Oct 03

iHome iD55 with iPadAfter trying several portable iPhone speaker systems over the years, I pretty much gave up finding one ideal for my needs. I still tested portable speakers now and again, of course – for professional reasons – but all left me wanting. The best I’ve found was the Altec Lansing iMT702, and it was released over three years ago. Since then it’s been disappointment after disappointment.

So when word came that iHome, one of my favorite iOS speaker companies, was releasing a sleek new portable speaker, the iD55, I was encouraged. Surely this reasonably priced system would perform better than its current, lousy competitors. iHome had never really let me down before.

No such luck.

While well designed and constructed, its poor performance and lack of obvious conveniences left me, once again, looking for a wall outlet.

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Oct 01

iPhone 5 with EarPodsGive three thoughtful users Apple’s iPhone 5 and each could easily come away with a different reaction. One sees a leap forward: an iPhone with a larger screen, LTE connectivity, and an attention to detail unmatched in consumer tech. Another spies a stale, lagging attempt to catch up to innovative competitors: a phone without a single industry-shifting pivot, no obvious next-gen features, and a last-decade OS.

Each is a defensible reaction to the iPhone 5, because both are true to an extent.  Therefore, it is the third, middle-ground view that rings most true for me:

This is the best iPhone yet, with long overdue additions, tweaks and advances certain to be welcomed by long-time users. But there’s disappointment, too, because Apple has once again played it safe.

Just a week out of the gate, the iPhone 5 is already a huge success, and will continue to be for the next twelve months – both in terms of sales and general user satisfaction. But Apple should be on notice; resting on your laurels can only take you so far for so long.

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