Perspective
2010: Geely acquires Volvo Cars, the industrial crown jewel of Sweden with 20,000 employees for $ 1.5 billion.
2014: Microsoft acquires Mojang, the 40 employee strong swedish indie game developer studio behind the Minecraft phenomenon for $ 2.5 billion.
I’m not saying either one is good, bad, right or wrong. It’s just a mind boggling comparison. If I’d written about user numbers instead of employees, the balance between Mojang and Volvo Cars would have been reversed.
Picture from Planet Minecraft

Perspective

2010: Geely acquires Volvo Cars, the industrial crown jewel of Sweden with 20,000 employees for $ 1.5 billion.

2014: Microsoft acquires Mojang, the 40 employee strong swedish indie game developer studio behind the Minecraft phenomenon for $ 2.5 billion.

I’m not saying either one is good, bad, right or wrong. It’s just a mind boggling comparison. If I’d written about user numbers instead of employees, the balance between Mojang and Volvo Cars would have been reversed.

Picture from Planet Minecraft

A few thoughts on the new Apple products*

iPhone 6 and iPhone 6+
They look good. Thin suckers. And believe me, for most of us, the size of the 4.7” iPhone 6 is a non issue. The 5.5” device will also find its audience. I see a lot of business men/women as well as a lot of younger women using 5.5”+ Android devices already today. Spec-wise, this new generation iPhones are pretty conservative and Apple will be able to boost CPU, RAM and camera specs without breaking a sweat with next year’s iPhone 6s with more megapixels, quad-core CPUs and double the RAM. As for the camera in the iPhone 6: Apple is really using the computing power of its devices to bring useful and easy to use features that $700+ enthusiast cameras are having trouble to match.

The Apple Watch:
As a first gen product it looks good. It will most certainly be a well machined gadget for the price and it has an impressive set of sensors which will probably work somewhat better than most competitors. This bulbous watch is not for me though. I waited for the iPhone 4 before I jumped on the iPhone train (now I’m using an Android device as my daily phone if someone’s counting). The digital crown and the zoom-grid of icons look very useful compared with having to swipe constantly through apps and widgets which often is the case with Android Wear. Speaking of which, a lot of aspects of the Apple Watch UI were very similar to Android Wear. Android Wear is not just a shrunken down version of Android as many Apple enthusiasts seem to believe. A note on smart watches in general: They make sense as on-the-go complements to today’s super sized smartphones, both Android and the iPhone 6+, which more often gets tucked away in a bag when on the move. It will be interesting to see the use cases of smart watches evolve going forward. As it is now, the category is not for me. Notifications on my wrist aren’t the droids I’m looking for.

Apple Pay:
Mobile payments using NFC is of course nothing new, but Apple’s take with Apple Pay using NFC in combination with Touch ID is already at the demo stage the most convincing implementation of mobile payments I’ve seen so far. And Apple’s sheer size and user base can give mobile payments in general the boost it needs in order to be widely adopted, which will enable other platforms to scale up their efforts as well.
* Slow-thinker? Maybe. I’ve also been away for a week without tumblr-access.

A few thoughts on the new Apple products*

iPhone 6 and iPhone 6+

They look good. Thin suckers. And believe me, for most of us, the size of the 4.7” iPhone 6 is a non issue. The 5.5” device will also find its audience. I see a lot of business men/women as well as a lot of younger women using 5.5”+ Android devices already today. Spec-wise, this new generation iPhones are pretty conservative and Apple will be able to boost CPU, RAM and camera specs without breaking a sweat with next year’s iPhone 6s with more megapixels, quad-core CPUs and double the RAM. As for the camera in the iPhone 6: Apple is really using the computing power of its devices to bring useful and easy to use features that $700+ enthusiast cameras are having trouble to match.

The Apple Watch:

As a first gen product it looks good. It will most certainly be a well machined gadget for the price and it has an impressive set of sensors which will probably work somewhat better than most competitors. This bulbous watch is not for me though. I waited for the iPhone 4 before I jumped on the iPhone train (now I’m using an Android device as my daily phone if someone’s counting). The digital crown and the zoom-grid of icons look very useful compared with having to swipe constantly through apps and widgets which often is the case with Android Wear. Speaking of which, a lot of aspects of the Apple Watch UI were very similar to Android Wear. Android Wear is not just a shrunken down version of Android as many Apple enthusiasts seem to believe. A note on smart watches in general: They make sense as on-the-go complements to today’s super sized smartphones, both Android and the iPhone 6+, which more often gets tucked away in a bag when on the move. It will be interesting to see the use cases of smart watches evolve going forward. As it is now, the category is not for me. Notifications on my wrist aren’t the droids I’m looking for.

Apple Pay:

Mobile payments using NFC is of course nothing new, but Apple’s take with Apple Pay using NFC in combination with Touch ID is already at the demo stage the most convincing implementation of mobile payments I’ve seen so far. And Apple’s sheer size and user base can give mobile payments in general the boost it needs in order to be widely adopted, which will enable other platforms to scale up their efforts as well.

* Slow-thinker? Maybe. I’ve also been away for a week without tumblr-access.

Apple Plans to Announce Wearable in September | Re/code
Both Re/code and Gruber. That should settle it. Apple will most likely announce an iWatch/iTime device on it’s iPhone 6 event on September 9. I wonder if the screen will be perfectly square as in the above patent drawings?

Apple Plans to Announce Wearable in September | Re/code

Both Re/code and Gruber. That should settle it. Apple will most likely announce an iWatch/iTime device on it’s iPhone 6 event on September 9. I wonder if the screen will be perfectly square as in the above patent drawings?

How Madden NFL turns players into pixels | SB Nation

The progression of Richard Sherman from photo to video game character. (courtesy of EA Sports and Madden NFL)

Impressive.

How Madden NFL turns players into pixels | SB Nation

The progression of Richard Sherman from photo to video game character. (courtesy of EA Sports and Madden NFL)

Impressive.

Wearables Are More Than Lapless Laptops | Re/code

Let’s see if we can make form factor an outcome of utility, instead of designing a gadget from something we saw in “Dick Tracy” or on “Star Trek,” and then asking what it’s good for.

Wearables Are More Than Lapless Laptops | Re/code

Let’s see if we can make form factor an outcome of utility, instead of designing a gadget from something we saw in “Dick Tracy” or on “Star Trek,” and then asking what it’s good for.

Gartner’s 2014 Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies
USB Type-C Connector Specifications Finalized | AnandTech
Love it and hate it — USB cables are part of our gadget-filled lives. Now it’s finally time for a much welcome upgrade to the connectors featuring a smaller and reversible plug orientation.

As some people know, it can take several tries to get a USB cable to connect, and has resulted in more than a few jokes being made about it. 

And more than a few tantrums I guess. 
AnandTech lists some of the changes:

Completely new design but with backwards compatibility
Similar to the size of USB 2.0 Micro-B (standard Smartphone charging cable)
Slim enough for mobile devices, but robust enough for laptops and tablets
Reversible plug orientation for ease of connection
Scalable power charging with connectors being able to supply up to 5 A and cables supporting 3 A for up to 100 watts of power
Designed for future USB performance requirements
Certified for USB 3.1 data rates (10 Gbps)
Receptacle opening: ~8.4 mm x ~2.6 mm
Durability of 10,000 connect-disconnect cycles
Improved EMI and RFI mitigation features

AnandTech writes that since the standard is just now finalized it will be some time before we see the new connectors in production devices.

USB Type-C Connector Specifications Finalized | AnandTech

Love it and hate it — USB cables are part of our gadget-filled lives. Now it’s finally time for a much welcome upgrade to the connectors featuring a smaller and reversible plug orientation.

As some people know, it can take several tries to get a USB cable to connect, and has resulted in more than a few jokes being made about it.

And more than a few tantrums I guess.

AnandTech lists some of the changes:

  • Completely new design but with backwards compatibility
  • Similar to the size of USB 2.0 Micro-B (standard Smartphone charging cable)
  • Slim enough for mobile devices, but robust enough for laptops and tablets
  • Reversible plug orientation for ease of connection
  • Scalable power charging with connectors being able to supply up to 5 A and cables supporting 3 A for up to 100 watts of power
  • Designed for future USB performance requirements
  • Certified for USB 3.1 data rates (10 Gbps)
  • Receptacle opening: ~8.4 mm x ~2.6 mm
  • Durability of 10,000 connect-disconnect cycles
  • Improved EMI and RFI mitigation features

AnandTech writes that since the standard is just now finalized it will be some time before we see the new connectors in production devices.

Sony finally kills its unpopular PlayStation-for-Android platform | Engadget
Maybe it was worth a try, but the headline says it all.

Sony finally kills its unpopular PlayStation-for-Android platform | Engadget

Maybe it was worth a try, but the headline says it all.

This is the sapphire crystal display from the iPhone 6 | Thetechblock

thenextiphone:

It seems to be extremely durable. 

I cringed as I watched this torture test. Very impressive. It would be interesting to see a direct comparison to a Gorilla Glass display. Maybe they’re just as good?

Android Wear hardware review: Sometimes promising, often frustrating | Ars Technica
Android Wear software review: Smartwatch software that doesn’t suck | Ars Technica
Interesting read. And telling headlines. On one hand it is clear that these watches actually give users a great way to deal with notifications. On the other hand the reviews are clear that “notifications-on-your-wrist still isn’t a killer app”. Will it ever be? Not for me probably. But I can think of a few other ways a smartwatch could be useful for me. And that is maybe the promise of smartwatches. Apps will let users expand their abilities to fit their individual lifestyles. But smartwatches still need to find a few widely attractive killer apps in order to reach a mass audience. Like “internet, mail and maps in your pocket” were battering rams for the smartphone.

Android Wear hardware review: Sometimes promising, often frustrating | Ars Technica

Android Wear software review: Smartwatch software that doesn’t suck | Ars Technica

Interesting read. And telling headlines. On one hand it is clear that these watches actually give users a great way to deal with notifications. On the other hand the reviews are clear that “notifications-on-your-wrist still isn’t a killer app”. Will it ever be? Not for me probably. But I can think of a few other ways a smartwatch could be useful for me. And that is maybe the promise of smartwatches. Apps will let users expand their abilities to fit their individual lifestyles. But smartwatches still need to find a few widely attractive killer apps in order to reach a mass audience. Like “internet, mail and maps in your pocket” were battering rams for the smartphone.