When Apple debuted the Apple TV in 2007, it was meant to allow the user to access their iTunes content in their home media center to get the best possible experience. Later, users were able to directly download content on their Apple TV but, it never was that popular of a product. If Apple wants to make the Apple TV a successful product, then they need to make major changes to the Apple TV and take some ideas from the other set top boxes like Roku and Boxee.
The app store on the iPhone, iPod touch and now the iPad allows users to browse and download applications they want to expand the feature set of the device. On the Apple TV there doesn’t have to be the over 50,000 apps there are available in the iPhone app store but, apps for extra media and accessing social networks like Facebook and Twitter would be great to have on the big screen TVS.
Going with the applications the app store could also open up the Apple TV as a gaming console and would be able to get more great entertainment on their Apple TV. They could target both the casual games that make the iPhone a great gaming platform as well as more serious games appealing to all gamers. The one advantage Apple has in this market is that they have mastered digital downloads through the app store and could use downloads as a cheaper alternative to optical disks.
3. Streaming Web Content
Both the Roku and Boxee box have the ability to stream content from the Internet both live and prerecorded. On Roku you can watch shows from Revision3, TWIT and other content providers. You can also watch the TWIT Live Stream as Leo broadcasts live everyday. This would add another dimension to the Apple TV and make it have the capabilities to replace your cable or satellite subscription.
Apple has done a great job designing the Apple TV’s user interface by making it slick and easy to use. However, they now need to step it up another notch and make it a full entertainment device.
The iPhone has been considered to be one of the best smartphones currently on the market. It allows people to stay organized on the move with a convenient device that is “always on and always connected” and includes crucial applications for business people calendar, contacts and email. Although these apps are pretty good for the average users, they leave more to be desired for the business user. The largest limitation for business people is the limitation to only synchronizing with one exchange account. Another problem is the limited calendar functionality, it once again is fine for the average user, and I use the calendar on my iPod Touch all the time, but, business people want more. The contacts app should add the ability to subscribe shared contacts lists which is very common in the world of big business.
My solution to these problems is that Apple should make Pro versions of the core applications for example, Contacts Pro, that add the functionality for business users and sell the upgrade for a minimal price, even 99 cents and I’m sure a lot of iPhone owner would buy it. In fact, if it was 99 cents for the upgrades, I would even consider the upgrade because it could make the iPhone a much more productive device.
As I mentioned in my previous article, books are too expensive and inefficient. However, Amazon has solved that problem with their Kindle ebook readers but why pay for another piece of hardware if you have a iPhone or iPod. and there is a free app for reading ebooks called Kindle and is made by Amazon as well and let’s you buy as well as read electronic books and makes reading anywhere simple.
Reading on the Kindle is so easy you just tap either side of the page to go forward or back in the book. You can even change the font size to create your optimal reading environment. You can also download books off Amazon’s mobile book store and then sync them wirelessly to your device. I have been reading iCon: The Second Coming of Steve Jobs on my iPod Touch and it is the best reading experience of my life.
I reccommend all iPhone and iPod Touch users since it is a free application and books are usually around $10 and let’s you take your books anywhere in your pocket!
As I mentioned on Monday, today, Apple gave a preview of what is to comer in the next version of the iPhone Software, iPhone 3.0. There has been a lot of speculation about features will be added to the new software and what will not but, now, now I will determine which rumors came true and which are just rumors.
- Spotlight Search– Search will be implemented in all appications which is great because it will make data easier to access
- In-App Purchase- As usual Apple has found a great way to revolution an old business. This time, it was subscription services like newspaers and magazines. The new SDK now allows users to buy addition content such as magazine issues or game levels from with in a third-party application. This will build a large market of mobile content providers and will be very successful.
- Landscape Keyboard- There is no longer a need for getting third-party applications just to get a horizontal keyboard it will now be built in in all key applications and most importantly, Mail!
- Peer-to-Peer Connectivity- This is a great feature for both work and play because it allows people to connect devices over WiFi or Bluetooth. This could be used as a method of sharing data for work or playing games against one-another.
- Stereo Bluetooth– Perfect if you want to use a stero Bluetooth headphone set.
- Third-Party Accessory Applications- Apple is also opening up SDK support to let third-party accesory developers to develop apps to interact with the accessory. This will greatly expand then accessory market and will really expand the hardware of the iPhone.
- Push Notification– Finally, Apple has developed push notification and they claim it is due to battery issues that they did not implement background applications. This will push text, audio and badge notifications to the home screen.
- Turn-By-Turn Directions– Finally users can get turn by turn directions, however, they will only be through third-parties because Apple cannot due to Licensing issues.
- Cut, Copy and Paste- That’s right Apple has heard everyone’s complaints and they are implimenting a revolutionary method of copy and paste!
- MMS– Picture Messaging has been added which is great if you have a picture you need to share.
This new software will be released to developers right now, and will be releassed to the public in Summer for free for iPhone users and for $10 for iPodTouch owners, All-in-all it is a worthwhile upgrade! I think that Apple waiting until June indicates that they will be releasing new hardware this summer and leads me to suggest to wait until summer to buy a new iPhone because there is a 90% chance of new hardware being released as well as the software. I definitly will buy the upgrade for my iPod Touch and will write a full review at that time.
Tomorrow, Apple is going to give a preview of the next version of the iPhone operating system, iPhone Software 3.0, at their campus and to a group of journalists.It is believed that although, this is a preview and not a roll-out, that distribution of this new software will happen soon, I think it wil be released in the next month, unless, Apple releases new hardware, because then it would make sense that they wait for the next generation of hardware. But, I thought it would be a good idea to write what I think the next generation of software will include, because it has a lot to live up to.
The single most demanded feature is copy and paste it is essential for putting in Wireless passwords and just saving time when trying to get work done. Although copy and paste is more of a convenience feature, it has been demanded since day one and because of that Apple needs to put it out. I am not sure how this will be implemented but, after two years, they need to get it out or it will cost them dearly, it is do or die now!
The other feature that people have been craving for some time is background applications, because applications like instant messaging could be always running so if you are not actively running the application, you can get messages and get notified of when new messages arrive. I think this feature is less likley than copy and paste because Apple flat-out mocked background applications and task managers in their last SDK announcement and it would look bad if they went back on what they had said before.
Tethering has also been a frequent request because it would be great to be able to take that $30/ month for iPhone service and be able to use that on your laptop as well as on your iphone. It would be very convient to the iPhone users and would be simple to implement with a new applications. The final thing that has been speculated about being added was MMS so users can send multimedia as well as text messages.
One thing that I am curious about is that the tradition has been for the past two years that Apple releases a new iPhone on the anniversary in June in each year but, I am curious what they will add besides increasing the memory. I also wonder if the new software will be availible for the iPod Touch and what price, I think if it adds a few of the features I mentioned it is 100% worth the nominal charge.