Like many of you, I unboxed an iPad this Christmas. After using the iPad for a few hours I picked up the box, fascinated by how tightly everything in the box fit together. As I set the box down, it noticed that on the bottom edge of the box was an iCloud logo, just opposite of the side on which the Apple logo rested. Everyone knows how sparsely Apple decorates their products, so why would they put an iCloud logo on the box? Only if it was extremely important. More important than iOS 5, the A5 processor, FaceTime, iMessage, iTunes, or the App Store. Apple didn’t put logos for any of those things on the box of the iPad, no, it put the iCloud logo and nothing else.
So, why is iCloud so important to Apple? Is it because it syncs everything? No. iCloud is so important because it not only syncs your content, but it provides the stepping stone to the continuous client experience that has become the pinnacle of usability. Continuous client, if you don’t know, is simply the ability to stop reading a book or watching a movie or playing a game or doing anything, and picking up where you left off on another device. This is something Apple has the unique ability to do better than anyone else because its devices are so popular and Apple’s famous “closed” ecosystem allow it to spread iCloud’s adoption faster than anyone else.
iCloud can help Apple make the transition to PC-free iOS devices. This is important because Apple is moving the world beyond PCs and iCloud is now the forerunner of this transition. This is only the first of many transitions that will be made in the future and iCloud can help people make these transitions easily and painlessly.
iCloud will gain more features in the future, and it also provides a stairway right up to cloud-based apps and even devices when the time is right. iCloud could make transitions to, say, HTML 5 based apps and devices seamless because rather than having to plug-in to iTunes and backup, then plugin your new device and sync for an hour, you can have not even left the Apple Store with you new phone and your apps can be downloading in your pocket from a cloud-based backup. This gives Apple the ability to drastically alter the architecture of iOS in the future and keep the transition experience for customers a good one.
This is why iCloud is so important to Apple, it is the new iTunes, the tool that they will use to make transitions buttery-smooth, and it provides the foundation for continuous-client experiences.
The Cosmonaut from Studio Neat aims to be the first in a new breed of stylus. It is not shaped like a pencil or a pen, which its creators say promotes holding the stylus at the tip and therefore touching the touch screen which results in unwanted interaction. Instead, the Cosmonaut is shaped like a whiteboard marker, making it a better fit for touch screens because you instinctively hold it differently.
Design: The Cosmonaut is very minimal, only using three different visible materials on the outside. You have a choice of buying it with an aluminum end cap or a wood end cap. The aluminum end cap is a particularly nice touch as it matches the aluminum on Apple devices. The only visible branding is the word “COSMONAUT” etched towards the back-end of the stylus. It is only about half a centimeter taller than an iPhone, so it should fit into your pocket just as easily.
Feel: The stylus is surprisingly heavy, but it is not much of a concern for practical usage. The surface of the stylus is tactile and won’t let fingerprints stick to it, unfortunately bits of dust and other small items will cling to its rubbery surface. The surface of the tip of the stylus is very smooth which makes using the cosmonaut on glass surfaces an absolute joy.
Use: The Cosmonaut is more useful than you may think. The stylus comes in handy while editing photos as it is more accurate than your finger and gives you more control. When using the Cosmonaut to draw on an iPad, its original use case, it shines. The tip glides across the glass like a piece of ice. The Cosmonaut also comes in handy when you are wearing gloves because you can just pull out the stylus instead of having to take off your gloves. It is also just a nice change from using your finger to manipulate touch surfaces, although it really isn’t quite as practical for everything as just using your finger.
Conclusion: The Cosmonaut is a solid stylus, the best I’ve ever used. However, its use case is limited because your finger is great for doing most tasks on an iPad or trackpad, but if you do a lot of drawing or photo editing, it might be just the thing you are looking for. The Cosmonaut retails for $25 at Studio Neat’s website and comes with your choice of a wood or aluminum end cap.
- The design is nearly flawless
- The tip glides very smoothly across glass
- The body can attract dust particles
This is my second ever hands on video, detailing the iPhone 4S. Thanks for watching!
With an iPhone on Verizon coming out soon with an unlimited data plan many Verizon customer are asking themselves the age old question in technology: “Do I buy x now, or wait for x 2.0 in a few months?” Sadly there is no clear answer but I hope to clear it up a bit in this post.
The Facts: If you buy the iPhone 4 now:
Pros: iPhone 4 NOW, Unlimited data plan
Cons: No 2011 iPhone for you (Unless you pay up), stick with your current phone for approx. 6 months more.
If you wait (Patience is a virtue) and buy the 2011 iPhone later:
Pros: Latest and greatest iPhone
Cons: You gotta wait! Likely no unlimited data.
Can you wait? If you do it will definitely pay off. As far as the unlimited data, don’t sweat it, chances are you can say under the tiered data plans cap. Really it is a toss up, personally I would go with waiting until this summer, them you can have an excuse for staying inside for a few hot days while you mess with you new iPhone.
So it is finally time. The iPhone 4 is on Verizon, and this could just be the start. in the Q&A session after the presentation, it was revealed that the iPhone 4 was a multi-year, non-exclusive agreement. Non-exclusive is the key word here. The iPhone 4 could soon rear its head on T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular or Sprint. But today, the big news is that it is on Verizon.