The iPad isn’t just a PC, it’s the ultimate personal computer
On this week’s episode of The Bro Show, we talked at some length about whether it’s right to categorise the iPad as a personal computer.
Shawn Blanc brought up the Wikipedia definition of a PC, which is as follows:
“A personal computer (PC) is any general-purpose computer whose size, capabilities, and original sales price make it useful for individuals, and which is intended to be operated directly by an end-user with no intervening computer operator.”
We came to some sort on consensus on the podcast that the iPad definitely fits the definition of a PC, though as Shawn Blanc tweeted, some are not convinced:
“It seems that those arguing against the iPad being called a PC are really trying to say that an iPad could not replace their PC usage.”
I put to those arguing that the iPad couldn’t replace the PC usage that what they are doing on the PC is not personal and perhaps the mistake we are making here is that the whole definition of a PC in the first place is, in fact, wrong.
What’s personal about working on a spreadsheet? Writing some code? There is absolutely nothing personal about the PC I use for nine hours a day at work — it’s a processing machine. That definition of personal computer above is one of the most robotic definitions I have ever read, thinking about it. It doesn’t make any sense on a personal level.
So here’s my definition of a personal computer:
A Personal Computer (PC) is a device that one can interact with seamlessly. A device that can store memories, media, books, TV and film for the user to consume on-demand. A device that the user can create and share their own content from. A personal computer is a device that is easy to use for anyone.
The definition of a personal computer sounds like it hasn’t changed since the eighties. Though I was born in 1988, I can tell you that in the last ten years alone the personal computer has completely changed beyond all recognition.
When Apple released the iPad, I would argue that it actually released the first, truly personal, computer.
Introducing the 70 Decibels Podcast Network
April 7 2010. This was the day that Myke Hurley and I launched our podcast, The Bro Show.
In truth, we had no idea where it was going to go at the time, we just thought it was a neat idea. Fast forward a year or so and we had gained an audience in its thousands, spanning over 70 countries around the world. We both participate in other podcasts, many of which are produced by the wonderful Mr Hurley, but we even get to guest on other podcaster’s shows too.
So today we start a new chapter in our podcasting careers, and it’s something we have been working on for some time - our very own podcast network.
We are proud to announce 70 Decibels.
70 Decibels will now be the home of all podcasts that Myke and I are involved in. The logo was designed by the wonderful Aaron Mahnke of Wet Frog Studios and we think it’s really something special.The name comes from the average level of human speech in Decibels, which is around 50-70dB.
Myke has worked tirelessly over the past eight weeks to design, build and organise the website, so all credit for what I think is a lovely looking site should be directed to him. So we invite you to go and check out the site, have a poke around and let us know what you think and if you find any bugs or broken links.
The co-hosts of all shows in the 70 Decibels network are all an integral part of its operation, and they have been involved with the development process from the beginning.
So yeah, check it out. This is massive for us and we thank you for your continued support. You people are awesome.
Thoughts on the iPhone 4S
There was a time when tech used to get smaller and smaller, almost on a monthly basis. A decade ago, Samsung was leading the way with this in the mobile phone market with its iconic “washing machine” phones. As consumers began to demand more from their phones, they began to get bigger again, with Nokia releasing massive, heavy PDA phones, equipped with Internet access and email capability.
When Apple announced the iPhone 4S yesterday, I noticed a lot of comments about the lack of a larger screen. There has been a flurry of Android-powered devices come out of late sporting larger screens, but since when has Apple followed the crowd?
An iPhone with a larger screen makes little sense to me at the moment. If you look at the direction phones were going in ten years ago, smaller was better. Now it is about finding the perfect balance between form and function - something which Apple is a lot closer to doing than its competition. As consumers demand more multimedia, games and other features from their phones, screen size will invariably have to be upped, but I think the size of the iPhone’s screen is just about perfect, and I can’t much reason for apple to change it.
The Retina Display’s pixel density, the actual mobility of a mobile phone and the fact that developers build Apps to work with the iPhone’s screen size are just a few of the reasons I think it will stay around for now. That’s forgetting about the business end of it, and the fact that Apple will end up nailing down the price of its screens, thus improving profit.
I don’t want a bigger screen in my pocket, and those that want an iPhone with a larger screen should probably think about buying an iPad.
Now, if Apple could make a device with roughly the same overall size, but with a five inch screen, it would be pretty cool to some. The fact we have the same form factor this time around follows the same pattern of the 3G/3GS, and it might be something Apple is looking to stick to. I suspect there was some issue with the 4S’ production, be it finalising Siri, or manufacturing issues which delayed the launch. It didn’t feel right that we got a phone with the same form factor as we had in mid-2010, over a year later and I personally smell a fish with the October launch date.
It would be a very “Apple thing” to do if they upped the screen size this time next year, or even earlier, to a five inch screen for the iPhone 5, but I don’t want to start speculating too early.
Apple is playing catchup in the mobile market, it always has been
Another gripe for many is that the iPhone is playing catch up in terms of hardware, and it’s amazing how many people forget that Apple has been playing catchup since it introduced the very first iPhone, which didn’t even have a 3G connection. Apple’s tech specs for its iPhone iterations have, throughout its history (minus the Retina Display), been pretty standard; there’s nothing truly amazing about the tech specs on the iPhone.
When the iPhone 4 was released, there was already phones on the market that had 10 mega-pixel cameras, but does that mean they take better photos? While other manufacturers throw in wonderful cameras, chip sets and even 3D capability, Apple has concentrated on getting the most out of what it has to work with, often with better results than its rivals. The 4S will have underwhelmed some, the instant drop in APPL stock went some way to prove this, but I very much doubt Tim Cook lost any sleep over it. I think I recall the same happening after the iPhone 4 was announced. Apple went gone on to sell millions of units and seeing its share price rocket again, to record levels.
The 4S is a compelling offering, and I will be investing in one, seeing as my current iPhone has been better days.
Many will accuse me of drinking the cool-aid, but the naysayers are out in force this time around, so I thought I would throw my hat into the ring.
What I will say, is that it’s nice that consumers push Apple to innovate just as much as its shareholders must. It is us, after all, that provoke innovation and changes. So keep complaining, folks.
O2 UK customers can now use Twitter via MMS
So, you can tweet a picture now by simply sending a text. I think this is pretty cool.
Using BlueVia’s MMS API, O2 customers can share photos from any MMS capable device. All you need to do is associate your mobile number with your Twitter account on Twitter.com. Once you’ve done that, you can share photos by sending an MMS to short code 86444 and, you’ll be charged at a standard MMS rate.
According to the Twitter Blog, you can also do this in the U.S.
This makes Tweeting a picture a lot more accessible to the masses, which will undoubtedly lead to a lot more people tweeting pictures.
Check out BlueVia for more UK info.
Microsoft should use Kinect for business
Microsoft’s Kinect is a great motion control peripheral, which adds depth to gameplay, as well as creating new and exciting areas to explore within a game. We all know this. Microsoft knows this, but Microsoft needs to take Kinect out of the living room and into the office.
While doing some research for some upcoming interviews, I came across a feature for Kinect I had seen before, but hadn’t thought about much. In upcoming racer, Forza Motorsport 4, players will be able to use a feature called ‘Autovista’ to literally walk around a car, open the doors, sit in it and take in the features of the whole vehicle.
While this may be thing of passing interest to those that play the game, if I owned this kind of technology I would be stuffing it under the noses of car manufacturers all over the world, telling them that they should be using this to show off designs, concepts and even finished products to the board.
Moving away from vehicles, a feature like this could be used to great effect in other industries. I don’t understand why its been out so long, yet we haven’t seen Kinect expand into business. Either Microsoft is keeping its cards close to its chest (Ballmer has said in the past that PC support could come) or it is completely missing a trick with this.
I hope it is the former. I would love to see what people outside of the industry can do with this, and I know I am not the only one.
So, I’ve owned a Mac for six months now
Some of you may remember my delight as I purchased my very first Mac (2010 MacBook Air, 128 GB w/ 4 GB RAM) back in March this year. Its been over six months now, so I should have downloaded a ton of Apps and have loads to say about them, right? No. I still use the same 5-6 Apps I had installed within the first month of getting my MacBook Air.
Why? Well, because I am learning. While I was still getting to grips with Snow Leopard, Apple went and dumped Lion on me, which was an addition to an already steep learning curve. I can’t bring myself to download and try new applications before I have mastered what came out of the factory.
I am learning new things everyday. Most recently, I found a way to re-size multiple pictures with one click in Preview. As someone who has to download, re-size and upload a fair amount of screenshots for my gaming journalism, this one thing is worth its weight in gold. Sure, there are plenty of applications out there that can do that for me, but all I had to do was Google what I wanted to do to find a solution right here on my Mac.
I am not the most technical user, and of course there are plenty of single applications out there that can probably complete a lot of tasks for me, but why spend £1200 on a machine without learning what’s under the hood?
I am sure there will come a time where I need to branch out and download more applications, but for now Chrome, Spotify, Skype, Dropbox, Twitter for Mac and Evernote are doing me just fine. It’s amazing what you can find on OS X when you dig — and I’ve barely scratched the surface.
Mac OS X Lion releases today
Finally we get to play with Lion today, which is set to release within the next few hours.
I wonder how many millions the Mac App Store is going to make in the coming weeks because of Lion. And of course, those millions will be added to the running total for the Mac App Store, meaning when Apple tells everyone about it at their next keynote, share prices will no doubt rocket once more.
While I’m excited for the release of Lion, I can’t help but feel that the fact it is being released solely in the Mac App Store is going to be much more significant in the long run.
Digital distribution FTW, you could say.
I interview the voice of Optimus Prime, Peter Cullen
Recently, I had the great pleasure of interviewing the guy who has voiced Optimus Prime since before I was born, Peter Cullen. I can’t tell you how excited I was to be interviewing someone of his stature, from a professional and a personal point of view.
It really was a dream come true for me, and another stepping stone to achieving my dream of doing similar stuff everyday.
I would love it if you checked it out over on God is a Geek. It is available in text and audio formats. Please let me know what think, and have a great weekend.