The integrated future

If you ask any tech company they would tell you we are connected better than before, it can be aggreaable in terms of connecting to other people but what about our devices that we use daily? Our phone, laptop, television, tablet. Do they connect to each other, in a way that makes our life better? 

Why isn’t there a system that understands your routines like when do you leave for work and when do you arrive? Why isn’t my door smart? Why isn’t there a system that shows you every lights status while leaving the house, remotely close them when leaving. Why our lights, a basic hardware cannot be remotely accessed? Why are they so dumb? 

Let us think what can be done in the coming years to solve this basic problem. First of all the problem not lies with the technology not being available, it is just a matter of making this a platform that works cross-way.

Google and Apple are the two companies can do this right now. I am sure they are working on it. I believe Home-automation systems will be the next big thing for the industry. (also known as Internet of Things)

iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus

I am not fan of big phones particularly the one which are 5+ inch big. Therefore iPhone 6 seems a good choice for me. Only way i can justify using a iPhone 6 Plus is to have a huge hands. Which not most people do have, but people seems to love big phones. (Even though it is hard to use)
My guess is that Plus will sell in asian markets better than the original iPhone. 

Design looks great as always. It is thinner which makes it more comfortably to hold the new size. The back cover lines looks awkward but that not too bad. (Still the best back cover on any phone)

Apple Watch

Looks good. Apple seems to have made a nice looking phone with a what seems to be a very interesting interface. I am looking forward to use one of them. My only concern is having a watch that is very popular, i would not like to see my watch to be in every persons wrist. My watch has to be different. You can change the band but i do not think that would help to make it different from other Apple Watches out there. Still i am looking forward to use one of them.

Smartwatch battle incoming

We have already seen the beautiful design of the Moto 360 - it is one of the coolest looking thing that has been recently seen in the technology scene. Specs are not very clear yet but it does seem very promising.

While Motorola is prepping for the Moto 360 launch, Apple is cooking something called an iWatch behind the closed curtains. The lack of the leaks and blurry images of the prototype suggests that it may not arrive until later this year.

It will be very exciting to watch these two very products battle each other this holiday season. 

The Future is Integrated Pt.1

Sam wakes up at 6.32am, the device in his wrist vibrates gently. Device has analysed Sam’s sleeping pattern over the night and decided on waking him 2 minutes late because he was having a good dream. 

Sam opened his eyes. His windows curtains opened up slowly to let in some sunlight. On the wall front of his bed, the digital clock was getting smaller slowly. His digital assistant, Alfred started reciting on his sleep stats but was interrupted by Sam’s “pass” command. Alfred continued on reciting Sam’s prioritzed mails. 

While brushing his teeth Sam read gone over his to-do list for today which was reflected on his bathroom mirror. 

iPhone 5 Commercial - Every Day

It’s romantic. The moments characters experience is more on the foreground compared to the actual product. iPhone’s just there doing it’s work and fitting in nicely with the atmosphere. Apple reminds consumers that iPhone is your “moment” companion, it’s your art tool, it’s your camera, it’s like a part of you that lets you “capture” your experince and your moments. 

Also check this article.

Google Now, the technology that is willing to know you better

Google Now is introduced last summer at the Nexus 7 event. It is a highly helpful and innovative way to be more informed with some minimal data. Basically it understands what you would like to be informed about, understands where you work and where you live, gives you the traffic info before leaving for home or work. Shows public transport points and timetables, it  analyses your e-ticket that is in your inbox and gives you flight info including delays and boarding times. Gives you a translation card if you are abroad and many more things. 

The great thing about it is that you only get what is relevant to you in a very convenient way, it is just cards of info that is just useful and helpful. The interesting thing about Google Now is that it can actually do much more stuff. 

What you search on Google everyday is raw data. It is just words, words and words. But Google Now is designed to analyze this raw data to understand you better and know you better. It is designed to make you more efficient and aware, it almost fits the quote from Steve Jobs when he said “It is bicycle for the mind” about his first Apple computer. 

So what else theoratically Google Now can do? Right now it does not analyze your artistic interests. In desktop if i search “Vampire Weekend tour” it gives me a card on the right side, a bit like Google Now. Giving me a short bio, songs, member, tour dates. This can be directly implemented in to Google Now, it can understand you that you like Vampire Weekend and it already knows where you live so it can give give a notification when the band is playing in your city. Or you can adjust how much care about the band, it can update you when the band release a new album. 

Not only users but also for advertises this is a huge deal. If Google decides to somehow include ads in Google Now they are aware that it can dissolve the beaty of the Google Now as it would have a risk of giving unwanted data to users. But it can also be helpful for users if done right, say you are using Google Wallet for you transactions it can understand you like to shop in for example in “GAP”, it can give you a notification about when you are nearby a GAP store. 

By using searches, location, transaction and interest data at the same time Google Now is in a very good position to get better and most probably it will.

Vine - Is this the next big thing?

Vine has launched last week with a big coverage from the tech blogesphere. Vine was acquired by Twitter in October,2012. It is a very exciting idea and really fun to use. The initial impact for me was that its great UX, it follows the instagram’s simplicity regarding the interface which is great. The feeling of watching the 6 second clips is very fun when there are some really creative footages. It is also a fun way to share your status. It is a clear alternative to where and who you with statutes, and it makes the process fun. 

There have been some criticism regarding if Vine is just a fad or not. Personally i believe it may very well the next big thing after the Instagram if folks over Twitter can focus on improving it like supporting more mobile platforms.  Also it is a new medium that no other company has made a move yet. I believe the future definitely holds more video shares-statuses and Vine is the first-mover they can keep it up, there is no reason they can’t be a huge success.

Apple's Foursquare deal rumors

It seems Apple is looking at the right companies to gain some more data for its own maps service. If the deal goes through, it would provide much more data for local veneus compared to current Google maps service. Especially for cafes-restaurants-bars foursquare has an extensive data which can be implemented into Apple’s maps service. Apple already have a deal with Yelp which performs poorly anywhere outside U.S. and limited to cafes-restaurants and bars, while foursquare can provide locations of local businesses/offices that have been pinned by users of Foursquare. The problem about Foursquare is that anyone can create a place to check-in, but Foursquare has already have good algorithm to leave the unnecessary places out. Just look at the explore tab and how it shows only the places that are genuine and at the same time popular. If Apple manages to get the foursquare data it would both benefit Apple and Foursquare, it is a certainly win-win situation.

Facebook and WhatsApp Acquisition Rumors

Last summer i tweeted the above idea and last week Techcrunch reported that Facebook has set their sights on WhatsApp. One of the most popular sms-alternative supporting cross platform messaging platform. There are a lot of reasons why Facebook would want to buy the platform. First of all, Facebook Messenger flopped. Whatsapp offers easier friend finder by utilising phone numbers when registering. It would be madness not to consider aquiring WhatsApp to beef up its Messenger platform, and have the users spending more time in Facebook. 


What can be the "next big thing" for Apple?

It is pretty obvious that the original iPhone and iPad were conceived as the most innovative products that Apple has ever created. With iPhone Apple has showed us a touchscreen that does not suck. With iPad they created a tablet that can be an excellent alternative to computers because they were dead-simple to use just like the iPhone. 

Apple created a magnificent software iOS and accompanied it with beatiful hardware as always. iOS is clearly a revolutionary piece of software with the most simple and elegant UX that is ever created in the tech-world. 

So might be the next big thing that Apple is working on? Recently i have been thinking of Microsoft Pixelsense (previously known as Microsoft Surface) and what folks over Apple being thinking about it. If you don’t have any idea what Pixelsense is take a look at this video. I am not arguing that Apple is making a device in the form of an table but i think they have something more than a electronic table up their sleeves.

I am thinking about a huge tablet (17”?) that is adjustable in terms of adjusting horizantal and verticality of the tablet. It would be a touch based device with iOS installed. You could fire up Photoshop or Final Cut Pro in this high resolution huge screen where you could use your fingers or a official stylus(unlikely) for drawing. You can put it in a horizontal position to watch a movie or catch a series. Other thing that could be useful; collabarative desk environment. Say you are working on a project with some people. All of these people would share a desktop environment where notes and images related to the project are laid on the desktop. All of the project members can interact with them while having a conference Facetime. I believe if Apple manages to do something related to this it can be a huge thing. They can emphasise on “desk”, “real desktop” or say iDesk for their new product. 

I strongly believe Apple is working on a large form factor tablet to be operated on a desk that could be an post-pc version of the iMac. 

What's next for social networks?

Since Facebook has became a default social network, there has been less startups that declared that they can do better. After all social networks is about numbers, especially in this case ‘number of users registered’. 

However this does not mean that Facebook can be the only popular social network on the web. Facebook says that their mission is to make the world more open and connected. It is the place for keeping touch with your “friends” and encounters. Facebook is doing a great job on serving a basic platform that everybody can use. But is that enough for some users?

The problem with Facebook is that it becomes noisy and unrelevant if you don’t do the necessary settings and over %95 percent of users doesn’t even bother. My intention is not to predict Facebook’s end, rather point out that Facebook will not be the only network that will matter in future. 

Recent successful social network startups suggest that a new approach in social networking; focus. Instagram a simple to use photo-filtering and sharing mobile app. Foursquare, simply a tool to check-in to places and see where your friends are. Twitter, simply share something in short text, see what others say.
One would say that there are similar services are already a part of Facebook and used heavily among Facebook users. (Instagram is now owned by Facebook) However there are considerable amount of people who prefer to use these networks instead of Facebook. As said before the main reason can be the problem of “noise” in Facebook. Also with ‘one focus’ startups can improve over the Facebook services overnight. 

There have been some startups that tried to launch a network just for the “close friends and family”. In other words focus on “close friends&family”. A popular example would be ‘Path’ which has raised over $30m in series b funding. It’s seems promising but still needs more time.

We can conclude that networks with focus will be the next thing on the web space as there are still lots of gaps need to be filled. 

Microsoft’s future strategy: It starts with Windows 8

When Ballmer came to the stage for the Microsoft Surface revealing event back in June. He talked about how Microsoft have done great hardware since its existent. He talked about Xbox and its success and wanted everyone to notice that Microsoft does great hardware.

Now that Surface has been released, Ballmer promises that more hardware is on the way. While it seems unclear which kind of hardware he is talking about, it would not be surprise if Microsoft releases its own Windows Phones. What would be really surprising if Microsoft will release its own Notebook. Although i believe Microsoft will not release a x86/x64 based Notebook, i believe they will put out numerous Notebooks all based in ARM. That wouldn’t be a surprise as Microsoft thinks traditional desktop era will be over, the evidence for this intent would be how Windows 8 is created. Microsoft want users to get used to Metro interface to make this transition. I believe the traditional desktop Windows will be strangled by its own creator; Microsoft to make way for the Windows RT. After all traditional Windows is a “open” platform with no application store to be controlled or to make money from. Realizing this video game developers have been very critic of Windows 8, although Windows 8 is still an “open” platform the developers have realized what Microsoft is trying to do; Microsoft wants to kill the “Desktop” Windows in favor of Windows RT.

Application Stores on any device is a huge benefit for users, they can easily find apps that they want have and use. Apps get updated you can see what others have to say about the app before you download/buy it, giving the users of ease of mind about their apps. Game developers are not happy because their platform is being taken away from them. If Microsoft goes ahead and kills the Windows or at least wants people to buy ARM instead of x64/x86 systems there will be a surely decrease in desktop usage which will decrease their sales. Still i cant see a reason why Windows RT won’t be success. It is obviously more easy to use and uncomplicated compared to desktop experience. While almost everyone in the planet is used to desktop experience, the average user will be pleased to have a browser and i am sure they will welcome the new interface in time. 

Google reveals the Nexus 4

Today Google revealed its next Nexus phone, LG manufactured Nexus 4. While overall design is very identical to the previous generation; Galaxy Nexus. It seems Google has at last knows what it wants to do. Nexus devices are now known for their affordability, Nexus 7 is $200 and Nexus 4 is $300 for the 8GB version which is pretty cheap for a high-end device packed with the latest hardware and software. Still the only problem is that will Google ever want to market the Nexus devices?  Now that Nexus devices are getting a bit of traction. I wonder if Google’s only marketing factor will be that these products are “cheap” and “great” and people use them with joy and tell everyone about it. I don’t necessarly believe Google will sit on the marketing for Nexus, it will happen but i wonder what Google is waiting for? 

Windows 8 "Coming Soon" Ad

Last week Microsoft has released a couple of Windows 8 and Surface ads. They are highly energetic and fast-paced ads accompanied by a fast-rhythmic song. 

One particular ad starts with a countdown to.. well an 8. The ad is revolved around on lots of 8’s and energy. It is about take-off, it is about excitement, it is about killing the old habits bashing them, blowing them up. It is no where near what Windows 8 is about, or what it tends to bring new to the table, but more about Microsoft and it’s testament to willingness to change and without a doubt in its mind that upcoming products will be a success. “I Only Want You” from Eagles of the Death Metal fuels the ad with even more fire and excitement. The ad is taking a stance for “Get Excited” and it is doing it pretty well.

Thoughts on iPad Mini

Apple yesterday announced the long rumoured iPad mini. Right after Phil Schiller announced the new product he said;

“This is iPad mini, and what can you do with iPad mini that you can’t already do with amazin fourth generation iPad, well you can hold it one hand”

I believe this was the most decisive reason why Apple decided to build a smaller iPad. The original iPad is too big and heavy to read a book with. Now it feels like the original line-up iPads will be associated with a “Pro” tag. While in time iPad mini will be come more like an air with emphasis on with more mobility.  So in a few years, even maybe next year we can see Apple clearly defines what the two type of iPads are for by changing their names to iPad Air and iPad Pro. With iPad Pro Apple can focus on powerhorse which will be for Macbook Pro users, people who need the power as opposed to people who need Tablet just for reading watching or browsing.

This theory can be supported by the iPad mini advert that Apple showed at the keynote. iPad handles the low-pitches that creates the rythm in the background which is associated with power while iPad mini plays the solo which is high-pitched notes that is associated with creativity thus relating it with reading a book or a magazine.