Dear Apple: Please Stop Selling the F'ing 16GB →

John Gruber:

I also understand the product marketing angle. That there are a lot of people who will look at the 16 GB models, see that they can get four times the storage for just $100 more, and buy the 64 GB model instead — when they would’ve bought the base model if it were 32 GB. I get it. There’s no doubt in my mind it’s good short-term business sense to go with a 16/64/128 lineup instead of 32/64/128. But Apple is not a short-term business. They’re a long-term business, built on a relationship of trust with repeat customers. 16 GB iPads work against the foundation of Apple’s brand, which is that they only make good products.

Apple has long used three-tier pricing structures within individual product categories. They often used to label them “Good”, “Better”, and “Best”. Now, with these 16 GB entry-level devices, it’s more like “Are you sure?”, “Better”, and “Best”.

Using the 16GB as a decoy price to make the 64GB more attractive is a great business strategy, but this only hurts customers and Apple in the longrun.

The biggest reason why people don't upgrade their iOS is because they don't have enough space on their devices and they have no idea how to manage it. Telling them, "just install via iTunes" is not enough. I know a lot of people that have never synced their devices with a PC. In fact, in many cases, they don't even have a PC to sync with in the first place. So what do they do? They don't upgrade. Ever.

The negative effects only grow from there. This Apple ecosystem becomes fragmented for developers because customers are spread out across different versions. This gives customers a fragmented experience because they have multiple Apple devices running different versions and can't take advantage of the killer integrations.

This is the exact opposite of Apple's "it just works" mantra.

Seriously, Apple. Don't turn into the greedy consumer electronics company that Apple-haters say you are. Don't sacrifice the ecosystem and user experience just to make more money in the short-term.

Customers like me are loyal to you for a reason. Please don't fuck it up.

Tech I Couldn't Live Without in 2013

As part of my annual tradition, here is a list of my favorite apps, services, and tech products that I used throughout 2013.

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Tech I Couldn't Live Without in 2012

  • Mac mini with 1TB Fusion Drive — For a $1,100 Mac, this baby is FAST. It gives me all the performance I need to open large Photoshop files while coding sites, and plenty of space for my massive iPhoto library.

  • iPhone 4S — My iPhone is my communications hub where all of my notifications are pushed to. And the outstanding 8 megapixel camera lets me capture precious moments that I want to carry with me for the rest of my life.

  • iPad mini — For a few months, I was iPadless because I sold my first-gen iPad in anticipation of the mini. What happened? I compensated by overusing my 4S, which had a significant affect on battery life. I see my iPad mini as my primary mobile consumption device, and a way to "extend" the battery life of my iPhone.

  • Google — Chrome has the right balance of feature robustness and simplicity. Gmail is still king of email. Google Reader is an absolute must-have (I don't care if bloggers say Twitter is the new RSS). Google Voice development has been extremely stagnant for the past couple years but having web access to all of my text messages has saved my ass countless times.

  • Flipboard for iPad/iPhone — still, by far, the best way to stay up-to-date with Google Reader, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and now Tumblr.

  • Instagram — If I had to give up all social networks except one, I would keep Instagram. It's by far the most personal social network out there because everyone post things that make them happy, unlike Twitter/Facebook where some people only use for passive-aggression, bitching and whining.

  • Tweetbot for iPad — the best Twitter app out there. For me, the killer features are cross-device placeholder syncing (i.e. Tweet Marker) and being able to retweet as a different Twitter account.

  • ProCamera for iPhone — This is my secret weapon for taking great photos. Specifically, I love how I can lock exposure and enable image stabilization with one hand for close-up shots (e.g. food, lol).

  • Facebook — Simply because all of my friends are on it. Most of my friends don't have Twitter so Facebook is still the best way for me to reach everyone in my life.

  • Pinboard — This has become a big part of my consumption workflow. When I find an interesting link on Tweetbot or Chrome, I'll save it to Pinboard, which will push to my Google Reader via RSS to read for later.

  • Instapaper — While Google Reader is my inbox, Instapaper is my "Save for Later" bin where I'll dump long articles that aren't time-sensitive. Recently, it's been filled out with a lot of How To's and Quora posts.

  • Dropbox — I always need a way to share large files across people and devices. Been a loyal user since 2006.

  • Drafts App — This summer, I retired my iOS app experiment, PostMate for iPhone. Drafts shares the same workflow as PostMate for quickly drafting and sharing text, but supports a lot more external apps/services.

  • Backblaze — online backup solution. This thing has saved my ass a few times this year.

  • Bitcasa — infinite online storage. It's still in beta but I've been dumping a TON of stuff on here. I don't put anything mission critical on here because it hasn't earned that much of my trust yet, but for now, I use it to store things like movies, TV shows, etc.

  • Imgur — Tumblr used to be a very important source of entertainment for me but I figured out that 90% of viral posts on Tumblr come from Imgur. Now I just go straight to the source.

Honorable Mentions: ForkLift for Mac, DayOne, Slingbox, Siri, iTunes Match, Skype

Heating Up for 2013: 1Password, Pinterest, App.Net, New Myspace, GitHub

Cooling Down: Tumblr, Trillian, Voxer

Dismissed: Path, because none of my actual close friends are on it.

Betting on iPad mini

This chart by Ryan Jones is the reason why I sold my first-gen iPad yesterday.

Some people still have doubts because Steve Jobs infamously once said that 7" tablets are "dead on arrival." I, on the otherhand, am still betting on the iPad mini because of three reasons:

  • this won't be the first time that Steve Jobs has backtracked on one of his bold statements.
  • the iPad mini can produced cheaply by using the same touchscreen as the iPhone 3GS.
  • the market and business opportunity is there. It wasn't there back then but the success of the Amazon Kindle has proven otherwise.

So I'm calling it now:

Apple is going to reassert its market dominance. It's gonna address that gaping hole under its price umbrella and be the hottest seller this Christmas shopping season. It's going to change the way an entire generation of children will learn in school.

The iPad mini is coming. It's gonna completely suck out all the air from the room and suffocate the competition, just like the iPad mini did to the mp3 player market.

I can't wait.