Apple software gripes

I love my Apple products.

However, two smaller items have me thinking of a more seamless experience.

First – in iOS 6, Apple changed it so that app updates do not need a password. Just hit the update button and the app is updated. So much more simple and elegant.

However, ( and here is the gripe) why do I even have to hit a button? Why isn’t there an auto update? I always update all my apps anyway, so why not do it automatically?

Second – in iTunes on the Mac (and I suppose on a windows PC also) why do I have to download my iphone apps to the computer? I am syncing via wifi and iCloud. Do my apps need to take up space on my computer anymore?

They don’t do much for me, except to give my compulsive side another “update” button to hit.

Now, off to CES!

I read a newspaper today!

We started receiving The Oregonian today – for free – for some period of time.  I am of two minds over this.

First : the positive.  I love getting things for free.  Who doesn’t.  I love holding a newspaper, seeing all of my reading options laid right out in front of me.  I like being able to scan the large page and see the layout of the articles and ads.  I like how having it all right there in front of me tends to make me read more of the articles about subjects I would not have seen in my RSS, Twitter, and Facebook scanning.  (Who knew that no one seems to like the two candidates for Mayor of Portland?)  I like knowing a bit more about the area I live in and the world in general.  (kinda – more below)

Now, the negative.  I hate having paper laying around after I’m done with it.  I hate the news print on my fingers.  (don’t want to dirty up the iPad or iPhone….)  I actually didn’t like most of the articles that I read – way too much negativity and ‘bad stuff’ happening.  I think I was better off before knowing about all that junk going on.  I don’t like that I can’t find other articles or more information about a topic very easily after reading it.  I don’t like that I’ll have more recycling to do.

I think it is a telling thing that I had to be given The Oregonian in order to get me to read it.  Obviously printed papers (and magazines, like US News and World Report) are on their way out and this is an attempt by the paper to keep “readership” numbers up to prop up advertising rates.  I just wonder how much longer they can keep playing that game?

Do you read the newspaper any more?


Netflix – turn the lights out already?

Interesting read on The Motley Fool about Netflix today.  It talks about another pending blow to Netflix and its future growth – bandwidth throttling concerns.  Seems like most American’s get their internet from the local cable company.  These cable companies are rapidly transitioning to primarily useful for delivering the internet and less so for the traditional TV and phone (which never really caught on) services.

The fear is that someone, somewhere soon will start to either limit or charge extra for high data downloads.  Like the data downloads that streaming movies on Netflix uses.  Therefore, Netflix is in potential trouble of losing customers if we can’t stream all episodes of Mad Men 24 hours a day.

Got me thinking, why do we even have Netflix?  Don’t get me wrong, I’m a long time subscriber and plan to be for some time into the future.  But Netflix is a middle, middle-man that is solving a problem that shouldn’t exist.  Netflix doesn’t make the movies, they don’t host the movies, they don’t provide the bandwidth into your home, they don’t even make a device that ‘shows’ the movies.

Just what do they do then?

They are a simple, elegant method of connecting users with entertainment.  I applaud what they have done and what they are continuing to do to bring me movies and TV Shows.  They make the discovery of new shows super easy.  I love saving shows to my watch list to remind me of the things I want to see in the future.  I am loyal to them because they have a positive impact on my life.  I don’t know or care who makes the movies I watch, but I know Netflix and care about Netflix.

So why are they even around?

Isn’t the ‘Internet Revolution’ all about cutting out the middle man?  Aren’t we supposed to be getting to know the content creators in a close, personal relationship now?  Isn’t Brand Loyalty supposed to be the end all of all marketing?  Why is my loyalty to a middle middle-man then?

The studios have so far, completely missed the opportunity to make me  a customer of their brand.  I completely don’t care a whit about which studio makes the next Bond movie.  I know the Bond name, not the studio name.  Other than Pixar, I can’t name a studio that means anything to me.  They don’t have a brand.  I could care less about which one makes the next blockbuster that I want to see.

I think Netflix will weather the storm around bandwidth throttling just fine.  As the article points out, they deal with that issue already in Canada.  They would handle it in the US also.

If the studios ever pulled their heads out and got with it, Netflix would be in trouble.  That is one of the worlds largest “IF” statements, however.  They just don’t seem to understand the way the market is moving.  They can’t keep the anchor down and expect the world to come to them.

What do think?  Do you have any loyalty to a movie studio?  Do you know of any?  What about Netflix?

Wal-Mart’s Christmas Price Guarantee

Wal-Mart repintado
Image via Wikipedia

Wal-Mart is looking to strike back at other retailers:

Read the story at USA Today

Interesting to me:

  • You don’t need the product, just the receipts
  • Comparison doesn’t include online purchases
  • You get difference back in Wal-Mart gift Cards
  • Almost an 8 week window to watch for pricing
  • I bet they include internet retailers for next year

What are your thoughts – Did they go far enough?  Will you take advantage of this?

From the “should be obvious” department…

Free shipping offers can lead to more holiday sales – Internet Retailer.

I appreciate the headline, but there is a telling quote in the article:

More than half of all transactions (in the 2010 Holiday Season) included free shipping…

That’s pretty cool.  I can’t tell if I’m surprised that the number is this high or this low. (I wonder how they account for Prime sales?)

The article also includes some good suggestions from Forrester to increase on line sales even further.