Tag Archives: Apple

Worth the Wait? The Problem of First Day Glitches

As many of you have experienced, you buy a new device or download a new software update on the first day it releases. Well when you do that, there are bound to be some glitches with the software. This is what I call “First Day Glitches.” Many companies have this problem including some of the best companies out there. Whether it be Apple, Nintendo, or even Microsoft, it’s basically inevitable.

glitchesFirst let’s start out with Apple and their recent update iOS 11 that launched on September 18th, 2017. This is exactly one week after the iPhone 8 and iPhone X launch. On the first day, many users were experiencing issues. One of those issues was with the iPad, with graphics that were completely out of whack. The user would unlock the screen, and right away the bar that includes all of your favorite apps would be in the middle of the screen. This made it impossible to get to some of your apps that were underneath that bar. Another problem users ran into was with Apple Pay. Some people reported that Apple Pay would not work, or would completely crash when they tried to use it.

With this new update, Apple added a new feature that records your screen while you use it. Although this was a good idea on Apple’s end, it didn’t have the greatest first impression. Users would start recording and their iPhone would freeze or wouldn’t record audio like it was supposed to. The only way to unfreeze your phone was restarting it.

Apple isn’t the only company to have these kinds of problems. Nintendo had had a couple of pretty big issues when they first launched new products. One of those issues was with the JoyCon controllers not being able to connect to the screen when in portable mode. This raised many red flags because it is one of the key points for the switch being both portable like a GameBoy or stationary like a console. The other major issue with the Switch was that the screen would glitch to the point of not being able to see your game or control it at all. This video shows the extent of problems that it caused for many people.

The last company is Microsoft, and they problems they encountered with their launch of the Xbox One. On the first day, Microsoft released their “Day One edition” of the console which had some problems of its own. The “Green Screen of Death” was the biggest issue among them all. On the first startup of the console, the screen would freeze on the screen shown below. Many people got lucky and just unplugged their console and restarted it but some people had to send it back to Microsoft to get fixed. Gamers that also played on the Xbox 360 compared this to the “Red Ring of Death” which cost Microsoft nearly $1 Billion.

glitchesMany other Microsoft gamers complained about the optical disc drive either not reading discs or making a crunching noise when the disc was inserted. Along with that, the download times of games was very slow, but the explanation for this is based on how large the game files are in order to provide such high-quality graphics. The higher the graphic quality, the bigger the file will be. This is one of those times you have to decide what you would rather have. Quality graphics and slow download time? Or Bad graphics and fast download time? Read more here.

Overall, these companies are great companies even with their flaws, and it is impossible to be perfect. These examples are why I always wait a few days or a few weeks until getting that new device or downloading that new software. If you wait most of the major bugs and glitches will be taken care of.

Here are a few questions to think about. Are you one of the many that have to have the newest thing right away? Or do you wait?

If you were involved with one of these companies, what would you recommend doing differently to make the first day go smoother?

And what are some other examples that you have bought or downloaded something on the first day it released that had some glitches like these?

Brett Olson

iPhone X: Revolutionary for the world or Revolutionary for Apple?

No doubt the iPhone X is one of the most talked about phones coming to the market in early November, but is it honestly as revolutionary as they make it? I’m going to get this out of the way right now, I AM AN APPLE FANBOY. I love Apple. I watched the launch event and at first I was blown away by how amazing and revolutionary this new iPhone seemed to be. But when I really thought about it, about the new facial recognition, the augmented reality feature, and wireless charging. And I realized the new iPhone is not really as revolutionary as Apple claims.

iPhoneLet’s get down to some of the main features that they emphasized in the ‘Revolutionary’ iPhone. The new iPhone X is now offering wireless charging with the new glass back they incorporated into the new set of phones. Do not let it fool you though. I mean how many times do you put your phone on the charger and not needed to use it? Wireless charging sounds better than it actually is, because you cannot charge your phone and use it at the same time. Wireless charging has also been around since 2009, and Samsung, Apple’s largest competition, had wireless charging in 2013.

iPhone

Next onto one of the biggest additions into the new iPhone, Facial recognition. First off facial recognition was first used on the Google Nexus in 2011. Apple claims that this new system is better than the Touch ID. They claim that mask, clay molds of your face, and pictures will not fool the iPhone X and will only open to your face but if you have a twin they might be able to get in. This technology is so smart that it can recognize you when you grow a beard, wear a hat, cut your hair, wear sunglasses etc. I mean at the Apple event the demonstration went so well, watch one of Apple’s biggest live event fails here.

iPhone

As an iPhone owner, I have been waiting for Apple to incorporate an OLED display for the longest time. Apple has been using a Retina Display while Samsung has been using a beautiful OLED display since 2013. Apple is a little late to the party, also Apple is a little late with the edge to edge display, Samsung beat them to the case there too. I am not the only Apple user not really impressed with this new ‘Revolutionary’ phone, neither is popular YouTuber SSSniperwolf.

Is this phone revolutionary for consumers or is it revolutionary for an iPhone? Because through my research, most of the key specs that make this new iPhone ‘revolutionary’ have already been incorporated into phones in the past. Will you be buying the iPhone X? Why or why not? How do you think that it compares to other phones, like the Samsung Note 8 and Galaxy S8?

-Aaron Graham

Watching OTT: Is The Selection of Devices Over The Top?

With the rise in popularity of watching content online through streaming services, many companies are looking to create devices to make watching a variety content easier on your TV. These devices can be stand-alone products like Google’s Chromecast or TV’s with similar features from manufacturers like LG. These devices are making our TV watching experience more enjoyable, but with some many devices out there, which one should people go with? We will take a look at the different products and see which device may be the best investment for the future of TV.

ott apple TVTV is not just what is on cable or broadcast over the air anymore. TV has become mostly digital and is now obtained in many areas. The first companies to release these devices were Apple and Roku, with their Apple TV and Roku DVP, respectively. These devices were released almost 10 years ago and started the push for content outside of your cable subscription. These devices saw the early adoption of Netflix and Hulu, both streaming services that gained momentum around 2010. These services brought many new challenges, both in getting the content to your TV and getting content to these services.

As many companies released their own services to stream and/or purchase media, people needed new places to take advantage of this content and its high quality. This brought devices like Google’s Chromecast, Amazon’s Fire TV and even a new breed of HDTV’s, dubbed Smart TV’s to market. These devices all had a similar goal, bringing the content that had been collected over the years on streaming services back to the TV.

Each of these devices catered to its company’s proprietary services, but also supported the services that had the top spots in the market. Even devices like game consoles started to support streaming services, leading to less devices under your TV. They all would evolve with the adoption of new technologies, some supporting TV newest change, Ultra HD or 4K resolution.

As these platforms gained popularity with 3rd party streaming services, TV and cable networks wanted to get their content on these devices. TV Everywhere was the first step, a platform that brought TV episodes online after they aired, only requiring your account details to confirm you had access to the channel. TV Everywhere is now available on most devices that offer Netflix and Hulu compatibility, as it only requires a browser or app to watch content.

ott google chromeThe spread of TV consumption was investigated by GFK in an Over The Top TV study they conducted. In terms of TV Everywhere, it found that DirecTV customers were the largest users of the service, overtaking the founders, Time Warner, who led in consumption the last two years. The study also claims that the most popular device is a Roku, with Chromecast coming into a close second. Chromecast and Roku are continuing to release new devices and the Chromecast Ultra is Google’s newest edition, featuring 4K content support and improved WiFi functionality.

In the technology space, people are always looking for what’s best. Some have tried to answer that question, but only you can decide what is right for you. If you game on a PS4, it makes sense to also use it as streaming device, making the purchase of a Fire TV not necessary. All of these over-the-top TV devices do similar things, making the decision more about what device fits you and less about which is “best”.

Chris Dummer

Gaming Your Emotions: Life is Strange and the Graphic Adventure Genre

I have always been far more intrigued by emotional appeal and the effects of good storytelling than by explosions, violence, or action. Perhaps that is why I was never a big gamer growing up. Now, before you eviscerate me in the comments, I am FULLY aware that games are much more than the three things I listed above, but what I am saying is this: in entertainment, I was looking for emotional appeal, and I got that mostly from movies.

All of that changed this past August, however, when I played a game called Life is Strange.

Life is Strange is an episodic Graphic Adventure game by a small production company called Dontnod Entertainment. The game revolves around a high school senior named Maxine (Max) Caulfield, who suddenly discovers she has the ability to ‘rewind’ time and alter the events of the past. The vast majority of the game is spent making decisions for Max which will ultimately affect events that occur later in the game (a staple of the Graphic Adventure genre).

I won’t go into the details of the story from there (you should play it for yourself!), but suffice it to say, I was hooked. I played the entire 14-hour story, all five episodes, in about three days. I never game that way. I was a recluse, sealed away in my dark basement with cans of 7Up piled around me, wearing PJs and headphones and only leaving to eat and (occasionally) socialize. But my time as a hermit got me thinking: why did this particular game affect me so much? And did it have the same effect on others?

I had to investigate.

life-is-strange

After finishing the game and wiping literal tears from my eyes (seriously, it’s great, play it), I took to Google to see if other people shared my experience. The results, it turned out, were astonishing. Of course, not everyone shared my experience, but it seemed like quite a few people, more than one might think, were deeply and truly affected by this game.

But, as amazing as Life is Strange is, why is it not the explosive hit that so many lesser other titles are? Shouldn’t everyone want to play this incredible, life-altering game?

The issue lies in the type of game that Life is Strange is. Graphic Adventure games lack much of what the general public wants from video games: they are lengthy, they lack action, they are dialogue and cut-scene driven, and they tend to tug at the heart strings more than the adrenal glands. They are, in many ways, video games’ answer to weird, arthouse cinema (which, incidentally, happens to be my favorite kind of cinema…). But is that a model that can still be profitable?

For the developers, yes. For the gaming industry as a whole? Of course not.

According to an article published on mcv.com, Life is Strange sold more than 1.2 million copies worldwide. This is a fantastic achievement for a little-known indie game from an even lesser known developer. But that achievement can seem minimal when compared to the successes of genre-giant Telltale Games, whose Graphic Adventure adaptations of The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, and The Wolf Among Us have enjoyed massive critical acclaim and financial gains.

the walking dead promo art

But there is always another perspective. Yes, Telltale achieved a huge victory with The Walking Dead, their most successful game, selling around 8.5 million copies and bringing in more than $40 million. However, the newest Call of Duty game sold 21 million copies and brought in $840 million. So while The Walking Dead was a huge victory for Telltale, it barely ranked in the greater gaming industry. That is not necessarily a bad thing, however. As long as these games keep making money for their developers, we will keep seeing them.

What it does mean, though, is that these games aren’t going to be the huge hits we want them to be quite yet. Graphic Adventures are amazing, and people should play them, but they haven’t quite reached ‘water-cooler conversation’ status. We have a tendency to believe that, when something is really good, people should just naturally flock to that thing (we can call that the Netflix phenomena). But that’s not how pop-culture works. You need staying power, you need big money behind you, and you need a solid reputation. Telltales’ reputation is solid, yes, but it’s being shaken more and more as Telltale wades into the mainstream.

Like I said, none of this even remotely spells doom for Telltale or any other Graphic Adventure developer, but perhaps we should reign in our expectations just a tad.

So enjoy your trips to Arcadia Bay, fight your way through the hordes of Walkers, and brace yourself (winter is coming). After all, maybe we shouldn’t be so anxious for these games to explode into popularity. Graphic Adventure games are, after all, about you. Your experience, your adventures, and your emotions.

What you decide to do with that experience after the game is over, is entirely up to you.

Carrsan T. Morrissey

OUR WORLD INTO APPLE’S WORLD

Apple has had a big impact in our world throughout the years, along with Microsoft and other revolutionary companies all over the world. When Apple’s new software system came out on January 1984, it was named Mac OS. At that time Apple was not really famous and did not have a big influence.

Apple TechIn 2007, Apple introduced their new software iOS. It was a big competition with the other companies, especially for cellphone software. In June 2007, they released their iOS1.0 software for the new iPhone 3. At his keynote address Steve Jobs described the iPhone as three revolutionary products in one device that combines a widescreen iPod with touch controls, revolutionary mobile phone, and breakthrough internet communications device, that surpassed important brands like Motorola, Blackberry and Nokia.

Within a period of seven years, Apple has had around eighteen new releases of their iOS software for their computers, laptops, iPods, iPads and other products, especially their iPhones.

Their most resent software was released on September 9, 2015, called iOS9. This new software is more enhanced than any other iOS that has existed before. It has been designed to make consumers’ lives easier. An article titled, “10 Hidden iOS9 Features That Will Make Your iPhone Life Way Easier,” states, “In case you’ve been tucked away under a rock for the past month, iOS9 is one of the latest Apple rollouts reshaping the Smartphone and technology landscape, which have 3D touch, faster Wi-Fi capabilities.” Including many new features that can help consumers make their life easier.

However, the real question is what makes Apple get our world into their world? The answer is very simple. Apple is creating a world that will work all together and will call consumers’ attention even more than it has done before. “Apple is building a world in which you will interact with a computer every moment of your daily activities, like walking and sleeping.” Honan said, “Apple’s ambitions consists of making everything in your life work together.”

Through their software products like watches, iPads, TV, computers and more, consumers are able to keep track of many things. This includes their activities, communicating with others, using it for their jobs, having a virtual wallet, and being able to keep themselves entertained. Each year they work on creating new products that can improve the ones from the years before. It creates big competition for other companies, like Samsung, with their galaxy phone, tablets and watches, and they also gain more consumers than the years before.

For every new release, we as a consumers are open to do anything that is on our hands to get the newest innovations in Apple’s products. On 2010 only 5.6% of the US population owned an Apple Smartphone, but by 2014, this percentage increased 19.8%. This is only for their iPhones, so imagine what the difference will be if we count all their products, and include the countries around the world that use the products? This amount will be extremely higher than it was for 2014, especially with their new releases in 2015.

So, what would make consumers want to get Apple’s new releases? We know that they want to have the last updates, but they also want to have the best products in their hands. We live in a consuming world in which we are being introduced to new technologies every single moment. These new products and technologies have a higher demand, because of the cost and their features on their products. They have become tempting for the consumers and Apple has done a great job in getting us into their world.

What will Apple do next to submerge us entirely into their world?

Astrid Araya

Death to the Download: Why the Competition for Listens is Tougher Than Ever

For most of the 2000’s, digital music downloads made up the majority of ways people would buy and listen to music. Everyone you knew in 2008 had an iPod/mp3 player and if they didn’t, they sure wanted one. To be able to take your little square music box and your white headphones anywhere you wanted was a total game changer. This was the way we listened and would continue to listen to music forever. Or so we thought…

Streaming MusicWith the emergence of streaming websites such as Spotify, Pandora, Apple Music, and Tidal, we no longer have to pay for each individual song. Remember the countless hours of putting together the perfect playlist and waiting through downloads upon downloads? Well now Spotify does that for you. Do you remember spending hours and hours surfing the net to find that new sound you had been looking for? It was just barely worth showing your friends the next big song. Now Pandora does that for you.

Pandora LogoPandora is a massive player in the music streaming industry. Pandora was founded in 2000, establishing itself as one of the first sites to jump start the streaming bandwagon. Pandora attempts to be a different animal, and the same beast (maybe this will make that reference work a little bit better for you). It changes the game with how it lets you stream music. You don’t pick songs to listen to, you pick a song you like and it plays you songs that you would be interested in based on that selection. This clearly has it’s uses, and its drawbacks.

Spotify LogoAnother one of the music industry giants that contributed to the gradual decline of download music is Spotify. Based on its website, Spotify claims to have over 75 million active users. If each of those users listen to one song a day (which some won’t, but some could listen to dozens a day) that’s at least 75 million plays a day. I imagine the number is much higher than that, but that is a lot of traffic on one site. Spotify also boasts a library of more than 30 million songs, rivaling that of Apple Music. These numbers should be more than terrifying to Apple and Amazon, similar to trends of people ditching cable for streaming, it is apparent that people know what they want, and they aren’t going away from it any time soon.

Apple Music  Tidal Music

Apple Music and Tidal are a little bit new to the streaming scene. Apple quickly recognized that what it was doing before was no longer an option, so they had to change. Enter Apple Music. It’s a streaming service that for a monthly fee you can listen to all of the songs that you want on itunes. It also creates playlist based on songs you already have downloaded. It is by Apple obviously, so people like it because they already have their macbooks and iphones so the integration is nice.

Tidal is a new company that is more for the artist. Tidal, by far, pays more to the artist for their music. Spotify pays the least. Tidal is a pretty fresh concept and so far hasn’t worked out like they had planned. It definitely has potential, but it is almost too early to tell in many ways.

Company Pros Cons
Spotify User friendly, large library, free. Ads, some artist refuse to use it (Taylor Swift).
Pandora Free, large library. Can’t choose specific song.
Apple Music Apple integration, large library, huge potential. Not free, relatively new and unknown.
Tidal Jay Z’s circle, fresh idea, pays more. Not free, to new to fully understand.

To me the clear winner in this comparison is Spotify. It has a hold on the streaming game and is not about to let go any time soon. That being said, Apple Music and Tidal do have the potential to overtake Spotify if they make all the right moves. If Jay Z can get music that other services can’t, it will put a real strangle hold on Spotify. Apple Music already has the plat form to be successful. They just need to utilize what they have and not be ignorant to what the people want. As for now, however, it is and will continue to be all about Spotify.

Trey Kamberling

Inheriting an Empire: Tim Cook and Apple

Tim Cook looks and acts like the products that his company is so famous for producing.

Tim CookThe full head of silvery-white hair looks like something Jony Ive, Apple’s famous lead industrial designer, could have slaved over in the engineering labs and formed from brushed aluminum in a Chinese factory. He is quiet, timid, precise, meticulous, he runs smoothly and without haste. He was chosen to take over the worlds most valuable company, by the most perfectionistic, and visionary businessman of the 21st Century. This choice was no accident.

Bob Dylan once wrote, “All I can be is me, whoever that is”. Cook has allowed Apple’s legacy of excellence, innovation, and bravery to inspire and inform his directing of the company, but not shackle it. He is not Steve, and Apple is better for it. Many of Apple’s most successful products over the last four to five years, have been ones that wouldn’t have been allowed under the old guard. Larger iPhones, smaller iPads, MacBooks with HDMI, products with gold finishes.

Apple has become more open under Cook, devoting titanic amounts of resources, both time and money, into renewable energy, funding for HIV AIDS research, marching for LGBT rights, and a huge push for equality. The world learned the kind of man Cook is, when at a recent shareholders meeting, he told a reporter, “When we work on making our devices accessible by the blind, I don’t consider the bloody ROI.” He is a man who cares deeply about equality, fairness, and accessibility. His office is bookended by two portraits: One of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, and another of Robert Kennedy. He describes them as “two civil rights leaders who put their lives on the line for what they believed in.”

Not everything has gone exactly according to plan, though. Both Maps, & Siri, as well as Apple’s most recently iOS operating system updates, have been less than well-received. Apple’s mantra used to be “It Just Works,” in reference to having software and hardware that worked together like magic. Now, with pressure to release a new update every fall, that has fallen to the wayside, in favor of an annual feature bump. And that’s just their software.

iPhone 5cThe iPhone 5C has been criticized for being made of “non-premium materials”, meaning plastic. Apple usually only uses higher quality glass, and aluminum in its designs, and a sudden shift to a cheaper housing put it in the realm of Samsung, and other competitors in terms of build quality.

But maybe, to Samsung, that comparison would have been taken more favorably. The Korean electronics giant has come under criticism, both by tech journalists and Apple in recent years, for copying Cupertino’s most popular products. Even worse, is the blatant bootlegging of design by Chinese copycat products, going so far as to recreate the aesthetic of Apple’s retail outlets

When thinking of Cook’s place in Apple’s story, I’m reminded of my upbringing as a young Catholic boy, and the “gloria” prayer. There was a verse, “He is seated at the right hand of the father…” And that to me is Tim Cook.

While Steve Jobs will always be looked at as the iconoclastic figurehead, the high priest of the computer age, Tim Cook is very much the right hand man, the man behind the legend.

Sam Strajack

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 is Bold, Just Like Their Marketing Strategy

In America’s electronics field, it seems like it is Apple versus the world. If it is not PC versus Mac, then it is IOS versus Android. I was not surprised when I did a quick Google search to find out some information about mobile devices, specifically what percentage of smartphone users use Apple’s iPhone versus the percentage of users that use Android devices. According to a recent Yahoo Tech page, 42.7% of smartphone users in the U.S. use the iPhone, while 52% use Android devices. That isn’t a surprise, considering that I see about one in every two people using an iPhone. As most people know, Android devices come from multiple companies including HTC, Motorola, LG, and Samsung. While Android might have a slightly larger share of the market, the prize for the most phones in use easily goes to Apple. Of all U.S. smartphone users, 43% of them use the iPhone, while Samsung comes in second with 29%.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4While Samsung does make up over half of the Android smartphones in use, it is still lagging behind the juggernaut of Apple with its weapon of choice: the iPhone. How does one stand up to these odds? Can it be done? Samsung seems to think so.

Samsung has recently released its newest flagship “phablet,” the Galaxy Note 4. The bold marketing campaign hopes to increase the market share of smartphones. Samsung has approached it in three specific ways: taking shots at the competition, focusing on Samsung products, and branding.

The Note 4 was released on September 3, 2014. Ten days later an advertisement was released that showcased the strategies that Samsung would be using to accomplish their goal. For their campaign, their competition is obvious: Apple.

In this one-minute spot, shots at Apple can be seen from 18 to 24 seconds, and from 37 to 52. It belittles (no pun intended) the iPhone 6 and Apple in general. It basically labels Apple as a copycat brand with little innovation. At least, that is the message they hope viewers will receive. This is a major way that Samsung has marketed itself recently, by attempting to drag down the competition of Apple. At the same time, Samsung does a great job at focusing on their products and the functionality of them.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 AdLooking at the advertisement once again, the Note 4 is focused on from the beginning to 18 seconds in, and from 24 to 37 seconds. This is what really sets them apart from Apple, as Samsung puts a much larger emphasis on their products, and features of the products, then actual branding. During a middle section, there is a feature shown called multi-window, which allows more than one application to be shown on the screen at the same time, a feature that Apple does not offer. This also reinforces the subtle branding of “Samsung does it better” when thinking about how large screens should function. View Samsung’s other ads here and here and here.

Samsung is communicating that they do it better, and they have been doing it for longer. The branding is far overshadowed by the focus on the product, but it is still present if you look close enough.

How effective was this ad for you? Do you think Samsung should change their strategy? Is it effective on a large-scale? Also, take a look at some discussion regarding the “bendgate” issue here.

Thanks for reading!

-Seth Ebling