Archive for the ‘Apple’ tag
I tend to email interesting articles to my wife, who normally does all her reading on her iPhone. I’ve found that if I send her a link, she will rarely click on it to read it, but if I email her the actual text of the article, she will read it. Since I do most of my browsing in Safari, I use the handy ⌘I shortcut (“File | Mail Contents of This Page” on the menu).
This is how it works. Say I’m reading this cool explanation of Bayes Theorem:
I hit ⌘I, and this is what I get:
I just discover that if you are in Safari Reader mode (⇧⌘R) when you are reading the page:
and hit ⌘I without leaving Reader mode, this is what you get:
Ah, much better. Thank you Apple.
Here is a mistake that I’ve seen companies competing with the iPhone make more than once. Comparing the currently shipping version of the iPhone with their not-quite-shipping-yet phone.
Palm did it. They put out a kick-ass product that would’ve blown the original iPhone out of the water or at least given it a run for its money. Unfortunately they did it about a year and a half too late. The world had moved on and the reaction was “meh”. Then they ran out of money.
Google is doing it right now. They announced Froyo running on the Nexus One and it kicks the iPhone 3GS sorry little ass. Except the 3GS has been shipping for over a year. Do they think Apple has spent a year doing nothing? Of course not, we’ve seen the leaks of the new iPhone. The new iPhone will be based on the A4 CPU and my prediction is that it will be faster than the Nexus One.
If you want to compete with Apple, don’t copy last years products. Look AHEAD, to what’s coming.
P.S. I’m no longer reading any articles that have the phrase “iPhone Killer” in them (including this one ;)
Last week I was once again sucked into the argument of whether Apple is a hardware company or a software company. My take on it: it’s neither.
Apple is an “experience” company. They do hardware because it’s the only way to have the software under control. They do software because without good software, the hardware is useless. What they ultimately worry about is the user experience.
They partnered with AT&T because they needed to add the cellular network to the experience and they couldn’t build their own (they would have loved to). If they look like control freaks from the outside it’s because, well, they are.
On that note, in this piece, Saul Hansell argues that AT&T allows applications on other phones, except the iPhone. Saul claims that Mark Bercow, senior vice president of business development for Palm, encourages developers to do pretty much as they please with the Palm Treo:
Indeed, some developers have made video streaming applications, a particularly big bandwidth hog. (Of course, the cellular companies are free to charge whatever they wish for bandwidth use.)
Now go to the AT&T website and try to find their data rates. I could find a $24.99 data rate that was limited to 10MB, and an unlimited plan (with some fine print about per-kilobyte charges) for $69.99. That is in addition to the cost of the plan. The iPhone unlimited data plan is $20 per month. So while developers can create apps for any other AT&T phone, customers get charged per kilobyte. Now consider again what Steve Jobs said about third-party apps:
You need it to work when you need it to work. Cingular doesn’t want to see their West Coast network go down because some application messed up.
My take on that is that AT&T doesn’t want to see their network swamped with data transfers without being able to charge for them. However, a per-kilobyte service plan would have totally ruined the iPhone experience for the users. Apple wanted users to experience having a device that is always connected to the Internet. That experience is ruined if you’re worrying about how much you’re accessing the net because your service provider charges you per-kilobyte.
The reason Apple is so successful is because using their products is a pleasurable experience. That’s their trick, they think about the “experience”.
After reading some comments about how Spotlight just works for other people, and talking with some friends that have Spotlight turned on, I started doubting that it was so bad. It turns out that when I got the MacBook Pro, I transfered about 40 GB of stuff from my old laptop, and apparently it also transfered a corrupt Spotlight Index.
So after running:
# mdutil -E /
and turning Spotlight back on, I’m no longer seeing the performance problems I had. All thanks to the comments. And I didn’t think anybody read this blog :)
I just got a new MacBook Pro, and had it for about a week. What I discovered was that the machine wasn’t as snappy as I thought it would be. It’s a CORE DUO for Christ’s sake, it has not one, but TWO cores, it has 2 GB of freaking RAM! It should be the fastest box around! But no, it’s slow and every once in a while it just locks up for about 5 seconds.
After some fun with fs_usage trying to figure out what was going on, I found the culprit: Spotlight. See, spotlight interacts VERY VERY badly with the file system cache, and since Mac OS X has a unified cache, with the VM cache. This means that while the OS is trying really hard to keep your working set in memory, spotlight (a.k.a. mdimport) is indexing stuff and therefore causing unnecessary flushes of the cache.
The solution? Turn it off. Just run ‘mdutil -i off /’ and edit /etc/hostconfig to set “SPOTLIGHT=-NO-” and be done with it. Or if you don’t want to even type that, get Spotless and click away. Go ahead, I’ll wait.
The problems? Mail no longer searches, and no easy and quick way to launch applications. I installed QuickSilver for the application launching part, and will figure out if I can find an alternative for searching mail. But it’s worth it.
My machine is SUPER FAST now, and the disk is quiet all the time. Processors are mostly idle if I’m not doing anything, ah the sound of a high performance machine…
How badly does Google Desktop Search hinder performance under Windows?
Technorati Tags: macos x
There are a couple of Apple employees here in the room answering questions, and from what I’m hearing, here’s my assessment of CoreData: stay the hell away from it. At least for a couple of years.
I’m surprised that people are still looking for the holy grail of data-driven applications: create them without programming. The problem is that this works for trivial applications. If you have any application that’s big enough, or popular enough that has to be maintained, these tools just don’t work.
I have yet to hear from an application built this way that’s easily maintainable…
Oh, by the way, CoreData’s NSPredicate class doesn’t support Outer Joins.