It’s bigger…

Dropped into the Apple Store on my way home, this was an unplanned stop, as due to traffic problems I took the opportunity for a break to take a look at the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus.

iPhone6 and iPhone 6 Plus

As you might imagine the shop was quite crowded on launch day, but as it was early evening I was able to try out and get a feel for each of the new iPhone 6s.

I did think when I picked up the first iPhone 6 that it was the plus model, as it felt quite large and comparing it to the iPhone 5 it looked much bigger. I then realised that this was not the plus model, just the 4.7” iPhone 6. I then realised how much bigger the 5.5” iPhone 6 Plus is!

It is huge, not as big as some of the Samsung phones, it felt very much like an iPad mini. The 5.5” screen certainly gives you a lot more screen real estate than you get with the 4” screen of the iPhones 4 and 5. I can see how such a device will allow you to increase productivity, and is more usable.

I have read though that unless apps have been optimised for the iPhone 6 Plus they don’t look quite right. I am sure most developers will get round to changing their apps at some point (if they haven’t done already).

I am less sure about the design, the thinness does make it feel lighter than it probably is, but the curves seem more of a backward step, quite retro. The gold version looked like and felt like my Google Nexus One, more brown than gold.

Overall the new iPhone 6 looks and feels much more a response to what has been happening in the smartphone market than something new and innovative, that will make other companies sit up and take notice. The original iPhone and iPad, though not the first touch screen smartphone or tablet, were from a design and technical perspective innovative and game changers. The iPhone 6 is an interesting evolution of the iPhone, but it isn’t a game changer.

It’s big…

Apple’s new campus in Cupertino starts to take shape.

Huge feat of engineering and planning.

And they’re back…

In a previous blog post I mentioned the issues I was having with my new Sony Smart TV.

After getting a response from BBC iPlayer on the Twitter.

I checked the TV to find my UK apps were back.

And they're back

It was apparent that the problem was not with the TV in itself, but with the services provided by Sony. It does demonstrate the reliance that these kinds of devices have on external services. If the decision is made to switch them off, there is very little that the end consumer can do to stop this from happening. Additionally the closed nature of these devices means that you can’t (or if you can not easily) add these services back.

Apple “predicts” 1997

This is an amusing video on where Apple in 1987 thought they would be in 1997.

Interesting even back in 87, Woz said:

“A computer that talks is no big deal. A computer that listens? That’s a breakthrough!”

Remind you of Siri?

I also like the fact that there are little nods to the future that they guessed at, such as BBC 3.

BBC 3

The video also shows of VistaMac. It looks like Google Glass and take a floppy disk, though the disk is reminiscent of an SD card.

VistaMac

In many ways there are some things they got right, back in 1997, we were all using desktop computers, there weren’t many laptops (or tablets) around and most phones only allowed you to make calls or send SMS. The move to mobile, and connectivity means that the way we work, play and learn has changed dramatically in the last ten years.

The reality was in 1997 Apple was a small computer niche specialist company, they hadn’t changed that much since 1987. In 1997 things did start to change. It was the year that Steve Jobs came back to Apple and within a few years we had the iMac and the iPod. Apple have not looked back. Since then, Apple have grown and changed and dominate the hi end smart phone and tablet markets.

So where did iPlayer go on my Sony TV?

Sony Smart TV

It would appear that many Smart Sony TVs have lost their UK apps. I initially thought I was just unlucky, but it would appear from the internet tubes that many others have found that their Smart Sony TVs have lost their UK based apps, including BBC iPlayer, Amazon Player and Sky News apps.

Having recently replaced my TV, one of the reasons I chose the Sony KDL48W605 was the fact that it was a Smart TV and came with BBC iPlayer integrated into the TV. This means we can easily watch catch-up TV. Was slightly disappointed that there was no integrated ITVPlayer or Channel 4’s 4OD, though there is (was) Five on Demand. According to Sony this was down to licensing rights issues, less from ITV and Channel 4, but more from the rights holders of the programmes they show.

The apps on the TV are dependent on regional settings, and if you are based in the UK, then you get UK focused apps. It would appear that the server which delivers the various apps to the TV has failed to recognise those TV that are in the UK and as a result is not delivering the localised UK apps to them.

My initial thought was that only my TV was having a problem. My first few searches on Google only turned up Sony BBC iPlayer issues from 2011. I followed the guidance to refresh internet content to no avail, I then undertook a factory reset, retuned, etc and still no luck.

It was only after browsing the Sony support forums that I found other people were having issues, and the problem was been had by multiple different Sony TVs.

At the time of writing it would appear that Sony have been made aware of the issue on Friday, but as it was a bank holiday weekend, nothing so far has been done.