How to upgrade your phone without upgrading..

So one of the nice things about the Otterbox cases is even the “less rugged” ones like the Commuter still do a fantastic job of keeping the phone encased in a protective blanket of rubber and plastic. I picked up a new Otterbox Defender for my Galaxy Note II, put in a new battery and it’s like I have a new phone, without having to go through the process of moving apps and login credentials.

Downside: FINDING a new Otterbox was a pain. My number one complaint about Otterbox is they are quick to discontinue product, often times before the lifetime of the phone they design them for has ended. Prepaid providers are especially victims of this: Sprint (as a prime example) uses their various MVNOs to dump previous generation devices at bargain prices, and that means NO OTTERBOX FOR YOU if you have a couple of generations behind.

Thank the gods Micro Center is like Frys and they hold on to inventory probably longer than the manufacturer would intend..

Today’s rant.

Apple’s announcements yesterday? Color me unimpressed.

And another thing. All the analysts that are calling the Kindle Fire “not an iPad killer” are totally missing the point. If the Kindle Fire does 80% of what an iPad can do and costs 40% of the price, it is an iPad killer.

Just like Android hasn’t been an iPhone killer.

Current Smartphone Share


Why Steve Jobs does not matter.

Steve Jobs is stepping down from Apple as CEO. He will be continuing on as Chairman. The news media has gone crazy over “OMG, what will happen now?”

Very little, in reality.  And it shows just how stupid a lot of people are about how all companies, even Apple, are run.

Yes, unlike most CEOs, Steve Jobs had a lot of input into design decisions.  More than any other tech company executive, Jobs seemed particularly prescient in determining high-level designs and even some low-level features.  But in the end, he had as much to do with the actual end product as the CEO of ExxonMobile has to do with the formulation of the gasoline you buy at the pump.

To be sure, Jobs made sure Apple hired the best, and set the overall tone for how the company is (micro-)managed.  And I have no doubt that for high-profile products he was in many of the design meetings ensuring that his vision was the one that was getting pushed.

But in the end, it’s more about the people Steve Jobs HIRED than about Steve himself.  Tim Cook is one of the people that Jobs has had a strong influence over.

As long as nobody panics and the Board of Directors stays out of everybody’s way, there’s no reason why Apple can’t continue for the next ten years being the same company they have been the last 10.

This is the last post I expected to make

This post has been written, posted, and edited on an Apple iPad.

For a lot of people I know, that isn’t very remarkable. For me, it’s a pretty giant leap. I’ve never been a huge fan of the Apple iPhone and the iPod touch. Yes, I had an iPod touch that I used on a fairly regular basis, but I missed the simplicity of the older iPod interface, and I felt that the additional features of the touch interface really didn’t add much more compared to what it took away.

Further, I’m also not a huge fan of the Apple “We Control All You Will See and Hear” attitude regarding the App Store and its bizarre policies that nobody really ever seems to totally understand completely. With more weird rules, exceptions, and policy interpretations it seems more complicated (and considerably less transparent) than the US tax code.

However, a client gave me the opportunity to get an iPad at their expense, so I figured why the hell not.

And, I now totally understand what the fuss is about.

I’ve been a big fan of tablets for quite a while. Many of you will remember the now seemingly antique “Windows for Pens” tablets I tinkered with in the past. A few of you will remember my beloved Fujitsu tablet laptop, which even after having gotten a ton of cash for it, I still miss.

But once again, Apple has demonstrated that they “get it”. The iPad is exactly what I personally have been waiting for in a tablet computer. Decent battery life, access to media on-the-go, and enough horsepower and applications to actually be useful.

It isn’t a replacement for my laptop.. Or for that matter even my netbook. It also demonstrates to me why the iPhone will probably never be my preferred handheld platform, either. There’s a lot I don’t like about it.. but the hardware is top notch, and everything is well put together on the software side as well.

And Netflix runs on it. That is quite simply made of awesome.