TV and the new Ping “social” network from Apple are two recent examples of how underwhelming products can get over-hyped by fan boys.
There are plenty of iPhone reviews out there. This is not another. This post is just an observation as to why the iPhone is so different and inspires such goodwill from those who use it. It is simple really, but Apple has taken tasks that on most (all?) other phones are cumbersome, non-intuitive, and often just plain crappy and made them a joy. I am not really over stating this, the iPhone is really fun to use. Browsing the web is not reminiscent of the “real” real web, it IS the real web (ok a web without Flash – for now). Google maps works just like Google maps should. Email is great, not some crippled version, and the phone, despite what some have said, is very nice too. Almost all the interfaces are easy to use and it is easy to know where to go and what to do to make things happen. My previous Windows Mobile phone and my Palm PDA phone before that, took a while to master and it was only because I learned their backwards way of doing things was I able to manage on those devices.
This should serve as yet another lesson from Apple that design matters. Make interfaces (both physical and virtual) that are fun and intuitive and people will enjoy using them and tell their friends.
A couple other observations – No wonder there is a 10% restocking fee if you return an iPhone. With the amount of plastic they use – wrapping everything multiple times in their way. It would take a while to wrap all that stuff back up, I imagine. And what is up with the industrial glue used on the bags they put the phones in when you buy them. Not sure if it is the same at Apple stores but at the at&t store the clerk put the phone in this bag and then pulled away a strip between the two insides and the bag sealed up tight – had to use keys to rip a hole in the bag to open it. When we asked him about it, he said Apple was making them do that. Think different, I guess.
I recently purchased a Nikon D50 digital SLR camera but haven’t even had the time to go out and really use it. I have posted a couple dozen photos taken with the camera. All of them are pretty much on the auto settings and none are very good, but I think they show some of the potential of this camera.
I considered getting the D70s and drooled over the D200 but in the end I realized that the D50 (nearly identical to the D70s – and in many ways better*) is still too much camera for the like of me and I still have much to learn before an upgrade is warranted.
This post about my new Nikon camera comes amid speculation that Nikon may discontinue its analog camera production. There is still some confusion over Nikon’s plans with seperate reports coming out in favor of and denying the rumors. But Nikon’s site seems pretty clear about the issue:
As a result of the new strategy Nikon will discontinue production of all lenses for large format cameras and enlarging lenses with sales of these products ceasing as soon as they run out of stock. This also applies to most of our film camera bodies, interchangeable manual focus lenses and related accessories. Although Nikon anticipates that the products will still be in retail distribution up to Summer 2006.
* the things I like about the D50 over the D70 are: the size and weight of it. Is a tiny bit smaller and I think it feels better, it uses Secure Digital cards rather than compact flash this saves me money and is faster, there are a couple other things, but I will save them for a more complete review in a couple weeks.
- A great use of the donations of hard working Catholics everywhere: Hire lawyers to get immunity from sex case prosecution.
- Arianna Huffington’s blog post standards below even those of Alt Text. Posting email forwards, however amusing just isn’t right.
- Amazing video of Octopus attacking a shark
- Market economies not the way to bring democracy? Full article.
- 50 year plan to reintroduce lions, elephants, cheetahs and more to North American habitats. – The more you read, the more it sounds like a bad idea – that is if it sounded at all like a good idea at first.
- You suck at supporting our troops!
- Hacking Hybrids to get 250 mpg? Yup. – if you’re not an engineer or are just rich, this company will upgrade your Prius for $12k.
- Flickr for videos?
- Is Google going to try to bring free wi-fi to everyone in the U.S.?
- Barcode tattoos to let people know certain “private” info about yourself? – Some are doing it and new phones read them. Make your own barcode with one of several tools.
- I can think of a lot of reasons the Bush administration should shy away from its recent mantra of personal choice. I am sure many women can too.
- The idea of a global city is interesting to me. There aren’t too many cities (45) that get the distinction. My hometown, Minneapolis manages to sneak into the lowest tier. I am sure the art and culture here have a lot to do with it, but having an international airport and the hub of a major carrier helps.
- Minneapolis is also the 26th most liberal city finds a recent (flawed) study. I say its flawed because it only looked at voting patterns in the last presidential election which is not really a good measure of liberal v. conservative.
- I am happy that Target and The New Yorker have plans for an all Target-based ad issue. Of course I am a bit biased because I like these two groups. If it were Wal-Mart buying all the ads in the Weekly Standard I would likely renounce it as commercial crap.
- Could the LifeStraw be the most important invention of our time?
- Maybe this is the means to which mobile phone and PDA manufacturers get us to enjoy rich media on their devices.
- First you could watch your TV shows anytime, now you can watch them anywhere with the Slingbox
- Evidence shows intelligent life did not evolve in (sic) Mars but it was always used by intelligent aliens as landing bases to experiment on the earth – WTF? Is the India Daily some sort of satire or parody site? Regardless, this article is hilarious.
- My Review of documentary The Corporation
- My review of Kurt Vonnegut’s Timequake
- The Aristocrats (Salon’s review) – I have been eagerly awaiting the time when my friends could see this movie – it is god-damned funny shit*. (Slate’s review)
- More Dirty jokes than you can shake a (insert noun) at.
- Susan Hesse makes portraits with vegetables, etc.
* If you ever corner me in a bar or such place have me tell you the story about Bob Sagat that Paul Provenza told the entire theater at SXSW 2005 after the preview screening.
- DEVELOPING: Karl Rove to be indicted. I feel like Drudge.
- Be your own hotspot – create a solar-powered Wi-Fi backpack. Sweet.
- Busmonster – another use of the Google Maps API, this time for info on bus routes.
- Transparent Google maps laid over satellite images – gotta love the API being out there.
- A9’s maps with block view photos – I know this has been out for a while but I hadn’t seen this particular implementation.
- Martha Stewart’s prison name: M. Diddy
- If Fiona Apple’s new video (click free link) is any indication of her new direction, I am thinking the Free Fiona campaign may free her from any future record deals once and for all. I am a Fiona fan but if her new sound is 20’s retro, I won’t be listening to much of it.
- Is greenlighting the next sex trend among teens and others, ala rainbow parties and sex bracelets
- Many designers are guilty of “Lazy, stupid and evil design” according to our favorite Swede Jacob Nielsen. I would have read this article but…
- Ricky Gervais’ top sitcoms of all-time (his top 3 are American shows) and his new show Extras
- 125 scientific questions in need of answering.
- Worst beers ever.
- Google Knows
Washington Nationals team logo is not sitting well with some fans.
- My War of the Worlds review, in case you missed it.
- Asian, Black women make more than their white counterparts. Progress?
- Alarm clock rolls of nightstand and hides itself after you hit snooze
- Bob Casey, owner of the only voice to ever announce Minnesota Twins homegames, has died at 79.
- Mark Cuban blogs about copyright and content ownership. This is worth reading, that Cuban is a smart guy.
- Court rules that Sony must pay $90 million and STOP selling both the PSOne and PS2. I wonder if this could speed up the timetable for the PS3?
- I have wondered for years how they could make a better interface for data entry into things like cellphones. This is a step in the right direction: a cell phone with a projector built-in that allows interaction with a projected keyboard etc.
- NewsMap displays the top news stories sized relative to news volume. I think I have seen this before but it is worth mentioning again. I love the way you can easily see how even one group of news (say technology) gets reported vs. others (say sports).
- Tom Delay chose to take his father off life support.
- PSP as web browser – see also: is the PSP the new iPod?