As Times Go By

7 08 2017

2007 A masterpiece of simplicity
2017 The world becomes more complex

The primary responsibility for Apple's design since more than 2 decades goes to …

Sir Jonathan Paul "Jony" Ive, KBE RDI (born 27 February 1967) is a British designer and the Senior Vice President of Design at Apple Inc. He joined Apple in 1992 and has the overall responsibility for Industrial Design. He also provides leadership and direction for Human Interface (HI) software teams across the company. He is the lead designer of many Apple products, including Newton, MessagePad, MacBook Pro, iMac, MacBook Air, iPod, iPod Touch, iPhone, iPad, iPad Mini, iOS 7 and more.

KBE
Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, a grade within the British order of chivalry

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The next level

3 07 2017

When Apple released its first iPad in 2010, forward-looking universities around the world started research studies on how this device could be integrated into learning and teaching.


There are many representatives of the educational system still getting euphoric when it comes to iPads in schools or universities.

That is basically positive as it forces all the people involved to try to go new ways. Teachers always look for techniques to generate interest and keep motivation on a high level. But they are also responsible for the young people and cannot delegate this responsibility to a device. Success and positive results in learning and teaching with an iPad is no automatism. It’s hard and subtle work to adjust all the parameters which give direction to new methods of learning.

Apple creates the most advanced device, developers and users must breathe life into it.

  • Students love them
  • Good battery life
  • Apps galore
  • Platform for e-textbooks
  • Communication tool
  • Great content viewer and creator
  • User-friendly to students with disabilities
  • Light-weight and highly portable
  • Fast and easy to use

Too expensive?

No, because of durability of the hardware and compatibility of the operating system over lots of hardware iterations.

One last thing …

If we talk about the iPad we shouldn’t forget to talk about Alan Kay, one of the key people who have shaped the way we are using computers today. He can be seen as the key scientist behind the graphical user interface and the object-oriented programming. Regarding Apple’s success the most important thing Steve Jobs overtook from Alan Kay was the belief that

People who are really serious about software should make their own hardware. Jobs made it to *one of the core principles of Apple.

Sadly one of Kay’s most prominent targets for the educational system cannot be realized with an iPad. It still lacks the capability of being a programming tool.

Hey Apple, this should be your next step.

More …

iPad @ Universities

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And the winner is …

29 04 2017

Building applications for small screen sizes is always a big challenge. Apple and Microsoft both offer their productivity suites iWork resp. Office for smartphones. If you never tried to create or use a spreadsheet on a smartphone I’m quite sure you would say that it’s against all right ideas about how things ought to be.

Well, I’m sure you would revise your opinion if you try it out for some days.


The first versions of Office for iOS were far behind Apple’s iWork suite but today the tables have turned. Microsoft overtook lots of innovative ideas Apple implemented in their mobile app versions. I don’t care about copycats. I’m a user and so I’m just interested in perfect solutions whoever created them.

Microsoft reconquered the pole position if it comes to Excel vs. Numbers.

And the reason is that Apple did a very poor job with its latest update for its spreadsheet app NUMBERS. Entering data and moving the focus from cell to cell is a disaster.

Well done, Microsoft.
Do your homework, Apple.

I would like to know who at Apple is responsible for the final inspection of the UI. Transfer him for disciplinary reasons, maybe he is better in testing the Apple car.

I would also like to know why Microsoft’s iOS versions of Office are a lot better than their Windows 10 Mobile counterparts. Sad but true.

Thanks.





6 Months with a Surface Pro 4

22 02 2017

After my retirement in August 2016 I moved over from Germany to Thailand.

My company wants my future support so I got a Surface Pro 4 (128GB, Intel Core i5, 4GB Ram, Type Cover) to keep an eye on the further development of the company’s main application, a tool for auditors based on Microsoft Access as the container for all the data needed to audit companies, Excel for analyses, and Word for documentation of the audit process.

The device serves as a Windows 10 based reference system for the company’s internal software quality control.

Like every technical product the Pro 4 has its pros and cons. The energy management isn’t what I would expect from a high-priced mobile device. Optimization (like Apple did it with its macOS on a Macbook Air) isn’t Microsoft’s strength. Maybe this is caused by the many compromises coming with a newly developed universal platform.

Sadly there is another annoying lack (for me). Neither the Type Cover nor the Onscreen Keyboard sports a BREAK key although it’s needed when debugging code. Shame on Microsoft.

Summary after 6 months …

Battery life is still limited and makes a Surface Pro 4 an immovable property if there are lots of points on your agenda; generation of heat is higher than average and definitely too much for a tablet; showcasing Windows 10: indeed, including its occasional frustrations and aggravations.

There are still some dialogs coming from Windows Vista/7 which do not really match with the Windows 10 design. I hope the colleagues will fix it all shortly.

Ironically, where the Surface Pro 4 falls short is that “tablet” part, not because of the hardware but as the result of an ecosystem that is light on the kind of apps that make a great tablet. The same situation I’m faced with on my Lumia 550.

What remains is a fine and good looking portable PC (I wouldn’t call it a hybrid because it lacks in tablet mode) with which I can successfully work through my GTD list. Not more. Sadly.

The Surface could possibly be beaten by an iPad Pro running macOS. But it wouldn’t be an alternative for me because there is a huge app gap between the Windows- and the macOS-based application line-up. Users are supplied with a wide range of high-quality apps for Apple’s mobiles but they are faced with lots of problems to get specialized business software for their Macs. The Windows mobile “App Gap” finds its counterpart in a Mac “App Gap”.

I already used one of the first convertibles running Windows XP Tablet Edition more than a decade ago. Maybe I have to wait another decade to find the ultimate hybrid.

Note (for the youngsters)
Windows XP Tablet PC Edition was intended for specially designed notebook/laptop computers called tablet PCs. Windows XP Tablet PC Edition was compatible with a pen-sensitive screen, supporting handwritten notes and portrait-oriented screens.

More about Surface vs MacBook …

Surface Pro 4 vs MacBook

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Be creative

23 01 2017

Make the most out of your iThing.

Why should such a powerful device like an iPhone with 3D Touch technology solely be used for going Google+, Twitter, or Facebook?

Apple’s App Store offers lots of useful apps with a great UI and features you need to be creative.

Here’s my app portfolio for writing articles on WordPress, the world’s biggest blogging platform.

ByWord
a simple text editor for writing down ideas everywhere and every time

Inspiration
a tool for creating mind maps and concept maps which can summarize details of tech related topics true to the motto “An image is worth a thousand words”

WordPress
the official app for text formatting, adding images and videos, and publishing articles

Tap Forms
a database app for managing more detailed information about blog articles 

Here’s an app review of Inspiration:

Inspiration

If you’re interested in reviews of the other apps just enter their names into the SEARCH field of my website.

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About an innovative product

28 04 2016

powered by Microsoft Windows Tablet PC Edition

Usually you find Apple related stuff in my profile stream. This time it’s about a reliable companion not running an Apple OS.

My T4010, still running with Windows XP, today reached its 10th anniversary of a busy working life.





Specs …

Fujitsu-Siemens Lifebook T4010

Intel Pentium M 745

Intel Extreme Graphics 2 64 MB

12.1 inch, 4:3, 1024×768 pixels

2kg

It’s a shining example for innovation and development of disrupting technology. One of the most important people in the development of mobiles was Alan Kay with his concept of the DYNABOOK.

More about Alan …

Some decades ago

More about innovation …

About innovation

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Some decades ago

6 11 2015

In 1972 a Xerox PARC (Palo Alto Research Center) scientist published a research study entitled A Personal Computer for Children of All Ages.

The device was called DYNABOOK and the author of that paper is Alan Kay, one of the key people who have shaped the way we are using computers today. In contrast to Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Steve Ballmer he didn’t stand on stages but he can be seen as the key scientist behind the graphical user interface and one of the inventors of object-oriented programming.

The Dynabook wasn’t so much a prediction but a vision.


A significant component of the Dynabook’s usage model was that its users would be able to easily develop simple applications. This is far away from Jobs’ tablet concept and that of all other competitors. The last thing you would want to do on an iPad is write your own software. There is an app for that and you will find it in the App Store. Anyway there is no doubt about the fact that Kay influenced Jobs in developing the iPhone and the iPad.

“When I saw the iPhone, I figured that they had already done a tablet version, which is easier to make work than the iPhone, so I was partially joking with Steve when I said ‘make the screen at least 5″ x 8″ and you will rule the world’.”

What can we learn from history?
Well, everything has it’s preceding ideas.

Would Einstein’s Theory of Relativity be possible without Newton’s Laws? Edison and Swan were the two most successful at combining the necessary technologies and engineering techniques to build a light bulb (electricity and the knowledge of how to economically create vacuums).

There is no need to talk about COPYING. Success comes up when intelligence combines the right things at the right time in a sexy apparel. This alone is already a technological achievement and innovation crowds of people today derive benefits from.


Regarding Apple’s success the most important thing Jobs overtook from Kay was the belief

People who are really serious about software should make their own hardware.


Jobs made it to the core principle of Apple.

This message would be an exaggeration nevertheless it’s a fact that Apple changed the way we communicate today and handle information. And that was definitely not just one small step for man. Neither Alan Kay nor Steve Jobs ever claimed to be the only inventors.


Related

Ap(pl)es

About the iPad


Thanks for reading.








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