(You're reading all posts by John Brownlee) John Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his girlfriend and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.
About John Brownlee
Wall Street consensus is that when Apple announces its Q2 2014 quarterly earnings on Wednesday, Apple’s year-over-year iPad numbers won’t look good. On the low end, at least one Wall Street analyst says that Apple will have sold 23% fewer iPads this year than last year in the same quarter; on average, Wall Street expects Apple’s iPad sales to have declined 0.7% year-over-year.
How can this be? This is the year that Apple unveiled the Retina iPad mini and the beautifully redesigned iPad Air, after all. How is it possible that these iPads can be selling worse than the inferior iPads a year ago?
Ex-Apple exec Jean-Louie Gassée has a theory, and it’s not one that Apple fans are going to be happy to hear: the iPad is a big tease, and fundamentally less useful than both a smartphone or a laptop.
Every aspect of Facebook’s entire business is essentially designed to target ads. Is anyone surprised, then, that the social networking giant intends on launching its own mobile ad network, similar to Apple’s iAds?
It’s looking like it might be a dreary quarter for Apple. Not only has iPhone growth pretty much leveled off, but most Wall Street analysts believe that when Apple announces its quarterly numbers, iPad sales will have actually declined year over year. Is Wall Street wrong?
It’s not often that a company announces that they’ve figured out a way to make people stop paying for a piece of hardware by purposely making it obsolete, but that’s just what Sonos has done.
Sonos has just announced that thanks to clever programming, they have figured out a way to make their $50 Sonos Bridge device — a gadget that plugs into your router to allows you to stream music in perfect sync to the Sonos speakers throughout your house — completely obsolete.
As a guy running upwards of seven miles a day to get in shape for his imminent nuptials, Runkeeper is my favorite exercise tracking app, but you have to consciously remember to use it. But Runkeeper now has a new trick up its sleeve: Breeze, an activity tracker that taps into your iPhone 5s’s M7 motion processor to subtly guide you into living a more active life.
If you’ve ever wanted to play Blizzard Entertainment’s wildly successful MMO World of Warcraft on your iPad, you just got your wish. Uh, kind of. After debuting on Mac and PC, Hearthstone: Heroes Of Warcraft has now been released on App Stores worldwide. But it’s actually a lot more like Magic: The Gathering than the MMO you’d expect.
In the past, when Apple has grown the screen of an iOS device — for example, with the transition from the iPhone 4s to the iPhone 5 — Apple has taken pains to keep the pixel density the same. The Retina Display on the iPhone 5 is 326 pixels per inch, just like the iPhone 4s. This makes it easier for developers and helps prevent the widespread fragmentation seen in the Android operating system.
With many rumors pegging the forthcoming iPhone 6 as having a much bigger 4.7-inch display, a practical issue presents itself: what would that mean for resolution and pixel-density? If Apple increases the display size, will they increase the resolution to compete with the likes of HTC and Samsung’s 1080p Android smartphones? And if so, what does that mean for app developers?
Apple’s incoming SVP of Retail, Angela Ahrendts, is one of Cupertino’s most widely anticipated hires in ages. The CEO of popular fashion chain Burberry, Ahrendts is so well-suited to lead Apple’s retail ambitions, and such a powerhouse executive in her own right, that many have wondered if Tim Cook is planning to have her replace him as CEO when he retires.
But when is Ahrendts going to join Apple officially? She was originally expected this month, but it’s now looking like she might push her start until June.
Why? Why else. Money.
In November 2013, Apple acquired PrimeSense, a 3-D technology sensing company that could hint at the ability for future iPhones, iPads and Macs to have a Kinect-like ability to sense where users are and react to their movements.
Given the acquisition, you’d think Apple would be the first company to use one of PrimeSense’s hot 3-D imaging systems-on-a-chip, maybe in the iPhone 6, but no. Google has beaten Apple to the punch, using PrimeSense’s Capri PS1200 3-D imaging SoC in the experimental Project Tango device, the world’s first motion-sensing smartphone.
Some materials have integrity. Consider aluminum, Jony Ive’s material of choice, and then compare it to plastic. Under the skin, plastic feels wholly artificial, a lump of congealed and polished chemicals; in feel and smell, there’s something unnatural and slightly impure about it. But aluminum feels clean. It has texture. It isn’t just a facade: It is true to itself, right on down through.
Works With: Any MacBook
Another material with integrity is wood. It is true to itself, from the veneer to the grain. It has texture. It is clean. And it has history. Wood actually picks up the oils from your hands, and develops a patina. And because of its innate qualities, wood pairs exquisitely with Jony Ive’s chosen material of integrity: aluminum.
Which brings us to Twelve South’s latest product, the BookArc möd. An organic, well-crafted version of the accessory maker’s popular BookArc stand, it is a laptop dock that offers every bit as much integrity as the MacBook it is meant to house… both different and complementary at once.