Sunday, 16 October 2016

Should I Learn Hungarian?

I like Windowsphone. I use a Lumia 950 right now as my daily phone. However there is no doubt about it that Windowsphone users like the product better than Microsoft. Microsoft are in full on "abandonware mode" with the platform in intensive care for a variety of reasons too numerous to go into. My Lumia still has a great camera and even with all the hot air about Apple's "best camera on any iphone" and Google Pixel's "best camera on any smartphone" the 950 has a superb Zeiss lens and 20mp pictures despite being last years' flagship.

However I do miss the apps. My bank doesnt even have one. So I have a Samsung Galaxy S6 that occasionally use. The problem is that Samsung has done something that PC users has been hit with for years - crapware. You buy a new PC, or a Samsung device, and it's filled with apps to "help you". Apps you never use except by accident and wish weren't there. In the Windows world most, if not all, uninstall. If you are an IT Pro you can even do a whole clean install on a PC. Not so with Samsung. The official Samsung phone comes with built in crapware you can't remove unless you download and root the device. You can remove it a bit but it sits there as an update. If you press update all then it comes back.

My problem is a bought my phone from Ebay. Actually that overstates it. I bought a brand new device at a decent price as a European phone from Ebay. By European I mean unlocked and working well except for one thing. It was destined for the Hungarian market. After setting the default language to English all worked well and there is literally no problem except for the crapware.

The crapware deal Samsung has done in Hungary seems to be some kind of electronic magazine or newspaper. Every so often I get asked to update my Hungarian magazine.

I can't remove it unless I root the phone and that is lot of effort to remove just one app. I have disabled all the other Samsung crapware but this one is just vaguely irritating. It sits there in a sort of unwanted pointless way.

I do feel guilty that I can't use this app. The unwanted and slightly unloved dimension to apps you cant install is not just annoying but also wasteful of space.

The only route to liberate this app from limbo would be to learn Hungarian. That's crapware for you.

Saturday, 8 October 2016

What Apple Music tells us about who Apple think is the market leader

The first ipod launch by Apple was in October 2001. It had a 5gb hard disk and could store 1000 songs in you pocket. Slightly less well remembered is that it used a FireWire port, standard on a Mac, and synced with iTunes only on a Mac.

It was only a Mac product. That mean't it reached a tiny fraction of home computer users. Even if 100% of all Mac users bought an ipod around 90% of computers would not be able to use it. This was because they used Windows.

Not only did no version of itunes exist for Windows the hardware interface, FireWire, was rarely found on a Windows PC and was usually an expensive add-on card. To expand the sales of ipod it would have to go for the Windows market.

Apple first did a deal to get another music software program for Windows to sync to the ipod. Eventually itunes was available for Windows and the ipod used a USB cable to sync.

The ipod took off. When the iphone was launched in 2007 it was immediately available for Windows due to a version of Itunes being available.

Steve Jobs used to say that people wanted to own their music not rent it. So Apple pretty much ignored the streaming music services like Spotify. Even Microsoft has had streaming services  - Zune, Xbox Music and now Groove.

All this changed with the release of Apple Music in 2015.

Like most Apple products it works only on Apple devices. Apple Music is a streaming service that you use with your iphone.

However there is also an app for Android. Nothing for Windowsphone, no app for Windows 10 UWP (Universal Windows Program).

Apple's view of the world is that they are the premium mobile device company and their competition is Google and Android. Microsoft Windows is now a legacy consumer platform with itunes. Just a few years ago Microsoft was a serious player in the consumer computing space, Steve Ballmer, the former CEO would bite off the hand of any journalist with an iphone near him. He would carry a Windows laptop and a Windowsphone everywhere.

Today Microsoft is the enterprise and cloud company. Making Windows for consumers is a legacy business. Xbox One is a outlier. They are not interested in consumer products.

You can tell the most important consumer technology companies by the apps on iphone and android. You can tell the company Apple thinks is the biggest market for their products because their music app is available for Android.