The culture of technology in Australia.

  • Feature:

      Review: Nokia 930


      Nokia’s latest flagship phone, the 4G Lumia 930, was launched last week to the Australian tech press. Early reviews have been glowing, calling it the best Windows Phone to date. The questions is, does the best Windows phone to date stand a chance against Android and iOS?

    Previous Features:

    AppbotX Launches To Help Good Apps Avoid The 1-Star Review

    Stuart Hall (formerly of Discovr) is officially launching his new venture, AppbotX:

    AppbotX provides feedback screens, FAQs, inline downtime & news notifications, version updates and review prompts for your mobile app. All built natively and specifically for mobile, controlled remotely from the AppbotX servers.

    When a great app gets a bad review, that sucks. Stuart doesn’t want that to happen to developers, so he built AppbotX to fix it.

    As you might guess by the name, it’s an evolution of his very popular email review delivery service Appbot.

    The difference is with AppbotX, Stuart is not only giving you visibility of your reviews, he’s built tools to help. So now if you’re a dev, you can communicate with an app customer and try and solve the problem before they leave you an unfair 1-star review.

    It has a ton of handy communication features (like version updates, downtime notices, FAQs and a bunch of other support stuff) that can mean the difference between a meh rating on the App Store, and a great rating.

    I’m not a developer (yet!), but I trust Stuart, and I know he’s built AppbotX after being frustrated with this problem for a long time.

    iOS-only for now, but coming very soon to Android. If you’re a developer you should definitely check it out.

    dev world 2014 – Melbourne iOS & Mac Dev Conference

    /dev/world/2014 aims to cover a wide range of topics including the iOS SDK, OS X frameworks, Apple and third-party development tools, and open source software. The conference also provides developers with an opportunity to meet and network with others working in the same space. This will be the seventh /dev/world!

    It’s on the 29th & 30th September 2014 and is taking place at one of the slickest buildings in Melbourne, RMIT’s Design Hub (that building with all the circles on the corner of Victoria & Swanston Streets). If you’re depressed that there isn’t a One More Thing this year, check out dev world.

    A Chat With Satya Nadella On Convincing Consumers

    Following Satya Nadella’s open letter, Josh Topolsky from The Verge had a chat to him

    Josh: Is it important to convince the consumer that Microsoft is important and they need to be a part of their lives? Or are we really talking about convincing Fortune 500 companies, convincing major corporations to adopt Microsoft, to connect to these connected services and devices and that will sort of by osmosis bleed down to the consumer?

    Satya: No, I fundamentally believe that it’s most important to us to convince consumers. You’re defining the market as “It’s already done, Apple and Google have won, because they won the consumer side.” And I’m going to question that. I’m going to say “No, any thinking consumer should consider Microsoft because guess what, you’re just not a consumer. You’re also going to go to work, you’re also going to be productive and we can do a better job for you in there.” And that’s what I want to appeal to.

    Reading over this interview, I think this is the bit that I disagree with Satya on. Sure, we might use our personal devices in the workplace, but a regular office jockey rarely gets to consider or decide what technology they use to be productive at work. You get told what to use, and you use it.

    Microsoft CEO Posts Open Letter To Company On Culture Changes

    Satya Nadella, in a wide-ranging letter on the direction Microsoft is heading:

    The day I took on my new role I said that our industry does not respect tradition – it only respects innovation. I also said that in order to accelerate our innovation, we must rediscover our soul – our unique core. We must all understand and embrace what only Microsoft can contribute to the world and how we can once again change the world.

    It’s long, wordy, and occasionally veers in corporate-gobbledygook, but I certainly found this letter an interesting window into what’s going on internally at Microsoft.

    Google Impact Challenge: $500k For Australian Charities Using Tech

    What is the Google Impact Challenge in Australia? It’s an opportunity for registered Australian charities with Deductible Gift Recipient DGR status to apply for a $500,000 grant by sharing their vision for how they will use technology to change the world.

    Great initiative by Google. I applied for the Vodafone Foundation’s World of Difference campaign last year, and this is a similar idea with a more technological slant.

    If you work with a registered charity, I think it’s well worth your time to check this out. You’ve got just under three weeks to get an application in.

    MKBHD Shows Off Sonny Dickson-Provided iPhone 6 Sapphire Crystal Display

    Marques Brownlee on his YouTube channel:

    The 4.7″ Apple iPhone 6 will have a sapphire crystal display made by $GTAT [GT Advanced Technologies Inc]. Sapphire crystal is used in high-end watches & camera lenses already. Let’s put it through its paces!

    Pretty impressive. While this won’t be the first smartphone with a sapphire display (Vertu has been using them for a quite a while), it will be first truly mass-market device.

    If you want to know more, check this TechRadar piece where the Head of PR at Vertu talks about their experiences with sapphire displays:

    Sapphire screens aren’t exactly easy to produce and Vertu experiences very low yields from its supply chain, which isn’t a big issue for a small firm, but it’s something which could spell trouble for the likes of Apple who will be looking to mass produce it.

    If a sapphire display does come to the iPhone 6, Apple would have to exponentially ramp up the production and yield rate of these screens to satisfy demand.

    Yield has always been the crucial element of a new iPhone hardware feature; Apple simply can’t add an element to the iPhone that they can’t manufacture in the hundreds of millions.

    At the same time, this need for scale hasn’t stopped them from creating hardware designs that incorporate very advanced technologies and techniques — like TouchID, or the chamfer-cut edges on the iPhone 5 and 5S.

    I bet if they can make it happen, this hardware advancement will certainly be a marquee feature in the keynote.

    Jony Ive talking about how much better these sapphire displays are, images of new displays whirling through a spotless production facility, being cut and polished by friendly robots. That kind of thing.