Apple iPhone 4

Apple has announced the iPhone 4 and I can’t wait.  

I have an iPhone V1 and although I’ve been hoping to escape from AT&T to Verizon, I can’t wait any longer.  I haven’t even seen one in person but it doesn’t matter- Apple is on a roll and I want a new phone.  We have a number of Apple products in my household– shuffles, nanos, touches, a Mac Book Pro and most recently a 3G iPad.  Everyone from my wife to my five-year old are huge Apple fans and it’s time for Dad to get a new toy!

Normally, I’m a careful tech buyer but the Apple products I have are great.  

I trust Apple to deliver a great product.

I can only think of a few brands that I have had such complete faith.

The first was Sony and the second was Lucasarts.  

Growing up Sony Walkmans were my introduction to the Sony,  I moved up to televisions, CD players, and eventually DVD players.  But Sony lost their way.  They embarked on a number products built on proprietary standards that failed to live up the hype.  The minidisc was the final nail in the coffin of my Sony devotion. The Sony brand lost it’s magic.  Now Sony is just another nameplate in a sea of brands. 

Lucasarts also lost me along the way.  I remember their original games on the my Atari 8-bit (Rescue on Fractalus, Ballblazer) which pushed that hardware to its limit.  Later I loved playing Rebel Assault, X-Wing, and Tie Fighter.  I pre-ordered their games sight unseen.  And then came X-Wing Alliance which sucked all the fun out of the X-Wing and Tie Fighters franchises and Star Wars Galaxies which was just a mess.  I’ve only purchased a few games since, most recently The Force Unleashed which disappointed me with quick time events at crucial moments during the game.  Mashing buttons isn’t exactly what I had on mind for an all powerfull jedi.

Hopefully, the new iPhone will continue Apple’s run of great products. 

Stay tuned…

Apple iPad 3G first impressions

Last week the iPad 3G landed at my house as a present for my wife.  After several days of use here are my initial impressions.

It has quickly become the most popular device in the house, displacing the iPod Touch and iPhone.

Out of the box I was slightly disappointed.  I expected it be bigger, the iPad feels like a scaled-up Touch.  After a few days of use, I began to appreciate the larger size of the iPad.  I love my iPhone but the larger screen size of the iPad makes web browsing easier and watching videos comfortable.  The iPad screen keyboard is very accurate compared to pecking at the iPhone/Touch keyboard.

As an entertainment device, the iPad is a clear winner.  For many people it also is a competent laptop replacement if you limit yourself to web applications.  You don’t want to write a novel on the device, but it’s fine for composing short documents and email.

There are a few chinks in the iPad armor.  The well documented lack of Flash support is annoying but not a deal breaker.  Another problem is that there’s no support for Google’s Chrome web browser.  If you go with a 3G model and Apple Care warranty the price easily exceeds budget laptops and netbooks.

I expect the iPad to will decimate the netbook market and take a good chunk out of the budget laptop market.  Since most people in these segments are buying a device to mainly browse the internet, it will be an easy decision to upgrade to an iPad.

Compared to the now discontinued Windows XP Tablet edition, the iPad is a far superior device.  Once again Apple has taken a form factor with a great promise, shed extraneous features, and created a slick streamlined device for the masses.

With rumors of a Google tablet in development, the iPad may soon have some competition.

But for now the Apple iPad rules the tablet space.