SHOWTIME, Cable Optional

Chance Miller:

In addition to coming to Apple TV, a new Showtime app that does not require a cable login is also hitting the iOS App Store. The app is not live yet, although it should rollout soon. The same $11/mo charge applies to it, as well. HBO’s standalone service costs $14.99, for comparison’s sake.

FYI, for Hulu subscribers SHOWTIME can be added for an additional US$8.99. Content aggregation and streaming services like Hulu seem poised to be the next generation of ‘cable’.

Apple Music Review By Joanna Stern

Joanna Stern, The Wall Street Journal:

As it stands right now, it’s hard to give Apple Music my $10 a month.

I love how well it integrates with my own personal music collection, and recommends great music throughout the day, but there are too many bugs and frustrations to battle. And while it will work on my home Sonos speaker system, it doesn’t yet. For now, my $10 feels better spent with Spotify.

Half baked. Apple seems to be taking a page out of Google’s operations manual: get something out quickly, and don’t worry about bugs, the users (beta testers) will find them for you.

Microsoft Scales Back Windows Phone

Paul Thurrott:

The company that makes over 96 percent of all Windows Phone handsets in use just wrote off $7.6 billion related to its Windows Phone assets, and has announced plans to dramatically scale back its mobile operations. And, yes, Windows Phone has fallen to just 3 percent market share worldwide too. Things aren’t going well.

“The company” is Microsoft.

But could that mean Nadella wants to pair down mobile operations so Microsoft focuses on building just one Lumia Windows Phone? If so, that would be good.

Have Microsoft designers and engineers focus on making one Lumia mobile device and do what Toyota does: Identify your market segment. Establish the retail price. And work backwards. Microsoft could build the Hyundai Sonata of smartphones: reliable, good looking, and with everything you need without the fluff.

Let’s hope this is what Nadella has in mind for Windows Phone.

Google Glass Enterprise Edition

Stephen Hall:

Google is introducing a larger prism that extends further, allowing the user to more comfortably look directly up rather than feeling the need to look up and to the right.

You don’t want to look like the person in “What You Look Like In Smart Glasses“.

Developing For A Slow Internet

via John Gruber. Gabor Lenard was stuck at 32kbps. He learned some things:

Chrome’s developer tools are unparalleled: The ability to test your web-dependent app on different devices is both a time and money saver. I’m currently testing this website at GPRS speeds, and it seems to be loading quickly. One comment about custom fonts: In my opinion, based on the criteria of simplicity and speed, three is max. Two is better. One is best.

According to Akamai Technologies (source: Wikipedia) South Korea enjoyed the fastest download data rate of 25.3mbps in 2014, followed by Hong Kong (16.3), and Japan (15.0). The U.S. was #12 with a rate of 11.5mbps. The last (#55) on the list was 1.1mbps. As you can see broadband speeds from #1 to #55 decline rapidly. There are 196 countries in the world today, which probably means most of the other 141 countries experience extremely slow (and likely unreliable) Internet connectivity.

As a student of user experience design, Lenard’s lessons are invaluable in developing web-dependent apps that work no matter the speed.

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