All in one place

Keeping your applications up-to-date used to be a bit of a hassle. The answer may just be the Mac App Store for your desktop which launched last week.

The actual process of updating OS X software had already been made extremely easy for developers and users alike with the widespread use of the popular Sparkle framework but having one place to check for anything to download – kind of like the existing system Software Update – was an often made request.

However, third-party software does exist to do this. Personally, I use AppFresh but there is also AppUpdate which is worth looking at.

Of course, all of this was before the App Store arrived on the scene. Not everyone will be a fan of a centrally administered store to get their applications and there may well be an anti-trust lawsuit somewhere down the line for Apple but the numbers certainly looked pretty convincing for Evernote.

Stating the obvious

There’s been a whole lot of anger about the reception issues on the new iPhone 4 lately and I can’t help but be reminded of the old joke about the man who goes to see his doctor:

Man: Doctor, it hurt’s when I do this!
Doctor: Well don’t do that then!

Seriously, if holding the phone a certain way does affect performance then I don’t see it being a huge problem to be asked to hold the phone in a slightly different way – and a solution that, frankly, I’d hope most intelligent people could work out for themselves. Others disagree that this is a satisfactory suggestion.

Apple are not the kind of company that releases a product without a lot of thought being put into it (cf. Microsoft Kin). If there was a serious issue then the product would be held back while the situation was fully resolved, as has happened before.

The issue apparently stems from an FCC regulation about the amount of radiation that should be directed at your head.

The next generation

Next week will all but certainly see the introduction of the fourth generation of Apple’s iPhone. There has been an uncharecteristic spate of leaks that have pointed us towards the upcoming new features of the new product, the main one being a forward-facing camera.

I’m not sure about elsewhere in the world but video calling was the big thing that carriers hoped would justify the massive investments they paid in license fees for the nascent 3G technology a decade ago1. There was just one problem: hardly anybody wanted to make those video calls.

If there is one company that can (and does) change attitudes by implementing things differently – and usually a whole lot better – than everybody else it’s Apple. Maybe the bigger screen will help, maybe the famous Steve Jobs reality distortion field will come into play or maybe iChat integration will be the game changer.

1 As an aside, don’t old BBC News website items look really strange? Every iteration seems to upset users but they’ve all been invariably for the better.

New features

There’s talk afoot of the next iteration of the iPhone and it’s operating system and multitasking is getting a lot of mentions once again. Frankly, I can’t say that it’s personally something that I’m overly bothered about but maybe that’s because I’ve not experienced what benefit it can offer.

However, two very simple things that are on my wishlist are:

  1. An icon in the status bar that indicates if the ringer is turned off.
  2. A feature that I’m sure I had enabled on my Palm Pilot in the 90s: assigning the home button double click action to toggle between the last two used applications.

The iPad

I didn’t have quite the same reaction as Hitler but yes, I was disappointed. Living up to the amount of hype generated would have been nigh on impossible but I still think Apple have a case to answer to defend against the trade descriptions act: despite what they say, this device is neither magical or revolutionary. The iPhone was magical and revolutionary when it was first demonstrated – unlike anything we’d seen before. This iPad device however . . .

Continue reading The iPad