INTERNET OF THINGS – WWDC 2014

APPLE WWDC 2014 PREDICTIONS!

I am just day dreaming this, but I have seen this all, it all repeatedly happened before. Apple did revolutionize the industries as chronological order as follows.

1. Once (Mac/ GUI) for PC and Desktop Publishing Industry
2. Twice (iTunes/ iPod) for Music and Labels Industry
3. Thrice (iPhone) for Mobile and Telecoms Industry
4. 4th (AppStore) for Software and Content Industry
5. 5th (iPad) for Post PC Industry

I think Apple will unveil the 6th iteration of this today @ WWDC 2014. It’s gonna be all about connected devices future I hope. iPhone (iOS) will be the long promised Digital Hub of Things which ultimately drives our all interconnected devices, smart homes and beyond.

The bellow picture shows how the Internet of Things (IP Connected devices, sensors, gadgets) as they looks today. Isolated, not really have a shared intelligence as such. Pretty bizarre picture right?

inot

This is where exactly Samsung Gear, Google Glass, Nest and many other fitness-ware, medical and home automation sensors fits in, and just like Android fragmented ecosystem this is a chaotic picture even for the savvy consumer. There’s is hardly a chance that anyone in particularly stand out, or play a significant role as Apple iPod did in 2001 in music industry or as iPhone did in 2007 in mobile industry.

This is where exactly I guess Apple will drive next wave of small small things (Wearable or Internet of Things) revolution’s future.

Remember where there were a thousands of MP3 players in the market in the year 2000? (Creative Nomad, Walkman, Countless Chinese and Winamp and Napster music). Apple launched the iTunes, iPod and then “Made for iPod” initiatives with criticism much what’s the use of 300 grand MP3 player when few bucks Chinese exists?

Today, the history is written as iTunes Music Store plus iPod was label music industry’s biggest digital transition success story. Wearing that white earphone became overnight hit hip-hop a sub-culture itself.

I hope Apple will announce something similar which it tern will make and shape the future of wearable devices and connected smart home, they may start it with Healthbook fitness healthcare app and combined “Made for iPhone” connected devices initiative that this INTERNET OF THINGS will kick start to flourish.

healt

Rumored Apple Healthbook.

I am sure in few years 90% of these shown things in the picture will have “Made for iPhone” badge and will work natural with iPhones. People will say there were all there Apple just connected them. Android clan also will follow suite me too, me too slogan initiative. For the reasons that once the system is in place with marketing and political battles fought by Apple, it’s just a few matter of hours for other device makers and Android developers to make a similar API to connect to those and work almost the same.

It’s an irony that if it is either hardware or software, the world always instinctively follow on Apple. Soon, no one will remember then what Apple did to the industry!

Will see this in a year or two!

WHY BIGGER ISN’T NECESSARILY BETTER!

Debate over bigger is always better and Apple’s stance on iPhone screen size has I think a reason to stay the same.

Samsung-Galaxy-S4-vs-Apple-iPhone-5-01

As a designer I always liked bigger flagship displays since the nineties, like this SONY Trinitron Sun Microsystem monitor which I used for many years. Fast forward a decade and what you get on Samsung Galaxy S4 handheld (Is it really a mobile?) which display I love is almost the same pixels crammed up to 5 inch of that 21′ SONY behemoth of the past. On contrast still Apple’s latest iPhone 5s have lesser pixels and smaller 4 inch size regardless of critics but it doesn’t really mean any less usability for practical reasons. So here is the facts.

PLEASE NOTE: I tinker every OS, explorer most gadgets I get just for fun, but the only practical use I get from any of these smartphones is making calls and browsing web other than occasionally play a game. That’s it. So this may differ with your actual usage. But smartphone’s sheer success was due to desktop class mobile browser before the App era. And this isn’t necessarily a technical rundown, rather a routine I observe everyday from early Android Froyo days to today 4.2 Jelly Bean. On iPhone front this has been almost the same from iOS 1.0 to iOS 7 now from 320X480 3GS to today’s iPhone 5 retina display. Rendering size is always the same while retina bump-up the crispiness of the text. There is a significant way Apple handles the screen in iOS and Mac OS X. iPhone screen size still remains in the 4 inch region without any practical usability hindrance.

So millions of millions iPhonions have seen everyday bigger screens doesn’t necessarily yield any usability breakthroughs on a mobile. So if you filter the critics, it’s always Android fans who complains iPhone has a small screens. Not iPhone users. This differ when you move up from phone to a phablet or tablet and that is a different use case.

I have picked up http://www.redmondpie.com and http://www.androidpit.com blogs to showcase this

DEVICES TESTED
iPhone 5 Galaxy S4
640 x 1136 px 4 Inches 326 ppi 1080 x 1920 px 5 Inches 441 ppi
IPS LCD AMOLED
iOS 6.1 with Safari 6 Android 4.2.2 with Chrome 31.0

Check out the real captures.
IMG_3974

Native rendering of http://www.redmondpie.com as it loads. Is it any “MORE” readable on bellow S4? Actually native loading size of fonts are more readable on the iPhone. Both phones can bump up font size as accessibility feature.

IMG_3973
Single double tap zoom to fit-to-screen. This is where the beauty. Is it any “MORE” readable on bellow S4? Single double tab on iPhone makes the site text quite readable and fill the whole full screen in iPhone you just have to scroll down to keep on reading. Where as on S4  you have to fiddle with pinch, zoom, find a fit, loose your read location and make it readable size and then scroll side-ways and up and down side ways to find your location back. This is a pain. For me, this makes a whole world of difference. Of cause you get used to the for both scenarios over the time, but can Android claim this IS better usability? This is worse with the famous Android Screen Lag even with the latest Samsungs flagship S4 and Note 3. Google is trying to fix this with Nexus new 4.4 ART runtime.

IMG_3979
Native rendering of http://www.androidpit.com as it loads. Is it any “MORE” readable on bellow S4?

IMG_3980

Double tap zoom-to-fit the screen. For my aging eyes iPhone is still “MORE” readable. Anyone?

IMG_3975

The whole point is here there is no point you seeing more (more lines or content) if you really can’t make use of it. It only helps when you do view pictures or videos on a mobile but never with text. You read one line per round. Perhaps Apple will go 5 inch in the next year iPhone. But it is still a long way from iPhonions clamming to a bigger screen yet. For me Samsung S4 5 inch draws the upper limit of a mobile. Note is out, Next Samsung S5 should get the S Pen. Or what if Apple too will join with my decade older famous Wacom Tablet (S Pen maker) which I have been using since 1998?

DROPPING THE LEGACY! – THE NAME OF THE GAME

There is an Only One Company in the world which does what it does at its best. If the name of the game is Dropping the Legacy.

Welcome to Apple Incorporated.

macbook
Though this article is dated back, the picture i wanted show just came in today.

portsThe new Macbook do away with all the legacy ports but one!

Make no mistake. This may look like moving too fast too soon. Sometimes just look plain pastel crayon color child’s play in iOS 7 release. Give it a year or two. Boom! You will all grow upon with it. Give it a decade you will know no better world esisted before.

ios_7_vs_ios_6_home_screensiOS 7 colors were critizied but adopted very well with the industry.

Years passed since the original iMac, iPod, iTunes, Music Store, iPhone, App Store, Macbook Air and iPad. Many nay sayers started questioning the Apple’s ability to further innovate any of the intended market, let it be the Personal Computer Industry, then the Music Industry or later the Mobile Industry. So for a week or so there are ney sayers and famous Apple doom stories hush… hush.. for a moment.

Then the whole industry knows better than who invented the wheel.

There’s no question that the original iPhone upside down or down up and iOS with multi-touch together make for the best mobile phone ever made.

The can of offhand, dismissive spec bias criticism from the Android fan base that Apple never innovates should be silenced, canned, at least for awhile, given that Apple now sells the only dual-tone LED flash; the only 64-bit mobile CPU; the only 64-bit capable mobile OS; the fastest touch-screen performance phones by far; (we iPhonions all knew this all along) the only wide-scale deployment of Multipath TCP; and the only useful, usable and widely used fingerprint scanner ever placed on any consumer electronic device.

Yes, there’s plenty of petty grousing. And who knows what competitors will ship tomorrow? But as of today, rest assured it’s clear that Apple rules the high tech market and again sets the way forward for rest of the industry.

When BlackBerry OS 10 launched earlier this year, it made iOS the oldest of the modern major mobile operating systems. Web OS, Android, Windows Phone all launched after Steve Jobs unveiled the original iPhone in 2007. (Some well after.) iOS, which had started the smartphone revolution, was facing a world where it was no longer revolutionary, and it was unclear what, if anything, Apple would or even could do about it. After all, it’s difficult if not impossible to change course when hundreds of millions of customers are being dragged behind them. We saw this very well with 2 decades of Windows withheld the tech world from innovation altogether (think of IE browser stagnant until Firefox liberated it)

And Apple as usual is pushing everyone to ditch the legacy just in six years as it ignited the App ecosystem, where as Microsoft took nearly 2 decades and still somewhat carry the DOS legacy.

ios_7_vs_ios_6_apps_screens
First when paper became digitized we needed it to remind us of the paper, now we have accustomed and lived that generation
isn’t this now growing up further upon you?

So this is what Apple does. They ditch floppies. They ditch PowerPC chips. They ditch Intel, they re-write the Mac OS X, then port it for the Intel, make it the first 64 bit OS years before others even think of it, make it mobile ready, port it to ARM. They reshuffle their executive teams, shake up the very people who got them to where they were, and they radically change course months into their product cycle. In short, instead of dragging legacy, they get out and push the future forward.

Is there any other company which does it and excel at it? When Palm dis it, they went bankrupt. When Compaq, Dell do it they loose their market. When Microsoft does it they loose their core business model altogether, when Nokia does it they sell their headquarters. Apple do it and build 5 billion spaceship to prove it to the world. In the later days no one noticed, now everyone nags about it.

It’s messy. And iOS 7 is still messy around the edges. I’ve been using it since June, through all the betas, being in software I know its scary and messy. But it’s also damn good. very bold. Excellent even. It’s computationally expensive in a way that will be non-trivial for the competition to match, especially when paired with the equally forward-thinking new Apple A7 and Apple M7 chipsets in the iPhone 5s. That’s good for us, because when competition is hardest, the results are the best. Still Apple pushes it forward keeping others on the nerve.

After the iPhone in 2007 and Web OS in 2009, and then Windows Metro, I wondered often what would be the next. iOS 7 with it’s crayon pastel colors and 1500 new APIs for the developer magic. This is it.

This is the one aspect where Apple might take it.

And most importantly, it’s just the beginning.

BROKEN SWORDS! (MICROSOFT – NOKIA MERGER)

Wow! Whatta an interesting week to be a gadget lover!

brokensword

  • Google announced KitKat 4.4 their next Android love.
  • Samsung unveiled new Note 3 and Galaxy Gear watch
  • Amazon did introduced Kindle Paperwhite 2
  • SONY and LG is putting their new high end series
  • Apple announced their September 10 iPhone iOS 7 event

While all the above seem positive

  • Microsoft announced it brought Nokia for 7.1B Dhah!

From Microsoft point of view this came as no surprise. Stephen Elop (Nokia CEO) is the old Microsoft guy Microsoft send to Nokia as Trojan Horse to get Nokia alined with Windows Phone instead of Nokia marrying the Android army. The only viable Windows Phone licensee for Microsoft while old OEM Samsung, LG, HTC all went to bed with Google beloved Andy. Meanwhile Nokia, from being the most prime mobile phone vendor in the pre iPhone era, are killing themselves of being such a historic company a 6 years ago. It seems to me Microsoft – Nokia got entangled in such a mess that they themselves can’t even get out with their broken swords.

MICROSOFT’S DILEMMA – A PC COMPANY IN THE MOBILE AGE!

– For Microsoft their lucrative OS licensing system is broken, dead, finished and done with. You can’t sell OS when Google give away such wonderful Android (Chromium too) for free. The problem for Microsoft in mobile is that Android has completely destroyed the value of a licensed OS. They did what Linux couldn’t do and now every darn gadget I know of comes in “Android Embedded” form. No, you can’t sell OS (ecosystem) by the means of hardware as Apple does either if you don’t speak hardware and don’t have the content to go with. Microsoft’s traditional software model is broken and Microsoft doesn’t really know what to do. Bingo!

NOKIA’S DILEMMA – A HANDSET MAKER IN THE SOFTWARE AGE!

– No matter how good, you can’t sell your hardware if you waste your chance to build or go with a robust OS and content ecosystem (like Android/ iOS/ Amazon) and brush up your expertise on hardware and logistics to differentiate . So now your Microsoft Windows Phone OS experiment failed that your Lumia hardware is still so good almost everyone (Except MS) wish that it runs Android. Overall it’s now too late to build your own OS while your expertise is on hardware and can’t even go to bed with Android due to your ego and hard ties behind MS. Bingo!

Now what..?

Nokia has already sold it’s Head Quarters year back to recover expenses, can’t recover sales from loss of 90% to 4% market share drop and left with no where to go other than bankrupt. MS on the other hand failed to get traction on Windows Phone from other old Windows Mobile OEM manufactures (or PC) and can’t let Nokia die cos it’s the only Windows Phone licensee which had some success (Lumia Series) which going fast down the drain if it do not pump even more money on it.

So where do we go from here…

and comes the fight of the Broken Swords. The Microsoft – Nokia Merger. Done. Deal.

Now the difficult part. How do we correct that what went all wrong? Will others stay on their laurels (Google, Samsung, Apple, Amazon, Xiaomi) while Microkia get their act under one hood, figure things out and plan ahead to ‘Empire Strike Back’ ? and when? Are there any place left in mobile ecosystems to grow-in profitability? Do customers care? Will enterprise hold their breath till they get this sorted out? Would they?

bb

Gosh, now the Ballmer has left Microsoft with such an ordeal, who would be the next superman, superhero CEO to take up this challenge? Coming MS CEO is gotta be another super CEO like Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, Do we have a candidate? I don’t think that anyone is around there to take up the challenge, have the guts and the vision to drive forward. It’s again the famous “Burning Platform” for both parties and specially for Nokia for this time for real! Ironically Stephen Elop could be Microsoft’s next CEO too!

Then in the Microsoft end, here’s the mess Steve Ballmer leaving for his successor:

  1. Windows 8 and Office have failed to produce break-through turnaround in Microsoft’s gradual decline cash-cow business. It has found no business model to survive in today’s Google and Apple invented could centric App, Service Content ecosystem model. iPad, Android succeeded without MS Windows or MS Office anywhere near them.
  2. The Surface tablets have more or less died in the market.
  3. The company’s just been through a massive top-level organizational change. That process will be disrupted while everyone waits to see if the new structure will stick with the new CEO (unlikely; new CEOs almost always want to change things).
  4. And now Microsoft needs to mesh and fix the Nokia and Microsoft businesses. There’s a cultural challenge. There are also operational challenges. It’s incredibly difficult to manage an operating system to please both your in-house hardware team and your licensees. They always want conflicting things. Microsoft claims it can both license Windows Phone and run Nokia. Whatta bluster, it will not work in practice. It’s an almost ridiculously complex situation. Who could make all of it work? Who has the ego big enough to even try?

nokia-blow-mind

Now to match iOS, Android duopoly ecosystem, MS need more than what MS has failed to do. Zune, Win Mobile, Tablet PC, Bing anyone? In a pre WINTEL world there were many PC OS systems, none survived well. Even Apple was 90 days from bankruptcy when MS put money on it to breath. But that genius guy called Steve Jobs turned it around for Apple with a per-determined plan, and then after the iPhone era was also just like that. None survived well. Palm OS, HP Web OS, RIM, Alcatel, Ericsson, Symbian, Meebo and now Nokia all dead and burned their platforms.

I think there may be room for at least 4-5 OS ecosystems in the world, the issue is none has the vision, guts, funds and time to get there while only main one or two can make money on this business. Widows-Mac OS, iOS-Android duopoly proved that. Samsung may be the new Dell and lucky child for the moment while Amazon is the company to look forward as a successor.

MS says it got in to 3rd place in mobile passing BlackBerry, Come on, you are beating already dead horse. You should be at least like Amazon to survive this onslaught. Otherwise MS will only loosing all the money it made on Windows and Office trying to get there as No 3 in mobile and retain it. The issue is they are already there after trying all this hard. But is there money in it? No way! To be successful Microsoft-Nokia would need to find a new business model that will challenge and render obsolete App, Ad and content combined hardware ecosystem business models pioneered by Apple, Google, Amazon and the likes. A very very risky undertaking even for the one time kings of the past to say the least. And to make matters worse they are even loosing their core business competence already. Windows 8.1 anyone?

(This is extracted from the web)
By far the smartest strategic thing either Nokia or BB could have done would have been to accept their weakness – they didn’t have an adequate OS or ecosystem – and focus on their strengths.

  1. BlackBerry should have adopted Android and made it enterprise-ready, with BBM for consumers. And, of course, those hardware keyboards.
  2. Nokia should have adopted Android-stock, and used their unmatched supply chain and distribution to do to their competitors, well, exactly what Nokia had been doing to their competitors for the last decade (if you think Samsung is running over everyone today, in 2007 they could only manage less than half of phones compared to what Nokia shipped.

Both BlackBerry and Nokia would have gotten a good OS and thriving Android ecosystem for free and been able to compete and differentiate themselves on the exact same area they had previously. To put it another way, RIM and Nokia had never been successful because of their OS or ecosystem, yet both decided their best response to iPhone iOS and Android was to build a new OS! Alas!

Building a healthy app ecosystem is probably the most difficult problem in technology even the expert Microsoft could not still do it right.

You need an API that can be built upon
You need an OS that developers want to use
You need consumers who are willing-to-pay
You need a liquid marketplace
You need to overcome the opportunity cost of developers working on other platforms

And so, for BlackBerry and Nokia at last, here came the fall.

Mobile computing will continue to evolve in form of new business models where hardware is not the source of profits but a distribution channel. Chances are that the new Microsoft together with what’s left of Nokia devices will not be a part of this now-showing future.

We will see.

MOBILE SCREENS HIT DESIGNERS’ SWEET SPOT!

HITTING 1080p FULL HD GLORY ON SMARTPHONES!


Sometimes competition does remarkable things. It pushes the impossible to a common thing in a matter of months! Since iPhone triggered smartphone war manufactures push their limits to ever so high that is sometime go beyond the practicality. In pursuit of being alive in the gladiator game, anything is fair. Many bizarre inch screen sizes, ever so high megapixels and still not usable NFC like technology features become common place even though they are yet to see any practical use for the common man.

Anyway something that I long wished for being a visual design guy had not come to the market until very recently HTC did their Droid DNA. Then followed by SONY Xperia Z, HTC One and now the latest glamor phone Samsung Galaxy S4.

BINGO! All of suddenly all pushing the mobile screen resolution where I would have like it to be the final resting place. Aka “Sweet Spot” of mobile screen resolutions. Full HD 1920X1080p Glory Screens!

Regardless of their physical inch size, 1080p Full HD screen resolution is a “SWEET SPOT” for screen resolutions. Be it a TV or the small screen. HDTVs long had it. When original iPhone 4 Retina display rumors were ashore I thought Apple would go full HD with iPhone 4 or at least with iPhone 5. But Apple hardly does anything just for the reason of hype, unless the market is ready for it to make it perfect, practical and cheaper to make as a quality product in mass production quantities to market it at a premium. So iPhone 4 and 5 Retina Screen stopped near the physical limits of the human naked eye at the hand’s length of 300 dpi range.

Somehow it is noteworthy this all hyped 1080p Full HD is EXACTLY what the upper pixel count even on the 55″ inch and beyond Full HDTV beauties today we lavishly enjoy in our living rooms. (Until 4K screens, or rather 4K content is possible). So a packing that mammoth 55″ inch living room monster resolution to a silly 5 inch hand-held screen doesn’t really cut in. But it is good at least Android guys do standardize it somehow. With year long trained graphics eye, I even can not distinguish any pixels beyond the 275 Dots Per Inch (DPI) boundaries. Also age old offset-printing-press industry has stopped at 300DPI super fine print-quality range for a reason. Human eye can’t see beyond that. The new Samsung Galaxy’s 5 inch 1080p crazy 441 DPI screen resolution which is almost as double as what a naked human eye can possibly see at one feet away hand-held distance, Gosh, this is scary crazy! But this solves one fundamental nightmare the design industry had. Designing for ten zillion resolutions is scary, so one size fits all HD resolution is good way to finalize this once and for all.

Apparently the fight for the screen size supremacy is halted at Apple Labs until the market finds it’s sweet spot. Here, all the Android guys are betting all sort of screen size and resolution soup positively heating up the market point where we all wanted to be and now have almost achieved that it seems. There is a big chance that the next iPhone may even hit 1080p resolution either at 4.5 to 5 inch size finalizing the screen size limbo for good.

Even though iPhonions like me still have to wait for full HD glory on our iPhones. I am glad that all the industry screen sizes are now coming in to the place where I always wanted it to be. Forget the physical sizes, we humans come in all shapes, twelve inch dicks, so regardless of the fancy PHYSICAL screen sizes, what matters is the actual aspect-resolution 1920x1080p @ 16:9 is FREEZING now. Here I strongly believe that 1080p Full HD (2K, 4K or multiples of it for TVs) is the final resting place for the screen resolution like it once did for 600X800 VGA.

So that all the wonderful developer community can kick-start their design houses to have the history’s most promising time for Software User Interfaces. In the soon to be future all our apps will run perfectly from our soon-to-be Tera-Core mobiles to pads to kiosks to HDTVs scaling up and down fluidly with an astounding visual perfection and crispiness. This is where we are taking it.

seven_seg

WOW! Think of 70 something started as Seven Segment Liquid Crystal Display (SHARP calculator/clock LCD) revolution which kept pushing picture clarity boundaries with ever so high segments have come along way and found a very sweet spot. Now unless the human eye evolves to be an Eagle-Eye to see it, Our screens will only advance in terms of technology without any break-troughs in visual clarity. Oh, what a circle!

NB: Glass free 3D has yet to come out of labs.

Coolest cat leaves the den – Steve step aside from Apple!

Happy and sad, one of the most influential man in our time takes back seat. It was considered that the cat had the upper hand that we didn’t see any iPhone 4 or iPad II baseband hacks got materialized lately.

It’s like even by numbers itself almost everyone got cuddle up to the big cat’s paws.

Here are some of the best responses quotes of him.

Hope Apple will still produce the future we indulge!

Cheers and Good luck Steve!