing to convince me otherwise.

But driving along the other day, I was compelled to give Siri a spin.

I just couldn’t lose this train of thought.

Sitting at a light, I pressed my home button, bringing Siri to life.

“Siri take a note.”

“What would you like the note to say?”

Dictated a few lines.

“Noted.”

And then, gobbledygook.

'Woodfon' Siri? 'Fandor'? What are these words you're making up?

‘Woodfon’ Siri? ‘Fandor’? What are these words you’re making up?

No punctuation.

A few made up words.

Oh well, I could clean it up later.

Having captured the essence of the thread I wanted to build upon later, I then tried to get Siri to email me the note she had just created.

“Siri, email me my last note.”

“I don’t know who you are. But you can tell me…”

“In Siri settings, tap on ‘My Info’ and then choose yourself from your contacts.”

Seemed reasonable.

Except for the fact that I was driving and couldn’t!

Not to be deterred, I did as she asked at the next red light.

Done.

Back to Siri.

“Siri, email me my last note.”

“What would you like your email to say?”

An email dialogue, with the subject line “My last note” opens up on my screen.

Bitch! I don’t want to send an email about “My last note”.

I want you to email me my last note.

“Siri, show me the last note you took for me.”

“Ok, I found this note.”

What pops up is NOT the last note that she took for me, but some other random note.

“Siri, show me all the notes you have made for me.”

“Ok, I found at least twenty-five notes.”

Heifer, I’ve only made one note with you!

“Siri, show me the notes from today.”

“Okay, I found this note:”

Finally, we’re getting somewhere.

“Siri, email this note to me.”

“I’m not allowed to share your notes, Stephen.”

WTF?

“Siri, why can’t you share my notes with me?”

“I didn’t find any notes matching ‘Siri why can’t you share my notes with me.'”

I was done.

When I got home, I tried to run Siri through a few paces, while I wasn’t driving.

And could focus.

It was a fool’s errand.

Now, I consider myself a fairly intelligent person.

But for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out the right combination of words to get this broad to do anything.

Aside from the most basic shit, Siri was pretty useless.

And from a purely assistive perspective, Siri sucks.

There are too many things that are common parlance that Siri completely flubs.

And if one is required to go through all kinds of linguistic and mental gymnastics to make one understood by their digital assistant, what the fuck good is it?

Don’t mind me.

I’m just venting.

I’m sure that Siri is really good for some folks.

But if that bitch ever crosses my path again…it’s on.

1 Comment

Filed under iPhone, mobile, opinion

iPad Mini. iPad Jr. Whatever you are, just get here already.

I’ve been quietly watching from the sidelines to see what, if anything Apple is going to do with the iPad Mini.

So far, there have been (the standard) sightings of the Mini, leaked to the internet.

And oodles and oodles of speculation about what features will be baked into it.

To be honest, I can’t say that I’ve followed any of this chatter closely.

I’ve done that dance before.

Wait with bated breath, only to be let down when the <insert name of much anticipated Apple device here> actually arrives.

At this point, it’s just that I know how Apple does.

Why should the iPad Mini be any different?

We all know what the iPad mini should be.

But it’s unlikely that it will be what we expect.

I firmly believe that the iPad Mini should be a small version of the iPad.

It should be fully functional with all its current features intact.

That means, the iPad Mini should have: a forward and read-facing camera, wifi, 3G, essentially everything the current iPad 3 has.

But will Apple give us the device we expect?

Probably not.

It will most likely be like the original iPad.

You remember how disappointed you were when you opened up your iPad and realized that there was no camera.

But wait!

Here comes the iPad 2, with what?

Wait for it…

…A camera!

Bastards!

Why did do they do that to us?

Wasn’t the iPad really just a big iPhone?

Didn’t the iPhone already have 2 cameras!?

So why strip the iPad of what everyone assumed would have been a natural feature to include in the iPad?

Money, obviously.

But they’re not going to do that to the iPad Mini?

Are they?

Isn’t the whole point of the iPad Mini offering to compete with the other smaller form tablet devices in the market today?

Shouldn’t the strategy be to bake all the bells and whistles that devices like the Kindle Fire and Galaxy Note have?

Wouldn’t it be counter-intuitive to withhold features that consumers are already used to on the current iPad?

I got my son the Kindle Fire, and it really is a great device.

Now there’s the blown out HD version, which is a real step up in a number of respects for Kindle.

Higher resolution screen.

Faster processor.

More storage.

Additional ports.

4G LTE.

They blew it out!

Apple would be wise to follow suit and go H.A.M. with the iPad Mini.

H.A.M.=hard as a motherfucker for my Kanye West challenged readers.

Unfortunately, experience tells us that Apple doesn’t always do what’s best for the consumer.

So while I’m interested to see the new iPad Mini, I’ve set my expectations very low.

Do I want it?

Sure.

I’d rather have an iOS device that synchs with the rest of my Mac world, than some other device that doesn’t.

Will I be disappointed.

Sure.

History tells us that Apple is notorious for putting out products that often fall far short of user expectation.

Apple should just release the iPad Mini and put us all out of our collective misery already.

But with a constantly moving announcement date, its unlikely that we’ll see an iPad Mini in the wild anytime soon.

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Filed under branding, iPad, opinion, technology

I can’t live without my hotspot! Can you?

Do you remember back in the day when the only way to get a wireless Internet connection on your laptop was a bulky wireless card?

In order to achieve wireless access, you had to have surgery on your machine and have a card mounted inside of it.

If you were lucky, there was a slot on your laptop where you could connect this unwieldy device.

But most people simply didn’t have those high end machines (with the right ports) and couldn’t afford the expensive rates attached to those cards.

As demand for wireless access grew, wireless antennae technology improved more devices started to include USB ports to accommodate wireless cards.

But the wireless deals attached to those cards still weren’t all that attractive.

If you had the type offered by Verizon or Sprint, they were large oddly shaped apparati that prevented you from connecting any other peripheral to your laptop.

Slowly but surely, manufacturers started realizing how ugly their wireless cards were, and began creating more elegant wireless cards.

Now you could pull out a sleek key fob, plug it into a USB slot and viola! you were on the interweb.

Then came wireless hotspots.

And they changed the game.

These standalone units didn’t require you to plug a wireless card/antennae to your machine.

You could simply set it up and go.

Despite carriers’ efforts to make these devices affordable, they typically required contracts and were fairly expensive.

Even with the pay-as-you-go offerings of T-Mobile et al, adoption of this new fangled technological offering was tepid.

Fast forward a few years and now your mobile phone, which is already a multi function device, is also a hotspot!

Not only can you access the Internet from your phone, you can access the Internet from any wireless device (PC, tablet) using your phone as a wireless hub.

As an Apple user, ‘tethering’ has been available for some time.

It was a little known feature, and one that Apple disabled for a time.

But when it was active, you could connect your iPhone to your MacBook and connect to the internet.

Now, it’s a standard feature of multiple mobile phone providers, and an absolute staple in my life.

This past Sunday my daughter had horrible asthma attack, which came out of nowhere.

And instead of watching the season premier of Homeland, I spent the night at the ER at St. Barnabas hospital in Livingston.

What I thought was going to be a routine visit and minor inconvenience, turned out to be a serious medical emergency resulting in my daughter being admitted to the PICU (pediatric intensive care unit).

Well there goes Homeland!

I ended up spending the next four nights at St. Barnabas, disconnected from the world.

Of course, my daughter’s medical emergency fell on the day before multiple projects were set to launch or had major deliverables due, and I could not afford to NOT be available.

Thankfully, I had my iPhone 5 with ‘Personal Hotspot’ and was able to work and interact with the outside world.

I could connect via Wi Fi, Bluetooth or USB, and it was an absolute lifesaver.

Now, I don’t know if you’re one of those folks who still have to pull out a USB stick and shove it into your computer to get on the internet, when you’re out and about.

But there’s a more elegant way to jump online…

Use the hotspot on your phone.

And if your phone doesn’t have a hotspot feature…

Get rid of it and get one that does.

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Filed under digital advocacy, iPhone, mobile, technology