DigitalOutbox Episode 2

DigitalOutbox Episode 2
In this episode the team discuss Digital Britain, Virgin Media, Windows 7, Project Natal and Steve Jobs all without mentioning the iPhone. Almost.

Playback
Listen via iTunes
Listen via M4A
Listen via MP3

Shownotes
– Mobile Phone Privacy – New UK directory of mobile phone users – http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/06/09/mobile_phone_directory/
– http://www.118800.co.uk/
– http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/telecoms/article6459097.ece
– You can become ex-directory by texting the letter ‘E’ to 118800 from the mobile phone that you want to be made ex-directory. Standard network charges apply. Or you can call us on 118 800 or 0800 138 6263 from the phone you want to be made ex-directory. But remember that 0800 calls will be charged by your mobile phone company. The first time 118 800 contacts you please note that you will be sent an SMS reminding you about how to become ex-directory. Please allow 4 weeks for your details to be made ex-directory

– E3 Round-up
– Sony
– PSP Go
– Motion Controller – very accurate, imagine God of War with two of those in your hands
– God of War 3, Uncharted 2, Heavy Rain, Agent (Rockstar exclusive), The Last Guardian, Assassins Creed 2, Mod Nation Racers (LBP for racing?), Final Fantasy 14, Gran Turismo 5 – still no release date!
– Nintendo
– Mario Galaxy 2
– Vitality add-on for Wii
– Metroid from Team Ninja
– Very tired compared to Sony and Microsoft

– Palm Pre
– great reviews, appstore lacking – http://www.engadget.com/2009/06/03/palm-pre-review/
– Some real world issues – http://sanford.blogspot.com/
– No on screen keyboard – want to type in horizontal you need to rotate – clumsy
– Touchstone – slow charging, also gets hot in use
– Based on reviews, a great alternative to iPhone
– Windows 7 – Oct 22
– WWDC
– New Macbook Pro 15″
– Built in battery like 17″
– Typical user – 5 years of use – 1000 charges before degradation
– SD card slot instead of expresscard
– You can get up to 3.06 GHz Dual Core 6MB Level 2 Cache, Up to 8GB of memory, 500GB hard drive. Or 256GB SSD
– Starts at $1699 (2.53 ghz) – $300 less than current starting price
– $2000 to get 9600M GT
– 13″ Macbook and 17″ Pro updated also
– 13″ gets integrated battery and SD slot as well
– New screen also
– FW 800
– $1199, now called Macbook Pro
– OS X
– Attacking Windows 7 – fundamentally it’s just another version of Vista
– Rewritten 90% of Leopard – bug tastic
– Gain 6GB of disk space by installing SL
– Expose built into dock – answer peek features of windows 7
– Safari 4 released today
– Focussing on performance improvements in SL
– Quicktime – major improvements, back end and UI, frameless – looks gorgeous
– All major system apps in SL – 64 bit
– Grand Central Station – better thread management with multiple cores, Open CL – basically faster and more powerful O/S
– Exchange support in SL built into Mail, iCal, Address Book
– Out in September for $29. Wow. Family pack – $49. People will still pirate! Developer preview out today
– iPhone
– 50,00 app’s in the app store, SDK download > million times, more than 40 million iPhones and iPod touches
– OS 3.0
– Major update – 100 new features
– Cut/Copy/Paste
– Landscape keyboard in all key apps
– MSS app
– 29 carriers out of 79 countries will support MMS on launch of 3.0 – O2 logo at the keynote – how much?
– Spotlight search across all app’s, including mail on server, launch apps from spotlight
– iTunes – rent and purchase movies from the phone + tv shows, audiobooks, music videos
– Better parental control
– Tethering with mac or pc, usb or bluetooth, 22 carries in 42 countries, not at&t
– Faster javascript, better media streaming
– Autofill – remember username and passwords for websites (turn on keylock)
– HTML 5.0 support
– Find my iPhone, MobileMe customers only, lose phone, log into browser, tells you where it is, from browser send a message or sound to phone whether it’s in silent or not so if in the home it will sound out until you find it, if it is lost/stolen you can send a remote wipe, find later – plug in and restore from backup
– 1000 new API’s, App Purchase – make financial transactions from within the app, mag subscriptions, same money cut as app’s
– Peer to Peer for games
– Accessories now supported via dock connection
– Push notification
– App’s demo’d – Gameloft – Asphalt 5, Airstrip – Airstrip CC – remote monitoring of patients, Scrollmotion – books and magazines bought from the app, Tom Tom – with optional hardware attachment enhancing GPS – handsfree calling – powers phone – summer, ngmoco – Stardefense – featurepacks – launch today with update for 3.0 around time of 3.0 release, pasco – remote sensor monitoring, zipcar – zipcars available in your area – embedded maps, line6 + planet waves – connect iphone to guitar amp and add effects and control amp
– OS 3.0 – Free, $9.95 for touch, out on June 17th
-iPhone 3GS
– Same form factor
– 2-3 times faster (app loads and web pages)
– Open GL ES 2.0 support, HSDPA (7.2Mbps)
– 3 megapixel auto focus camera
– auto exposure, auto light balance
– tap to focus
– auto macro
– captures video
– 30fps, audio, auto focus
– Videos shown alongside pictures, can edit videos on the phone
– share videos – e-mail, MMS, MobileMe, Youtube
– Voice dialing
– Voice Control
– Digital compass
– Voiceover
– Nike+ support
– Improved battery
– $199, $299 for 32gb
– black and white
– iPhone 3G 8gb – $99
– Out Jun 19th

Picks
– Wired magazine
– Macbites

Episode 1 Feedback

Just a quick post to say thanks for the comments, tweets and e-mails on our first podcast. Lot’s of great feedback and useful advice which we’ll try and incorporate on our next episode which should with a bit of luck will be out over the weekend. One thing we didn’t expect was this:

digitaloutbox-week-1-2

Caught this snap on Sunday (I think) so I’m not sure if we were higher than this at some point. Call us stat whores – we were delighted! Easily pleased even though we’ve no idea how iTunes calculates it’s charts. Hopefully we won’t become obsessive over this though as I fear a fall in the near future if we do.

One thing we will be trying to do is make the podcast a bit shorter, more punchy. One snag – new iPhone this week. Someone gag me now.

So you want an iPhone 3G S

After last weeks iPhone 3G S announcement there has been a lot of heat, not so much around the product itself, but around the costs involved in purchasing one. This is especially true in the UK, where the cost of the handset and the upgrade costs have sparked a lot of controversy.

Firstly, the iPhone 3G S – worth the cost if you’ve already got a 3G? This is a hard one to call. The improvements are:

  • Jump in size from 16GB to 32GB (assuming you buy the 32GB version)
  • Improved camera – 2 to 3 megapixels
  • Camera functions improved – auto white balance, better low light performance, macro
  • Touch to focus
  • Video recording
  • Video editing
  • Digital Compass
  • Voice control
  • Much improved chip speed
  • Double the RAM to 256MB
  • Screen has oleophobic coating

Not exactly ground breaking but for me it’s enough of an upgrade. We see the future of iPhones, much like the iPod range, to be evolutionary rather than revolutionary apart from a platform reboot ever 3-4 years. So assuming you agree and decide an iPhone 3G S is for you, how much will it cost? This is the real burning issue for 3G owners in the UK. For the iPhone 3G launch O2 allowed existing iPhone owners to upgrade to the iPhone 3G for £100. Everyone was happy and most also assumed that this was the model for iPhone’s upgrades in the future. Wrong!

Like every other mobile phone contract in the UK you would need to buy out your existing iPhone 3G contract before you could upgrade to the new 3G S. This announcement, made first on twitter, caused a bit of meltdown with #o2fail jumping into the trending topics on Twitter for a couple of days. Initially disappointed, in the cold light of day it was fairly obvious that this was the same rules for everyone else, so why not the iPhone – a bitter but expensive pill to swallow and if you don’t like it, don’t buy the 3G S. For me though, a purchase is likely so is there a better way to purchase than to buy out existing contract and start on a new fresh 18 month deal?

The spreadsheet above lists out costs assuming you buy off existing contract. Not cheap. Highlighted in blue is what we think is the typical option for most users which assumes that you will get £230 for your current iPhone 16GB 3G. There’s a few places that will buy your iPhone:

  • MazumaMobile.com will buy your phone for £200
  • Carphone Warehouse will buy it for £160
  • eBay – forums quote £300 for your phone but it’s more like £250-£270. Remember those eBay fee’s too

Considering the potential flood of iPhone’s then £230 for a phone in great condition sounds fair. The issue with this method of upgrading is the new 18 month contract. Assuming that Apple will release an upgrade every 12 months, buying in to an 18 month contract will give you this hassle every year. Taking a 24 month contract will force you into upgrading every second generation which might not be too bad a thing if the theory on product evolution is sound. However there is another way which involves going down the Pay As You Go route.

It’s this route that offers the best cost and flexibility in our opinion. The table above assumes a 32GB purchase on Friday. You then swap the contract sim from your current phone to the new 3G S. Take the new sim from the 3G S and use that in your existing phone which you can then sell on for £230-£250. Let the 18 month contract expire then sign up for either a monthly or 12 month Simplicity contract from O2. This takes monthly costs down from £35 to £20 although you do lose visual voicemail and unlimited wi-fi on this tariff. You can also make a further saving by signing up to the Simplicity contract via QuidCo and you should also be able to leave the 18 month contract at least a month early so that’s another saving.

The monthly average via this route is slightly higher than opening a new 18 month contract but the benefit comes next year and the next iPhone. No contract to pay off and a tidy sum to be made on selling on the 3G S. Well, that’s the theory at least. If you don’t upgrade next year then another 12 months on Simplicity will be a significant saving over the iPhone contracts.

Hopefully that helps spell out some options for this coming Friday. All you need to do now is queue up on Friday morning, pre-order from O2 stores or make an appointment at a local Apple store which is the option I’m doing. Alternatively, chortle at the amount of money this is all costing and enjoy OS 3.0 which has just come out. The choice is yours.

Macbites

Macbites is a UK podcast about all things Mac. What makes it so good isn’t the reviews, the recommendations or the topics they cover which are great in themselves – it’s the rapport between the presenters and the laid back style in which the show is presented that I love. This was a favourite podcast of mine but around last September, on only their 16th episode it all went quiet.

I never really dug in to why it disappeared but it’s absence was certainly something that was in the back of my head when I started to think about putting together DigitalOutbox with Shakeel. However to my delight, on Tuesday morning at work while looking through the new podcasts on the iPhone I got a really nice surprise – a new edition of Macbites. Turns out one of the presenters had been ill, hence no podcast. The new edition was back on form though and it was pretty ironic that I listened to it on the day we recorded our first edition of DigitalOutbox.

Highly recommended podcast and quite refreshing compared to the other casts out there.

DigitalOutbox Episode 1

DigitalOutbox Episode 1
In this episode the team discuss E3, Windows 7, the Palm Pre and WWDC.

Playback
Listen via iTunes
Listen via M4A
Listen via MP3

Shownotes
– New iPhone specs – http://theappleblog.com/2009/05/19/rumor-has-it-leaked-iphone-specs-describe-big-improvements/ http://daringfireball.net/2009/05/the_next_iphone
– iPhone launch mid july?,32gb on t-mobile austria, end of life notice in australia
– Palm Pre – http://www.engadget.com/2009/05/24/plethora-of-palm-pre-interface-videos-emerge-from-leaked-emulato/
– http://www.reghardware.co.uk/2009/05/26/palm_pre_o2/
– New Zune – iPod touch rival? M$ Project Pink iPhone killer??
– E3
– No new console hardware – two years ago many thought 2010 would be time for new xbox – not any more
– PSP next version, why no mobile Xbox – could it be Zune HD is a game player? – http://www.engadget.com/2009/05/30/sonys-psp-go-leaks-out-before-e3-is-obviously-a-go/
– PS3 – Fat princess, wipeout hd update – at last, uncharted 2, heavy rain, gran turismo
– Microsoft E3 Conference – Rock Band Beatles, Tony Hawks, Modern Warfare 2, ffxiii, crackdown 2 (infamous made me play crackdown again – what a great game), left 4 dead 2 – nov this year – great news, splintercell conviction – fall 09, forza 3 – oct 09, halo 3 odst – sept 09, halo reach – 2010, alan wake – spring 2010, last.fm on xbox live – didn’t see that coming – free for gold members, sky Player on Xbox 360 – http://www.techradar.com/news/gaming/consoles/first-look-sky-player-on-the-xbox-360-603323 (no new hardware required), zune video – 1080p instant on – doubling countries (uk?) – compression – pixelation – bull?, facebook on the 360 – send game screenshots to your facebook account – tiger woods first to support, twitter on xbox live, last.fm – twitter and facebook – very smart moves by ms, metal gear solid on xbox – mgs rising, Project natal – motion controller where you are the controller – new camera – detects sounds too – facial recognition to sign you into xbox – minority report style navigation of menus – wii style games demo’d – dev kits issued today – no dates though?, really strong keynote from microsoft, who’d have thought they would have beatles on a keynote before apple and got speilberg on stage, mgs and also nintendo’esque type innovation
– Will we see more on the streaming services – OnLive, Gaikai