When I’m not evaluating the latest iOS apps, or experimenting with the newest iPad or iPhone accessories, I spend my time helping organizations think about their future. The Consumer Electronics Show included plenty of announcements that will influence the strategic choices made at Apple for years to come.
I wrote a report, CES 2014: Implications for Apple, that outlines seven areas in which CES “trends” will help shape Apple’s future. Here is a brief summary.
Two or three times a week, sometimes more often, my iPad would inform me, that despite an apparently strong signal, it couldn’t connect to my Wi-Fi. The distance from my office to the master bedroom is 300 feet or so, as the Wi-Fi crow flies. Downstairs, the family room where my recliner resides, is almost as far. So I figured I should get a Wi-Fi extender. I started with the extender in a central place in the house. I configured it for both 2.4 and 5 GHz. bandwidth networks using WPS—which means I didn’t have to configure it, it configured itself. This particular Wi-fi extender created new networks with the name of the original network, followed by EXT. This set-up was designed to max out at 802.11N.
In Seattle, the Seahawks divisional playoff game was a big deal. So was the storm that arrived hours before the game. At 4:30 a.m. we lost power. The game started at 1:30 p.m. As the time drew near, it was clear that the power wasn’t going to return in time. What to do?
It used to take forever for new iPad cases to arrive. Now it takes days, at most weeks. Many of the new iPad Air cases got the size and shape right, but a few missed the magnets on folios that enable sleep/wake. This first batch of iPad Air cases doesn’t offer any new twists or innovations, instead continuing mostly with cases that are one-offs of earlier iPad cases. The variety does, however, suggest that iPad Air owners will have plenty of options to choose from.
Look for CES announcements to greatly expand the number of options available.
Depending on where you live, you may think winter has already blown in, but astronomical Winter doesn’t arrive until December 21, so you still technically have time to prepare for Winter.
We’ve written many times on the pages of iPhone Life magazine, and in this blog, about external batteries that extend the life of iOS devices, but you also need to consider the power needs of desktop and laptop systems. I was in the middle of copying some movies over to my iPad last time the power went out (hoping to get them on so I could watch them should the power go out). The movies were on a powered external hard drive. Needless to say, the iTunes copy didn’t finish. Although the Macintosh and the iPad were still powered, the hard drive stopped working and anything not copied was immediately aborted.
2nd Vote (free)
2nd Vote is a clever application. Written by conservatives, the application is designed to inform its users so they can cast a second vote, an economic vote, to reinforce their personal political and social views. The app details the political leanings of major corporations: where they invest and what stands they take, for instance, on same sex partner benefits.
You must sign-up for a free account for the app to work. You may want to read this before you sign-up.
It is hard to write about evolution. Evolution is subtle. Sometimes changes occur internally, sometimes they are only cosmetic. Evolution, when it works well, makes for a better fit within a niche. Sometimes it helps the dominant species remain dominant. Such is the case with the iPad Air.
An interesting collection of stands that are not exactly stands has come my way. They range from wall-mounted pockets to adjustable car mounts to a robot-like dolly. Each offers a unique take on how to make an iPhone stand on its own.
I often conduct interviews. I usually capture those interviews with my LiveScribe Echo SmartPen, that records both my notes, and if I choose, the sounds around me, but the fidelity of the sound is often lacking. So I need something with a little more pick-up to complement the Echo. Enter the iRig Mics from ikmultimedia.
The iPad is notoriously insensitive to pressure. To an iPad, a finger is a monochromatic experience. But with new stylus products like the Pogo Touch, things changed. Through the magic of Bluetooth 4.0, the iPad can receive information from an external sensor. For the most part this has come in the form of stylus products that provide pressure-sensitive input to the iPad.
As the number of pressure-sensitive stylus options increases, style, design, and usability become an important element. It is no longer unique enough to deliver a stylus that can apply a pressure-sensitive input to the iOS environment, now you have to do it well.