Tag Archives: Apple

Evasi0n Jailbreak

The simplicity of the evas0in tool finally convinced me to Jailbreak my phone. Get the tool & instructions from here.

Since I have an ageing iPhone 4, resources are precious. I decided to install only those apps/tweaks that would improve user experience & stay away from modifying the themes etc.


NCSettings for Notification Center Toggles, finally a quick way to get to these important settings. Has 18 toggles to choose from, swiping along shows the next set. BlurriedNCBackground to replace Notification Center Linen backdrop with a blurred background.

Brightness can be adjusted right here

Brightness adjusted in Notification Center

 On tapping the brightness button, it brings up the slider to adjust.


MultiStorey adds another row to App Switcher & brings volume slider together with media control


swipe upActivator is another great app. It allows you to use gestures to control your phone [similar to the gestures used on the iPad]. You can bind different gestures to different apps/tasks etc [2/3 fingers, touch/taps/swipes ]

For eg: I set it so that a sliding finger from the bottom onto the screen activates the app switcher , 3-finger tap takes a screenshot,  3 finger pinch closes app & brings me back to the home screen etc.

Changed from default camera to Camera+ using AnyLockApp

Changed from default camera to Camera+ using AnyLockApp

 AnyLockApp allows you to change app launched from the lock screen. Instead of the default camera app I have linked it to Camera+. It can be linked to any app of your choice.

Other apps of note

-SwipeShiftCaret: Move the cursor along text to edit easily with swipes

-Veency: Control phone through your computer.

All this has barely scratched the surface , there is so much more that you can do, its mind boggling!


iPhone 5 is below expectations?

iPhone 5 is out & apparently it is not good at all.

All over you can hear the collective moans that it failed to impress. Frankly,the only bad job Apple did was the with regard to the secrecy. If you follow tech news, pretty much everything was known beforehand. So much for ‘doubling down’ on leaks, it was like a water fountain show out there.

The primary disappointment is with regard to design. It isn’t ‘new’. Well it is a phone, what do you expect? A diamond shape? Transparent display? Flexible phone? If you did, you are in the wrong era. You dont go to a Ferrari showroom expecting to see a Prius inspired design, do you? Yes it looks similar but it still is a stunner.

It is thinner & thinner throughout, no unseemly bulges to make room for camera lens, more battery. And this is the amazing engineering: they have crammed SO much into a device so compact! When you have 4.5+ inch devices, it is easy to get stock components & dump them all in. To make this they had to reduce the component size to fit between those two surfaces just 7.6mm apart:A great camera, LTE radios (with gazzillion bands!), spectacular battery. And it weighs just over 100gms, 40gms less than the previous, smaller phone!

That is why Apple was pushing for microSIMs & the new dock connecter (Lightning), they need every millimeter. Even the camera system & the processor are smaller than its predecesor. Oh & why not adopt microUSB? iPhone dock is not just for charging & data transfer, it does audio & video too with third party speakers/docks etc. MicroUSB cannot carry out video hence they are sticking to their own tech.

Hardware wise everything is top notch. iPhone 4s was fast, had great gaming capabilities & now it is even better. According to the racing demo that was given, the graphics are now console level. A6 will be fast & power efficient.

The camera system has been revamped & made better than iPhone 4s, which itself was spectacular. And as Apple says, it is not about the megapixel count but the image quality. Pretty sure its the best there is. The screen is larger, but the phone is not a behemoth that needs a bag to be carried around. They have managed to improve the battery despite making the screen larger, LTE & a faster processor.

But it is not about specs, it about what you can make the device do with it. It has been 4 years & Android still lags. On Quad core processors.

This was a hardware event but I’ve heard ppl say that iOS is looking boring, dated & that there needs to be change. “Look at how Andoroid is evolving! Jelly Bean looks brilliant” they say. Yes, Android has changed a lot from what it was when it first shipped, it had to! But iOS didnt need to change, it looked & worked beautifully right from v1.0. And you make it like getting something perfect is a bad thing. iOS 6 comes with its slew of improvements & will be here on 19th September. Oh & iPhone 3Gs will be getting it too.

So what has Apple done with the iPhone 5?
Improved:CPU, Graphics, Screen, LTE, Camera, Battery, OS, Design.

“iPhone 5 is shit”
Oh well.

iPad 3 in India

The new iPad [or iPad 3] will be available in India 27th April onwards according to Apple’s Press Release.

Beginning on Friday, April 27, the new iPad will be available in Colombia, Estonia, India, Israel, Latvia, Lithuania, Montenegro, South Africa and Thailand.

This is almost one year since the release of iPad 2. The prices are the same as that of the iPad 2 when it was launched & does not have the insane markup of the iPhone 4s.

The iPad 2 price has been reduced to Rs 24,500 [16GB WiFi] & Rs 32,900 [16 GB 3G+WiFi]. The new iPad will work with EDGE & 3G networks in India, but not 4G as the 4G networks being deployed in India are different from the ones in the US.

Will you be buying?

iPad 3 [Updated]

Name:The next iPad will be called ‘iPad 3’.

Not iPad HD or iPad HD+ or iPad superHD. Apple doesn’t do complicated. When the iPhone resolution was bumped up, Apple chose ‘Retina Display’ & has marketed the hell out of it. Why would it want to dilute this brand? This also sets it apart from the competition.

Home Button: Yes, there will be a home button.

Size/Cheaper Version: iPad 3 will be 9.7 inches, as before.

There will not be a smaller iPad to “compete” with Kindle Fire. The iPad 2 will get cheaper & attempt to snatch Fire’s customers.


  • New processor (A5.5, not A6)
  • 1Gb RAM (for the Retina Display apps)
  • LTE: This is a toughie. 70% No, 30 % Yes. If the iPad 3 was scheduled to be announced in July-August then it would certainly carry LTE. As of now, I dont think so.
  • Battery:Bigger, but will still give 10hrs (That brilliant display will need the juice)
  • Camera: May get bumped up to units used in iPhone 4.
  • Design: Same as before, slightly thicker to accommodate the bigger battery.

UPDATE [8.3.12]:

Spot on about everything except the LTE radio & the name. Apple trolled everybody by dropping the number! Expect the next iPhone to be just ‘iPhone’. In hindsight it makes sense…only the iPhone & iPad had numbers. Macs, iPods are all classified according to generation.1 Gb RAM should be confirmed once iFixit gets its hands on one .

To understand how badass that Retina Display is, click on the image below [via: MacRumors]

You can make a 42″ Full HD [1080p] TV with that resolution. And have 1 million pixels left over. And still get the whopping 10hr battery. For $500. Lemme know when the competition can match that.

Before And After The iPhone

This picture here sums up how big an effect the iPhone has had. The only other device that has done anything like this was the Motorola Razr.


(via: Digeratii)


Doing it first does not matter, doing it right does. That is what Apple has been doing for sometime now with the iPod, iPhone & iPad. It takes the present accepted way of doing it & strips away the complications to make it instinctive, natural.

And it has done it again with Siri. Voice control has gone from being syntax operated conundrum to a conversation with another human. MG Siegler says it best:

In the bigger picture, this is something that Apple seems to understand time and time again that their rivals do not. Technology is an ever-important part of everyones’ lives, but the only way to make it truly accessible to the vast majority of users is to humanize it. That’s Siri. Google, Microsoft, etc — they all fail miserably at doing this.

It is a first that Apple has released something in Beta.Unlike Google, Apple isn’t fond of shipping beta tagged products & it is not going to keep it for long [remember Gmail, was in ‘beta’ for 5 years]. But Siri needs user interaction to make it better. And it will only get better.

It is interesting to see that Apple predicted exactly this, 25 years ago in this video

And today we have it.

Asus photocopies Apple

You’d be thinking this is the MacBook Air:

Actually, this is.

But don’t be too hard on yourself, it is easy to mix up the two: The same wedge shape, the same material, the same ports, located similarly.

I wonder how much it cost Asus to get the  logo removed from the lid…

iPhone 4S Preliminary Benchmarks

Amazing results on benchmarking the iPhone 4S. Just goes to show its not just the hardware that makes a killer device, you need a great software backing it up. The iOS 5 coupled with the A5 processor is killing the competition. iPhone 4S underclocked at 800 Mhz, but still manages to beat 1Ghz dual core processors installed in the Android tablets! iPhone 4 has seen significant improvements on iOS 5 too.

The under clocking makes helps in the power management as well as keeping the device cool. The heavy legwork is done by the software and it doesn’t disappoint. No wonder Apple was actually able to improve the battery life, albeit only by 1 hour, even though the performance is off the charts.


The iPad also uses the same A5 chip as the iPhone 4S, but not underclocked. Makes sense, given it larger battery & form factor.


For more details, visit AnandTech

Why Steve Jobs is a Big Deal for me.

A lot has been written on Steve Jobs passing, there has been adulation & criticism. And then there are people who do not understand why his death is being made into such a big deal.

You are absolutely right in saying he was a businessman running a company & making a profit out of it. Yes, we helped him become a billionaire by buying what he was selling. Yes, he sells products not a lifestyle. And he was only doing what a CEO must do for his company.

Nothing you say is factually wrong.

But I do not adore the man just because I have an iPhone [and an iPod and a MacBook]. I feel what I feel because of what he achieved in his short life [and these ‘products’ are his achievements too]. He is a role model. I hope for your sake you too have a role model. I was lucky to have one who I could see in action, not just hear about & wonder what he was like. It was a story of man who through his grit & determination built Apple, twice, along with another behemoth, Pixar.  And I, like so many others want to know, to understand & if possible try to follow in his principles. Granted I became interested in him with the purchase of my first Apple product, but did you know of Abdul Kalam [another role model by the way] before he was the President of India? Yes it could have been just another gadget, just like Mr.Kalam was just another president. But something inside me was hooked, I wanted to know more. So I began looking him up, read books about him, the history, opinion columns from the early years, watched his interviews, & I felt a little closer, understood a bit more. And this is true for both Steve Jobs & Abdul Kalam.

Steve’s products are a tool. But if a tool can help you do any work more efficiently & be a pleasure to use, you use it all the more. That is what his products did for me and that is why I am saddened by the loss. It may not have been the same for you, & you do not feel anything which is perfectly fine. But do not belittle him or his memory.

So while you go on wondering what the big deal is & keep using the machine he created [along with Steve Woz], I will go ahead and mourn the loss of a great man.

How the love affair between Apple & Me started

Most people think I became a fan of Apple after getting the MacBook & the release of the iPhone. Well it began way before that, when I saw the first Apple product: the iPod nano. And it was love at first sight. The rest as they say is history.

Here is the blog post from June 2006. [I had no concept of unboxing of gadgets then, but it was all so beautiful that I HAD to document it.]

Warning: This was one of the first posts ever on the internet. I had just discovered blogging. The tone & language is that of a n00b 🙂

Hey, guys Mamu has brought an iPod Nano [black] for dad.

Earlier I thought that I wouldn’t need it as I already have a music player in my Nokia 7710. But when I saw it I was bowled over.

Its black, razor thin, has a colour display, & I’m in love with it’s swivel wheel. It has only 2 GB memory, but it’s good enough. [specs.-3.5X1.5X.27 inches, any smaller it would be too awkward to use]

Man now I dearly wished that I had not told Mamu that I did not want it. It’s colour, & slimness is extremely appealing [I didn’t know that nano was that slim, thought that iPods were quite thick & a bit bulky].

The sound quality is fantabulous with an ace equalizer, sorting in form of playlists, albums, artists, genres, composers. Yaar, I hope dad gives it to me [he already has an MP3 player 512 MB].

iCloud Dilemmas

Apple has demoed iCloud this WWDC & it promises to add many in-demand features. Although it seems Godsend for a person with multiple iOS devices which he uses for himself ONLY, if the devices are used by multiple persons it would a bit of a trouble.

Consider my Uncle & his family. They own a total of 5 iOS devices: 4 iPhones [1 per person] + 1 iPad. Also there are two Macs in the house. All the purchasing of songs/apps/TV shows done through the iTunes Store is handled through his Apple ID.

How will iCloud handle syncing across multiple iOS devices linked to a single Apple ID?

  • If he downloaded an app on his iPhone it would also sync to all the other iOS devices, even if the other ppl linked to the account do not want the app [his kids would not want a medical app & he would not want the FML app 😉 ]
  • The photostream:Will all the photos be synced? I’m not sure the kids would want the parents to see all the photos they take!
  • Ditto for iMessage. Also will it work over EDGE? The Apple page mentions only 3G…
  • About the email service provided under iCloud:How many accounts will be allowed under one Apple ID? If it is only one then it’s kinda sucky.

I hope Apple gives the option of having multiple email accounts for one Apple ID/iCloud & let the users link their devices with THAT email for a particular Apple ID. The sync should be handled with respect to the individual accounts so that the data of each user is private & not broadcast all over the family.

I guess we will know in the Fall.

[Image Source:Apple]

Apple & Google

Google has beaten Apple.
Android has defeated iOS.

That is the general consensus, atleast amongst the public. The Windows-Mac analogies are being bandied about & the iPhone has been declared “dead in the water“.

This post is to put things in some perspective.

Whatever the proclamations be, one thing is clear: Android was going to beat iOS in terms of marketshare. It was inevitable, with the number of handset manufacturers that are backing Android and offering a variety of price points. Android is a good OS, especially if you compare it to the late-symbian & the only worthy competitor to iOS. But marketshare does not equal profit. Google does not earn by licensing Android (as opposed to Microsoft & Windows) but via search & ads they push through it. It is the mobile phone companies that gain from the free nature of Android. You’d think they would be crushing Apple with their onslaught but there is a different story unfolding. Out of all the smartphones sold in Q1 of 2011, iPhone was at 5%(overall market share of the iPhone is approx. 23% of the smartphones) but it hogged a massive 55% of the revenue. Android activations may be 300 million but that split into the handset manufacturers (HTC, Samsung, Sony Ericsson etc) does not supersede Apple. And again Google is not earning from these licenses.
Even with the decrease in marketshare, the profits continue to pour in.  & has $65.8 billion in cash reserve.If it wanted, Apple could buy Google & still be left with $26 billion!! Also it has displaced MicroSoft as the most valuable tech company in the world, in every financial aspect (Market Cap, Revenue & Profits)

So there is a long way to go before Apple or its products are “defeated”

iOS vs Android has always been a showdown between a closed & an open system.
Open has its advantages, to those who know how to work it. Apple’s (almost) fiendish control results in a good user experience both, on the Mac as well as its iOS devices. Google allowing a free run with Android has had the same result as leaving kindergarten kids unattended:Chaos.
So many kinds of hardware, running many different versions of the OS.

  • Software & Hardware is very well integrated for iOS devices
  • No fake/malicious apps on its app store, unlike those in the Android marketplace
  • Apps look & feel awesome. A number of apps are available on both Android & iOS, the iOS version is usually more snazzier & easy to use.

  • No fragmentation. iOS runs on iPhone, iPad & iPod touch. Developers need to develop for only two screen sizes (ofcourse iPhone apps scale to iPad, but it’s not appealing). Android has so many handsets & tablets that all apps cannot be guaranteed to fit properly & many a times, not run at all.
  • You now need antivirus for Android.
  • Apple’s product refresh cycle is fixed, they update yearly. So you can enjoy having the latest for a year. Android phones become outdated within the month.
  • Apple kept updating the software of the original iPhone for three years, going from iOS 1.0 to iOS 3.1.3 . The updates stopped only when the hardware was incapable of handling them. With the number Android handsets being churned out, the manufacturers actually have less incentive to push updates. If you are stuck with an older version of the OS, the lure of a new phone is that much more.
  • iOS updates are available simultaneously all around the globe. This is important since any security holes need to be patched as soon as possible. With all the location hoopla, iOS 4.3.3 was available within a week. Whereas many Android phones are still stuck on v2.2 whose security flaws have been exposed & can be easily compromised (2.3 has been out for 5 months now but only 4% phones are running it). Boasting of OTA updates is useless if there are no updates to speak of!! But I guess they should be happy & satisfied that they made it to v2.2, instead of being stuck on v2.1. Or older.
  • With almost all the devices running the latest version of iOS, developers are encouraged to keep updating their apps & they can do so without worrying too much about backward compatibility. On Android they must make sure the app runs on the older versions too.
  • And, it has been the App Store which has generated developers loads of money ( Rovio was rescued from the brink of bankruptcy when it developed & released “Angry Birds” on the App store) The Android Marketplace? Not so much.

Android has its advantages in the form of endless tweaks, but the average Joe does not want to tweak his device. For the same reason he does not have a Linux PC at home

[“A Linux user will spend half his life tweaking.And the other half wondering why the goddamn thing won’t work” -Anonymous ]

Apple & the Post-PC age

Here is something that Steve Jobs said in the iPad 2 presentation:

I’ve said this before, but thought it was worth repeating. It’s in Apple’s DNA that technology alone is not enough. That it’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the result that makes our hearts sing.

And nowhere is that more true than in these post-PC devices. And a lot of folks in this tablet market are rushing in and they’re looking at this as the next PC. The hardware and the software are done by different companies. And they’re talking about speeds and feeds just like they did with PCs. And our experience and every bone in our body says that that is not the right approach to this. That these are post-PC devices that need to be even easier to use than a PC. That need to be even more intuitive than a PC. And where the software and the hardware and the applications need to intertwine in an even more seamless way than they do on a PC.

And we think we’re on the right track with this. We think we have the right architecture not just in silicon, but in the organization to build these kinds of products.

Hardware is a means to an end. But we have made hardware the be all and end all, when it is the user experience that should be the priority. With a PC, you could cram a whole lot of zingy stuff & the performance would correspondingly get better. But with a portable device you cannot throw in anything you feel like. There are other factors to consider: Weight, Battery life, Price, etc.

And these portable devices are the future. We are in the Post-PC age.

The iPad provides its user with the fluid experience & that is all that should matter. This is not an excuse for the iPad to have an inferior spec sheet, with the iPad 2 it is on par with its competitors. But the beauty is that the user experience of the competing tablets equal the first iPad. The iPad with much lower specifications. With its new beefed up innards, 2011 will certainly be the year of the iPad 2

Watch the presentation here, or you can download the podcast from iTunes.

How long before the next ‘fix’?

sdc10890.jpgHave you ever wanted to test the battery strenght of your iPod? Maybe just to put to test Apple’s playtime claims, or just know if it will last you for that 30 hour long trip [yup, I have had to make those….from college all the way back home]. Now I have NOT googled about any of this & it’s just an idea that came to me when I was studying. [You could say I was little distracted].

Anyway, here goes:
What you will be needing: An iPod, a computer running iTunes, the charging cable, headphone/earphone you normally use.

  1. Sync your iPod. Let it charge fully.
  2. Choose a song. Note the song length, in minutes. [say = L]
  3. Check its playcount in iTunes. [ say=p ]
  4. Set the iPod to ‘Repeat One’ in settings. I chose a song that I was going to delete anyway, as this would muck up the playcount. Or you can choose one that is you favorite to push up the count. Or if you are not an attention-to-detail kindda guy/girl, any song will do [ Are you judging me? Hey it’s YOU who is a disorganized klutz!]
  5. Plug in the headphone/earphone, press play & set appropriate volume level. Now don’t just stand there!! Go get some work done, hang out with friends, watch a movie & maybe even sleep. Its going to be a long time till the little bugger croaks…
  6. Once the iPod’s battery is dead. Connect to iTunes & sync.
  7. Note the new playcount. [ say=q ]. Get the difference : d= q-p.
  8. Total Playtime ( i )= L * d. (in minutes)

Now you know the max life of your iPod’s battery. To get a more real life situation you can skip a few songs, change the volume, fiddle a bit to ‘simulate’ general usage etc.

Lame you think? Well there is not much you can do about it, so there!


Best Of The 2000s

Interesting!Worth a read…


Steve Jobs


When Steve Jobs returned to a struggling Apple in 1997, he brought back his original agency, TBWA\Chiat\Day, with specific instructions: Buy us some time. Jobs knew that the iMac could well save the company he’d founded in 1976 (he’d left a decade later, after a management shakeup)—but the new model was 12 months off. Meanwhile, to let the world know Apple was not going away, Jobs needed a rallying cry—something to remind the core following of Apple’s rebel spirit. The result: “Think different.” The effort relaunched the Apple brand, but carried an equally important message: Steve was back. Visionary, iconoclastic and fearless, Steve Jobs the marketer is inseparable from Steve Jobs the personality. His inimitable blend of competitive skill and design savvy hasn’t just saved a fading brand, it’s recast two businesses that used to have nothing to do with computers: music and mobile phones. Over the past decade, Apple’s iPod and iPhone have redefined popular culture, and returned the company to its roots in innovation and just-plain coolness. (Apple’s market share in PCs also jumped from 3.8 to 10 percent.) Along the way, Apple got its advertising groove back as well. Work from TBWA\Media Arts Lab underscored Apple’s positioning as a top-end brand that believes its products are worth the extra money. Jobs knew that people who choose Apple over a cheaper competitor are saying something about themselves: that they, too, think different. —Noreen O’Leary




In many ways, Saturday Night Live‘s 2005 video short “Lazy Sunday” launched the online video boom that’s caused millions of work hours to be lost watching YouTube. Before NBC forced YouTube to take it down in 2006, it generated 5 million hits (a small sum by today’s measure). YouTube helped make it remarkably easy to post video online, and even easier to stream. Plus, clips could suddenly be embedded on any site across the Web. Super syndication—now a core digital media strategy for many content companies—was born. But perhaps more of a landmark moment for YouTube was its influence over consumers’ expectations. Thousands of nobodies started sharing clips via the Web, everything from stupid human tricks to baby’s first steps. YouTube has been vital in ushering in the notion of consumer as mini-media mogul. To boot, film and TV companies are stumbling over each other to secure distribution on the burgeoning platform. The only thing missing, even under owner Google, is a credible revenue stream. One day, that will change. —Mike Shields




In terms of politics and world events, this has been a wild decade, but on the marketing front, one thing has remained constant: Apple’s emotional connection to consumers, who reward it with an almost cult-like loyalty. Though the brand almost petered out in the ’90s, last year consumers told Interbrand that Apple was the thing they couldn’t live without and the one they found most inspiring. Why? Perhaps it’s Apple’s vaguely antiauthoritarian stance (epitomized in its iconic “1984” ad). A true-in-practice focus on relentlessly improving its products also helps. But maybe it comes down to this: Most brands are run by committee, but this one is the embodiment of a living, breathing person. Steve Jobs is Apple in the way that Richard Branson is Virgin. Of course it helps when you’re a brilliant marketer who happens to be the CEO. —Noreen O’Leary




It was mid-October 2001. The country was reeling from the 9/11 attacks, but the folks at Apple sent out their invitations anyway. The event would unveil a new device that HQ had kept under tight wraps. All the invitation said was: “Hint: It’s not a Mac.” And it wasn’t. It was called the iPod—a “personal jukebox” that defines the ’00s the way the Sony Walkman did the ’80s. To date, more than 220 million iPods have been sold worldwide. The success is all the more amazing because Apple didn’t invent the MP3 player—it redefined it. Prior to the iPod launch, the devices on the market were ugly, weak and could barely hold one album. Apple added more capacity, stronger batteries and a space-age case by designer Jonathan Ive to the mix. What really drove it, though, was iTunes, Apple’s music store, which became a de facto standard for digital music. As Apple did its best to close off iTunes to competitors, the company enjoyed a near monopoly for most of the decade. —Robert Klara




Just as Google wasn’t the first search engine, Facebook didn’t invent the social network, but rather improved upon it in such a way that it became the de facto standard. In 2004, when CEO Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook for fellow students at Harvard University, Friendster had been out for about a year. While Facebook was still finding its footing in 2005, MySpace became the largest social networking site. But Zuckerberg kept futzing with Facebook’s design. In 2006, he added a news feed, which let everyone on a network see when others changed their status update or relationship status, an innovation in “micro-blogging” that would spawn Twitter and redefine social networking. That may well have been the secret sauce that eventually brought Facebook to its current 350 million users. Though Facebook’s early attempts at advertising were clumsy (like Beacon, which notified other members when you bought something), marketers saw the value of a friend’s recommendation over straight-up advertising. By decade’s end, Facebook was at the forefront of the evolution of online advertising. —Brian Morrissey






A decade or so ago, surfing the Web for most people didn’t actually involve a whole lot of surfing—unless you count bouncing back and forth between AOL and Yahoo. The search engines that were around at that time (AltaVista, Mamma.com anyone?) were dissatisfying directories at best. Then came the Silicon Valley company with the goofy name launched by two nobodies from Stanford. Sergey Brin and Larry Page surely didn’t realize it when Google launched in 1998, but the two had founded the most powerful direct-response marketing vehicle ever created (people tell Google they want specific stuff and Google delivers ads offering that stuff). Google’s game-changing, pay-per-click ad model helped pull the left-for-dead online advertising business out of the post-Web 1.0 recession. And over the last brutal year, it’s just about the only media company that’s been consistently growing its revenue. Google’s sites now represent the largest single property on the Web, reaching over 164 million monthly unique users (comScore, October 2009). But more importantly, Brin and Page’s algorithm is much more than a media property; Google essentially caused the Internet to realize its true potential. After all, there is no long tail if nobody can actually find it. —Mike Shields


Apple, “Get a Mac”


Apple always diverged from the “speeds and feeds” ads associated with the computer category, but the brand really defined itself with the 2006 launch of TBWA\Media Arts Lab’s “Get a Mac” campaign. That series of 60-plus ads brought some humanity into the equation by turning the machines into live-action cartoons. In so doing, the comic spots offer transparent understanding of the aspirations of its audience and how people identify—and connect emotionally—with technology. The genius is in the casting. The Mac guy, Justin Long, is a younger version of Steve Jobs who is casual and comfortable in his skin. PC, personified by John Hodgman, as a rounder, paler Bill Gates, is a well-meaning geek with all kinds of operating problems. For Apple, the campaign managed the neat trick of making the brand look laid back and cool while it mercilessly skewered its rival. —Barbara Lippert


Larry Page & Sergey Brin


Here’s what really changed about media in the past decade: The fastest growing, most dynamic, disruptive and arguably most important media company of the 2000s produced absolutely no content of its own. Not a single article. No hit series. Google, founded at the end of the prior decade by Larry Page and Sergey Brin while they were working on their Ph.D.s at Stanford, is an engineering endeavor through and through. The company has become the glowing symbol of American entrepreneurship over the past 10 years, and one of the most influential media companies ever. But Rupert Murdoch these guys are not. Essentially, Brin and Page are tech geeks who created an algorithm that makes the vastness of the Internet searchable. They also created a media juggernaut that pulled in nearly $22 billion in 2008, and will likely exceed that number this year despite a brutal recession. Beyond an advertising gold mine, Brin and Page’s creation has also destabilized the balance of power in media. For example, Google’s success (it commands over 60 percent of the search market) sent tech giants Yahoo and Microsoft on a years-long quest that nearly led to a mega merger. It shook up the Web’s traffic patterns, helping users move away from gated portals like AOL while facilitating the growth of independent sites and blogs. Google is both a traffic creator and, to some, content exploiter (just ask newspaper companies). But perhaps more significantly, for a generation of young tech entrepreneurs behind Facebook or Twitter, Brin and Page are the very manifestation of possibility. —Mike Shields


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