April 25th & 26th
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Abstract Submission Deadline: January 19th
What does it mean that digital technologies are increasingly a part of...
Ericsson has released a new report showing the rapidly changing complexion of TV use. Social media is growing like mad, and although Ericsson downplays it, an additional 7% in cord cutting since 2011 is like a tire iron coming through the windshield.
[And I wish they would stop talking about TV ‘consumption’. No one is consuming anything. Let’s just call it TV use.]
Janko Roettgers, Cord Cutting Is The New File-Sharing via TorrentFreak
According to The Diffusion Group’s (TDG’s) latest analysis of Netflix Streamers—those that stream Netflix content to their net-connected devices—the inclination to downgrade PayTV services has doubled in just the last 12 months.
In March 2011, TDG queried a random sample of adult broadband users that subscribe to cable, satellite, or telcoTV service as to the likelihood they would downgrade their PayTV service in the next six months—that is, “…move from a higher service tier to a lower one, or cancel a premium service of some kind.” In general, the percentage of Netflix Streamers to varying degrees likely to downgrade their PayTV service increased from 16% in 2010 to 32% in 2011.
Though Netflix has gone to great lengths to reassure PayTV operators that its offerings are additive to regular TV viewing and thus not a competitive threat, research now suggests that the ‘Netflix Effect’—that is, growing use of Netflix will lead to PayTV service downgrades and even cancellation—is gaining momentum.
John Gruber predicts Apple’s direction with iOS cord cutting: when we will not have to use a PC to manage our iOS devices.
After Apple’s iPad 2 introduction event last month, I ran into Josh Topolsky, and, of course, we talked about what we thought of it. Topolsky made an interesting observation: that the iPad 2 epitomized how Apple seems to be a generation ahead of its competitors on the device side — both hardware and software — but a generation behind on the cloud side.
I’ve been thinking about the iPad in this context ever since, and I think it’s a perfect synopsis of the state of iOS. There will be no tablet this year from any competitor that matches the iPad 2 in terms of elegance, battery life, or build quality. No competing OS will match iOS in terms of on-the-device user experience.
But most iPad competitors have little-to-no reliance on a connection to a desktop PC, the way an iPad does.
The announcement many people seem to be waiting for is for Apple to tell iOS users they no longer need iTunes on the Mac or Windows. The announcement I’d like to see is for iOS users to no longer need to pay for MobileMe to wirelessly sync calendars, contacts — and any other small bits of data from apps from the App Store.
iBooks does this. If you pause while reading a book on your iPad, then resume reading on your iPhone, it picks up on the same page in the book. Kindle and a bunch of other e-reading services do this too. The point isn’t that iBooks is unique or ahead of the curve in this regard. It’s that you don’t need MobileMe for iBooks. It’s all handled by the iTunes Store itself. You buy books on your device, you read them on your device, and your history, bookmarks and other metadata all get synced to your iTunes account in the cloud. And it works great. But a lot more apps should work like this. Should wireless Safari bookmark syncing cost $99 a year? Shouldn’t it be easy for iOS game developers to sync progress for the same game across multiple devices using the same iTunes account? App Store developers shouldn’t have to rely on another third party — Dropbox — for this sort of functionality.
And those third-party iOS developers that are depending upon Dropbox — there’s a veritable cottage industry of Dropbox text editors alone — have a far better syncing experience than Apple’s own creative apps. The iPad versions of the iWork suite and GarageBand are exquisite apps — easily some of the best-designed user experiences for creative software ever made. But the process of getting, say, a slide deck created in Keynote on your iPad open in Keynote on your iMac is downright antediluvian. Google Docs has none of the UI panache, but the syncing is invisible. You just open Google Docs, and there are your files. Doesn’t matter which machine you used to edit or create them, or which machine you’re using now, they’re all just there. That’s part of the overall experience.
That’s where Apple is behind.