It’s being reported that over 600,000 Macs are now infected by the Flashback trojan, a “drive by” piece of Malware that doesn’t need administrator privileges or even a password prompt to successfully latch on.
The PC pundits couldn’t be more excited. Finally, they say, the inevitable has happened and smug Mac users are finding out what it’s like to be a PC user.
“It was only a matter of time.”
It’s been quite an ordeal, but a Kindle Fire finally made its way into my hands.
I’ve been playing with it off and on for a couple days, now, and — it’s pretty much everything you’ve read in any of the reviews you’ve read. No more, no less.
Which is to say, a lot of people have already nailed its strengths (relatively few) and weaknesses (many).
The one caveat I’d add is that many of the weaknesses are rooted in software, and that’s the sort of thing that can be fixed, at least.
So, instead of rehashing what’s been said elsewhere, I’m going to touch on something that hasn’t been beaten to death, and that’s the idea of surprise and delight.
The underlying premise of surprise and delight is that you run up against a problem, and as you’re doing what you think should happen, it actually happens, or it happens in a way you didn’t anticipate, and you think to yourself: “Wow, I can’t believe someone thought of that. Genius!”
iOS is filled with surprise and delight moments. Perhaps the best example is the ability to type a period with one continuous motion — without lifting your thumb — even though the period key isn’t on the “home” keyboard screen. Uninterrupted flow. One click where three might otherwise be necessary.
In my experience, Amazon’s devices don’t seem to contain many surprise and delight moments, if they contain any at all.
As has been discussed, there’s no dedicated hardware home button on the Kindle Fire.
Instead, each app has a touch-based home button. That’s fine, and I think it’s something I’ll eventually get used to and it’s something people who haven’t used an iOS device might not even need to get used to.
With that said, the home button is situated in the bottom-left of every app. This is a real problem when you’re holding the device one-handed with your right hand, because it’s nearly impossible to reach the home button while doing so.
There are any number of reasons why your free hand might not be available for button pressing, but the least tawdry (and most important) reason is that some people don’t have left hands.
The obvious solution, then, is to simply put the home button in the bottom-middle of every app. Boring, but perfectly acceptable.
The surprise and delight solution is that the Kindle Fire somehow knows which hand it’s being held by, and accommodates for that preference (or disability) by moving the home button to an accessible corner.
Suddenly, the user thinks: “Holy shit, that’s genius, I can’t believe Amazon thought of that.”
Except, no one thinks that, because Amazon’s Kindle Fire isn’t filled with surprise and delight moments.
That doesn’t mean Amazon won’t sell millions of Kindle Fires.
What it might mean is that people will buy them, but they may not find much of an urge to actually use them, once the novelty wears off. Or, they may not find much reason to ever buy another tablet device from Amazon. Or, maybe no one ever talks about the Kindle Fire in a way that makes other people excited to own one as well.
Surprise and delight is the stuff of fanboy devotion. It’s the foundation of customer loyalty. It’s why Apple can lag way behind Android in units sold but still dominate mobile browsing statistics.
You can hate me for being an iOS fanboy, or call me a shill, but whether you like it or not, Amazon, at least, wants me to be an Amazon fanboy — Bezos wants to command a loyal army of Amazon fanboys — and he’s not going to get that through sheer volume.
“Meh” doesn’t build loyalty, or sell services.
Perhaps it’s a rhetorical question, but you ask:
Apple has pulled Camera+ from the App Store. Its only sin: Allow iPhone customers to press the volume button to take photos. But why are they taking away a feature that everyone has been demanding since the JesusPhone was introduced?
I’ve stripped the link, but in your article “everyone has been demanding” links to evidence that “everyone has been demanding” this feature, except it really just leads to an article in which you (as an aside) talk about how it’d be nice to have a hardware button for taking pictures. I’m not sure everyone is really demanding this, are they?
You’re still really fond of calling the iPhone the “Jesus Phone” but it just occurred to me that you seem to think that the iPhone somehow belongs to you, that it should conform to what you (representing everyone) want out of a phone. I’m not sure Jesus Phone means what you think it means.
Anyway, I told you I’d answer your question, so I will:
Camera+ was removed from the app store because Apple already rejected it once for including a disallowed feature, and the developers decided it would be clever to sneak that feature in through the back door. (It’s worth noting that this wasn’t an arbitrary rejection: This is a documented no-no and Tap Tap Tap was well aware of the likelihood of rejection and the ramifications of their hack.)
Apple didn’t allow camera+ (with the hardware hack) in through the front door, so they certainly weren’t going to allow it in through the back door, right?
Right. Jesus, Diaz: Pull your head out of your ass and stop being so dense.
Apple argues that allowing the volume buttons to be repurposed as shutter release buttons could cause consumer confusion and you argue that this is a “stupid” argument.
On the other hand, if Apple allows the camera+ developers to make changes, suddenly, other developers will want to make changes as well. At some point, the volume buttons stop working as they’re supposed to, because every app has a different implementation, and then—what if music is running in the background? How do I change the volume? What sort of extra effort must Apple put forth to ensure that apps don’t interfere with the core functionality of their device or that bugs don’t cause the volume buttons to simply stop working?
What if I’m at work, attempting to watch a youtube video, and everyone in the office finds out I’m watching the first ever wheelchair backflip, because I can’t get the volume to go down? Who do you think is going to get the support calls? The developers? Apple?
(That is a rhetorical question.)
Granted, this probably isn’t going to be an issue if camera+ is the only app that makes these changes, but what if hundreds or thousands of apps (or dozens of installed apps) all make slight modifications to how the iPhone hardware works?
You also lodge the following complaint:
Like with the flashlight/tethering application, Apple pulled the Camera+ app minutes after learning about this—despite the fact that Apple’s own apps have disabled features that can be enabled in the same way.
Do they? I’m not aware of any of the core Apple iOS apps that allow this, but let’s just assume you’re correct: You fuck your wife, right? Great! So…when do I get to fuck your wife?
Let me know.