An Apple a day…

“You can’t polish a turd.”
– Derived from a Persian proverb

After much speculation it’s looking likely that Edinburgh is finally on the verge of getting an Apple Store.

First mooted for Princess Street almost four years ago, rumours died off for a while until speculation rose again last April before the tram work railings that were reminiscent of the Sangatte refugee camp put the kibosh on things.

Princes Street though? The local rag asked not so long ago if the tram works had ruined it. To be honest, it was ruined long before the tram disruption began. I tend to completely avoid it nowadays. It’s little more than cheap tat shops blaring out tacky music for tourists, aggressive Big Issue sellers, professional beggars and charity muggers.

Maybe Apple coming to town could herald a turn of the tide. I’m willing to bet that the council have negotiated a very nice deal in the hope that like will attract like. You may not be able to polish a turd1 – but you can certainly roll it in glitter.

1 It would appear that Mythbusters would disagree.

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

Mo’ mobile

Unless you spend hardly any time online – in which case I’ll assume you won’t be reading this – then you’ll have heard that Apple will be announcing something at a special event tomorrow. The general excitement is based around the much anticipated “slate” tablet form computer but due to the extended running time I suspect there will be other things on show.

Just like the iPhone, the applications and content for this new device will be distributed through the App Store. I’m also fairly confident in my predictions that the current applications will be able to run on the new device and that the OS will be heavily based on the iPhone. This system has come under fire recently but turnaround times have been much improved ahead of the explosion in content likely to be made available for the tablet. Personally, I’m a fan of the App Store approval process. Anything that comes between me and malicious content on my phone can only be a good thing. Of course, it’s not just a phone any longer: I do my banking, make online purchases and organize my life. Already the Android Marketplace has been a target of at least one application that tried to steal your data.

Apple are by no means perfect but controlling their system is what they feel is necessary to protect their customers. Having famously pushed for the removal of DRM from music it will be interesting to see how they approach the issue of keeping other content producers happy.

A new level of browsing

The Internet tubes today were mainly full of comments about two things: Gmail going down and Apple releasing a public beta of Safari 4. Had the Gmail outage coincided with Twitter going belly-up at the same time then I think that productivity levels around the planet would have rocketed. As it was, Twitter stayed up as people whined about Gmail and I bathed in some smugness as I rarely use it because of this exact scenario. Then Apple came along with something to distract the Twitterverse from bemoaning their complete lack of emails: a new version of Safari.

From my early impressions, Safari 4 has taken the best bits of other browsers and added a bit of Apple polish to them. The Awesome Bar from Firefox, Opera’s Speed Dial, Chrome’s Tabs-on-Top, Webkit’s blazing fast JavaScript engine (but with a sensible name) and Developer Tools. Notice the glaring omission from that list? Yes, nothing from Internet Explorer made the grade. Funny that.

iPhone software 2.0

The new functionality that is included in the version 2.0 software release fixes a couple of the few things that annoyed me with the iPhone. I installed it last night after people with too much time on their hands found the software on Apple’s servers thanks to examining a bunch of XML files. I was in two minds as to whether or not to go ahead or wait for the official release from Apple but I was starting to adjust my body clock and needed something to do. I did have problems and was kicking myself for being impatient but after a few restarts of software and reboots of hardware I managed to restore my iPhone and update the software successfully.

Continue reading iPhone software 2.0