UI Design Do’s and Don’ts

5 03 2017

My example for one of the Don’ts …

Apple should add a further topic to its “Do’s and Don’ts” for external developers and their own application development.

Users like reasonable features.
So please, no ad in the 3D Touch context menu.

This no-go can only be topped with ad as the only feature when pressing firmly on an app icon. Sorry, that’s crap.

For Apple, Google, and Microsoft it’s somewhat embarrassing to see the need of ad for their apps within the context menu.


Apple Design Tips

Thanks for reading.

3 Entrepreneurs

2 03 2017

with strong convictions
and one company with a searching glance

Henry Ford

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.

Ferdinand Porsche

I couldn’t find the sports car of my dreams, so I built it myself.

Steve Jobs

A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.

What’s your take on
Microsoft’s mobile devices Mr Nadella?

Two platforms account for 99.6% of mobile device usage. The nearest competitor is Microsoft’s Windows 10 for smartphones which managed 0.3%.

To be honest, Windows 10 isn’t a competitor, it’s a vanity project at best.

Microsoft held a commanding position in the US smartphone market, but that period was before the market was disrupted by Apple and Google. Steve Ballmer did not deliver success in the 2nd gen smartphone space, did not capitalise on the early Pocket PC performance and did not prepare Microsoft for the app economy. The desktop OS business, along with enterprise and business software tools continued to deliver financial success.

Admittedly Steve Ballmer was right about one thing…

“developers, developers, developers …”

and ultimately it were the developers who struck the fatal blows that doomed Windows Phone.

With an iPhone or an Android smartphone of today you can easily dive into Microsoft’s world with Outlook, OneDrive, OneNote, and Office.

Is that Mr Nadella’s vision?

The operating system is no longer the key to bringing customers on board. The key is getting them into your app store and your cloud.

People are not interested in the OS. They spend their time in using apps.

Again. What’s your take Mr Nadella?

“The enterprise-cloud opportunity is massive – larger than any market we have ever participated in.”

If I understand you right commercial cloud brings the cash and mobile devices remain your vanity project.

Good to know. So we mustn’t wait for further hazy announcements regarding smartphones. All this makes me sad. For me as a user it would be much more exciting to see a third big player in the market of a device category which plays an outstanding role in our lives.

Thanks for paying attention.

Use it up, wear it out

1 03 2017

Mobile phones are “considered hazardous waste” in California. Many chemicals in such phones leach from landfills into the groundwater system.

A cell phone’s shelf life is only about 24 months for the average consumer.

This means that newer cell phone models are constantly put up on the market to replace older ones. This is as a result of the rapid progression of technology in the mobile industry.

More …

A critical note to Lisa Jackson

How To Reduce Toxic Impact

Thanks for keeping your phone more than 2 years. Apple supports it indirectly with iOS running on more than 4 generations of iDevices.

What’s up in Fall 2017?

27 02 2017

Here’s a prediction and my secret hope.

Now waiting for Tim Cook on stage.

Tweedledum and Tweedledee

22 02 2017

Apple’s anniversary iPhone coming in fall 2017 will reportedly bring key technical upgrades including an innovative 3D camera system that can be used for a variety of applications, from biometric authentication to games.

According to KGI Securities’ analyst Ming-Chi Kuo the FaceTime camera will sport an infrared transmitting and receiving module.

The new system will enable the forward facing camera to accomplish 3D sensing and modeling. This will be available for a range of unique use cases, including replacing the head of a character in a 3D game, or taking a 3D selfie.

Of course, such a system could also allow an advanced biometric authentication in that the fingerprint scanning is combined with face recognition giving some kind of 2-Step Amuthentication for device unlocking and payment release.

It will even work with monozygotic and dizygotic twins. They may look like Tweedeldum and Tweedledee but their fingerprints are formed semi-randomly as the foetus develops in the womb and are affected by such things as chance fluctuations of hormone levels. Similarly, the pattern of freckles and moles on the skin is caused by random mutations and will vary between identical twins.

Face recognition can only be used to build up more secure multimodal biometric systems which use multiple sensors or biometrics to overcome the limitations of unimodal biometric systems. It can’t entirely replace other techniques.

Hardware does the first step, software the more important second step to identify a person in that it provides algorithms to interpret the data and compare it with a reference image. This can be done accurately or more superficially.

Back to Tweedledum and Tweedledee.
There should always be an option to use a highly secure password to confirm critical actions. The two will learn not to use their birthday.

Read more about

Fingerprint Technology

Facial Recognition

Thanks for dropping by.

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

Thanks for dropping by.

Apple SWOT Analysis 2017

20 02 2017

Continuously more Ss in SWOT
It’s a Long Way to Tipperary Enter Businesses

Here is a revamped version of my SWOT Analysis including some groundbreaking decisions and engagements including the announcement of partnerships with IBM (2014), Cisco (2015), and SAP (2016).

The deal with China Mobile, iOS in the car, engagement in mobile payment systems with Apple Pay, development of disrupting technologies based on wearables, the partnership with IBM, CISCO, and SAP are essential parts of Apple’s long-term strategy to open the doors of big and medium-sized businesses.

The Indian government didn’t allow the import of refurbished iPhones. The main reason for not granting the application was that it will confront the ’Make in India’ initiative and burden the country with electronic waste. This problem seems to be solved now with the start of “Made in India” iPhones, a first step to break into one of the biggest emerging markets.

Strategic Partnerships …

In 2014 Apple and IBM announced an exclusive partnership aiming to redefine the way work will get done, address key industry mobility challenges and spark true mobile-led business change. With IBM’s unparalleled industry expertise, businesses can take the first step in empowering their workforce through mobile technology. These apps, exclusively for iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch, give enterprises a simple way to solve workflow and role-specific challenges, while transforming industries from the ground up.

Cisco’s CEO Chuck Robbins gave voice to the new Apple-Cisco partnership:

“I’m thrilled about our new partnership we announced today with Apple. We are coming together to optimize Cisco networks for iOS devices and apps, integrating iPhones with Cisco environments and providing unique collaboration capabilities on iPhones and iPads. Together, we will enable mobile apps and experiences that deliver the quality and experience we need while meeting enterprise requirements for management and security.”

But there are also setbacks …

China’s government is always good for surprises. Apple finds itself in new heat with Chinese regulators. News surfaced that its iBooks Store and iTunes Movies services were suspended in the country at the request of government regulators. The services opened in the country just six months ago, with the blessing of the authorities.
With Huawei (8.9% China), Oppo (5.7% China), and BBK (4.8% China) Samsung (20.5% Korea) and Apple (14.4% USA) are under pressure regarding worldwide smartphone sales. In my opinion it doesn’t take a long time until Samsung and Apple will be overtaken by a Chinese company. I think this won’t be a problem for Apple with its strong position in the high-end market but for Samsung.
(Stats 2016 by Gartner)

Summary …

After Steve Jobs’ death many publishing media rumored that Apple’s power of innovation would be over. The contrary is the case and after the tech visionary Steve Jobs the business visionary Tim Cook took successfully control by delegating the technology area.

Companies that continually create value over the long term – meaning decades or more, learn how to ingrain the ability into their corporate makeup; it becomes part of their culture and DNA. They create value, jobs, and growth because of their ability to institutionalize innovation.
(Andrew Taylor, Boston Consulting Group)

About the map …

A SWOT analysis is used to evaluate the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats in a business venture. It’s used in any decision-making situation when a desired end-state has been defined.

SWOTs may look completely different if created from external or involved people. They also may change within a short timeframe depending on business risks of the company itself or its competitors.

Related …

Apple-IBM Partnership

Apple-Cisco Partnership

Apple-SAP Partnership

IBM MobileFirst

Feel free to download my concept map as a PDF file

Apple SWOT Map

Thanks for paying attention.

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