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iPhone and keyboard usability

June 20th, 2007
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The iPhone has numerous features that set it apart from the competition. The great user interface has made people to think that it is the most technologically advanced phone on the market.
However, nothing of this matters if it is not usable from the start. That is why it is important, in these initial days, to verify how usable is the iPhone user interface.
The main element of this interface is clearly the keyboard. Other cell phones have integrated keyboards that can be used very predictively. The iPhone, however, has not fixed keyboard. Who guarantees that users will be able to learn how to use the keyboard?
Some people in the blogsphere have started to dissect this very feature of the iPhone.
For example, this post provides a discussion of how the iPhone keyboard interaction might be. The keyboard system will probably have to very smart to avoid confusion when users type of the screen.
In fact, according to Steve Jobs, the iPhone has a sophisticated system that can predict, or correct, what users are typing in order to avoid frequent mistakes. He has also said, however, that users might take some time to get used to the style of the new on-screen keyboard, with keys that auto correct all the time.
It remains to be seen if this very feature of the iPhone will not be one of its major weaknesses. If that happen, then users will enjoy the visual of the iPhone, but will have to stay open to more traditional options such as the Blackberry and similar systems.

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A virus for the Apple Mac?

November 22nd, 2006
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Today, news have come out that a hacker was able to explore a bug in the Apple OS kernel (known by the name of Darwin). It has been one of the few times I heard that a bug in Mac OS kernel was reported to be found and explored to create something similar to a virus or warm.

This can mean one of two things:

  1. Apple is doing a worse job of creating new versions of its operating system; or
  2. The mac is getting so much attention that crackers are starting to spend more time on it. As a result, we should expect viruses in the coming months…

I hope this can be, in fact, the result of a third option: the mac OS is not getting worse, and this was just another opportunity for the media to focus on bad news for Apple. What do you think?

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Apple adds chat to its online store

November 22nd, 2006
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Everybody is trying these days to make their web sites a little more interactive. Apple is not different, and they are just adding a new feature to their sales web site that can make it a little easier for customers who want to “make the change”:

Apple had been running its “chat now” feature as an experiment in the educational store for some time, giving potential customers the option to chat with a live sales representative about various Apple products before purchasing and relieving those educational customers from making a blind decision.

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Apple plans new iPhone with iChat mobile

November 21st, 2006
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The rumors of Apple developing a cell phone have become more credible each day. Some even say that this is the reason stock price of Apple has increased in the last trading sessions. A new voice is joining the chorus that says that the iPhone is closer than we think. Another analyst is saying that not only the iPhone will be released, but that Apple is already working in the next version, which will allow integration with the iChat, bringing a new level of connectivity for Apple customers.

According to Shaw Wu:

“Time to market is not certain to us as it appears to be in the development phase,” Wu wrote in his Nov. 20 research paper. “We believe this product is [Apple’s] ‘smart phone’ and could be branded as ‘iChat mobile.”

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Apple and Coca-cola to partner in music deal

September 29th, 2006
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After Nike, Coca-cola is the new global brand that tries to use the iPod mania as a means to increase sales. According to the irishdev, it has been announced that Coca-cola will be working with Apple in Ireland and Europe to promote a collaboration around the iTunes music store.

The Coca-cola web site features a new section to the European community, called music.coca-cola.com. It will probably involve giving away songs from iTunes as a promotional campaign.

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