When I initially heard about the Starbucks mobile card test only being expanded to Target stores, I wondered if the reason was because of infrastructure. After all, there are west coast tests of the mobile card in full scale stores.
After trying to use it, I now believe that the choice of Target Starbucks as test locations was due to their lower volume.
I presented my iPhone app mobile card for payment. It took a minute for the cashier to realize what I was doing (how long into the test?)
She was unable to scan the mobile card after a couple of attempts, and then had to make a couple of attempts at manually entering the card before the system would accept it as payment.
Another cashier was confused with what was even going on with my iPhone and the order. At some point, I can imagine that I would have been public enemy #1 if this were a standalone Starbucks at rush hour.
I successfully paid for my drink with the mobile card, but I don't think I ever will do that again, at least not until I see others in line successfully paying in this way.
Really would have liked leaving the protective wrap on it. Touch was very responsive with it on. Speakers were covered, though.
The internal speaker is pretty weak.
Running iPhone apps on the iPad is often worse than running Win 3.1 applications on more recent versions of Windows.
Microsoft Office Outlook Web Access works very nicely.
The USA TODAY free app is a nice quick view of the news.
TWC MAX+ [The Weather Channel app]
iBooks has a wonderful free selection of children's books.
Netflix app streaming is good, minus the whole weak speaker thing.
Tweetdeck runs pretty slowly.
Tweetdeck has search functionality on a per-column basis.
The Amazon Kindle app is beautiful on the iPad
GoToMeeting app makes excellent use of pinch-and-zoom and panning. It's also to nice to have such a meeting session up on an external device and using separate computing resources. [Like having meeting TV].
Epicurious app - I can really see the Epicurious app on the iPad being what all those internet connected kitchen devices were always meant to be.
Closer examination reveals that only 155 members of the public responded to the survey.
One interesting "key finding" that I noted was that whether a problem with the device or the network, 53% blame the device for the issue. If Apple's true intent is to control the quality user experience by keeping the ecosystem closed, this finding supports that strategy. However, it also makes them more legitimately responsible with issues do arise.
Little mention of apps being blamed for the issues
There is no commentary on the quality of the mobile apps themselves being blamed for issues with the phones, but I suspect that a user who has run into a large number of poorly written apps is going to attribute the problems with the apps back to the phone itself. This is unfortunate, because the turnover of applications on a mobile device is much more frequent than on a desktop. When there are a large number of apps available for free or $0.99, the barrier to installation of the app is extremely low.
I, myself, used to download many applications on my PCs, but they were either open source applications from SourceForge or shareware that I had to try and make a conscious decision to pay money for. I doubt that a significant percentage of the PC owners did likewise and I'm pretty sure most of the ones I know that did had malware on their machines as a result of installing something that they really shouldn't have. In contrast, half of iPhone users buy at least an app a month.
With such application development and installation churn comes increased instability, no matter how tightly the ecosystem is controlled.
It seems that the carriers enable Thumbplay to latch onto a user's account without a reasonable opt-in process. The only recourse is for the phone subscriber to request a refund of the charges and formally/explicitly request to opt-out of the service.
This is a sign that your business model is failing. If you're depending on a 30-70% cut of 3rd party billing that your average user either won't notice or won't ask to have canceled, then you have lost sight of how to actually make money by providing a valuable service to the user.
Carriers' days are numbered. Why?
Google Voice - blocked by Apple or AT&T or whomever. The iPhone initially blocked all VOIP applications from using the phone network, with some enabled when connected to wireless (such as Skype). Imagine if you rarely used a voice carrier for voice calls.
...ideas that can be "dangerous" with a little Sci-Fi vision applied:
Mesh Networking - I originally saw this described in the context of OLPC, but I think the real power is if wireless saturation becomes such that wireless carriers are no longer useful in areas where the average household is within wireless range of the next nearest household.
Google Tablet - What if Google's mission was to proliferate its own ad-hoc infrastructure, and the Google Tablet was a means of doing so? Picture this:
Google patents technology which splits the wireless network device into two virtual devices: One for local wireless communication and one for mesh networking.
The phone operating system version of Google Android can tap into the mesh network.
The Google Android phone could then operate without a wireless carrier.
I’d pay to end my AT&T contract, and I’m only two months into it.
I get a small discount on my AT&T/iPhone service w/ unlimited text messages, and I'm looking at a bill for one month that's around $89. In order to get my wife on a plan:
700 minutes - $69.99
2 x $30 iPhone data plan - $60
2 x $20 unlimited texting - $40 (I realize that 1500 messages are only $15 each, but if you run over by 100 msgs, that's $20)
That's $170 per month before all the taxes and fees. If another carrier were to offer service, I'd definitely pay the early termination fee as well, and like the commenter, I'm only about 2 months into the contract.
It was a little difficult to get the compass to respond correctly indoors, but you can see the results of pointing in the direction that the restaurants / businesses are below. The camera image is superimposed with the business that are in the direction that the phone is pointing in: