Posts Tagged ‘iPod’

How I Pick Apps And Portable Games

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

Sometimes a screenshot doesn't do an app justice... other times, it doesn't tell the full story.

Between my iPod Touch and my Epic, I have pretty much every cool app and/or game I could care to have.

That isn’t to say I won’t be downloading more. I’ve been pretty fortunate on my choices of apps and I have yet to purchase one that isn’t something I use on a semi-regular basis. I’d like to say that it’s because I’m awesome (which I am) but in this case, I’ve actually had a little help.

I’m not the type to be taken in by a pretty screenshot or to make impulse purchases online. I typically go in armed with some form of information before I make a purchase. If you’ve had a few digital lemons in your purchase history, let me give you a few hints on how to avoid them in the future.

Your first source of information for app or game purchases for your portable device is most likely your friends and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. However, you have to consider the friend you’re talking to before making a purchase. Are they the type who like more flash in their apps than substance? Do they have 20 different soundboards that they use to torment you on long trips? If their taste is different from yours in another entertainment media (like TV or movies), you might want to think twice before taking their advice on an app they say is a “must download”.

The second place you might find advice on apps would be tech or gaming sites (*ahem* Like this one) which again isn’t a bad thing. Many of the sites I visit have entire articles dedicated to specific apps or might only mention something in passing in an article about a device. Again, you have to consider the source. Is the site you’re reading geared towards casual gamers and you consider yourself a hardcore gamer? Are you reading about a game on a site that typically reviews hardware? Have you ever purchased a game or app based on the advice of the site and had it be a flop for you? Make sure the opinions you’re reading match up with yours more often than not before acting on it.

Many people quote the reviews of the apps as the deciding point. But when I ask, they never go past the initial three or four reviews and typically don’t even read the reviews, instead choosing to rely on how many stars an app has been awarded by reviewers. This is what I like to refer to as a mistake…

There are, unfortunately, app creators who are not above using false accounts to promote and recommend their own apps. This can come in the form of using the accounts to push a sub-par review off of the front page or last three reviews in order to make their product look better. If you want the skinny on a particular app, take the time to fully read a few randomly chosen reviews from *all* of the reviews, not just the first three or four.

Lite and beta versions can often be downloaded to try out before you decide to purchase...

Keep in mind that a large majority of the apps out there have a “lite” version, something you can download before you decide to purchase and see if you like it or not. It’s worth the few extra minutes to try on a pair of shoes before you just go and buy them, right? Same principle applies here.

Finally, I recommend a quick search on the company or persons that produce the app you’re looking at. If there’s any potential foul play or if the company has a track record of producing crappy, buggy apps, you’re going to find out pretty quick just by typing in their name in the search bar.

Remember, it might only be a buck here or a buck there but it adds up… and crap is crap no matter how pretty the bow on the package it’s presented in.

Gritskrieg – End of Line

Why the anti-trust probe against Apple isn’t going to get off the ground

Friday, May 7th, 2010

Apple's got nothing to worry about...

We’ve been talking about Apple a lot recently and with good cause… Apple’s had some interesting stuff going on lately. From the announcement of the latest version of its OS on the iPhone, to the success of the iPad’s launch, to the “found” next gen iPhone reported by Gizmodo and the resulting legal backlash, Apple’s been busy.

The most recent development really shouldn’t take anyone by surprise, especially after Steve Jobs’ recent verbal assault on Adobe’s Flash software. The U.S. Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission have both received complaints that Apple’s new development policy and exclusion of the third party software in the iTunes store is anti-competitive. This is nothing new for Apple. They were already accused of the same type of behavior in regards to exclusive online music content in Europe.

It seems odd that Apple would be coming under fire for supposed anti-competitive behavior. Let’s keep in mind that this is the same company that almost went belly up  but tenaciously held on to their minority share of the computing market in the 90s and was the only company Bill Gates could point at and say Microsoft wasn’t a monopoly. The times, they are a’changin’.

So the USJoD and FTC will be performing investigations to see if a probe is warranted. But I can give you a few good reasons why nothing is going to come of this if we base the investigations solely on facts.

To begin, you have the iPad which has not only proven that tablet computing is feasible, it’s made other companies run back to the drawing boards to see what they can come up with to compete with the device. You could say Apple has a monopoly in this burgeoning field at this time. I’m stressing that. What they’ve actually done is got computer manufacturers moving forward and exploring tablet PCs. This is a good thing, healthy for the economy, good for moving technology forward, and driving innovation not only at Apple to stay ahead of the curve but in their competitors.

You have the iPhone. I have no doubt that this will be the most purchased phone line in the next two-three financial quarters. They’ve already surpassed the majority of their competition in the cell phone market and are on pace to even up with, and eventually surpass, RIM and its Blackberry line. But again, we see that the iPhone is driving the competition to make better, more powerful devices. It’s pushing the cellular carriers to improve their networks, it’s getting more people to buy cell phones which in turn is healthy for the economy, good for moving technology forward, etc.

The iPod. Well, yeah, there’s some argument there for the mobile entertainment market but let’s face it, nobody really seems to care who’s running the show there. Well, there is the Zune as competition… Sorry, I almost laughed myself into unconsciousness.

The point here is that to for the anti-trust accusation to stand up to scrutiny, Apple would have to be discouraging competition from creating devices or operating systems that would compete with their cell phones, media players, and tablet computers and that simply isn’t the case here. Apple says that you can play in their backyard, you just have to follow the rules in regards to their devices. And they’re proving it is possible for developers to do so and make a profit. And Steve Jobs hasn’t made up some alternate software for Flash and said that’s all that will run on the devices. He’s presented an alternate for Flash via HTML5 which is open source. He’s not making any money off of the exclusion, in fact he’s probably losing a little. There simply isn’t a monopoly here.

Keep in mind that this is conjecture on my part, an opinion based on the facts at hand. That being said, I’m fairly certain that what will come to pass is a lack of “evidence of wrongdoing” on the part of Apple.

Now if they’d just stop playing the heavy handed bully in regards to the “stolen” iPhone.

Gritskrieg – End of Line

iPad sales break the One Million mark… And I still don’t have one.

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

Whew, I'm sure Steve Jobs was worried they wouldn't sell. HA!

This morning, Apple announced that sales of the iPad had passed the one million mark. That’s not dollars, that’s actual units sold. The fact that the iPad’s 3G version went on sale on Friday pushed the achievement but even taking into account the pre-orders that were picked up with that version’s launch, no one can deny the popularity of the device.

With the announcement also came the news that the iPad’s launch has officially surpassed that of the original iPhone. Unsurprising considering that the Apple fan base has now been solidly established but an impressive feat nonetheless. Keep in mind that the iPad has yet to launch internationally and that the one million units sold has been accomplished solely within the United States. Once the device is available internationally, I am certain we’ll be seeing even more record breaking sales.

The news about the success of the iPad’s initial offering comes only two weeks after the second quarter earnings for Apple were announced. The company posted revenue of $13.5 billion with a net quarterly profit of $3.07 billion (Source) which represented an increase in sales for all of Apple’s devices (iPhones, iPods, Macbooks) and not just the introduction of the iPad.  That just means their customer base is growing.

And we thought Bill Gates wanted to take over the world… Steve Jobs’ next big announcement? The iWin.

Gritskrieg – End of Line