BBM and the App Store Top 25

Remember the post  BBM and the top of the App Store, in which I defended that despite all the stories of the surprising and overwhelming success of the app at the App Store, I expected it to fall below the Top 25 list within two weeks?

BBM

It took 10 days.

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Play Choplifter, the game that came with the Apple II

Choplifter

The site Javascript MESS has the objective of porting every computer that has ever existed into the MESS (Multi Emulator Super System) platform, in Javascript, so it can run in your browser. A cool curiosity that it brings is the possibility to play Choplifter, which is the game that came with the Apple II from 1982 on.

In the game you are a helicopter pilot and your mission is to rescue hostages while fighting enemy forces.

Back to Javascript MESS, despite the extensive list with several computer emulations from Apple, Atari, Commodore, etc, I was only able to load Choplifter. However it’s worth checking it out. Maybe your luck will be better than mine and you’ll be able to play with the Macintosh, for instance.

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Samsung can’t wait for the iWatch. Galaxy Gear return rate is above 30%

Ron Amadeo, for  Ars Tecnica:

Geek.com has obtained an internal memo from Best Buy and Samsung pegging the return rate at “above 30 percent.” It sounds like the companies are somewhat puzzled by this, as the memo asks employees to help figure out why customers are so dissatisfied. Consumers are probably running into the same problems we found in our review: The Galaxy Gear requires a smartphone, but is incompatible with most smartphones.”

I have a feeling that from all of Apple’s customers, Samsung was the one with the biggest hope that an iWatch would get unveiled at the event that took place last Tuesday..

It’s actually comical that Samsung is asking Best Buy to figure out why customers are dissatisfied and want their money back. It shows that they have absolutely no clue of what they are doing and of what people want. And worse: it shows that they won’t even bother to find it out themselves.

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The $399 iPad 2 doesn’t make sense

iPads

During the event earlier this week, Apple announced that the iPad Air will take over the top-of-the-line spot, starting at U$499, while the iPad 2 will keep on being sold for the same U$399 as before. The original iPad mini will also keep on being sold for a reduced price of U$299, while the Retina iPad mini will start at the same U$399 as the iPad 2.

The iPad 2 price doesn’t make that much sense to me. I completely understand the decision to keep on selling this model, as It appeals to those who want an iPad but don’t care about having the latest iPad. And the data disclosed today by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners is a proof of that, as it shows that the iPad 2 was responsible for 22% of the total US iPad sales in the last quarter.

iPads CIRP

Trusting data like this is rather risky, however, as they’re always based on estimates and… educated guesses. But assuming for argument’s sake that this data is accurate, the current price policy for the new iPad line seems unapologetically confusing.

You have the iPad 2 carrying a 2-year-old hardware (no Retina, A5 processor) being sold for the same price as the new iPad mini (with Retina and the A7), and for just U$100 less than the iPad Air (Retina, A7). Meanwhile, the first iPad mini (which has the same specs as the iPad 2) had its price cut from U$329 to U$299. Even if you leave aside the fact that in 2 years the production cost for this hardware (especially the A5 silicon) has been invariably reduced, the fact that the mini had a U$30 price cut and the iPad 2 didn’t is rather confusing.

If in the last quarter the iPad 2 was responsible for 22% of the total iPad sales in the US, the iPad mini represented a total of 32% of the pie.  With the first mini costing less but not the iPad 2, I’m not sure what Apple expects to happen here. Reducing the iPad 2 price to something around U$349 would have seemed like a reasonable thing to do, although even so it would still seem a little costy, considering the options provided by the rest of the line.

As one sweaty soon-to-be-retired-CEO once said, “let’s just see what happens”. I am honestly hoping to see how my assessment of the situation is wrong 3 months from now. But I’m looking very hard and I can’t see it now.

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There is a huge Microsoft Surface at Trafalgar Square

Surface London

Microsoft UK came up with the clearest way to demonstrate how their hardware gets in the way instead of making people’s lives easier.

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BBM and the top of the App Store

Tero Kuittinen, for BGR:

“A day after being released, BBM became the most popular messaging app in the world. By 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, it was ranked as the No. 1 free iPhone app in 66 countries”.

Sounds like a short run to me. I give it 2 weeks before it drops below the Top 25. Remember Nokia Here? No. Exactly.

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iOS 7 calendar reveals how the months will be organized from 2038 on [Updated]

If you’re into the habit of missing appointments, Apple might have solved your problem. Not right away though, but starting in 2038. That’s because according to the iOS 7 calendar app, the months of February, April and May will happen twice a year, making it a total of 15 months between January and December.

The month of October, however, will be removed from the calendar, which could point to a different schedule of iPad announcements.

2038

The news is especially good for those who complain that February is too short, as the second February that comes right after the first one will have 31 days, even on leap years.

Taking a closer look, it’s also possible to see that Apple will please specifically their most lazy users, as months will be composed almost completely by Saturdays.

Semana 2038

There is no word as to changes in the Chinese and Jewish calendars, however within the next 25 years new information is expected to come up.

Tip by @Dandrive, via Blog Do iPhone Twitter

Update: The always well-informed Felipe Kellermann told me that this is a problem that affects every 32-bit Unix-based system. Contrary to what I originally thought, this is not a silly iOS 7 bug, but a rather bigger problem. Yikes.

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The Samsung Galaxy Gear ad seems a bit too familiar

Yesterday Samsung unveiled the first ad for their pointless Galaxy Gear.

I think that I’ve seen something like this before. Where was it? Oh, yes! Of course!

Since there was no hardware to copy, all they were left with was copying the campaign, right?

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Kit Kat: in bed with Android, but still using the iPhone

This has become quite a common story. Celebrities get some money in exchange for a stealth spontaneous post praising an Apple competitor, despite them having iPhones and iPads as their real personal devices. Jessica Alba, OprahDavid Ferrer and Dani Calabresa (who?) are a few examples of this sort of situation.

However, this is the first time that a brand does the exact same thing. Early last September, Kit Kat and Google announced a partnership to name the next version of Android as Android Kit Kat. The chocolate brand is also making a world-wide sweepstake that places the little green robot on their packages and tout at the chance to win hundreds of tablets.

But none of that was enough to stop the Brazilian branch of the brand from making a Facebook post suggesting that the perfect kit for a night out includes your wallet, your car keys, your Kit Kat, and… your iPhone, of course!

KitPhone

In the post comments (it’s in Portuguese) some people pointed out the irony, which prompted the brand to make a new post (in Portuguese again) featuring an Android phone, and saying “Oh, yeah, iPhone users were being left out since our partnership, so this was an homage to them”. Sure.

I don’t get how this sort of thing happens after a world-wide really expensive deal is announced. But I also don’t get how such a poor Photoshop job to remove the car brand in the car key gets approved as well, so…

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Adobe: You can’t read our eBooks aloud

Silent iPad

When I saw this on Twitter, I thought it was too weird to be true and decided to check for myself. And it’s true [1, 2]. Here are Adobe’s EPUB eBook Rights:

“Copying not allowed. Printing not allowed. Lending not allowed. Reading aloud not allowed.”

This is one of the stupidest things I have ever read. Aloud.

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