iCloud VIP list broken?

Posted December 9, 2012 by Gerald B
Categories: Apple

Tags: , , , ,

iCloud’s VIP lists seems to be malfunctioning or at the very least working in some cases and not others.

Web-based iCloud mail isn’t showing the last month or so of a certain VIP. Though my iPhone (latest rev of iOS) displays my VIP lists her properly. For reference this seems to only display properly on web back to early November. Then nothing in VIP newer than that displays correctly.

I’ve turned off all my rules based settings at iCloud.com.

I’ve double checked my iCloud contacts are set properly on iPhone settings.

I’ve removed all my VIPs and added them back slowly.

Nothing seems to have improved the iCloud VIP situation on the web-view of my email.

Any thoughts out there?

My APPfliction

Posted March 27, 2012 by Gerald B
Categories: App Store, Apple, iPhone, technology

I evaluate apps like a teenage girl tries on clothes. I’m voracious about it. More importantly, I have terribly harsh standards and I have a problem committing to an app: They’re all too easy to discard and replace with the new shiny. It’s unfair, I know. But, I’m finding the most inconsequential features can sometimes (not always) compensate for otherwise nominal shortcomings. And I mean PETTY stuff like an amazing icon or splash screen. Typography. Colors. Speed! There are little tricks some developers utilize that I find myself envious of. It’s a healthy respect and nod to the person who toiled over the app. As a fellow developer I have an appreciation for the effort of conceiving, authoring and marketing one’s work.

Now, when I say “app” I’m not drawing a distinction between iPhone, Android or Mac. I’m certainly not elevating one type of app over another either. If a web app rocks where a native app just didn’t cut it… Well, let’s call it what it is. I do genuinely like the idea of an App Store. With a few important (to me) exceptions.

App Stores as we understand them today are walled gardens for software that will only run on it’s particular flavor of device. That’s maybe not entirely necessary. It’s just the way it is. There are apps for other platforms I wish I had the ability to try out on my phone, tablet, tv. But the walled garden is impenetrable. I can’t get there from here. Meh. OK. Small gripe.

Discovery is a MUCH bigger problem though. If you’ve used iTunes much you’re probably familiar with it’s Ping function. It’s Apple’s recommendation engine. I don’t pretend to understand the logic or algorithms it uses to arrive at suggestions. Some are spot on. Others seem to come from left field. [I'm not that varied in my musical tastes Apple!] The genius behind Ping is it’s ability to summize my interests in content and hazard an intelligent guess at what else I might want to try out.

App Stores should do this. Now! I jettison more apps than I keep. Many of them are paid. But, they’re of no use to me and are easily discarded. I can’t thing of one I’ve plucked back from the grave. I would suggest to Apple… please, please, please… factor this into your next iteration of whatever Ping’ness you bring to the App Store. It should factor… they did NOT like THAT, but DID like THIS. Or more importantly did NOT keep THAT… Now, what apps have others installed (and kept) that are good candidates?

In this way your ratio of HITS v. misses is more appropriate.

Might I also suggest a better way of discovering WEB APPS! (Yes, Apple, I know there’s no 30% take for you in web apps…) But, helping to make my APPfliction complete I would hope you’d not turn a blind eye to the many non-native apps out there. Some are spectacularly good and rival the finer native apps on my devices. For whatever reason your staff stopped “picking” web apps in late 2010. Please, pick that ball back up and run with it!

Smart. Phone. Distracted. Driving.

Posted March 27, 2012 by Gerald B
Categories: Apple

Tags: , , , ,

We want it all too quickly don’t we?

A nifty device lands in our life in the form of a smartphone. One iteration after another it’s improved upon until we reach the intersections of dependence, need and technical capability. I’m of course talking about my iPhone and it’s current OS (version 5.1).

Siri intrigued me as a potential virtual private assistant. The concept is sound and the execution is promising. But, it’s also clear why Apple would label it “beta” at this point in time. It’s tantalizing to the point of leaving me wanting it to do more than it does (or perhaps is capable of at this time).

Point in case, Siri can handily manage my text messages plus respond to simply queries. Which is really quite nice. But, not particularly habit forming as texting just isn’t my cuppa. But, email IS my domain. There are so many things I’d have Siri do for me in the email department such as finding, reading, writing, responding, filing certain emails for me. Some would be routine such as notify me ONLY when an email from Alexander or Tania arrives and file it in the Important folder.

I know we’ll get there. But, as fast as technology is moving wouldn’t it be great to have Version 21.0 right out of the gate?

Sorry, Windows 8 Only Ushers OUT Windows 7

Posted September 14, 2011 by Gerald B
Categories: Apple, microsoft, Post PC era, Tablet, Windows, zune

For all the good Zach Epstein tries to accomplish with his claim that Windows 8 is the one to usher in the Post PC era… all he does is underscore Apple ushered in the Post PC era and that Windows 8 is (in true Microsoft fashion) a close follower. Think Zune. Think Windows Mobile. Hell, think Windows!

No Zach, the convergence of devices and platforms has been under way for a LONG time. Everyone WANTS a spot at the table. But, friend… Apple was the one to finally say “Here’s how it’s done. The table is now set.” Microsoft may come in and gorge themselves at the table. But, as you so eloquently CORRECT yourself throughout your screed… Apple brought us to the Post PC era. It’s up to Window (8 or 9 or 10…) or some other platform to beat the champ.

Point to something other than the Office platform (PC or Mac) that is pulling it’s weight at Microsoft. XBox? Bing? BingHoo? Can Microsoft even execute anymore? I wonder… I think Microsoft is precipitously close to ushering ITSELF out of the PC era and closely following Apple into newer, more fertile field. IMHO

Who is AAPL’s next COO

Posted August 26, 2011 by Gerald B
Categories: Apple

Tags: , , , , ,

Everyone’s all rev’d up about Job’s resignation as CEO, Tim Cook’s ascencion to CEO.

No one is yet talking about who replaces COOK! Tim is a brilliant ops guy. Sure, he gets strategy. He’s helped drive it at Apple now for nearly a decade for crying out loud. The guy “gets it”. No question.

But, who becomes Apple’s next COO is really pretty important.

In fact, AAPL has several key executive jobs to fill. Serlet – Developer Relations. Johnson – Retail. Very quickly Tim Cook will have the opportunity – nĂ© the responsibility of hiring in his “Cabinet” to carry the ball for the next [several] years. So, are these internal young stars we’ve not seen much of yet? Are these people we’ll say… oh, yeah, that makes total sense? I’m betting we already know these people.

See, Apple has a University internally for continuity. They want everyone to know… Apple isn’t going to change too very much. We like them the way they are. They like them the way they are. So, sure, people come and go… even higher ups. Continuity and panic control were expected and factored for.

So, here’s the 64-bit question… Who is the Apple management dream team?

IS Steve Jobs Coming Back? Ever?

Posted March 21, 2011 by Gerald B
Categories: AAPL, Apple, business, Steve Jobs, Tim Cook

Some time back I predicted Steve Jobs would “retire” across the board (Apple, Disney, etc). Kinda happy to have gotten that one a wee wrong.

Something’s really niggling me about his return though… I just don’t see it happening. It’s time to wonder now… will Steve Jobs return to the office off this most recent medical leave? I love to think he’s coming back. If for no other reason than to tell us all he’s licked the sicknesses plaguing him. To see his home built. To see old and new friends enjoying their lives. To build his “one more thing” that we fall in love with all over again.

Tim Cook has done a MARVELOUS job of showing Wall Street he’s not only capable of running the business. But that he’s capable of LEADING the business too! Which, let’s admit it… we fan boys love Steve for his charisma and chutzpah as much as anything he’s done on the business savvy side of things. In Tim we have another LEADER. Someone who gets the gestalt of design, business, supply-side. Someone who’s had his fill of the kool-aid alongside us. He’s as much a fanboy as the rest of us. He’s one amazingly driven gentleman.

Will the existing leadership take hills for him should his day come? Hell yes. Will the legion fanboy hang on his every word? You know?… I believe we will. It may take some getting used to him. Getting to know him. What makes him tick. But, I think all our love for Steve will be transferrable to Apple’s next full-time CEO. And I honestly think that’s Tim Cook. Retention of the existing talent set will be crucial. Forstall, Cue, Schiller, Ive, ALL the hardware and retail leadership, Serlet… Man, what a phenomenal bench! and that’s just the top of mind crowd. The veeps and directors and engineers and evangelists that bust their humps to get all this magical stuff done. Again, if anyone has the leadership chops to keep the house that Steve built together… It’s Tim.

An Apple, Inc. without Steve is a lesser place. To be sure. But, the Apple we all know and love is chock full of Steve-inspired, Steve-vetted goodness for many years to come. And, there’s no one better than Tim Cook to see that legacy executed and ultimately built upon and surpassed. I can think of no more appropriate homage to Steve Jobs than to take Apple Inc to the next level under able adult supervision WHILE he’s still kicking.

My hope is the AAPL board will name a successor while Jobs has the steam to bless the new Don.

REVIEW: Solio Charger (iPhone, iPad, iPod)

Posted February 19, 2011 by Gerald B
Categories: iPhone, review, Solio, technology

Solio was nice enough to send me a review unit. I have to admit, this one had me excited from the get go.

The Solio charger is pretty darned slick. I like the idea of having the ability to charge my phone in a pinch. Maybe I’m at a ball game. Maybe I’m on a picnic. Maybe I’m at the zoo. No, the REAL zoo… not my house. I can think of a hundred situations where having that extra little bit of juice could be handy. I’m constantly pushing the edge of my charge even though I routinely speed charge in the car. Adding the Solio to my backpack will make a ton of sense (once the sun returns to Oklahoma for a while).

This product is so super simple. Plug one end of the cable into the Solio and the other into your iDevice. Push the powerup button on the back of the Solio. Voila! You’re charging. Daylight required of course.

I, personally, wouldn’t use this everyday to charge my stuff up. It’s slower to charge than I’m accustomed to. And, it’s meant for good lighting conditions. No workie while I’m sleeping at night. But, there’s no denying it serves a great purpose and the green aspect is a definite feel good (even down to the packaging).

Disclosure: gWH!Z was supplied with a review unit only which was returned after evaluation. There was no compensation offered, paid or accepted for this review.


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