The Chromebook question

I’m currently on vacation so I’ll write less often. I’ll keep reading what’s going on thanks to Twitter and my smartphone, and yesterday I found an interesting article titled ‘Why I left my new MacBook for a $250 Chromebook. There are a few good arguments there to defend a platform that previously wasn’t that easy to support.

The first one: we spend more and more time working and entertaining ourselves on the cloud. There’s an inherent problem there in my opinion: being too much dependent on those services and their servers is really nice and convenient, but you could find yourself losing everything you had there -so safe, so secure, right?- if you are not careful enough.

The second one: Chrome OS support for Android apps is coming, so suddenly we’ve got something that gives us a truly convergent platform from Google. It may be not Remix OS, but it’t a really good way to way to solve the problem taking advantage of both the virtues of Chrome OS and Android. Google seemed pretty stubborn when asked if Chrome OS and Android would merge eventually, and this kind of support finally answers this question.

Mobile and desktop computing, together at last.

This makes Google the owner of one of the greatest and more powerful software platforms ever developed. Only the App Store could compete here, because Microsoft has fallen behind in a segment it owned for so long.

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The author from that post gave a few examples of some apps from OS X that had pretty good alternatives in Chrome OS thanks to their web application versions, but this is almost anecdotal when now we’ll have access to a software catalog with more than 2 million apps -there’s certainly a lot of useless ones- to solve our needs and never look back again to a pure desktop OS.

That could take some time, of course, but for me that conquest of the desktop from mobile OS is the future. Why not buying a Chromebook yet? The time hasn’t come for me yet, but I’ve recently crowdfunded the Superbook at Kickstarter, a device I find even more interesting on the short term.

Better and faster Chromebooks will come in the Fall with the announcement of the final version of Android N. These machines will of course support Android apps as one of their selling points, and maybe there we’ll start to see where this kind of merger develops. Chrome OS and Android will make sense on desktop machines too, so we¡ll be living interesting times on this front as well.

Apple is the new Samsung

According to recent reports, Apple won’t have just two new iPhones launching in September. They will in fact launch three of them. The iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus will be the natural heirs of the current iPhone 6s/Plus, but there seems to be another model waiting.

It’s the iPhone 7 Pro, which will be the only one with the also rumored dual-camera system. The miserly Apple, at its best.

There won’t be many new features: Apple is saving the best for next year’s iPhone 8, which apparently will be the real thing and will be used to celebrate the iPhone 10th anniversary.

The real news here is how Apple has become a company with a product portfolio that isn’t simple anymore. A few years ago we had just one new iPhone per year. If the rumors are right, in 2016 we will have 4 new models of the iPhone (including the SE).

This Apple is starting to remind me more and more of Samsung. One size doesn’t fit all, and that’s true for Apple too, it seems.

ARM, Softbank and Intel’s lost chance

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There was a time when Intel dominated the world. That time passed and the company is one of the biggest examples of ‘The innovator’s dilemma’. They were too confident in themselves, as many others -Nokia, Blackberry- and they failed to see what the future was going to be.

Intel could have made a smart move, but again they didn’t probably even consider it, and now Softbank has done something that could be a really future saver: they’ve made a whopping buyout offer to acquire ARM for £24.3 billion (~$32 billion).

Apparently the reason is Softbank’s interest in IoT. I’d say that’s only a marketing trick to add some hype to the headlines. ARM dominates the world now thanks to their smartphone chip design business, and it will be interesting to see what this Japanese giant does with this kind of power.

In case somebody didn’t notice, it’s a good time to acquire British companies, ahem Brexit ahem.

Source: ARM legs it to SoftBank in $32 billion buyout

Pokémon Go proves Nintendo must conquer the smartphone

Nintendo has been too stubborn. Their consoles changed the way we played decades ago, but that era has passed away and the latest hardware from this legendary maker has proven one thing other makers have failed to realize: people doesn’t want another device to do what they can do on their smartphones.

It has happened with music players, with cameras and it’s happening with games. Nintendo’s attitude has been a conflicting one: not devoting themselves to the mobile world has been a disappointment for their fans.

They just need a tiny show of affection to follow the firm wherever they want, and Pokémon Go lately (and the weirdly original Miitomo) have shown how true this is:

Shares in Japan’s Nintendo Co Ltd (7974.T) soared again on Monday, bringing market-value gains to $7.5 billion in just two days as investors cheered the runaway success of Pokemon GO – its first long-awaited venture in mobile gaming.

Nintendo, it’s ok to continue pushing on the console world. The future, though, seems to be in the smartphone. Accept it and conquer this world now that you’ve got the chance.

Obsolescence again, iOS 10?

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We’ve heard the same song on the last few years: a new version of iOS arrives, and older iPhones are clear victims.

You can upgrade on most models, but that usually means that the performance you get on the new OS with your older iPhone will be usually poor. Many people have complained about this,and lawsuits have been lodged:

The update significantly slowed down their iPhones and interfered with the normal usage of the device, leaving Plaintiff with a difficult choice: use a slow and buggy device that disrupts everyday life or spend hundreds of dollars to buy a new phone,” says the lawsuit. “Apple explicitly represented to the public that iOS 9 is compatible with and supports the iPhone 4s. And Apple failed to warn iPhone 4s owners that the update may or will interfere with the device’s performance

There’s already an online petition for Apple to “ditch planned obsolescence”, but it will be tough to see Cupertino changing its strategy. It’s nearly impossible to get companies admit one of the key points of their roadmaps: obsolescence is a money maker.

Apple resigns: iPhone 7 will start at 32GB

Apple will deliver plenty of critics for that unnecessary goodbye that the future iPhones will make us pronounce, but it will also makee lots of users happy by making right what was wrong for so long.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the iPhone 7 will start with 32GB of storage, replacing the infamous 16GB base tier offered since the iPhone 3GS. That phone was launched on June 19, 2009.

About time, I’d say.

Windows 10 is the annoying boyfriend nobody wants

Windows 10 is a great operating system. It has great features and it’s an ambitious bet for convergence and platform unification. The problem is that once again Microsoft has had big trouble selling its product.

The message was neither clear nor complete. The user was the girl wanting to be conquered. Windows 10 was the aspiring boyfriend.

But it became a boring boyfriend.

It has been unclear on its privacy policy, but it also has been too persistent on trying to conquer that girl. And girls get pretty tired of annoying boys. Those continuous attempts to make users upgrade from their old Windows 7/8/8.1 systems have been more and more irritating, but this final effort has been too much.

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Most girls will say no to the annoying boyfriend. The problem is, many of them could decide they finally want to give this boy and opportunity. And after July 29th they’ll have to pay.

I wonder how many of them will cry out loud and complaing again. At first it was privacy and annoying messages. Later on they will complain about the boy not being free anymore.