Apple’s Low Cost iPhone – Good or Bad Idea?

Apple LogoBelieve it or not, this isn’t as slam dunk as you might think it is…

Emerging markets are a big deal.

In areas like China, Korea, parts of Africa, etc., where there are untapped consumers just waiting to buy a smartphone, the right device at the right price can sell and sell very well. Low cost, low margin phones are intended to make money in volume sales.

According to an article published on TUAW, former Apple CEO John Sculley agrees that Apple needs to produce the low cost device, which for many in those markets, is the only computing device they will own. While Sculley acknowledges that there’s “nothing wrong” with the current iPhone, he also acknowledged that Samsung is very good at what they do, and implied that Apple needs to figure it out and provide a competing product.

Sculley agreed that Tim Cook is the right person to lead Apple at this time due to his operations experience. Apple’s decision to cut its product update cycles to 6 months instead of 12 will require solid supply chain experience, and that’s right up Cook’s alley.

While its still unknown if a low cost iPhone would make an appearance in either the US or Europe, there seems to be a shift in thought in the smartphone arena. Lower cost, unsubsidized devices seem to be the direction that the world wants the industry to go. That being the case, I suspect that we’re going to see a number of exciting changes over the next year or so.

Whether or not a low cost iPhone is a good or bad idea is going to be validated by Apple’s financial and stock performance. The markets seem very fickle right now, with Apple stock jumping 3-5% over the past couple of days on news of component order cancellations and their 2013 product pipeline, respectively. Until the world decides that Apple knows what it wants to be when it grows up, I’d expect a great deal of fluctuation in their stock price and speculation in the news regarding the company’s viability in a post-Jobs era.

Related Posts:

Mix digital tracks with MixPad Audio Mixer

mixpad_iconAnybody who has made music or likes to mix tracks of any kind needs a decent mixer. With the introduction of computers to the masses, more and more people are bringing audio mixing to their bedrooms and basements. This is one reason why I like MixPad Audio Mixer. It’s a multitrack mixing suite for Windows.

MixPad Audio Mixer is a digital multitrack mixing suite. It can mix and process more than 100 tracks at once in most audio formats, and it can also extract audio from video files as well as rip CDs. Its media-player-like buttons and time indicators give MixPad’s interface a familiar feel. The main window displays each track horizontally within its own control console. The setup options involve selecting a recording device and output folder, while the Audio options included sample rate and other specifications.

Each track in your mix can be comprised of a number of different clips. You can view the clips in each track by selecting the optional Clip Manager on the View menu opened a right-hand panel. MixPad can manage dozens of tracks and clips, so this is a handy feature and it can toggle it closed when you don’t need it.

MPAM02

MixPad’s extensive zoom and expand controls let you view entire audio clips or individual passages of a clip in tiny fractions.  The Pan slider can shift the sound of a particular track from the right to the left channel or vice-versa. Pressing the Fx button allows you to string together a chain of effects to apply in sequence. We were also able to change tracks’ playback speed to synchronize speed and pitch.

MixPad Audio Mixer provides professional level tools that should be easy enough for just about anyone with a reasonable amount of audio mixing knowledge to use to create professional sounding mixes. The app is easy enough to use and understand, but unless you’re looking for something for a specific event – a big party, wedding or other gathering – or are a semi-serious/semi-professional DJ, its somewhat elevated cost and short trial may reduce its overall appeal and value.

download MixPad Audio Mixer

Related Posts:

Turn your laptop into a WiFi hotspot with mHotspot

Getting access to the internet is increasingly important in today’s always on, connected world. This is one of the big reasons why I like apps like mHotspot. It turns any Windows 7 /8 laptop into a Wi-Fi hotspot; and it’s free.

mHotspot converts your Windows 7/8 laptop into a virtual Wi-Fi router and creates a secure Wi-Fi hotspot without installation of additional networking components. With it, you can share your single internet connection with multiple devices. You can share your existing LAN, Ethernet, Data-Card, 3G/4G, or Wi-Fi connection with devices like laptops, smartphones, PDAs, tablets etc. No additional router or external hardware is required.

mHotspot

If you’re out and about and have a mobile broadband capable laptop, this application is a must have. It quickly and easily creates a mobile hotspot that you can share with all of your internet capable devices. This can be very important to those that need to give access to friends using other devices. The only issue that may be encountered with this is that it uses bandwidth from your existing mobile data plan.

While this can also be great for those times when you need to access the company network from your personal laptop while at work, it does require an existing internet connection in order for it to work. The interface is simple and easy to use, and its free price tag makes it a must have for nearly everyone.

Download mHotspot

Related Posts:

Chat with all of your Facebook friends with this handy Windows app

facebook-messenger-para-windows-7-02-535x535Keeping in touch with your friends isn’t always easy. Some use this tool. Others frequent that site. Getting to everyone on a common platform isn’t always possible; however, Facebook is one place where most everyone goes. This is one of the reasons why I really like Facebook Messenger. It’s a chat tool for Windows.

Facebook is great for catching up with old friends. Its chat features are pretty nice and very useful. You can chat with just about anyone, anytime, anywhere. The big problem with FB chat is that it requires you to have a browser open, and be logged into their site for it to work. Facebook Messenger solves this problem.

You can do almost everything with Facebook Messenger that you can with FB chat on their website. The app makes use of Java to provide universality from platform to platform, and this is both good and bad. Java may be the great programmatic equalizer – code once, execute on many platforms – but it can be problematic as well. Each platform performs differently and Java may not behave the same way from platform to platform. I had some problems getting the app to behave and function as I had hoped it would. It offered similar experiences on all the Windows machines I tried to run it on.

facebookmessenger-060312

The app’s interface can be somewhat confusing. It’s not always clear where incoming messages and their alerts will appear. Sometimes they show up in your active chat window, other times in your inbox. It makes for a confusing conversation. It also doesn’t do a lot for the app’s usability, either. Facebook Messenger is an ok app, but nothing really to get excited about.

Download Facebook Messenger

 

Related Posts:

Apple to Acquire Waze..? NOT!

waze-iconThe rumor that Apple is going to acquire social GPS developer Waze has largely been put to rest; but was it a good or bad idea?

There have been multiple rumors reported by multiple sites over the past few weeks (Apple Insider, Mac Rumors, TUAW) speculating that Apple was taking a long hard look at Waze, a crowd sourced, GPS app developer for both iOS and Android.

It was later determined that TechCrunch, the source for all of the speculation had it wrong. However, the idea still has merit.

Pros

  • Crowd sourced (read: user validated) Maps
    The biggest problem Apple Maps has is that it’s a 1.0 version app.  Google Maps has been on Apple devices for quite some time, and Apple basically knew what it wanted to do with the app. However, they haven’t had to worry about rolling their own mapping solution…EVER, until now.  Apple Maps was, in all fairness, a decent shot at a new app for Apple, but it does have some very serious issues.  The bulk of those issues are with the map data provided by TomTom (and powered via their relatively recent purchase of TeleNav).  It may also stem from the way the Apple Maps makes use of the data. Unfortunately for Apple, they are still taking the lion’s share of the blame for the sometimes glaring navigation and satellite image errors within the app.Waze provides a way for users to validate the data. Users can report problems or provide updates to map data that can then be incorporated back into the app. While the method is reminiscent of a real life version of Pac Man, it works and works well. Users validate or update map data and the data gets assimilated and provided back to users in a “reasonable amount of time.”Incorporating this method of data validation into Apple Maps would provide Apple real time, corrected or updated map data from around the world. It would also give users the feeling that they are correcting the reported, egregious errors.  This is a clear win-win for users as well as Apple. Both sides get what they want – more accurate map data, ASAP.
  • Local search
    There’s BIG money in local search. Waze’s focus is validating that what it thinks is around you, actually is around you, which directly supports local search. As such, Waze can get you there from here, but its strength isn’t really navigation.It does local search VERY well. It has hundreds of thousands of users validating its map data on a daily basis.  It knows exactly what’s near you or how far away you are from where you want to be.  This is an area of competency that Google feels confident it does well, too. If Apple wanted to challenge Google in the local search arena, an acquisition of Waze could have gone a long way to making that challenge credible.

In acquiring Waze, Apple could have resolved two of its biggest map based criticisms. It wants to vindicate Tim Cook’s public apology for Apple Maps and it wants to be a serious player in Mobile Search. Waze does the latter well and would likely have been an acquisition that would have increased its competitive edge with Google.

Next page

Related Posts:

Does a Jailbreak for Windows RT Matter?

RTThe latest rumor to hit the ethernets is a pending Jailbreak for Windows RT tablets; but does it matter?

I read on Computerworld that a jailbreak for Windows RT has been discovered that will allow unsigned applications to run on Surface RT and other Windows RT based tablets.

The big question is – While this is cool, what does it matter?

A jailbreak would only be relevant and important if there were a market for unsigned apps. Windows RT barely has a viable market for SIGNED applications, let alone unsigned apps.

Computerworld is siting a developer who was able to get an unsigned, compiled for x86 .NET app to run without recompiling the source, but again, who cares? The big need for this or similar jailbreak is to get legacy applications from previous versions of Windows to run on Windows RT. Since Windows RT doesn’t run on an x86 (or Intel compatible) platform, having apps like any of those available in Soft32’s vast Windows software library run on a Surface RT or similar Windows RT tablet, is unlikely.

surface

What is interesting about this whole discovery was that there’s little to no difference between Windows RT and Windows 8. It really amounts to nothing more than a security bit that was set to require apps to be signed in order to run on Windows RT. While the discovery – or really validation – of this was important (Microsoft already told us they were effectively the same OS), it doesn’t get the latest version of running on a Windows RT tablet.

Most applications that run on Windows 8 won’t run on Windows RT without some serious tweaking to account for the differences in microprocessors. As such, the jailbreak, while interesting and somewhat exciting, doesn’t mean much – yet. Again, there’s not much Windows RT compatible software in the Window RT software store; and zero unsigned or “forbidden” software that Microsoft has refused to put in the Store.

Until MS can court enough developers and interest in non-jailbroken software, this jailbreak, while interesting, really amounts to nothing more than an interesting, but irrelevant story.

There’s nothing to see here people… This isn’t the development you’re looking for…. Move along.

Related Posts:

Top 5 Tech Predictions for 2013

Technology-Predictions-For-2013Here are my top 5 predictions for 2013:

2012 was a changing year for technology. Mountain Lion, Windows 8, the iPad Mini and Google’s release of Jelly Bean are among the hot releases of the year. There were obviously a great many more.

2013 is going to be pivotal for technology as a number of other developments capture the lime light and bring Nerd-dome into the average American home. In no particular order, here are my top five predictions for 2013.

1. BB10 Fails
Despite its best efforts to right the ship, RIM’s much heralded Blackberry 10 OS and associated devices are met with lukewarm to no public interest. Enterprise sales never take off, as users are more interested in using their own iOS or Android device at work.

2. RIM Declines, is Purchased by Dell or Microsoft
Because BB10 flops, interest in RIM’s associated new devices dwindles to next to nothing. Once their existing enterprise customers see how the new devices are received, many more jump ship for greener iOS and/or Android pastures. This dramatic drop in enterprise revenue is going to get a lot of play by the tech media and press and Wall Street’s reaction won’t be kind. Their stock will drop sharply, making them an easy target for acquisition. Likely buyers will be either Dell or Microsoft, the latter will be interested in RIM for their IP/patents. Dell, if successful in purchasing RIM, will try to make a go of it as RIM Part Deux, but that will fail too, as the whole BB BIS/BES model has been obsoleted by Exchange ActiveSync and other sync options offered by both Apple and Google.

3. Microsoft Surface RT Products Don’t Survive 2013
Microsoft’s Surface RT tablet is having trouble with adoption. While its thin and light and very portable, consumers don’t understand Windows RT and Enterprises are interested in a 1.0 version of ANYTHING. As such, Surface RT dies as Microsoft can’t justify sustaining the product in the consumer market. As such, Microsoft abandons Surface RT near the end of Q2 2013 in favor of the much more enterprise friendly and consumer understood Surface Pro, but its price-point is set so high (starting at $899), that consumers ignore it for more affordable, traditional Windows 8 laptops or ultrabooks. By mid-2013, Microsoft will begin drastically discounting Surface Pro tablets in order to generate interest and sales. Eventually, MS will discover that they aren’t making any money on the devices and will announce and/or discontinue them before the end of 2013 as well.

4. Windows 8 is Declared a flop
Sales of Windows 8 have been less than impressive. Consumers don’t understand it. Microsoft has “moved their cheese.” Enterprises won’t adopt it until much, much later. Many companies are still using Windows XP, let alone, Windows 7, and it’s been out for more than 3 years. 2013 will be a huge sales target and opportunity missed for Windows 8, as it doesn’t do well without a touch screen, and most legacy hardware doesn’t have it. Legacy styled laptops won’t incorporate them, and so, sales of Windows 8 will go nowhere, thus creating a bigger flop than WindowsME or Windows Vista.

5. No Public Jailbreak of iOS 6 will be Released
Every published jailbreak of IOS shows Apple exactly what bugs have been exploited in order for RedSn0w to work any of its Cydiaic Magic. It was recently announced that a jailbreak was created by the DevTeam; but wouldn’t be immediately released. The DevTeam wanted to hold back a bit, as iOS 6.1 is scheduled to be released soon, and usually with every new release of iOS, the current jailbreak is broken, requiring rework by the DevTeam to rejailbreak it. Given that it’s getting harder and harder for the DevTeam to jailbreak the mobile OS, I predict that the DevTeam will likely hold back releasing any jailbreak for iOS 6 until iOS 7 is released; or at least until they get a better understanding of where Apple is taking their mobile OS and can see how difficult it will be for them to continue to provide any kind of support, OR if it would be better to branch out and pursue another to-be-determined direction.

BONUS. Competition between Apple & Samsung heats up with Revamped Apple TV
2013 will see competition between Apple and Samsung reach new levels in and out of the courtroom. Apple will most likely take competition with their Korean rivals to the next level by releasing a TV with an enhanced version of their popular set top box built-in, an enhanced update to their popular set top box, or both. Apple will cut some new content deals with a few low-end content providers, but the larger ones – cable companies, cable operators, etc.) will still be missing. Apple will get close enough to cracking this nut to kick off another new round of anti-trust/patent litigation with those that don’t sign with them or with other competing companies like Samsung, Sony, etc.

I have no idea how accurate these will be. We’ll have to revisit them near the end of 2013 to see how accurate or out to lunch I was.

Related Posts:

Web Browser Roundup

Find the best browser for you with this informative Web Browser Roundup

Introduction

Back in the days of the Browser Wars, it was a battle between two well established titans – Internet Explorer and Netscape.  IE dominated the Windows world largly because it was the default browser for Microsoft’s flagship OS; and it was causing issues for other organizations who were trying to make money via providing a competitive browser.

We all know what happened – Netscape eventually died and Microsoft was put on double-super-secret probation via global anti-trust actions. Today, they still have to present a browser choice screen allowing European users the option of downloading and installing a different desktop browser. Effects of that anti-trust decision have been long reaching.  The browser wars were effectively over more than 10 years ago.

However, IE innovation has been largely stagnant since IE7 was released. IE8 and IE9 provided evolutionary updates, but nothing really to write home about. My wife, upon using IE9 for the first time, wanted to know what else might be available to her, something that she’s never asked for or about…EVER.  Let’s take a quick look at a few different browsers and talk about the ups and downs of each in their own, separate reviews.

Opera for Windows

Its hard, sometimes to get past IE. There’s so much that its done wrong in the past.  Finding a replacement browser isn’t always easy.  This is one reason why I like Opera. It’s a web browsing alternative for Windows. Read more…

Mozilla Firefox for Windows

Directly from the folks who helped bring you Netscape, Firefox is perhaps one of the best 3rd party browsers available for Windows today. Read more…

Google Chrome

The number of people using Google’s Chrome browser has almost doubled in the past year, and most analysts expect it to take over from Firefox as the lead challenger to Internet Explorer sometime in 2012. Why the growth? Well, simply put it just works. Read more…

Safari

If you’re looking for an alternative for your Windows platform, or have made a switch to OS X, then you’re going to want to take a look at Apple’s Safari browser. It’s one of the best browsers around, and like most, it’s free. Read more…

IE 10

Browse the internet with ease with Microsoft’s premier browser for Windows and Windows RT. Read more…

 

Conclusion

While IE 10 isn’t bad, I have an issue with full screen browsing, and despite what you might think, IE really wants to function in a full screen, fully hiding the rest of the OS from the user, especially on a Windows RT tablet. This is a paradigm shift issue with me mostly; but I’m sorry…I just can’t help not liking full screen mode.  I don’t use full-screen mode on my Mac, either.  IE10 runs in full screen on Windows RT machines, and should run windowed on Windows 8 Pro tablets; but again, it wants to run full screen. I prefer a windowed look and the ability to tile app windows throughout.

While IE10 is much faster than previous versions, and there is a Windows 7 version available for download, Microsoft has always had performance issues with retro fitting current version browsers for previous version operating systems. IE10 was written for Windows 8. Expect to see the best performance for the browser on Windows 8.

Its difficult to pick between Opera and Firefox for Windows. They are in many ways, very similar. They’re both based on WebKit; and both perform well and offer what many would consider improvements over current and past versions of IE.

Honestly, it comes down to a matter of personal preference and choice. I use Firefox at work under Windows XP. It’s a great browser, and I am very satisfied with its performance. Its tabs are great, and I like its system of managing plugins and add-ons. Opera offers equivalent features, but it never seemed to catch on as well as Firefox has.  That shouldn’t keep you from downloading and giving the browser a chance, however. Its fast, easy to use, and offers the same value as Firefox, if with a different presentation. Its “O” button at the top left corner of its window is a great way to present all of its menu choices in one easily accessible place.

Related Posts:

Stay in touch with Soft32

Soft32.com is a software free download website that provides:

121.218 programs and games that were downloaded 237.780.356 times by 402.775 members in our Soft32.com Community!

Get the latest software updates directly to your inbox

Find us on Facebook