Two years ago today I heard the news that I guess we all knew was coming, but that still felt deeply shocking. The news that Steve Jobs had passed away.
Of course, he’s still sorely missed by Apple fans and so many others round the world – not least by those of us who daily enjoy the fruits of some of his great labors. In my case, the iPad and the iPad mini are chief among those.
I still have vivid and fond memories of Jobs’ unveiling of the iPhone back in 2007 and the iPad in 2010. With all due respect to Tim Cook, Phil Schiller, and other top Apple execs, Apple events these days just don’t hold a candle to the ones when Jobs was leading the presentations.
He’s in my thoughts today, and the iPad and other Apple products will keep him there for a long time.
Today Apple is expected to announce the next generation of the iPhone – at a live event that starts at 1:00PM Eastern. It’s widely expected that Apple will unveil the iPhone 5S and also a lower cost new model dubbed an iPhone 5C by rumors and tech pundits.
There is little to no expectation of hearing any new iPad news today from Apple – but there are still a number of reasons for iPad users to be more than a little interested in today’s Apple event. For starters, we’re likely to hear the latest on iOS 7 and when it will be released. We may also hear about new models or new initiatives for Apple TV. And of course, we’ll also get a good feeling for how impressive, or not, the new iPhones are.
I’ll certainly be tuning in to the event.So, what are the best ways to follow it live? Thus far, there are not as many big sites planning live blogs as I’ve seen for many past Apple events. The two best I’ve seen and that I will follow along at are these:
Engadget: these guys have been live blogging Apple events for as long as I can remember, and do a great job of it.
The Verge: great all-round tech site and their live blog coverage of recent Apple events has been very good.
I am also hoping that Apple may announce they’re live streaming the event at some point this morning, as they have with several of their most recent events of this type. If they do, I’ll update this post with a link to their live events page.
Happy 4th of July to all of you who are in the US.
Hope you’re all having a great day of sun and fun, barbecue, fireworks, and silly decorations on dogs.
This week marks the birthday of two great services that I love and use heavily on my iPad and elsewhere: Evernote and Google+.
Evernote has been a stalwart for me since back in 2008 – on the iPhone and Mac, clipping from the web, and just about anywhere I’ve needed it. To say it’s a powerful and feature-packed notes app is still not coming close to doing it justice. I’ve seen Evernote spoken about as a ‘second brain’ sort of service and I have gotten that sort of benefit from it over the years. It remains a fixture for me across all my devices and is still constantly improving and adding features.
Google+ is only two years old, and it feels like that time has flown by, as they say. I was lucky enough to get an invite from +Louis Gray on the first night the beta became open to invites and I’ve been enjoying the heck out of Google+ ever since.
Yes, I’ve read all the reports of Google+ being a ghost town, and I think they’re complete nonsense. It has become easily my favorite social network. It is superb for lively and intelligent discussions on just about any topic under the sun, has a great range of topic-specific communities where you can focus in on areas of interest, and Hangouts for connecting via video with anything from one to hundreds of people. I have lots of good discussion every day via my personal profile and the iPad Insight Google+ page.
Here’s wishing both of these great services many happy returns.
Towards the end of last week Microsoft brought a version of Office to iOS for the first time – while leaving out an iPad version. Office Mobile for Office 365 subscribers (catchy name!) is an iPhone only app for now, and is ‘the official Office companion optimized for your iPhone’.
Here’s a little more of the App Store description for this new Office Mobile app for iPhone:
You can access, view and edit your Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel and Microsoft PowerPoint documents from virtually anywhere. Documents look like the originals, thanks to support for charts, animations, SmartArt graphics and shapes. When you make quick edits or add comments to a document, the formatting and content remain intact.
The one big catch on this app is that it requires an Office 365 subscription to use it. For home users those start at $100 per year. Compared to the $20- 30 range for a number of Office compatible suites on iOS (like QuickOffice, Documents to Go and Apple’s IWork suite) that’s a very steep cost. If you really *need* official Office compatibility and rely on Office docs heavily in your job, I imagine it’s not an issue – but I wonder how that’s going to go down with more ‘casual’ Office users.
Microsoft is also coming into this market on iOS very late. And they’re still offering no iPad version – which ties in nicely with their TV ads mocking the fact that an iPad can’t run a Powerpoint app. I still think Apple has the last laugh here – as I don’t see a lot of prospective new tablet buyers finding Powerpoint a killer feature and Microsoft are leaving potentially billions of dollars on the table by not selling Office on iPad and iOS.