Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Comparing the Apple iPad to Traditional Android Tablet Computers: Is there a need to change?

The improvements in the Apple iPad specifications beg the question…should we abandon the android tablet computers in favor of this device? There is no doubt that the Apple iPad is a bestseller regardless of the criteria that you use to assess it. However its competitors are also not giving up that easily. They are interested in measuring up to the high standards that have been set. The design qualities of Apple products are never in dispute. They are masters at producing things that are interesting for modern audiences. Why exactly are they the best thing that is happening to the consumer electronics market today?  

  1. Apple’s Numerical Strength: It was reported that the brand had sold about 60 million Apple iPads since the product launch. Those are figures which any consumer electronics company would die for. The consumers tend to buy these babies in bulk because they deliver high value. Pricing may be on the extravagant side but when you take everything into consideration, Apple remains the favored brand. This gadget is a mere two years old but already it is making record gains on a market that is well known for its competitiveness. Meanwhile tablet computers are acquiring that disturbing reputation for being bloated and inefficient. 
  2. A resilient marketing strategy from Apple: When the iPad was announced way back in 2010, the critics got going. They complained that it was nothing more than an oversized iPhone but the brand knew exactly what it was doing. In any case the consumers have embraced the Apple iPad…size and all. It is a testament to the strong marketing instincts that the brand has displayed over the years. Even the practical Netbook Computers failed the practicality test which is absolutely essential for success.
  3. Getting rid of the problems associated with the Notebook: Without doubt the Apple iPad was a revelation for those users who were tired of working with a clamshell-style device that was made worse by the presence of a miniscule screen. The keyboard was too close for comfort and you never really felt that this could ever become a comfortable experience. The general dissatisfaction with the old notebooks has worked in the iPad’s favor because many people see it as a definitive alternative. The responsive and accurate touchscreen is an added bonus. The same trick was used to push the iPhone towards its heights. 

Apart from the impressive hardware that has been extensively reviewed, the Apple iPad benefitted from software that was regularly updated to meet consumer needs. That meant that we were in effect using the same model but it was clear that there were improvements being made to it all the time. The freshness of design was consequently complemented by the modernity of the software applications in question. That is the foundation that has gradually turned this into a bestseller. There will be the naysayers who argue that the Apple iPad is too stylized for the real world but in reality that is precisely what the consumer needs. It is an age of rapidly changing software and hardware. Any electronic device that does not live up to expectation is going to be set aside.

  1. J. Prokazza,” How does Apple's iPad compare with Android tablet computers?”, 17th Jun 2012, Computer Active

Monday, 9 July 2012

Will Integration Make a Difference to Apple Products?

Apple has started the process of implementing Social Media Integration. Specifically the iOS 5 software package was integrated with Twitter. However some consumers were worried about the lack of integration with FaceBook.  Now those issues have been resolved with the iOS 6. They have also added the Siri facility. Likewise developers will be able to directly tap into the apps that are on offer. This has meant that FaceBook is effectively part of the notification center. A case in point is where FaceBook events can be used to populate your contact information and iOS Calendar. 

Some great phone features for Apple consumers

It is all very well to come up with great apps but the real challenge for Apple is to ensure that their electronic products measure up to the consumer expectations. For example the features for a phone must be practical in order to make life easier for the average client. A case in point is the addition of a feature that allows the consumer to politely ignore callers. They have added a facility to send the caller a text message rather than simply ignoring the call. This is Apple at its most thoughtful. Here is what you can do with this specific feature:

  1. Geo-Fencing responses: You can tell the caller about your ability to respond to them based on your location. One of the most interesting capabilities is where you are able to send a person a message based on whether they are within the building or not.
  2. Do Not Disturb:  This feature is very useful if you want to ignore all incoming phone calls, text messages and any other notifications. You can control your phone calls at the granular level with the option of creating an exception for any people who you consider to be particularly important. Another useful tool is the ability to ignore a DND if the person is calling repeatedly so that you can respond. This could be critical in case of an emergency.
The scene has been set for an almighty battle between Google and Apple. For example Google Maps is gradually losing its place as the default iOS mapping app. That position is being fiercely contested by Apple Maps. It is a good development for consumers who get better choices over the long run. The application is vector-based. Up to 100 million businesses have been included in the project and you get to check out real time traffic data. They have added re-routing and ETA elements in order to ensure that you get a reasonably accurate service. 

What about the integration with Siri?
Some of the benefits that accrue to consumers from this development include the ability to ask for directions and the ability to locate amenities. For example you can ask for the nearest gas station. We love the Apple Flyover facility which allows you to view maps as if you were in the air. This is really a development that is akin to the magnificent impact that 3D had on the market. The fidelity is out of this world and is a testament to the strides that Apple has taken in terms of responding to the priorities that consumers have often expressed. 

Working on the Safari Browser

As part of the improvements on the iOS 6, Apple has added an iCloud tab. This allows users to save favored websites to the cloud interface so that they can access them easily when they need them. In fact the integration model allows you to access these facilities even if you are working with different devices. The Mountain Lion is a new complimentary desktop which has become part and parcel of the Safari suite. Perhaps more importantly you get to cache pages so that they can be read even when you are offline. 

The technical updates on the product include the ability to create a screen landscape mode. The smart app banners may have other benefits for those users who are engaged in SEO or SEM activities. Visitors to the website are always notified that there is an iOS app available. It is then possible for them to either ignore the notification or act on it. Ultimately developers will benefit by being given the ability to persuade people to download apps. Furthermore it is possible to post photos and videos without leaving the browser. 

The value of FaceTime integration 

For many iOS devices, FaceTime is an immediate danger. Why is this the case? They have simply failed to adjust to consumer requirements. First of all the facility was awkward in terms of compatibility because it only worked with Wi-Fi. Apple has a solution because they have just announced that it will be able to operate with cellular phones. Consequently users can make FaceTime calls even as they using their iPhone number on an iPad. Eventually Apple may succeed in making FaceTime the video calling app of choice for consumers. That is what is going to challenge Skype and Microsoft. 

Finally we take a look at the iOS Passbook
In some respects the idea of an Apple iOS Passbook was going to be surprising. However the brand has decided to centralize the storage and management of passes/tickets.  This could be very important for those people who are booking a variety of events including concerts, drinks and flights. It will work with those retailers who have been offering digital-based shopping certificates. Likewise those people who shop with coupons will benefit from this facility. The fact that they are making it easier to manage multiple app items bodes well for the future. Passbook is now part of the Apple applications for those consumers who wish to work in this way. 

Conclusion: Apple is going to do everything well
The message is being sent that Apple is not prepared to wait for other brands to develop and then catch up. They are going to come up with innovative products that challenge even the very best competitors out there. In effect they are taking a leaf out of the Google book and beating the original multitasking technology company. Good luck to them. 

  1. F.Nelson,” Apple WWDC: 17 Cool Innovations”, 23th Jun 2012, Information Week