ZValley.com

Mar 24

SameSung Unchained -

The Keynote :

what’s the word that I am looking for ? … oh yes found it! Pathetic. No more no less. I really though that the Qualcomm keynote was the bottom of the barrel … nop! I was wrong. SameSung “top” Qualcomm in this race to the bottom. SameSung keynote was sexist, over produced, really weird and generally very embarrassing. 

The SamSung Galaxy S4 :

It’s very good Smart phone that feature wise and performance wise, out-perfrom any smartphone of the world (HTC one and iPhone 5 included). It’s more evolutionary than revolutionary. The S4 is literally loaded with tons of features. few of them are Apple inspired/copied  … Others are gimmicky at best or clearly for a niche/”switch off” usage (airview, air gesture, Dual camera, Smart Pause/scroll …), but few of them are brilliant :

New Captors : Temperature, Humidity and step counter captors feel like they should have been included in any smartphone since day one. yes, I think it’s that good! Like the iPhone captors really revolutionize the way we use smartphone those new one are an incredible addition.

S-Health : That’s killer. clearly. Inspired by fitbits and others wrist device that count your steps and sleep, this new feature directly included in the GS4 make it a must buy for me.

S-Translator : Killer too. Sure it exist before but with a product like that and well marketed it could become a stapple of this galaxy version like the S-Health.

So overall it’s a very good phone.Though to me it’s still a fail. Mainly because with this cheap build quality and phone design, I do not think that they will succeed to grab the upscale demography that the IPhone 5 is able to grab. And this battle is the most important battle for Android in order to make this ecosystem profitable for their partners (developer,manufacturer …)

I also don’t like what they are trying to do with Android by taking control of all the User Interface over the stock Android. Android becoming a vulgar spec in their mind/marketing … It’s a negation of all what the Android Platform is about. I am pretty sure they will fork at some point. It’s business 101. Also their marketing spending is now out of control and others manufacturers cannot compete with that. I predict that thanks to SG3 for free and this SG4 pushed like crazy they will grab 70% of the android market in the next 6 months (50% right now).

Make no mistake I think that SameSung will become the uncontested winner of this smartphone war, but the S4 is not it. Indeed SameSung is the only Android manufacturer that can cut drasticly the cost of their phone indeed half components cost are already profits in their hands. By comparison Apple is paying samsung for those components.

So at some point they will ship a phone more prenium than the iphone but for half the cost! People will find it good enough ….

Mar 11

When I hear smart engineers telling me that UIStoryBoard is great!

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HTC One : iPhone 5 killer ? -

it pretty much look like it!

Clearly “inspired” by the iPhone 5 bi-color design, this phone, based on all reviews that I read and my own opinion based on those reviews, seems like the best android device so far.

What’s more interesting is the top notch build quality that this phone provide : Top Notch like the iPhone5 and it seems even better. 

Well, I am not surprise that it’s coming from HTC but more interestingly that could trigger a major change in the android demography. Upscale people will always prefer a upscale materials than a plastic build quality.

Sadly, at this end of the day this phone will barely sale … Indeed SameSung is flooding the market with ads and other incentive by spending 5 times more than Apple, HP, Dell, Microsoft and Coca Cola combined. Also as this market is carriers/manufacturer rigged and no matter how good this phone is, SameSung will get the crown of the market share.

However if samesung follow with the same quality there is no doubt in my mind that the upscale demography will come to android. Resolving at the same time the problem of lack of beautiful(expensive to make) apps as dev could be able to earn something closer to iOS.

Android need to be fast cause the tablet market is closing in pretty fast thanks to windows 8 laptop/tablet (A failure at 60 millions is something that  everybody would love to have) and do not be in this tablet market will be deadly at long term as people want the same app between their tablet and phone.

Mar 01

How I feel when I just release a new version to the App Store that my users seems to like -

Thanks for all those good reviews and messages about Heroes Battle 10 and Vampire Stories 10

Feb 22

Google Glass : the douche factor -

Google has never been a design/innovation company, that revolution our lives through interface design or new product. Instead, they’ve taken over the world by a better execution. An execution un match in the industry. not a single company (apple included) can even think to be close to google on that department.

They tried with google wave and many other products to innovate but failed to bring innovation to the market. All success beside Google earth have been bought (youtube, android, gmail,gmap …) and not invented at google.

With Google Glass, google is now trying to invent a new technology to make our life easier. To introduce a new object in our life. It’s bold and finally show that google have a vision of the future, instead of “only” execute better.

As a geek/nerd, take my money google, I want it now!

As a Product guy, I think it will be failure. Big Time.

I see numerous major problems with this vision of the wearable computer that I used to work on it 10 years ago.

■ The douche factor

To cut to the chase, having a google glass make you look like a douche.

here some pictures with a regular guy and even a model :

douche bags.

Same kind of guy that wear a bluetooth headset and talk to them-self in the street. This is a niche market (hopefully!) and not mainstream. 

History repeat itself : the segway, the bibop … all failure due to the douche factor.

Though, it’s a technical problem that maybe could be resolve by a better technology, in incorporating the screen inside the actual lens like in the “rafale” plane. UI is in the lens not an outside weird block …As my dad was working on it I had the privilege of testing it and it could be a solution. 

■ Glasses reduce your vision range

When you wear glasses, your vision range is reduce quite significantly. With a regular glasses, the range is reduce to a drunk person vision. People wearing glasses go great length to do not wear them by doing surgery or wearing contact lenses.

if you wear glasses like I do, you know what I mean. But regular people that do not wear glasses will not accept that. With Google glass a the upper right corner is now obstructed by “this screen”.

In the 80, there was a little trend to wear glasses even you didn’t need them, but it was a fad created by the top gun movie … not really mainstream.

■ No mainstream killer usage case yet

Recording a video in POV is great … if you are a surfer, climber or any other sports actually but in the daily life (street,office with noise) it seems to me that it could be useful only a few times per month … and yet you have to wear it all the time.

Furthermore in real situation, in a street with noise I bet that the google voice recognizer will fail to understand any command.

It’s maybe too early to call on that one because developers will try to find that holy grail … 

At the end of the day why should I wear 24/7 a heavy glasses just for few usages ?

■ Privacy issue

Google succeed since 10 years to hide (not letting them know) to their users that goggle is earning money by analyzing their activities and selling that to the highest bidder. Indeed most regular people do not know that and think it’s just free. Google dodge the bullet on the phone by using the Android brand  and again people do not know it’s in fact google.

Here with google glass, they go for a google branding. To me, they should brand it without the google name. A recording device of all your life made by a company selling ads ? I don’t think it will fly with the general population … 

Also, with google glass you can record people without letting them know that you actually record them … and share that on Facebook or g+. I can imagine some awkward usage in the sex department.

So to wrap this up, I think it will be a great goodies for nerd/geek and “sport” enthusiast (me included) but not mainstream device … but it could restart the wearable computer concept in our industry with stuff more in phase with today technology like a watch, a smart “hearing aid” or other smart rings …

Feb 16

How I feel, when I finally fix a CoreImage bug in my apps.

How I feel, when I finally fix a CoreImage bug in my apps.

Feb 12

Apple Crazy Rumors

here my point of view on all the crazy and different rumors of the day about Apple.

 Cheap iPhone, iWatch and iPhone Max :

Apple culture is all about trying to make the best product possible and not make the cheapeast product, just to be cheap. Other companies are better than Apple for that.

Take a look at the history of iPod. When Apple started, it was $399. Now you can get an iPod shuffle for $49. Rather than cheapening, Apple build new products with a separate experience. For years, people wanted a cheaper Mac … and  Apple worked on that for a long time and came up with the iPad at $399. So Apple always try to reinvent itself with great new products and along the way reduce the price. 

So in my view, and based on this past, I think that Apple will go for a two handed iphone, with a bigger screen like the galaxy note in order to have a lineup.But more importantly the iWatch or this rumored wearable device could become the cheap iPhone! (with SIRI you do not need a screen)

As a developer I would prefer to see Apple goes for licensing but well … a new product among a real line up like a big iPhone will be a good news because it will organically grow market share.

 iCar :

Not before the iToilet.

 Apple TV

Apple can innovate and revolution this market that sleep since 10 years. Furthermore Apple have the commercial capability to make it happen. So yeah I think it will come. Furthermore it will definitely position Apple in the game market.

Feb 07

Jailbreaking and Thief -

[evasi0n] hack, the iOS 6 and iPhone 5 jailbreak, has been live for a couple of days now.

here my take on this :

Zephyr, Intelliscreen and Auxo are absolutely brilliant for power users. No question. Indeed with a down to up gesture I can quit an app without pushing the home button I can see more stuff in the lock screen and I can quit all my apps with a simple button.

It remember when I first started on OSX, and I was spending an awful number of time to find tweaks like defaultfolderX or others extension in order to make the OS work as I wanted.

But make no mistake, it’s not the jailbreak which is great … it’s those tweaks (app).

Indeed jailbreak bring with those great tweaks some apps that are bad for iOS. Installous and other IAP cracker are back in force.

As a developer busting my ass off everyday for my users it’s really sad to see some customers use it. Well they do not keep it for long, because in the worst case after two days I kicked them out. 

But there is numerous developers that rely “only” on the app price in order to pay for their work and costs. In that case, you just stealing money from someone that work hard and probably earn less than you do.

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So whose fault it is ?

■ Users ? nah … I understand that they want to have stuff for free, it’s sanctionable but I understand. Indeed you really need lot of self-control and ethic when it’s just there in front of you. However it’s sanctionable … In my games I reset them to level 1. (ouch)

■ the Evasion team, that spend lot of effort into this crack ? 

Yes and No : Officially they are against cracked apps … which is kind of funny because it’s exactly what they do :) …. Also when you provide a tool to millions of users that enable them to crack apps, it’s even funnier … Think about it, it’s like you build a gun and be against the main usage of it … it’s like openheimer was refuting the idea that his nuclear bomb was not mainly use to kill people.At least have he had the decency to accept it.

Because if there was like they say against cracked apps they will not enable the user to have it’s own repository in Cidya (cracked apps) and will spend as much effort into jailbreaking than blocking those cracker apps. 

So in reality, their are OK with cracked apps.

Also do not think that they do that for the gist of it or for the user either … there is lot of money involve. I know for a fact that the evasion team have deal with redsnow and cydia … So they are making money of it. A lot of money.

Again their position is laughable cause instead of hiding this stuff they should simply come forward and explain that for developing this crack, there is a cost involved (food,rent …). I will be fine with honesty but they do not do it because it will shatter their main argument against piracy.

■ Apple ?

Yes Indirectly.

Apple is always protecting developers and especially indie developer like me but despite all Apple effort, it failed to prevent apps stealing most of the time.

But more importantly, It gives to the Evasion team an excuse to hide themselves behind those great tweaks (auxo, zephyr …) and let the evasion team a “honorable” way out.

While in the meantime, there is an easy solution :

Just accept Tweaks in the appstore. After all, the App Store already accept apps that “replace” OS apps (maps,browser…).  Make them follow some rules and Everybody wins. Power users will use those OS tweaks and be happy with it while general users will not even be aware of it. If Apple want to limit the usage of those tweaks, just get them out of the ranking … and findable only by search. Only a small percentage of iOS user will use those so the OS will be consistent for 95% of users.

That way, jailbreaking will be more contained and more importantly honest people will not jailbreak and it will clearly corner jailbreaker without their “we are the good guy” shield and again limit the jailbreak to people that really cannot buy apps. Therefor the jailbreaking will be only know for what it is : Stealing apps.

So yes, Apple is indirectly responsible too. So please, Tim, change the AppStore guideline  and accept tweaks.

Feb 02

Game Console Market -

Sony says that the PlayStation Meeting 2013 will allow us to “see the future” and an attached video teaser

Game Console are playing their right to exist with the next PS4 and Xbox iteration.if they continue what they are doing right now, I do not see why most people will buy a gaming console while their iPad or iPhone can more or less do the same….  gaming console are victim of the “good enough” paradigm.

To me they really have to go for the niche market of hardcore gamer while proposing a new way to play (added sensors and better immersion) in order to attract some casual. 

if they don’t, we will see unfolding before our eyes the dismiss of the game console :/ that I am into since the atari 2600.

Jan 30

RIM is RIP -

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First literally : RIM just rebrand itself as BlackBerry. (somehow, I told you so :))

■ Secondly, Blackberry is Dead for carriers : Indeed when you know that the smartphone market is rigged and more based on how much money you give to carriers than technical features, I am really wondering what do they expect with a feature like this :

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Free phone call ? really ? who though of that ? Sure, It’s awesome for the user but first you need to be able to SALE it! Indeed good luck to sale your Z10 to carriers that make all their income by making you pay for phone call! To be clear it’s not because the leaders are doing it (iOS,android) that you should do it too.

No carriers/Sale store means no market share.

No market share means no app.

No apps means no users.

No users means no blackberry.


Well, unless they succeed to have the mindshare of the people (like the iPhone), carriers will not push or even sale their phone! Look how hard it is for Apple that do not play the carrier game (FaceTime blocked and vendors never “advice” you an iPhone).

■ Thirdly, it’s technically dead. Why on earth do we need another operating system and platform for ? All the cool and innovative features of the BB10 could have been implemented on top of android. Indeed it’s not like they have Word/Excel or plenty of apps that people cannot live without (ref Windows).

Sure the QNX kernel is neat, c++/QT are trully awesome, gesture are really nice, keyboard seems truly innovative but all the compettive advantages that they are promoting on their website could have been done on android while being compatible with a tons of apps. (FYI BB10 include android emulator but it’s barely usable cause it’s very slow )

To wrap this up, I really think they miss a phenomenal opportunity by not choosing android. They know how to make good phone and good software which is not the case of a majority of android manufacturers. So they would have taken a good position in this market by pouring all they know how into user features and disruptive technology instead of recreating the wheel.