20 October 2010

MacBook versus MacBook Air

Comparing the $999 MacBook to the $999 MacBook Air:

MacBook advantages:

  • Faster processor (+1 gigahertz)
  • More storage (+186 gigabytes)
  • Larger display (+2 inches)
  • Has an optical (CD/DVD) drive

MacBook disadvantages:

  • Lower resolution display (-25 kilopixels)
  • Heavier (+1.7 pounds)
  • Bigger

Comparing specs certainly doesn’t tell the whole story. If I were going to buy a laptop, though, I still think I’d go with the MacBook rather than the Air.

07 October 2010

Sony’s Google TV controller

Sony’s Google TV controller outed on ABC’s Nightline

Gruber says: “Seems like a lot of buttons.”

Most of them, however, are a QWERTY keyboard. That’s a configuration of buttons that is familiar. It’s not intimidating. In fact, I think this remote is a lot less intimidating that a U-verse or DirecTV remote.

The Apple Remote, on the other hand, has always had too few buttons.

That said, I’m not convinced this Google TV remote is a win, but I’m not convinced it’s a fail either.

02 October 2010

iTunes and iOS

I don’t know how many times this happens. I want to listen to music on my iPhone or iPad. Listening to music means iTunes. (That’s what iTunes began life as: A music player.) On the iPhone and iPod, however, iTunes means merely the iTunes store. There’s a separate iPod app for playing music.

(Incidentally, this happen more on the iPad for some reason. Perhaps because the iPhone is physically closer to an iPod while the iPad is physically closer to a Mac.)

“Watch video” on my Mac means iTunes. On my iPhone it means iPod. On my iPad it means the Video app.

Returning to the iTunes store: On my Mac, I get a single iTunes store. On iOS, the App store gets segregated.

On iOS I also get the iBooks store, but only within the iBooks app. Although it does seem to be a branch of the iTunes store under the covers. The iBooks store is unavailable on my Mac. It is very nice to be able to shop from within the iBooks app. But then, it would also be nice to be able to shop for music from within the iPod app. It would be nice to shop for videos from within...the iPod app on the iPhone and the Video app on the iPad.

(Of course, Amazon can’t figure out how to let you buy Kindle books from either the Kindle app or the Amazon app. Very odd and annoying.)

The iTunes store, App store, and iBooks store on the iPad are each slightly different. And I’m not talking about differences that make sense based on their different wares. They are also some of the worst user experiences of any apps on the iPad.

This all seems very poorly thought out, which is usually something Apple excels at.

On the other hand, Apple today is also a company that constantly improves. It’s funny how I forget all the gripes I had about earlier Apple products now that they’ve been fixed.

01 October 2010

Limited time offer

It seems like Lulu always has a discount code. It stops feeling like a deal when I know that as soon as one “limited time offer” expires, there will be another to replace it. Instead, it makes me feel like their “regular” prices are artificially high. The “limited time offer” stops having the effect it was designed to create.

This isn’t something Lulu invented of course. e.g. There’s a local music store I stopped shopping at years ago for the same reason.