2011 Gadgets – the year of Apple…

After Apple’s ridiculous quarter earnings, it should come to no surprise the summary provided by gdgt on the most used gadgets of 2011:

gdgt Zeitgeist 2011

Where Apple shows impressive numbers everywhere:

  • 5/10 top gadgets launched in 2011 were Apple’s
  • 5/10 top gadgets in 2011 (launched not necessarily in 2011) were Apple’s
  • 2 of the top 3 mobile and desktop platforms are Apple’s
  • 6/10 top Christmas gadgets
  • Finally, 8/10 trashed gadgets

Yes, gdgt’s numbers are biased towards more tech-inclined higher-earning people, so they will be more Apple-biased than the average population, but it’s still quite impressive. Let’s see how long they will be able to continue on this roll.

Windows Phone 7 Voice and Siri

I watched this very short interview with Craig Mundie for Forbes:

Been There, Done That

And it cracked me up! The second part of the interview he says that everybody is overhyping Apple’s Siri, because Microsoft (and, if one should follow his line of thought, Google) has had voice commands on the phone for over a year now. The part that he doesn’t understand is that there is a fundamental difference between what Windows Phone Voice does and what Siri does:

Windows Phone provides you with voice shortcuts to doing things. You can say “Call …” and it will make a call. “Search …” and it will use Bing to search. So, if you know the right phrases, you will get exactly what you ask for.

Siri, on the other hand, tries to take this voice recognition to a “conversation” level. Yes, you can do things like “Call 425-555-1000” and it will also call that number. However, it can do things like “Call my wife” and the first time you do that it will ask you to tell the name of your wife. After that it will know and will call that number all the time.

Does that sound the same? Well, now for a different example: I can ask Siri: “Will it rain today?” and it will reply with things like: “There is no rain on today’s forecast” and show me the forecast. Again, why does Microsoft think that they have a similar product already? It’s amazing and very sad how blind some companies can be from time to time.

I’m sheep

Apparently I just can’t control myself and I keep just buying whatever people put in front of me. This time it was the Mac OSX 10.7 Lion (I think my first purchase on Apple’s App Store for Mac).

So what are my impressions? Meh… It’s not terrible, but it’s not great either. Here are some points:

  1. Scrolling: I guess all reviews about Lion need to start with scrolling. They even have a little tutorial about scrolling when you open Lion the first time. So I knew that scrolling was going to be inverted when you swipe, and that didn’t take that much time to get used to. What is weird still is that scrolling using the mouse wheel (yes, I still have one of those “non-multi-touch-mice” connected to my Mac), is also inverted. That is confusing.
  2. Full screen mode: Not that many programs that I use support multi-screen mode right now on my mac. There is Mail and iTunes. And I can say it’s not very helpful on any of the two.
  3. Mission control: This is the way to actually quickly view and switch between apps, both in full screen and in desktop mode. There is only one thing that I think it’s missing: allowing you two reorder the position of each of your “desktops” (especially because you can also switch from one to the other using a three-finger gesture)
  4. Power saving mode: actually what I want to mention doesn’t really have to do with the power saving mode itself, it’s just that I didn’t have a better name for it. Anyway, one of the most annoying thing about Lion is that now when my computer goes into power saving mode, it doesn’t wake up anymore if I move the mouse! I have to press a button on the keyboard for it to wake up. My theory is that this was done this way because of probably a future version in which it might capture mouse gestures more easily (like all the other multi-touch patents that Apple has filed) could be creating too much noise and would cause problems with power consumption… Only time will tell.

All in all… It’s okay. Nothing that I’ve seen so far has made me glad I’ve upgraded. Most of the negatives are just really annoyances that don’t really detract from my experience too much.

The only thing that right now I’m not sure where the problem is is that I can’t read Google Reader on Safari. Apparently all the AJAX calls seem to be failing for some reason. As I haven’t seen anybody else complaining about it, I’m assuming it’s something on my side that is misconfigured, so it didn’t make it to the list above. Will update if I figure out what is going on.

UPDATE: I found out what the problem with Safari and Google Reader was. Some time ago I installed a plugin for Safari to make Google Reader better to use, called “Better Google Reader”… Well, apparently with the latest Safari, it’s not making it much better anymore. I uninstalled the plugin and everything is now working as well as it used to.