Opinion http://www.stuff.tv/my/opinion/all en-MY Opinion: Stupidly expensive audio kit isn’t music to my ears http://www.stuff.tv/my/stupidly-expensive-audio-kit-isn-t-music-my-ears/feature <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Craig Grannell likes lossless but not madness, and remains baffled by the cause of the audiophile </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-enable-hero"> <div class="field-label">Enable hero:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Enable full width image </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Stupidly expensive audio kit isn’t music to my ears" alt="Stupidly expensive audio kit isn’t music to my ears" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/shutterstock_118574008.jpg?1422341317" /> </div> </div> </div> <p>&ldquo;Buy the second-cheapest.&rdquo;</p> <p>That was the advice once given to me by an audio technician during a conversation about wiring up sound systems. He&rsquo;d happily dealt with cabling for anything from home sound systems to concert halls, and his rationale remained the same throughout: the cheapest stuff is sometimes garbage due to attempting to win the race to the bottom, but whatever&rsquo;s sitting above that is usually fine for most tasks - and especially home use.</p> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/my/users/craig-grannell" title="View user profile.">Craig Grannell</a> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Cables as expensive as cars </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Since then, I&rsquo;ve immersed myself deeply in the world of gadgets, largely through writing about them, partly by actually using them, and surprisingly regularly by being utterly bewildered by them - or at least by the way people seem to ignore the basics of reality and take leave of their senses when it comes to certain kit. Things get tribal when it comes to brands - Apple and Microsoft; Apple and Google; Apple and, well, anything that&rsquo;s not Apple - but nothing is crazier than venturing into the world of the audiophile.</p> <p>These are people that would grab the aforementioned sales assistant by the scruff of the neck, wrench him away from his beloved Teletubbies, and demand to know why he was offering an adapter that cost a mere &pound;50 (RM270). Clearly, he should only be selling kit rolled in diamonds and truffles, making your ears orgasm with every single emitted note.</p> <p>And if you think that sounds absurd, it is; but if there&rsquo;s one thing the audio industry is increasingly fantastic at, it&rsquo;s the absurd. You get speaker cable akin to a garden hose, and insanely expensive cable &lsquo;risers&rsquo;, presumably designed to stop electrons being attacked by your carpet.</p> <p>The briefest of Google searches while writing this article unearthed a three-metre phono lead priced similarly to a typical hatchback. And even at the saner end of the spectrum, you find <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/my/sony/ces-2015/ces-2015-new-sony-walkman-slab-hi-res-audio-loveliness/news">Sony&rsquo;s new Walkman</a>, which costs a grand and claims to upscale music, or the <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/my/pono-s-hi-res-music-service-be-powered-omnifone/news">PonoMusic shop</a>, with super high-resolution audio files that also have super high-end pricing compared to downloads available elsewhere.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/my/why-you-should-be-pumped-about-and-just-bit-sceptical-hi-res-audio/feature">Why you should be pumped about (and just a bit sceptical of) Hi-Res Audio</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="604" height="453" title="Sony&#039;s &quot;upscaling&quot; ZX2 Walkman costs almost £1,000" alt="Stupidly expensive audio kit isn’t music to my ears" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/sony-walkman-zx2-05_0.jpg?1422341317" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Sounds like snake oil </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Most of this stuff feels like audio homeopathy - blind devotion combined with confirmation bias forcing you to believe that the music coming out of your speakers must sound amazing if you&rsquo;ve just blown TWENTY-TWO GRAND on a couple of leads.</p> <p>The thing that grates - as someone who loves listening to and making music - is that people into all this stuff have passion, but it could be redirected to fight battles that are genuinely damaging music.</p> <p>We live in a world of terrible earbuds, sporadic availability, low-quality streaming formats and awful mastering - a loudness war that seeks to grab radio listeners but in doing so strips nuance, subtlety and even many of the sounds from every recording. No overpriced cables, triangular music players, upscaling Sony kit, or audio files with specs far beyond the limit of human hearing will ever fix these things.</p> <p>Then again, that&rsquo;s just another set of demands the vast majority of people don&rsquo;t care about, isn&rsquo;t it? Oh no. I&rsquo;m an audiophile too, just one with different concerns about music. But pass me that expensive cable catalogue and I <em>will</em> still set fire to it.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/my/music/30-greatest-audiophile-albums/feature">The 30 best audiophile albums ever</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Neil Young claims his PonoPlayer &quot;sounds like God&quot; – but that&#039;s just an opinion" alt="Stupidly expensive audio kit isn’t music to my ears" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/ponoplayers.jpg?1422341317" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/my/stupidly-expensive-audio-kit-isn-t-music-my-ears/feature" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.stuff.tv/my/stupidly-expensive-audio-kit-isn-t-music-my-ears/feature#comments Hi-Fi & Streaming Hi-Res Audio Opinion Mon, 19 Jan 2015 17:47:27 +0000 Elissa Loi 1458032 at http://www.stuff.tv The Xiaomi Note portrays a vastly different Xiaomi that deviates from its affordability mantra http://www.stuff.tv/my/android/xiaomi-note-portrays-vastly-different-xiaomi-deviates-its-affordability-mantra/feature <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> The era of affordable Xiaomi smartphones might be coming to an end, says Tein Hee Seow </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-enable-hero"> <div class="field-label">Enable hero:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Enable full width image </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="567" height="425" title="The Xiaomi Note portrays a vastly different Xiaomi that deviates from its affordability mantra" alt="The Xiaomi Note portrays a vastly different Xiaomi that deviates from its afford" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/Xiaomi%20Mi%20Note%20Pro.jpg?1421386249" /> </div> </div> </div> <p dir="ltr">From 15 January, the landscape of value-for-money smartphones has changed, and not exactly for the better. Ironically, it&rsquo;ll be led by Xiaomi, a company that challenged the norms of premium prices for high-end devices.</p> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/my/users/tein-hee-seow" title="View user profile.">Tein Hee Seow</a> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p dir="ltr">To be honest, it&rsquo;s actually justifiable rage. For the last two years, the Chinese company that&rsquo;s often compared to Apple for its similar looking products and culture has followed one very important mantra - affordability. The Mi smartphones pride themselves on not just that, but also the above average hardware and exceptional user experience they deliver.</p> <p dir="ltr">So what if the <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/my/android/xiaomi-mi3/review">Xiaomi Mi3</a> wasn&rsquo;t using top-notch processors or packed with a crazy amount of memory? The important thing was, it worked, and it worked damn well without busting your budget.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/my/android/xiaomi-mi3/review">Xiaomi Mi3 review</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p dir="ltr">The Xiaomi Note unveiling, however, has created a brand new perspective - the base model is equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, 16GB of internal storage, 5.7in full HD display, 13MP rear camera (by Sony) and a 4MP front camera. Awfully familiar specs, if you compare it against another hot favourite amongst Android users - the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.stuff.tv/my/android/oneplus-one/review">OnePlus One</a>.</p> <p dir="ltr">The slightly larger screen, dual-SIM support and that crazy thin 6.95mm body? Probably explains why the Xiaomi Note&rsquo;s CNY2299 (RM1321) is pricier than the US$300 (RM1074) OnePlus One.</p> <p>The other surprise would be the Xiaomi Note Pro, a behemoth of a device that puts everything but the kitchen sink in. That 5.7in 2K screen, 4GB of RAM made possible by the latest 64-bit Snapdragon 810 processor, and massive speed boost from the LTE-Cat 9 support are definitely epic. And so is the CNY3299 (RM1900) price tag for it.</p> <p>From all perspectives, it seems like Xiaomi, now firmly cemented in the minds of consumers, is on a route to reap the long-awaited profit with its new pricing strategy. For the last two years, the brand loyalty and awareness it has built, both in China and globally, came with a steep price though - a wafer-thin profit margin of 1.8 per cent, which is nowhere near Apple or Samsung&rsquo;s massive 28.7 per cent (in 2013) and 18.7 per cent respectively.</p> <p>For its global expansion plan to really take off, Xiaomi has to fully utilise its popularity and increase its profit margin. That moment is now, with the Xiaomi Note and Note Pro&rsquo;s pricing strategy.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="567" height="425" title="Xiaomi Mi Note dual-SIM support" alt="The Xiaomi Note portrays a vastly different Xiaomi that deviates from its afford" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/Xiaomi%20Mi%20Note%20dual-SIM.jpg?1421386249" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p dir="ltr">To be fair, getting the same class of hardware from other Android makers like Samsung, LG, Sony or HTC is going to cost more than RM2000. So Xiaomi hasn&rsquo;t really lost track of its initial mantra - to make high quality smartphones that are crazy affordable.</p> <p dir="ltr">Case in point, the Xiaomi Note Pro&#39;s pricing is still in line with the same mission statement that made it the<a href="http://www.theverge.com/2014/10/30/7130753/xiaomi-becomes-worlds-third-biggest-smartphone-maker-without-leaving-asia" target="_blank"> third largest smartphone maker in the world</a> and <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/parmyolson/2014/12/15/xiaomi-profit-margins-samsung-china/" target="_blank">crushed Samsung&rsquo;s hope of being the top dog in China</a>.</p> <p dir="ltr">Plus, its customised MIUI interface is still the reason why Mi fans remain staunch supporters of the Mi smartphones. Frequent updates, new features based on user feedback and the strong engagement towards its fanbase by Xiaomi have become an amazing case study for loyalty retention among consumers.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="567" height="425" title="Xiaomi MIUI" alt="The Xiaomi Note portrays a vastly different Xiaomi that deviates from its afford" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/Xiaomi%20MIUI.jpg?1421386249" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-3"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p dir="ltr">Smartphones aside, the Chinese company has also shown that it still has affordable, and more importantly, interesting gizmos under its wings. The Mi Headphones, priced at CNY499 (RM290), and the compact Mi Box mini that costs a mere CNY199 (RM115), are definite proof that Xiaomi still has the consumer&rsquo;s interest in mind.</p> <p dir="ltr">But change is definitely coming. Because while Xiaomi is still on track to provide the best smartphones at affordable prices and fiercely loyal to its fanbase and receptive to their feedback, it is still, first and foremost, a company that needs to maintain a healthy profit margin. I won&rsquo;t be surprised if a few Mi fans leave the fold and decide Xiaomi is no longer their favourite brand once the company begins to value profit over user experience. </p> <p>But don&rsquo;t cry foul when the next Xiaomi device might exceed your limited budget - because you can&#39;t please everyone, and Xiaomi has done a fantastic job pleasing the majority of its fans.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="567" height="425" title="Xiaomi Mi Box mini" alt="The Xiaomi Note portrays a vastly different Xiaomi that deviates from its afford" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/Xiaomi%20Mi%20Box%20mini.jpg?1421386249" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/my/android/xiaomi-note-portrays-vastly-different-xiaomi-deviates-its-affordability-mantra/feature" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.stuff.tv/my/android/xiaomi-note-portrays-vastly-different-xiaomi-deviates-its-affordability-mantra/feature#comments Android Opinion Smartphones Stuff Says Xiaomi Fri, 16 Jan 2015 04:08:03 +0000 Tein Hee Seow 1457786 at http://www.stuff.tv CES 2015: You can’t go back: Android ‘retro’ kit just isn’t the real thing http://www.stuff.tv/my/android/ces-2015/ces-2015-you-can-t-go-back-android-retro-kit-just-isn-t-real-thing/feature <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Craig Grannell dons his old-git hat and grumbles about how iconic old gadgets simply become yet more Android devices </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-enable-hero"> <div class="field-label">Enable hero:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Enable full width image </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1200" height="900" title="The new Kodak Instamatic" alt="CES 2015: You can’t go back: Android ‘retro’ kit just isn’t the real thing " src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/kodak-instamatic-phone-front_0.jpg?1421643472" /> </div> </div> </div> <p>Each year, CES throws up (figuratively, although some people might argue almost literally) certain themes that set the course for technology for the rest of the year. </p> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/my/users/craig-grannell" title="View user profile.">Craig Grannell</a> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> WIRED FOR SOUND </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>My Walkman was already old when I got it - a hand-me-down from my mother. I recall it (probably erroneously - although only slightly) being about the same size and weight as a housebrick. </p> <p>The thing was so bulky that it came with a shoulder strap rather than a belt-clip, in order that it not yank your trousers down at inopportune moments. Its heft was such that if you spun round too quickly, the thing would fly dangerously about your person, causing you to send friends flying into walls, or turn hideous (but, at the time, weirdly fashionable) ceramic owls and field-mice into exciting three-dimensional puzzles.</p> <p>Despite this, I loved the thing, with its giant clicky buttons, even as it chewed through batteries (and sometimes the cassettes it was supposed to be playing).&nbsp;It was this that cemented itself in my head whenever I thought &lsquo;Walkman&rsquo;, eclipsing any successors with their new-fangled shiny discs, MiniDiscs, and MP3s.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="No, it wouldn&#039;t fit in your trouser pocket" alt="CES 2015: You can’t go back: Android ‘retro’ kit just isn’t the real thing " src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/walkman.jpg?1421643472" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Similarly, Kodak Instamatic has an important place in history for a great many people, ushering in an age of relatively low-cost photography, and boasting form factors that were tactile, beautiful and approachable. Naturally, by the time I got my hands on one, it was already pretty old, but that merely somehow made it feel experienced and worldly wise.</p> <p>This was a camera that had been places; it quickly became a cherished item - something magical that had a life of its own.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1204" height="942" title="Kodak Instamatic photo by Camerafiend" alt="CES 2015: You can’t go back: Android ‘retro’ kit just isn’t the real thing " src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/Kodak_Instamatic_100.jpg?1421643472" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Old for old&#039;s sake? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>At CES 2015, though, the modern-day interpretations of these classics bear little relationship to their forebears. Admittedly - at least from certain angles - you might initially think otherwise. The Instamatic certainly has an unmistakable form factor, and while there&rsquo;s no such immediate familiarity with the Walkman, it nonetheless intrigues with its chunky buttons and textured matte black finish, emblazoned with a gold Walkman logo.</p> <p>But flip these devices over and you&rsquo;re abruptly wrenched back to the present, faced with touchscreens running Android. Naturally, this is about pragmatism, utilising a relatively freely available foundation in order to create new high-tech gadgets. But by encasing these items in retro clothing, they end up feeling a little hollow and soulless.</p> <p>They&rsquo;re neither one thing nor the other - not classic kit, nor anything truly new.</p> <p>For the nostalgic, there&rsquo;s a whiff of cynicism in the air, of trying to part old fools with their money. And for relative youngsters who never experienced a Walkman or Instamatic first-hand, you have to wonder whether these Android devices would have been better just shooting for being amazing in their own right.</p> <p>As it is, while the originals were game-changers, these new tykes simply feel like more of the same. And truly, they are proof that in the world of technology, you can never go home again &mdash; unless you visit eBay.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/my/ces-2015/ces-2015-what-expect-best-gadgets-and-tech/feature">All of the big news from CES 2015</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="The new Sony Walkman" alt="CES 2015: You can’t go back: Android ‘retro’ kit just isn’t the real thing " src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/sony-walkman-zx2-05.jpg?1421643472" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/my/android/ces-2015/ces-2015-you-can-t-go-back-android-retro-kit-just-isn-t-real-thing/feature" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.stuff.tv/my/android/ces-2015/ces-2015-you-can-t-go-back-android-retro-kit-just-isn-t-real-thing/feature#comments Android CES 2015 Kodak Opinion Walkman Sat, 10 Jan 2015 11:58:08 +0000 Elissa Loi 1457263 at http://www.stuff.tv Reality bites: games should quit trying to ape real life and go one better http://www.stuff.tv/my/reality-bites-games-should-quit-trying-ape-real-life-and-go-one-better/feature <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Craig Grannell sets off old git alarms everywhere and demands devs remember why Sensi and OutRun 2 were so great. Hint: not realism </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-enable-hero"> <div class="field-label">Enable hero:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Enable full width image </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Leave reality behind in this escape car " alt="Reality bites: games should quit trying to ape real life and go one better" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/Outrun2.jpg?1420421298" /> </div> </div> </div> <p>I hate reality. Not actual reality, mind. I&rsquo;m not desperately hoping I&rsquo;ll be walking down the road one day to suddenly discover we&rsquo;re all living inside a hologram being projected inside a giant robotic fish.</p> <p>No, I&rsquo;m talking about the kind of irritating and gritty &lsquo;realism&rsquo; foisted on us by far too many games, which is often hailed as some kind of benchmark for greatness when it&rsquo;s anything but.</p> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/my/users/craig-grannell" title="View user profile.">Craig Grannell</a> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>In the old days, we used to call this kind of thing a &lsquo;simulator&rsquo;. For the most part, simulators were fairly dull and dry affairs and they were usually on a hiding to nothing. When your entire computer&rsquo;s (or console&rsquo;s) memory is such that it wouldn&rsquo;t be able to cope loading the data contained in a typical LOLCat GIF, you know you&rsquo;re in for major compromises.</p> <p>So 8-bit flight simulators therefore promised realistic controls and viewpoints, but instead provided pixelated panels and barren wireframe landscapes. Racing titles had suspiciously stripy roads, and green fields stretching to the horizon, regardless of where they were supposedly located - but then it all used to be fields round here.</p> <p>None of this mattered, though, because the best games didn&rsquo;t care about reality anyway. They were having too much fun, exploding pixels before your very eyes, giving you glimpses into tiny mad little universes.</p> <p>For those titles that did veer closer to something that existed in the real world, the best went for a kind of hyper-reality that evoked how something felt, regardless of whether the physics or visuals were in any way remotely accurate.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="video-wrapper youtube-player-wrapper"> <iframe width="640" height="385" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/uCehXfpJVUA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><em>Sensible Soccer</em> is a great case in point. Launched on the Commodore Amiga, it was a top-down footie title that to the casual observer appeared to be some kind of strange pinball game, replacing bumpers with tiny footballers. But when you were immersed in a match, it was exciting, fast and fluid - it felt like how you imagined football should be, rather than restricting itself to what football actually is.</p> <p>The onset of absurdly powerful hardware that could throw insane numbers of polygons about clouded all these issues. As graphics gained the potential to be more photo-realistic, developers were quick to claim games were more realistic overall, and a TV-style dryness permeated genres that were previously fun.</p> <p>For example, footie titles eschewed <em>Sensi</em>&rsquo;s madcap zaniness and instead began a long, turgid slog towards control complexity and trying desperately to resemble highlights from <em>Match Of The Day</em>. Racers frequently went very grey indeed, forcing you to drive &lsquo;properly&rsquo;, rather than like some kind of lunatic who absolutely believed anyone doddering along at under 150 mph was some kind of slowpoke.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/my/world-cup-2014/25-best-football-games-ever/feature">Sensible Soccer and the best football games of all time</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="video-wrapper youtube-player-wrapper"> <iframe width="640" height="385" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/kL2T4Yn2Tq8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Quirky games still existed, of course, but &lsquo;realism&rsquo; became so prevalent titles started to be criticised for the audacity of having a little imagination. I recall people having a go at the glorious drift-happy blue-skied <em>OutRun 2</em> because all the traffic went one way! And you could drift for miles! And you could smack into another car and just get a slight drop in speed rather than end up encased in a twisted cage of mangled metal! Never mind that it again evoked the feeling of something - racing; speed - far better than games attempting to replicate the real thing in a manner that might appease those of a more anorakish nature.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/my/playstation/25-best-playstation-games-ever/feature">The 25 best PlayStation games ever</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="video-wrapper youtube-player-wrapper"> <iframe width="640" height="385" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/l9t9WKefimk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-3"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>In today&rsquo;s climate, indies especially keep the flame alive regarding the weird and wonderful, but it&rsquo;d be great for anyone creating rather more typical fare to if not actually chuck out the rule book, at least relegate it to the corner for a while.</p> <p>If you want reality, just stick your head out of the window, and if you want a TV version of reality, watch some TV.</p> <p>Games should be something more. Which is all to say I want someone to sneakily replace the source code for <em>FIFA 16</em> with a <em>Sensi</em> update and get it on all my consoles and devices.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/my/weird-simulation-games-you-wont-believe-actually-exist/feature">13 weird simulator games you won&#39;t believe actually exist</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="video-wrapper youtube-player-wrapper"> <iframe width="640" height="385" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/KLUnZmdcpiw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> http://www.stuff.tv/my/reality-bites-games-should-quit-trying-ape-real-life-and-go-one-better/feature#comments Gaming Opinion Fri, 02 Jan 2015 12:56:51 +0000 Elissa Loi 1456634 at http://www.stuff.tv Note perfect: Why Bandcamp’s direct-to-artist subscriptions are a brilliant idea http://www.stuff.tv/my/music/note-perfect-why-bandcamp-s-direct-artist-subscriptions-are-brilliant-idea/feature <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> In bucking the all-you-can-eat trend, Bandcamp could amplify artist/fan relationships while encouraging far more new music, says Craig Grannell </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-enable-hero"> <div class="field-label">Enable hero:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Enable full width image </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1200" height="900" title="&quot;Hands up if you love Bandcamp!&quot;" alt="Note perfect: Why Bandcamp’s direct-to-artist subscriptions are a brilliant idea" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/music_crowd.jpg?1419168643" /> </div> </div> </div> <p>In technology, it seems everyone wants a winner, a sole victor who crushes the competition underfoot.&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/my/users/craig-grannell" title="View user profile.">Craig Grannell</a> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>In computers, Microsoft and PCs won out, and people argue Android will emerge similarly triumphant in the smartphone market, having beaten Apple to death with a ludicrously expensive iPhone case. In gaming, there&rsquo;s even talk we&rsquo;ll one day see two out of Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo slain, the champion standing atop its rivals&rsquo; corpses, bloodied controller in hand, while fans of the fallen forever echo Private Hudson in <em>Aliens</em>, quietly chanting: &ldquo;Game over, man! Game over!&rdquo;</p> <p>Such certainty even pervades music. Assuming you&rsquo;re not a scoundrel pirate, the argument is that everyone in the future will simply pay a monthly subscription to an all-you-can-eat streaming service, in return receiving access to more songs and albums than anyone could possibly hope to force into their ears in a lifetime. Any suggestion an alternative might be a good idea will have you branded a colossal idiot.</p> <p>Bandcamp chief executive Ethan Diamond must be King Idiot, then, because his company is trying another way: single-artist subscriptions. <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/nov/11/bandcamp-musicians-subscription-services">Joking to The Guardian</a>&nbsp;that it&rsquo;s &quot;<a href="http://www.stuff.tv/my/apple/apple-s-free-u2-album-exercise-tone-deaf-music-spam/feature">kinda like what U2 and Apple did</a>, except that it&rsquo;s music that you actually want&rdquo;, he outlined his system. Punters will be able to subscribe to an artist&rsquo;s output, and then gain access to whatever they include in the subscription, which can range from new works to an entire back catalogue.</p> <p>Predictably, many people assumed Diamond had lost his mind from listening to too much loud music, which had turned his brains to mush. What kind of fool would splash out anything from &pound;20 to US$200 annually for a single artist&rsquo;s music, when the high end of that price range would get you the literally millions of songs on Spotify, and still leave enough cash left over for an extra large bag of jelly babies?</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Spotify isn&#039;t the only way </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>But what those tiresome responses showcase is a complete lack of understanding about the nature of how fans operate, along with a stubborn unwillingness to recognise that different business models can happily coexist. To my mind, Bandcamp&rsquo;s idea isn&rsquo;t crazy - it&rsquo;s fantastic and necessary. I already buy as much new music as I can on Bandcamp, on the basis that my money is often going directly to the artists. It&rsquo;s a far cry from throwing cash into the Spotify pit, the proceeds from which are largely divided up on the basis of popularity, leaving heroically battling smaller indies with pennies.</p> <p>The way I see it, musicians who make money end up making more music. If artists can use the likes of Bandcamp subscriptions to get a more direct connection with their fans, the result can be a virtuous circle, money going to artists who then create new material, which reaches subscribers and keeps them happily feeding the machine. This is even more important for indie artists who, for whatever reason, cannot tour and so rely solely on their recorded output.</p> <p>Naturally, like with the largely similar Patreon, not everyone&rsquo;s going to emerge with the funds to make a living. As journo chum and musician Gary Marshall&nbsp;<a href="http://www.bigmouthstrikesagain.com/archives/5574">recently said about his own output</a>: &ldquo;Thanks to the internet I know exactly how few people give a shit&rdquo;. (Incidentally,&nbsp;<a href="http://dmgm.bandcamp.com">his music is on Bandcamp and well worth a listen</a>.) But for artists, it&rsquo;s at least something different from the Spotifys of this world; for everyone else, it&rsquo;s a chance to get more of what you want, through putting your money where your mouth is, and get the satisfaction of knowing you&rsquo;re directly supporting music you love.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Bandcamp" alt="Note perfect: Why Bandcamp’s direct-to-artist subscriptions are a brilliant idea" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/Screen%20shot%202014-12-18%20at%2012.56.30.png?1419168643" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> http://www.stuff.tv/my/music/note-perfect-why-bandcamp-s-direct-artist-subscriptions-are-brilliant-idea/feature#comments Music Opinion Streaming Thu, 18 Dec 2014 13:04:13 +0000 Elissa Loi 1455870 at http://www.stuff.tv Ignore brick-and-mortar stores, online shopping is the new mall http://www.stuff.tv/my/black-friday/ignore-brick-and-mortar-stores-online-shopping-new-mall/feature <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> If you need a reason to shop online, Elissa Loi gives you two: Black Friday and Cyber Monday </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-enable-hero"> <div class="field-label">Enable hero:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Enable full width image </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Ignore brick-and-mortar stores, online shopping is the new mall" alt="Ignore brick-and-mortar stores, online shopping is the new mall" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/Online%20shopping%20main.jpg?1417074201" /> </div> </div> </div> <p dir="ltr">Shopping used to be fun, until I got older and my tolerance for crowd situations dipped (read: none left).&nbsp;</p> <p dir="ltr">Anyone who&rsquo;s been to Bukit Bintang on a weekend should know how bad it gets, and it doesn&rsquo;t help that that&rsquo;s probably the only time you, a responsible adult with the average day job, get to steal away, so no thanks. I&rsquo;d rather do my shopping online. </p> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/my/users/elissa-loi" title="View user profile.">Elissa Loi</a> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p dir="ltr">On the more practical level, you get to compare prices more easily than if you were to do it in real life. And because it&rsquo;s the internet which is international, almost every holiday in the world is used as an excuse to mark down prices online. Black Friday? Cyber Monday? Only applicable in the US but thanks to the internet, Malaysians get a bite of the discount pie too.</p> <p dir="ltr">What about sizing? The all important hands-on experience? Well, you&rsquo;ve done enough shopping in your lifetime to have that all figured out, haven&rsquo;t you? Besides online sites should have all the information you need. Or you could just make a trip down to try something on before you get to return back to the safety of your home and purchase it for cheaper online with the countless promo codes available.</p> <p dir="ltr">No queues, no fuss, no pushy sales assistant hovering in the background, the only delay being how quickly I retrieve my credit card from my wallet and enter the numbers in.</p> <p>Plus, I don&rsquo;t have to deal with a crappy attitude from a sales assistant having a bad day. Which is just fine by me.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-title"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Need some shipping help? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-body-text"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Body Text:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p dir="ltr">Finding the best deals is just one part of the Black Friday and Cyber Monday madness. If you want to get on board, read this essential guide to bringing Black Friday and Cyber Monday to Singapore. It&#39;s okay, don&#39;t need to thank us, we&#39;re just glad to drag you in and make ourselves feel less guilty for splurging.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/my/black-friday/shop-and-ship-how-enjoy-black-friday-and-cyber-monday-malaysia/feature">Shop and ship: how to enjoy Black Friday and Cyber Monday in M</a><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/my/black-friday/shop-and-ship-how-enjoy-black-friday-and-cyber-monday-malaysia/feature">alaysia</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/my/black-friday/ignore-brick-and-mortar-stores-online-shopping-new-mall/feature" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.stuff.tv/my/black-friday/ignore-brick-and-mortar-stores-online-shopping-new-mall/feature#comments Black Friday Cyber Monday Opinion Stuff Says Thu, 27 Nov 2014 07:43:22 +0000 Elissa Loi 1454086 at http://www.stuff.tv Saving the game: why iPhones and Android devices must do better http://www.stuff.tv/my/saving-game-why-iphones-and-android-devices-must-do-better/feature <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> In the old days, progress in games vanished when you pulled the plug. Craig Grannell asks why things have barely moved on in mobile </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-enable-hero"> <div class="field-label">Enable hero:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Enable full width image </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1200" height="900" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/save-game.jpg?1415432192" /> </div> </div> </div> <p>When I first started playing games, they were mostly about high scores. </p> <p>Your investment in a title was rewarded in terms of mastery, and being able to lord it over the literally several people you knew who also cared a bit about the same game. If you could cope with <em>Defender</em>&rsquo;s demands for hours, or complete every cave in <em>Boulder Dash</em> without losing a single life, bully for you. </p> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/my/users/craig-grannell" title="View user profile.">Craig Grannell</a> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Little computer memories </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>At some point, though, developers figured out that investment in gaming could be rewarded in other ways, through having you return to build on previous efforts.&nbsp;</p> <p>I first encountered this with a proto-<em>Sims</em> called <em>Little Computer People</em> on the Commodore 64. The game involved a &lsquo;house on a disk&rsquo;. Shortly after loading it, a little bloke would walk around a three-storey building that looked rather more palatial than the one I lived in at the time. He&rsquo;d open all the doors and cupboards, nip off and get his dog, and then rap on the screen and start demanding things.</p> <p>My LCP was a mean poker player and also a lazy sod who&rsquo;d never shut any doors. He loved dancing to rubbish music in his living room, but wasn&rsquo;t terribly keen on having a shower.</p> <p>He also had a memory that persisted between sessions. Starve the little swine and he&rsquo;d ignore you, or write a snarky letter on his typewriter (before going an odd shade of green and ending up consigned to bed). Pat him on the head and send him gifts, and he&rsquo;d be far more obedient than his dog, or, for that matter, your own dog, and become amenable to requests (bar, as already inferred, anything to do with basic hygiene).</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="908" height="600" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/little-computer-people.jpg?1415432192" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>It was fascinating to have this kind of ongoing &lsquo;life&rsquo; within a game, rather than everything dying the second you pulled the plug, and as hardware evolved, so too did game saves.</p> <p>Floppy disks gave way to hard disks, with potentially limitless space to store an insane number of Civilization II battles; with consoles, eventually only the most miserly publishers issued games without battery back-up, ensuring that working your way through the ninth hour of a rich, complex RPG wouldn&rsquo;t require you to sit there every time going through the motions for eight-and-a-bit hours first.</p> <p>Today, we live in an era of amazing technology. Mobile devices are as powerful as notebooks from only a half-dozen years ago. Internet connectivity is almost ubiquitous and cloud storage is cheap.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="video-wrapper youtube-player-wrapper"> <iframe width="640" height="385" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/SkTgX1mGmDg" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Continuity problems </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Yet game saves haven&rsquo;t kept pace in the way I&rsquo;d hoped. If I play a game on my iPhone, it&rsquo;s vanishingly rare that I can launch it on my iPad and continue from where I left off.</p> <p>And when it comes to playing the same game across platforms - switching from iPad to Android smartphone to PC - forget it. At that point, politics comes into play, silos from Apple, Google and others torpedoing any notion of platform-agnostic, readily accessible save-states; only rarely will a publisher invest in integrating a save system and the servers to maintain it.</p> <p>Fortunately, we&rsquo;re not quite back in the days of&nbsp;<em>Defender</em>. Powering down an iPad won&rsquo;t wipe your progress in&nbsp;<em>Year Walk</em>, and rebooting an Android device won&rsquo;t excise any headway you&rsquo;ve made in&nbsp;<em>Sword &amp; Sworcery</em>. But deleting an app is this generation&rsquo;s virtual plug-pull, any data beyond basic high scores disappearing as the icon whirls into the void.</p> <p>In an instant, almost everything you achieved and the means to pick up from where you left off is most likely gone for good, even if you reinstall.&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="video-wrapper youtube-player-wrapper"> <iframe width="640" height="385" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/LVz_MhMsAvs" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-3"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Deleting this app will remove it from your life forever </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>In an age of storage-restricted mobile hardware and rapidly ballooning mobile game file sizes, something has to give. Either you keep the same few games forever, or you just grit your teeth and eradicate them from your life once you think you&rsquo;re done with them. Perhaps there&rsquo;s no longer room for the long-term; maybe games are now destined to become entirely disposable products - played for a while, and then deleted for good.</p> <p>But I hope we&rsquo;re just in a technology blip and someone somewhere is beavering away to bring us something much better, to somehow more easily enable games to live on, across the divides of platforms and multiple installations, via saves easily available from anywhere on any device, at any time; the alternative - never being able to return to virtual worlds you&rsquo;ve invested hours or days in, unless they&rsquo;re first wiped clean - is a horrible prospect, liable to make me greener-in-the-face than even the most poorly LCP.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/my/pay-music-films-and-games-or-you-ll-be-left-garbage/feature">Opinion - Pay for music, games and films or you&#39;ll be left with garbage</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/my/saving-game-why-iphones-and-android-devices-must-do-better/feature" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.stuff.tv/my/saving-game-why-iphones-and-android-devices-must-do-better/feature#comments Android games Gaming iOS games Opinion Fri, 07 Nov 2014 14:13:02 +0000 Elissa Loi 1452559 at http://www.stuff.tv Opinion: The Apple SIM is freaking everyone out — and that’s a good thing http://www.stuff.tv/my/apple/opinion-apple-sim-freaking-everyone-out-and-s-good-thing/featurev <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> The new iPads include an Apple SIM, and it could be the start of another Apple-led mobile revolution, says Craig Grannell </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-enable-hero"> <div class="field-label">Enable hero:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Enable full width image </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Opinion: The Apple SIM is freaking everyone out — and that’s a good thing" alt="Opinion: The Apple SIM is freaking everyone out — and that’s a good thing" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/apple-sim.jpg?1414727860" /> </div> </div> </div> <p>Technology needs shake-ups every now and again, otherwise we&rsquo;d all be lumbered with the command line and floppy disks, and Snake on a Nokia dumbphone would be the cutting edge of mobile gaming.</p> <p>Sometimes, though, shifts in technology only occur when a company points out the obvious that somehow wasn&rsquo;t entirely obvious to everyone at the time, and this may come with a side order of pain.</p> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/my/users/craig-grannell" title="View user profile.">Craig Grannell</a> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Happy holidays </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The advantages are obvious. If you take your device overseas, you&rsquo;ll be able to select from a list of local carriers and get online in seconds, rather than going slightly crazy in local stores, pointing madly at your device, while simultaneously thumbing through a phrase book and trying to figure out some kind of universal sign language for &ldquo;I&rsquo;d like a temporary pay-and-go SIM, please, dear merchant&rdquo;.</p> <p>The disadvantages are almost non-existent &mdash; at least from a consumer standpoint. If you&rsquo;re a carrier, however, the Apple SIM looks more like an attack on your entire business model, because it wrests control further away from you and places it more in the hands of device owners.</p> <p>Imagine their horror: a loss of income from roaming fees, and customers easily able to switch to a rival service in their location as and when they choose.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="We&#039;re all going on a summer holiday..." alt="We&#039;re all going on a summer holiday..." src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/ipad-air-2-01.jpg?1414727860" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> iPhones next? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>It&rsquo;s perhaps for this reason that attempts by Stuff to get comments from UK operators have to date been met with barely more than stony silence; at the time of writing only a single UK carrier (EE) has signed on.</p> <p>Meanwhile, in the US, AT&amp;T is reportedly locking the Apple SIM to its network, rather defeating its purpose. (Somewhat petulantly, it also vanishes as a future option should you instead choose Sprint or T-Mobile.) Elsewhere, support is quite literally non-existent &mdash; this is a UK (barely) and USA thing for now.</p> <p>Really, though, it&rsquo;s what happens next that&rsquo;s more interesting. What will carriers do if those on board with the Apple SIM end up getting a flood of new business, purely from being an option when someone fires up their shiny new iThing? And what if Apple deems its iPad experiment to be a success and then expands the Apple SIM to off-contract iPhones?</p> <p><strong>READ MORE:&nbsp;<strong><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/my/apple/better-or-worse-apple-s-ipad-line-shows-its-now-very-different-company/feature" target="_blank">For better or worse, Apple&rsquo;s iPad line-up shows it&#39;s now a very different company</a></strong></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="604" height="453" title="Could the iPhone be next in line for an Apple SIM?" alt="Could the iPhone be next in line for an Apple SIM?" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/iphone-6_1.jpg?1414727860" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> The end of the SIM card? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Fast forward a couple of years, and it&rsquo;s conceivable to imagine iPads and iPhones that don&rsquo;t even have SIM slots. Everything would be sealed within the device itself.</p> <p>Naturally, people would continue to freak out, fuming carriers joined by a relatively small number of frothing users who swear by being able to choose from a collection of SIMs located about their person. But technology always marches on. We lost the floppy drive and the optical drive is not long for this world; elsewhere, computer and mobile hardware continues its inevitable shift towards &lsquo;appliance&rsquo; &mdash; sealed units lacking internal expansion. Maybe the humble SIM is now also on borrowed time, set to disappear entirely.</p> <p>This is perhaps a step too far, and Apple might be wiser to stick for a while with the more comfortable compromise of a replaceable Apple SIM. A modicum of extensibility and choice is always a good thing, after all, even if many people don&rsquo;t take advantage of it; but decent default set-ups for the consumer are better.</p> <p>Regardless, the Apple SIM could be a big win for everyone if enough carriers swallow their pride and embrace change &mdash; but, as ever, that&rsquo;s a very big &lsquo;if&rsquo;.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.stuff.tv/my/shopping-gadgets-tyranny-choice/feature" target="_blank">Shopping for gadgets and the tyranny of choice</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Going, going... gone?" alt="Going, going... gone?" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/nano-sim.jpg?1414727860" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-legacy-url"> <div class="field-label">Legacy URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> apple/opinion-apple-sim-freaking-everyone-out-and-s-good-thing/feature </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/my/apple/opinion-apple-sim-freaking-everyone-out-and-s-good-thing/featurev" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.stuff.tv/my/apple/opinion-apple-sim-freaking-everyone-out-and-s-good-thing/featurev#comments Apple iPad Air 2 Opinion Tablets Thu, 30 Oct 2014 16:53:48 +0000 Tein Hee Seow 1451864 at http://www.stuff.tv Opinion: Shopping for gadgets and the tyranny of choice http://www.stuff.tv/my/shopping-gadgets-tyranny-choice/feature <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do we really need dozens of different televisions or tablets from a single manufacturer? Spoiler: No. No we really don&#039;t, says Craig Grannell </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-enable-hero"> <div class="field-label">Enable hero:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Enable full width image </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Spot the difference" alt="Spot the difference" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/john-lewis-02.jpg?1415010717" /> </div> </div> </div> <p>Our seven-year-old telly recently gave up the ghost.</p> <p>Presumably no longer able to fake a cheery disposition at our viewing habits, it suddenly decided to object in a rather overt manner by resisting any and all attempts to coax it into life. It would sit there, a single sullen red stand-by light piercing the room like a depressed and frozen Cylon, and then, in protest, entirely power down whenever we had the audacity to try and turn it on.</p> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/my/users/craig-grannell" title="View user profile.">Craig Grannell</a> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Given the age of our telly, my queries regarding a good place to get it repaired were met with unanimous bafflement.&nbsp;</p> <p>Clearly, this TV death was to be thought of as an opportunity &ndash; a chance to rid ourselves of the sheer horrors of relatively low-resolution telly. We could embrace HD! Smart TV! 3D! The way people got so terribly excited about these prospects, I half expected to amble about John Lewis and find that all modern televisions were holographic units, which could somehow simultaneously solve world hunger, reshape your immediate reality, and make the tea.</p> <p>Instead, what I found was rather different: something in the region of about a billion televisions, arranged in rows like endless tech gravestones for your eyes. Each was helpfully dubbed with a useful name like XHGI6Q5A48BZ, and they all looked identical.</p> <p>On eyeing up a bunch of Samsungs, it became apparent that manufacturers are taking the piss. There was a 48-inch telly that looked the same as another 48-inch telly, but one of them had a transparent bezel around the tiny black bezel, for some reason that wasn&#39;t immediately obvious. Another one had a slightly different stand.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="A small section of LG&#039;s 55in TV range" alt="A small section of LG&#039;s 55in TV range" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/lg-tvs.jpg?1415010717" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="1200" height="900" title="Which bezel is best?" alt="Which bezel is best?" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/tyranny-of-choice_0.jpg?1415010717" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The specifications were also very slightly different, to the level that would have probably made one über telly geek terribly cross if you didn&#39;t get why, but nonplus everyone else. Seemingly, rather than figure out a few distinct models that would be fit for a range of prospective buyers, everyone&#39;s cunning plan was to fling as much out there as possible and see what would stick.</p> <p>Glancing around, this is clearly far from a unique tactic. Countless tablets laid on tables, with consumers looking on and wondering precisely why they were being asked to choose between an almost identical range of black rectangles. Notebooks lined desks, each one very slightly different from the other, in ways that don&#39;t really matter. Fortunately, I didn&#39;t notice any smartphones nearby or I might have been driven over the edge.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Tables of tablets and tellies" alt="Tables of tablets and tellies" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/tables-of-tablets.jpg?1415010717" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>I paused for a moment, having somehow managed to mentally trim the selection of suitable televisions to a mere few hundred thousand, and reflected that at least I don&#39;t usually have this problem with technology.</p> <p>Having for the most part bought Apple kit over the years, I&#39;ve not been bombarded by lots of choice &ndash; instead, a company was bright and savvy enough to say &quot;no&sbquo;&quot; a lot, and only release a very small number of products it thought people would need.</p> <p>And then I thought about the <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/my/apple/apple-iphone-6/review" target="_blank">iPhone 6</a>. And the <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/my/apple/apple-iphone-6l/review" target="_blank">iPhone 6 Plus</a>. And the rumours of a <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/my/apple/apple-planning-129in-ipad-early-2015-release/news" target="_blank">giant iPad</a> to sit alongside the <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/my/apple/apple-ipad-air-2/review" target="_blank">iPad Air 2</a> and the <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/my/apple/apple-ipad-mini-3/review" target="_blank">iPad Mini 3</a>. Apple&#39;s teetering on the brink, seemingly about to ditch its svelte line for one far more bloated. It can only be a matter of time before it&#39;ll announce an iOS device with a tiny transparent bezel around the tiny black bezel, and at that time I&#39;ll be no longer able to fake a cheery disposition and will quite possibly resist any and all attempts to do anything at all.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.stuff.tv/my/apple/better-or-worse-apple-s-ipad-line-shows-its-now-very-different-company/feature#node-1450612" target="_blank">For better or worse, Apple&rsquo;s iPad line-up shows it&#39;s now a very different company</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Oh, Apple. Not you too." alt="Oh, Apple. Not you too." src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/ipad-line-up.jpg?1415010717" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-carousel-item"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-text field-field-carousel-item-title"> <div class="field-label">Carousel item title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> The tyranny of choice </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-carousel-image-small"> <div class="field-label">Carousel item small image:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_carousel_image_small" width="450" height="340" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/john-lewis-02_0.jpg?1415010717" /> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> http://www.stuff.tv/my/shopping-gadgets-tyranny-choice/feature#comments Opinion Tue, 28 Oct 2014 15:10:47 +0000 Elissa Loi 1451624 at http://www.stuff.tv Using your iPad Air 2 as a camera is fine, and here’s why http://www.stuff.tv/my/apple/using-your-ipad-air-2-camera-fine-and-here-s-why/feature <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Ignore the tech snobs — if you want to use your iPad as a camera, go for it, says Craig Grannell </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-enable-hero"> <div class="field-label">Enable hero:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Enable full width image </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Using your iPad Air 2 as a camera is fine, and here’s why" alt="Using your iPad Air 2 as a camera is fine, and here’s why" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/ipad-air-2-camera-02.jpg?1414026624" /> </div> </div> </div> <p>During Apple&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/my/apple/6-things-you-need-know-todays-apple-launch/news">recent event</a>, VP Philip Schiller made quite a big deal about the <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/my/apple/ipad-air-2-revealed-its-so-thin-you-might-cut-yourself-holding-it/news">iPad Air 2</a>&rsquo;s camera.</p> <p>&ldquo;Perhaps the feature people love most about their iPads is the camera,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;Some people have been surprised by that, but it really makes a lot of sense.&rdquo;</p> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/my/users/craig-grannell" title="View user profile.">Craig Grannell</a> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 1. The technology’s surprisingly great </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The iPad is not going to replace a professional camera, nor, perhaps, even your smartphone&rsquo;s camera. But the iPad Air 2 now packs cameras with some decent specs.</p> <p>The main one on the back is 8MP and shoots 1080p video. It can shoot 43 megapixel panoramas, slo-mo video, time-lapse and burst mode. It also leverages on Apple&rsquo;s excellent HDR capabilities, with HDR shots now composed using a single image.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="iPad Air 2 camera" alt="iPad Air 2 camera" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/ipad-air-2-camera-01_0.jpg?1414026624" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 2. It’s a really huge viewfinder </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Professionals for the most part will no doubt argue you should stick with the traditional camera viewfinder, but for the rest of us, composing on a screen is logical. You can see how your shot will end up and make adjustments accordingly.</p> <p>Using the iPad Air 2, you have a beautiful 9.7-inch display on which to work. This is handy for anyone, but especially useful for people harder of vision; and also for kids, who can take advantage of the iPad&rsquo;s larger interface elements.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="iPad Air 2" alt="iPad Air 2" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/ipad-air-2-camera-04.jpg?1414026624" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 3. The iPad has fantastic editing apps </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Shooting is only a part of photography &mdash; what you then do with your photos is equally important. Although you can transfer images between devices, you can <em>instantly</em> start work with a photo you&rsquo;ve literally just taken, without having to wait for the cloud to catch up.</p> <p>And Apple&rsquo;s app ecosystem is rich, providing products for fine-tuning photos, assisting coaches with training players via videos of their performances, editing and translating documents &lsquo;scanned&rsquo; with the camera, and even using the camera to help create virtual layouts of your home that you can experiment with.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Editing on the iPad Air 2" alt="Editing on the iPad Air 2" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/ipad-air-2-camera-03.jpg?1414026624" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-3"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 4. The best camera is the one you have with you </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Perhaps some people are so anti-tablets-as-cameras that they&rsquo;d never consider using one in this manner, for fear of being branded some kind of tech numptie. But people said exactly the same thing about smartphones not that many years ago.</p> <p>Yet the reality has always been simple: people want fewer devices that can do more, and the iPad is very capable in that regard; moreover, the best camera is the one you have with you, and if that&rsquo;s the one on the iPad, the technology&rsquo;s now at the point the tablet itself could be considered a decent camera choice anyway &mdash; no matter how uneasy that makes tech snobs.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/my/apple/apple-ipad-air-2/review" target="_blank">Apple iPad Air 2 hands-on</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="567" height="425" title="The best camera is the one you have with you" alt="The best camera is the one you have with you" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/camera-2_0.jpg?1414026624" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/my/apple/using-your-ipad-air-2-camera-fine-and-here-s-why/feature" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.stuff.tv/my/apple/using-your-ipad-air-2-camera-fine-and-here-s-why/feature#comments Apple iPad Air 2 Opinion Wed, 22 Oct 2014 11:44:48 +0000 Elissa Loi 1451113 at http://www.stuff.tv A key ingredient in Apple’s secret success sauce is hate http://www.stuff.tv/my/apple/key-ingredient-apple-s-secret-success-sauce-hate/feature <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Haters gonna hate, and that’s a very good thing for Apple Inc, observes Elissa Loi </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-enable-hero"> <div class="field-label">Enable hero:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Enable full width image </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="567" height="425" title="A key ingredient in Apple’s secret success sauce is hate" alt="A key ingredient in Apple’s secret success sauce is hate" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/haters.jpg?1411393462" /> </div> </div> </div> <p>With every Apple announcement, there appears to be more jeering than cheering, but that&rsquo;s still good news for Apple.</p> <p class="p1">Whether it&rsquo;s the morning after the product launch, the days leading up to it, or in the period between products, you&rsquo;ll find Apple haters trolling every corner of the Internet. Why? Because they care enough to give a crap.</p> <p class="p1"><strong>READ MORE:&nbsp;</strong><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/my/apple/why-i-m-dreading-bigger-iphone-6/feature">Why I&#39;m dreading the bigger iPhone 6</a></p> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/my/users/elissa-loi" title="View user profile.">Elissa Loi</a> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> The opposite of love isn’t hate, it’s indifference </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>First of all, here&rsquo;s some truth for you, Apple hater. You care.</p> <p class="p1">Try and deny it all you like, call it whatever you want, but the reason you even care to click on the &lsquo;Comment&rsquo; button and type your two cents worth of dislike is because you do care. Enough to spend a few seconds of your life leaving a scathing remark that will absolutely not benefit your life in any tangible way. Unless it&#39;s your life&#39;s desire to accumulate bad karma for some reason.</p> <p class="p1">Still can&#39;t figure out why you&#39;re doing this? Answer these questions: are the products unveiled this time underwhelming? Is it because you had greater expectations for Apple? The answer is probably a resounding yes.</p> <p class="p1">And all those people dissing Apple for a badly managed livestream? They cared enough to stay up and watch the livestream. And what our magazine editor Melvin commented on for the whole livestream fiasco rings true.</p> <p class="p1">&ldquo;Only Apple could generate this much attention from a crappy video stream. Why? Because nobody really bothers to watch the other brands&#39;.&rdquo;</p> <p class="p1">Which brings us to the next point.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="567" height="425" title="The opposite of love isn’t hate, it’s indifference" alt="A key ingredient in Apple’s secret success sauce is hate" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/hating.png?1411393462" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> There’s no such thing as bad publicity </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>It might be a&nbsp;cliché&nbsp;but it&#39;s true.</p> <p class="p1">Even if no one was bothered with the keynote, all that bad press about the glitchy livestream on Facebook would have only served to pique people&#39;s, both Apple fans and trolls alike, interest.</p> <p class="p1">How about the flak that Apple received for iOS 8&#39;s massive storage requirements? An iDevice user knows the pain of the massive update, but what you didn&#39;t realise is that they&#39;ve inadvertently gave Apple a lot of attention and publicity. There&#39;s also the&nbsp;trolls emerging out of the woodwork to get their jibes in, on top of the complaints from consumers, which all equates to one big cacophony online.</p> <p class="p1">Bad publicity or not, all is still well and good in Apple&#39;s world as they ride that nitpicky wave that&#39;s created an extended time of attention even after the curtains have closed on their Cupertino keynote..</p> <p class="p1"><strong>READ MORE:&nbsp;</strong><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/my/apple/apple-s-free-u2-album-exercise-tone-deaf-music-spam/feature">Apple&#39;s free U2 album is an exercise in tone-deaf music spam</a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="567" height="425" title="There’s no such thing as bad publicity" alt="A key ingredient in Apple’s secret success sauce is hate" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/applelive.png?1411393462" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Competition is healthy, jealousy is ugly </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>There is a reason that companies choose to pick on Apple. When people try to bring their competition down, there&#39;s also an implicit recognition that its rival is worthy of its ad space. It also works as a validation to those loyal to them that they have indeed made the right choice, creating a sort of propaganda that&#39;s especially effective in the never-ending Samsung vs Apple war.</p> <p class="p1">If a company&#39;s achievements are significant enough, there&#39;s really no need to state the obvious, or put a rival down to highlight your own achievement. You can trust that your customers are smart enough to arrive at that conclusion themselves. Yes, you might have been the first with the phablets, but that&#39;s really not the point these days.&nbsp;It&#39;s about how many people adopt their first smartphone, tablet or gadget. </p> <p class="p1">Apple didn&#39;t make the first smartphone (that&#39;s Nokia), nor did they invent the first tablet (it was Star Trek), but what they did was make these two formerly niche gadgets popular. And that&#39;s what&#39;s truly important and a massive challenge for most companies these days especially with operating system loyalty factoring into more and more purchases.</p> <p class="p1"><strong>READ MORE:&nbsp;</strong><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/my/apple/iphone-6">Everything you need to know about the iPhone 6</a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="video-wrapper youtube-player-wrapper"> <iframe width="640" height="385" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/oxhSnNZH3Rk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-3"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No need to state the obvious </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>By now, fans and non-fans of Apple&#39;s latest iPhones can deduce that the upgrades aren&rsquo;t mind-explodingly spectacular. But that isn&#39;t going to stop the true Apple fans, who amount to millions, from shelling out for the new iPhones.&nbsp;In fact, four million of these Apple fans have pre-ordered the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in the first 24 hours, creating a new record for Apple.</p> <p class="p1">So haters, you&rsquo;ll just have to keep those scowls on your faces because Apple isn&rsquo;t going to sell one less iPhone 6 / 6 Plus because of the mud you sling their way. And that&rsquo;s the truth.</p> <p class="p1"><strong>READ MORE:&nbsp;</strong><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/my/apple/iphone-6l">Everything you need to know about the iPhone 6 Plus</a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="567" height="425" title="No need to state the obvious" alt="A key ingredient in Apple’s secret success sauce is hate" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/iphones.png?1411393462" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> http://www.stuff.tv/my/apple/key-ingredient-apple-s-secret-success-sauce-hate/feature#comments Apple Opinion Stuff Says Mon, 22 Sep 2014 07:16:42 +0000 Tein Hee Seow 1448263 at http://www.stuff.tv Apple Pay? More like Pay Apple! http://www.stuff.tv/my/apple/apple-pay-more-pay-apple/feature <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Apple’s never been considered cheap regarding prices, but it’s also never been more cynical than it is today says Craig Grannell </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-enable-hero"> <div class="field-label">Enable hero:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Enable full width image </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="908" height="681" title="Tim Cook" alt="Apple Pay? More like Pay Apple!" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/pay-apple.jpg?1410917223" /> </div> </div> </div> <p>You&rsquo;d have to be some kind of idiot to imagine a time will arrive when Apple will offer goods that the typical punter considers cheap.</p> <p>Apple is a premium brand, offering high-quality kit, and that comes with a certain kind of price tag attached - the kind that makes your wallet gasp and bank account scream for mercy.</p> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/my/users/craig-grannell" title="View user profile.">Craig Grannell</a> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>A good example is the new <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/my/apple/apple-iphone-6/review">iPhone 6</a>. The 5s it replaced originally came in three storage sizes: 16, 32 and 64 GB. The difference between each tier was RM200 in MY, meaning you essentially got double the &lsquo;value&rsquo; (in terms of storage) when shifting from 32 to 64 as you did from 16 to 32 - a basic upsell, and one that&rsquo;s fairly typical at the high-end of a technology line. It&rsquo;s a simple psychological trick that makes people feel &lsquo;rewarded&rsquo; for buying the most expensive item in a line - and spend more money than they otherwise would have.</p> <p>With the iPhone 6, the rumour-mill guessed - or at least hoped - we&rsquo;d see 32/64/128 as the configurations for the new device, not least given that memory prices continue to fall; instead, we got <em>16</em>/64/128, but still the same 80-quid gap between each. In an age of increasingly huge apps and games, and on a high-end smartphone, 16 GB seems rather ludicrous from a storage perspective, and it comes as no surprise to see online polls suggesting most iPhone 6 buyers have bought the 64 GB model.</p> <p>This seems like a direct result of Apple&rsquo;s negative pricing tactics, attempting to push you from the lower end rather than tempt you towards the top. We&rsquo;ve gone from &lsquo;good/better/best&rsquo; to &lsquo;meh/BUY ME! BUY ME!/best&rsquo;.</p> <p>The cheapest iPhone 6 (for a given value of cheap, which is &lsquo;not very&rsquo;) now looks expensive when compared to the middle option, which boasts four times the storage. Instead of feeling rewarded for jumping from the second to third model, Apple&rsquo;s made the first a relatively poor choice. If enough people think similarly (which seems to have happened), that raises the average selling price of the iPhone, and swells Apple&rsquo;s coffers. But had Apple started its line at 32 GB, you can bet a whole lot more people would have gone for the cheapest model, because it would have been &lsquo;good enough&rsquo;. Apple&rsquo;s existing stance is a win for Apple, but it&rsquo;s hard to see how it&rsquo;s a win for the consumer.</p> <p>We see similar pricing elsewhere in Apple&rsquo;s other product lines. The 21.5-inch iMac has three options, each RM800 apart. But the low-end model is <em>significantly</em> slower, with half the storage and far worse built-in graphics. It addresses a possible need for a sub-RM4000 iMac, but at the same time seems designed primarily to drive more sales of the mid-end model. Even in iCloud, we see cynical decision making in evidence, with the free tier lacking the space for even a single device back-up, thereby pushing people hard to part with US$0.99 per month or more.</p> <p>Apple&rsquo;s hardly alone; the idea of upselling is rife throughout commerce, not least because people are prone to making poor and irrational financial decisions, and are easily led and influenced. (<a href="http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_ariely_asks_are_we_in_control_of_our_own_decisions#t-414964">Dan Ariely&rsquo;s TED talk</a> offers a particularly entertaining explanation about this.)</p> <p>And as long as you know the tricks being played on you and get a decent device you&rsquo;re truly happy with, you might argue Apple&rsquo;s pricing structure doesn&rsquo;t really matter; but it does take the shine off all the pretty hardware when Apple&rsquo;s accountants don&rsquo;t so much arm themselves with a carrot and stick as throw the carrot in the bin and bludgeon to death the low-end of Apple lines with the surprisingly weighty stick.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/apple/what-apple-watch-can-tell-us-about-iphone-7-and-ipad-air-3/feature">What Apple Watch can tell us about the iPhone 7 and iPad Air 3</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/my/apple/apple-pay-more-pay-apple/feature" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.stuff.tv/my/apple/apple-pay-more-pay-apple/feature#comments Apple Opinion Tue, 16 Sep 2014 12:20:56 +0000 Elissa Loi 1447839 at http://www.stuff.tv Apple’s free U2 album is an exercise in tone-deaf music spam http://www.stuff.tv/my/apple/apple-s-free-u2-album-exercise-tone-deaf-music-spam/feature <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Why forcing Bono and pals on half a billion people isn’t music to our ears </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-enable-hero"> <div class="field-label">Enable hero:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Enable full width image </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1200" height="900" title="u2" alt="Apple’s free U2 album is an exercise in tone-deaf music spam" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/u2-lead.jpg?1410826833" /> </div> </div> </div> <p>The end of an Apple event is often a curious thing. Having spent an hour or two offering a razor-sharp presentation of new Apple kit, Apple executives turn into someone&rsquo;s uncle at a wedding, geeking out over a band or act designed to appeal to people like them, but that nonplusses a significant chunk of Apple&rsquo;s audience (not least anyone under 30).</p> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/my/users/craig-grannell" title="View user profile.">Craig Grannell</a> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>It might come across as a smidgeon ungrateful and curmudgeonly to complain about getting some music entirely for free, but Apple&rsquo;s actions strike me as being as tone deaf as a fan of U2&rsquo;s latest album, and for all kinds of reasons.</p> <p>First and perhaps most importantly, <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/my/apple/there-are-lessons-be-learned-celeb-iphone-pic-thefts-they-re-not-what-you-might-have-heard/fea">Apple recently had a bit of a problem with hacking</a>. This was very much in the news, given that a significant number of famous women suddenly found very personal photographs spreading around the internet. So what does Apple do? It adds an album to everyone&rsquo;s iTunes account, without telling them. Unsurprisingly, people wondered why they suddenly had a new U2 album when they&rsquo;d not ordered one and leapt to the entirely reasonable conclusion that their account had been hacked.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1000" height="750" title="The social media reaction was swift" alt="Apple’s free U2 album is an exercise in tone-deaf music spam" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/u2-hack.jpg?1410826833" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Secondly, it&rsquo;s irritating to see a company such as Apple and a band such as U2 further devaluing media. Apple&rsquo;s race-to-the-bottom pricing in apps <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/my/pay-music-films-and-games-or-you-ll-be-left-garbage/feature">has been particularly damaging to indie developers</a>, and we&rsquo;re seeing similar issues when it comes to music and film; mega rock stars flinging their album out for free is a punch in the face to less successful artists struggling to make ends meet, but who will nonetheless encounter expectations of &#39;free&#39; from consumers.</p> <p>The third issue, though, is how un-Apple this all feels. On the iPhone and iPad there are admittedly apps you can&rsquo;t get rid of, but they are mostly defaults pretty much every device has. I&rsquo;d happily hide the likes of Voice Memos if I could, but Apple in its infinite wisdom does not provide such an option.</p> <p>What Apple hasn&rsquo;t done until now is load your device with any additional garbage. Where competitors and carriers sometimes helpfully provided game demos and brand apps that cannot be deleted, any iPad and iPhone you bought was clean. Now, every iTunes account has the stain of U2. It&rsquo;s music spam that&rsquo;s unwelcome and injected into your account without consent.</p> <p>Fortunately, <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/my/apple/how-get-u2-s-songs-innocence-your-iphone-ipad-mac-and-pc/news">it is possible to at least hide the album</a>, meaning it manages by a whisker to avoid becoming the Stocks app of your iTunes library, but it sets a worrying precedent for Apple. What will we be in for in a year&rsquo;s time? Will the Rolling Stones shamble on to the stage, only for you later to be forced into listening to their new single whenever you attempt to talk to Siri? Will Tim Cook introduce Chris Martin, only for your iPhone to delete your entire music catalogue and replace it with infinite Coldplay? Or will the iPhone 7 Home screen be overhauled entirely, replaced by a grinning Bono face that agrees to read your email, but only when you say you love U2 and attempt to sing the chorus of &#39;Pride (In The Name Of Love)&#39;?</p> <p>Please, Apple, stop this madness before it&rsquo;s too late. Even an ego as big as Bono&rsquo;s won&rsquo;t be able to cope with half a billion iOS users badly singing the chorus to one of his 1980s hits.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1000" height="750" alt="Apple’s free U2 album is an exercise in tone-deaf music spam" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/u2-free.jpg?1410826833" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/my/apple/apple-s-free-u2-album-exercise-tone-deaf-music-spam/feature" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.stuff.tv/my/apple/apple-s-free-u2-album-exercise-tone-deaf-music-spam/feature#comments Apple iPhone 6 iTunes Opinion Smartphones Mon, 15 Sep 2014 11:32:51 +0000 Elissa Loi 1447732 at http://www.stuff.tv Why the Apple Watch is more than just another smartwatch http://www.stuff.tv/my/apple/why-apple-watch-more-just-another-smartwatch/feature <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Apple’s wearable has already been dismissed by some months before its release, but tech fans are missing the point </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-enable-hero"> <div class="field-label">Enable hero:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Enable full width image </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="604" height="340" title="Apple Watch" alt="Why the Apple Watch is more than just another smartwatch" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/apple-watch-1.jpg?1410402232" /> </div> </div> </div> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s just a smartwatch.&rdquo; &ldquo;It&rsquo;s just a <em>watch</em>.&rdquo; &ldquo;Android got there first.&rdquo; &ldquo;It doesn&rsquo;t do anything new.&rdquo;</p> <p>As tech fans and pundits alike clamour to make direct comparisons between the Apple Watch and various smartwatches already on the market, they miss the point.</p> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/my/users/craig-grannell" title="View user profile.">Craig Grannell</a> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Back in time </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Manufacturers scream first and foremost about specs, Android owners grin about open ecosystems, and industrial design (with some exceptions) veers towards the manly and chunky. It&rsquo;s almost a mirror of digital music players in the early 2000s. And then the iPod arrived.</p> <p>The Apple Watch could very easily turn out to be the iPod of smartwatches, disrupting an industry before it&rsquo;s really gotten started. And it certainly has characteristics the iPod was roundly criticised for: it&rsquo;s &lsquo;too expensive&rsquo;; it&rsquo;s part of Apple&rsquo;s &lsquo;closed&rsquo; system; it&rsquo;s as much about good looks as anything; it&rsquo;s about <em>fashion</em>, not technology.</p> <p>Of course, you&rsquo;d have been a fool at the time to really believe such nonsense about the iPod, and the same&rsquo;s true for the Apple Watch, which is packed full of cutting-edge technology, including its amazing display and cleverly designed chips. But while Apple mentioned these things during the Ive-narrated video, it placed more emphasis on the human aspect of its new product.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.stuff.tv/my/apple/ipod-classic-finally-dead/news">The iPod Classic is finally dead</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="604" height="340" title="Apple Watch" alt="Why the Apple Watch is more than just another smartwatch" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/apple-watch-2.jpg?1410402232" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Being human </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Apple&rsquo;s long argued that the company is positioned at the intersection of the liberal arts and technology, and Tim Cook introduced the Apple Watch by saying his company&rsquo;s staff &ldquo;love to make technology more personal and allow people to do things they&rsquo;d never have imagined&rdquo;. Ive added that the design was driven by a &ldquo;compulsion to take incredibly powerful technology and make it accessible, relevant and ultimately personal&rdquo;, where &ldquo;unparalleled technical innovation&rdquo; boasted a design that connected with the wearer.</p> <p>So rather than cramming an iPhone interface into a tiny space, Apple rethought the customer experience entirely. Recognising that the screen needed to be uncovered as much as possible, interaction controls have often been assigned to a digital crown - an analogue to a mechanism that&rsquo;s been part of watches for decades. Simplicity and elegance pervades, echoing the intuitive nature of the original iPod or the iPhone.</p> <p>This has then been joined by materials and design that will appeal to the fashion-conscious and watch geeks alike. It&rsquo;s not just about strapping technology to your wrist, but also wearing an accessory that suits you, that&rsquo;s in context for the type of life you lead. And then there are sweet personal touches, such as being able to share doodles or even your heartbeat with another Apple Watch owner.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.stuff.tv/my/apple/iphone-6-vs-samsung-galaxy-s5-weigh/news">Which smartphone? Apple iPhone 6 vs Samsung Galaxy S5</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="604" height="340" alt="Why the Apple Watch is more than just another smartwatch" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/apple-watch-3.jpg?1410402232" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> iHate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>These are the kinds of words, sentiments and approaches that make Apple detractors gag. It directly plays into arguments that Apple is first and foremost about subjective taste, people with more money than sense, and those who don&rsquo;t care about the guts of the technology.</p> <p>But through being subtle and natural regarding interfaces, ambitious but intuitive regarding capabilities beyond mere notifications, premium in terms of build and materials, and appealing to the masses rather than remaining resolutely fixed on the tech-happy, there&rsquo;s more of a chance we&rsquo;ll still be talking about the Apple Watch in a decade than the majority of its contemporaries. And by then, the device will be to the original what the iPhone 6 is to the original iPhone, which might just even please the geeks of this world too.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/my/apple/apple-iwatch/review">Hands on with the Apple Watch</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/my/apple/why-apple-watch-more-just-another-smartwatch/feature" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.stuff.tv/my/apple/why-apple-watch-more-just-another-smartwatch/feature#comments Apple Opinion Smartphones Smartwatches Watch Wed, 10 Sep 2014 17:23:11 +0000 Tein Hee Seow 1447268 at http://www.stuff.tv OPINION: Why I don’t want to see an Apple games console http://www.stuff.tv/my/why-i-don-t-want-see-apple-games-console/feature <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Innovation within a medium doesn’t come from a return to the status quo, argues Craig Grannell </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-enable-hero"> <div class="field-label">Enable hero:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Enable full width image </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Apple gaming is already a big deal commercially" alt="Why I don’t want to see an Apple games console" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/apple-games-controller-moga-1.jpg?1408844851" /> </div> </div> </div> <p>Three Apple products routinely fail to appear during the company&rsquo;s live events: a smartwatch, a television, and a games console.</p> <p>The much-rumoured <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/my/apple/apple-iwatch/review">iWatch</a> has stolen everything else&rsquo;s thunder of late, but the idea of an Apple games console continues to bubble away under the surface, like grim, stinky water threatening to explode from a drain.</p> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/my/users/craig-grannell" title="View user profile.">Craig Grannell</a> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> A chequered history </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>It&rsquo;s unlikely today&rsquo;s Apple would churn out something as grotesquely awful as the <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/apple/bad-apples-%E2%80%93%C2%A0six-apples-greatest-blunders/news">Pippin</a>, but the only official authorised gaming hardware for iOS devices hardly smacks of a company brimming with confidence and interest in the games industry.</p> <p>Third-party iOS games controllers based around official Apple specifications and - according to underground murmurings - manufacturing limitations and demands, remain badly supported and overpriced; with the odd exception, they&rsquo;re also not terribly well made - a far cry from the devices they&rsquo;re designed to be used with.</p> <p>On the App Store, Apple has recently made some smart decisions regarding the curation of its gargantuan games selection, to help people avoid countless dreadful titles that lurk, ready to make you wish you&rsquo;d instead hurled your 69p at a squirrel.</p> <p>Quality collections pepper App Store pages and there&rsquo;s a regular indie game showcase to surface little-known gems. However, pride of place is still often taken by grindfests designed to suck coins from your bank account, like a demented, malevolent vacuum cleaner with a cash addiction.&nbsp;</p> <p>Apple seemingly recognises the value of games as part of a greater ecosystem, but not always the value of quality titles in and off themselves; or alternatively, it doesn&rsquo;t care and is simply happy making money by foisting freemium garbage on to as many people as possible.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/my/apple/apple-iphone-6/review">Apple iPhone 6 preview</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="The app store has had a revamp recently" alt="Why I don’t want to see an Apple games console" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/apple-games-app-store-1.jpg?1408844851" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> A DIFFERENT KIND OF GAMING </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Perhaps most importantly, the cream of iOS has always been heavy on innovation, in part due to the lack of traditional controls on touchscreen devices. And the more games I play on the iPhone or iPad, the less I clamour for traditional gaming experiences.&nbsp;</p> <p>Perhaps it&rsquo;s a question of age - wanting something new after the countless games I&rsquo;ve played since first gawping in wide-eyed wonder at a <em>Space Invaders</em> cabinet as a kid. Or maybe I know I can grab my Vita if I want something with a D-pad and buttons. But I&rsquo;d sooner immerse myself in intuitive multitouch titles such as <em>Year Walk</em> and <em>Eliss Infinity</em>, and encourage more such innovation, than hope Apple desperately tries to shoehorn iOS gaming into an Xbox- or PlayStation-shaped mould, on a relatively distant TV screen, with all the associated baggage and expectations.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Even if the company instead went with an overhauled, powered-up Apple TV that took gaming more seriously - something I&rsquo;ve previously&nbsp;<a href="http://www.stuff.tv/my/amazon/opinion-amazon-s-fire-tv-shows-it-s-time-apple-tv-embrace-gaming/feature">argued Apple should consider&nbsp;</a>- there&rsquo;s a risk of fragmentation and further c<a href="http://www.stuff.tv/sg/will-objectivity-be-thrown-under-bus-google-and-apple-trade-video-game-exclusivity-promotion/feature">lamouring for exclusives</a>, along with additional demands on developers already struggling to cope with increasingly diverse iOS hardware.</p> <p>With traditional consoles firmly entrenched in a hardcore gaming mindset, but mobile&rsquo;s tendrils snugly enveloping the mainstream consumer, it&rsquo;s hard to see how Apple would benefit in squaring up to Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo. Perhaps there&rsquo;s something obvious no-one&rsquo;s really considered - that &lsquo;Aha!&rsquo; moment in gaming Apple could crack and everyone else would then clamour to copy. But maybe that&rsquo;s already occurred, and no-one really noticed.</p> <p>It could be we don&rsquo;t need an Apple games console, because the second screen has for many already become the first; even if Apple unveiled a console tomorrow, those wedded to an Xbox or PlayStation wouldn&rsquo;t budge, and those already gaming on their iPhones and iPads don&rsquo;t want or need another piece of hardware anyway.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/my/apple/25-best-iphone-and-ipad-games-you-can-play-right-now/feature">The 25 best games right now for iPhone and iPad</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="video-wrapper youtube-player-wrapper"> <iframe width="640" height="385" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/VuKGJyJZY7s" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/my/why-i-don-t-want-see-apple-games-console/feature" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.stuff.tv/my/why-i-don-t-want-see-apple-games-console/feature#comments Apple Apps and Games Games consoles Gaming iOS games Opinion Thu, 21 Aug 2014 16:46:51 +0000 Elissa Loi 1445733 at http://www.stuff.tv