iPad Mini – Finally Arriving

After an incredibly long wait, it’s finally going to be here. 

Tracking the iPad Mini

I’m not going to do unboxing videos. There are tons of people doing that. Let’s just talk about why I bought the iPad Mini. First of all, I do not own the latest iPad. While I have been using the iPhone from 3GS up to the current iPhone 5, I have only gotten the first generation iPad. And it’s without cellular, so the use is restricted mainly to home. 

The iPad is a great device. It’s a nice fit between the PC and the smart phones. Nevertheless, I always thought the iPad is too big to bring around. That’s why I stopped at the 1st Generation iPad. I would rather use my phone than to carry the huge, bulky iPad wherever I go.

When the Google Nexus 7 was launched, I thought it was the perfect fit. The size is perfect for bringing around. Not too bulky, not too heavy and has reasonable real estate on the screen. Was close to getting one. 2 reasons why I didn’t get it. Firstly, it runs Android. Don’t get me wrong. It’s nothing against Android but most of my apps are on iOS. Secondly, the cellular version is not available in Singapore. And even up to today, it’s still not available.

Now, here comes the iPad Mini. Slightly bigger than the Nexus 7. Less plasticky feel. (I must stress that this is a personal preference.). Runs iOS. Didn’t take me too long to decide to get one. And I got the cellular version. Well, some people might say, Apple fanboys, surely the decision is irrational. Well, partly I must admit, but I would say it’s only 10% of the whole decision process. The main thing is I needed something small enough to bring around, but yet more comfortable to read on compared to my iPhone. 

Now eagerly anticipating the delivery. :)

TomTom Maps and iOS 6 Maps Are Not In Sync

Everyone should know by now that Apple has ditched Google for their map application. TomTom is now the map provider instead.

Data Provided By TomTom

I have a colleague who uses TomTom and swears by the accuracy and up-to-date maps. There’s a certain road near our office that he takes for reference to determine if the maps are actually current. Take a look at the images below.

The first image is an updated TomTom map. 

Up To Date TomTom Map

Now look at the second image taken from iOS 6.

Outdate iOS 6 Map

See the difference? In the TomTom map, Tai Seng Avenue is joined to Kim Chuan. And the road has been joined for more than 1 year. The segment that joins the 2 road is missing. In fact, there are 2 other roads missing if you compare the 2 screenshots.

For interest sake, the next map is from the original Google map.

Outdate Google Map

The map is outdated as well. Kim Chuan Road and Tai Seng Avenue is still not linked, but it has Tai Seng Link and Tai Seng Street, the 2 roads that are missing from the iOS 6 maps. Uh oh?! Even Google Maps is more current here. What’s going on?

We do not know what’s the arrangement between TomTom and Apple and whether TomTom is obligated to provide the most updated map. And to be fair, iOS 6 is still in beta. Let’s give it some time. Hopefully when the official iOS 6 is out, the Apple Maps are updated.

The Implications Of Siri

I was reading an article in the papers today about Google saying Siri is competition to their search business. This is something that many people have been talking about, i.e. Siri changing the paradigm for internet search etc.

In my opinion however, what Siri really threatens is Google’s advertising business.

For those unfamiliar with Google’s advertising business, Google basically has 2 products, namely Adsense and Adwords. In Adwords, advertisers bid for keywords and air their advertisement on websites that displays Google Adsense. Google decides what advertisement to display based on user’s history, keywords on that user search etc. One problem with this model is that users are searching for contents and information, not the advertisements.

In Siri however, the search is very specific. If I tell Siri I want to get a pair of shoes, Apple can throw very specific advertisements to me. The conversion rate and effectiveness of the advertisement is significantly higher because Google Adsense is very passive compared to Siri. The advertising experience become personal rather than guesswork in Google’s case.

Apple has not done targeted advertisements yet in Siri’s search results, but I think they would do so soon as Siri matures more over the next few months. When this comes, Google’s going to be in an awkward position since their main revenue source is from advertisement. Bear in mind that Facebook has already splitted a portion of the pie, so Google is going to lose more should Apple grow the advertising business.

Why iOS And Not Android?

Android Orphans

A friend posted this article on my Facebook wall.


This article talks about how the various generations of Android phones are left behind while newer phones get the latest Android.

I don’t to leave this open-ended and have people think that I’m an Apple fanboy. I’m a Linux admin and I have been using Linux on my office laptop for a very long time. So why iPhone and not Android phones?

Upgrade Woes

I have never owned an Android phone. The number 1 reason is that I dislike the customizations that the individual phone makers do to the OS. The implication is that certain models will be left behind in the upgrade process. We have been this in the Windows PDA phones in the past. Because of the difference in hardware, there’s tremendous effort for the phone makers to ensure that every single model runs the most current OS. So the easy way out is to leave them behind. I forecasted this since the very first version of Android and I have been proven right all these while.

Android vs iOS

So came the Nexus One. Google supported, plain vanilla Android. I was actually contemplating getting that but I chose the iPhone 3GS. Why? My choice was very much affected by my experience on the Mac.

While I still use Linux on my office laptop, I find myself doing most of my work on my Mac. I bought my first Macbook in 2007 and after using OS X, the impression was: It just works! No tinkering. No fiddling. I don’t getting into the situation where I need to solve the machine problem even before I get down to doing work. It’s a lot of time wasted.

Similarly on the iOS, a lot of things just work out of the box. One example was configuring of L2TP over IPSEC VPN on the iPhone. It takes less than 2 mins to get the iPhone setup and connected. 3 steps to get to the configuration screen, enter configuration details and we are done. My colleague tried it on their Android phone. The first phone took us close to 10 mins to figure out how to configure the connection. He later gave up his Samsung Galaxy for a new iPhone  4.

Now Google has announced that the Nexus One is not getting the latest OS. To fair, I haven’t read the details and I’m not sure what’s the rationale. But if you look at the chart, even the iPhone 3GS gets iOS 5. While some features are not available, the major key enhancement are made available to the 3GS user. They are not left behind.

I was thinking of getting the Nexus Galaxy actually after looking at the features of Android 4, but it looks like my next phone will still be a Apple phone after all.