Bobbing for Apple (Or shut up the ‘droid fanboys!)

I’ve just been reading this post linked to by a friend who’s a devout fan of all things Microsoft. He seems to have taken some perverse pleasure in the lack of breathtaking advances in the new iPhone 5 announced today. I don’t understand why all the ‘droid fanboys feel the need to belittle everything Apply release? Over a 1,000 posts in 24 hours? Really?

While I might be tempted to agree that there doesn’t seem to be any significant change to the iPhone with the 6th iteration of the device, I think it’s more a case of it being the fact that they got it /so/ right on the first occasion than a lack of innovation in the design team now.

As a (somewhat unlikely) comparison I’ll direct you to the Sky TV remote control; with the exception of the addition of buttons to control the DVR, it hasn’t changed at all since day one of its release. Why? Because it is perhaps the best example of a remote, ever.

The same goes for the iOS devices, in particular the iPhone which is just natural to use, intuitive, smooth and damned good to look at.

I won’t talk down Android devices (unlike the Apply haters), I just feel that, much like Microsoft and the PC builders of the 90s, there is no set standard and so you never know what you’re going to get. Every other device I’ve tried since buying an iPhone has just felt… Clunky? And that includes Samsung Galaxy’s, Lumia’s, Windows Phones…

Yes, they’re bloody expensive. Or are other devices just cheap? I think it’s probably the latter and, in my experience, the performance, reliability and interoperability of all my Apple devices are second to none and well worth that extra price tag. My MacBook Pro is now over 2 years old and I am in no rush to upgrade it, it’s still faster and more capable than most laptops of a comparable price running high end graphics and audio software I’d need a desktop PC worth several £,000s to run properly. I’ve only just stopped using an iPhone 3GS (handed down to my son) as it still cut the mustard with every function I wanted from a smartphone, my iPad 2 will have a home for several years to come as I don’t need a retina display on a tablet screen (especially with my eyesight!), I offloaded my iPhone 4 to my wife as my iPad let’s me FaceTime and she needed a phone which allowed her to do the same and my Apple TV is the centre of my home’s media experience.

Will I buy and iPhone 5? Damn right! Do I think it’s about to become the best smartphone on the market? Doubtful. What I do know though, is that it will do everything I want it to, when I want it to. And that, to be honest, is my reason for buying Apple. It does what it says on the tin, and does it very, very, well.

At the end of the day it all comes down to personal taste. And I like Apple.

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The new iPad… Worth the hype?

Right… Call me silly but, is the ‘new’ iPad really worth all the hype/money? (Oh, and there is a caveat… I am an Apple addict!!)

Yes, I know there are a ridiculous amount of pixels on the Retina Display, but I always thought the 1024 on the iPad 2 were good enough… Come to that, even the 1280 pixels on my 13″ MacBook Pro are pretty good. In high quality pictures I struggle to see the pixelation on photos, movies are always crystal clear and, to be honest, I can’t remember ever thinking “Ooh, that pixelation’s unbearable”!

Then there’s the camera… Why would I want a better camera on an iPad? I have enough trouble remembering there’s a camera on my bloody phone!! I doubt I’ll ever use what is, to all intents and purpose, a laptop replacement as a camera? My main concern is the front facing camera as that’ll allow me to see my children while they’re at school or in the UK while I’m away…

It scores the same in performance tests as the iPad 2, has the same speed of processor (it’s only the graphics core which is quad core), it runs at 1.6 fps of the the iPad 2, a negligible result in my book, and has already been proven to run warm/hot due to the processing requirements/battery performance, a phenomenon never experienced in the previous versions…

Oh, and don’t even get me started on the LTE capability… While announcing this immense uplift in connectivity capability during the Keynote speech they completely forgot to mention that it will not be available for anyone outside the US, unless they travel to the US, as our providers are planning on using a different frequency for the technology than AT&T (yes, AT&T, Verizon have their own model of ‘new’ iPad!).

And I can now get a new 64GB, WiFi and 3G iPad 2 for £300-400, less that 60% of the price of a similarly spec’d ‘new’ iPad… Why bother?

Face it, it’s downhill from here!

I’m going to stick my neck out here and forecast something drastic, something I’ve not seen mentioned anywhere else. It is, however, something I have heard  and read the beginnings of in discussions between friends, acquaintances etc. I’ve also noticed the first tell tale signs, the odd statement here, the odd action here and there…

Facebook is going to go the same way as MySpace. Not now, perhaps not as drastically or as completely, but it will and sooner than anyone will expect.

12-18 months ago I recall seeing status updates from bands such as Queen, Pink Floyd and others receiving comments and likes in multiples of thousands, regularly.

Over the last week I’ve been watching again and, despite ‘Likes’ sometimes reaching a thousand or perhaps a couple of thousand, the comments struggle to break out of several hundred. And this despite (or because of?) an exponential growth in Facebook users.

It’s not a major shift, or in fact that noticeable just now (unless you’re looking) but the actual level of interaction on Facebook is diminishing. Slowly, inexorably the demise of Facebook is coming, and I for one can’t wait.

If you take Queen as an example, they have over 1.3 million ‘Likes’ on Facebook but regularly receive perhaps only 1-2 hundred comments on a status update. That’s an interaction of 0.001%. And they’re doing well. Quite often bands receive only 1 or 2 comments, or perhaps comments in a multiple of 10 rather than 100 let alone the 1,000s.

I resisted the temptation to jump on the Facebook bandwagon for some time, I opened an account, played around for an hour or two then left it. That account is still active today but never used. A couple of years later I created another account in order to run a band ‘page’ and became an addict. I didn’t want to. It just happened. Suddenly I was in touch with school friends I hadn’t seen in 20+ years, work mates I’d lost touch with over a decade of moving around and so it began…

Three years on and I still update regularly. I tend to use an alternative interface than the web site, tools such as Hootsuite, Echofon, Tweetdeck etc allow me to update and converse without actually visiting the site. And then there’s Twitter.

Say all you want, as long it’s in 140 characters or less. I couldn’t understand the allure of Twitter when I first dipped my toes into the Twitterverse. And then I found myself following, and being followed by, people with similar interests and the conversations began to flow. Not only the conversations, germs of ideas flourished, artistic collaborations got under way and all without a single Farmville, Mafia Wars, Gems (or whatever it’s called) or unsolicited friend request!

I think that’s where Facebook is failing. It started off as a walled off web based application allowing ‘friends’ and family to get in touch, it then opened up it’s API to aspiring code writers to write apps, plugins and games to enhance the experience. Now this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, however Zuckerberg et al failed in two major aspects. Privacy and Security. If you look around the internet, yes, that bit outside of Facebook, you’ll read plenty of articles like this.

There have been many stories of virii being spread through Facebook links, apps and even photos, there’s stories of it being used to stalk, harass and bully people, and it’s only going to get worse. Then there’s the fact that you can’t actually remove anything once you’ve put it up there. You don’t own your own timeline, the photos etc that you post. Over the years Facebook has continued to evolve, adding more functionality to its interface, opening up to (slight) customisation by Facebook apps, getting into bed with Spotify, adding the Facebook Timeline and it will continue to do so. Some of these were welcome additions, I liked the RootMusic app, while most were met with an all too quiet uproar from tech savvy users while the X hundred million other users (some of whom actually believe that Facebook is the internet!) carried on regardless.

But each day I read less and less on my Facebook stream. There’s an ever increasing number of “If you don’t copy this then…” posts, new games appear faster than you can block them, updates from people I don’t follow (I may have placed them in my ‘Favourite Music/Film/Book” list but that doesn’t mean that I want to see everything that’s posted about them)!

And now, with the advent of apps such as Flipboard, I don’t even have to choose between Facebook, Twitter or any of the other sites I frequent to get my daily intake of news, gossip,  music info or tech geekery. I simply flip through what I want, ‘real’ news, music news, film news, Twitter updates, Facebook Statuses etc without even having to be ‘on’ Facebook or any other site. It’s bliss and I find myself spending less time online but taking in more information.

By now many of you will be saying “But surely with 800 Million users, as a band, artist, business, individual with something to say, you’d be mad to leave it?”

Really? Think back to the figures from Queen’s stats. 0.001% interaction. Even when targeted ads are paid for the actual click-through rarely rises to a level worthy of the financial outlay (believe me I’ve done it).

I’m not the only person to see this. I know of many people who are leaving, or have left, Facebook. How easy do you think it is to get your voice heard among 800 Million other voices?

Most people who read this will think of me as a lunatic. Need I remind you of those who first said the world wasn’t flat?

Facebook’s days are numbered. And that number is a lot smaller than most of will ever realise.

Making the most out of your music, Pt 1

Over the last few years I’ve been a vocal advocate of independent music, and all that entails.

I’ve not been too vocal over the mistreatment of artists by the ‘Majors’ (I could have, I’ve a cracking story about SyCo akin to the Rhythmix debacle, but I couldn’t afford the cost!), but I have made a point of advocating the idea that, in order to make the most of their music, artists should stay independent. Or at least retain control of their creation.

Having spent the last few weeks working with a band on the release of their new full length album, I think I may have changed my tune… slightly.

I still firmly believe that most bands/artists should maintain as much (if not total) control over their music as they can and that, in most cases, signing a deal with a major label will be detrimental more than beneficial to a band. There is a caveat to all this however; the question usually asked at this stage is “What do you want to achieve?”

Regardless of the answer to that question, and in all honesty when it comes to the next point, it’s moot anyway, most musicians would like to make some money from their recordings. The real question is, or should be, “How do you make as much money as you can?”

The answer to this, as with most money related questions, is not a simple one. And I think it’s this fact that all the ‘Industry Experts’ seem to miss when they tell all new budding global superstars to go it alone. If you want to do it properly then releasing an album, an EP, or even a single is no mean feat.

In fact, it’s a bloody nightmare!

I’m not going to get involved with the process of actually writing and recording your material, I’m going to start at the point where that’s done… What next?

Where would you like to start? Mechanical royalties? Performance royalties? Publishing? How about the basic retail of your product? But then there’s the decision of online vs physical, and if you go for the latter there’s the medium you choose?

And, of course, there’s the cost involved in getting most of this to happen in the first place…Which isn’t as expensive as you might think but can be prohibitive for many bands in their fledgling years.

What I have noticed over the last few years is that, despite everybody and their Aunt telling you to go it alone, there are very few places where you can actually find out how to make the most if it. I had to spend weeks trawling industry websites, phoning poeple, writing emails and all sorts of other ‘non-musical’ activities before we released our first EP. And even then I got it wrong! Our second single wasn’t much better, although it was nice to get the email from the UK Chart Company asking us for more details as we were selling well but they needed some further information. A pleasant surprise if ever there was one!

I’ve been involved with several releases by my old band, some more with other bands I’ve known, I’ve advised even more, and I’m still learning. Every day.
This is no easy task and I can see why having some kind of representation involved could be of great assistance to any ‘independent’ artist.

I remember reading on the old CD Baby site that if you found yourself being better at one aspect of the music industry than the other, or enjoying one more than another, then you should reconsider what you do. I’m at that point now.

Over the next few weeks I’m going to write about what I’ve learned during the last few years (and weeks). And who knows, now the new album’s out someone might actually make some money from it!

Once it’s ready this series of posts will move across to a new site. I can’t say too much just now, but all will be revealed soon.

Separating the chaff…

I’ve recently subscribed to Hypebot, I used to read it every now and then but I’ve been ‘popping over’ more and more recently so just clicked the RSS feed button this week to make life easier.

One thing I’ve noticed since is the lack of real direction offered by any of the experts in new media. There are loads of blogs written about ‘the best way to do this’, ‘the top 5 do’s for your site’, ‘the top x don’ts for your site’, ‘the death of MySpace‘ etc but none of them actually give real advice. They may throw ideas into the hat, but that’s it. No more.

I realise Hypebot is, more or less, an aggregator for all the industry blogs such as Music Think Tank, Musician Coaching, Ariel Hyatt etc, but apart from a very limited number of posts they all extoll the virtues of some site or other which, when you dig into it, the author has some part in.

I’m not talking about the news posts, they’re exactly that, news such as ‘music sales down in 2010’, ‘rock single sales lowest ever in 2010’ etc, I’m talking about the supposed advice and guidance offered to independent artists. One of best examples of these is the ‘Break through the noise‘ article… what use was it? I know how big the web is and how bloody hard it is to get heard, I’m an independent musician for God’s sake!

Now, don’t get me wrong, there are some excellent posts and some great advice; Benji at PledgeMusic.com, Chris from Bandzoogle and the aforementioned Ariel Hyatt offer more sound advice than we mere mortals can shake a stick at. The problem is finding the time, direction and space to actually separate the gems from the dirt and then act upon them. It’s no easy task!

The same can be said of the plethora of websites which are ‘tools’ for independent musicians. They all purport to enhance the experience for the user, merging all aspects of your presence, combining your music with your online presence and such pap. But do they?

Morpheus Rising, the band I sing with, have Facebook, MySpace, Last.fm, iTunes Ping, PureVolume profiles and a whole handful more, and even some I’m sure we’ve forgotten we had! We also use sites/tools like ReverbNation, ArtistData, Bandcamp, Spreadshirt, Zazzle and more. We tried using tools such as ping.fm to centralise the management/control/updating of everything, but nothing actually works with everything. No matter what you do there will be a requirement to update several sites/blogs/pages with the same data.

Most importantly, and this is where I agree with many of the authors quoted on Hypebot, we have our own website. We own several versions of our domain name and ensure that our music, blog, live dates etc are updated there first. It’s our site, not a page on anyone elses.

In and ideal world I’d love to be able to update the News on our site and have it update the News section on ArtistData, ReverbNation and all the others. I’d love our newest blog to posted on WordPress, Blogger, etc. I’d like to integrate elements of Bandcamp into our site seamlessly, have Speadshirt as our own store rather than a link to the external site. Now, before you all start saying ‘You can set up A Records or CNames in Bandcamp to work as a subdomain of your site’ or ‘You can install WordPress on your server and have it as your internal blog’ or ‘With the Pro account on Spreadshirt you can embed it into your site’, I know! I can’t however do that with Bandzoogle, which brings me back to the point of two paragraphs ago.

Bandzoogle links with ArtistData (to an extent) which then links with MySpace, Eventful, Purevolume and even RootMusic which then links with Facebook, Listn.to and ArtistData… but none of them actually integrate fully. Bandzoogle’s News ‘bit’ doesn’t update ArtistData’s News ‘bit’ but it does update from ArtistData’s Events, ArtistData won’t update from my WordPress.com blog (not sure why), I can’t paste widgets from ReverbNation into Facebook due to the different code it uses (I seem to remember an app which let me paste html into FB and have it transferred to FBTML or whatever it’s called but no more).

In an independent musician’s Utopia I’d like to update the band’s official website, whether it be a show, news item, blog entry or a photo, and have that spread automatically across the Morpheus Rising web presence in all its forms…

Until then I’ll remain as one of the unsung tweets of the 25 billion sent a year, making mistakes and spreading them manually across the t’interweb…

In Defence of the Budget

There’s been a budget?

It all kind of slipped me by yesterday. I suppose that one of the benefits of being in service to the Crown means that I’m somewhat detached from the direct impact caused by slashing of this and raising of that. And, with that service being in Defence, I’d probably go as far as to say that it’s pretty safe to gamble on no drastic cuts and plenty of job security for some time to come… (Unless this blog gets me into the same hot water as Gen McChrystal which I seriously doubt!)

I’m not sure why though? If the truth be told then Defence is probably one of the areas in which Mr. Osborne could have saved billions of Pounds without there being much impact on current service provision.

“But what about the equipment shortages we hear so much about?” I hear you cry. Yes, the news still has seemingly regular stories about the shortcomings of the Defence procurement strategies and the dreadful impact those failings have at the ‘sharp’ end. If you read more carefully however you’ll see that most of these stories relate to shortcomings identified in 2003 when we initially deployed to Kuwait in preparation to invade Iraq. I can also confirm that, at that time, the equipment we were issued was woefully below the standard required for working in such an environment. I know this because I was there. During those early days of the Iraqi occupation we were known by US Armed Forces simply as ‘the borrowers’ and it was a well deserved moniker.

Jump forward to 2010 and the kit we use in Afghanistan, and are issued personally, is second to none. I know this because I’ve been there, and I’m going back.

So, if the use of the Defence budget has been so wisely spent over the last few years, why am I promoting the reduction of that same budget? I’ll tell you why; the actual expenditure now has nothing to do with the equipment currently being brought into service, that’s already been paid for, the money being spent now is for equipment, systems and services we may need in the future.

OK, so why should we cut it if we’ll need it in the future?

The problem lies deep in the system of procurement, project management and planning of these long-term projects, and the contracts which are awarded to develop, support and maintain them.

If, as a market leader and innovator, you had a project which (through the contracted consortium’s own fault) had failed to reach those targets set in simple documents like the ToR or Feasibility Study (assuming they exist, of course) and so you decided to stop charging the supplier as the project had run out of time and  money, therefore accepting a unservicable (mission critical) system, which you’d continue to pay service fees for as it is to be considered an ‘incremental’ release. Would that be considered a financially sound decision? I think not.

An MoD report from 10 years ago stated

There is significant evidence that the ineffective
management of technology is a major cause of
procurement under-performance. Insufficient
investment in technical feasibility studies and
technology demonstrators is occurring in the
early stages of projects

And let’s not forget the fact that this same consortium are the lead on several concurrent contracts all of which have functional overlaps with each other and yet are dealt with as entirely separate entities meaning that the grail of true convergence will remain nothing more than a pipe-dream. And here’s me thinking we were trying to get away from stove-piped service provision?! (Did I mention that they are all also either late, failing and/or over budget?)

What makes matters worse is that we don’t even go with the best solution for our problems. We tend to go with the cheapest option that provides the most British jobs and gets us ‘close’ to what we want.

As the Father of Jeff Goldblum’s character in Independence Day stated:

You don’t actually think they spend $20,000.00 on a hammer, $30,000.00 on a toilet seat do you?

The service provision fees for Defence’s IT systems are exorbitant. Yes, the service that is provided has improved markedly over the last 12-18 months, but that doesn’t excuse the ridiculous clauses in our contracts which mean that we have to pay the service provider for the privilege of moving a terminal from one desk to another, especially when we pay thousands of Pounds in training our own specialist tradesmen to do just that!

Add to this the fact that our Defence procurement regime (even in theses days of ‘smart’ procurement) is so archaic and lethargic that, by the time we eventually have a product which is fit for service, it is so out of date as to be considered ‘legacy’.

And these are just small examples of the inherent failures in Defence project planning and management.

It’s not all bad. The support of Urgent Operational Requirements (UORs) due to current operations means that we do get to ‘push’ through upgrades, changes, and sometimes even the introduction of new equipments while avoiding all the usual beaurocracy, but these are small and very often as a result of the shortcoming of an existing project.

The benefit of these UORs is that they are generally using COTS products with little or no proprietary impact and are therefore able to be implemented quickly. Add to that the fact that they are generally the result of someone who is actually carrying out the task, and therefore knowing what is really required (now there’s a novel concept), which leads to them actually being fit for purpose.

As an example I’d like you to consider the following:

During a recent degree course I was tasked with carrying out a feasibility study regarding the introduction of a new CND system to the Defence Fixed Network. I duly carried out my research and offered my solution which was met with great joy by its sponsor, derision by the academics and incredulity by the holders of the purse strings. Why?

My solution had two options. One of these was free and the other incurred nominal costs in the initial phase of design and implementation while remaining free for its continued life in service.

The preferred solution (I was not informed during my degree that this was actually out to tender!), albeit part of a larger project, was actually forecast to cost in the region of £1.5Bn.

You do the maths.

Having said all that, I can certainly see why Mr Osborne made the decisions he did. Can you imagine the public outcry should he have announced, in the same week as the 300th loss of life was confirmed in theatre, that he was cutting spending in Defence?

Far better to cancel the increased tax on cider and raise the minimum earnings limit for the basic tax rate in my opinion.

Slainté,

spkr4thdd

(It’s three years old, but this RUSI document will make for interesting reading if you’re not already asleep!)

If you write something and, before hitting ‘Publish’, you read it back and wonder if it will get you into trouble, it probably will.

iOS4x24 – A day in the life of a new Apple core.

Let’s try this again shall we?

I began writing this on my iPhone 3GS earlier today and am now rewriting it on my netbook, why? Well, to be honest I did think it was going to be due to the battery life of an iPhone 3GS using the new iOS4 which was, let’s face it, designed for a newer product, but no! It was O2’s appalling mobile data services and the fact that WordPress for iPhone deleted my local draft before it confirmed the transfer to online draft was complete! More on several of these factors in later entries I’m sure.

Anyway, to business!

For those of you  who are unaware; yesterday so the release of Apple’s next major revision of their mobile device OS. iOS4 has been written with the new iPhone4 which is released later this week firmly in mind, but most of the updates are compatible with some of the ‘legacy’ devices. The iPhone 3GS is the best off of these older devices with it being the most recent predecessor. It’s this device that I own and it’s my experiences over the first 24 hours with iOS4 that I will expand on here.

First off, please understand I’m not going to list all 100 updates in the release, I’m writing this from a user’s point of view not a tech manual. (For all the juicy details see Apple’s own site.)

The two most talked about updates are folders and multitasking and I’ll cover these after I’ve discussed a couple of aesthetic/UI points…

It may just be a matter of perception, or maybe due to high expectations, but I’m sure my display is much crisper than it has been before? After the painless upgrade process (aren’t they all) one of the first things I did was to add a wallpaper to my home screen. The overall feeling of the display with this new background (I’ve used one of the defaults after trying several of my own images) is a fresh and crisp UI. Much has been made of the new Retina display to be debuted on the iPhone 4 taking advantage of its higher resolution screen (960×540), I’m wondering now if the new firmware also takes advantage of the untapped power of the 3GS’ video processing chipset and has increased performance somehow? The overall feel is better and the ‘zoom bubble’ certainly seems to be a little clearer as well.

In addition to this the overall performance feels much smoother. Perhaps it’s the ‘clean’ build of a brand new major revision,  but I do feel that overall performance has improved and that, coupled with the new transitions between some screens, leads to a surprising level of improvement to what, to my mind, was already the best smartphone UI (I hate using that term for the iPhone, it’s so much more!) in the market.

Now to the ‘actual’ updates.

One of these I was particularly looking forward to. The ability to group apps in folders may seem nothing special to non Apple users but it’s quite a culture change we iPhone users. Up ’til now we’ve been able to group our apps on separate pages or virtual screens and to ‘flick’ between them which is a great way to do things and works very well, but the ability to select from 8 folders on a page and start the app inside rather than flick through the pages trying to remember where the app is a Godsend and one that should have been offered before now.

On switching on my device after the upgrade I tried creating folders straight away and was most perturbed to find that there was no option to create them anywhere in the settings. Uncharacteristically I went straight to the Apple site for advice and, this is where I turn a pleasant pink in embarrassment,  discovered the solution. Let’s face it, what could be more intuitive than simply dragging an app you want to group on top of the app you want to group it with?! It works really well. My only gripe would the limit of 9 apps to a folder, I’m now going to have to group my apps in sub categories!

A few folders on the new iOS

Folders on the iPhone 3GS

Overall this feature works well and I like the clean interface when you open a folder:

An open folder in iOS4

An open folder on an iPhone 3GS upgraded to iOS4

Next up is multitasking. I’m afraid this may disappoint many of those who were hoping this would solve their gripes with the iOS preventing this for all but Apple’s own apps such as the phone and iPod ones. Yes, you can switch between apps but, from my limited experience so far, it seems to me more like a ‘quick switch’ capability rather than true multitasking. The function is limited to only those apps which are written to take advantage of  it, it only allows switching between the last four apps used and, as far as I can see, doesn’t allow for an app to be used as a persistent option to switch to/from. Yes, it’s disappointing, I’d expected true multitasking, but I have to admit that I’m happy with the ability to go back to the last 3 or 4 apps I used in the state I left them.

The multitasking panel on the 3GS

Multitasking has arrived! Or has it?

Note – I’ve played with the phone since typing this and it seems I was mistaken! You can scroll through endless apps on the multitasking screen, I’m still not sure if it’s true multitasking or simply an app history, but time will tell.

We’ll now move on to several ‘little’ embellishments which I have noticed and think make for a greater overall user experience.

Again, a simple thing, but one which takes the iPhone light years ahead again: shlepchecking!

I’m not talking about the excellent/annoying/love/hate predictive text which already exists on the device, I am talking about true spellchecking in the same form as any office productivity package. That’s right, misspell a word and it get’s a red dotted underline, hover over that and you get alternatives or corrections to choose from and, now this is a nice touch, should you decide you meant what you typed after accepting a change, simply move back to it and the context sensitive menu offers the ability to revert to the original text, nice!

Then there’s the new option to show the number of characters in SMS/MMS messages, not one that concerns me with unlimited texts, but I can certainly see why this feature would be useful. There’s the advanced control over the ‘Spotlight Search’ options, being able to define what it actually searches on your iPhone, the ability to lock the orientation of the device (why?) and many other little things.

Overall my first 24 hours have been favourable and upgrading, for me at least, has been the right choice. But… there’s a but…

I’m a heavy user of my iPhone. I have location services on, notifications on, 3G on, I predominately use the device to surf the web or to interact online, I stream music and video, I upload music and video, I send and receive large files and all these uses come at a price; battery life. With this in mind my iPhone usually lasts from 0630 ’til about 2200 when I put it on charge for the night, every night.

I upgraded last night and, as usual, placed the iPhone on charge. I started using it at 0630 this morning when I went to the gym (as a simple iPod) and then continued to use it, slightly less than usual, throughout the day. At the beginning of this blog you may recall I bemoaned losing the first draft of this blog? The reason for this was that I was typing it throughout the day on my iPhone and, with the battery at 14% I was concerned I may lose it so started to transfer it from local draft to online at WordPress. It never made it, not due to the battery I might add, but the abysmal network coverage provided by O2 in my current location. Much of this post is similar to the original as ‘senior moments’ are, thankfully, still few and far between for me at the moment but one thing I can remember that the original did say was this:

I removed the iPhone from power at 06:30 this morning and since then have used it for 4 hours and 15 minutes with an additional 8 hours and 30 minutes on standby, it now has 14% power left and is reducing visibly. It’s 16:48 and I’m getting in to what is normally the time of day where I use the iPhone most, catching up on news (video and text), emails, music etc. I don’t usually see this drain on life until 21:00 hours so it’ll be interesting to see how things go over the next few days.

14% remaining after only 4 hours usage.

The figures speak volumes...

Now, bearing in mind that iOS4 was developed for a device with a battery of larger capacity and a newer processor which would, supposedly, be more frugal with its requirements, you can understand that it may be slightly heavier on juice usage.  To be honest I’m not overly concerned by this fact, I’d read on several developer’s blogs about the increased battery drain on ‘legacy’ devices and so was well prepared. In fact, it’s not as bad as some of the doomsayers foretold, I’d heard of 3 hours for some of the 2G devices and not much more for newer ones, so I suppose 12 hours isn’t too bad.

While I type this my iPhone is quietly recharging in the corner getting ready for the next 24 hours of abuse from its addicted owner. Am I happy I upgraded? Yes, of course I am, I’m a self-confessed techno-geek and always like new things to play with! Do I think you should upgrade? Yes, I do. Why? Because it’s the little things that matter, and in this major revision there are 100 ‘little’ things which make what was an already outstanding device even more so. It’s as simple as that…

And I haven’t even started on iBooks yet!

Slainté,

Grae