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by Jehuda Saar
Thursday
Nov172011

I Want My ATV

 

One of the last things Steve Jobs managed to do on his way out was fire up the imagination of every tech pundit out there about some mysterious Apple TV device. For months now we have heard, read and seen people discuss the possibility of Apple entering the TV market with some device that will "kick butt". But one little comment made by Jobs appearing in the Isaacson biography seems to have gotten everyone excited. While talking about wanting to create an integrated television set that would sync with all iDevices to iCloud and would have the simplest possible interface once could imagine he added the words "I finally cracked it". That's all it took. The remark carried so much weight it even seemed to affect Apple's share value for a while. But what exactly was he talking about ? Did he mean the AppleTV now being sold at Apple Stores for $99 ? Was he hinting at some new hardware device that would include a monitor and would replace our living room plasma or LCD ? Or was he actually talking about something that we would be using our iPad for through apps ? The bigger question is: why should Apple even be looking at this business of television ? The company makes money selling hardware, repeatedly if possible, using software they control and ferrying content to us in a manner they can at least oversee. Why would they sell us a piece of "furniture" we might only replace every ten years while being at the mercy of networks and cable operators the world over ?
                  
When word got out that Apple would be entering the telephony business in the middle of the last decade, everyone reacted in disbelief. Why would Apple get into that mess and what could they hope to contribute or even get out of it ? With the benefit of hindsight we now know exactly what they had in mind. So it is possible that there is once again some vision at play here, something we're not seeing, a plan we don't yet grasp. But I have a hard time imagining Apple getting into a business that would entail selling me hardware I would only replace a decade from now. So maybe a full fledged TV is not what they have in mind.
             
One idea mentioned by some of the experts is that Apple would encourage the networks to come out with apps for iOS, like the Bloomberg TV+ app that allows us to watch the Bloomberg Channel live. In a recent earnings call for CBS, Les Moonves, the CEO, stated that he had turned down a proposed Apple TV deal. That comment would lead us to believe there might be something to the idea of the iOS app suggestion. But how compelling would such a solution be ? Maybe coupled with a Newsstand style "folder", like the one Apple forces us to have on the front page of the iPad starting with iOS5, this might be a manageable proposition. On a side note, that little Newsstand gimmick which won't budge from your home screen on the iPad may well be what most contributed to Condé Nast declaring a few weeks back that iPad subscriptions for their digital editions of magazines were up 268 percent since Newsstand was introduced. Talk about enticing network or other TV channels to actually buy into this concept.
                   
The latest entrant in the rush to get into the streaming TV business comes from Sony. While it is not yet clear what they have in mind, Sony CEO Howard Stringer was heard recently stating he had spent the last five years building a platform so he could compete against Steve Jobs. Of all the big players Apple has affected in the world of Technology, one of the biggest losers is probably Sony. While numerous other developments helped kick Sony off the top of the heap (a decade ago if you were in the market for a new TV you would be looking at Sony's offerings before anything else - that is no longer the case today) the one thing that they were much too slow to react to was how to tackle the digitization of consumer electronics with something that was proprietary and unique, and preferably using a closed, integrated system, a la Apple. A decade ago if you had said one tech company would dominate the world of music it would have made sense to imagine Sony achieving that goal. They were in the music business with their record labels (the content) and they were the company that brought the Walkman to the world (the pipeline). But at some point they dropped the ball and Apple came out the winner. One of the main reasons nobody seems to be able to compete against Apple in much of what they have done these past few years is because they created a closed system in which they control every aspect of the business, from the store to the pipeline to the tech toy you use to consume the product. But what of the TV industry ? In what way can Apple create such an integrated system without having to deal with cable companies and heir ilk ?
                 
Some of this remains to be seen. It is not clear what Apple has in mind. Will they offer some sort of combination channel app structure and DVR functionality in their devices to try and circumvent the cable operators ? Time will tell, but there is one thing I am pretty certain of. I know what the "secret sauce" will be. When Apple introduced the iPhone 4S last month a great number of people expressed disappointment at how underwhelmed they were with the introduction. Most of them missed the point. One of the most important announcement was perceived as just a gimmick. I am of course talking of Siri. What a great number of people fail to see if how important Siri, and services like it, are going to be to the future of consumer electronics. Of course at the moment Siri is limited, both geographically (a great number of Siri functions only work in the US at the moment) and in general functionality. When Google introduced their search engine more than a decade ago, it too was far from perfect. But these sort of systems get better the more people use them. It is safe to assume that Siri will continue to improve and go well beyond what it is capable of today. Some of the effects of a Siri-like system are obvious, others are not. Take for example "search". At the moment you enter your search string in the google box and you get your results presented with the targeted ads that allow Google to earn a living. But what happens if you use Siri to perform that search ? Suddenly you get your results as Siri wants you to see them. Gone are the ads, and gone is Google's excuse for charging for their ads. And when you consider that, by their own admission, 2/3 of mobile searches on Google come from the iPhone, you start to see the not-so-obvious effect Siri can have on Google.
                   
So what of Siri and TV ? Imagine sitting in front of your TV and instead of fiddling with a remote you simply say "play the most recent episode of The Walking Dead". Or you tell your TV to "record every episode of The Simpsons", not to mention "volume up" or "channel down" and "pause movie". Of course the question remains: what will you use to speak these commands into. An iPhone, an iPod, some sort of remote microphone ? Whatever it is, I am certain it will look cool and will be fashioned from either brushed aluminum or some other material Jonathan Ive will conceive of for us. Somewhere inside Apple someone is working on those items right now and when the products get announced one day we will once again look at each other and say "This is going to change EVERYTHING !"
Thursday
Oct062011

What he meant to me

 

Like most Apple products users, I have never met Steve Jobs. I have never even seen him. I went to a few MacWorld Expos in my day, but I never ran into the man. And yet, like many people across thre world, I am walking around with some sadness in my heart. Millions of people seem to feel this way about a man they didn't really know, let alone ever meet. 

But in some ways we have all come across the man's work, one way or another. In my case it started early on. I read about the introduction of the first Macintosh computer in a French montlhy comics magazine in 1984, two years before I moved to the States. In 1986, after I moved, I got my hands on a friend's "FatMac" (the 512k model) and it was love at first sight. I ended up buying a brand new Mac Plus in January of 1987 and it changed my life. Other Apple products, both hardware and software, have had that effect over the years. And so I have spent some time today thinking about what it was that I loved so much in these products and what I appreciated so much in Steve's work. And then it finally hit me: Steve Job was an ENABLER (in the positive sense only, of course). What he was creating enabled me to be my best, to strive further, to try harder, to better myself and learn new skills. It allowed me to express myself to my fullest. 

In my case the biggest breakthrough was probably video. In 1999 Steve Jobs presented to the world his second iteration of iMacs: the iMac DV (by the way the link goes to a very cute short video). It was the first FireWire enabled consumer Apple model. It came bundled with a new program called iMovie. When Steve explained what the program could do he said something like "we feel video is going to be a big thing on the Mac" (apologies if I didn't get his words exactly right, chances are that footage is alive somewhere on YouTube). I have since graduated from iMovie to Final Cut Pro and am still involved in a learning process that I am absolutely passionate about. And all of that happened because Steve Jobs enabled me to find in myself something I didn't even know was there. He allowed me to channel my creativity in a direction that I didn't even know I was interested in exploring. That's not to say that I am any good at any of it, but that's not the point. He enabled this by handing us the tools. And he chaperoned other such projects in other fields for others as well. Starting with desktop publishing in the 80s and including music throughout his career. He made it possible for the doctor to check his patient's MIR results on an iPad and for comics readers to obtain their favourite hero's adventures over the air the same day it comes out in print. 

We all have our own story about the ways Steve's creations affected our lives, and that is why we feel the way we do and it explains the outpouring of sentiment we have seen online these past 24 hours. Expressions of feelings about a man we never met, a man we didn't really know, but one who somehow managed to touch each of us individually.

Thursday
Oct062011

About Steve

 

Tim Cook, Apple CEO, sent the following email to Apple employees on Wednesday:

Team,

I have some very sad news to share with all of you. Steve passed away earlier today.

Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor. Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple.

We are planning a celebration of Steve’s extraordinary life for Apple employees that will take place soon. If you would like to share your thoughts, memories and condolences in the interim, you can simply email rememberingsteve@apple.com.

No words can adequately express our sadness at Steve’s death or our gratitude for the opportunity to work with him. We will honor his memory by dedicating ourselves to continuing the work he loved so much.

Tim

Monday
Oct032011

Hieroglyphics

 

I am going to do something I never have before: make predictions about tomorrow's iPhone event. Judging by the invitation Apple sent out last week (appearing above) here are my own conclusions. First the obvious stuff: the Calendar icon shows Tuesday the 4th. Simple enough: the event takes place tomorrow, October 4th. The Clock icon shows 10 o'clock. No problem there either. The Maps icon shows the location which is inside the Apple campus. And finally the Phone icon shows a "1". This is where the confusion starts. We have heard so many rumours of two new iPhones coming out: an iPhone 5 and a "cheap(er)" model, maybe called the 4s. Case manufacturers have gone so far as to create cases using a brand new form factor that does not correspond to the iPhone 4 size, simply based on rumours and inuendos, and all so that they can be first to market with a product and hope to cash in that way. Quite a gamble if you ask me.

Personally I don't think we are going to see two models, and I have a feeling that the number 1 in the phone icon is exactly that: 1 model. Furthermore I believe that the form factor will be identical, externally at least, to the iPhone 4. There is really nothing wrong with that form factor. We can surmise that one or maybe both cameras will get an upgrade, most likely to 8 megapixels for the outward-facing camera. And chances are the processor will be the A5 dual core chip we know from the iPad 2. It is also possible that this new model will work on both GSM and CDMA networks. The fact that the event is taking place at Apple's campus also points, in my opinion, to the fact that this is not viewed by Apple as a "revolutionary" event but rather an evolutionary one. Hence my thought about the form factor again. And maybe low key enough that the name of the new product will actually not be the iPhone 5 but something like an iPhone 4S or 4GS.

But maybe most importantly we should read a lot into that little line of text at the bottom: Let's talk iPhone. It would appear that the biggest news about this particular new iPhone will be the Nuance technology built in. They might as well have written: Let's talk TO the iPhone. Rumours are rife with news of advanced tech built into the phone that might turn it into the first phone people talk to regularly. We had seen some of it a while ago when some other Nuance software was announced. But this time it looks as though Apple may have gone all out, and we might not be far from those images seen anywhere from  "2001 A Space Odyssey" to shows like "Star Trek", however for now we shouldn't expect our phone to talk back to us much...yet.

 

Tuesday
Sep272011

Happy & Sweet

 

Two anouncements will surround the Jewish New Year: tomorrow morning, hours before the start of festivities, Amazon will anounce their new touchscreen media consuming iPad competitor believed to be called the Kindle Fire, and a couple of days after the holiday, Apple are set to anounce on October 4 what is expected to be the next iPhone, believed by some to be called the iPhone 5 and others the 4s (or will it be both ?). A great number of tech luminaries feel very strongly that if there ever was a company capable, and well enough positioned, to give Apple a run for its money, it is Amazon. And I tend to agree with that opinion. Both companies will have the hardware and the content, and in essence will control their entire eco-system, which is exactly what HP, RIM and countless other tablet manufacturers, be they android-based or otherwise, were not bringing to the table.

Our inclination would be to believe that Apple and Amazon are going to butt heads in this business. Interestingly enough their approaches are diametrically opposed. Of course both companies are looking to make this a succesful business, but each of them are looking to sell something else entirely. Amazon will in fact sell a tablet, but they are not looking to make money on the tablet. Amazon are in the business of selling content, of driving customers to their online store for stuff, be they bits or widgets. Their tablet(s) are just a means to an end. Apple, however, do sell content, but only as a means to sell more tablets. They offer the content as an enticement, to justify laying out the big bucks for the iPad, the iPod touch, the iPhone. I would not be surprised if at some point certain Kindle models are given out for free. As is, the current Kindle3 is sold at slightly over $100. Apple regularly offer free stuff on the iTunes store. Why not, if it means you'll be more eager to buy their hardware.

And so it is clear that things are about to get a lot more interesting in the world of Tech. Which leads me to wish us all a happy, sweet New Year.

Friday
Sep092011

Don't Mess With Apple

Hilarious video portraying what happens when you steal an iPhone prototype and won't give it back.

Thursday
Aug252011

Tim Cook's first email to Apple employees as CEO

 

Team: 

I am looking forward to the amazing opportunity of serving as CEO of the most innovative company in the world. Joining Apple was the best decision I've ever made and it's been the privilege of a lifetime to work for Apple and Steve for over 13 years. I share Steve's optimism for Apple's bright future.

Steve has been an incredible leader and mentor to me, as well as to the entire executive team and our amazing employees. We are really looking forward to Steve's ongoing guidance and inspiration as our Chairman.

I want you to be confident that Apple is not going to change. I cherish and celebrate Apple's unique principles and values. Steve built a company and culture that is unlike any other in the world and we are going to stay true to that-it is in our DNA. We are going to continue to make the best products in the world that delight our customers and make our employees incredibly proud of what they do.

I love Apple and I am looking forward to diving into my new role. All of the incredible support from the Board, the executive team and many of you has been inspiring. I am confident our best years lie ahead of us and that together we will continue to make Apple the magical place that it is.

 

Tim

Thursday
Aug252011

Guest contribution: Rafi Saar on Steve Jobs' resignation as CEO of Apple Inc.

 

Sometime around 3:30 AM Israel time, just as news of Steve Jobs' resignation hit the airwaves, Rafi sat down to write the thoughts that were going through his mind.

 

Just a few thoughts: 

1) Why did Steve Jobs resign?

a - because his health doesn't allow him to continue - in that case, even as Chairman we cannot expect him to stay for too long

b - in order to make the unavoidable move in a time of success and prosperity for the company so as to minimize the negative effects of such a move. That would show that there is a clear succession, he remains somewhere at the helm, and all is good. Also, leave enough time before the next keynote.

 

2) AAPL: I expect it to fall and then rise again when a) people will realize that the company is still a great one and b) when people will start re-buying the stock at a "bargain" price which will drive its price back up.  If the next products will continue to be bestsellers and quarterly results will be as before then there's no reason it wouldn't be less good than any other company if not, of course, much better.

Regarding buying AAPL stock, I was always worried about the day Steve Jobs will pass.  But I didn't expect him to resign before.  So now this unfortunate event is still something to come, even after his resignation.  So if his role as chairman will still give him a heavy weight in the company's decisions then his passing may still cause yet another stock fall.  Otherwise, the stock should not be too much affected by it.

Let's just hope Steve will continue to live for many more years and have a lot to say at the company so that we, the customers, will continue to enjoy from their great "magical" products.

 

3) What will change?

I think that's really the most interesting question of all. Steve has instilled his managerial ways into the company. Apple operates according to certain rules which will certainly continue to exist. Steve even created a course to learn "his" ways of managing the company. So I'm assuming that in the big picture we won't see too many changes.

I think it's not clear to us how much influence he really had in different areas of the company. He was clearly involved in everything, but did he come up with all these ideas? Certainly many different engineers came up with bright ideas, but Steve was probably the one to decide "which idea would live and which idea would die" or which should be changed (that option is missing from "Unetane Tokef") Could someone else make those decisions as "correctly" as Steve? And by "correctly" I mean his knack for knowing what the customers really need or what the customers would really prefer.

I actually think we will see the changes more in the little things. My feeling is we will have less of those drastic overturns where something you were trusting for years will suddenly no longer be supported because the new way is the "right" way (floppy disks, .mac, MobileMe - just to name a few). Or iOS apps rejection rules changing all the time and angering many developers and other similar brutal rejections which you can take or leave.

Another thing we will probably miss is what he certainly does behind the scenes when closing deals with mega-companies, and by that I mean what he did with the music labels, the movie studios, and now with books and magazine publishers. Certainly he played a big role in negotiating lucrative contracts for Apple.

So let's wait and see the history unfold. It will certainly be interesting.

 Let's just hope that the way history will unfold will also still remain favorable for us, the customers.

 

Rafi

Thursday
Aug252011

Steve Jobs resigns as Apple CEO

Tough to see this headline in the news. Here is the full text of his resignation letter. He will continue on as Chairman of the Board of Apple Inc.

To the Apple Board of Directors and the Apple Community:

I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come.

I hereby resign as CEO of Apple. I would like to serve, if the Board sees fit, as Chairman of the Board, director and Apple employee.

As far as my successor goes, I strongly recommend that we execute our succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO of Apple.

I believe Apple’s brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it. And I look forward to watching and contributing to its success in a new role.

I have made some of the best friends of my life at Apple, and I thank you all for the many years of being able to work alongside you.

Steve

Sunday
Aug212011

You say you want a revolution..



Not one, but TWO revolutions in one week. Yes, denizens of Planet-Tech, within one week we have seen one of the largest software companies in the world enter the hardware business, and one of the world's number one hardware companies get out of a huge chunk of theirs. I am of course talking about Google acquiring Motorola's mobile phone business, and Hewlett-Packard getting out of the tablet and cellphone business (and, who knows, maybe even out of the PC business altogether ) and taking the IBM-approach of software-services instead.

The Google decision must not have been an easy one. They had had no intention of getting into the phone manufacturing business, that is for sure. On top of that they will now have to do something they had foresworn years ago: provide telephone customer service. The patent debacle of the last few weeks pushed them into an impossible situation and really left them no choice. Their entire Android business was in danger of collapsing if they didn’t act quickly and got their hands on some intellectual property they could call their own. Having missed out on history’s largest sales of patents, they turned towards Motorola and made the deal that will force them to forever change the way they have been operating. They may even have to start paying attention to “design” from now on. We all love our Google products, that is for sure, but none of us are bowled over by their “pretty lines” or their industrial design. Google will be forced to “think different”(ly) from now on. It won’t all just be about functionality anymore.

The HP story actually makes me a little sad. As big a fan of iOS products as I am, I was kind of looking forward to getting my hands on some webOS products like HP’s TouchPad. Here was a credible competing operating system to iOS that looked neat, functional, effective and even pretty. And having been an early adopter of the Palm machines back in the 90’s I was happy  in 2010 to see that platform finding a home that could help it thrive and succeed. But it would appear that the hardware division of HP lacked some of the talent that the webOS software guys possessed in spades. The hardware was unworthy of the software that was to inhabit it. And so it seems that rather than first looking for a credible hardware partner to take on webOS together with HP, CEO Leo Apotheker made a drastic announcement stating that HP would terminate its webOS hardware business and most likely would spin off its PC division. 

And that’s the part that really struck home with me. Back in 1987 when I started my first job, the company I was at had no personal computers to speak of. Everyone just had a dumb terminal hooked up to some mini-computer on their desk and it was all very dreadful, especially to someone with a Macintosh Plus at home. So one day I announced that I thought we should all get Macs at work and start doing things a little differently (the Macintosh II had just been introduced a couple of months earlier). I might as well have said that I wanted to bring Barbie and Ken dolls to the office, or that I wanted to use a Lego set to get my work done. Let’s not mention the fact that, on my Mac Plus, I was using a little piece of software that until shortly before that had been a Mac-only program: a little something called Microsoft Excel. On PC’s in those days serious number crunching was achieved with Lotus 1.2.3 and very few people used Microsoft products yet beyond MS DOS. To placate me, the head of the IT department took me on a visit to the HP headquarters in upstate New York to look at some of the new PC hardware they were coming out with. Needless to say I was left staring at a screen with a command line interface flashing a C-prompt and the only “exciting” option I had was what color that C-prompt would be displayed in. I ended up with an IBM PC on my desk, one of the very first in that office, running some version of the very ugly Windows 2.x (don’t ask me what version it was, it is irrelevant, just trust me when I say it was horrific)

And here we are so many years later, and HP is getting out of that business, and Apple is going strong and doing better every day. Michael Dell even sent a tweet about the HP development that was meant to poke fun at them. The tweet read: “If HP spins off their PC business….maybe they will call it Compaq?”. Having completed with Compaq/HP for so many years, Dell was happy about this development. But Mr Dell should remember his comment from October 1997 about Apple. When asked what could be done to fix Apple, he infamously said then: “What would I do ? I’d shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders”. Chances are he has been eating his hat ever since. 

Tuesday
Aug092011

Low Tech smuggling of High Tech

Chinese and Hong Kong customs have just arrested a smuggling ring that specialized in getting Apple products across the border from northern Hong Kong into the Chinese city of Shenzen. Funny enough, these products were actually making their way back inot the country they had been manufactured in.

But what is most fascinating about the story is how they got the goods across. In essence a cable was shot across the border using a crossbow and was then suspended to a high rise building on the Chinese side. The goods were then moved using some sort of old-fashioned pulley system. 

In all 6 smugglers were arrested holding 50 iPads and 50 iPhones with a total worth in excess of $45,000. The video has no subtitles but, rest assured, you will get the gist of the story being told.

Wednesday
Jul272011

A Farewell to Optical Media

 

When Apple finally released OSX Lion last week, they also announced some new hardware. We will most likely get back to Lion at a later stage (it is starting to grow on me the more I use it) but if there is one thing that we learn from the hardware releases, one clear message Apple are sending to the public at large, it has to do with optical media. 

First of all we got the updated MacBook Airs. I happen to be a MacBook Air user myself, the 13 inch variety from late 2010, and for those of you who are familiar with that machine, you will remember that it comes with no optical drive whatsoever. When I ordered the machine I automatically included the external DVD drive in the purchase. My thinking was: I am going to need a drive to put discs in. Logical right ? Well, here's the thing: more than 7 months have gone by and I have yet to attach that drive to the computer. 

The Mac mini was updated as well. Did you happen to see that little beauty ? Great looking machine. Notice something different on this new arrival ? You got it: no optical drive.

Anyone remember the introduction of the first iMac in 1998 ? Remember what was missing from that machine ? Apple dared introduce a new computer "sans" floppy drive. Everybody said they were crazy. How could people possibly use a computer without a floppy drive ? Well, they're at it again. It is no coincidence that the new Mac mini has no optical drive. The same goes for the MacBook Air. And I will go as far as venturing that pretty soon the new MacBook Pros won't have any either (in fact I am fairly certain that the next iteration of the 15 inch MacBook Pro will look a lot more like the Air than like the current Pro). 

How have I been living without an optical drive ? Very simple really: everything gets downloaded. Between the App Store, iTunes, Amazon mp3, Netflix, Apple TV, Hulu, Dropbox and soon iCloud, there is no point to burning shiny little discs anymore. Let's not even talk about more questionable methods like peer to peer services. Everything is a lot more instantaneous. Lion doesn't come on a disc. Apps get updated over the internet. And now with Lion's cool new AirDrop feature, even the old sneakernet method is "out the window". 

So my advice is: embrace this brand new world of discless machines. One day we will look back on a past in whcih we carried around these shiny little things and smile at how primitive they were.

It was so long ago. It was only yesterday.

Monday
Jul252011

Inbox Zero Revisited

 

A while ago I wrote a piece about the importance the Inbox Zero method has had in changing the way I work, communicate and generally address issues on a day to day basis. It is surprising to what extent an inbox with 10,000 messages can make you feel totally out of control of your life. You know you are addressing SOME of the issues that come up, but you also realise that there are countless matters that have been left unresolved, people who have been waiting for answers, isuees that have been left unattended. Taking control of that mess is a huge task and while the Inbox Zero method is not the perfect solution (let's face it, there is no perfect solution to a situation that can never be resolved: while you were cleaning up your inbox two dozen more messages arrived) it is the closest thing to taking control you will ever find.

It is interesting to note that a great number of tech pundits have been declaring email "dead" as of late. Whether as a result of social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Google+ (my kids refer to email as something you check for homework) or simply because people tend to opt for instant messaging systems, be they on computers or smartphones, the point they are making is that pretty soon email will no longer be around. Personally I disagree, if only because of the sheer number of email messages that still come into my inbox on a daily basis and the extent to which my entire business is driven by this medium. But it is not too crazy to imagine a nearby future in which the importance of email will fade and other means of communications will take its place. Personally I just hope it won't be something like Facebook.

For those of you who are still plagued by the "living in your inbox" disease, here is another interesting piece that gives some thought to implementing "the method", with special emphasis on the fact that ultimately everyone devises their own system within the method.

Thursday
Jul142011

Just Talk To It

Star Trek fans have always dreamed of the time they could just to turn to their computer and say "Computer, tea, earl grey, hot" in the manner of Jean-Luc Picard. Those of us who are a little more paranoid will have images of HAL 9000 in 2001 A Space Odyssey trying to take control of the Discovery One spacecraft while speaking in a soft conversational manner.

Talking to our computers is becoming a reality and nowhere is it more obvious then with our smartphones. Here is one example of this sort of interaction entering our daily lives. Nuance has just released Dragon GO, a free iOS app. Check out the video to see this little beauty interact with other apps on the phone to produce immediate results.

Wednesday
Jul132011

Email with Elegance

Every once in a while I get excited about a new piece of software. Email has always been very important to me so when Sparrow was announced I really got excited and I got my hands on it as soon as it was made available to the public.

Now a new piece of software popped up that has got me salivating. Once again it is an email client, but with a twist. Check out the video for Persona to get a feel for this little beauty. I am not sure how this would scale when you take into account the amount of business email I deal with on a daily basis, but I am willing to give it a whirl once the software is made available. For now I'll just follow them on Twitter until I can get my hands on the program and see for myself.

 

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