Yesterday’s windows phone launch event

Well…it has happened, Microsoft has launched windows phone 8(?). Unfortunately I missed the event, and have been a bit overloaded with my day job. I plan on trying to do as much reading Ho in the news this week, and try to distill it for the blog here. (Now I just need a few more hours in the day, and days in the week).

Microsoft’s Surface RT

Well today I had a bit of time to watch the Microsoft Surface announcement from New York, and I have to say, I was impressed by what I saw.  I’ve been hoping that someone would help push Apple on the tablet side.  The team did a great job of building excitement during the presentation, and the features were pretty compelling.

Integration with the xBox ecosystem, a keyboard (I need to get my hands on demo of this – I believe a Microsoft store is opening in South Point tomorrow), Microsoft Office, Skype video (with one touch record), multiple apps on screen at the same time, and more all made me think, “Yeah, maybe I do need another tablet”.

The big proof will be when we see how many apps they have, and the quality of those apps.  There was a post from TechCrunch – that stated they will have more apps at launch than any other apps store.  They do point out, rightfully so, that this is a bit of a misleading statement.  How many of these apps are Windows apps that won’t run on a Windows RT device?  I am hoping that the Microsoft developers out there get it going and provide a compelling set of applications that sell a whole bunch of these. Why you may ask? Am I not an Apple Fan?  – Well yes, but I am also a Developer, and the more potential customers, the better for all of us!

Hopefully we are now seeing the entrance of a valid third platform, and we can all start creating even more cool apps!

Samsung – Galaxy Note II

Well today is supposed to be the day that you can finally get the Galaxy Note II in the US. I’ve been looking and have not seen any big announcements, other than a great review by PC Mag.

I don’t use T-Mobile for my carrier so, I don’t have any way of confirming how well the device works, but I hope I can get to a store and actually play with one today.  The screen looks awesome and the Quad-Core processor sounds impressive.  I am concerned about real battery usage at run time, and how fast it really is (given the number of Android apps that run in the background).

But from what I have read, it certainly seems like an impressive device, and would make a great addition to anyone’s mobile toys, especially if you like Android.


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1st Announcement of this week

Well, Apple has done it again… They have messed with my upgrade cycle.  I had decided that I would be on a 1 year cycle for iPad upgrades, and they put out a new 4th Gen iPad before the year is up. The new A6x chip and the Lightning adapter are the things that will make me want to do the upgrade.  I currently have the 64gb AT&T LTE version, and it has been amazing for me.  I have no desire to upgrade to the iPad mini.  I had an iPad 2 and the retina display on my current iPad is too good to go back to 1024×768.  Had I never had the iPad 3, then perhaps it would be worthwhile, but I can’t go back.

iPad Mini

I do believe that the size and design of the mini will be attractive to a lot of people.  The new back design matches the design of the new iPhone 5, and that does look really cool.

But this isn’t the only announcement Apple made today.  The new iMac looks really sexy! Deceptively slim at the edges.  Not to happy that Apple continues to get rid of the DVD drive, but understand their approach and reasoning.iMac

As far at the specs, they are a nice refresh from the development machine I picked up last year, and the addition of the hybrid (AKA Fusion) drive, and the great way that Mountain Lion will automatically manage your apps for the best performance is a great addition.  If this would be your development machine, I can see it improving compile times dramatically.

The new 13″ MacBook Pro is a great upgrade for many and the Mac Mini, was refreshed nicely.

Was nice that Apple live-streamed the entire event.  Guess I will have to order a new iPad soon.

Quick update.. Apple has posted the video already for those who would like to watch the announcement.


Next Week is Big

Over the last month I’ve seen a lot of talk about the upcoming rumored iPad mini, Windows Phone, and Samsung’s latest device. All of these seem to be coming to a head next week.

October 23rd is Apple’s something little event, Samsung is expected to announce the Galaxy Note II on the 24th, Microsoft Announces Windows 8 on OCt. 25th, and on Friday Windows 8 goes on sale. And just to keep it up, the following Monday on the 29th Google is expected to announce a new Google Nexus device!

Can’t wait to see the reviews on all this new tech and to see how it may impact my development plans.

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Windows 8 and the phone

It appears that Windows Phone SDK is finally getting released at the end of this month. I’ve been looking at a lot of different reports lately about the amount of apps by platform, the growth by platform, and popularity of various other aspects. To that end, whenever I see these reports I think “would I, should I, learn yet another phone platform and target it?” I am sure many other mobile developers are thinking about this same thing.

When people look at stocks, the saying is, you buy on the rumor and sell on the news.

If you use this thought process for you mobile app development, does that mean that we should all be coding for Windows Phone 8 by now? The Analysts keep saying it is going to be huge!! I know this report is a bit old, but I’ve not found any report that says this prediction has changed. So to me, this is the rumor… It also becomes a self fulfilling prophecy… if we follow the idea above. People go to where the apps are, so if we build apps on the rumor, the apps will be there.

The flipside the also becomes true, we all know the news of iOS and Android. they are hugely successful with so many potential users for our apps. They are both continuing to grow fast! So if we build on the rumor suddenly there won’t be new apps for these popular platforms. And people will leave them.. to go for the new apps… over on Windows.

I’m not sure.. I think I will continue to write for IOS.

Catching up on some blogging

Sometimes I forget how fast time can move when you are busy. I’ve been meaning to blog since going to the escapist expo a few weeks ago, and I just keep running out of time, so this morning while I drink a cup of my favorite coffee, I decided to start this blog entry.

So where do I begin?

The Escapist Expo happened the same weekend as Durham’s Centerfest celebration. I had found out about the Escapist Expo on friday while listening to The State of Things – and decided I had to go. How could I not? Gaming, Games, and Geek Culture!! It was a triple threat. I went and got to hear a session from Chris Hazard – founder of Hazardous Games. I’ve talked with Chris many times, including on both of my podcasts – (Dogearnation – now defunct, and GamesAtWork.Biz – the current podcast). He has an amazing mind and thinks a lot of how to use time travel in simulation games. I then spent time on the show floor, testing out new games, picking up some game inspired music, and watching all the really great cosplay people. Amazing time, hate that I forgot to take pictures. Oh, and I did take part of a team based geek trivia panel, there were 9 teams and we came in 4th. Given that there was a bunch on console gaming (and I don’t do console gaming), I felt proud to place 4th!

Since I didn’t take pictures.. I am linking to another attendee’s blog who took some great pics.

More to come .. soon.. I promise