Apple Archive

Apple iPad... iPhone with a big screen?

Apple’s release of iPad, a new multi-touch gadget with 10” display is making a lot of buzz in the marketplace. So far there is skepticism on the demand, utility and future of this type of device. Historically, Apple has a reputation of developing products that are disruptive in nature and truly game changing. From iPod to iTunes to iPhone Mr. Jobs and his team have changed how people use digital gadgets and consume digital content. Apple has a responsibility to defend this reputation and iPad might have fallen short in the minds of some critics. Critics claim iPad is an iPhone without a phone. Of course it looks like an iPhone with a bigger screen but there is more to it. As I learn more about this device, my opinions are shaped contrary to those critics.

At a very broad level, there are two types of computing device users. People who use PC for productivity (workers) and people who use PC for genuinely personal use. The category of people who use PC for personal use is growing faster than ever. Social networking sites like Facebook, Orkut, Bebo or CafeMom have increased number of digital content consumers. These users want a computer for web browsing, music, gaming, sharing photos, watching videos and consuming other digital content. The ultraportable devices (Netbooks) are invented solely for this kind of PC users. If you look at Apple’s line of products you will soon realize that this segment is particularly underserved. iPad will server this segment really well. And look at the beauty of research Apple has done, we all know that this segment does not buy high ticket items thus iPad starts at just $499.

I think critics are too focused on eBooks on iPad and how Apple is trying to change eBooks publishing business. Yes the whole story of re-writing the publishing rules should be debated but don’t lose the sight of this cool computing device over just eBooks. iPad can do a lot more than just reading books online. Yes, Kindle iPad can do a lot more than you can. At least for now.

I wish Apple can improve the device with just two more things a) allow all Mac software to run on iPad not just iPhone apps and b) install a camera in front of the iPad so people can do live chat. These two features will make it a true device of the future.

From where I stand, Apple has successfully defended its reputation!

Salim Hemdani

Windows : Mac :: Google : (?) - It happens to be "bing"

Believe it or not but Microsoft’s newly evolved search engine bing is nothing less than the answer of the above analogy question. You must have solved many of these analogy questions during your SAT exam. When I apply my knowledge and understanding to the question“Windows : Mac :: Google : (?)”, my answer is “bing”.

Remember when Apple release it powerful Mac OS X operating system, almost every single pundit in the industry agreed that Mac may not be the most powerful system for productivity but it is certainly the coolest and the best for creativity. Young people care more for creativity and less for productivity. Windows simply felt old and outdated. Mac operating system took off since then and market share for Mac is still increasing at a growing rate. This time bing hits a home run. After the launch of fully revamped bing search engine (or as they call it decision engine) Google search kind of feel old and out dated.

Some people say bing = “But it’s not Google”. I could not agree more. As Windows can never be Mac, bing can never be Google. In fact this time it is better for Microsoft to craft its own path and define its own destiny in search engine. The cool informational home page imageand vibrant brand colors have some kind of enigmatic charm. The creativity of bing may not appeal to mass population yet but as I know it many young kids simply love bing. They think bing aligns more with their taste.

While there are many features that make bing cool (and I will let you find out most of them yourself), I believe for me following are the best:

  • Home page image: Everyday bing has a fresh new vibrant image that simply amazes me.

  • Image search: Image search has never been so good. Every single query provides with an option to pick an image and do “find similar”. Additionally the in-browser searching and navigation of the images is absolutely next generation thinking.

  • Video search: This is where despite the ownership of “You Tube” Google has failed to show value. Thumbnail preview in bing is simply outstanding.

  • Shopping: Oh the cash back program. Spend 1,000 on a gadget and get some money back to go have a ice cream this summer. J

  • News: Google has a strong lead in this field but bing has gone a step further by adding ability to search only blogs… I love that feature. People’s opinion matter more than journalists’ won’t you agree?

The list is simple but shinny. bing’s appeal to my creativity (which is not abundant) is noteworthy. I am an avid Google user but nowadays I go to bing for more than ½ of my search queries. It is fun and engaging. Google search results are still the best. So when I am searching for something very critical (items on which my job is dependent on :)) I still believe in Google but for everything else I go to bing…

If you have not already then just start “binging it”…

– Salim Hemdani