Friday, October 26, 2012

Innovation! A word Apple almost forgot

Remember some years ago when Apple used to be innovative? Looks like it's all gone now. If you watched the Apple event some days ago you understand what I mean. Even Apple fanboys/girls should start realizing that they are being messed with. (To be honest: I started writing this entry immediately after the event, but never had the time to finish it…)
Apple did announce quite a few products: updated MacBook Pros, iMacs, Mac minis and, who would have thought, a new iPad as well as a mini version. None of them are really as innovative as Apple pretends they are.

The new 13' MacBook Pros are not that special. Yes, they are thinner, and I really like that but removing the optical drive is just plain stupid. Sure, it's the future but there are still some years left where we need DVDs/BluRays. I know people who fully support Apple's decision and I can certainly understand it – downloading or streaming movies is much better but in many regions of the world (including Europe!) the internet is not yet fast enough. And what is the matter with removing the Ethernet port? WiFi is still not as fast and reliable as Ethernet and using an adapter for Thunderbold is expensive (as far as I know they are not included) and adapters always look awful ;)
One more thing: 128 or 256GB of storage? My MacBook Pro has 512GB and even with a 1TB external drive it's still not enough! Sure, you can upgrade to 768GB but that will cost you up to $1.300!!! That's just crazy. It's nice that they use ultra fast (but apparently not that long lasting) flash storage, but the price is just too much.
The last thing is the retina display, which in my opinion is nice, but I won't pay $500 more for pixels I can't even see. I bet most people won't notice the difference, even though everyone is pretending to see much clearer now. Sure – they remembered to put on their glases. (I recently read that almost 50% of the worlds population wears glasses ;)

I don't think that I have to talk about the iMacs. They look fine I guess – it's nice to have such a thin all-in-one PC/Mac but again, the missing optical drive, drives me crazy. I usually watch movies on my Mac and still use DVDs for a lot of old movies which are not available in e.g. the iTunes Store or Google Play. (Ok, Google Play is not even available in Austria yet ;)

Let's talk about the new Mac mini. Yes, it's great and yes, I would love to own one (or something similar; unfortunately Dell stopped producing their Inspiron Zino HD) but again, because I would use it as some kind of media (and of course development) PC, the missing optical drive bugs me. Otherwise it's just beautiful and a really great idea. Unfortunately, the price is a little bit too high – especially for the server version.

Last but not least, the new new iPad and it's smaller buddy, the iPad mini. Actually, I think they called the new new iPad, the iPad with Retina display. The Retina display iPad is almost the same as the old new iPad and so I won't talk about it ;)
The iPad mini is the last (and pathetic) try to stop Android as well as other manufacturers from taking over. It's just outrageous what Apple is trying to accomplish here. Steve Jobs was wrong when he said, that 7' tablet's will never take on and Apple finally realized it. But instead of developing an awesome 7' tablet, they just shrunk the ancient iPad 2 – and here comes the pathetic part – compared it with existing Android hardware during their presentation.
I have never seen any tech company directly comparing their new device with an existing one. Maybe I just don't watch enough such events but when I watched this comparison between the Nexus 7 and he iPad mini I almost fell of my chair. At first because I was shocked that they even did it and then because I had to laugh so hard when I saw the specs and Tim Cook desperately trying to badmouth the Nexus 7. I won't go into too much details – just read all the other tech blogs and you will know that everything Apple said were just lies. Why did they lie? Because on 7.9' a better resolution than 1024x768 (only 168 ppi) should be possible – especially because the Nexus 7 on it's only 7' has a resolution of 1280x800 (=216 ppi) and even my Galaxy Nexus smartphone has a bette resolution than the iPad mini.
So why did they do it? To allow people to run existing iPad 2 apps (non-retina apps) on the iPad mini without requiring the developers to modify layouts. Apple apparently never thought that the iPhone and iPad will be that successful, which is why they never implemented a good layouting system. (Like e.g. Android did)
The only thing better about the iPad mini is, that it will ship with 3G or 4G but I bet Google already planed a celular version of the Nexus 7, months ago. Otherwise the iPad mini is just overpriced.

And that was everything they announced. (appart from software updates) Most of the things were disappointing and for me, Apple kind of lost it's innovative spirit – be it because of loosing Steve Jobs, or because of focusing on suing the competition because they produce even better products and use trivial, but patented "innovations".
Let's hope that Apple will find back to it's innovative roots or else I again won't know which laptop to buy in the future. Without being a fanboy I can honestly say that the MacBooks are or used to be just awesome. No other company produced such beautiful unibody devices before Apple did. I don't even want to imagine how thick and heavy as well as overloaded with big and ugly connectors current notebooks would be ;)

Thanks for ready to the end – unless another event (Monday is Google day ;) is faster, the next blog post will be more technical again ;)
And as always: please prove me wrong if I got my facts wrong! Or just tell me your opinion if you like.

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