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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Amazing iOS6 Maps: Turner Field

Just hit a double? Try the porterhouse!

Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: September 26, 2012 at 08:34 PM | 104 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: atlanta, braves, business, food, general

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   1. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: September 26, 2012 at 10:18 PM (#4246810)
Great seats, eh, buddy?
   2. Spectral Posted: September 27, 2012 at 11:54 AM (#4247148)
I really can't fathom why people love iOS so damned much.
   3. Joey B. is being stalked by a (Gonfa) loon Posted: September 27, 2012 at 11:57 AM (#4247151)
   4. PreservedFish Posted: September 27, 2012 at 11:59 AM (#4247154)
Should I not run the update on my iPhone? I don't want these ganky ass maps.
   5. villageidiom Posted: September 27, 2012 at 12:11 PM (#4247166)
   6. Der-K: Hipster doofus Posted: September 27, 2012 at 12:20 PM (#4247175)
4: i haven't.
   7. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: September 27, 2012 at 12:22 PM (#4247177)
Rathbun has a stand at Turner Field. So it's not *completely* wrong.
   8. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 27, 2012 at 12:24 PM (#4247178)
Should I not run the update on my iPhone? I don't want these ganky ass maps.


So obviously I haven't had it very long but I've used it a couple of times with no problems at all. I needed to find a couple of places and I found them without incident. Actually it proved a bit more responsive to general instructions (e.g. Wal-mart in Tewksbury) than it was before. It's a bit different from before but not so dramatically that it's a problem. The biggest change that I've seen so far is that it switches from portrait to landscape depending on how the phone is oriented like many other apps. Given that I'm typically in a car and stealing quick glances at it I'm not a huge fan of that but that's pretty minor.
   9. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 27, 2012 at 12:25 PM (#4247179)
Also to put a little baseball into this I used my new iPhone 5 to take some really cool panorama shots of the ceremonies at Fenway last night. They came out really really well.
   10. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 27, 2012 at 12:25 PM (#4247180)
   11. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: September 27, 2012 at 12:35 PM (#4247186)
I don't understand why people camp out in front of stores to get a phone that is only slightly better than the one they already have.
   12. PreservedFish Posted: September 27, 2012 at 12:39 PM (#4247192)
Nor do I. It's a strange phenomenon. And competitors have been right to mock it in their ads.
   13. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: September 27, 2012 at 12:42 PM (#4247197)
Nor do I. It's a strange phenomenon. And competitors have been right to mock it in their ads.

I like Apple stuff, too. My Ipod is my most favorite gadget I've ever owned. It's the kind of thing I used to daydream about when I went to a friend's and saw a CD-changer for the first time. But, jeez, I can wait a few weeks to get one of their products. I'm going to be ok.
   14. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 27, 2012 at 12:50 PM (#4247204)
Yeah the camping out thing is weird. I'm a big apple user (iMac iPod iPad iPhone) but I can wait a few weeks. The camp out at the store folks remind me of something Dave Barry said about Harley Davidson owners many years ago. I don't remember the exact quote but it was something along the lines of "5 million people proving their individuality by doing the exact same thing."
   15. PreservedFish Posted: September 27, 2012 at 12:52 PM (#4247205)
How the richest company in the history of the world is able to maintain a cult, hipster cache must make a great business school case. And it must drive every other company mad with jealousy.

I agree, they are great products, they work well and they're beautiful. But my Iphone works great, and I expect I'll hang onto it and ignore new models until they come up with something really crazy. Like a brain implant.
   16. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: September 27, 2012 at 12:57 PM (#4247214)
Yeah the camping out thing is weird. I'm a big apple user (iMac iPod iPad iPhone) but I can wait a few weeks. The camp out at the store folks remind me of something Dave Barry said about Harley Davidson owners many years ago. I don't remember the exact quote but it was something along the lines of "5 million people proving their individuality by doing the exact same thing."

Isn't this how every consumer-based company in America markets themselves no matter how ubiquitous and mundane their product?
   17. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: September 27, 2012 at 01:02 PM (#4247215)
Yeah the camping out thing is weird. I'm a big apple user (iMac iPod iPad iPhone) but I can wait a few weeks. The camp out at the store folks remind me of something Dave Barry said about Harley Davidson owners many years ago. I don't remember the exact quote but it was something along the lines of "5 million people proving their individuality by doing the exact same thing."


Or people who dressed like this.* iOS 6 is annoying, but then I remember that everything's amazing and nobody's happy.

*Yeah, I know I passed on a great Madeline Albright opportunity.
   18. I am going to be Frank Posted: September 27, 2012 at 01:10 PM (#4247225)
My brother ordered himself and my other brother the iPhone 5 online and it arrived the same day it was available in stores. I'm in an area where 4G LTE (fastest internet available on phones) is available so in theory that would make a difference. I still have a 3GS, and other than battery life it still works fine but after messing around with the 5 it is so much faster that I'm probably going to upgrade.
   19. UCCF Posted: September 27, 2012 at 01:21 PM (#4247239)
I like Apple stuff, too. My Ipod is my most favorite gadget I've ever owned. It's the kind of thing I used to daydream about when I went to a friend's and saw a CD-changer for the first time.

Yep. Even as iPods have fallen out of style in favor of phones and pads and whatnot, the iPod is still my favorite thing. Having grown up with the Walkman and a little suitcase full of tapes that you had to keep in your locker at school, this is like outer space stuff.
   20. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 27, 2012 at 01:25 PM (#4247243)
Yeah the camping out thing is weird.


People like to belong to communities whether its the fan base of a sports team, the enthusiastic consumer of a line of products, or a snarky band of baseball stat-geeks on the internet.

I came this close to buying my first iphone, but stuck with Droid because (a) I like Droid's apps better; (b) all the Droids I liked had 4G, while only the pricey Iphone5 had 4G; (c) the Apple maps thing was a minor factor as was Droid's superior voice navigation; and (d) My Motorola Droid Razr M seems way more durable than an iphone which is huge considering I have two kids.
   21. PreservedFish Posted: September 27, 2012 at 01:26 PM (#4247245)
Or people who dressed like this.* ...

*Yeah, I know I passed on a great Madeline Albright opportunity.


Host Gator is a solid potential meme, though.
   22. PreservedFish Posted: September 27, 2012 at 01:33 PM (#4247254)
Yep. Even as iPods have fallen out of style in favor of phones and pads and whatnot, the iPod is still my favorite thing. Having grown up with the Walkman and a little suitcase full of tapes that you had to keep in your locker at school, this is like outer space stuff.


My father bought stock in Diamond Multimedia, which created the Rio, I believe the first mp3 player on the market. He bought me one and it was no better than a discman because it had a tiny memory (seriously, it only held one album at a time) and it skipped. It was kind of a piece of junk. The company clearly had the right idea, and my dad had the right idea too - mp3 players were certainly the future, and if the product was any good there was the potential to make a buttload of money there.
   23. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: September 27, 2012 at 01:42 PM (#4247267)
My father bought stock in Diamond Multimedia, which created the Rio, I believe the first mp3 player on the market.


My uncle gave me one of these for Christmas in 1998. You could put a whole album on it if you encoded it at 96 kbps. The connector to it broke so I couldn't change the music on it, so it was only useful if I wanted to listen to Anodyne by Uncle Tupelo. This is actually a perfect example of why Apple jumps into markets a little late. Like Diamond with the Rio, the innovator in a field often comes up with a neat idea but a #### product that needs a couple of years worth of work to be any good.

EDIT: And I'm really digging my 5" Samsung Galaxy Player. It's big enough that I can read books and watch Netflix and baseball on it and small enough that I can put it in my pocket and use it as a regular mp3 player.
   24. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: September 27, 2012 at 01:44 PM (#4247271)
I got my Android phone because it had 4G/LTE and turn-by-turn navigation, and that's really about it. Ultimately, I think there's hardly any difference between iOS and Android at this point, particularly since Android's last update which makes it just about as smooth as iOS. The fanboyism around that stuff really seems like the narcissism of small differences to me.
   25. zack Posted: September 27, 2012 at 01:53 PM (#4247281)
That infield above Turner Field in the picture, is that the location of Fulton County Stadium painted on the parking lot?

My O.G. Droid is starting to get a little slow, but I think I may keep it around out of pure spite for obsolescence.
   26. DA Baracus is a "bloodthirsty fan of Atlanta." Posted: September 27, 2012 at 01:59 PM (#4247285)
Host Gator is a solid potential meme, though.


Hmm, it worked fine for me at first. Oh well. By the title you can see it was supposed to be stereotypical punk rockers.

That infield above Turner Field in the picture, is that the location of Fulton County Stadium painted on the parking lot?


Yes. And the section of wall that Hank Aaron hit 715 onto is still there.
   27. KT's Pot Arb Posted: September 27, 2012 at 02:22 PM (#4247319)
About 2% of Android phones are running the latest Android update with "butter" that supposedly makes it as smooth as iOS, the vast majority of Android devices in use and still being sold are between one and five major Android versions behind. 35% of iPhone users upgraded to iOS 6 in the first 2 days.

iOS 6 is a very nice upgrade, though I think it could have been more properly named "5.5". The maps are far easier to use, the directions UI is much better. I haven't seen any mistakes, obviously Google has the better quality data set with fewer errors, they've been doing it a lot longer, but it's not like Apple's maps aren't 99% accurate already, and won't close to Google's quality level within a year.

People don't realize that Apple was paying Google $500M or so a year to license maps, and the deal was expiring within a year. Beyond what the price to renew, Apple wanted Turn By Turn directions (which Google had in Android for almost 2 years) and for Google to stop collecting as much user data from iPhone user s. Google wanted to put Latitude into it's iOS maps, which is a user location app like Find My Friends, and essentially gives Google even more user data. From a business perspective I don't think Apple had a choice, it's an integral part of their product owned by their product's chief rival. So they spent $500M+ buying mapping companies over the last 3 years, and released the product when it was usable, you can't fix the last data sets as fast if you keep it in the labs, real world use is going to improve it much faster.

iOS 6 also has a very intelligently designed Do No Disturb feature, and improvements to virtually every App, from Safari on. And Passbook seems like a really good idea, that won't be worth much until venders actually embrace it.

I don't understand why people camp out in front of stores to get a phone that is only slightly better than the one they already have.


I can't defend why anyone would camp out for a phone, but "slightly better"?

The iPhone 5 is the faster smartphone ever made, and it ain't even close. It's over twice as fast as the 4s.

The iPhone 5 screen is the best ever made. There are bigger screens, but they aren't as sharp, some have more pixels, but only a little more, while Apple crams almost as many into a smaller form-factor. Expert color analysts have already said iPhone 5 has the best color reproduction ever, and that's in the sharpest display resolution available. And while Jobs was wedded to the 3.5 inch form factor to ensure that the phone was easy to use one handed so your thumb could tap anywhere on the screen, the new 4 inch factor doesn't lose too much of that, and has the same pleasant one handed width.

The iPhone 5 has the best smartphone camera. It's new CPU gets more out of an 8MP than anyone thought possible, making substantial improvements to low light photo quality and every other feature including Panorama.

Finally, the iPhone 5 is the lightest and thinnest by a wide margin, including it's predecessors. And not with plastic, it's machined out of a block of aluminum so it is clearly the toughest iPhone ever (no more glass back like the 4), maybe the toughest smart phone. And despite the lightness and the 4g, battery life is still excellent, similar to 4s, if not better in many circumstances.

Two years ago I rocked a Windows desktop, a Windows laptop and a Droid phone, and had used nothing but Windows for over a decade. Today I use a Retina MacBook Pro paired with a 24 inch monitor and an iPhone. I need to still run Windows for legacy purposes, my RMBP does that great, I build and use Unix apps on the Mac OS, but mainly use a lot of Mac apps that are typically better than their Windows versions. My RMBP is also faster than 95% of desktop PCs, runs all day on battery, and it's screen is amazing. I have never had a PC laptop that approached it's build quality, and have no problems paying another 20-30% for a computer built to a visibly higher standard, this is better at key features I value, including running three operating systems at the same time and virtually every application possible.

Besides the ease of use, syncing and interoperability (all of our TV shows are auto synced with my laptop ) that Apple does so well, the biggest appeal for me about Apple products is their screens. My eyesight is declining at a pretty good pace, and being able to run my Retina in it's base mode on my bad days and have 4 pixels drawing every point on the screen makes a huge difference in sharpness and legibility, as does the retina display on my iPhone. Apple almost destroyed their Mac business before Jobs came back, but the fact it has had a huge comeback from the brink and not only has grown by a huge amount the last 5 years, but is the only PC line still growing at all, is a testament to how much value Apple has (finally) built into the OS and their products.
   28. Yardape Posted: September 27, 2012 at 02:38 PM (#4247337)
but it's not like Apple's maps aren't 99% accurate already, and won't close to Google's quality level within a year.


I think this is questionable. The accuracy maybe; it won't be hard to correct the location of Turner Field. But Google's maps are better drawn, too; they provide visual clues as to which streets are major thoroughfares, which are side streets, etc., which Apple doesn't do. That's a big undertaking and if Apple could have fixed it, I think they would have by now.
   29. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: September 27, 2012 at 02:42 PM (#4247339)
4: i haven't.


Same here.
   30. Swedish Chef Posted: September 27, 2012 at 02:56 PM (#4247352)
Apple will have problems trying to match Google's efforts in maps, Google has had those Street View cars out for a while now making their accuracy as great as it is. While they have all the money in the world, building an organization that can do what Google does will take time in a company that historically hasn't been geared towards services. Also, Google can use their mapping data and tech for both the web service and mobile making it easier to justify their 7000 staff working on it, for Apple it is just a value-add for their devices, limiting the revenue opportunities from it and what resources can be plowed into it.

And of course, from their search engine Google really has just about all the data in the world squirreled away, that can be mined for location-specific information.
   31. hokieneer Posted: September 27, 2012 at 03:01 PM (#4247361)
#3 thanks for that link, was a good laugh.

I don't get along with Apple products very well. It's likely because I have been working on or with computers for a long time. Apple's general expensive price point and lack of customizations/user controls doesn't mesh will with how I use gadgets and technology. To each their own.

I just bought my first smart phone a few weeks ago, a Samsung GS3. I'm still occasionally having the "alien technology" moments when I use it, but I really like the OS. From all the spec sheets I've seen, the Iphone5 seems on par or slightly better/worse than the GS3, so I'm sure it's a worthwhile upgrade for anyone out of contract.
   32. KT's Pot Arb Posted: September 27, 2012 at 03:01 PM (#4247362)
I think this is questionable. The accuracy maybe; it won't be hard to correct the location of Turner Field. But Google's maps are better drawn, too; they provide visual clues as to which streets are major thoroughfares, which are side streets, etc., which Apple doesn't do. That's a big undertaking and if Apple could have fixed it, I think they would have by now.


Obviously, accuracy is going to improve rapidly with the maps are actually in use, not just because of user reporting of mistakes, for example Apple is collecting huge amounts of navigation data on most used routes for all streets.

But to assume Apple can't do one feature because they didn't implement it at launch after only 3 years of development is wrong. They are spending huge sums on their mapping group and that spending is going to produce enhancements not just to the map data but to it's display.
   33. KT's Pot Arb Posted: September 27, 2012 at 03:06 PM (#4247376)
Apple will have problems trying to match Google's efforts in maps, Google has had those Street View cars out for a while now making their accuracy as great as it is.


Sure, it will take time, but the question is when will the difference stop mattering to the vast majority of users. I think that point isn't far away, no more than a year and maybe within months, Apple is going to be getting a tsunami of data to improve their maps with now that they aren't sending it to Google.

Interestingly, Google has done a very poor job of mapping China, and Chinese iOS 6 users are supposedly ecstatic at how much better Apple's map data in China is.
   34. hokieneer Posted: September 27, 2012 at 03:23 PM (#4247394)
Interestingly, Google has done a very poor job of mapping China, and Chinese iOS 6 users are supposedly ecstatic at how much better Apple's map data in China is.

In general, Google doesn't have the best of relationship with the Chinese government.
   35. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: September 27, 2012 at 03:56 PM (#4247431)
The iPhone 5 has the best smartphone camera. It's new CPU gets more out of an 8MP than anyone thought possible, making substantial improvements to low light photo quality and every other feature including Panorama.


The Nokia Lumia 920 definitely and obviously beats it in low-light situations. Though the 920 isn't due out for another month or two, and might never appear in the US. The Nokia 808's camera is also supposed to be excellent, but there isn't a side-by-sde with the iPhone anywhere. And with the 808 you're stuck with Symbian, which is the phone OS the pioneers used when they took the Oregon Trail.

Of course this is all irrelevant, because (at least in my experience) At Bat for iOS is better than At Bat for Android.
   36. KT's Pot Arb Posted: September 27, 2012 at 04:17 PM (#4247460)
The Nokia Lumia 920 definitely and obviously beats it in low-light situations. Though the 920 isn't due out for another month or two, and might never appear in the US.


Yea, it's a moving target. It's interesting that Nokia not only got caught faking the "steadycam" feature on videos they claimed were from the 920, but also got caught faking the low light images their web marketing claimed came from the 920. Assuming the prototype they gave the reviewers for that review wasn't customized in any way, it seems like it's actually great at a low light pictures, so why fake marketing images?

It tells me not to be surprised if the 920 misses it's ship date, having to fake videos and images is a big sign the product isn't close to release ready. When you are behind in the market there isn't a big cost to pre-announcing products, because you can't cannibalize sales of something that isn't selling (sorry Windows phone). Apple would be committing quarterly suicide by pre-announcing a replacement for the iPhone, iPad or another hot selling product by 3-6 months. No installed base is why Microsoft can continually hype Surface, even though the actual product is so far away from shipping that it has no pricing and no reviewers or journalists or outside testers have even been allowed to touch one.
   37. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: September 27, 2012 at 04:36 PM (#4247480)
Rathbun has a stand at Turner Field. So it's not *completely* wrong.


Yes. In fact, that's what the screenshot is showing considering the

actual steakhouse has over 200 Yelp reviews.
   38. Don Geovany Soto (chris h.) Posted: September 27, 2012 at 05:03 PM (#4247514)
I've been a Windows user since 3.0 (I've had Windows since 1.0 but it wasn't useful prior to 3.0, generally speaking). I've been a PC user since I graduated from my Franklin ACE 1000 (Apple ][+ clone). I've been surrounded by computers since high school, and our household currently has five people and six Windows laptops in use (I have two, one is company-issued).

When MP3 players started coming out, I ignored the early ones as they had so little storage as to be pointless. It's interesting that someone mentioned the Rio, as one product that caught my eye early on was the Rio Volt. As near as I can tell it was the first CD player that could play MP3 files off of a CD-R. This, I thought, was way better than the limited storage in MP3 players. It was nice, but you still had to deal with physical CDs all over the place, and it was a bit fragile.

When Archos came out with the Jukebox, I grabbed one: a 20gb hard drive-based player. By this point the early iPods were around, but very expensive by comparison, and I wasn't going to pay Apple's premium. The Archos...ugh. I have to believe they did exactly zero usability testing on the thing. I mean, it worked...but the user interface was just an embarrassment. You had this teeny, tiny monochrome LCD screen. You didn't have to use an iTunes-like product to put music on (and I considered this a feature; what could be easier than drag and drop?), but if you wanted to use the music database to list by artist/album/genre/whatever, you had to use this special version of Musicmatch Jukebox that just didn't work properly. It supported .M3U playlists but you had to edit them to remove drive letters and whatnot. Not a smooth interface.

And the device itself...tiny buttons, cramped next to each other. In certain situations you'd hit what seemed to be a logical button and you'd get some bizarre flyout menu that didn't seem relevant to anything. And if you did manage to cook up a big playlist and tried to shuffle it, it would just grind and grind to the point of appearing locked up.

My wife, meanwhile, wanted a membership to audible.com, so I signed her up for one that came with a free iPod Shuffle. I figured it would be a cute toy for her to hold audio books, and that she'd tire of it. But she took to it like I never thought possible. Normally she isn't big on gadgets and often requires handholding, but she figured the thing out all on her own.

That's when it hit me: Apple doesn't design for me. They design for non-techs. Soon I got an iPod Video, and I just loved the thing. The screen was perfect, and the interface just made *sense*.

On the phone front, we went Android, mostly because of the carrier we were on at the time. My first was the G1, which was pretty cool but definitely not polished. I later replaced it with a Samsung Galaxy S, and while it's been a decent phone, it has issues. It lags in annoying ways, and every now and then basic things like the music player force close for no apparent reason.

My son and daughter-in-law got an Android tablet (the Asus Transformer). Once again, it's decent, but not polished. The add-on keyboard works when it wants to. There aren't a ton of good tablet apps (though there are more than there used to be). Meanwhile, my son won an iPad 2 in a contest at work, and now that's all they use. The Transformer sits on a shelf somewhere.

So I got my wife an iPad 2 last year. She uses it daily. It's smooth, it's easy, and it just works. She again has had no trouble getting up to speed and really using it.

This, to me, is what Apple gets. The user experience is at the top of their list, and yeah, that means sometimes they're late to market while the competition puts out some junky products. But I'm a believer now, to the point where I think my wife's next laptop just might be a Mac.
   39. Swedish Chef Posted: September 27, 2012 at 05:06 PM (#4247516)
No installed base is why Microsoft can continually hype Surface, even though the actual product is so far away from shipping that it has no pricing and no reviewers or journalists or outside testers have even been allowed to touch one.

It doesn't have to be far from shipping for that though, everybody has taken the cue from Apple there, there's little to be gained and much to lose from letting outsiders judge unreleased hardware.
   40. KT's Pot Arb Posted: September 28, 2012 at 12:43 AM (#4247821)
It doesn't have to be far from shipping for that though, everybody has taken the cue from Apple there, there's little to be gained and much to lose from letting outsiders judge unreleased hardware.


Sure it does. Letting outsiders use it lends it credibility, and dramatically increases launch sales. If Surface were to ship, say a month from now as some rumours have it, many interested customers will be fence sitters for months waiting for the technology press to use and review it (which can take weeks after they get it for the in depth reviews).

That's why the press always gets the product well ahead of time, but under "embargo", where they can't say anything publicly until it ships. And embargo means MSFT can give them a buggy version of Surface, and when they ship the product after fixing all of the key flaws the media found, the launch story will be "The first prototypes of the Surface we got were almost unusable, but Microsoft has done a stellar job of fixing those problems and the release version is a joy to use that should revolutionize the market".

And large companies also conduct months of testing before deciding to place multi-thousand unit purchase orders, or buy iPads instead, which is why they frequently get pre-release units, to keep them from buying those iPads before the Surface is released.

And it's almost impossible to release a high quality software or hardware without outsider review, not only is the broad matrix of how it will be actually used and with what hardware/software combinations extremely difficult to anticipate and test for, but lower level employees are easily biased to minimize and overlook problems because they don't want to be perceived as a jerk criticizing the companies next "big thing", and also greatly want the product to ship and be successful.

But even more importantly, Microsoft just gave away all of their "big ideas" assuming the Surface's ideas are that big, and they've given Apple 6 months to prepare to not only position the IPad and MacBook Airs against it, but to prepare their counter-punch. Maybe a new iPad with all of the Surface's features and more?

When Microsoft isn't allowing anyone to touch Surface, under even controlled conditions, it says that both the hardware and software is a ways away from being as good as they need to be to be a solid product. That doesn't mean they won't ship it in a month though;)

interesting retweet from Jon Guber

Guy at work isn't getting a 5 because "maps are important to me". He upgraded his 4S to iOS 6 a week ago—hasn't noticed. Perception…
   41. tshipman Posted: September 28, 2012 at 01:05 AM (#4247828)
Two years ago I rocked a Windows desktop, a Windows laptop and a Droid phone, and had used nothing but Windows for over a decade. Today I use a Retina MacBook Pro paired with a 24 inch monitor and an iPhone. I need to still run Windows for legacy purposes, my RMBP does that great, I build and use Unix apps on the Mac OS, but mainly use a lot of Mac apps that are typically better than their Windows versions. My RMBP is also faster than 95% of desktop PCs, runs all day on battery, and it's screen is amazing. I have never had a PC laptop that approached it's build quality, and have no problems paying another 20-30% for a computer built to a visibly higher standard, this is better at key features I value, including running three operating systems at the same time and virtually every application possible.


Do you realize how ridiculous you sound constantly abbreviating Retina MacBook Pro?

What is it about Apple that makes people parrot their marketing? It's a screen resolution, not a way of life.
   42. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: September 28, 2012 at 01:20 AM (#4247833)
Do you realize how ridiculous you sound constantly abbreviating Retina MacBook Pro?
"Constantly" = twice.

Mac vs. PC aside, do you realize you sound like an #######?
   43. Joe Kehoskie Posted: September 28, 2012 at 01:20 AM (#4247834)
Do you realize how ridiculous you sound constantly abbreviating Retina MacBook Pro?

Not part of the cult, huh?

What is it about Apple that makes people parrot their marketing? It's a screen resolution, not a way of life.

No need to answer that first question. Ha ha.
   44. villageidiom Posted: September 28, 2012 at 08:25 AM (#4247885)
But to assume Apple can't do one feature because they didn't implement it at launch after only 3 years of development is wrong.
So is the notion that in a year they will close to where Google will be in a year. Or did you mean in a year Apple will close to where Google is now? That's also wrong, unless we start to dismiss street view and other such features that would be trumpeted as essential if Apple had them and Google didn't.

(Yes, I find street view to be essential. mrsidiom thrives on familiarity, to the point that if she has an appointment tomorrow in an unfamiliar place she'd drive around today to see if she can find it, so she won't be late tomorrow fumbling around looking for it. With street view, she can get familiar in a matter of seconds without leaving home.)
   45. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: September 28, 2012 at 08:46 AM (#4247891)
Not to mention that Apple didn't include a mass-transit directions function in their maps app, while google does. I live in NYC. Train directions are incredibly useful.
   46. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 28, 2012 at 10:41 AM (#4247963)

That's when it hit me: Apple doesn't design for me. They design for non-techs.


Bingo. Its no accident that my tech-illiterate wife and 4 year old son use my ipad way more than I do. Its actually fantastic for what they want to do - check email, Facebook, Youtube, and simple games.
   47. JJ1986 Posted: September 28, 2012 at 10:46 AM (#4247970)
I get that the iPhone 5 is a huge improvement over the 4s. What I don't get is why anyone bought the 4s when it was clearly lagging behind and Apple was going to have to come up with a big improvement soon to keep up.
   48. Swedish Chef Posted: September 28, 2012 at 11:09 AM (#4247999)
Now Apple has said sorry for the Maps app in an open letter from Tim Cook.
   49. Don Geovany Soto (chris h.) Posted: September 28, 2012 at 11:43 AM (#4248029)
Meanwhile, Samsung hasn't apologized for using an old filesystem on the original Galaxy S (thus causing frequent lag) or the crappy GPS. :)

The only thing that really stops me from jumping to the iPhone now is I think I want a physical keyboard. I just have too many issues with the on-screen one.

I'm done with Samsung, as they make great products from a "spec" perspective but don't support them well. Anyone here a fan of any of the other Android phone manufacturers? I'm particularly interested to hear from folks that have had phones for a year or two: do you still like it? How has it been for updates, fixes, etc.?
   50. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: September 28, 2012 at 12:29 PM (#4248059)
What I don't get is why anyone bought the 4s when it was clearly lagging behind and Apple was going to have to come up with a big improvement soon to keep up.
Because in the spring, I was finally eligible for a new work phone to replace my (facepalm) Blackberry Tour.
   51. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: September 28, 2012 at 12:35 PM (#4248062)
Now Apple has said sorry for the Maps app in an open letter from Tim Cook.
With Apple falling on its face in its first big post-Jobs release, I'm seriously considering buying a 2011 iMac now rather than wait for the release which should be coming... any... minute... now.
   52. Yardape Posted: September 28, 2012 at 12:49 PM (#4248075)
Not to mention that Apple didn't include a mass-transit directions function in their maps app, while google does. I live in NYC. Train directions are incredibly useful.


And they've said explicitly they won't include mass transit directinos.
   53. Greg K Posted: September 28, 2012 at 12:56 PM (#4248083)
Bingo. Its no accident that my tech-illiterate wife and 4 year old son use my ipad way more than I do. Its actually fantastic for what they want to do - check email, Facebook, Youtube, and simple games.

Oddly enough I should fit into that category. I'm fairly tech-illiterate and use my computer mostly for BTF, mlb.tv, writing papers, and games. Plus I grew up with Macs, my dad has been a Mac guy since the early 90s at least. But around 16 or 17 I switched to PC because it had cooler games, and I've more or less lost my Mac literacy now. I sometimes use friends' or my dad's Mac and I have no idea what's going on, when Mac was all I knew for my first 10 years of computer life.

Lately I have been getting some nostalgia for those old Mac games though. What I wouldn't give for a crack at "Spaceward Ho!" again. Or one called "Medieval Empires" that I'm starting to think I dreamed up.
   54. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: September 28, 2012 at 01:00 PM (#4248089)
Anyone here a fan of any of the other Android phone manufacturers?


I had a Motorola Bravo (entry-level AT&T phone) for about 18 months that I loved. It was stolen, and I replaced it with the cheapest used smartphone that I could find, an LG, which is far inferior to the Motorola. The Motorola was faster, had better call quality, more built-in memory, and better graphics.
   55. The Pequod Posted: September 28, 2012 at 01:05 PM (#4248094)
Not to mention that Apple didn't include a mass-transit directions function in their maps app, while google does. I live in NYC. Train directions are incredibly useful.


Maybe this is more useful on the scale of New York, but I live in Chicago and don't anticipate missing transit directions because they use scheduled times instead of estimated arrival times right now.

My question is very rarely "How do I get there?", it's almost always "Which route is fastest right now?" That's usually pretty dependent on whether a particular bus is coming in 5 or 20 minutes, and to answer that question the transit schedules built into Google Maps are pretty much useless.

Maps integrated with real-time transit data with good enough logic to handle a multi-leg trip is the holy grail. Until then, I'd rather come up with routes in my head and use a transit tracking app to figure out arrival times.
   56. hokieneer Posted: September 28, 2012 at 01:22 PM (#4248111)
Meanwhile, Samsung hasn't apologized for using an old filesystem on the original Galaxy S (thus causing frequent lag) or the crappy GPS. :)

The only thing that really stops me from jumping to the iPhone now is I think I want a physical keyboard. I just have too many issues with the on-screen one.

I'm done with Samsung, as they make great products from a "spec" perspective but don't support them well. Anyone here a fan of any of the other Android phone manufacturers? I'm particularly interested to hear from folks that have had phones for a year or two: do you still like it? How has it been for updates, fixes, etc.?


I've had great experiences with Samsung phones (or in general most Samsung products). The GS3 I bought is my 3rd (the other 2 being non-smart phones), and every phone so far has had solid battery life, call quality, etc. I had a samsung a737 for 4.5 years before I picked up the GS3, and it survived numerous accidents and worked just as well as when I bought it.

Reading that makes me think the smart phone "branch" of samsung might be disappointing.

My wife is like you though, needs a physical keyboard. I was surprised at how many options there are for smart phones with physical keyboards.
   57. Don Geovany Soto (chris h.) Posted: September 28, 2012 at 02:12 PM (#4248176)
The GS3 is, by all accounts, a fabulous phone. But I think when you buy Android phones you have to sort of assume that the phone as it ships is the phone it will always be. The FOSS guy inside of me loves the Android diversity, but the reality is it places you at the mercy of the phone manufacturer when it comes to software upgrades and fixes. (Google Nexus phones excepted, of course.)

Example: many phones, when they do get updates, get them over the air. You get a prompt on your phone, you click it, and it updates.

My Samsung, on the other hand, required me to download a Windows app, then use it to check for updates, download to my Windows PC, then connect my phone via USB and update it. It's more cumbersome, and it requires me to periodically check myself to see if there have been further updates. It got a bugfix or two, then an upgrade to Froyo (from Eclair), then...nothing.

We've got three Samsung smartphones in the house (two Samsung Vibrants and one Samsung Galaxy S 4G; they're all pretty much Galaxy S variants). All three have had various issues. Nothing earth-shattering, but all annoying. (Worst is on the 4G, which intermittently just won't send texts.)

And I could always flash a custom ROM, of course. I've done that sort of thing before. But when you really dive into the XDA fora, it seems that most have their limitations (e.g. Bluetooth or GPS might not work, or -- most severely -- E911 might not function properly). I just don't need the aggravation.

I do have a Samsung non-smartphone provided by my employer. It's a cheap, crappy phone but there's nothing wrong with it, per se. It's just a crappy low-end phone. Well, except for one silly thing: I have it set on vibrate-only. When the battery gets very low, it vibrates an alert. And continues to do so every few seconds. I mean...dude, you're almost out of juice. Constantly vibrating does not seem the best way to husband your resources!
   58. BFFB Posted: September 28, 2012 at 02:18 PM (#4248185)
KT Pot Arb the fanboy is strong in you.
   59. hokieneer Posted: September 28, 2012 at 02:28 PM (#4248196)
Example: many phones, when they do get updates, get them over the air. You get a prompt on your phone, you click it, and it updates.

My Samsung, on the other hand, required me to download a Windows app, then use it to check for updates, download to my Windows PC, then connect my phone via USB and update it. It's more cumbersome, and it requires me to periodically check myself to see if there have been further updates. It got a bugfix or two, then an upgrade to Froyo (from Eclair), then...nothing.


It's funny you say that. I just got an over the air update from ATT/Samsung this morning for my GS3. It was not the new OS upgrade, but a security patch. Perhaps Samsung is stepping up their game, as my previous non-smart phone Samsungs required me to do the data-to-USB cable to PC for updates.

And I could always flash a custom ROM, of course. I've done that sort of thing before. But when you really dive into the XDA fora, it seems that most have their limitations (e.g. Bluetooth or GPS might not work, or -- most severely -- E911 might not function properly). I just don't need the aggravation.


I'd really like to dive into the "homebrew" development areas of Andriod, but the GS3 I have is technically a work phone. I work for a very relaxed company, so It's no problem for me to use it for personal calls, txts, even games; and hell I got to pick out the phone I wanted. But, the last thing I want to do is seriously #### something up on it and it not be available at a critical point in time.
   60. KT's Pot Arb Posted: September 28, 2012 at 02:29 PM (#4248197)
I've had great experiences with Samsung phones (or in general most Samsung products). The GS3 I bought is my 3rd (the other 2 being non-smart phones), and every phone so far has had solid battery life, call quality, etc. I had a samsung a737 for 4.5 years before I picked up the GS3, and it survived numerous accidents and worked just as well as when I bought it.


Samsung is amazing at making solid low cost products. The 24 inch monitor I use is a Samsung, and it's outlasted 4 computers and still works great. Not the sharpest display, but more than sharp enough given it was so cheap.

So is the notion that in a year they will close to where Google will be in a year. Or did you mean in a year Apple will close to where Google is now? That's also wrong, unless we start to dismiss street view and other such features that would be trumpeted as essential if Apple had them and Google didn't.


I'd be surprised if Apple ever matches Google in Maps 100%. My point was just that from a users perspective, any glaring errors in Apples Maps are likely to be fixed fairly quickly, major feature shortfalls will be fixed over longer periods, but within a year or so the vast majority of users won't be able to notice a data quality deficit because it will be so minor. And they'll likely prefer Apple maps given the better UI.


Do you realize how ridiculous you sound constantly abbreviating Retina MacBook Pro?


My apologies.

What is it about Apple that makes people parrot their marketing? It's a screen resolution, not a way of life.


What is it about Apple technology that makes people who don't understand it make silly comments about it.

Retina on the MacBook Pro isn't a "screen resolution". If it was just a screen resolution my RMBP (sorry) would draw the same text and images on a 2,880 by 1,800 pixel display in a 15 inch screen, the number of pixels you don't normally see unless you have a 30 inch monitor. Text would be so tiny it would be illegible. In it's "native" mode, the RMBP (sorry) draws to a virtual screen of 1,440 by 900, using using 4 actual pixels to draw each logical point on the screen, so it can use anti-aliasing and a bunch of other shading techniques to make the same size text significantly sharper and easier to read than on other laptops identically sized 15 inch 1,440 by 900 screen.

And it also will display in higher resolutions using the same mapping to improve sharpness. The RMBP (sorry) requires a humungous amount of graphics processing to do this fast enough that it doesn't slow down the device, and a bunch of behind the scenes operating system translations and accommodations for less than compatible apps. As a 25 year software developer, let me tell you stuff like this is super hard, but Apple made it work magically well with few noticeable glitches and no perceivable performance hit.

Windows flat out can't do this (yet). If Dell or HP puts the exact same display in a laptop, all they can do with it is show super tiny text. If history is any guide, it will likely be years before Microsoft will be able to give PC manufacturers the OS update that can match the RMBP's (oops) ability to antialias text and sharpen objects and images on the fly in multiple resolutions with a high level of compatibility, usability and performance.

And the benefit isn't first place in some mythical computer competition for coolest graphics processing subsystem. It's significantly more legible text for my aging eyes, it's sharper images for professional photoshop users who spend all day processing photos and artwork, it's a very useful user benefit for heavy laptop users, and eventually it will be a benefit that will wash over everyones laptop lines at all price points as hardware continues to get faster and cheaper.

So yea, calling it "Retina" is the good type of marketing term, it's not pimping some arbitrarily higher number of pixels, but that the display has actually reached a specific level of clarity and sharpness that provides a valuable customer benefit.
   61. KT's Pot Arb Posted: September 28, 2012 at 02:35 PM (#4248206)
'd really like to dive into the "homebrew" development areas of Andriod, but the GS3 I have is technically a work phone. I work for a very relaxed company, so It's no problem for me to use it for personal calls, txts, even games; and hell I got to pick out the phone I wanted. The last thing I want to do is #### something up on it.


The best thing about Android is it's developers kit support of Java. Anyone can learn Java, it's a great, easy to use object oriented language, standardized, extremely well documented etc. And free.

Developing on iOS is significantly more difficult. Essentially you have to learn Objective C, the language Apple supports in it's developers API. That's a somewhat non-standard language, but really cool and powerful once you get over the learning curve. To make it easy, they sell the entire development system for $5 last I checked, so at least it's cheap to get started.
   62. Don Geovany Soto (chris h.) Posted: September 28, 2012 at 02:40 PM (#4248215)

For what it's worth, I checked out a RMBP (not at all sorry) in the store and thought the display was just utterly amazing.
It's funny you say that. I just got an over the air update from ATT/Samsung this morning for my GS3. It was not the new OS upgrade, but a security patch. Perhaps Samsung is stepping up their game, as my previous non-smart phone Samsungs required me to do the data-to-USB cable to PC for updates.

That would be nice. My daughter-in-law has a GS3 and loves it so far, and my oldest son won't give up his Galaxy Note (except, possibly, for the new Note 2). He uses it like a small tablet for work.
I'd really like to dive into the "homebrew" development areas of Andriod, but the GS3 I have is technically a work phone. I work for a very relaxed company, so It's no problem for me to use it for personal calls, txts, even games; and hell I got to pick out the phone I wanted. But, the last thing I want to do is seriously #### something up on it and it not be available at a critical point in time.

Yeah, that's what holds me back. Not that it's a work phone, but that I just rely on it as a phone/texting device too much.

I've done the ROM flashing thing on my old G1 in the past. It was pretty simple to do, and it was interesting seeing 2.x running on that old beast (which never got beyond Donut/1.6), but that phone was so old and slow that it wasn't a very pleasant experience from a usability perspective.

Every time my Vibrant lags for no apparent reason, or some vanilla app force closes, or I find out about some weird limitation (unlike pretty much every music player for Android, including the stock one, the Samsung music player won't read .m3u playlists), I start thinking about flashing again, or at least rooting and using one of the lagfixes out there. Maybe this weekend I'll just say \"#### it" and do it.
   63. KT's Pot Arb Posted: September 28, 2012 at 02:44 PM (#4248219)
KT Pot Arb the fanboy is strong in you.


The term fanboy is a denigration based on the idiots who stand in line to get the newest iDevice first and show off at the office. That's not me.

I've been in the business for 25 years. I appreciate well designed applications and hardware. Like I said, I spent a decade in the windows/linux world because of cost and greater choices, and only recently switched into the Apple world because of it's tangible benefits.

Most of the anti-fanboy types who denigrate Apple with the greatest zeal are entirely out of touch with how 99% of the world uses technology. The Techno 1%ers believe that the best computer has the fastest processor, with the most ram, and the fastest, biggest storage, the best smartphone has the biggest screen, battery, etc. They dismiss packaging and operating systems and other software as almost incidental because they "all do the same stuff". They love "open systems" religiously because you can do almost anything with them. Well, you can't. But they can, so you should love open systems too.

Apple's proprietary, "closed" systems do the exact same things Windows and Android do, only a bit better in almost every way. What the Techno 1% ignore is those small benefits add up over the course of your work days and for many people can become hugely valuable, far more than the difference in cost between Apple and the other guys. But the Techno 1%ers don't understand that because they spend their days focused on their own needs, wants and navels.
   64. hokieneer Posted: September 28, 2012 at 03:09 PM (#4248242)
Most of the anti-fanboy types who denigrate Apple with the greatest zeal are entirely out of touch with how 99% of the world uses technology. The Techno 1%ers believe that the best computer has the fastest processor, with the most ram, and the fastest, biggest storage, the best smartphone has the biggest screen, battery, etc. They dismiss packaging and operating systems and other software as almost incidental because they "all do the same stuff". They love "open systems" religiously because you can do almost anything with them. Well, you can't. But they can, so you should love open systems too.

Apple's proprietary, "closed" systems do the exact same things Windows and Android do, only a bit better in almost every way. What the Techno 1% ignore is those small benefits add up over the course of your work days and for many people can become hugely valuable, far more than the difference in cost between Apple and the other guys. But the Techno 1%ers don't understand that because they spend their days focused on their own needs, wants and navels.


For some of Apple's "closed" choices, this is true. But for other things it's just proprietary system for the sake of being proprietary.

Anyone can add a microSD card to a phone, that's not something that's relegated to the 1%. Same goes for a battery.

Proprietary data/power connectors? Yeah I suppose you can justify it for security reasons, but ultimately it's just a money grab. (I also slam Microsoft over this for their choice of proprietary HDD and reformatting of USB sticks for the xbox 360).

   65. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 28, 2012 at 03:10 PM (#4248246)
The screen on my new iPhone really has blown me away. It's incredibly clear. I can't wait to watch soccer while working out tomorrow (my Saturday morning process).

My experience with Apple has been that their stuff simply works. Maybe there are better (and definitely there are cheaper) options but I find that when I buy an Apple product I'm up and running damned quickly. Also, while the "community" aspect of being an Apple owner is rightly mocked the result is a series of message boards that when something goes wrong or I simply want to learn something about my device I am able to find the answer quite quickly.

As for the maps I think this is much ado about nothing. I've seen a lot of funny pictures and read a lot of complaints but I'm not hearing a lot of "I could get where I was going" type stuff. I'm sure that exists too but my own experience has so far been successful. I've used the maps even going places I know how to get to just to see if I'm getting good directions and so far...yes.
   66. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: September 28, 2012 at 03:35 PM (#4248269)
Or one called "Medieval Empires" that I'm starting to think I dreamed up.


Holy crap am I shocked and excited to see a mention of this game. I was obsessive over it. I always played as the Byzantine Empire and always got pissed off when eastern Anatolia would start speaking Turkish and when the Emirate of Rhum would show up. Then there was the constant annoyance of the Balkans revolting every time an emperor died. That game was so incredibly addictive.

   67. Sleepy supports unauthorized rambling Posted: September 28, 2012 at 04:43 PM (#4248319)
Anyone here a fan of any of the other Android phone manufacturers?


I'll "third" the motorola recommendation. I have a motorola photon, which is pretty decent. It wasn't the top of the line even when new, and is about a year old, but it "feels" faster than my GF's iphone (think she has the 3GS), has a very high quality screen, takes great pictures and video, especially concerts, and is very easily upgradable (I have 3 32GB chips with all my music and a bunch of movies and stuff loaded, and all three fit inside the case; just pop off the lid and swap). Mine has better battery life, and I've got a couple of extra batteries that I bought for $5 each on amazon that I can keep charged and laying around, so there's really no contest there.

Reception is great; in the 8 months that I've owned it, I don't think I've had a single call get dropped. I think my device has better sound quality, and like my nav app better than hers, but that's probably just due to familiarity. Also has a built-in HDMI port, so I can use it as a netflix box, and when in the cradle it can connect directly to USB hard drives without having to use a computer (and can theoretically be used as a computer, with usb keyboard and mouse and hdmi monitor, etc, though I've not tried it).

Software upgrades itself over the air, which is good, but can be annoying; some apps have priveledge creep, and sometimes when they upgrade you lose functionality (mlb tv worked, then upgraded itself, and now doesn't work). I also had an over the air upgrade that deleted my bluetooth radio icon off of the main screen, which was just strange. There are some UI things that don't make sense, but you get used to them.

Physically, it's held up quite well. I've dropped it a number of times and actually ran over it with my car once, and it didn't break, which was impressive. I have had to replace the plastic film screen protector thingy a couple of times, but they are less than a dollar, so it's not a big deal.

   68. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: September 28, 2012 at 05:05 PM (#4248338)
My experience with Apple has been that their stuff simply works.

See, this is not my experience. I did not have a smartphone until I got an iPhone, and since then I've also got an iPad. So maybe my experience with other devices would be worse. But, for example, my iPad just will not sync over my WiFi at home. iTunes sees it, but when I try to sync it only works about 5% of the time. Mostly it starts to sync and then tells me it can't find the device. Sometimes it syncs, but my videos will not play on the iPad. My iTunes computer is hard wired and my iPad never has any problems connecting to the Internet so there's no network dropping or anything. You know what I've been told at the Apple Store? Buy an Apple wireless router. Great advice. Sure, it "just works" if I completely re-do my home network.

As for the iPhone, I only have the 4, but I know 5 people with the 4S and all of them think Siri is worthless. One guy literally can't get anything to work. He says, "I guess I mumble". One guy tried to ask Siri if Vince Lombardi was dead and spent honestly 5 minutes saying "Is Vince Lombardi dead?" into his phone. Clearly, pulling up Google on the phone and typing in the request would have been faster.

Lastly, my wife and I use the same iTunes account. When we both got iPhones, the iCloud was a disaster. Our text messages took anywhere from 1-10 minutes to go through. Clearly something was hanging things up. I turned off iCloud and went back to regular messaging and the problem cleared up.

I'm sure some people have had the "it just works" experience, but I think it's a lot of Apple marketing.
   69. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: September 28, 2012 at 05:06 PM (#4248342)
Anyone here a fan of any of the other Android phone manufacturers?


I'll fourth the Motorola recommendation. Ms. McGunnigle has an Morotola Atrix that has a nice screen, sounds great, never drops calls, and feels very zippy when you use it. She has trouble grasping things thanks to some health issues and so has dropped the phone about once a week for the last 16 months. The worst that's happened to it is that the back cover has popped off a couple of times. It also has a really loud (for a phone) internal speaker which makes it great for listening to ballgames.
   70. villageidiom Posted: September 28, 2012 at 11:03 PM (#4248667)
Fifth on Motorola, but I have the Razr Maxx. If you never plan to carry your phone in your pants pocket it's a fantastic phone.
My experience with Apple has been that their stuff simply works.
Initially, yes. Out of the box it runs instantly, intuitively, and smoothly. One Android device and a few Windows-based computers have come out of the box needing updates - 114 updates? Really? WTF, I just bought the damn thing - and considerably more setup. But after that, they're running fine and problem-free. OTOH, nowadays my FB feed is littered with Apple devotees glowing over the great customer service they're getting at the Apple Store for problems they'd told me previously Apple products don't ever get. So I'm getting the impression they're not as high-quality as I've been led to believe.

Hey, maybe that's why Apple users replace their products at the first opportunity, and are willing to camp out overnight for it. ;-)
   71. tshipman Posted: September 29, 2012 at 12:10 AM (#4248712)
My experience with Apple has been that their stuff simply works.


Their stuff works (some of the time). The problem is if you ever should want to buy a peripheral made by someone other than Apple, because of the closed source. Recently, I was using a Sony Digital Voice recorder and wanted to download the files to a Mac. Sony didn't make a driver for it, so there was no driver. Sony didn't make a driver for Mac or Linux. Guess which OS was trivial to find a driver for and which one was impossible?
   72. Sleepy supports unauthorized rambling Posted: September 29, 2012 at 02:56 AM (#4248749)
Clearly, pulling up Google on the phone and typing in the request would have been faster.


Why type anything? I just tested this: hit the search button on my photon, hit the microphone icon, ask "is vince lombardi dead", and get the answer (September 3, 1970). Less than 3 seconds. It just worked.
   73. Swedish Chef Posted: September 29, 2012 at 03:59 AM (#4248752)
As for the maps I think this is much ado about nothing.

The search is wretched, it fails to find anything in Sweden, up to and including major cities.
   74. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: September 29, 2012 at 04:13 AM (#4248754)
I just tested this: hit the search button on my photon


You, sir, have amazing eyesight.
   75. Greg K Posted: September 29, 2012 at 04:44 AM (#4248756)
Holy crap am I shocked and excited to see a mention of this game. I was obsessive over it. I always played as the Byzantine Empire and always got pissed off when eastern Anatolia would start speaking Turkish and when the Emirate of Rhum would show up. Then there was the constant annoyance of the Balkans revolting every time an emperor died. That game was so incredibly addictive.

Any idea where to get a copy?

I liked playing the random new kingdoms that would spring up from time to time.
   76. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: September 29, 2012 at 08:24 AM (#4248766)
This page has a download of it. The problem is that it's shareware and good luck getting the author's email address from 1992 to work. IIRC in the test version of it you can only play from something like 1200, and you can't save.
   77. Lassus Posted: September 29, 2012 at 10:12 AM (#4248794)
Anyone here a fan of any of the other Android phone manufacturers?

I guess everyone likes Motorola, but I've found my HTC Aria to be damned perfect. Unfortunately, it's now over two years old and I don't think they are making them anymore, as it's tiny - one of the reasons I like it. I'll have to check on that. My main reasons for not getting the iPhone are a.) I'd probably break it, followed closely by b.) the expense.

I'm also an Apple guy, and I switched over from PC seven or so years ago. I don't think it's fanboyism to acknowledge the stuff works awesomely, and I don't even have a jones for the iPhone.


I'm sure some people have had the "it just works" experience, but I think it's a lot of Apple marketing.

Your story more confirms that "some" people haven't had the experience, sort of the opposite of what you're saying here. ;-)


As for the maps I think this is much ado about nothing.

I'm not sure it's nothing. I really like Apple, but they quite idiotically rolled something out that didn't work yet.
   78. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: September 29, 2012 at 12:29 PM (#4248845)
I am a longtime T-Mobile subscriber and Apple computer owner finally ready to give up on Blackberry -- my latest two-year contract ended last month -- for the iPhone 5. I have experienced few problems with TMO but alas, they do not offer the iPhone.

Sprint seems like a good alternative, as they offer reasonable international and unlimited data plans at a reasonable cost, but would like to know if anyone here is big on either AT&T or Verizon....
   79. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 29, 2012 at 02:14 PM (#4248903)
I've got AT&T and I've been quite happy with them.. I live in Massachusetts and spend a fair amount of time in Miami, Ft. Myers and Naples, FL and I never have any issues with coverage.
   80. Joe Kehoskie Posted: September 29, 2012 at 02:14 PM (#4248904)
Sprint seems like a good alternative, as they offer reasonable international and unlimited data plans at a reasonable cost, but would like to know if anyone here is big on either AT&T or Verizon....

I was with Verizon and its various predecessors from 1996 until July 2007, when I switched to AT&T specifically because of the iPhone. There are a lot of AT&T haters, but I haven't noticed any difference in terms of coverage, dropped calls, cost, etc.

If you're a big mobile data user, I believe AT&T's network is much faster than Verizon's, but that might be outdated info. Also, there was a long time (and it still might be true) in which Verizon users could use only voice or data while AT&T users could talk on the phone and use their data connection simultaneously (e.g., talk on the phone while looking something up online).

As for Sprint, I've seen complaints about their data speed and data coverage, so that would be something to look into before making the switch. The secondary carriers seem to have caught up with the Big Two on voice, but they still seem to lag with data.
   81. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: September 29, 2012 at 03:21 PM (#4248925)
Also, there was a long time (and it still might be true) in which Verizon users could use only voice or data while AT&T users could talk on the phone and use their data connection simultaneously (e.g., talk on the phone while looking something up online).

This is still true on 3G networks. Sad as it is, this is one major reason why I'm upgrading my iPhone 4 to the iPhone 5. The thing is, 4G was around when Verizon got the iPhone but Apple just didn't support it. Why not? My guess is because it wouldn't affect sales either way, and now they can support it and get suckers like me to buy a new phone.
   82. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: September 29, 2012 at 05:26 PM (#4248981)
If you're a big mobile data user, I believe AT&T's network is much faster than Verizon's, but that might be outdated info.

Does AT&T offer an unlimited data plan?
   83. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 29, 2012 at 05:36 PM (#4248985)
I don't think they do. Time on a wifi network doesn't count toward your limit though. I use the web fairly actively and I e never gone past 1.5 gb in a given month so the 2gb plan works great for me. If you has a wireless network in your house my guess is you'll be fine unless you spend your day watching tv on your iPhone or something.
   84. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 29, 2012 at 05:37 PM (#4248986)
For what it's worth I spent the last few hours running errands. I used my phone to get directions to/from each place even though I knew where I was going. The directions I got were accurate in each case.
   85. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: September 29, 2012 at 05:44 PM (#4248990)
I don't think they do. Time on a wifi network doesn't count toward your limit though. I use the web fairly actively and I e never gone past 1.5 gb in a given month so the 2gb plan works great for me. If you has a wireless network in your house my guess is you'll be fine unless you spend your day watching tv on your iPhone or something.

FWIW, I just looked on the AT&T site and don't see a 2gb shared data plan available. There's a 1gb option for $40/mo + $40/mo per smartphone and 4gb one for $70/mo + $35/mo per smartphone.
   86. Joe Kehoskie Posted: September 29, 2012 at 05:48 PM (#4248992)
Does AT&T offer an unlimited data plan?

I'm still grandfathered in, but I believe AT&T eliminated its unlimited plans 2-3 years ago, and Verizon did the same earlier this year. (I'm sure my days with unlimited are numbered.)
   87. KT's Pot Arb Posted: September 29, 2012 at 05:59 PM (#4248997)
This is still true on 3G networks. Sad as it is, this is one major reason why I'm upgrading my iPhone 4 to the iPhone 5. The thing is, 4G was around when Verizon got the iPhone but Apple just didn't support it. Why not? My guess is because it wouldn't affect sales either way, and now they can support it and get suckers like me to buy a new phone.


The introduction of 4G also heralded the era of the gigantic smartphone, and the relationship wasn't accidental. 4G hardware was power hungry, so they needed bigger batteries and so if the phone was bigger, why not go bigger screen. Apple pretty clearly made the decision that they didn't want to change their form factor when 4G was still somewhat in it's infancy, especially in service coverage. They do that a lot with technologies they regard as not yet ready for prime time, NFC is another they've held off on because (in their opinion) it doesn't offer enough customer benefits yet (or maybe ever).

So that was also one of the driving forces to make the i5 bigger. The most recent detailed review I've read says that it's battery life can be worse on 4G that the i4 was on 3G, but that the specific driver is how good your reception is. Low bars means your phone spends a lot of time negotiating to find the best cell tower or reestablish it's connection, and it burns through the battery much faster. But in good coverage battery life is great. I've read that 4G is so efficient that eventually it's chip sets will use less power than 3G while transmitting data much faster, while increasing capacity on the network.

The greatest mystery of the iPhone to me is how it succeeded while being locked to the single worst carrier in the US for it's first 3 years.
   88. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: September 29, 2012 at 06:03 PM (#4248999)
I'm still grandfathered in, but I believe AT&T eliminated its unlimited plans 2-3 years ago, and Verizon did the same earlier this year. (I'm sure my days with unlimited are numbered.)

Verizon eliminated them over a year ago for new customers. Existing customers were grandfathered in. However, they did pull a fast one earlier this year. They decided that if you get the subsidy on a new phone and sign up for another 2 years, it's a new contract and you have to sign up for a current plan. So, I now have the choice: spend $300 on the new iPhone and go to 2GB or pay $950 for the new iPhone and keep my plan. Since I barely ever go over 2 GB, clearly it's more cost effective to get the subsidy. But it means I'll have to watch my usage.
   89. KT's Pot Arb Posted: September 29, 2012 at 06:29 PM (#4249005)
Anyone can add a microSD card to a phone, that's not something that's relegated to the 1%. Same goes for a battery.


MicroSD involves trade-offs. Not having it ripples through the design of the device, enabling you to make it a bit smaller, cheaper, and more dependable. Obviously it's not because they want to sell you a proprietary memory card/upgrade, they don't sell those, so clearly they think the trade-offs were worth it. Some customers clearly disagree.

And sealed batteries were the reason I first switched to Mac Powerbooks. I was traveling a bunch, always carried a second battery, then I read the reviews of how the MBP's were far exceeding the battery life of similar spec windows laptops. Turns out Apple figured out they could actually cram in bigger batteries by sealing them in, and wrote custom conditioning software that managed the batteries charging cycles and extended their life enough that they typically wouldn't need to be replaced for 3-4 years. What it meant to me is a I could travel without a second battery because I was getting 6-8 hours out of a MBP when my dell laptop was doing 4-6 hours.

Proprietary data/power connectors? Yeah I suppose you can justify it for security reasons, but ultimately it's just a money grab. (I also slam Microsoft over this for their choice of proprietary HDD and reformatting of USB sticks for the xbox 360).


The original iPhone/iPod connector had something like 30 pins that were devoted to a huge number of uses, and created a massive aftermarket for companies developing iPod/iPhone compatible devices, from clock radios, to boomboxes, to custom car interfaces, etc. That was a case where creating a custom connector had a huge impact and created huge value for users, something that industry "standard" connectors couldn't do. Apple doesn't like sitting in committees and lobbying their competitors to add Apple's latest ideas to a specification, and waiting an extra year or two to use the idea while the committee decides.

But the classic iPod/iPhone connector is 10 years old now. It's now harder to connect than newer connectors (and connection mistakes cause damage), it's size is limiting how small you can make devices, and the advent of devices with bluetooth/wifi/Airplay/etc has obviated the needs for a lot of those pins because those services can be done wirelessly. Apple could have used microUSB, but that connector is more limited in what it will support than they wanted, and it's not much easier to connect than Apple's old connector (why won't this go in? I'm forcing it, oh I need to turn it over).

So yea, the iPhone 5 has a brilliant new connector that is about the size of microUSB, but connects either upside down or right side up, snaps in easily making mistakes and damage much less likely, and has super high capacity (USB2 now, USB 3 level speeds in future updates). And inside it, a custom little chip in it to manage all of it's pins so that it can do this auto-sensing and protect your device, and use it's 8 pins in a variety of extra ways to support additional important uses that microUSB simply cant'.

Why would you complain about Apple making their connectors way better? Do you really expect connectors to never change for decades on end, no matter how much improved the technology on either end of the cable does? Anyone who gets an iPhone 5 gets the new connector for FREE, and it will plug right into your Mac or PC or charger. If you have one of the older iPhone compatible devices, guess what, the new connector and the new phone STILL WORK with it! You need to buy a $29 adapter, but they STILL WORK. Apple didn't make the phone wider, or thicker, which would have junked millions of stands, clock-radios, etc.

The adapter isn't cheap, but it's not that expensive. If your add on device isn't worth $29, it's not worth much, and if it's worth hundreds of dollars, the $29 is not going to kill a new i5 owner. Over time these cables will get far cheaper as the management chip gets cheaper too, so this is, again like maps, a problem that is less of a problem than it appears and will quickly fade as a problem over a fairly short time.
   90. Dan The Mediocre Posted: September 29, 2012 at 06:31 PM (#4249006)
The greatest mystery of the iPhone to me is how it succeeded while being locked to the single worst carrier in the US for it's first 3 years.


I don't see why they'd care. Quality of carrier was not going to deter people. Why not go for the best price?
   91. Swedish Chef Posted: September 29, 2012 at 07:01 PM (#4249015)
Obviously it's not because they want to sell you a proprietary memory card/upgrade, they don't sell those, so clearly they think the trade-offs were worth it.

Yes, they sell an upgrade in that they have models with different memory. The difference in the Bill of Materials between them is a couple of dollars, they (and every other phone manufacturer) makes a very nice profit on the higher-end models, it's market segmentation in action. Memory cards make this ploy less effective.
   92. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: September 29, 2012 at 07:15 PM (#4249018)
Apple makes stuff that's pretty good. It's the clowns who will pay $599 for a smartphone that are the problem.
   93. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: September 29, 2012 at 09:02 PM (#4249051)
Holy crap, I almost believed you when you said that you weren't an Apple fanboy. But the 5 paragraphs on the connector pretty much seals the deal.

The original iPhone/iPod connector had something like 30 pins that were devoted to a huge number of uses, and created a massive aftermarket for companies developing iPod/iPhone compatible devices, from clock radios, to boomboxes, to custom car interfaces, etc. That was a case where creating a custom connector had a huge impact and created huge value for users, something that industry "standard" connectors couldn't do. Apple doesn't like sitting in committees and lobbying their competitors to add Apple's latest ideas to a specification, and waiting an extra year or two to use the idea while the committee decides.

The entire rest of the computer world gets by just fine with micro USB but we're supposed to believe that the 30-pin connector was needed?

And inside it, a custom little chip

Yes, a chip that means that they can force you to buy their own stuff. I had a 3rd party cable that let me output video to component. Worked fine for a year and a half. iOS 5.1.1 comes out and the cable doesn't work any more. Response from Apple? Buy official Apple stuff. You honestly believe that this is so that they can make the customer experience better as opposed to them wanting more money?

the new connector and the new phone STILL WORK with it! You need to buy a $29 adapter, but they STILL WORK.

Again, more money. Oh, and it's not just $29. It's $29 for each device that I own, unless I want to cart my adapter with me wherever I go (home, work, hotel, etc).

Over time these cables will get far cheaper as the management chip gets cheaper too, so this is, again like maps, a problem that is less of a problem than it appears and will quickly fade as a problem over a fairly short time.

Um, I have yet to see an official Apple cable get cheaper, ever. And third party? Sure someone will come out with stuff, but Apple stops that sort of thing with regularity, as I mentioned above.

Look, Apple has the right to do this, but you can't pretend that it's not a money grab. They're jerks about this stuff because they can be jerks and people will keep buying their stuff. In my household we have 2 iPhones (4's now, 5's soon), 4 iPod touches, 2 iPad 2's, 1 iPod Classic, 2 iPod Shuffles, and 6 iPod nanos. I have all this Apple stuff because the good outweighs the bad, but it's annoying when the bad would be so easy to fix and they don't do it because they want more money.

Of course, all of these things are spun by Apple. I wouldn't expect any less from any corporation.

   94. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: September 30, 2012 at 03:36 PM (#4249364)
I don't get along with Apple products very well. It's likely because I have been working on or with computers for a long time. Apple's general expensive price point and lack of customizations/user controls doesn't mesh will with how I use gadgets and technology. To each their own.

I just bought my first smart phone a few weeks ago, a Samsung GS3. I'm still occasionally having the "alien technology" moments when I use it, but I really like the OS. From all the spec sheets I've seen, the Iphone5 seems on par or slightly better/worse than the GS3, so I'm sure it's a worthwhile upgrade for anyone out of contract.
I know this thread is a couple of days old and people have responded to much of it, but I wanted to point out that Apple doesn't do "spec sheets." To be sure, that practice may have originated 15 years ago when their computers were underpowered, but that's not the case anymore. They don't do spec sheets because they don't care. They don't view devices as a collection of specs, but as a user experience. So many companies tried to compete with the iPod by coming up with players with more "features" that could be listed on such a sheet; nobody cared. Within rounding error, nobody on the planet buys smartphones based on whether they are quad-core or the milliamperage of the battery or the like. People want fast phones with long-lasting batteries, so that's what Apple worries about.

As for "expensive price point," pish posh. Apple has no such thing. Again, an outdated idea. Apple doesn't sell low-end products, but the prices for comparable products are competitive or better.
   95. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: September 30, 2012 at 05:09 PM (#4249416)
the prices for comparable products are competitive or better.


Hah! Oh, you're serious?

Here's some trivia- when I try to use a mac I get totally flummoxed and feel "locked out" of the user experience due to how long I've used windows machines. Weird, right?
   96. Dan The Mediocre Posted: September 30, 2012 at 05:25 PM (#4249423)
Hah! Oh, you're serious?


Apple is going to charge a large amount per phone to put an Apple logo on it. On the other hand, if you don't view the Apple logo as itself being valuable, you can do much better.
   97. Joe Kehoskie Posted: September 30, 2012 at 05:26 PM (#4249424)
Here's some trivia- when I try to use a mac I get totally flummoxed and feel "locked out" of the user experience due to how long I've used windows machines. Weird, right?

You have my sincerest sympathies. I can't believe people aren't killed every day by Windows machines being tossed angrily out of, um, windows.
   98. Dan The Mediocre Posted: September 30, 2012 at 05:35 PM (#4249430)
You have my sincerest sympathies. I can't believe people aren't killed every day by Windows machines being tossed angrily out of, um, windows.


I don't have any issues with my Windows PC. I think that most people that have issues either have bad hardware, inadequate machines, no idea how to use a computer, or Windows ME.
   99. Dan Evensen Posted: October 01, 2012 at 10:52 AM (#4249821)
Verizon eliminated them over a year ago for new customers. Existing customers were grandfathered in. However, they did pull a fast one earlier this year. They decided that if you get the subsidy on a new phone and sign up for another 2 years, it's a new contract and you have to sign up for a current plan.

I feel bad for you. I worked for Verizon Wireless customer service for a year, from summer 2009 to summer 2010, and I got sick of the company pulling stunts like this.

Honestly, after working there, there is nothing in this world that will convince me to purchase a Smartphone. I would actually rather go without a cellphone at all if necessary rather than paying another $30 a month or whatever they charge for internet with such a low cap.

I told myself back then that one of these days Verizon's upper level management will make a bonehead decision that causes a mass consumer exodus. It hasn't happened yet. I secretly think the same thing about Apple's ownership.

Why would you complain about Apple making their connectors way better? Do you really expect connectors to never change for decades on end, no matter how much improved the technology on either end of the cable does?

I live in Northeast China. I bought a really crappy cellphone for cheap a year and a half ago or so. Not only does it work great, but it also fits my SanDisk MP3 player, which means I only have to take one cord when I travel.

By the way, it would be easy to plug that SanDisk into a 1950s stereo system. Sure as hell wouldn't require purchasing a $29 adapter.

Honestly -- the funniest fanboys are the ones who don't realize it.
   100. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: October 01, 2012 at 12:11 PM (#4249932)
By the way, it would be easy to plug that SanDisk into a 1950s stereo system. Sure as hell wouldn't require purchasing a $29 adapter.

Yeah, strange how every other device can function fine on USB but the iOS devices need 30 pins. Even stranger is how all the iOS devices seem to function fine with cables where the other end is actually USB. Computer? USB. Interface to my Toyota? USB. They seem to work fine. So what are the other 26 pins doing?
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