25
Oct
13

Apple and Australia

APPLE yesterday freshened its products for the Christmas rush, and released an operating system upgrade to users free of charge.(I would think that OS upgrades are always free, but not Apple)

But not all Apple developments come without a significant price.

The Cupertino-based company is also renowned for being prickly, for locking users into its systems, and for using geographic barriers as a reason to overcharge customers. Below are some examples of Apple’s worst behaviour.

Australian hardware prices.

Apple’s local hardware pricing is often similar to its US pricing, but not always. Take the Mac Pro announced yesterday. In the US, the machine will cost you $US2999 or $3090 in Australian dollars. In Australia, that same machine will set you back $3999. Even if you add GST to the US figure, there’s $600 unaccounted for and a lot of extra money coming out of Australian pockets.

Singing iTunes’ song.

Want to buy the same song as an American user? If it’s available in the Australian iTunes Store, it will probably cost more Down Under. Katy Perry’s song Roar? It’ll cost you $2.19 in Australia and $US1.29 in the States. The “Deluxe” version of her album will cost $20.99 in Australia, but just $US14.99 in the States. The songs sound the same.

Different SIM.

Want to use a smartphone? You’ll need an active Micro SIM card. Except with Apple, of course. Apple introduced the Nano SIM with the iPhone 5, a format no other phone uses. The act forced users to ask their carriers for a new SIM card, and effectively locked users into the brand unless they bought and used an adequate adaptor for other phones. Use that adaptor incorrectly, and you could tear the SIM contacts on your other phone.

Failed connections.

Since the invention of the iPod, Apple used a 30-pin connector to connect its devices to others. This 30-pin adaptor spread far and wide, from stereo docks to car radios, and the cables snaked through offices everywhere. Then, last year, Apple swapped this cable for a smaller, Lightning connector, rendering all 30-pin connections cumbersome, at least, and obsolete at worst. The company also initially refused to let other manufacturers make the cable, forcing customers to pay $25 for a spare charging cable.

Software updates forever.

Unlike other manufacturers, Apple ensures once you upgrade your software, there’s no going back. Even if the new software slows your device or gives you motion sickness, you cannot return to the comfort of old iOS software. A Californian man this week launched legal action against Apple for that problem, filing a small claims action that calls the move “corporate thuggery”.

Locked into iTunes.

Once upon a time, customers who bought iTunes music could only play that music in Apple devices or within the iTunes program. Digital Rights Management software prevented its use elsewhere. While Apple has relaxed the requirement, after several lawsuits, the company will still only let users backup their device to one computer. Want to sync your iPod to a laptop and a desktop computer? Nope. Not allowed.

Locked out of your phone.

One new feature in Apple’s iOS 7 software can help prevent theft … or forever brick your device with no chance of appeal. It’s called Activation Lock. If your phone is reported lost using Find My iPhone, users must enter the original Apple ID used to activate the phone. If they cannot remember it, or cannot access it in the case of a second-hand phone, the phone will be forever bricked. Apple support will not help you recover a phone bricked in this way.

Apple trademarks.

Think “start-up” is a common term? Apple doesn’t. In August it filed an application in Australia to trademark “start-up” for its exclusive use. The application follows similar filings by Apple in the US and China. And they follow Apple’s claim that “app store” should also be its trademark. Oh, and before you say, “there’s an app for that”, remember that’s an Apple trademark too.

Closed library.

Apple launched its iBooks application in 2010. The library-looking app let users download digital tomes to their iDevices and will, with Mavericks, allow the books to be read on Mac screens too. But the company recently lost a battle with the US Department of Justice, with a court finding Apple had artificially kept the price of digital books high by excluding competition. It recommended Apple allow the likes of Kindle, Kobo and Barnes & Noble to sell books within Apple’s ecosystem, and was awarded a $US162.25 million settlement. Apple is appealing the decision.

Closed app store.

There are benefits to having a closed app store, with apps carefully vetted for security. But Apple can go too far, banning apps for its own purposes. HMV’s app was this week booted from Apple’s app store for letting users listen to music, Apple previously rejected the Google Now app from its store, inspiring Google to file a lawsuit, and Apple recently banned apps that recommend other Apple apps to users, including popular French-made AppGratis.

15
Jul
13

McDonalds Australia new McWraps and FoldOvers – good or bad?

I saw recently that McDonalds Australia is looking to try out some new menu items and have been asking people what they think. I am not a real fan of Maccas but the first two look kind of OK. The chicken and bacon fold over especially would be good but I bet that McDonalds don’t really use Lebanese flatbread and just have cheapy pita wrap bread instead, the others they say tortillas but will they be or will they be cheap pita wraps as well. Let’s see if McDonalds starts making these.

The worst part is that no matter what, the food won’t look anything like these drawings. Everything they make ends up looking awful nothing like the photos. Just the other day I bought some wedges from them. Most of the wedges were stuck to each other, were soft not crispy, were in a TINY box and didn’t come with the dipping sauces like the big poster showed. When I asked for the sauces I got a sachet of sweet chili like you get with chicken nuggets and a little cup with no lid that someone squirted a teaspoon of mayo in it – note I didn’t say mayonnaise as it isn’t that, mayonnaise has egg in it, McDonalds calls it Mayo so you think it is mayonnaise but really it is some type of flavoured thickened white paste (basically the same as choc is not really chocolate).

mcdonalds australia chicken bacon foldover mcdonalds australia chicken salsa mcwrap mcdonalds australia new chicken bacon mcwrap

06
Oct
12

Is this false advertising from Apple?

When the new iPhone and iPods were released a few weeks back I checked the Apple store like a lot of people I guess. But on there front page and in their store they have info that’s a bit deceptive I think.

I know they still sell the old models and that’s why they have “from A$219″ under the iPod Touch but they show it under a photos of the new model iPod Touch that actually start at A$329. They should not have a photo of the new model and suggest it starts from a lower price than it really is.

false advertising from apple 5th gen ipod touch from A$219

As you can see they do exactly the same thing for the iPhone as well.

Other companies can’t advertise their top model and put prices down for a completely different, lesser model can they? For example Panasonic don’t advertise their 55inch TV and have from $xxx and quote a price for their 20inch model, not do Holden Vehicles advertise their Commodore but quote prices for their Barina. Or if you want to compare similar items – Sony store doesn’t do the same for their mobile phones, neither does Samsung or HTC. Only Apple can get away with it I guess.

false advertising on apple store for iphone and ipod touch

18
Sep
12

Remember Napster

I remember this old program, everyone was using it.
It was the easiest and quickest way for free music. Of course it was illegal but no-one really thought of that back then – it was just some new way of free music. Remember the only other option was CDs back when it started,

napster for free music

05
Apr
12

SBS On Demand for PS3 Australia – fantastic stuff

I noticed on the weekend that I could have SBS Catch Up TV on our Sony PlayStation 3 (do you call it PS3?). To get the little app just turn your PlayStation on, go to the TV/Video Services section and under the rainbow-coloured My Channels icon you’ll find a small SBS On Demand application ready to download.

Once the app’s been downloaded, you’ll have access to a pretty well sorted version of the SBS On Demand website from the TV/Video Services menu and it looks to have a really good range of videos to watch. Video quality is not bad about the same as the ABC iView one.

So now us Australian PS3 owners have the fantastic ABC iView, the great SBS On Demand and the really, really poor Plus7 catch up TV channels.

Geez, the Seven networks Plus7 is so poor, I don’t bother looking. The range of shows is so small and so old it isn’t worth the effort. Last time I looked , I went to play a Get Smart TV episode – it isn’t even the original ‘60s series but the really bad ‘80s one. They should just shut it down or offer a lot more as it is I am sure no one even looks at it.

sbs on demand catch up tv for australian ps3 playstation 3

24
Mar
12

iPad has failed

The iPad had completely failed, no idea why it actually needed to have a sign though, maybe they always fail.

ipads not working in store

22
Dec
11

I get expired certificate error on Nokia E51 when installing MMSsync by PC Suite

I had to put updated software on my Telstra E51 the other day because Telstra has upgraded the mobile equipment in the field and the E51 would reset all the time (I would get a white screen and then it reset, white screen and reset over and over)

Once I updated the NokiaE51 and all was working again I plugged the Nokia E51 in the PC and the Nokia PC Suite started up. It said Ihow to install mmssync through nokia pc suite in nokia E51 gives error expired certificate needed to install MMSsync on the NokiaE51 for the messaging to work properly.

But, of course, it wasn’t that easy. I accepted the install on the phone but it gave me a “MMSSync Expired Certificate” error. Retried and the same happened. So how to install MMSsync through the Nokia PC Suite in Nokia E51

So I thought about it a bit and this is how you fix the problem and get MMSsync to install on the Nokia E51 (and probably E71, E61, E52)

The fix I worked out is before you update your phone you have to set the E51 phone date to a date between October 2006 and October 2011. I just changed the year to 2010 and left the time and date the same. After the date is changed install MMSSync, it will install for sure. Then remember to put the correct date back after the install.

All done. Simple.




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