Particle Debris (wk. ending 9/10) A Boatload of What Ifs

One of our favorite topics is the Apple TV, and the dialog on both sides is interesting. One camp wants the Apple TV to be a Boxee device, open, run iOS apps, and include the kitchen sink. The other camp believes that living room TV customers are easily frightened of advanced technology. Steve Jobs said it himself: the first Apple TV was too complicated. (If you can believe that.) Michael Gartenberg is an experienced, savvy tech writer, and he’s in the latter camp. His brief comments on the matter are nevertheless illuminating in “A tale of two TVs.”

OK. The iPad has been out since early April. That’s time enough to gauge the the device in the grand scheme of things. Which is just what Wayne MacPhail did in: “The iPad, five months later.” I think he’s right on the mark, and I couldn’t have done a better job summarizing how I feel about the iPad. It’s funny; I kind of feel like I’ve always had one even though it’s still a new device. Maybe that’s part of the design magic?

Jonny Evans may have been tilting at windmills when he wrote about iTunes 10 dropping support for Digital Audio Access Protocol (DAAP). It has pissed off some people who work with the protocol, but some of the commenters to the column made valid points. It’s an obscure thing, but still worth noting. Judge for yourself.

I’m getting the feeling that things are slipping away from Google. The company, so savvy when it comes to search seems to be naive when it comes to products and markets outside that expertise. Goggle Wave and Google TV come to mind. Android may be a cool mobile OS, but the thought that went into the overal Android market strategy may come back to haunt Google. Read about it here: “Is Android Bad for Google’s Brand?

We’ve all read that the iPad is cutting into the sales of Netbooks. But whodah thunk it would bite in the PC sales in general? Ben Reitzes of Barclays thinks he’s seeing that. His report is filed by Philip Elmer-DeWitt in “PC pain is Apple’s gain.”

What if Microsoft, in an alternate timeline, were more focused? Instead of frittering away its resources on search, what if Microsoft had just gone ahead and built a great phone? Would it have worked? What would have been the result if they had stolen this market from Apple? Henry Blodget gets the discussion rolling, be leaves us wanting more in “Let’s Imagine For A Moment That Microsoft Invented The iPhone …

The Dell Streak is, maybe, the company’s answer to the Apple iPad. But a recent upgrade has left some customers furious, and this story is a cautionary tale about careless practices in the Android world. If designing, producing, selling and supporting such a device were easy, my mom would be doing it. Read: “Dell Streak causes user fury — Android fluffs it again

While the new Apple TV is great and will likely sell well, there is adequate competition. For the technically minded who are considering alternatives, here’s a nice wrap up at The New York Times by Ryan Lawler who compares the Apple TV to the Roku and Boxee boxes. It’s a good summary for those who make check lists before buying.

What are the worst named technical products? No one is left untouched or unoffended in Shane O’Neill’s “Five Worst Tech Product Names of the Moment” He makes some good points about Microsoft stuff… but then he doesn’t spare Apple either.

Is Android really an Open OS? It is in principle, that is, until the carriers get hold of it. Then, well, customers aren’t so lucky. That’s all explained by MG Siegler over at TechCrunch. Here’s an excerpt regarding the issue of the perceived openness by customers: “You’ll forgive me, but I have to say it: what a load of crap.” This is a really good read, and the title is equally fabulous: “Android Is As Open As The Clenched Fist I’d Like To Punch The Carriers With.”

Android marketing, dealings with the carriers, updates and Google’s brand aren’t the only problems Google has.  It gets worse, according to Desire Athow in “Google’s Got A Huge Problem And Its Name’s Android.”

Finally, TUAW has a really good roundup of clock apps for the iPad: “One of the more surprising app omissions from the iPad was the iPhone’s Clock app. It’s an extremely useful iPhone app, featuring a world clock, alarm, timer, and stopwatch. Why Apple didn’t choose to add this app to the iPad is a mystery for the ages, but at least it’s opened up the market for some incredible clock apps for the platform. Let’s take a look at some of the better clock apps on the App Store.” This is probably required reading for all iPad owners. And nice work by my friend Steve Sande who lives close to me here in the Denver area.