Merlin’s weekly podcast with Dan Benjamin. We talk about creativity, independence, and making things you love.
Merlin Mann | Jul 25 2008
The 3.2 version of Apple Core's patchstick for the AppleTV is out. And it's pretty amazing.
If you've never heard of the aTV, I'll point you to the product page for all the feature details that turn your AppleTV into a tricked-out media center that runs an assload of codecs without PitA transcoding. And, yes, you will need to read the detailed instructions on how to make this work -- there's a lot of them and it's not for the impatient or the faint of heart. For now, I just want to highlight why this particular release of this particular product has scratched such an itch for me.read more »
Merlin Mann | Jul 23 2008
While acknowledging the complexity of Apple's ambitious launch, David Heinemeier Hansson says iPhone 2.0 wasn't ready for prime time on a number of levels.
David also has a laundry list of complaints on stability and performance. I went through his items and ticked off each of the ones I've also noticed (with a 01-10 for how big a problem it's been for me):read more »
Merlin Mann | Jul 23 2008
Apple has 11 tips for increasing battery life on your iPhone.
In a nutshell? Use it as an iPod. But not too often.
NB: there’s appears to still be an instance of “Push” in there. Was the decision to pull that term just for the non-email stuff?read more »
Merlin Mann | Jul 22 2008
Chairman Gruber recently discovered (via his sharp-eyed reader, Earl Misquitta), that the aforementioned iPhone Remote application can also be used as a virtual keyboard for entering search text, login information, and what have you on your AppleTV. Seeing the typed characters appear on the TV screen as you type them is simply magical. So, if, like me, you’re in the amazingly tiny sliver of the Venn diagram for people who own both these products, this is hugely convenient, and what a welcome trick it is.
As I’ve alluded to before, the AppleTV’s torturous keyboard entry (via the hardware Apple Remote’s 4-way joystick) is abysmal. In 21 uninterrupted years of using Apple products, it’s probably the most consistently frustrating and poorly-designed interface I’ve encountered. I literally hate using it.
The ability to enter text via the superior (but far from perfect) iPhone keyboard is wonderful but it doesn’t and can’t address a deeper problem with the keyboard-challenged devices Apple are focused on vending right now: assy and annoying text entry encourages the use of crap passwords. This is bad, and here’s why.read more »
Merlin Mann | Jul 16 2008
According to many users, and as reported by numerous news outlets, Apple MobileMe's implied promise of instantaneous sync between between multiple devices (including, it had been implied, your desktop Mac) is not accurate. Since it appears that syncing from the desktop to anywhere else in "the cloud" can actually take as long as 15 minutes, many are questioning Apple's referring to this functionality as "Push" (as opposed to simply sped-up, automated "syncing"). Marin Perez of InformationWeek writes:
You may have shared my slack-jawed gape and consequent fistbump when Phil Schiller's WWDC demo of MobileMe [free iTunes link] implied magically fast, truly instantaneous syncing. Because that's really hard to do well -- and implying MobileMe would enable such a thing suggested mighty technological leaps over the previous .Mac service, whose sync skills and reliability were famously uneven at best.read more »
Merlin Mann | Jul 11 2008
This is not the Friday Apple had wanted. There's a lot of frustrated people out there right now. A quick survey of the damage so far:read more »
Merlin Mann | Jan 18 2008
My tall, new friend Scott McNulty interviewed me yesterday for TUAW's Macworld coverage -- unintentionally providing me a fine bully pulpit from which to perpetuate my baseless theories and half-baked forecasts about how Apple might eat the lunches of about three different industries over the next couple years.
If they can pull it off, if they can fix .Mac, and if they have the vision to re-imagine themselves as the company who makes your entire digital world safe, fun, ubiquitous, and flawlessly integrated.
Anyhow, on with the motley, but stay tuned after the jump for value-added hand-waving.
So, exactly what the hell nonsense am I talking about here?read more »
Matt Wood | Jan 16 2008
The new MacBook Air announced at yesterday's Macworld keynote doesn't disappoint; it's pretty much the laptop I've wanted ever since I stupidly broke my 12" Powerbook trying to replace the hard drive. All things remaining the same, I'd buy it simply for the difference in weight, a full two pounds less than a MacBook. As someone who's put a lot of miles on his kicks with a laptop bag on his shoulder, that would make a world of difference.
What's interesting though, is what the MacBook Air isn't: it's not simply a sexier MacBook Pro on Jenny Craig, it's a different class of machine. John Gruber rightly points out that it's clearly designed as a secondary machine for people who do their heavy lifting on a desktop. Without another machine standing by at home or the office, only a select group of geeks could really get by without an optical drive, not to mention the diminished overall specs of the MacBook Air may not please a power user without reinforcements (a.k.a., the folks willing to spend upwards of $2000 on a laptop).read more »
Merlin Mann | Dec 26 2007
And here's linkage to a few of the things I mentioned (adapted from this episode's show notes):read more »
Merlin Mann | Sep 25 2007
I'm with Gruber -- this is a welcome and fan-friendly addition to the marketplace. And, frankly, I'm glad there's finally somebody out there who can really give Apple some competition in this area.read more »
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