The concept of an “app store” in which normal, everyday people easily download applications for their devices vaulted to the public consciousness two and a half years ago with Apple’s iPhone App Store. The store shook up the way people view and use mobile phones. The Mac App Store announced on Wednesday appears poised to be just as big of a seismic shift. This is not an attempt to simply make a little revenue on Mac software sales; it is Apple’s plan to translate iPhone and iPad momentum into a full-fledged attack on Microsoft’s Windows stronghold.
Some of you may remember when it was a very big deal to make a long-distance telephone call. I have actual photographs of my grandparents, on the occasion of their golden wedding anniversary in 1956, at the telephone, the notes on the backs of the pictures saying that they were receiving calls from Dallas and Nebraska. This was thought remarkable at the time.
Since Motorola’s Droid first arrived last year, the Droid fleet has been expanding at a dizzying pace. Now, just months after the excellent HTC Droid Incredible showed up, Verizon and Motorola have unleashed the Droid X and Droid 2. Over the last few weeks, we put the Droid X through a grueling variety of tests to find out if this mammoth phone has what it takes.
It was a test of will power. When Apple unveiled the impressive iPhone 4 a few weeks ago, I said that I wasn’t going to buy one. I have last year’s model and that is quite good enough. I remained unconvinced.
The Microsoft KIN phones are a little hard to categorize. Built by the team that previously designed the T-Mobile SideKick line before being acquired by Microsoft, the unveiling of the KIN devices in April represented the confirmation of years of rumors about Microsoft producing its own Windows Phone. But this is not like any Windows phone you’ve seen before; instead, the KIN provides its own commendably trailblazing charm.
Updated As the time for Apple's next generation iPhone 4 to be unveiled at the company's WWDC event approached, something curious began to happen. AT&T started moving up existing customers’ eligibility to upgrade by six months or more so that even many of those who bought the iPhone 3GS last year under a carrier subsidy can upgrade again this year. What’s going on?
Early Wednesday, AT&T (NYSE: T) announced a dramatic revision to its data plans for cell phones and other Internet connected devices, most notably affecting the Apple iPhone and newly released iPad WiFi+3G. While some new limits have appeared, the attractive low-end iPad plan remains unchanged with a slight advantage over other devices on the network.
All the time we hear about it: the “race for a cure” or a “walk” for this or that illness. When it is explained why the event is being held, the phrase “raise awareness” is always included. Money is always raised, too; it’s never entirely clear what the money is used for. Perhaps it is used to purchase awareness from those who do not give it away.
The key to teaching anyone anything is having some clue what it's like not knowing. If you can't guide someone across that barrier, you can't actually teach much, because the whole process then relies entirely upon the abilities and inclinations of the learner. The best teachers don't simply put it where you can reach it, but make you want it.
The free software movement, which in many respects means the Linux operating system, is a puzzle to those accustomed to paying for things. Software is expensive stuff — how good can the stuff be if it doesn't cost anything?