Editor's desk: BlackBerry and Samsung events, rumor repeats, the Avengers, and more
And there came a day, a day unlike any other, when Earth's mightiest mobile sites found themselves united against a common threat. On that day, the Mobile Nations was born -- to provide the coverage no generic tech blog could provide! Through the years, their roster has prospered, changing several times, but their glory has never been denied! Heed the call, then—for now, the Mobile Nations ASSEMBLE!
BlackBerry World 2012
Our sibling site, Crackberry.com did a fantastic job covering BlackBerry World 2012. Head on over there to read all about it, or check out reading list below for Kevin Michaluk's round up. tl;dr version: They loved it. I watched the Keynote stream and... it was more of a mixed bag for me. When RIM should have rushed to adapt to a post-iPhone world, they took so much time they nearly destroyed their brand. When they should have taken their time to release a proper tablet, they rushed and let the PlayBook drop like stone. Now, when they're bleeding market share and user base each and every day, they're taking their time to get BlackBerry 10 as perfect as possibl. It's absolutely the right thing to do, but they simply may no longer have the time or technology left to do it.
They weren't expected to show anything at the keynote but they ended up showing just a little bit. It was interesting -- very much the PlayBook made phone. It's heavily gesture-based, which means discoverability will be a problem and it'll skew towards a more savvy, less mainstream audience. But that's exactly who RIM is targeting.
The new CEO, Thorsten Heins, apparently came off far, far better than his predecessors during the event. During the keynote, however, he tragically maintained the Regis Philben schtick of Mike Lazaridis -- constantly staying on stage and consistently interrupting during tech demos. Hopefully when RIM watches the replay, they'll stop that from happening again. They also have to stop RIM Australia from doing dumb, distracting stunts just says before their big events.
RIM has a lot of challenges ahead -- they're incredibly late to market, their developer platform is still remarkably unfocused, and what they showed on stage did not appear to be as far along as what Steve Jobs showed off in January 2007, some six months before the original iPhone launch. Steve Jobs, however, didn't send developers at Macworld home with prototype hardware. He also didn't pledge $10k paydays for certified apps. Hopefully both those things will help make up the difference for RIM.
Bottom line, though, the only thing that really matters now is shipping. They have to nail the BlackBerry 10 landing. And they have to nail it hard.
Android Central likewise killed it at Samsung Unpacked. Unfortunately, Samsung did everything they could to kill the event first. Sure, I'm used to the polish and precision of an Apple event, but there's just no excuse for a lot of what happened at Unpacked. It was as if no one bothered to rehearse the presentation before hand.
Samsung announced the hugely anticipated Galaxy S III to thunderous applause and the director immediately cut to the crowd -- where no one was clapping. Samsung announced their new, rain drop inspired audio tone, it sounded like someone peeing, and the Samsung rep herself looked aghast -- and called it "bizarre". On mic. Not only did they invoke Palm's river stone design philosophy, claim technically if not morally correct invention of Palm-like wireless charging, they managed to match the creepy lady motif of Palm's early, ill-fated advertising with truly strange videos all their own.
They also announced Samsung versions of Siri and iTunes Match, after earlier announcing a Samsung version of iCloud.
Given the build-up -- a build-up Samsung orchestrated -- it's understandable that there were a lot of heads shaking after the event. Last year Samsung blew HTC out of the water with the best Android phones on the market. This year, when compared to HTC's new One kit, they came up decidedly short.
Hey, did you hear? The iPhone 5,1 might have a newly redesigned micro dock connector and a widescreen display. It's been "confirmed".
If you hear a rumor, and it's been reported before, telling your readers that lets them better assess the likelihood of the rumor. That's the job of a writer -- to serve the reader.
Now for some original content.
- Best free iPad apps: Leanna leads team iMore in the presentation of 50+ awesomely free apps for Apple's tablet.
- Post iPhone ergo propter iPhone: Yours truly begins to explore the strategy Apple has used to try and continuously off-balance their competition and force them into a constant cycle of reaction.
- Pandora vs. Slacker vs. Spotify: iPhone music streaming app shootout!: Ally takes a look at the three most popular U.S. streaming music solutions, and helps you pick the very best one for you.
- iOS 6: Is it time for Apple to revamp the Home screen?: Yours truly again, this time taking a look at the iOS Home screen, how it compares in terms of usability and information density to competing platforms, and whether Apple needs to address any discrepancies.
- Siri six months later: Community report card: the iMore nation tells us they're just not using Siri and we try to figure out why.
- Apple’s next big thing: You know who, looking at Apple's accelerating device profits, and what product could possibly keep them up.
- How to use iCloud like a Dropbox or Google Drive-style cloud store: Gary goes all ninja on iCloud to try to make it work in as close to a Dropbox style manner as possible.
- Five Important Observations From BlackBerry World 2012 by Kevin Michaluk. A list of what RIM got right at BlackBerry World.
- Why You Can't Trust Tech Press to Teach you About the Tech Industry by Anil Dash. A case study in how it can be frustrating when someone else misses something you wouldn't (though you'll likely sometimes miss something someone else wouldn't either).
- Apple Is Doomed: The Phony Sony Parallel by Jean-Louis Gassée. Why Apple wasn't like Sony before, so can't be modeled on Sony now. By one of the guys at Apple between Steve Jobs' two acts.
- What retail is hired to do: Apple vs. IKEA by Horace Dediu. An interesting look at why IKEA, like Apple, isn't getting their retail implementation copied.
- I'm leaving the internet for a year by Paul Miller. As stunts go, there doesn't seem to be a clear win here. In some ways, the longer it lasts the less interesting it becomes. Like groups who live without electricity, the line drawn always comes off as arbitrary -- why are you allowed fire?!. (I do know I wouldn't last a day. Maybe a week if I was locked in a harem. But that's it.)
Joss Whedon's Avengers was fantastic. Pretty much the super-hero epic I've dreamed about since I was a child. We're talking about it, with lots of spoilers, and the type of nit-picks only those deeply in love with a film can pick. Jump on over to our Movie & TV Forum to get in on the action.
If you haven't seen it yet, go now.