Evi Might Outdo Siri And Google Search

Image of Evi App taken from Vinh Nguyen's iPhone 4

Image of Evi App taken from Vinh Nguyen's iPhone 4

I couldn’t yet upgrade to iPhone 4S from my iPhone 4, therefore I had not a chance to experience Siri.  Luckily, I found an article in regarding to how Apple would pull Evi off its App Store by TechCrunch, because Apple did not like how Evi could do similar things to Siri and do them well.  I went to the App Store immediately to see if Evi was gone from App Store yet, but to the sigh of my relief it was there still.  I purchased Evi for $0.99.  I tested out Evi and it was certainly a little nice app for $0.99.

People have been reporting how Evi’s true knowledge search engine may make Siri looks dumb.  So, I tested it out, and I’ve found Evi’s server to be super busy as it seemed to tell me that it had gotten trouble from getting a response from its servers.  Nonetheless, as long I tried again or few more times with the same questions, Evi eventually got it right by spitting out correct answers.  Of course, Evi could not hook me up directly to iPhone 4’s applications and performed tasks, but I think Evi could be a contender for Siri and Google!

Yes, this sort of apps might make Google’s search engine goes the way of the dinosaurs.  So, I think if I’m Google, I better create something that is better than this sort of things (e.g., Evi, Siri, Vlingo).  Get busy Google!

In conclusion, Evi is cheap enough and nice enough, I don’t regret of having it.  Perhaps, I might use Evi for stupid questions such as “Where can I buy a cat?” — even though I know I would never get one and yet I know Evi would give me the answer anyway.  That’s the beauty of Evi.  Evi would point me to several locations that Evi thinks I might find a cat of my liking.  How about this one?  “How do I make the best coffee?”

Mars Images App Allows You To See Latest Mars Pictures From Opportunity Rover

According to Wired, NASA has released a new app for iPhone and iPad, allowing iOS users to receive latest Mars images directly from NASA’s Opportunity rover.  How directly?  I’m not sure!  Nonetheless, I think this app will be able to excite science geeks.  Unfortunately, the amazing sturdy Opportunity rover (launched in 2003 and made to Mars in 2004) could not send images in color, or else I would be just excited as those science geeks.  I know, I’m asking too much, but it’s a perspective from a non-science geek anyway!  So, the next time you ponder on what is up with Mars, you can always pull out Mars Images app and check out some Mars photos.  Don’t forget to pray for Opportunity rover’s long life, OK?  For your information, Mars Images app can be found on Apple App Store for iPhone and iPad.

Source:  http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/01/mars-photos-app/

SkyDrive iPhone App Review

SkyDrive is more impressive than Dropbox and other cloud storage services in one aspect, SkyDrive allows free 25GB of storage space.  Microsoft has also released SkyDrive app for iPhone and Windows Phone.  Perhaps, the SkyDrive app for iPad and Mac will come out soon, but I’m not sure.  As now, the search for SkyDrive for Mac and iPad in Apple’s App Store turns up empty.

SkyDrive app for iPhone is good but can be made better!  I can’t make the same comment for Windows Phone since I don’t have a Windows Phone.  Why it is good but not really good?  Unless I’ve no idea what I’m doing, it turns out that I can only upload individual photo or video but not entire folder of photos or videos at once onto SkyDrive with SkyDrive iPhone app.  Imagine people who have thousands of photos and more than a dozen of videos on their iPhone would have to take ages to upload all their contents onto SkyDrive using SkyDrive iPhone app.

The uploading of a photo from iPhone to SkyDrive using SkyDrive iPhone app is simple and easy.  Just tap on the sharing icon on the upper right corner of the iPhone screen, you can then tap on the Add a Photo or Video button to add a photo or video.  Right underneath the Add a Photo or Video button, you’ll see Create a Folder button which allows you to create a new folder for storing more contents.  Sharing a photo is easy too.  By tapping on a photo to view, tap the photo again when it is in full screen mode to reveal the sharing button on the upper right corner of the iPhone screen, and tap on the sharing button to review the Send a Link button.  Tapping on Send a Link button, you can send a link to someone’s email to allow a person to view or view and edit your photo.  Above the Send a Link button, there is a Download button which allows you to download a photo easily in case you have deleted such a photo from iPhone and wanted to recover it from SkyDrive.  Deleting a photo or a video, users have to view a photo or video in thumbnail mode, and then slide the finger from left to right on the thumbnail photo of a photo or video to reveal a Delete button.  Tap on Delete button to remove the photo or video from SkyDrive.  You can also delete the whole folder by viewing the folder in thumbnail mode and slide a finger the same way you do with a photo or video.

In summary, SkyDrive iPhone app is very limited in features.  The uploading and sharing of photos and videos are easy as pie, and so SkyDrive iPhone app deserves a praise here.  One other cool thing about SkyDrive iPhone app is that it allows you to take a photo or film a video immediately from your iPhone and upload to SkyDrive directly.  Altogether, SkyDrive iPhone app needs more features, but it’s still awesome since it allows users to interact with a free 25 GB of storage space on the go.

Side Note:  I’m baffled of not knowing how to upload a document using SkyDrive iPhone app.  Sure, iPhone isn’t a great tool in creating and editing documents, but I think this app should allow users to upload documents nonetheless.  Just a thought!

Would It Be Better For Apple Users Had Steve Jobs’ Wish Of Creating A Wireless Carrier Came True?

Steve Jobs shows off iPhone 4 at the 2010 Worl...

Image via Wikipedia

Reading Steve Jobs‘ biography written by Walter Isaacson, one could see that Steve Jobs had wanted to create his own wireless carrier.  Steve Jobs had always obsessed with making sure that Apple would be the one that got the final say on user experience.  Steve Jobs had not wanted to have Apple’s partners dictated how the users would see Apple products, therefore he had decided to create his own retail stores (i.e., Apple stores).  The same thing could be said how Steve Jobs took the wall garden approach to Apple applications as these were and are being tightly integrated and guarded within Apple App Store.  So, it was painful for Steve Jobs to see that he had to put up with how things weren’t in his control when it came down to wireless network.  Perhaps for certain difficulties that proved to be too illusive to solve when it came to create a wireless carrier, therefore he had abandoned the approach and copulated with AT&T exclusively from the start.  Of course, now we know that Apple folks are at the point where they will work with just any carrier, and so the exclusivity which AT&T enjoyed earlier is no longer in place.  This explains how Verizon and the rest got to sell iPhone 4S.

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

Image by stevegarfield via Flickr

The question is this, is it wise to use Steve Jobs’ wall garden approach for everything, even with wireless carrier, so the business could provide better user experience and boost bottom line?  I think in some moving parts that responsible for the health of certain businesses, it’s not wise to use wall garden approach.  Why?  Perhaps, when a business is well known for not being talented with something might take the wrong approach and end up creating a disaster.  With that being said, I still think Steve Jobs is right about Apple should have its very own wireless carrier.  After all, what is important most to a business should be run by its own master to ensure the ultimate customer experience stays positive!

Just imagine several major wireless carriers could band together to form a coalition of sort to demand Apple to work with them in limited terms, would this be unreasonable to Apple?  Perhaps, because Apple might not be able to provide the ultimate customer/user experience when Apple could not dictate how their very own customers/users enjoy staying connected.  Some people might argue that Apple should be OK as long their products sell in millions.  Sure, Apple could make its competitors rage with envy when it comes down to selling products, but customers could eventually hate Apple for not providing better customer/user experience.  Perhaps this was why Steve Jobs knew and created Apple’s own retailer stores while his advisors were against the very idea in the first place.  Steve Jobs’s advisors and colleagues pointed out that Dell did not own retailer stores and yet had been doing fine; also, HP and others were doing fine without owning their own retailer stores for they worked with various retailer distributors such as Best Buy.  Steve Jobs was right as Apple stores boosted Apple sales.  As seeing the success of Apple stores, I have to wonder should Apple be even more successful if it had its own wireless carrier?

Wireless carriers are a major part of determining how customers/users feel about Apple products, this is why Steve Jobs might have been right about having Apple to run its own wireless carrier.  To explain why wireless carriers are a major moving part of Apple’s overall business strategy, one has to recognize that without reliable and fast wireless carriers, Apple products are just cumbersome and dull; perhaps with few self-contained software and games.  This might not be enough for today customers/users since today world emphasizes more on staying connected with the Internet (i.e., the world).  This explains why data can determine customers/users’ interests and joys and connections and social interactions and e-commerce and everything.  Therefore, Apple products end up just represent the hardware side, and we know when hardware have no software, nobody would care!  In today world, we also to have acknowledge that when hardware have no data, nobody would care!  This is why as one appreciates the wall garden approach of Steve Jobs, one has to recognize Apple needs to create its own wireless carrier.

As now, major wireless carriers complain users are using too much data that put strains on their networks.  Instead of finding real solutions to make customers/users stay happy, several major wireless networks have combatted heavy data by selling limited wireless plans; they think limiting how customers/users use data might deter users from using too much data.  Raising costs and limiting users the ability to use wireless networks freely, I fear one cannot say customers/users are having good experience with wireless carriers.  I don’t think the ultimate experience of using something is to be limited.  It is not so good experience when one can only watch half of a great film and not the rest.  It is not so good experience when one can only lick a cake but not eat it.  It is not so good experience when one can only smell the wine but not drink it.  So on and so on… Therefore it’s not so good experience when one cannot stream data on the go freely.  This is why it’s not a bad idea to see even if there is only one more wireless carrier enters the wireless market to boost competition, lower down the costs, and improve customer/user experience.  Should Apple be the one more wireless carrier to make Apple users happier?

It’s a hypocrite of me to support open movement and not so a fish tank approach to mobile apps and yet I wish Steve Jobs’ own wireless carrier should have happened.  Still, for Apple users’ greater good, I like the idea of Apple having its own wireless carrier (Hint: notice how I say for Apple users’ greater good only).  I think with Apple’s own wireless carrier, Apple can carry out its wall garden approach fully to improve customer/user experience.  Of course, I think wall garden approach only works when Apple truly wants to improve the customer/user experience and not just pushing for greater profits.  If what being read in Steve Jobs’ biography written by Walter Isaacson are mostly true, then one could see Steve Jobs were more interested in making excellent products than just making more money.  It also explained how the come back of Steve Jobs to Apple board had allowed Apple not only survived the almost bankruptcy but thrived and became one of the most valuable companies in the country.  So, my point is that Apple might continue to rise even more by putting Steve Jobs’ original intention to work as in creating Apple wireless carrier.

On the side note:  Even Google is slowly experimenting in building its own broadband.  Perhaps too Google will build its own wireless carrier.  Why?  I think Google knows that it cannot be too happy to allow today major broadband and wireless carriers have all the saying in how Google users should use Google data.  Just imagine what if Internet users experience data throttling by major broadband and wireless carriers, how Google be sure its users would be able to enjoy Google data fully?  Google is in the business of marketing and more, and when users could not reach an ad or two and a service or two, it might be costly for Google’s bottom line to not do something to prevent such things from happening.  Should Apple take note from Google on the matter of creating one’s own broadband/wireless carrier?  I think very yes so!

Apple Officially Releases App Store For Mac Users

Apple has officially released App Store for Mac users today which is January 6th, 2011.  To get App Store working for you, first you need to do a software update on your Mac.  Mac will download a 120.9 MB worth of installation files.  Restart your Mac after the completion of the download.  Check inside your Application folder, you’ll see a new icon says App Store.  Click on that and you will see a gorgeous window with hundreds of apps.

Since this is a grand opening of App Store for Mac users, it’s to be expected more apps will come soon.  Yay for Apple, because App Store is going to allow Apple to cash in more money.  No longer only iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch users are able to make Apple wealthier, but now whoever uses Apple products will be able to order an app and consequently make Apple even more wealthy.

It’s funny how Microsoft advertises its Windows Phone 7 as playing less with the phone and more with life, and here Apple is trying to promote more with the app and less with life.  Who is going to have time to go through all those apps?  I know I don’t!  So folks, only go for the apps you absolutely need, otherwise you will have less time and money on your hand.  Have fun with Apple’s new App Store!

Youtube Makes Bold Statement Steathily By Releasing HTML5 Enabled Mobile Version

You know there are gazillion of applications in Apple’s App Store, some are free, and many are not!  So many applications that are readily to be downloaded at anytime at a cost of whatever, it’s truly an addictive hobby for most, and mobile makers are truly encouraging this behavior.  Obviously, Goolge’s Android smart phone users have their kind of App Store, gazillion of Apps are ready for them too!

App developers are happy, because if Apple rejects their Apps, they can always switch to Android base smart phones.  Things are about to change, and Google is leading the game.  Google is releasing a mobile version of YouTube that is as compatible as it gets with HTML5.  Why is this a game changing factor?  No mobile users ever need to use a native application to play YouTube videos ever again, because many mobile browsers are or will be compatible to HTML5.

The need to download a special App to play YouTube video is no longer necessary.  And you ask, why is this a game changer, again?  Well, Google is saying that to all mobile users (especially to iPhone users) that HTML5 is king, not only YouTube videos are conformed with HTML5, many future applications are probably will be so!  With that subtle statement, do we need anymore clarity?  No, not really, because Applications that are so popular now on smart phones such as iPhone will become outdated — they only need a browser to play all applications, and forget about those boring downloading moments!

The abandonment of the Apps attitude reminds me about Google’s Chrome Operating System concept!  Maybe, indeed we don’t really need complicated things under our immediate hood, because through the cloud, Google has a well maintained machine that churns everything for us all!  Check out YouTube’s HTML5 enabled mobile website at m.youtube.com.

Source: YouTube Launches HTML5 Mobile Website