technology

It’s fascinating to read tech pundits around the web rationalize their cognitive dissonance in declaring the iPhone’s 3.5-inch screen size as perfect once upon a time, backtracking to 4-inches, and now praising something larger.

The most influential opinion on this seems to be Marco Arment, who explained away the logical inconsistency by characterizing phablets in 2011 as mediocre. That Apple fans confused execution with concept, that it required Apple’s flawless execution — possible only today — to reveal the concept’s true value.

It’s an interesting theory…except it’s totally wrong.

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Who says Google Glass are only for glassholes? It might save your life one day.

Stanford Medical School conducted an experiment recently where two groups of Stanford residents were tasked to operate on dummies, only to be faced with unexpected complications. The group wearing Google Glass did better; they kept more focus on the patient because they didn’t have to look away to check vitals.

As one doctor who’ve experimented with using Google Glass in surgery said:

Being able to see your laparoscopic images when you’re operating face to face instead of looking across the room at a projection screen is just mind-bogglingly fantastic.

Using Glass in the operating room has other benefits, like enabling students and other doctors to log-in and learn. The operating doctor can also use it to consult with colleagues on thorny complications during a procedure.

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Reviews are in from all over the web as Apple launches the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus today. The verdict? The best iPhone yet. Instead of yet another meta review about the new iPhone, which are everywhere already, let’s do something more fun: review the reviewers.

I tend to like two types of reviews: ones that focus on the phone’s impact on the reviewer’s personal life, and others that go in-depth and test everything to the nth degree. Rarely can a review do both. I don’t like reviews that lack analysis and are glorified spec sheets. Or reviews that couch everything, ready to duck criticism — reviewers should have a strong point of view. With so many publications out there today covering gadgets, it’s essential that reviews entertain while they educate. Videos help too.

Here are my top 5 favorite, pre-launch reviews for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

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If anyone can bring mobile payments to the mainstream, it’s Apple. Sort of. Apple will lead the way, but given Android was 85% of phones shipped last quarter, Google must follow suit for mobile payments to be truly mainstream. Fortunately, if Apple’s execution works, it will be a simple matter for Google to clone.

The basics of Apple Pay: you scan your credit cards into the iPhone 6 — the phone encrypts the card’s data so nobody can obtain its details — and you then pay via NFC with the phone or Apple Watch at merchants. Touch ID is used to authenticate. This will work at all standard NFC terminals, which is slowly becoming more prevalent.

As you can see, Apple is an enabler, not a disruptor. Apple Pay makes it easier to use the credit cards you already have. This keeps the banks and credit card companies happy because they remain front and center, as opposed to say, Square, which cuts banks out of the value chain.

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In just 24 hours, Apple will hold their much anticipated event in which they are expected to announce the iPhone 6 and iWatch. I’ll be right there watching the live stream and will post about it. It’s going to be an exciting day. I’m excited.

But.

What I don’t get is the endless amount of coverage and last minute speculation. And from respected publications too. Going by just a selection of Techmeme headlines the past 48 hours:

“iPhone and ‘iWatch’ NFC payments to use tokenization technology, preferred by banks for its security benefits.”

“5.5-inch iPhone 6 may run landscape apps with more productive iPad-like interface.”

“What to expect from Apple’s September 9th event: new iPhones, wearables, iOS8, more.”

“Apple’s wearable will come with an App store; Facebook and several other big developers already have access to a pre-release SDK.”

May run. Sources say this. What to expect. Yadda yadda.

Really guys??

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Motorola is on a roll. It started last year with the Moto G, the company’s most successful phone ever. I owned one and can vouch for its excellent value. The flagship this year, the new Moto X, has been described by The Verge as possibly “the best Android phone ever made.”

The latest triumph is the Moto 360, which David Pierce says “is the smartwatch [he's] been waiting for.” It’s already sold out online. As I wrote before, I’m excited about the Moto 360. This is the smartwatch I intend to buy, though I’m still waiting to see what comes out of Cupertino.

The Moto X and Moto 360 are excellent in an expected way. What I’m surprised to be excited about though is the Moto Hint, which just might start a whole new product category and be the future of how we interact with devices.

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Some time ago, we wrote the following about the upcoming ecosystem war, which will be delineated by display size:

At this screen size, productivity is possible and most consumers will want to do some work with such a device. I’m seeing more people purchase keyboard covers for their iPads; and of course, 2-in-1 PCs address this segment as well. Going forward, no device in this [10- to 13-inch display size ] category will be purely about consumption or purely about work — consumers will expect to do both on a device this size. That is why Google acquired QuickOffice; Apple is rumored to debut a 12-inch iPad Pro soon; and why Microsoft is desperately courting developers to create for consumers.

Apple and Google seem to agree. With tablet sales leveling off; the 12.9-inch iPad Pro expected to launch soon; and Google and HTC developing a keyboard cover for the new, 9-inch Nexus; Apple and Google are moving into Microsoft’s traditional stronghold of devices designed for work.

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