The closed appliance phenomenon

I’ve been running into some problems with the making of GameWreck because of the devices I am using. More details in the video below.

I decided to do a bit of research into this to catch myself up. The main reason game developers don’t port to Macs is there is not a big enough market. For a long time Macs used Motorolla processors instead of Intel or AMD. They have since switched to Intel but the consumers buying a Mac don’t do it for the games. They have other expectations. This is probably a product of the programming strategy behind Apple devices: they would rather do all the thinking for you.

Yes, there is always Bootcamp to run Windows through a Mac. But that beges the question: why are you buying a device that doesn’t support what you want to use it for? This is where the vitriol “That’s what happens when you buy a Mac,” comes from.

Wouldn’t it be nice to know what you want from a machine before you buy it? Maybe the machine should just be customisable enough to get by with any requirement.

Have this video as a parting gift:


When People Wear Apple Wearables

I’ve been asked to “critique or analyse a text” for you (twice – look for the next one to be coming up in a few days!) Aside from the woeful vagueness of this instruction, the task seems straightforward. I would have liked to have chosen a movie or a book, because the term “text” in university literally means any vehicle for communicating ideas, but I’ve gone with this YouTube video from BuzzFeedVideo called People Try The Apple Watch For The First Time.

This is a survey of two women going to the Apple event showcasing the imminent Apple Watch range. The video is comprised of three main features: prior to the event the subjects give their impressions of what this product will be like; during the event they are able to try on the watches and comment on the features; and after the event they reflect on the product and their overall experiences. Interspersed throughout are plenty of B-roll shots of the watches, the event guests, the presentation given by the Apple representatives, and so on.

When critiquing a study, there are two main concepts to be considered:

1. Reliability: does the study have the ability to be reproduced with the same results?
2. Validity: does the study measure what it purports to measure?

So, would I call this text reliable? If you were able to wipe these women’s minds and relaunch this event, I’m sure the results would be the same. Or if there was an Apple Timemachine to perform it again. That being said, I don’t think the subjects would respond 100% with the same comments, as the data is completely qualitative and based on their subjective opinions. It’s probable the video is another marketing ploy for Apple, as BuzzFeed has a huge audience and this particular genre of presentation would make the product line more appealing to its viewers. If this was the case, any poor reviews would have been cut from the video; there is obvious editing throughout.

I think the text does not fully achieve its goal. The research question would be something like, “What do people think of the new Apple Watch?” In this case, two women are not a thorough sample. The women are from different ethnic backgrounds but they do not represent a whole sample of the population. However, they are people. Just… not enough people, in my opinion.

Regardless, I found the video to be a quick and entertaining glimpse of a forthcoming piece of technology that I personally think is a joke. The structure was logical with the three parts of before, during and after. The opening clip was a slightly confusing choice, particularly because of the spoken content. It did not seem immediately relevant. My favourite section was one of the subjects reflecting on her previous conceptions about the product and how the experience changed her mind. I liked that we were able to see some of her context prior to the experience.

It was interesting for me to consider a video such as this as a form of research. I probably won’t get the watch though. I’m not made of money!

Not another rant about Apple!

I said I wasn’t going to do this. Everyone has talked about the iOS versus Android debate. It’s not really remixing, remediating or reflecting on the lecture content when you just list the same things Ted does. But this entire debate has taken on a new meaning in my life as recently as yesterday.

To be clear, I live my life blissfully in the middle. I love my MacBook Pro (2011) till death do us part. But I’m quite a fan of my Samsung GALAXY S4. Part of the reason I jumped ship from the iPhone 4 when my 2-year contract was up was because I was so disappointed with the minor changes that separated it from the 4S, 5 and 5S. Obviously, iOS 8 and iPhone 6 (and it’s various incarnations) has finally reflected something of Apple’s former glory.

Nevertheless, here is the story relevant to you.

I had been overseas last year, dropped my phone (for the umpteenth time) and smashed the screen to the point where I was picking miniscule shards of glass out of my fingertips and cheek with tweezers (in the hotel room of a foreign country no less). My hasty fix job with 3 pieces of clear packing tape was short-lived and I had to send the phone away for repairs by the Samsung centre when I returned home to Australia. (Don’t even get me started on the myriad of ways in which this was an unsatisfactory service experience.)

Anyway, I reverted back to the aforementioned iPhone 4 during the time my Samsung was at the repairs and this was fine albeit slightly challenging in the transition from huge screen to tiny screen, completely different predict-a-text programming and limited 3G network among other drastic changes. When I finally received my freshly repaired Samsung (complete with complimentary screen protector, thanks guys), I did not realise for several weeks that some of my friends’ messages were not getting through to me. This is because the current iPhone iOS Message settings are defaulted to iMessage at all times. You have to manually go in and select “Use SMS messaging when iMessage is unavailable”. This means that Apple is assuming iPhone owners’ contacts ALL have iPhones. Because, if you don’t have an iPhone and your mate sends an iMessage, you won’t get it.

My poor mates, stuck inside their closed appliance while I’m able to message whomever I like with my open platform Android phone. Seriously, Apple, you have not monopolised the market like you think you have.