Sonos shows its laziness when handling legacy products, it later apologizes.

A few days ago, Sonos sent a message to its customers, informing them that certain products people had bought years ago were going to be obsolete and possibly unusable by May 2020.

The notification started an outcry on Twitter and other online platforms and forums. People began sharing their discontent about Sonos’ decision to stop software updates and new features for what they are clarifying now as legacy products.

You see, many people had spent a lot of money in the early days of Sonos by trusting this company and investing in their product. These early-customers felt cheated by a company they supported from the beginning.

Sonos’ message about legacy products:

In May the following products in your system will be classified as legacy and no longer receive software updates and new features. This will affect your listening experience.

Legacy products were introduced between 2005 and 2011 and, given the age of the technology, fo not have enough memory or processing power to sustain future innovation.

Please note that because Sonos is a system, all products operate on the same software. If modern products remain connected to legacy products after May, they also will not receive software updates and new features.

Sonos’ notification to its customers

Essentially, Sonos told some of their most loyal customers that by May of this year, all of their Sonos products (new and old) were going to be practically neglected from upcoming updates and features, rendering potentially useless in the near future.

After a few days of strong and steady complaints and criticism about this decision by Sonos, the company changed the policy and sent an email to its customers (see image below). Then Sonos’s CEO posted an apology letter to their company blog.

Image

The Sonos’ response is fine, but I wish they would have done that from the beginning and save themselves the hate and all the complaints they justifiably received.

But why did they tried to do this to them in the first place? Laziness.

It was evident from the beginning, at least to their customers, that what Sonos’ was about to do wasn’t the result of limitations with the technology, it wasn’t. The original letter sent to customers with Sonos’ products bought between 2005 and 2011 was just the easy way to deal with this situation. 

Let this be another lesson to other companies out there, and let’s hope that in 10 years or so, Tesla doesn’t try to pull a Sonos with their customers.

NY team members welcomes first guests

Should I buy one of the new iPhone 11 smartphones?

The new iPhone 11 is out, and the world has taken notice. This year, Apple released all three phones the same day (iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max), and Everyone took it to Twitter, YouTube, and Podcasts to complain about how this new iPhone isn’t as good as it should have been, to tell us how much of the new capabilities are things that other devices already had, and also to make it a point how expensive they are. And yet, a lot of us can’t wait to get our hands on one of them.

Apple’s new iPhones have something this year that they didn’t have in the past few years; A considerable better camera(s), and much, much better battery life. Also, if you are already an Apple consumer, if you are in their ecosystem, getting a new iPhone with a better battery, and a better camera makes sense… if you do have the money for it.

For current iPhone users

If your iPhone battery is on red by the end of the day, go get the new iPhone.
If you appreciate photography, if you make videos, especially interview or vlog type videos, go get the new iPhone 11 Pro; yes, the one with the 4 cameras.
If the battery life of your current phone is right for you, and the camera takes the photos you like, there isn’t really a need to upgrade to the new iPhone, in my opinion.

For everyone else

There is probably a good reason why you aren’t an iPhone user, you either dislike the hardware, the software, the price, or all three of these things. I understand, people like and prefer different things and switching to any of the new iPhones isn’t going to give you anything that a new smartphone from Samsung or the Google Pixel won’t give you.

However, if you have a Mac, iPad, or iMac, using an iPhone gives you access to some really nice features that you won’t get with the other smartphones. And by the way, these features aren’t limited to the new iPhones, these sweet things are part of the software and will work with any iPhone as long as the software, iOS, is up to date. An example of the apps that make users very happy and productive within the Apple ecosystem is AirDrop (transfer files easily between your devices), Safari (you can view tabs from the other Apple devices), etc.

The good

The new iPhones are fast, very fast, you won’t be disappointed. The new custom-built A13 Bionic chip is as amazing and unique as it sounds. To most of us, it just means that the new iPhone can run the latest and also demanding apps and games. It also means you can do some photo and video processing right from your smartphone. I do prefer to do my photo and video editing using a much larger screen, but that’s just me.

The cameras, let’s talk about the cameras of the new iPhone, specifically, the iPhone 11 Pro. This smartphone, it’s a camera with high-end camera software. On the back, you have 3 new cameras, the ultra-wide camera, the wide camera, and the telephoto camera. That’s right, this new setup would give you a chance and flexibility to take some outstanding photos, and almost under any condition.

The battery last longer, and if you are a heavy iPhone user, you know how important that is. The battery is larger, but it also lasts longer, well done Apple, it’s about time.

The new iPhone 11 starts at $700, which is $50 less than last year’s iPhone XR. The Pro model is $1,000, and the Pro Max is $1,100.

The bad

It’s a good camera, it’s a good smartphone, but in a year or two, you’ll probably change it for a newer one.

The ‘notch’ is still very visible, other smartphones have made good progress making the ‘notch’ less visible, but Apple hasn’t.

The iPhone 11 fingerprint scanner is gone, which means you have to either type your password or use Face ID, which not everyone is happy to do use yet.

The iPhone 11 Pro is heavier than last year’s model, it weighs 188 grams while the iPhone XS was 177 grams, and the Samsung Galaxy S10, it’s just 157 grams.

Remember, if your budgets allow for it, and you are already in the Apple ecosystem, getting a new iPhone is not a bad idea if you appreciate having a much better camera and definitely much better battery life. It’s up to you, and please remember that if you are happy with your current’s phone camera, and your battery is still keeping up with your life then you are probably OK keeping your current phone a bit longer.

What’s New? The waterproof Kindle Paperwhite

Amazon released a new version of its best selling Kindle e-reader – and while it’s very similar to the device that many of us have gotten to know and love, this time it has a great new feature, it’s waterproof.

About a month ago I was very close to buying the Kindle Oasis, and while it is much more expensive than any of the other Kindle e-readers with a price starting at $249.99, the reason I wanted to buy it was that it is waterproof. The idea of being able to read by the pool or while taking a bath without worrying about dropping it in sounds great to me.

What’s new?

The new and less expensive Paperwhite is now waterproof, and with the incremental updates, and the known quality of this e-reader model, this is really a good deal. The new Kindle Paperwhite is available for pre-order now, it will be released on November 7, 2018.

The new Kindle Paperwhite is 10 percent thinner and lighter, it has an additional LED light, and the storage options are 8GB to 32GB. This new Kindle Paperwhite waterproof’s feature has been tested to withstand immersion in 2 meters of fresh water for 60 minutes. Be careful not to drop it in the ocean, I am not sure this device will be able to handle the sea water.

The display is similar to the previous version, a six-inch Paperwhite display with E Ink Carta and built-in light, 300ppi, optimized font technology, 16-level grayscale.

What it doesn’t have

The new Paperwhite Kindle is not Alexa-enabled, and this is excellent news. For a bit, I was worried that Amazon was going to enable Alexa with this new Kindle, but they didn’t, and that is smart. Part of the success of this Kindle has been the fact that it is a single-activity device, and that is perfect. I hope Amazon keeps it like that.

I’ve pre-ordered my new Kindle Paperwhite already, and I can’t wait to take it to a pool nearby or the bathtub and continue reading through my book collection.

You can pre-order your Kindle Paperwhite here.

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“My brother was a remarkable individual on every level. While most knew Paul Allen as a technologist and philanthropist, for us he was a much loved brother and uncle, and an exceptional friend.

Paul’s family and friends were blessed to experience his wit, warmth, his generosity and deep concern. For all the demands on his schedule, there was always time for family and friends. At this time of loss and grief for us – and so many others – we are profoundly grateful for the care and concern he demonstrated every day.” 

 

~ Paul’s sister, Ms. Jody Allen

http://www.vulcan.com/News/Articles/2018/Statement-on-Paul-G-Allen

Commentary: Home devices are becoming less cool and more creepy

Amazon, Google, Apple, and now Facebook are now all pushing for home invasion, they are fighting hard to get conquer the consumer’s home (and possibly your car), and while competition is great for us consumers, not everything about this is good for us.

When Amazon released Echo with the wonderful digital assistant Alexa, I was pretty excited, I bought one, and I’m still pretty happy with it. It took Google and Apple a little bit to respond with their own flavor of a smart speaker/home assistant, but they did. So far so good.

I have to admit, when the Google home device was released, I started to worry about all of this. The Amazon Echo, while creepy sometimes, it’s not entirely aware of my life, it knows what toothpaste I buy and how often but it doesn’t know about my contacts, my email, etc. Also, it’s good to know that Amazon’s primary business model isn’t advertising, and neither is Apple’s.

Now, Google is another story, but I’m still trusting them with my email, and only some of my searches and internet browsing (I’ve switched to Firefox as my primary browser and DuckDuckGo as my primary search engine).

Facebook is where I feel the line has been crossed into creepiness, I just don’t trust the company now, and I am definitely not feeling that bringing Facebook’s eyes and ears into my house is a wise choice. And how can we trust them? They haven’t been playing nice with consumer’s privacy and why would they? Facebook’s business model is advertising, and their success is the result of highly targeted advertising that is only possible by them collecting multiple data points from us, our contacts, and our online (and offline) behavior to create detailed profiles that can be bundled and offered to whoever needs them.

I invite you to read Ben Thompson’s weekly article with the title The Battle for the Home which inspired this brief commentary.