@mattbuchanan: Buy it, because you like it as it is now, not because of what you’re promised it will be later.

What a great article by former Gizmodo writer Matt Buchanan!

You might buy a new phone that’s missing something, thinking, “It will get better.” No, it won’t. If I were to tell you one thing about buying technology, it is this: Buy something because you like what it is right now, not because you think it’s going to get better, or that one day it’ll be what you really wanted it to be.

Truer words have never been spoken when it comes to gadgets. Matt goes on to write about all kinds of over-promises, which eventually under-delivered, and he does so without any bias.

4″…

9to5mac posted yesterday, that Apple is in fact testing 4″ iPhones right now:

Right now we know of a few next-generation iPhone candidates in testing. These prototype phones are floating around Apple HQ in thick, locked shells in order to disguise the exterior design to “undisclosed” employees. We know of two next-generation iPhones in testing with a larger display: the iPhone 5,1 and iPhone 5,2. These phones are in the PreEVT stage of development and are codenamed N41AP (5,1) and N42AP (5,2).

and

Both of these phones sport a new, larger display that is 3.999 inches diagonally. Apple will not just increase the size of the display and leave the current resolution, but will actually be adding pixels to the display. The new iPhone display resolution will be 640 x 1136. That’s an extra 176 pixels longer of a display. The screen will be the same 1.9632 inches wide, but will grow to 3.484 inches tall. This new resolution is very close to a 16:9 screen ratio, so this means that 16:9 videos can play full screen at their native aspect ratio.

Daring Fireball’s John Gruber seems to agree, that this is going to happen – which makes it an almost certainty.

What I’ve heard from a couple of little birdies is only that Apple has been noodling with increasing the height of the display, keeping the width and pixel density exactly the same as on the iPhone 4 and 4S. I had not heard an exact pixel number for the new height. 1152 made some sense, but doing some math after reading Weintraub’s report, 1136 makes a lot of sense.

Mathematically this makes sense, but how about UX?

I really hope this isn’t true. 3:2 works really well for iOS devices right now. 16:9, which is the ratio Apple would go to if this turns out to be true, isn’t good for anything but HD video.
How many times do you watch full HD video on your phone? Seriously.
Also keep in mind that lots of content is being shown in 4:3 or other ratios that would still give you those nasty black bars.

I get why you would want more screen real estate on a smartphone. I recently tried a friend’s Galaxy Nexus with it’s 4,3″ screen and it was very nice having a larger screen, but the Nexus also has a wider screen and that makes all the difference. Just stretching the screen, the way it is mentioned in these articles, just doesn’t make sense to me.

I guess most apps wouldn’t be affected too much, but apps that can’t be “stretched” by default, like games, would look horrible. The same goes for books and magazines. I really can’t see Apple doing this to their developers. Maybe the iOS 6 beta, most likely to be introduced during WWDC on June, 11th, will give us some clues as to what Apple is planning.

In the meantime I suggest you read Jesus Diaz’ article at Gizmodo. I fully agree with him, and even though I know that Gruber is well-connected, I call bullshit on a 1136×640 iPhone.

Jamie Condliffe of Gizmodo is an idiot.

Gizmodo’s Jamie Condliffe is a link-baiting idiot.

Check it out, or don’t…

Is the iPad gimped for international users?

If you feel like not clicking, here are the best parts:

The new iPad has garnered its fair share of abuse since launch. But for international users, there’s a bigger concern than crappy charging or a little extra heat: it turns out that it’s virtually impossible to use its LTE capabilities anywhere other than North America.

Except that Apple clearly stated in it’s presentation, and in it’s local pages, that it’s not compatible with 4G/LTE networks internationally.

Covering its back, on the Apple website it does mention that “4G LTE is supported only on AT&T and Verizon networks in the U.S. and on Bell, Rogers, and Telus networks in Canada.” Clearly that’s not enough.

Except it is. Most of us outside the US pride ourselves in being able to read a few lines of text before we spend 479+ Euros.

The issue arises because the frequency bands used by 4G networks differ from country to country—and Apple has clearly decided to make the new iPad a US-centric device.

Except it hasn’t, because most of us know that 4G/LTE is not available where we live, and we can read, and the new iPad supports DC-HSDPA which is twice as fast as regular 3G, besting down- and upload speed of most so-called “4G/LTE” networks in America.

Essentially, anyone outside the US or Canada is paying a premium—in fact, the device costs more in Europe—to subsidize a technology they can’t even use. That sucks. Currently, there seems to be no evidence that Apple is going to rectify the problem.

Except they’re…we’re not. The new iPad costs the same as the iPad 2 did.

You know what really sucks? Yeah, I think you do.

The new iPad is a letdown…according to Joe Brown at Gizmodo….

Over at Gizmodo, Joe Brown reviews the new iPad.

Choice cuts:

It is not worthy of a press conference.

because, like Joe himself says:

yes, the screen is lovely. That A5X processor is a tab-loading, game-rendering beast. Yes, the optional stupid fast LTE connection smokes even my leveled-up home cable connection. And yes: It is pretty.

Got it? Yeah, me neither…

Make no mistake: This is the best tablet any amount of money can buy: the successor to the best tablet money could buy, which was, in turn, the successor to the best tablet money could buy

Ok, but it’s a letdown…

But here’s the thing: This iPad is cruising. It’s still living off its predecessors’ reps and some seriously excellent inherited software. Its design isn’t new, and, in fact, it violates one of Jobs’ Laws by getting thicker instead of thinner. And on the OS side, Apple seems to have stopped innovating. The opportunity for a competitor to crash Apple’s party is now.

Ah, now we’re getting somewhere. Or not.
The new iPad is obviously cruising. Why? Because it’s the top tablet money can buy. And why in the world would Apple change the design? It’s awesome. It’s exactly what a tablet today should look like…
Yes, it’s thicker…less than a millimeter. Is this a compromise? Yeah, to let customers have the 10 hours of use that they expect, with the OS they know – which kinda explains why Apple hasn’t changed any of it radically. That’s not the way Apple rolls.
Which competitor is going to crash Apple’s party you ask? Me too.

Here’s what Joe likes about the new iPad:

Swipe. Tap. Play. Watch. You know how a tablet works. In this case, it’s wonderful. iOS 5.1 is incredibly refined and mature. Touch-events are instantaneous, and everything loads with a dual-core spring in its step. The extra RAM keeps even complicated Web pages at the ready during a multi-tab browsing sesh.

The 2048 x 1536 pixel Retina display is positively lickable, bursting with color and sharpness and saturation that make comics and high-res photographs look impossibly good. Text looks sharper on the new iPad than on any other electronic device;

In terms of glowing electronic displays, there is none better than on this device. Anywhere.

So, he likes pretty much all of it, but it’s a letdown. And here, again, is why:

In our tests, it took up to twice as long to charge new ‘Pad’s 42.5-watt-hour battery—as many as nine hours of plug time.

It seems to me to be pretty reasonable that a device with so many upgrades will use more power and will take a longer time to charge….
When was the last time you weren’t within reach of a power outlet? I thought so…

You know what else kinda sucks? The new iPad gets warm…

Which is totally dangerous, right?

No, it’s not gonna burn you.

Ah ok. Attention: Running your mobile device for prolonged periods of time with intense graphics requirements, makes it hot. Got it.

This is messed up: Apple’s engineers worked some serious magic on the rear-facing “iSight” camera, bumping it up to 5 megapizzles and outfitting it with an infrared filter and side illumination tricks like you’ll find on the iPhone 4S. Congratulations: You have a capable digital camera the size of a magazine. But while the iSighter got all fixed up, the front-facing “Facetime” camera remains VGA. Which is stupid.

So this is filed under “dislikes”. It has an awesome camera, which is cool because it might be the only one you have around while something memorable happens, but it’s still a dislike – even though I seem to remember sites like Gizmodo bitching about the original iPad not having cameras, and the iPad 2 having bad cameras…hmmm…
Also, the FaceTime camera’s resolution is stupid. Unless it’s not, because HD video calls will eat through your data plan even faster, once it’s available…. Maybe Apple thought ahead? No, that couldn’t be the case…

Now for the grand finale:

But the biggest issue with the new iPad is buyer’s remorse. If you own an iPad 2 and buy an iPad 3, you will feel it

Right. All the amazing upgrades will make you feel buyer’s remorse. Because your iPad 2 didn’t fetch 3/4 of it’s original price, making your new iPad only 1/4 of the price Apple’s asking of new-to-the-party-buyers. Much like the iPhone 4S…yeah, what a turd.

Seriously though, I have to ask: Are there two Joe Brown’s at Gizmodo?
The one guy likes all the new and improved stuff the iPad has to offer, and the other one simply can’t find it within himself to not rag on all the new and improved stuff.

If you don’t have a tablet and you want to buy a tablet, buy this tablet. It’s excellent.

Ok.

… there is no reason to upgrade from an iPad 2. It’s simply not that much of a difference. Yes, it’s better brighter faster stronger, but the hard truth of this new iPad is, it’s not very new.

Ok.

Gizmodo’s @brbarrett: What are the other tech companies doing regarding labor in China?

Brian Barrett (@brbarrett) of Gizmodo follows up all the hoopla and outrage Apple caught for the whole China made thing, which I have touched on a while back on February, 15th, with what all the other tech giants are doing in this area.

He’s quoting an article by John Herrman at Buzzfeed’s FWD who did the original legwork.

Choice cuts:

HP: Unfortunately I can’t provide a spokesperson for you at this time.

MS: As we presently have a robust auditing program in place, a deeper engagement with the organization (Fair Labor Association) has not been considered by Microsoft.

HTC: …we approach these issues with the goal of continually pushing ourselves, our suppliers and the industry towards ongoing improvement.

Toshiba: Unfortunately, we are unable to respond to your request.

Samsung, Asus, Sony: …

Right.