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Apple Event

Wednesday March 2nd I will be glued to my computer watching the live blog of the most recent Apple event. Rumors have it that there will be an announcement for iPad 2, Mobile Me and Cloud Storage service for music, movies and all things iTunes.  I have also read rumors about iWork type storage.

All rumors aside, I am sure we will see some progressional steps for the iPad.  What who knows but likely some upgrades with horsepower and possibly a camera or two.  Not sure why one would want a camera on the back of an iPad but okay.

What I can tell you is that you can ride the internet over to http://www.gizmodo.com, http://www.tipb.com or http://www.engadget.com/2011/03/02/live-from-apples-ipad-2-event/ where they live blog.  Apple has been known to stream video of events too.  Not sure if this will happen or not but check out http://www.apple.com to find out.

All this begins tomorrow morning.  Bloggers will be stroking those keys hard.

08:00AM – Hawaii
10:00AM – Pacific
11:00AM – Mountain
12:00PM – Central
01:00PM – Eastern
06:00PM – London
07:00PM – Paris
09:00PM – Moscow
11:30PM – Mumbai
03:00AM – Tokyo (March 3rd)
05:00AM – Sydney (March 3rd)

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Apple Experiences…cont

I opened the plain brown box to be greeted by the usual white Apple packaging feature a picture of what was inside.  I quickly opened the MacBook pro, plugged it in and turned it on. I saw the screen, that beautiful screen inviting me to play take control.  I had to enter some information for set up and then I was on to using my new device for the first time.  Our relationship was both frustrating and welcoming at first.  All the usual commands I had learned to operate my windows machine had to be relearned because Apple keys are not like Windows.  But it did not take me long as I could not put this machine down.  I wanted to know more about how it worked.  I tried this and read that until I finally found myself using it like it was the machine I learned on. But it did not stop there.

I read more about the eco system; I was slowly getting hooked on Mac.  I read more about iPods, iMac’s and subscribed to podcasts, blogs.  I had never owned anything beside the iPhone that played media.  But it was all so expensive.  Apple charges a premium for their devices.  You could honestly end up with a bill for thousands on a new laptop and tens of thousands on their desktop equivalents.  I am by no means rich so I could not afford to buy all my eyes could take in.  But I bought sparingly and got my kids and wife into iPhone’s and my five year old an iPod touch around the age of 2.

I saw the iPhones as a means to communicate through the cloud and Mobile Me did that for me.  My wife and I actually like each other.  We love to be together and do things together like couples should.  We don’t have a lot of friends so we shop for everything from groceries to clothing together.  We watch movies together and listen to music together.  So Mobile Me made sense for us.  We use it a little different probably, we have a standard account and have his, hers and family calendars that each of us control as admins.  She can add an event to mine and I hers and both can add an event to our Family calendar.  While the Mobile Me mail is mine and I set her up with Gmail, which has grown over the years too, we pay for Mobile Me because it works for us.

Over the years we have had several iPhones with each new announcement, iPods, MacBook’s and an iPad.  And it is not just I.  I bought my wife a MacBook from eBay because her Gateway was out of space and had been restored many times after calling support for issues we faced all the time.  She too, fell in love with her white plastic MacBook. So for both of us the move to Mac was one that while we were scared to do, we overcame and now see the advantages, even why we pay more.

Next….The advantages….

My Apple Experiences…

So there are many of you that talk about Apple fanboy’s.  An Apple fanboy definition can be found here at Urban Dictionary. We are talked about as people who are similar in nature to a cult of followers who believe anything that Apple tells us.  We are to believe that we do not have minds of our own and cannot assimilate a rational thought.  We stand in lines without expressions waiting for our worldly leader the Jobs to hand us our next ration.

But let me say that while I write about Apple and all its glory I come from a Windows background. My first computer was an eBay special; my first laptop was a Compaq with a 3GB hard drive.  Then I bought into Gateway an then another then an eMachine desktop.  So I know about Windows and what to expect there.  I remember the excitement of getting each machine and the disappointment when something would happen and they would ask me to restore the machine every time.  I had accumulated software that I used and stored photos only to have to begin over reinstalling everything from contacts to papers to software.  It was always a pain.

I have always been into technology and have slowly converted my family into this following.  For me it was the iPhone in 2007.  I was a hold out as the iPhone came out in June or July 2007 and I did not purchase one until August.  I remember that day clearly.  My wife and I were in town and I had been talking about buying an iPhone and I could not stand it anymore.  I stopped by AT&T and went in. I did not know she thought I was going in to “talk” to them.  Imagine my surprise when I got back into the car with a new $500 phone.  I got the usual talking to that I have become accustomed to in the beginning.

But for us that was the changing point.  Prior to that I had Windows computers and phones like the SLVR, the Pearl and the Curve to name of few of the most recent predecessors.  But the iPhone was a game changer for us.  The more I used it the more I wanted to learn about Apple.  I watched videos, I visited Apple stores and I talked to their sales and others that knew the Apple eco system.  I heard the entire pro’s and cons.  How great a machine they are and how limited they were in the software realm.  If I bought a Mac, I would have a machine that lived in a Window’s world.

It was not until late summer 2008, after using the iPhone and my discoveries that I choose the take the plunge.  I ordered my new MacBook Pro just before I went on vacation to Disney.  I was so excited I wanted it shipped to the hotel but was afraid it would not arrive while we were there so I shipped it home.  But that created anxiety of its own, as I was at the most magical place on earth and I wanted to be at home when the package arrived.  I remember checking the tracking information everyday.

When we arrived home the package had been picked up, at my request, by my mother, was the first thing I attended to.  Unpacking could wait; I had to see this machine.  I had petted them in the Apple stores but this one was mine—to be continued…

Squaretrade vs Applecare

Obviously I am a fan of electronics and as everyone knows hobbies such as this can beexpensive to keep up with.  But when you add in a 5 year old young man it can be quite expensive.

I have four children from 5 to 20 years old.  All of them have their own unique qualities and very different personalities.  My 20 year is a lot like me in never being satisfied with the current things she has.  I always want the next, latest and greatest thing and she does too.  My youngest daughter is similar but has a drive like no other although she does find herself spinning in mud sometimes. My step-son is very intelligent, sometimes too much so, that he thinks others are beneath him. But he is smart enough that learning actually comes easy for him.

My 5-year-old, whom I have stayed at home with since he was 3 months old is like my best friend.  His need for information and friendship is quite unique.  Since I coach basketball at a local high school he goes with me and he likes to hang out with the high school students.  He can retain information like a sponge and is into technology as much as I.  He has had an iPod touch since he was about 2 years old.  While some parents talk about the dangers of technology we embrace it.  For our son we added any book, learning app we could afford.  But all this comes at a cost.

With every iPod we have struggled with purchasing Squaretrade or Applecare.  We love Applecare support because if there is an issue with the device not working we can call Apple outside the 90-day call support warranty. You actually get 1-year support but after 90-days but you need to live near an Apple retail store for the best service or have the willingness to travel to one.  They offer a mail in service during that one year but I have found it to be more than difficult trying to talk to someone about setting up this type of repair.  And of course Applecare only covers defect with the hardware that is not caused by abuse or accidental damage.

That is where Squaretrade comes in.  They offer accidental damage protection add on to their normal hardware warranty.  This usually adds about a third more to the cost.  We have many Squaretrade warranties but have never had to use one until now.  Normally they just sit there unused. Normally we carry Applecare on our Apple products.  But this time we choose to wait and maybe purchase it later.  Apple is gracious to give you one-year to purchase Applecare.

Since the initial iPod touch our son has had the 2nd, 3rd and now 4th generations.  The 2nd, we thought mom left it at a basketball game but 8 months later found it in a couch.  We replaced it with the 3rd.  Last December is disappeared suddenly and we have yet to find it. So we replaced that with the 4th gen.  Now, last night our son dropped it in the potty.  He claims that he forgot to set it down before he got up which he is usually good at, turned and it slipped.  Obviously he did not mean to drop it. And now he is heartbroken.  He is a big HeyTell user, plays some games and watches many videos.

Thankfully we chose to get Squaretrade on this iPod.  This will be my initial dealing with them warranting out a device.  I will report back and let you know how well the transaction went.  I am hoping that everything I have heard about Squaretrade is correct and this transaction goes over well.

AT&T App Store? I’ll Pass…

ATT logoTiPb reports that CEO Randall Stephenson spoke out about the App Store ran by Apple.

“You purchase an app for one operating system, and if you want it on another device or platform, you have to buy it again,” Stephenson said in a keynote speech at the world’s largest mobile-phone trade show in Barcelona, Spain. “That’s not how our customers expect to experience this environment.”  TiPb.com

 

Wait…isn’t this just AT&T trying to get paid?  Sure for consumers we would love to be able pay once and use across many platforms.  And of course for AT&T this makes sense.  Just maybe they would be the one collecting 30 percent and all the attention.

 

Let’s look at Microsoft Office.   Have consumers had to purchase on Windows then switched to a Mac and had to pay again when putting it on a Mac?  This has been going on for a long time. I think it is nice that I can put Angry Birds on my iPhone, my wife’s and my daughters and pay only once.  I thought this was a step in the consumer friendly direction. If I lose the app I don’t have to repay for it, I just re download it. Box Software would not send me another disc and last time I got Microsoft Office Student edition from Digital River, I had to pay an extra $10 for it to be there should I need to download it again.

 

Pretty much any software I have bought I have to pay more for extra licenses, replacement discs or even a reinstall disc for my Windows OS that came on te computer.  So maybe Mr. Stephenson’s intentions were directed at income stream for AT&T or maybe he has the consumer’s interest at the forefront. Who knows but I why stop at the carrier.  What if I want to take my Apps to Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile.  Where do we stop?

 

Maybe AT&T is on to something for consumers but I think I will be happy where I am at this time

 

Popular Science +

Everywhere you look there are Rumors about what companies are doing next. None more so than Apple. Each year rumors find their way around the internet about new and upcoming products. Not until very close to release do some become more realistic. And some are rumors until they become fact.

Take the mobile me rumor. Previously it was going free, it was going to add iTunes streaming service and we were going to dance in the street with beads around our necks drinking our favorite adult beverage and sing happy songs.

Well it fell through as predicted but came out with find my iPhone for free. Now the same all inclusive and streaming features have made their way back. They must be true now huh? Well if so, I know Apple will refund their loyal customer who paid years in advance or at least issue iTunes credit.

How about those iPhone nano rumors? Golly gee, I’ve never heard those before. A smaller version of the iPhone. With screen going from side to side and tip to toe. Kind of sounds cool anyway.

How about the revamped notifications rumor? Apple did buy a new company that people are speculating they will use the talent to rework the iOS. I agree with Leo Laporte, it needs it. I want widgets and abilities to make my home screen custom to my life.

Then we have iPad 2 and oh yeah iPad 3 rumors. Then there is iOS update for ATT iPhones releasing. It is fun but you could get a headache from all this.

The only thing certain about any of these rumors is we will know when they happen. Until then it is speculation brought on by desire and bits of information.

App Store Policy

So Apple has decided to enforce policy and everyone is making a big issue of it. I remember watching the keynote where Steve announced the app store and clearly stated that Apple would do it’s part for 30% while the developer got 70% and could set the price as they see fit. Everyone cheered.

So why now, are people complaining about something that’s been in place. Is it because they are not selling anything through Apple? Wasn’t the goal of Apple to develop the app store, advertise developers, take care of all the back end and collect 30% for this service?

Apple is doing something for their fee. There is money invested into commercials for some apps, hosting, credit fees, etc. It’s not like they sit back and laugh as they take advantage of developers.

What Apple did wrong was not enforce the policy set forth in the beginning as developers found ways around this model. For anyone that has the Kindle app or any one like it, you know when purchasing a boom you are redirected out of the app to the sellers store. You buy the book then back in the app it’s downloaded. This is the model of Netflix and some music subscriptions as well.

Where I see the problem, for consumers, these companies will have to raise prices or their apps and usability will disappear. I am not a fan of iBooks, there is nothing there. Kindle has tech manuals aplenty and I can read them anywhere. I subscribe to Netflix, but rarely to I watch it. My son more than anyone in my family watches cartoons.

But should Apple press the issue and not work with these developers then I can see people leaving the Eco system to one that allows more freedom. I mean consumers don’t really care how we get it, only that we get what we want at prices we expect.

Am I wrong?

See PCWorld announcing app store policy: http://www.pcworld.com/article/143200/app_store_will_distribute_iphone_software.html

TUAW reported that Kindle adapts same Apple model: http://i.tuaw.com/2010/01/20/amazon-kindle-moves-to-app-stores-70-30-revenue-split/