Monday, June 28, 2010

Enjoy the Golden Age of Technology

I was reading an article today that is required reading for one of my college classes. We Are the Web by Kevin Kelly was written almost five years ago. The main idea behind Kelly's article was about how fast the internet has grown in the last ten years.


Some of the history Kelly talks about is how a lot of big wigs dismissed the power of the medium and how they couldn't possibly see a way to monetize the web. Now granted, radio and television can reach an audience of almost 90% of our population. But think about the advances we've seen since 1995.

You can download music from a website on to a portable device smaller than a Walkman (for those of you born after 1990, it was these bulky things that played cassette tapes and could only hold 9 or 10 songs at a time). No longer do you need to run down to the video store....mostly cause they're all going out of business. Just sit in your pajamas and choose what DVDs you want Netflix to send to you. Heck, why wait for the physical movie, watch it instantly on your computer or iPad...and soon your iPhone!!!

Who writes checks anymore? Simply click your bank's bill pay option and violĂ ! Your money digitally disappears into your vendor's bank account. Want to know the latest gossip on Lady Gaga? There's a website for that....actually there's 312,000,000 different links when you Google the Gaga (that sounds dirty, but I digress).

The internet has come so far in just a short time. What does the future hold for this utility that is as common in a family's home as a car or refrigerator? Great things if we allow ourselves to dare to dream! My first thought is things I saw on a cartoon I watched as a kid (and even those were reruns from almost 50 years ago!)...The Jetsons.

Now, we all know there are no flying cars yet. That disappointment will have to be saved for a different blog. But just watching an episode will show you the things that were dreamt up back in the 1960s have become a reality today. Heck, even Captain Kirk inspired today's cell phones!!!


In the next 15 years we will see the desktop as we know it disappear. With so much information being stored in the "cloud" online, people will choose this over continually upgrading their OS to the latest overpriced product. Consumers will want to get online as quick as possible to access their information.

Computing devices will continue to be made more efficient. Items like the iPad and the HP Slate will be seen as the beginnings of hand held computing systems that are just as powerful, if not more so, than the desktop dinosaur. People will be in constant contact with the information they need. And in 15 years this won't be a bad thing. Many consumers of all things internet will be able to learn to balance online with offline life. I don't believe we'll allow ourselves to end up like the humans on Wall-E...at least I hope so.

I too believe, just like Kelly, that we will look back on this time as the Golden Age of Technology and people will write stories about us and how great it must have been to be part of it. We'll tell our grand-kids that back in our day, we had to use our finger to open up the apps on our mobile devices. My how technology has evolved.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The new iOS 4 upgrade for the iPhone 3GS is a must get!


It’s been a little more than 24 hours since I upgraded my jailbroken iPhone 3GS to the new iOS 4 software. This sneak peek was available to current iPhone and iPod Touch users a few days before the actual release of the new iPhone 4 with all it’s cool little features. Having enjoyed some “extra” features by having a jailbroken iPhone, this new update included very similar offerings that got me wondering if this iOS 4 would be worth updating my “so last year 3GS”. Well, I did update and I find myself 99% satisfied with the new OS running on my old 3GS.

MULTITASKING
This has always been a big deal for iPhone users, the ability to run apps in the background while using other apps. This was a great feature I thoroughly enjoyed on my jailbroken iPhone. With the iOS 4, I found this feature very user friendly. By double clicking the home button, the user is able to scroll through the open apps. I did find some apps operate like I just clicked them for the first time, others continued where I left them. I figure this is just a software fix on the developer’s side and soon many apps will truly run in the background. My only gripe? The fact that if I want to close the apps, I have to do it one-by-one instead of initiating a nuclear close on all the open apps. Minor complaint.

FOLDERS
This was another feature I enjoying having on my previous iPhone OS. All I can say is Apple hit this one out of the park! This feature works so much better than I could have imagined. By simply moving one app on to another, you can create a folder. Opening up the folders are just as easy. Clicking on the folder opens to a new page on top of the UI with the apps in just that folder. Very user friendly. By going through my iPhone, I went from maxing out my apps to reducing my app pages to four! My only gripe? Only allowing twelve apps per folder. I’ve had to name a folder “Games” and “Games 2”. Yet, if that’s my biggest complaint then it’s not a big deal.

EVEN BETTER MAIL

This feature takes some getting used to. After using the email programs on the iPhone basically the same way for the last two years, getting used to this new format took a little bit. But I can tell you this much, I love it! I now have the option to go through all of my emails on one screen or if I so choose, browse through each individual inbox. This feature was strange at first, but now I think it’s great! No gripe.

iBOOKS
I bought the iPad about two weeks ago. Having played with the iBooks app, I was fairly familiar with the same app on the iPhone. This app is very reminiscent to the Classics app found for free in the iTunes App Store. I don’t know if Apple paid those folks off or just simply stole their UI, but either way the iPhone user wins. Not as great as the iPad, just merely for the size comparison, but the iBooks on the iPhone works great for catching a quick read without breaking out the bigger iPad. No gripe.

CREATE PLAYLIST
This is a feature I have been dying to see come to the iPhone. Too many times I’ve wanted to create playlists away from my computer, but never been able to. With this new feature you can create a playlist of just what you want to hear and don’t need to connect to your computer! Very happy with this addition and definitely have no gripes!

5x DIGITAL ZOOM
Not only does this feature rock, but it takes pretty good pics too! I tested this upgrade against an app in the iTunes App Store called Camera Zoom. Even at its closest close up, Camera Zoom is no match for the upgraded camera feature. And let me add the camera seems to take quicker pictures and overall just operates faster. This is a very well done upgrade and I have no gripes whatsoever!

So what’s my 1% dissatisfaction? TETHERING!!!

With my jailbroken iPhone I was able to use an app that turned my iPhone into a WiFi hotspot. This was great since I opted to bypass the iPad 3G and just stick to the WiFi version. If I was out, I didn’t need to find a hotspot in order to use my iPad. It was great. Now, I’m back to square one. This one feature only may be enough for me to jailbreak my iPhone yet again. Come on Apple and AT&T…..MAKE THIS HAPPEN!!!

There you have it. Overall, this OS upgrade is a very nice addition to the already great 3GS. I didn’t mention some other minor tweaks and fixes that make this new iOS 4 a must have upgrade to your 3GS iPhone. Unless you’re dying to get your hands on the new iPhone 4, I would recommend just upgrading the 3GS to the iOS 4 software. It runs smooth, has great new features and most importantly…..the upgrade is free!