Apple Shines with iBooks Author

5:28 PM, Jan. 24th, 2012 · · Ted Landau’s User Friendly View

Apple is hoping to change the education with its interactive textbooks and iBooks Author app for the Mac. Despite an assortment of criticisms coming from the media, Ted Landau’s bottom line assessment of iBooks Author is that it is a winner. Here’s why…

Year One A.J. (After Steve Jobs)

5:00 PM, Jan. 19th, 2012 · · Ted Landau’s User Friendly View

Steve Jobs and Top Stories

To the vast majority of the world, we are living in the year 2012. To those of us who spend much of our time within the Apple universe, it may be more appropriately labeled as year 1 A.J. (after Jobs). This is the first year, since Steve Jobs returned to Apple in 1997, that we begin to see how Apple will fare without him at the helm. Ted Landau looks ahead to consider how Apple might change in the new era.

Why a 7 Inch iPad Makes Sense

1:30 PM, Jan. 10th, 2012 · · Ted Landau’s User Friendly View

When asked about the wisdom of a 7-in. iPad, Steve Jobs dismissed it as “dead on arrival.” Times have changed. Ted Landau explains why a 7-in. iPad not only makes sense now but offers a great opportunity for Apple to crush the competition.

Why Apple Strays from “Keep it Simple”

8:32 PM, Dec. 22nd, 2011 · · Ted Landau’s User Friendly View

Notes App

Apple is taking some unwelcome detours from the path to simplicity. For instance, how many different locations does it take to accommodate all settings related to iOS’s Notes app? The answer is at least seven. Ted Landau offers an thoughts as to why Apple is proceeding down this path and what a better alternative might look like.

Why You Still Shouldn’t Care About AppleCare

3:13 PM, Dec. 15th, 2011 · · Ted Landau’s User Friendly View

With the 2011 holiday season upon us, many many many people will be getting Apple products as gifts over the next few weeks. They will all have an opportunity to purchase AppleCare for their new devices — or not. As such, Ted Landau thought it was a good time to consider the AppleCare decision, with a focus on iOS devices. His conclusion remains essentially unchanged from a column he wrote 5 years ago: AppleCare is a bad bet.

Don’t Pre-judge the Kindle Touch

3:27 PM, Dec. 6th, 2011 · · Ted Landau’s User Friendly View

Kindle Touch

Ted Landau received his Kindle Touch last week. Just in time. He was on the verge of canceling his order due to all the press negatively comparing the Touch to the Kindle 4. In the end, he was glad that he stuck with the Touch. The new model is a bit rough around the edges, but still a better choice than the other Kindle models. Bonus: On a different subject, you’ll find some thoughts on Android devices at the end of today’s column.

Top 5 Apple Stories of 2011

1:54 PM, Dec. 1st, 2011 · · Ted Landau’s User Friendly View

Top 5 Apple Stories

It’s that time. Time for Ted Landau’s second annual Top 5 Apple Stories of Year. There should be no suspense as to what story is number one. Regardless, we’ll count ‘em down.

Music CDs Near Dead; iPods Fade

2:12 PM, Nov. 22nd, 2011 · · Ted Landau’s User Friendly View

Broken CD

A rumor says that music CDs may soon gasp their last breath. In related news, the current sales decline of traditional (non-touch) iPods is likely to continue. Ted Landau sorts out what it all means.

iCloud Forgets to Keep it Simple

4:39 PM, Nov. 16th, 2011 · · Ted Landau’s User Friendly View

iCloud Forgets to Keep It Simple

One of Apple’s mainstay principles — perhaps its key principle — has been to maintain a focus on simplicity and “ease of use.” This means that products, especially consumer-oriented ones, should require very little effort to figure out how they work. Ted Landau looks at iCloud’s varied features and asks “Is this what Apple means by ‘simplicity’?”

Understanding The Debate Over Apple’s Mac App Store Sandbox

2:25 PM, Nov. 9th, 2011 · · Ted Landau’s User Friendly View

Mac App Store Sandboxing

Apple will require all Mac App Store apps to implement sandboxing restrictions by next March. The goal is increased security and a simpler interface. But these potential advantages come with costs, ones that you may not want to pay. Ted Landau walks you through the debate surrounding an issue that is at the forefront of the future direction of the entire Mac platform.