PC Mag took your votes in multiple categories to come up with a definitive list of the most influential products of all time. From mobile devices to gaming to desktops to operating systems, they laid out the candidates and the public voted on which products have made the most impact in the technology world.
I wouldn’t have included the image of the Atari 2600 if it hadn’t won in the gaming category, but the original Nintendo Entertainment System was pretty close behind, nipping at its heels. The battle in the operating system category between Windows 3.1 and MacOS was pretty fierce, as was the battle between the Apple Macintosh and the Commodore 64 in the desktops category, but you’ll have to click through to see the results of that battle: I’m not about to spoil it for you.
According to a report by Royal Pingdom, the iPad is already a more popular computing platform than Linux. Ouch – I know a lot of Linux evangelists that are going to be mad about this – and are likely already coming up with ways to dismiss the report entirely.
Over at Geek.com I wrote a story about how XP has finally lost top spot in market share to Windows 7, but down there near the bottom of the chart in that story is another, equally interesting story: that “Other” category.
Inside that “Other” category, if you break it out by mobile OS to iOS, and then again to the iPad specifically, you get 1.18%. Which is still bigger than Linux’s overall 0.71%. Pingdom confirms:
These market share numbers are from Statcounter and are based on visitor statistics averaged from 3+ million websites. In other words, they represent computers used to access the Web. Mobile phones and other small-screen devices are not included.
In other words, the iOS market share you see in the chart is only for iPad. It does not include the iPhone or iPod Touch. We’ve verified this with Statcounter, just to be entirely sure.
Not only is iPad now so widely used that it shows up in this list, iOS for iPad has managed to pass Linux as a “desktop OS” (we use quotes, because tablets will probably soon make up their own category). In fact, it passed Linux sometime around December. Not bad for a device that was launched just back in April of 2010.
Wow. Talk about a rise of a product – it’s clear that one of the things that people with iPads do most often is surf the Web. Head over to Royal Pingdom for more details.
Some people say that the art and architecture that goes into making Apple retail stores as beautiful as they are borders on the attention that ancient cultures put on their temples and places of worship, and I don’t completely disagree. I don’t put a value judgement on it, but I do think that a lot of thought, thoughtfulness, and gorgeous design goes into making Apple Stores attractive places that everyone in the world wants to visit.
To that point, PC Mag has put together a gorgeous slideshow of Apple Stores around the world that you simply have to visit. Admittedly, they say you have to see them before you die: I’ll take a step back from it and say you should visit the countries before you die, and while you’re there, why not visit the Apple Store? I mean, just stop in for a peek at the latest iPad or to check your Web mail on one of the Macs?
Shown above is the Apple Store in Ginza, Japan – there are five more, including the beautiful glass-enclosed one in New York City, but I won’t spoil any of the others for you. Enjoy!
Apple just released its first iPad 2 commercial, and instead of some of the more feature-oriented commercials we’ve come to see from Apple lately – especially with regard to the iPhone – this ad is a little softer and a bit more sentimental: it reminds us a bit of the old “Think Different” days.
The commercial, titled “We Believe,” starts off by talking about what Apple’s philosophy is – that technology is a wonderful thing but it’s nothing without the people who want to use it to do incredible things, and by proxy the ad wants you to remember that you are – or could be if you buy an iPad 2 – one of those people, and that the “We” in the commercials also includes you.
It’s a great piece of advertising, and it really does harken back to the days where Apple’s ads were a bit more sentimental and airy, making broad value statements about the company, its products, and the people who choose to use them. Are we seeing a return to those days? I doubt it, but it’s very likely that Apple is going to call on the sentimental a bit more in future advertising. After all, back when Apple’s market share and market cap were both lower, they were accused of not really marketing their products and instead marketing an atmosphere and perspective. Now that Apple’s a bigger company, they can afford to tell you what their products can make you feel instead of what they do.
Well, the social has officially ended. Microsoft has tipped to Bloomberg that the Zune line of hardware products is all but finished, but the name, the media player, and the software line will live on. I reported on this here at Gears and Widgets a while ago when word started to leak out that the death of the Zune may be coming. Now, it seems, it’s finally here:
According to Bloomberg, Microsoft will continue to put its Zune features into Windows Phone 7 and in the Zune desktop software for Windows. Microsoft’s Zune Pass remains an economical way to stream and have access to a large array of music, but the fact that it only runs on Windows devices ruins its potential as a true iTunes competitor.
First thing to note: Microsoft officially refused to comment on the rumor, and claimed that they’re committed to supporting their devices, but they also didn’t do anything to diffuse worry, and didn’t even approach a statement claiming that they would continue to work on the Zune. (Full disclosure: this makes me really sad, because I met an engineer from Microsoft at CES 2010 who worked on the electrical systems that make the OLED display in the Zune so gorgeous. I hope she’s still got a job.)
While a lot of blogs are writing pretty nasty epitaphs for the Zune player, I think that it was a great device in the end that had a lot of unrealized potential. The Zune desktop software and Zune Marketplace for music were both great, the Zune hardware was sleek and attractive – especially as the Zune HD came out, and while I think the Zune started as something of a bad idea and a copycat product to the iPod, it eventually came into its own and was a strong, affordable, and great-sounding music player that any music lover would have been happy to own.
Lance Ulanoff of PC Mag, however, thinks this is emblematic of bigger problems at Microsoft regarding brand control and their desire to let unfavorable products simply die on the vine (a la the Microsoft Kin.) He says:
Dear Microsoft: Manage your message or someone will do it for you. Case in point: the recent, none-too-surprising news that the lovely Zune HD will meet a timely death. Within minutes of the news breaking, stories and tweets flooded the Internet declaring, “The Zune is Dead.” This was followed by people asking if everything “Zune” was gone or just the hardware. I assured people that the obvious answer was the hardware only, but is it that obvious? And why wasn’t Microsoft out in front of this information?
Sadly, Microsoft could also use some of that positive buzz for Windows Phone, too, right now. The nascent mobile platform has, just like the Zune before it, gotten off to a slow start. Yes, I heard that there are now 10,000 apps in the Windows Phone marketplace, but I hesitate to call that momentum. I’m still not seeing enough Windows phones in the wild—more than I ever saw Zunes and Zune HD’s mind you, but not enough to create the kind of excitement you see around every Apple iPhone release, rumor, upgrade or random notion.
The company did not do a great job during the recent Windows Phone update fiasco (it’s ready, it’s not the one we talked about, it’s not ready, we don’t know, here it comes). That kind of nonsense just makes it seem like Microsoft cannot get its act together.
He has an excellent point, and if Microsoft is going to treat Windows Phone 7 the way it’s been treating the Zune and the Kin, they’re in trouble, and we’re in trouble because we’ll lose some decent products in-market and solid competition for other products that are already market leaders.
The Zune was great competition to the iPod, and in some ways the driving force behind larger storage and lower prices that we saw in the iPod, and eventually the abandonment of physical drives in music players entirely: it brought great video to the screen of a simple music player and forced Apple to do the same.
The Zune HD’s only real weakness was a lack of apps and software support by developers to make it a solid competitor to the iPod Touch.
Still, do I own a Zune? Not at all – although I know a few people who do and love them. Most people I know with Zunes loved them when they got them, the problem was getting the Zune into the hands of people to try and enjoy. It was definitely the kind of product that you had to use to love, and once you used it, you loved it. I’m sad to see it go – partially because it’s a great product, but partially because it was the iPod’s only real, solid competition.
At the same time, many people would make the argument that the stand-alone digital media player market is dead or dying anyway: more people want to take their music with them on their phones, and phone storage is getting to be as large as some of these large-screened DAPs with NAND flash storage anyway. If I have a 32GB iPhone, what do I need a 32GB iPod Touch or Zune for?
So here’s to you, Zune – I’ll pour one out for you. Or maybe pick one up on sale, now that I’m betting I can get a good deal on a Zune HD.
Reports are that the Motorola Xoom – the iPad’s first real competitor, and the first Android tablet to run Android 3.0 “Honeycomb,” isn’t selling quite as well as people had hoped. Admittedly, there are likely a number of reasons for why this is, but ultimately the success of the Xoom is key to the success of the tablet market in general: if the iPad has a strong competitor, Apple will feel the need to push forward when it comes to improving and innovating in the marketplace. If they feel they can completely define the market direction and the technology consumers buy, they’ll make more modest steps.
Analyst Peter Misek told ZDNet:
Xoom sales have been underwhelming. While marketing has just started we believe MMI will likely have to cut production if it already has not done so. We believe the device has been a bit buggy and did not meet the magic price point of $500. We believe management knows this and is hurrying development and production of lower cost tablets. Importantly we believe management will likely have to make the painful decision to accept little to no margin initially in order to match iPad 2’s wholesale pricing.
Yowch. He even tosses in a ding at the Motorola Atrix later in the report, claiming that the Blackberry Torch – a phone that got a largely tepid response from the tech community and BlackBerry enthusiasts – is selling better than the Motorola Atrix, the highly lauded Android phone that made waves at CES back in January.
So what’s the deal? Well, the Atrix got dinged on confusing pricing and – the real draw, supposedly the laptop dock that Motorola wanted everyone to pick up – being about as expensive as the phone. Add that to the fact that the Atrix is an AT&T exclusive, and you have a great phone that’s essentially DOA.
As for the Motorola Xoom, some people are complaining that the Xoom is buggy, Honeycomb isn’t ready for prime time, and of course, the fact that there’s a ridiculous lack of Honeycomb apps available, so you’re stuck using apps for Froyo if you can get them to work properly.
To me, there have been three nails in the coffin of the Xoom right now – the lack of tablet-based apps, the confusing pricing structure, and the delay of a WiFi only model. The delay of a WiFi only model all but positions the Xoom as something that people would have to go to a wireless carrier to get, and not everyone who may be interested in a tablet want to get into an added contract with their wireless carrier to enjoy. The lack of tablet-based apps has been talked to death. The pricing structure has been its own problem: there are three prices for the WiFi model, three prices for the 3G model, a cost to upgrade to 4G, an activation fee, a fee to pay Verizon Wireless to get a WiFi only model, and so on. Ultimately, when you buy a Xoom, or think about buying a Xoom, you have absolutely no idea what your out of pocket expenses will be.
Still, all of those woes aside, I really like the Xoom – or rather, the idea of the Xoom – since competition is good and the iPad needs some. After all, I’m still convinced that Apple got away with a fairly lackluster update to the original iPad largely to fanfare because there still aren’t solid competitors in the market yet that can stand toe-to-toe with Apple on the software front.
What do you think? Are you pondering a Motorola Xoom, or are you waiting for additional Honeycomb tablets to hit the market? Maybe you’re looking instead for more Honeycomb apps to appear? Let me know in the comments.
One thing Steve Jobs made a fuss about when he was on stage announcing the iPad 2 was the case that Apple had specifically designed for it. It magnetically attaches to the back of the device, doesn’t kill the slim profile, isn’t a bulky sleeve or rigid case to go around it, and it still serves as a stand when you want to prop the device up. Jobs was really impressed by the case, and of course he would be – it’s an Apple product.
Still, is it actually a good case? Is it a must-buy with your iPad 2? Well PC Mag went hands-on to find out, and their results are intriguing. It’s good, but not perfect, a solid case for the money, but not the only option on the market. Plus, it does have its drawbacks – like not protecting the rear of the case at all. Still, it does some things really well that make it an excellent choice if you’re looking for something to protect your shiny new iPad 2.
Head on over and check out the full review – it’s worth a read, especially if you’re planning on getting an iPad 2 tomorrow.
So the blogs have been buzzing recently thanks to a report that for SpaceTime Studios, the developers of the popular mobile MMO Pocket Legends, has found that its Android version is simply more profitable than the iOS version of the same game.
SpaceTime runs Pocket Legends for both platforms, and since the game is an MMO, anyone on any platform can play with each other. But SpaceTime noted that they’re seeing more sales from its Android customers than from its iOS customers. Does this mean – as many tech news sites have jumped to the conclusion – that Android owners are somehow more willing to shell out for apps than iOS users? Does it mean that developers should all switch to building games for Android now?
Well, what exactly does it mean? I know – partially because unlike a number of people who have covered the story in a couple of places, I’ve actually played Pocket Legends (on my Android phone, no less,) understand SpaceTime’s business model, and get what they’re really trying to say here. Let’s dive in after the jump.
If and when I finally cave in and buy an iPad, I’ll want a DodoCase to keep it protected wherever I go. Not only are they some of the best cases you can buy to protect any generation of iPad from harm, but they look like books! They’re all handmade with quality components, fold open to give you access to the ports of your iPad and let you use it while it’s protected, and they even work as an iPad stand if you want to just prop it up and watch a video.
Now, DodoCase has trotted out brand new designs for the new iPad 2, including a tasty-looking special edition that will only be around for a limited time (shown above, courtesy of Crunchgear.)
The limited edition is definitely pricey, weighing in at $90, and the regular edition for the iPad 2 is more affordable but still not exactly cheap at $60. Admittedly though, are you really going to spend at least $499 and at the very most $829 for a device that you can’t spare $60 to protect in both style and substance? I didn’t think so.