Humor: iPhone HD, iPad in Israel, and Mini iPad

By: Hillel Fuld

Sometimes I wonder what the tech community would do if there was no such thing as Apple inc. There would be no spyshots, no speculations of what the next thing is going to be, and none of the other bizarre blog posts I have read over the past few days. First there is the whole iPhone 4.0/4G/HD story. Guy finds mysterious Apple device on the floor of a bar, guy shares pictures of device with Engadget. Engadget posts pictures and causes a huge uproar and millions of tweets from geeks like me.

Next thing we know, we are all reassured by Boy Genius Report, Mashable, and countless other sites that the dull and fairly ugly device in the pictures is actually just a cheap Japanese knockoff, and not the next generation iPhone. Boy, were we all relieved… Until… Engadget pulls out their spying glasses in a post entitled “iPhone 4G: Proof“, and points out the mysterious device, which was already deemed fake, is indeed real since it appears in the old iPad pictures we already confirmed are real. OK, so that is where it stands now, these pictures are legit, and as of today, this is what the next generation iPhone will look like. According to the pictures, the device will include a replaceable battery, 80gb of storage, a second camera, and some other goodies. Sounds pretty awesome.

True or not true, this whole story just cracks me up. It is a phone, and look how much noise it has already caused two months before it is even announced.

Then there is the whole iPad being banned in Israel story, which, maybe it is just me, but is one weird story from the get go. Why are these devices being outlawed in a country that has two mobile phones per person? A country with more tech startups than any other country in the world per capita, and Apple’s newest device is being confiscated upon entry? Yea, I heard the whole different Wifi technology thing, but sorry, I don’t buy it.

Are iPads any different than other devices that use wireless internet? How did I not hear about this before? If the iPad has a different Wifi chip in it than any other previous device, don’t you think that would have been mentioned somewhere? Seems a little strange to me. I am thinking someone in whatever Israeli office is responsible for this drama, has a brother or cousin who is a tech blogger and he wanted to make sure he had something to write about that day. Once again, you gotta laugh at this story, unless you are Israel, in which case you should be trying to figure out how to fix all the bad PR you are getting as a result of this ridiculous episode.

You gotta love the jokes about this story though. People have tweeted different variations of “Won’t  be the first time the Israelites rejected a tablet, they’ll come around”. Looking forward to reading more cute tweets about this story.

Finally, the picture circulating the Web over the past few days depicting a way to upgrade your iPhone/iPod Touch to an iPad for free is just some more humor based on Apple and its devices. Not to mention the joke about the upcoming iPad Mini, which shows a person holding an iPhone. OK guys, we get it, the iPad looks like a large iPhone…

So, all this leads me back to my original question… What would me and the rest of the geeky tech community do without Apple? There is only so much we can make fun of Microsoft and their repetitive failed product launches. So, I guess we should thank Apple for providing material that occupies our time.

 

An Open Letter to Steve Jobs about iPhone Apps

First of all, let me say, I am a big fan. I was not one of the early Apple users who had an Apple product before it was “cool”, but ever since I got my Macbook over a year ago, I am now what they call a “fanboy”. I own numerous iPods and other Apple products, and I have been known to argue the point, specifically regarding the iPhone, that despite its shortcomings, it remains the most advanced mobile platform to date.

 

Nokia’s Flagship N900 Is Everything The iPhone Is Not

A few days ago I was fortunate enough to receive a nice surprise from Nokia, their flagship Maemo mobile device, the Nokia N900. To be honest, I had lowered my expectations for the device as a result of a friend’s opinion, who told me I was not going to like the phone. Before I get into details about the phone with all its shortcomings and industry-leading features and specifications, let me just state in one sentence that overall I am extremely pleased with the device and pleasantly surprised by its endless capabilities.

 

iPad: What Is It and How Would I Use It? Anyone?

This might be the most difficult post I have ever written. I am literally forcing myself to write these words. The reason I am finding it so difficult about the iPad is two fold. For starters, I do not know my own opinion yet. On the one hand, there is no denying it is a beautiful product like only Apple knows how to make. On the other hand, did they really reinvent the wheel here? Does it include anything particularly exciting on the technology side of things? I think not. I am sorry to be the millionth person to say this, but with the addition of a faster processor and some new software capabilities, the iPad is a giant iPod. But is that really so bad? You starting to get why this is a challenging topic for me?

 

Apple’s Wireless Mouse is Far from Mighty

Being the tech enthusiasnt that I am, I generally review products, apps, or tech concepts that excite me. This sometimes brings readers to ask me if I have encountered a product that did NOT impress me. Over the years I have reviewed many products and the majority of them, once they draw my attention enough to blog about them, did impress me. I have given some negative reviews as well about different apps, but there was always a redeeming factor about anything I reviewed; unti now.

 

Macbook Air Rev B 1.6 HDD: An In-Depth Review

If you are even thinking in the direction of purchasing Apple’s new incredibly sexy Macbook Air, this full, in-depth, hands-on review is a must read. We cover every aspect and inch of the AIR and tell you exactly what kind of consumer will get the maximum out of this revolutionary machine.

 

Apple’s In-Ear Headphones- A Winner

I was recently approached by an old friend of mine (when I say approached, I mean by email of course. Who talks in person nowadays?), who had just purchased the Apple in-ear headphones, which I posted about when they were announced. At the time, I was under the impression that they were not worth the money, to which employees of Apple inc. commented that I was wrong, and they are actually fairly priced compared to other headphones in their class. Anyway, I just received the review, and it is a good one folks. Seems like Eli knows a heck of a lot more than me when it comes to audio quality. So with no further ado, the in depth review of Apple’s flagship accessory, the in-ear headphones.
-Hillel

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The Apple In-Ear Headphones with Remote and Mic:

A Review by Eli Ungar-Sargon

When I bought my new Apple In-Ear Headphones with Remote and Mic, I had mixed feelings. On the one hand, I felt the usual rush of excitement that only an Apple product can elicit. I love buying Apple technology and the company has earned my trust by consistently producing best-in-class products. On the other hand, my experience with Apple-made accessories has not been so rosy.

While the ubiquitous white Apple headphones that come with every iPod have evolved over time, they’re still not very good. They fall apart after a couple of years and their sound is not really fit for serious listening. Sure, they get the job done, but the sonic range that these ear-buds can reproduce is so limited that music ends up sounding muddy and unclear. Given this fact, it’s not surprising that the 3rd party market for iPod headphones has thrived. Apple saw this happening and in 2004 decided to try to get a piece of the higher-end headphone market by releasing their “In Ear Headphones”. Like a good Apple sheep, I bought them and I’m sorry to report that they were a total disaster. Not only did they have the most bizarre frequency response of any headphone I’d ever listened to, but they didn’t fit properly in my ear.

To make matters worse, their strange shape prevented them from achieving a tight seal, which is what an in-ear headphone must do in order to effectively reproduce those deep lows. In the end, I invested in a pair of pricey in-canal Shure headphones and let me tell you, going from stock iPod headphones to the E4cs was like moving from box wine to a ‘95 Chateau Margaux. My ears were happy until I bought my first iPhone.

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While I loved the convenience of having my iPod and cell phone in one device, the Shures did not offer two key features that now came standard with the iPhone ear buds. Apple built into the new buds a clicker and a microphone that made answering calls while listening to music a breeze. That convenience won out for me and I found myself back at square one listening to music through the stock ear buds. But like an Economy flier who finally gets a taste of First Class, I yearned for better sound. What I needed was a solution that would allow me to enjoy the quality of the E4cs and the convenience of the mic/clicker at the same time. Enter the new Apple In-Ear Headphones with Remote and Mic.

The first notable difference between Apple’s original foray into the world of higher-end headphones and its latest effort is price. The original in-ear headphones sold for $39 while the new pair go for $80. The second difference is that the new headphones fit really well. Apple clearly learned from their past mistakes in this arena and I’m happy to report that the new ear buds actually stay in my ears. The clicker works as well as the stock iPhone clicker, though it is somewhat larger in order to accommodate the new volume controls which, as of the writing of this article, only work with the latest generation of iPods. In addition to allowing iPhone owners to answer calls, the mic also allows iPod Touch owners to make recordings and use Voice Over IP services from the App Store.

But what about the sound? Has this Economy flier finally made his way back to First Class? Not exactly. For the price, the quality of the new Apple headphones is hard to beat. They produce a rich sound and even provide an impressive amount of noise attenuation. Unfortunately, they can’t hold a candle to my old E4c’s. Part of this has to do with the fact that the E4c’s are in-canal headphones and so produce a better seal and superior noise isolation, but part of it is just plain old frequency response. The Apple headphones seem to have a strong emphasis on the mids and highs while the E4c’s produce more satisfying lows while maintaining an overall balanced sound. My only other criticism of the new headphones is their build quality.

Apple used the same gauge of wire that the stock buds come with and I can see them fraying after a few years of daily use. Having said that, the new Apple In-Ear headphones are a big step up from the stock buds in terms of sound quality and they come with that fantastic clicker/mic. If you have an iPhone or any of the latest generation iPods and you’re looking to improve your listening experience without spending an arm and a leg, this product offers great value. Walking around with my new headphones, I may not be back in First Class, but it sure feels like Business.

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Leave Steve Jobs Alone

So this is the deal people, I feel the need to post my feelings about the whole Steve Jobs saga not because I am some expert on stock prices but I think people are taking this too far.

1. LEAVE THE MAN ALONE – he is sick, let him be with his family, give him some quiet, he is human.

2. He says that he is still going to be involved on all major decisions, so don’t worry.

3. I’m sure that Jobs hired a very qualified staff to work with him, you don’t need to worry about the company going under.

4. He did this because he wants to downplay his absence but he will still  be in the background.

Apple will be fine without him- maybe they should hire Jerry Yang, I hear he is looking for work :)

– Aryeh

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