Awsesome Contactless marketing… by Apple

I’ve been involved in a contactless payment project, in fact, maybe one of the biggest projects in Spain.

Among other powerful reasons (such a VISA and Mastercard support) one reason to choose NFC as a technology to implement contactless payment is because it’s an standard. I do love standards

Apple has shown its contactless solutions (it starts at 43:11) as a breakthrough. But, it has been so? Not really. In a few lines;

      Many of the benefits shown in Apple Pay presentation are related with an standard NFC – Contactless solution; short time in payment actions, secure, no need to type your pin credit card, tokenization of your ID (HCE does it), or the Secure element (OMG, it already existed; look here and here)
      Few of the benefits shown are Apple development, such as Touch ID, Passport integration, scan and store your credit card. Truth must honored and other companies have done similar added value solutions over its own contactless implementations

Conclusions?

  1. Apple seems to be the main innovator in contactless.
  2. The truth is that Apple has accepted a pre-existing standard instead of being a kind of being a lone ranger in this business. Maybe because of the VISA and Mastercard pressure, maybe because there were a piece of cake to be eaten by someone else, maybe because Apple plans to develop its own whole payment solutions wasn’t so different for end-user and it requires a lot of effort (security certifications with banks, VISA, Mastercard and so on).
  3. Apple was the last important player in adopt NFC for contactless payments, what by its importance may it’s the final push to this tecnology
  4. Apple knows very well how to play the game and its marketing it’s extremely effective

How Apple designs

Recently I read 12 Reasons Why the Apple Design Process Is Nothing Special, which is a resume from the original interview with Jony Ive.

Most of the things he say is just pure common sense and we use to forget that things on day to day work:

  • Being focused,
  • being accurated with the details,
  • look for the better not just for the good,
  • and finally, stand by your customers

I may higlight things in a different way than Ive says, but this are my personal highlight.

Buzz & more buzz about iPad

Finally is out and it has been less that I was looking for. Yep, I’m talking about The new iPad, people is so devoted that even the brand name have been commented.

It’s no so revolutionary, for sure they have done a great job. Personaly, I really believe they’re yet leaders on this category. You ain’t gonna found nothing so good for 499 bucks. Most of buzz comes form the new screen, GPU improvements, size and weight…

In my opinion there’re two things as least as important as hardware improvements, and both of them are software related: app’s for iPad use and Siri.

We’re, definitely in a post-pc age. With the iPhoto, iMovie, Garage Band, things reserved for a computer, now can easily done from the iPad. The rest of competitors should note how easy and integrated applications are with the whole environment.

Finally, Siri the network not only a place to storage but a place to work with, an extension in software terms. Maybe this Siri importance falls if your language isn’t supported by Siri.

iPad2 vs the rest of the world

Busy as I’m it tooks to me too much to say something about iPad2. I’m going to be very very direct, and for sure it’s just my opinion.

As I said Motorola Xoom was the only to face iPad; mainly for two reasons:

  • Android 3.0
  • Nice & polished aspect

I don’t care about how good the hardware was or how much does it cost. Now we know Motorola Xoom is $599 at Amazon. There’re more Android 3.0 all around but to compete with iPad they need to look not as a lego piece of plastic (yes, I’m thinking about you Samsung Tab) and have a great company supporting it.

So, what has happened? while the rest of the world was competing against the iPad, Apple was preparing the iPad2. They have a great merchandise team; have a look on those demo videos about iPad2: awesome.

By the way, techies spend time about how many Gb or Mghz has that or those tablet… do you how much does it worry to a normal user? The great improvements on iPad2, thinking as a normal user are:

  • same price, (critized Apple as expensive, it was humorous that Samsung tab was expensive)
  • slim, light: no one are close to it
  • smart cover

And talking as a techie there’re just two significant things: slim battery (that longs the same, probably ’cause they control everything, hard and soft) and powerful GPU which is important in user experienced (games, web and apps rendering…)

As a conclusion, Apple strikes back. We all know they are a closed solution, they hate Adobe Flash, they control hardly apps in their store… yes, it’s true, but they are a step ahead, don’t you?

PD: I haven’t and iPad, neither I’m going to buy an iPad2 although any present is wellcomed.

iPhone microphone broken and Apple is doing

Lately I’ve noticed people doesn’t listen to me when I was talking from my iPhone… I thought it was an operator issue since it doesn’t happen all the time.

But the truth is the problem was increasing more and more, and all around… so it wasn’t a coverage problem. I checked if there were any firmware update, no news.

So it was a real problem. I use to repeat myself I’m not the first one on having this problem (I’m convinced this a good motto by the way for many purposes). Then, I browse a little and it was clear that sometimes iPhone’s microphone dies.

I’ve tried all the things people (and even Apple) recommends to do:

  • reset to default
  • restore a previous backup
  • reset without restore a back
  • trie a voice note in order to check isolated how the microphone works
  • take out any cover protection you’re using (I didn’t)

… and unfortunately, everything stills remains the same… so, what I’m supposed to do? There were two options, phone the telephone company or phone Apple. I take the second one, obviously.

What I get:

  • kind and excellent phone attention, they know what there talking about, they offer me different options
  • I choose via my Apple Care plan, an almost immediate substitution, an UPS comes, takes my broken iPhone and give a brand new iPhone, no need to stay without cellular phone
  • They send me constant email keep me up to date about what’s happening, and they give also a number to track the whole operation, right now, UPS has received the iPhone I’m supposed to receive in a few days.

What is worst of it? You need to pay around 70€ for an Apple Care plan, plus, they keep a big amount of bucks during a couple of days from your credit card ’till they now you’ve send an iPhone and not a piece of … metal, when they know you’ve send a real iPhone they give you your money back.

Conclusion: is disgusting that a so expensive cellular fails in a so simple component, the microphone. On the other hand, why does not manage in the same way, their processes and customer attention, the rest of the companys?… I’ll keep you up to date.

Updated: 24h later UPS has come, nice Apple delivery with a brand new iPhone. As they told me, inside the box I’ve found to little bloxes: a black one, with the iPhone and a white one, empty for me to send they back my failed microphone iPhone. Everything was ready, with an UPS envelope properly tagged… easy, fast… done. Now I just my money deposit back and definitively issue finished.