iPhone vs Android is like Mac vs PC?

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So the buzz is that Android sales (OS for handhelds, from Google) may tip the iPhone by 2012? Sounds like a Mac vs PC debate. Well sort of, but the Mac debuted in 1984, when PCs had already been pushed by IBM with DOS. However, Apple was in the Personal Computing business earlier than the PCs and was already the pioneer to beat. So there is some similarity here, but this time

1. The iPhone is already in by a few years, so developers have invested in this platform. Legacy is what dictates the future more often than creativity (unfortunately), but in this case Apple has both.

2. Buying apps from a store which guarantees one-click download, no silly forms each time you buy something for $0.99 and ensuring -what you pay for you will get for sure. This is what the iPhone App Store has achieved.

This however, does not mean that things cannot change. We live in a world where you cannot predict technological breakthroughs (in price or paradigm).

Now getting to the heart of the debate-

3. iPhone and Apple products are proprietary as have always been. Android is open source based on Java, and will run on various hardwares (like Windows on PCs), whereas the iPhone/Mac OS run on Apple products.

My view about this open/close issue has always been that Apple never lost out to the PC for this fact, but had more to do so with Macs in 1984 were way ahead of their time for most programmers to learn a GUI and event driven model, when all they could do was write print commands on a black screen. 1984, User friendly = developer demanding, and the Mac was always the second choice for those learning computer programming.

However, today Apple has done a brilliant job in making sure that developers get all the resources to learn and build for their platforms. User interfaces and GUI libraries are object oriented with tools/support from all over the web. So there is no reason a developer who wants to do just simple things -like a report or costing for internal use, needs to stay away from a platform which demands sophistication (the DOS printouts were not WYSIWYG, but useful enough to output as rows on a dot-matrix).

Being ‘closed’ will not dictate the future of iPhone, though Android will get market share being licensable to third parties. Personally, I’d care less if Android has more numbers in 2012, as many handheld devices will do many trivial things for which an iPhone or smart PDA will be an overkill.

In fact, this time it may be a win-win for all.
The generic devices running Android are truly open (unlike generic PCs which had a proprietary Windows on top). The world always needs many generic tools which can be tweaked- which Android can be right for. The world also needs nifty gadgets which have everything consistent and designed insanely right. This can only happen when a platform is closed and developers see the same API but things can be fine tuned inside. Apple will deliver that-as proven time and again. 68K-PowerPC-Unix-Intel, yet the Mac is not that different in experience!

4. So the key for Apple is to keep an eye on development ease and productivity- if someone comes out with a radically easier way to code (you never know!) and programmers can build something in minutes instead of days, Apple can adopt/promote it.

Apple had missed the boat with Hypercard in the ’80s (hypertext links in a stack of cards, leading eventually to the web/http) and then with Applescript ’90s (GUI Scripting/Recording has by far been the most productive non-programmers tool- but Quickeys and OneClick were needed!).

ObjectiveC may not hold up too long when Java and Ruby are languages that most programmers talk in. The good news is that they are ahead with Ruby support on the Mac.

Win-win for all? We will need to wait a bit longer. I had the same hope in last year’s blog article

@saumilzx
Mumbai
10 Oct 2009

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Scalable iTablets!

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We can have tablets from 5×7 inches (personal) to 2 feet (tables at work/library/copy center) if required. Scalable iTablets! They only have logic for touch and display and if feasible networking.

iPodTouch 64Gb has more speed and space than Mac minis and iBooks just few years back… It is slimmer than iPhones, so if docked into tablets, overall thickness will be acceptable.

To begin with Apple will (if) roll out tablets which are monolithic… but it will be really disappointing if we cannot have touch/display devices for various purposes but which use the CPU/Data consistently from one source- your iPod….

@saumilzx
Mumbai India
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@saumilzx #ideas #wishlist 091006.1

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In 1999 my iMac was 233Mhz, had 128Mb RAM and 12Gb space.I also had a Powerbook Duo laptop in the early ’90s, with a dock (monitor, keyboard, mouse no CPU). The laptop was grayscale, but when docked, it became a desktop Mac with thousands of colors.. when done, eject laptop like a floppy… and go.

2009: iTablet or iMac or whatever, can perhaps be sold in different form factors, at low cost- just as screen with a docking slot… hmm…iPodTouch is already 64Gb, 500Mhz+… please!!!

@saumilzx
Mumbai, India
8 Oct 2009

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saumilzx.com launches automated podcast of blogs

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Hi friends,

I will be provided automated audio productions of my blogs and views as podcast XMLs.

My first podcast is the version of my recent blog about the Chennai Test and Tendulkar’s performance.
For the podcast URL:
Bookmark Cricket Podcast

Since this is based on text to speech technology, you might often get inflection issues and varying pronunciation of proper nouns. Yet, I believe the audio is very legible and hope you can enjoy it. I will also try to get my voice in often, but this automation is smooth for most needs.

Good luck
Saumilzx
Mumbai

iPhone 3G delivers the Original Internet Promise?

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I have always maintained that the commercial fallout of the internet and B2C in the 90s was not due to ‘revenue model’ issues. It was the interface, stupid! And the interface is not just a point and click thing- it about the way you interact with the machine to accomplish tasks- or rather avoiding those cumbersome things that you should not be doing, which undermine the very ‘reach-out’ advantage of the net.

What was, or rather is needed for B2C to succeed is tracking user identity and therby enabling smooth payment processing, and an assurance to the user that he will be able to get what he paid for. Also assurance is needed that the user will not misuse what he pays for, by eSharing it. Then one could pay 10 cents for a cybercard, without filling up forms and learning various shopping cart interfaces- not to mention the dozens of passwords to be managed. If you like something, and I am willing to pay the price, it should be done, without any further interaction. Also, the buyer must not be able copy-paste and misuse content.

The promise of simplicity of buying and paying for something is perhaps here at last. The user now just has to decide what he wants and whether the price is right or not- rather than wait for Javascript to tell you that your zip code is incorrect! The iPhone/iTunes System is perhaps delivering the original promise of the internet, today, which could have been done years ago by prepaid internet cards to track users and products and pay as you go- but without getting into mechanics of forms and e-commerce nonsense.

Go Apple, go! They better not mess up in India! Every rural and small town in Asia needs the iPhone/iTunes app & content distribution- not just to buy stuff but to be able to publish their little dreams and earn just enough to live on and dream another day…

Saumil
Mumbai
15 July 2008

iPhone vs Android

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Google is releasing Android, an open source platform for handheld devices. They will not manufacture devices but will license it to vendors. Sounds like the Apple v Microsoft days of the ’80s. iPhone will have an advantage of tightly integrated interface with the phone/pda to create a product(s) which is sleek and easy to use, whereas Android will try to be ubiquitous but every vendor will close it the way they want to.

As a first reaction, Steve Jobs has done well in slashing iPhone to $199, a move which Apple had missed during the early Macintosh days. However, since Android will be Java/Open Source based you can expect portability with genuinely different hardware, not like DOS/Windows on PC clones which were not offering a compelling difference as such.

Are we entering the Golden Era of Personal Computing and Communication?
Proprietary gadgets to offer seamless and customized functionality for a given task, whereas Java based devices to help deploy variety of useful and general purpose products to meet flexible demands.

Perhaps, hopefully…

Saumil
6 July 2008

To click or not to click

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Good introductory books, as in Chess (Capablanca, Nimzowitsch), Math-Logic (Russell, Godel) or Physics (Stephen Hawking), work well with online resources such as the Wikipedia.

The printed book actually helps you keep a tab on the hyperlinking on the web resource, since classics are always well organized in their chapter sequence and will include the key or mandatory points which a reader must know before knowing something else which is more advanced. The web resource is then better used as a tool to clarify and enlist details which you need to know more about, rather than get lost in surfing around in circles.

So a mode of reading which does not have clicking options (print) or has restricted clicking (audio, video), is perhaps necessary to control our usage of a point and click medium- such as the web.

Some ideas for ebooks or an ipod touch … as an entry device to the web.

Saumil
Mumbai
4th Feb 2008

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