Blackberry vs iPhone

After a two month iPhone trial using Good Technology’s secure email app, Deutsche Bank Equity Research reports an “overwhelmingly positive” experience that left it waving goodbye to RIM’s BlackBerry.”In aggregate, we found the iPhone UI was very usable and the touch-less vs. physical keyboard debate is a function of personal preference and perhaps ‘fatness of fingers’. Versus the Blackberry trackball, the iPhone interface is vastly superior is terms of speed and accessibility and prioritizing key emails and we view the Blackberry trackball as archaic and cumbersome.”

From the Deutsche Bank analysis.

My thoughts exactly. I have acess to a Blackberry Curve 8520 and a iPod Touch with iOS 4.2.1, and they couldn’t be any more different. If I ever decide to drop a couple of hundred euros per a smarphone, which is by itself a bit of madness, it definitely won’t be an blackberry. It’s unusable to verge of madness. I keep finding myself trying to interact with the screen with my fingers, just to remember that i either have to go in to a endless text sub-menu or use the damn optical trackball, dragging the pointer all across the screen in a time wasting experience. And the keyboard, although not unusable isn’t an easy experience either.

And the annoyance of having to spend another 200€ per year on the blackberry service in order to get my email is insane. I spend my day surrounded by Wi-Fi networks. I don’t really need the email everywhere at anytime. I just would like to access every now and then outside my home. But that’s why i share my network through Fon!

Why would i spend over 200€ per the entry model plus another 200€/year for the service? For that amount i can easily buy the entry iPhone! (in Portuguese prices at least) And just pay the standard pay-as-you-go phone call service if that is all I require from my provider. The rest i can handle through wifi.

Finnish State of the Art

This is 2011 and i can’t find any reasonably priced Nokia phone (or, until now, any phone at all, even the most expensive E71) that is able to charge through a standard usb cable and micro-usb port.

My previous phone was a very cheap and plastic, run-of-the-mill, ZTE F230, for which i paid exactly 40€ and it managed to have a micro-usb charging port. I never used the charger that came with it. Just carried around the small USB cable they provided and charged it everywhere.

What is the difficulty Nokia? Am I supposed to be carrying around one of your proprietary brick which just adds weight and volume to my already too stuffed laptop bag? Or do you expect that i should be happy to have my phone turn off every other day because i didn’t charge it at home and don’t have the charger with me at the office?

Who are these people? Where is their marketing department? Do they even consider what could help their customers? Or just their own pockets?

One of the most valuable and interesting phrases i learned from the english language is “penny wise and pound foolish”. And that is just what Nokia Management seems to be. Trying to scrape a couple of coins with these “under-features” and forgot to understand that most “wise” and “alpha” consumers will just turn to other brands, who don’t have these moronic limitations, taking with them their friends and relations that listen to their advice.

And usually that’s a lot of consumers. I know that since i bought my own macbook i had decisive influence in at least 9 other purchases of Apple computer hardware. Do they think that network effect is a meaningless expression? Or that all of the masses are guided by their powerful media campaign?

News flash for Nokia and all of the other brands. 90% of the consumers don’t follow your adds. They don’t follow your fake/or paid reviews. They follow what their friends use and/or advise. So, those that you really have to persuade are the ones that will take your product and put it under a microscope. And they will be pretty pissed off if it won’t have a standard USB charging port in 2011.

PS: Isn’t there an agreement, mandated by the European Commission, to have USB chargers in all of the phones in 2011? Where are they?

I’m also quitting Google *

“The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday that Google is giving Schmidt an “equity award” of $100 million in stock and stock options. The award is set to be vested over four years.”

I am not against rewarding good management, and i actually think that good management is the most crucial element in a good company. You need no more examples than taking a good look at the currently adrift Microsoft to understand that.

But I do believe that Shareholder value is being dismissed by these self-awarding prices from the Management to the Management. The day should come when this kind of behavior wouldn’t be allowed by an active vigilant Shareholders. Better “checked” Companies generate more profits now and on the long run. And this goes for the Calpers proposal on Apple’s Board of Directors.

Unfortunately i can’t put my measly wallet where my mouth is. Just waiting for that Google gold watch…

*Pretty please?

Numbers? Who uses Numbers?

“This entire article is nice and all, but left me with this one thought: Does “Mr. Spreadsheet” use Excel or Apple’s own Numbers program? It’s got to be Numbers right? But then, really, Numbers?”

Ben Brooks

Yep. Who uses Numbers? I would really like to check out the numbers of sales of at the App Store in 6 months time.

From my experience, the only valuable application in the iWorks suite is Keynote. Pages is, at best, on par with competition text editors and only within a restricted type of usage. And Numbers is totally irrelevant. Why it exists is beyond me. I would prefer that iWorks would come with something like Bento in the suite.

About Customer Feedback

And the way Apple eschews them, Macworld has an interesting flashback of some of those moments.

“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses,” said Henry Ford. Like the automobile pioneer, Apple has long eschewed focus groups and popular opinion in determining how make its products insanely great, focusing instead on making its own design decisions without soliciting its customers’ prior approval. But even Apple and CEO Steve Jobs may not always know best. Sometimes, the company has revisited its decisions in light of user outcry—though certainly there are times that user complaints haven’t spurred any Apple changes. Here are some examples of each.

An interesting read, if not only to check out some of the insanity that sometimes takes over Cupertino. Of course it really didn’t had to be this way. Apple could still take bold and daring steps into the future and unknown areas and then insert the customer feedback into the decision loop of corrections and updates or new products. But that seems farfetched for the small jewelry boutique Steve wants.  

Should be fixed: Search

I was going through this little article on Macworld about a “gem” for searching the mac and remembered one of those little annoyances that i don’t understand why hasn’t been already fixed.

The Mac Spotlight, although it roughly works and makes it easy to do queries, is annoyingly limited. You can state endless fields to look for, including if a document has a certain font embedded, or if a photo has an alpha channel. But i can’t specifically state a path/folder to include or exclude. Nor can i see and order by it on the columns on the finder.

My Downloads folder is a mess. A giant mess thanks to Safari, ((which should also be fixed, but i’ll elaborate on that on another post.)) which doesn’t allow me to specify in what folder i would like to save this file. So everything gets droped on Downloads, either i want it or not. I’ve tried to put an end to that mess. So i put a couple of “major” ((I generally create “major folders” by assigning a number before the actual name as 00.Applications , 01.PDFs, etc, and by giving them colored tags with the finder. This way they are always on top if alphabetically ordered and are easy to spot by me using the colors.)) folders to sort things out. One for applications, one for pdfs i want to integrate in my work, etc etc until i can delete everything else and just analyze what i selected first.

If i do a search for .app files, i would expect to be able to exclude the ones i already moved to the Downloads/00.Applications so that i could find whatever application files are present in all of the subfolders, made for example by decompressing a compressed archive. Or sort it by its locations so that i understood those that are related with one another.

And this is where it gets useless. I can’t do that with spotlight. I can’t do specify anything related with its location besides “search This mac” or “search This folder”. What annoys me is that, if i could just see the path in a column on finder, i could then sort it out myself. But i can’t do that either. i’m reduced to a giant list of files that could be everywhere on this folder, and the only way for me to check it is to select each one and look at the “crumble path” at the bottom of the window. Which would do just fine if i had a couple of finders. But if i’m using spotlight is exactly because i don’t just have a couple of folders…

So, the mess justs grow bigger and i desperately try to find an cheap/free alternative to Spotlight. Of course Apple knows this. They have been criticized for it, i think since the beginning of Mac OS X. And again, if you go to the Apple forums you can easily find threads relating to this. But, this is Apple. The 20/20 eagle eyed visionary company that has a severe hear impairment…

Personality goes a long way

like Apple Inc.

I like their products. Specifically i like the Mac. Since i bought a Macbook (the first and only aluminum macbook) two years ago, it has been my trusted companion on my current professional endeavour. I work with him all day long. And i waste time browsing the web with him at night.

It would be all ok in Mac Land, if it wasn’t for these little details. Tiny specs of imperfection that remain in the cleanness of this metal surface. Tiny drops of stubbornness or simple negligence by its makers.

You see, Apple has a very particular concept of customer relationship. They don’t listen to you. Or if they do, they simply don’t give a damn.

There’s a infinity of bugs or “misdirected features” in Mac OS. They could fix them. They could listen to the feedbacks customers report. Or they could simply take a walk on the wild side and go to their own forums, where you can get a real picture of the vocal user feeling.

I usually report when i find a bug. Or a “misdirected feature”. Or at least i used to. Nowadays, I start to doubt if it has any worth on it. I’ve complained several times since Snow Leopard came out. Specifically about the iTunes Media Keys appropriation. I’ve complained every time a new point update came out. And i’ve got nothing.

So, i’ve decided to create this site, my personal soap box for my digital self. It won’t be just a complaint box. Some compliments will be here too. And some rants. And many, many, many opinions.