Awesome free iPhone app creates sales for other iphone apps

Yep, it seems odd, but a very cool crowdsourced recommendation engine for iPhone apps is creating a bunch of sales of other iPhone apps. Which is good, because when there’re a lot of apps to choose from — a solid tool (not tied to the Apple Store recommendation system, which has been gamed in the past) that generates a second opinion is always a good thing. …more

This post is an excerpt from one of my weekly posts on the Future Shop Techblog. Check out the full post here.

How the Apple Tablet can really succeed

Given that Apple isn’t really paying attention to my musings, I’m rather free to go on about things I *think* they can do to make their products, and make them better.

I’ve been following Apple’s tablet designs since the Newton Message pad. An interesting device, yet not very practical.

I’m completely smitten by my iPod Touch. It does what I expect it to, and will likely do things I can’t even conceive of yet due to the development program and App Store marketplace.

But that brings us to the next big thing, the Mythical Apple Tablet.

On the Future Shop Techblog, I wax poetic about the 6 Things I want to see in an Apple Tablet, so I won’t repeat them here, just go read that post and come back — I’ll wait 🙂

Ok, now the main things I think Apple can do to make the Tablet a staple of every household is to:

  • Keep the price down
  • Don’t tie it to one mobile data provider
  • Open development up — make this sucker Jailbroken from the outset

Let’s take these one at a time, starting with price.
The Tablet is likely going to be competing in the space currently occupied by netbooks and laptops.  Currently, netbooks are the entry-level unit for casual computing, but if the Tablet is priced competitively, they can own that space from day one. Sure, you can’t run PC apps on it, but wait, maybe you can. Given improved horsepower, why wouldn’t a PC emulator be available shortly.

Buh bye netbooks.

Mobile data providers
Contracts suck, especially in Canada. Mobile browsing via cel-data contracts are convenient, but expensive. Wi-Fi hotspots are more prevalent these days, but not ubiquitous. So Wi-Fi will be in, but so will cellular. Which means there will be an arrangement with a provider, of course. It’s simply too profitable for Apple to not consider this type of arrangement.

But if they did ‘unlock’ all the Tablets, that would really change the landscape for the data providers. There would be the opportunity for real competition, because you know that these devices will be data pigs, reading magazines, daily newspapers, album art, movies etc.

If I had the ability to choose the plan that best fit my needs, you can bet I’d not have bought an iPod Touch but an iPhone back when I made that decision. But we’re in Canada, and things don’t really work that way.

Open Development
Well, this won’t happen either, but it would be nice if it did. The homebrew development community is creative and motivated — that’s how the iPhone got Jailbroken in the first place. Apps for Jailbroken iPhones are quite creative and really push the edge of mobile tech…but they also expose the device to worms, viruses and privacy breaches. Not good if you’re brand is built on a rock-solid ‘appliance’ like user experience. So this really won’t happen.

Ok, well that’s them then, the three things I think Apple could do that would really make the Tablet succeed. I’m thinking the last two won’t happen, but if they could somehow keep the price down, say at the level of a good-quality netbook, that alone would make strides in getting the Tablet into households, given the Tablet has all the rest of the awesome Apple goodness behind it. We’ll find out on Wednesday.

What say you?

6 Things I want to see in an Apple Tablet

Given the excitement/buzz/hype around the ‘potential’ Apple Tablet announcement this Wednesday, I thought I’d add to the Apple Tablet wordcount by listing a few things I’d like to see in this currently-mythical device. …more

This post is an excerpt from one of my weekly posts on the Future Shop Techblog. Check out the full post here.

The Tablet Cometh: Some thoughts on Apple’s announcement

Next Wednesday, Apple will host one of the most anticipated technology announcements of the year, perhaps of this still-fresh decade.

The reason for this level of attention is that everyone anticipates that Apple will re-launch a device that the industry has been trying to make work for 20 years — the Tablet computer.

As some pundits predict, this could be the thin-edge-of-the-wedge that will change the publishing industry. Think eBooks, newspapers and magazines:

If the tablet does emphasize ebooks the way analysts expect it to, we can only hope that Apple helps show publishers The Way in a future version of the iPhone SDK, similar to Amazon’s active content Kindle development kit (KDK) announced yesterday. If the tablet succeeds in its arena, the way the iPhone has before, authors and publishers will be able to Publish Different.

The currently leading name for the device is the iSlate – based on some clever detective work that uncovered Apple ownership of the domain name:

… was registered to Apple in 2007, through an intermediary (to disguise its true owner). At the moment, that domain doesn’t seem to lead anywhere—and there are a couple explanations.

And, earlier this month,  coincidentally coinciding with CES and the plethora of Tablet, Slate, Pad announcements from other hardware vendors, Apple announced Wednesday’s event, apparently leaked business and product production information, and generally kicked the hype level up a notch.

And frankly, I hope Apple does release a Tablet. This kind of technology has the ability to change (again) how we work and think about distributed computing tech. making it more mobile and  creating new modes for consuming and interacting with content.

And yes, I’ll be paying attention to the event and posting my thoughts shortly afterward.