Microsoft Surface

1351445821I couldn’t have possibly said this better than Marco Arment did. I went to the Microsoft Store that just opened up and had a very similar experience myself the employees were so eager to show off the device that they could barely answer a simple question without demoing another, unrelated feature.


Letterpress, made by Loren Brichter, of Atebits, maker of Tweetie.
That alone should be enough reason for you to go out and get Letterpress, but if you need more convincing, it is free and it gives Game Center a reason to exist. There is no reason why you shouldn’t try it.

iPad mini

1351037072Apple announced the iPad mini today, as I’m sure you are aware. Pricing starts at $329 for a 16 WiFi-only model. I’m not getting one… yet, and here is why: It does not have a Retina Display. This is likely due to the higher amount of electrical power and processing power needed to drive a high-end display like what can be found on the current iPad. I understand this, but unfortunately, I planned to use an iPad mini almost exclusively for reading (books, The Magazine, Flipboard, Pages documents,) and at this point, my pampered eyes can not stand to look anything that does not have a satisfactory resolution. I will have to get my hands, and more importantly, eyes on an iPad mini before I decide on purchasing one. Because at this point, I am just not sure.

iPad Mini Release Speculation

1350421986Apple has announced that it will hold an iPad Mini press conference on October 23rd. What hasn’t been confirmed is when the device may be made available for purchase. Apple tends to release products on Fridays following an announcement, in this case, the 2nd of November seems like the most likely date considering that the 26th (the first Friday after the rumored announcement) is a mere three days after the 23rd–hardly enough time to launch such a massive product, even for Apple. So, if the device is released on the 2nd of November, it makes sense the pre-orders could start on the Friday after the announcement (the 26th), right in line with what Apple did for the iPhone 5. Those are my predictions based on what Apple has done in the past.

To recap:

Announce: October 23rd

Pre-orders begin: October 26th

Available in Stores: November 2nd


(Update: I was right.)

The Magazine

Matthew Panzarino writing for The Next Web:

I write between 5 and 9 articles a day on average, and many of them have a half-life of a few hours unless someone goes searching for a very specific topic at some point in the future.

This highlights my big takeaway from The Magazine–every article is going to be valuable tomorrow, a week from now, a month from now, and even perhaps several months from now. Kudos to Marco Arment for keeping it simple and cheap.

Thoughts on the iPhone 5

First, this is not a review. If you want to read some 2,000 words, I would direct you to The Verge’s review. They have spent far more time than I have with the device and took several more pictures. I, on the other hand, am simply sharing some simple observations based on my use of the device.


The iPhone 5 feels incredibly thin and light in the hand. It feels like a display phone that has had its internals ripped out–it is that light. The dark, aluminum body blends in with the black glass so well that the transition between the two feels more seamless than on the iPhone 4/4S. I am, however, worried about the aluminum case. In the short time I have had it, it already has a slight nick on it, likely due to the zipper on my jacket.

Hardware Buttons

I have to say, the home and lock buttons feel solid. I have never used an iPhone home button that felt this click-y. This is a great improvement.


The size of the new display is a great size. You can see more content than ever before, making it less likely that you will have to scroll to get at any of your content. The color gamut on the display feels very similar to the Retina Display on the latest iPad (Update: I was right). I suspect that Apple is using similar tech here to increase the color accuracy.


The best back facing camera of any smartphone I have used and, in my opinion the best camera on my current phone except the Nokia 808 PureView. As for the FaceTime camera, I might actually use it now.


The device runs iOS 6, which remains as snappy as ever. There really isn’t much to say here because every iPhone 3GS, 4, and 4S can get the software too.

Hello Lumia 900: On the iPod touch and Shades of Blue

As I am sure you are aware, today Apple announced a new iPhone, some iPods, and a few other nice things. Instead of reminding you about all these great new things, I wanted to point out to you something Alex Arena and I discussed on the first episode of A Good Gadget Show. We noticed how the iPod touch seemed to have the same colors as the cyan Lumia 900. So I did a little investigative journalism and found that, based on marketing photos of these devices I found that the color of these device was very similar. Obviously this isn’t completely accurate, but it goes to show how very similar these devices are in color. I personally think that the cyan Lumia still looks better than the blue iPod touch.

I used Sip to find the average color of each device and as you can see, the two are very similar.

iPod touch color–RGB (74.00, 167.00, 213.00)thinnest_hero1

Lumia Cyan–RGB (88.00, 185.00, 213.00)Nokia900-Stills-Cyan

New Code for Beyond The Code


Welcome to the new Beyond The Code. I have been working hard on a new design for the site recently and today you can see the completely rewritten design. However, the changes go much deeper than the design of the site. Beyond The Code now runs on WordPress instead of Tumblr, marking the fourth time I have changed blogging tools. The theme is a heavily modified version of Melville by Raygun. I also hacked in support for link posts and imported posts from all the way back to December 2010 when I began this blog, something I couldn’t do on Tumblr. Thanks for reading Beyond The Code.


Less is More

Nilay Patel’s tweet sums this up nicely. Motorola should have announced one phone instead of three that consumers will inevitably be confused by. There is a reason Apple is only going to be introducing one new iPhone and not three separate phones.

Motorola just announced three phones when they should have announced one.