Tag Archives | apple

Apple, emotions and enterprise focus

In today’s keynote, Apple went emotional on the success of its platforms. There was a focus on how their products enable iPhone and iPad apps to change people’s lives. Blind people, children with disabilities, students and small businesses were shown in videos illustrating new opportunities to interact. The message also serves as inspiration to the developer crowd to continue innovate and find new ways of enabling users to use Apple products.

The big news today is the new Mac Book Pro. Apple clearly defines a new standard for high end notebooks. Competition will need significant time to catch up.

iOS6 gives iPhones and iPads a refresh. There is a focus on usability and integration with other Apple devices through iCloud and with the usual social media suspects. The update contains more than 200 new user features. These are my favorites:

  • The phone app – You can now take control of incoming calls. Set the phone in “Do Not Disturb” and allow only your favorite contacts to pass through. You can also choose to not answer, and have the phone remind you to call back or send the caller a message.
  • Facebook integration – Facebook gets integrated into the iPhone core. Share photos, links, locations, iTunes and App Store items.
  • Passbook – the new Passbook app consolidates tickets, boarding passes, coupons etc into one single place. This will definitely make the phone more usable in mobile commerce scenarios. Expect airlines and merchants to include this feature in new updates.
  • Safari enhancements – The browser gets a “Smart App” feature. The site can define an app link that is shown, informing the user that there is an app to use instead of the web. In fact, the integration can even take into account where the user is on the site, enabling the app to show the relevant view if launched.
  • FaceTime – You can now make FaceTime calls using 3G. Before iOS this was only possible on WiFi networks.

Now, conference is started. My focus will be to learn more about Apple’s enterprise functions. The iPhones and iPads are no longer just consumer devices, but more and more important enterprise tools. Enterprise App Stores, security, device administration and so on, are needs that Apple needs to address stronger than it has so far.

… and I will keep you updated on the blog and Twitter feed on what takes place over here.

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Apple fans emotional on keyboard

My latest column in Computer Sweden had emotions run high among Apple fans. I was called an idiot and had my intelligence questioned. Some suggested my motives were not honest. The column was the second most read article on IDG’s Computer Sweden last week, and has almost 300 comments.

I was flabbergasted because I wrote about my switch from PC to Mac, not the other way around.

In the column I described some challenges I’ve had and how I addressed them. I pointed out that I find the Finder frustrating (with Copy and Paste shortcuts, but no Cut), Microsoft Office for Mac feels like Office in 1992, and that Internet Explorer is easier to use the Safari. (Note, this comes from someone with 25 years of Windows experience and is obviously subjective.)

I wrote that a key component in trying to make the switch as painless as possible is Parallels Desktop:

Parallels Desktop is almost magical. With Parallels Desktop, I can use both Mac OS X and Windows 7 at the same time. Mac applications run right next to Windows applications. The environments share file system. I use Adobe’s products and Xcode in Mac OS X, and Microsoft Office and Visual Studio in Windows 7. I have the best of both worlds.

But it was not comments related to software that had emotions run high. It was my comments on the Mac keyboard. Now, I know that anyone is bound to get used to anything (including a Mac keyboard), and I am more fluent with it today than I was six months ago. But the Mac keyboard is simply not a work of usability art. At this point I should admit guilt in the name calling situation. I did call the keyboard idiotic.

But I still argue that pressing one key, for common navigational operations, is better than pressing two or even three. The lack of Home, End, Page Up, Page Down and Delete is therefore a mystery to me. To require pressing three keys to do a Print Screen is plain dumb, not to mention the stupidity that the Print Screen doesn’t put the screenshot in the Clipboard but in an image file placed on my carefully organized Desktop. I also fail to see the logic behind not including a symbol for the commonly used backslash.

I wish that Apple would make a Mac Book Pro Switcher’s Edition (with a keyboard that makes sense).

Finally, some education to those who posted comments in the lines of: “This was a crappy article because it was highly subjective.” There are different types of content in a magazine. The purpose of a column is for the columnist to express opinions or point of view.

So, here is my opinion again. I love my Mac, but its keyboard is idiotic.

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