Archive for the 'Apple' Category

Creative bankruptcy from the Apple iPad

January 28th, 2010 by Ian

The recently unveiled iPad is a metaphor for how Apple has turned away from those who create, to those who consume. Not only is the focus now on consuming at the expense of creating, but the way in which one consumes is very limiting. Here is why:

Apple have always been different. Despite some solid hardware and software design over the past few years, the biggest advantage Apple has is that it’s not Microsoft Windows. Partially because of this, Apple has been the faux-official computer manufacturer for creative folk. Musicians need an OS that doesn’t get in the way of their creativity. Visual artists knew they could install Photoshop on Windows, but on a Mac it felt like it belonged there. Designers not only loved the way the machines looked, but also the way they handled their creations without fuss (or BSOD). Writers and bloggers loved their (usually) good keyboards and subtle UI. For their efforts, Apple have been rewarded with loyal fans amongst those who create.

Image by HappyToast @ b3ta

Image by HappyToast @ b3ta

For some people the internet is a one way thing. You sit back and it washes over you. Videos of cats falling off chairs, news articles, online radio, pornography… whatever. For many people, however, the web is a two way conversation. Whether it’s through IM, writing blogs, commenting on Reddit or even uploading shot film to Youtube, the web isn’t there to just be stared at. The people who demand this contributory attitude are often the creative folk I mentioned before. An on-screen keyboard isn’t the best way to go about all this. Neither is a 9″ screen, but that’s fair enough. We’re all pretty much in agreement that Apple didn’t make this device for creating monstrous Photoshop artworks or hours long Reason jams. No, they made it for the consumption of already created works. So why, Apple, limit so unnecessarily the ways in which we can consume such works?

The answer of course is control and money. You have to get everything through iTunes which means Apple cash-in, big time. What is puzzling is why creative types so readily favor such a creatively-limiting device. It’s understandable in a way: Apple rescued us all from a Windows hell. But don’t they understand that Apples “everything has to flow through us, it’s for your own sake, citizen” attitude stunts creativity? How can a design community be approving of Apple products when their applications are removed from the store, and their time wasted. Not only is this app-store only, no-multitasking world so bad for innovation, but Apple have the gaul to pretend that they’re doing something new. In yesterdays keynote we were told that all these cheap, 1.6GHz netbooks were too slow to be useful. That’s not true. Again, if you want to to some major Illustrator work then it’s probably not the best choice, but we’ve already decided that these machines are for consumption, which i think many netbooks (be they Linux or Windows7) excel at. I know hardware isn’t the only thing that effects performance, but I’m not entirely sure how the 1GHz iPad processor is going to be that much faster.

As a web developer I have to accept that the Apple app-store approach is bad for the web. When one creates an application for the web, be it using the latest HTML5 techniques or Flash, one can be sure that everyone can use it. As crap as Flash is for online video, it excels in some areas (like casual gaming). But that would mean that Apple loose out to free online alternatives to many (if not most) apps in their store. Apple is creating an elite version of the web, for only those who pay them directly, and because of this the iPhone and the iPad must be seen as poisonous to the internet, just as iTunes is poison to the music industry.

Some other ‘features’ of note include: The design looks like it’s a parody from the Onion. I need someone to explain how if a base model costs £388 and the same model with 16GB more memory costs £122 more, then where the hell do they buy their memory? Did they seriously call it an ‘iPad’? Finally, whatever I say, Hitler always has a much better grip on these things.

MacRumours live stream pwnd by 4chan

January 6th, 2009 by Ian

I watched the Macworld Live stream last year. I just like seeing a load of shiny stuff I can’t afford, basically. So I tuned in this year to catch some shock news, which turned out to be a fiction created by those pranksters from the place which we dare not speak.

4chan Vs MacRumours

4chan Vs MacRumours

Someone tried to do something on the internet without involving 4chan. WHEN WILL WE LEARN?

Apple’s environmental policy shown again to be a sham

December 9th, 2008 by Ian

We’ve all heard how Apple try and make it sound like they actually give a damn about the environment, and we listen. Then we feel slightly less bad about replacing our iPhone after a few months of use. There is plenty of reading regarding shipping material waste and Apple, but it’s still nice to see them in action, like when this box turned up at work this week:

iwaste
True, we bought it from Amazon so I think they’re probably to blame as well, but don’t big companies work together on shipment policies? Amazon would be in trouble if they started shipping out iPods in egg-boxes, so why not if they do dumb things like shipping tiny items in massive boxes? I won’t even get into how it’s stupid that we even needed a new monitor adaptor in the first place. It seems to be Apple-specific and unlike the video connections to any other non-fruit-based computer I’ve seen.

My collegue was so narked that he wrote a good old rant about it on our agency website.

Macheads (or: why I’m glad I didn’t buy a Mac)

January 23rd, 2008 by Ian

First things first, I think Apple make some great stuff. Work recently put a 24″ iMac on my desk and it’s great to work with. Sure it’s not exactly crash-proof (although this is more Adobe’s fault) and the keyboard is awful, but the Apple/OS X experience is pretty good, especially with that lovely vibrant screen. I was recently in the market for a new laptop and was going to buy a 13″ Macbook. In the end a friend of mine stepped in and let me have his old 13″ Sony Vaio for much less, so I bought that instead. I think maybe in his wisdom he was trying to save me.

Old Apple logoThis trailer for an upcoming film about Mac users called ‘Macheads‘ is terrifying. I’m a pretty huge geek who uses a range of Windows, Linux and OS X machines, but the thought of getting quite as attached to a computer as any of these people makes me glad that I only use a Mac during office hours. As someone with a keen interest in design, I can sympathize a little with someone who collects old Macintosh boxes, but lines like “I have never knowing slept with a windows user” are just disturbing.

At least in the old days (before the iMac) all the hardcore Mac users had beards so were recognizable. Now they have started shaving. God help us all. I still want to see the film though.

See the trailer in question here (found via Gizmodo)

iPhone: meet the British media. No tongues, please.

June 29th, 2007 by Ian

Here in the UK, the iPhone arrives in approximately ten tears time. When we finally get it, the crippling restrictions that will be put on it in terms of bandwidth and connectivity by the traditionally stingy mobile phone providers will render it almost useless. It’s smooth, rounded, shiny and you could probably loose it if you sat on one too quickly, but all that is irrelevant if the absence of network support renders it useless. Could someone please tell the BBC this? Listening to the radio this afternoon, it seems that not only are they determined to advertise a product (someone should take a flick through these documents, perhaps?) but they are advertising one that isn’t even available to people in this country! It’s worth pointing out that other equipment is available that does what the iPhone does (well, almost). I think that perhaps the (alleged) generous 20% discount that Apple gives British journos may have something to do with the constant repetition of Apple-propaganda which is very, very boring. We expect this crap in some places, but on the BBC?

Maybe they just feel guilty for what they’ve done to Apple elsewhere? In short: Don’t believe the hype, Auntie Beeb. np: It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back

Safari for Windows

June 11th, 2007 by Ian

This site in Safari 3 beta for windowsThere have been rumours about this floating around for a while but it just happened! As soon as Jobs ended today’s WWDC keynote (yes I did follow it live, yes I do need to get out more) a beta release of version 3 was made available, for Windows as well as OS X. I’ve tried it and to be honest, I don’t particularly like it. The interface is too clunky. However; that’s pretty irrelevant. As a developer this is great news. I can test my sites double quick to make sure they work in Safari. It even uses Mac-like font smoothing. The prospect of more developers being able to test their work thoroughly has got to be great news for Mac users. Way to go Apple.

The other good news is that OSX will support ZFS (presumably this will lead to better interaction with linux machines) and they finally got rid of that horrible brushed metal effect. It always reminded me of my primary school serving counters at lunchtime. Ugh. I used to shudder as cheap cutlery slid across the surface. Regardless, I’m thinking of doing that unspeakable, bighting the bullet and buying a Macbook so although I feel a little dirty, all this Mac progression is all good. I just got to make sure I don’t turn into one of those Mac rumour-mill fan-boy types.