Inquisitive Podcast #9 – Making Podcasts

inquisitive artworkWas delighted to have a chat with my mate Myke Hurley last night on the Inquisitive podcast.

This week Myke is joined by Don McAllister. They talk about how Don has grown ScreenCastsOnline over the years, the amount of work that goes in to creating the screencasts and some of the ways he has gone about creating a sustainable business.


Always good to talk to Myke and we’ve conversed on many a podcast for the past few years. Recently, he’s taken the bold move of packing in his day job to follow his passion and run Relay FM as his full time business. I wish him the best of luck in his new venture.

Check out the podcast from last night here, as or any of the other fine Relay FM podcasts here.

Thanks Myke!

Macworld Expo is No More

Saddened to hear that Macworld Expo is in hiatus.

I suppose that really means it is finished for good, at least in its most recent format.

I’ve been a regular attendee and speaker at Macworld Expo since 2007, the year the iPhone was launched.

Yes, I was there at the famous iPhone launch, except I wasn’t.

As it was my first Macworld Expo, I was unfamiliar with the arrangements and bought a show floor pass. Little did I realise that this did not give me access to the keynote. Even worse, I discovered on arrival that the keynote was not even broadcast to all attendees.

So my first Macworld Expo keynote, the blooming iPhone unveil no less, was followed just as I would at home, via multiple live blogs on my laptop. The only difference was the venue was less than 100 yards away as I ended up in the Starbucks right next to the Moscone centre.

The famous live call Steve made on stage to order coffee for the audience was allegedly made to the same Starbucks I was actually sitting in, although I have to say, I never heard a phone ring. At least I did get to see the iPhone in its domed glass enclosures when the show floor opened.

I was fortunate to attend every Macworld Expo since and once knowing the ropes, I even got to see all the keynotes. I even didn’t have to queue up at some ungodly hour some years due to speakers privileges!

I’d be the first to admit that it was a body blow when Apple pulled out and Macworld did lose some of its sparkle. But despite all adversity, it bounced back with a vengeance and morphed into a different kind of event.

My main take away from Macworld has always been the people.

I’ve met my heroes, made lifelong friends and generally had a blast.

So long Macworld Expo and thanks for all the fish.

I’m Back!

Ok, So I’ve been back for a week actually!

Back from where you say?

I just took a few weeks off on a family holiday (or vacation) as my US friends would like to call it. I had good intentions of doing some research and some work related stuff whilst on holiday, but other than the daily emails and escalated help desk calls, I pretty much ignored what I had intended to do.

Although I did get chance to play extensively with my new iPhone 6 plus for the first few days of the holiday.

Why just the first few days?

Well I was one of the chumps who jumped onto the iOS 8.0.1 update the second it came out. I’d been struggling with patchy internet access since arriving but managed to download the 8.0.1 update as soon as it appeared.

Bad move.

Yes, following the update, my iPhone 6 Plus was without cellular connection or TouchID.

Pretty devastating as I’d come to rely on 3G for the bulk of my internet access whilst abroad. If only I’d waited another 10 minutes and looked at the explosion of tweets on Twitter advising to steer clear of 8.0.1.

I went to bed confident that 8.0.2 would be available in the morning.

It wasn’t but luckily I had my iPhone5s with me and SIMs were swapped.

There was a fix to 8.0.1 but that involved downloading a Restore image and restoring the iPhone 6 Plus. At over 2GB, that wasn’t going to happen whilst I was away.

It in fact took a couple of days before 8.0.2 was released.

SIMs swapped back and installed the update.

Still no Cellular or TouchID.

SIMs swapped back and back to my trusty iPhone 5s.

It took me another few days to find a location with fast enough internet access to download the restore image and get the iPhone 6 plus working again.

It was a real wake up call to realise just how much we take fast internet for granted.

Anyhow, I was able to use the iPhone 6 Plus for the rest of the holiday.

I’m really loving the new larger iPhone, so much so that it is impacting on how much I use my iPad now – but that’s fodder for another blog post.

Hopefully, I’ll get back into regular blogging from next week – excited to see what Apple has in store for us on the 16th.

I bet you the streaming will be faultless!

The $4999 Apple Watch

Apple Watch

John Gruber is on top form with his latest post about the Apple Watch.

Before the Apple Watch announcement, pundits were doubting how any new class of wearable device would be able to move the needle on the Apple earnings each quarter. I mean, just how many $100 or $200 devices would Apple need to shift in order to come close to the iPhone revenues, or even to make a significant contribution to their already stellar profits?

Perhaps Gruber gives us a clue…

The most fun I’ve had over the past week is speculating with friends about how much the different tiers of Apple Watch are going to cost. One thing that is absolutely clear, to me at least: when Tim Cook said the starting price is $349, that’s for the aluminum and glass Sport edition. My guesses for starting prices:

* Apple Watch Sport (aluminum/glass): $349 (not a guess)
* Apple Watch (stainless steel/sapphire): $999
* Apple Watch Edition (18-karat gold/sapphire): $4999

In short: hundreds for Sport, a thousand for stainless steel, thousands for gold.

You really need to read the whole article as it does a great job at explaining (and speculating) how Apple is repositioning itself as a luxury brand and not just a tech company.

The whole strategy of hiring all the top people from fashion and high end retail suddenly becomes crystal clear.

I also think John may be onto something with this idea:

An idea that sprung to mind regarding the tension between multi-thousand dollar prices for gold watches and the short lifespan of computing technology: Apple could in theory offer significant trade-in pricing for years-old Apple Watches, based solely on the value of the gold alone. Or, perhaps the internals of the watch will be upgradeable. Apple is calling the S1 chip a “computer on a chip”, not a “system on a chip”. Take it in for servicing, and for a few hundred dollars, perhaps you’ll be able to replace your S1 for an S2 in a year, and an S3 the year after that.

Definitely check out the full article over at Daring FireBall

iOS 8 – The Lull Before the Storm

I’ve been using iOS 8 as a beta user since it came out. Initially, very infrequently on test devices, but more recently on my main iPhone 5s and iPad mini.

I’ve been very happy with the beta and it’s been very stable with only the odd application crashing, but it’s been more stable than the iOS 7 betas ever were.

But I’m still not using it to it’s full potential, and when you first download it tomorrow, it’s possible you might feel a little disappointed.

Yes, some of the tweaks to the built in apps are nice – Mail swipe gestures, Mobile Safari on the iPad, the iOS 8 camera app, the new one handed UI for sending messages and lots more.

But the true game changing nature of iOS 8 won’t be immediately apparent, at least not just with the public release of iOS 8.

The real deal will be with the release of updated apps from the talented pool of iOS developers.

The majority of the work of the developer community has been hidden from view in all but a handful of cases. We’ve seen the 1Password preview, the TextExpander preview, the Transmit preview and now a faster way to save with Pocket 5.6 preview.

But these are just the tip of the iceberg.

Tomorrow, the flood gates will open and we’ll see a torrent of updated apps with new functionality built on the updated core infrastructure of iOS 8, then we’ll see just how game  changing iOS 8 will be.

Of course, that’s not the end of the story.

On Friday, we’ll get the updated iPhones with bigger screens, increased storage and faster performance.

We may even see new updated iPads with, as of yet, unannounced functionality by the end of the year.

In October, we’ll also see the launch of OSX Yosemite, and that will introduce another wave of functionality with closer integration between Desktop and Mobile than has ever been seen before.

I can not wait to see what the app developers have done with iOS 8.