Mike Becky

Tag Archive for ‘Joshua Topolsky’

The Best Platform for Me ➝

Yours truly, back in April:

What I’ve learned from the iPad over these seven years — an important lesson that everyone in this community should consider — is that it doesn’t matter what the absolute potential of a platform is. It only matters what you are capable of while using it. I think we can all agree that, as of right now, the Mac is able to perform a much wider range of tasks, but if I am capable of more on iOS, isn’t it the better option for me?

The iPad might not be the laptop replacement for everyone, but there’s a growing population of iPad-only or iPad-mostly users that can get their work done on iOS just fine. And some of them, like myself, have found many of the more complicated computing tasks — like scripting or web design — to be easier to grasp on iOS than it ever was on the Mac. You do you and don’t rag on someone else’s platform of choice just because it doesn’t conform to your work style.

Josh Topolsky is Raising Money for a New Website ➝

Noah Kulwin, reporting for Re/code:

According to sources, Topolsky aims for the new business to be akin to luxury lifestyle brand Monocle, which publishes a magazine 10 times a year as well as producing a website, a radio show and events. The editor wants to build an audience with the wallet and sensibility of old media prestige brands like the New Yorker or Vanity Fair, they say.

I’m interested to see what idea he’s come up with.

Joshua Topolsky on Leaving Bloomberg ➝

Joshua Topolsky, writing on his personal weblog:

The reality in media right now is that there is an enormous amount of noise. There are countless outlets (both old and new) vying for your attention, desperate not just to capture some audience, but all the audience. And in doing that, it feels like there’s a tremendous watering down of the quality and uniqueness of what is being made. Everything looks the same, reads the same, and seems to be competing for the same eyeballs. In both execution and content, I find myself increasingly frustrated with the rat race for maximum audience at any expense. It’s cynical and it’s cyclical — which makes for an exhausting and frankly boring experience.

I’ve never understood why companies weren’t happy enough with the audience they’ve already garnered — why they have this incessant need to grow. It’s not sustainable and forces the business to do underhanded things in order to maintain their unnatural size, but eventually it all falls apart.

I find slow and steady to always be superior to explosive growth — it makes for businesses that are easier to manage and are built for the long-haul. The world needs more companies that are run with this mindset, especially on the web.

Josh mentioned the incredible year-over-year growth that Bloomberg experienced while he was on board. But this bit above leaves me hopefully that he isn’t chasing after increases like that, they’re just a happy accident that occurs when you try to make things that are great. I’m excited to see what Josh decides to make in the future.

Joshua Topolsky on Tomorrow’s Apple Event ➝

Joshua Topolsky:

According to sources familiar with the matter, Apple will update both the new Apple TV and the iPad 3 (or iPad HD, a name we first unearthed last year) not with the rumored, quad-core A6 system-on-a-chip, but rather the A5X, a dual-core SoC said to have a more powerful GPU. From what we’re hearing, it’s basically an A5 on steroids.

Their sources say that the new Apple TV will feature 1080p video playback and that their is no question the new iPad will feature a 2048×1536 Retina display. They have also heard that the new iPad 3 will be sold alongside the iPad 2 which might receive a price cut.

I’ve thought for quite a while that the Retina display iPad would cost more than the current model and the current iPad 2 would stick around for another year. Because of the increased cost of so many of the components in the new iPad, it just makes sense for them to keep the iPad 2 around. I would like to see a price cut to $399 or $449 but that might be stretching it a bit.

TouchPad Update Brings Speed and Stability ➝

Joshua Topolsky:

why didn’t HP just wait a month on this thing? What was the rush to bring an unfinished product to market? Why suffer the bad reviews and initial customer disappointment? Were there retailer pressures here or some other situation we’re not aware of, or was HP simply so hot to trot on getting this product to market that they sabotaged its launch?

It’s a bit odd. And, it is a curious situation. I have to assume that the majority of TouchPad reviews would have been overwhelmingly positive if it had launched with all of the improvements in 3.0.2.

And, here’s Joshua Topolsky’s reaction to the 3.0.2 update in terms of improvements over the previous software version:

The TouchPad post the 3.0.2 update feels much more like the device it was supposed to be. Snappy, tight, sure of itself. When you press the screen or scroll a list (particularly in the mail application, which has been improved) you get what you expect. The keyboard changes may be the most significant here — the onscreen keyboard is not only improved over the previous version, but so accurate that it may just be my favorite tablet keyboard yet. The auto-correction and predictive text input is excellent.

In other words, things are a lot better. And it’s better late then never, I suppose. But, HP’s going to have a hard time digging themselves out of the hole that initial reviews dug for them.

HP Veer 4G ➝

Joshua Topolsky reviews the HP Veer:

The display looks great in daylight and in lower light settings, but the size and resolution leave much to be desired. There were times when I had email that I literally could not read without zooming in. It’s nice to be compact, but the miniaturized screen on the Veer left me wanting more, which is never a good feeling. The experience feels trapping, as if you’re trying to peer around a corner.

After reading his review it appears that most of his complaints stem from the devices size. It’s interesting that the Veer’s biggest selling point is exactly what some users will dislike most about it. I do believe there’s a market for a device this size, though. One of the biggest complaints my girlfriend has about her iPhone is that it’s too big. She just wishes that Apple could shrink the forehead and chin around the display. But, I’m not sure if she’d be willing to use a device with a smaller screen.

Josh’s other big complaint was in the overall performance of the software.

In particular, there is general stuttery and inconsistent feel to the user interface that causes major problems when trying to quickly interact with content. Apps take far too long to load. Scrolling can be laggy. Sometimes when the phone syncs or brings up a notification, the entire device will freeze for a split second — this usually results in missed touches, or touches to sections of content which are unintentional.

Luckily, these are software issues that could be fixed in later versions of the OS. The device certainly isn’t underpowered. With 512MB of RAM and an 800MHz processor, though, you’d expect it to be able to handle simple tasks better than it does.

He was happy with the batter life — being able to make it through a normal day of use without needing to charge mid-day. And, that’s more than you can say for most Android devices.

I have a feeling this device isn’t going to sell very well. It’s overpriced. $99 is just too much for a device this size. But, if HP could manage to bring the price down to $49 or less, they’d really have something. I can see parents with high schoolers being more than happy to purchase something like this for their children. And, I think their children would be more than happy to use a device like this.

Joshua Topolsky Reviews the BlackBerry PlayBack ➝

The OS is still buggy and somewhat touchy. Third-party apps are a desert right now, if not in number, then certainly in quality. The lack of native email and calendar support hurts. The worst part, however, is that I can’t think of a single reason to recommend this tablet over the iPad 2, or for that matter… the Xoom. And that’s what it really boils down to here; what is the compelling feature that will make buyers choose the PlayBook over something else?

Maybe products like this contributed to RIM’s co-CEO Mike Lazaridis deciding to call a halt to his recent BBC interview.

The Engadget Exodus ➝

Paul Miller, Nilay Patel, and now Josh Topolsky have all left Engadget over the past month or two. Things aren’t looking great for AOL.