Scuff marked iPhone 5 deceptively promo as “finely crafted watch” precision?

Monday, 24 September, 2012

precision you'd expect from a finely crafted watch

iPhone 5 was launched yesterday to the usual Apple products launch frenzy. But already, there have been many iPhone 5 users reported they are having scuff marks right out of the box (brand new).

First of all, I will set the stage by laying out what Apple has claimed in its online marketing and promotional material. And then I will write about one particular Canadian user’s iPhone 5 experiences and what happened to him once he found the “scuff marks” problem and reported it. (note: see set of five scuff marked iPhone 5 photos here plus also posted at end of article) And then I will talk about cases of other users reporting similar problems. At the end, while I am NOT a lawyer I will briefly draw the readers’ attention to Competition Bureau Canada’s online resource “False or Misleading Representations and Deceptive Marketing Practices Under the Competition Act” in case they find they need some help to decide if the Competition Bureau can help.

Apple’s marketing and promotional claims

It is important to note that in Apple’s marketing and promotional page (design) for iPhone 5, Apple is claiming and advertising (emphasis),

“iPhone 5 is made with a level of precision you’d expect from a finely crafted watch - not a smartphone.”

You see, potential iPhone 5 buyers are actually told NOT to expect the level of precision of a smartphone but the of a finely crafted watch! I don’t know about you, but I have yet Read the rest of this entry »


Did Bloomberg distort Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak’s view on Facebook as an investment?

Wednesday, 6 June, 2012

Did Bloomberg distort Apple Co-Founder Mr. Steve Wozniak's view on Facebook as an investment?

Here is an edited version of a request for clarification sent to Bloomberg reporters and editor for the May 13th, 2012 story “Apple Co-Founder Wozniak Would Buy Facebook At Any [Price]“.

*******

To: Bloomberg reporters Ms. Shraysi Tandon & Mr. David Fickling and editor Mr. Michael Tighe [see Bloomberg article for email contacts]
copy: Mr. Steve Wozniak

I was in touch with Apple Co-Founder Mr. Steve Wozniak electronically yesterday [see lengthy exchange in this public post's comments]. And I was very disturbed to hear Mr. Wozniak telling me his view on Facebook “investment” had been distorted by Bloomberg. At the core, Mr. Wozniak told me that he made it clear to Bloomberg’s reporters that any purchase of Facebook shares would be just “ceremonial” (he gave the analogy, like “waiting in line for iPhones“). The following are Mr. Wozniak’s words. Emphasis are added by me to draw your attention.

if I bought Facebook shares (it wasn’t possible due to my schedule) it would not be as an investor but rather ceremonial, like waiting in line for iPhones. But that got missed by a lot of people. I’m very sorry if they duped you.

This is in direct contrary to the video excerpt Bloomberg decided to include. Here is a transcript of the broadcasted video exchange between Bloomberg reporter Ms. Tandon and Mr. Wozniak re investing in Facebook (~00:22 to 00:37)

Reporter: “Would you invest in Facebook?”
Answer: “I would invest in Facebook. I don’t care what the opening price is. I would, just for good reasons. Especially if was an investor looking to make money.”

Mr. Wozniak also wrote the following. And again, I have added emphasis to draw your attention. [see excerpt from public post's comments]

“I have a great idea. Why don’t you contact the reporter and ask him if, before the interview, I told him how I don’t read financial papers and have never used the iPhone stock price app and that I couldn’t answer financial questions. He was a very good tech reporter but asked that question at the end. It was a trick and a setup, as he’d heard my explanation an hour before during my speech. I think this may have been in Singapore. You have to ask how ethical that was. He knew the truth but set it up in a way that would deceive you. And it was my intent at that time to buy Facebook stock, but not as an investment, and the reporter knew that well. I had told him that my wife and I don’t trade stocks and all we have is Apple and Fusion-io. So he knew the truth but published otherwise. Sorry, but at the end of a tired day one word may have been wrong (invest instead of buy) but 2 people, myself and the reporter, knew it was not an investment. I doubt I used the word “investment” since it’s a word not in my vocabulary. I have never in my life invested in stock. Please contact the reporter to verify this and let him know what you think. And ask him not to do it to the next “nice” guy.”

I personally don’t know Mr. Wozniak and had only got in touch with him yesterday. Mr. Michael Tighe, as the Bloomberg editor in charge of this article, can you please confirm with the Bloomberg reporters if Mr. Wozniak’s view got distorted seriously. At times I am a blunt reporter and based on Bloomberg’s original report, I had written,

“I love +Steve Wozniak for his tech but his investment “advice” was worst than idiotic.”

To me, Bloomberg’s reputation is on the line here. Distorting a “ceremonial” purchase of Facebook stocks and turning it into a story with title “Apple Co-Founder Wozniak Would Buy Facebook At Any [Price]” is a serious journalist blunder at least or an inexcusably unethical behaviour at worst.

Finally, Ms. Shraysi Tandon, Mr. David Fickling, and Mr. Michael Tighe, I hope if there was a mistake, Bloomberg will do the honourable thing and issue a formal correction and apologize. Since you are all professional journalists, I don’t need to remind why we in the business of reporting will all remember Jayson Blair (former reporter with New York Times) or Stephen Glass (former reporter with The New Republic) for a very long time to come.

Please kindly recheck the source and basis of your story and issue a correction and apology if a mistake was made. Please let me know an error was indeed made, I would like to promptly issue my apology to Mr. Wozniak in saying his “investment “advice” was worst than idiotic” based on Bloomberg’s May 13th report.

Best,
Kempton

Kempton Lam
B.Sc. MBA
mobile: 403.xxx.xxxx
freelance TV reporter, commentator & blogger

P.S. Cross posted onto examiner.com. I am hoping to hear from Bloomberg really soon to set the record straight.


Steve Jobs biography review/”best of” – Think Different, Jobs as iCEO

Wednesday, 26 October, 2011

I am adding “Chapter 26 Think Different, Jobs as iCEO” to my Steve Jobs biography review/”best of” series.

Think Different has a very special place in my heart. I wrote this many years ago,

“Here’s to the crazy ones”,
a timeless Apple Computer advertisement that showcases
the core DNA of ideas Revolutionaries.
We aspire to Think Different

This chapter now completes my knowledge of the back story re the creation of the Think Different campaign. For this alone is probably worth the price of the book for me as I’ve spent many hours (without success) to find out the info in this chapter.

See is my personal “best of” in the “Think Different, Jobs as iCEO” chapter (click to read the high res capture).

Steve Jobs biography review/best of - Pix 03 - Think Different

To me, this excerpt in the Think Different chapter is very telling in Jobs’ thinking (emphasis added),

Jobs couldn’t decide whether to use the version with his voice or to stick with Dreyfuss. [...] When morning came, Jobs called and told them to use the Dreyfuss version. “If we use my voice, when people find out they will say it’s about me,” he told Clow. “It’s not. It’s about Apple.”

Steve Jobs narrates The Crazy Ones

Richard Dreyfuss narrates The Crazy Ones

Walter Isaacson talks about “The Leadership of Steve Jobs


Steve Jobs biography review/”best of” – Design Principles, The Studio of Jobs and Ive

Wednesday, 26 October, 2011

I am adding “Chapter 25 Design Principles, The Studio of Jobs and Ive”  to my Steve Jobs biography review/”best of” series.

Design has always interested me, so I actually looked up the Jony Ive section and jumped to this chapter first after I read the Introduction chapter.

See is my personal “best of” in the “Design Principles, The Studio of Jobs and Ive” chapter (click to read the high res capture).

Steve Jobs biography review/best of - Pix 02 - Design Principles

To me, this excerpt in the Design chapter is extremely telling (emphasis added),

They [Jobs and Ive] began to have lunch together regularly, and Jobs would end his day by dropping by Ive’s design studio for a chat. “Jony had a special status,” said Laurene Powell. “He would come by our house, and our families became close. Steve is never intentionally wounding to him. Most people in Steve’s life are replaceable. But not Jony.

Walter Isaacson talks about “Steve Jobs’ Innovation


Steve Jobs biography review/”best of”

Wednesday, 26 October, 2011

I admire Steve Jobs and have bought many Apple products over the years but I am not an Apple “fan boy” as I removed Apple from my list of admired companies last year.

Steve Jobs biography - Pix 01 - Start

But I still eagerly picked up a copy of Steve Jobs (biography) yesterday so that I can learn from it. I think Steve Jobs is an important book that it should be made required reading for all serious and self-respecting competitors of Apple. There are many good insights that entrepreneurs and business executives can learn from Apple and Jobs. It will be foolish to think we can replicate and copy Jobs but it will be stupid to not to try to understand, to learn, and may be to be inspired.

In this post, I’m doing a review/”best of” Steve Jobs similar to my extensive review/”best of” The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life). I will start the review/”best of” with the chapters that intrigue me the most.

*******

Here is my personal “best of” in the introduction chapter (click to read the high res capture). I will include links to other chapter’s entries (some with video clips, etc) to this post later.

Here is an excerpt from the introduction chapter (emphasis added),

‘She [Laurene Powell, Steve Jobs' wife] is one of the smartest and most grounded people I have ever met. ‘There are parts of his life and personality that are extremely messy, and that’s the truth,” she told me early on. “You shouldn’t whitewash it. He’s good at spin, but he also has a remarkable story, and I’d like to see that it’s all told truthfully.”Read the rest of this entry »


Goodbye Steve – Thanks for the Apple computers

Thursday, 6 October, 2011

Goodbye Steve. Even we disagreed in a few things, but I have fond memories of my Apple computers and I’m happy that I never have to buy a PC for home use.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_II_series#Apple_II (started with a tape recorder and later installed a 128K Ram disk)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mac_Portable
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macintosh_Quadra_660AV
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TiBook#Titanium_PowerBook_G4
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_Mac_G5
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MacBook_Pro


Goodbye Steve Jobs (1955 – 2011)

Wednesday, 5 October, 2011

Steve Jobs (1955 - 2011)

Goodbye Steve.

Here is an excerpt from my favourite 2005 Steve’s speech (text),

When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

[...] Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs

News media reports: CBCNYTReutersCNNCNet, Bloomberg, The Guardian, THR.

Oct 30, 2011 Update:

* THR, “Steve Jobs’ Sister Recalls the Apple Co-Founder’s Final Words

Mona Simpson, Steve Jobs‘ sister, gave a moving eulogy for the Apple co-founder at the memorial service held on Oct. 16 at the Memorial Church of Stanford University, which the New York Times posted in full.”

Oct 24, 2011 Update:

Sir James Dyson: My ‘Apple Moment’

Steve Jobs, part 1 – 60 Minutes – CBS News

Steve Jobs, part 2 – 60 Minutes – CBS News

Nov 2, 2011 Update:

* Kevin Roberts, “Absence Defines Presence

Jan 27, 2012 Update:

* The Telegraph, “Bill Gates: ‘I wrote Steve Jobs a letter as he was dying. He kept it by his bed’” [HT Apple Insider]

“The atmosphere changed in 2007 when Gates left Microsoft to set up the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation with his wife. “Steve and I did an event together, and he couldn’t have been nicer…I got a fair bit of time with him in his last year. Some months before Jobs died, Gates paid him a long visit. “We spent literally hours reminiscing and talking about the future.” Later, with his old adversary’s death imminent, he wrote to him. “I told Steve about how he should feel great about what he had done and the company he had built. I wrote about his kids, whom I had got to know.”

That last gesture was not, he says, conciliatory. “There was no peace to make. We were not at war. We made great products, and competition was always a positive thing. There was no [cause for] forgiveness.” After Jobs’s death, Gates received a phone call from his wife, Laurene. “She said; ‘Look, this biography really doesn’t paint a picture of the mutual respect you had.’ And she said he’d appreciated my letter and kept it by his bed.””


The Great Mobile Patent War – Are your popcorn ready?

Thursday, 8 September, 2011

Bloomberg, Sept 7, 2011, “Google Hands HTC Patents to Use Against Apple

“HTC Corp. (2498), Asia’s second-biggest smartphone maker, is using nine patents bought from Google Inc. (GOOG) last week to pursue new infringement claims against Apple Inc.

Google had taken ownership of the patents less than a year ago, with four of the patents originating from Motorola Inc., three from Openwave Systems Inc. and two from Palm Inc., according to U.S. Patent and Trademark Office records. Jim Prosser, a spokesman for Mountain View, California-based Google, wouldn’t discuss reasons for the nine transfers to HTC.

HTC now has more ammunition in its fight to fend off multiple patent-infringement claims lodged by Apple that contend phones running Google’s Android operating system copy the iPhone. Google’s involvement in aiding HTC represents a new front in an industrywide dispute over smartphone technology that has also ensnared Android customers Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc., Barnes & Noble Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co.”

From ZDNet, Sept 8, 2011, “Mobile patent litigation: A game with too many playing cards – Summary: Patent litigation in the mobile space is out of control. It has become a game with too many playing cards for anyone to win.

From Fortune, Sept 8, 2011 “Google gets its hands dirty – Android’s purveyor crossed a line when it sold arms to be used against Apple

P.S. I tried, without success I have to say, to get a blog friend to share his insight re this patent war, he wisely declined and told me it would be more fun to watch from the sidelines!


“New” Weapon in Apple-Samsung Patent War – Stanley Kubrick’s 2001

Thursday, 25 August, 2011

Over the years, I have actually tagged quite a few of my articles with the keyword “patent” and I am no fan of patent war. So I am happy to read “Samsung says Apple lifted iPad from Kubrick’s 2001“. Apparently Samsung is trying to use Stanley Kubrick‘s 2001, in particular the following YouTube video as an example of prior art!


Is Apple iAd another strategic blunder?

Thursday, 7 July, 2011

Along with Apple’s Final Cut Pro X mess, I wonder if iAd is another strategic blunder from the Apple’s C-Suite. Here is a brief excerpt from Bloomberg “Apple’s IAd Mobile Business Is Said to Trim Prices as Advertisers Defect” (emphasis added),

“Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s iAd mobile-advertising business has cut rates by as much as 70 percent as some marquee clients are using rival services, two people with knowledge of the matter said, signaling the company is struggling to parlay its technology leadership into success in the ad industry.

When Apple rolled out iAd a year ago, companies such as Citigroup Inc. (C) and J.C. Penney Co. were being charged $1 million or more to run ad campaigns. Today those brands aren’t using iAd, and Apple is offering packages for as little as $300,000, said the people, who asked not to be named because the rates are private.

Even with lower prices, some advertising agencies are balking at iAd’s cost, especially because the promotions only reach Apple users. They’re turning instead to Google Inc. (GOOG)’s AdMob, Millennial Media and Greystripe, which serve a range of devices. That means Apple risks losing ground in a market that will generate $2.5 billion by 2014, according to EMarketer Inc.

“Apple’s closed ecosystem may have been interesting in the short run for advertisers, but in the long run they priced themselves out,” said Thom Kennon, senior vice president of strategy for the Young & Rubicam ad agency in New York.”


Business Strategy: Apple, with its Final Cut Pro X, lets Adobe & Avid refight their Battles of Waterloo #fail

Friday, 1 July, 2011

Apple Adobe Avid refight Battles of Waterloo - pix 1

People don’t usually win by betting against Apple as Apple has shown the world so many great products in recent years. But I am going to join a critical Oscar editor and take my chance and bet my $1 against Apple. I say Apple may have materially damaged its Final Cut Pro brand/lovemark by giving Adobe and Avid some meaningful chances into retake some of the long lost market share. Assuming Adobe and Avid have good products and execute their plans well.

In fact, I am willing to go out on a limb and say Apple is giving “losers” Adobe and Avid new chances to refight their Battles of Waterloo in the field of video editing software. In the battlefield, your opponents are usually not too kind in letting you fight again and learn from your previous mistakes.

I think Apple has very much underestimated the influence of professional editors on prosumers and new beginning editors. For me, I remember years ago one of the reasons I took Final Cut Pro seriously and bought into it was because of FCP was being highly regarded and used by the professionals.

OK, NBA players have been locked out, but imagine if a brand of basketball shoes have been founded to restrict certain shots/moves by NBA players thus making them unable play their best games, will you still buy the shoes?

As my friend like to say, the following is my brand of poison/observations. Readers beware.

1) Adobe SWITCH Campaign

Apple Adobe Avid refight Battles of Waterloo - pix 2

Adobe is smart and quick to launch a Premiere SWITCH campaign (note: press release here50% off Production Premium or Adobe Premiere Pro “if you own Apple Final Cut Pro or Avid Media Composer with offer code SWITCH. Offer ends September 30, 2011″) making its Production Premium software costing $850 and Adobe Premiere Pro software costing $400 respectively after discount. [HT Apple Insider] Update: See also PC World review of software.

2) Full function Production Premium group of softwares at significant discount

The Production Premium software has quite a number of useful & powerful softwares and can be a good fit for professional/prosumer FCP7 users. Given Apple‘s willingness to give up its professional users, it makes sense for professional to buy and learn it for risk mitigation/management purpose. Of course, at $850, it is a bit out of reach for people who can only afford the FCPX $299 prices.

3) Adobe Premiere Pro on SWITCH discount at $400. Why $400?

Now moving on to Adobe Premiere Pro, if Adobe is smarter, they should just lower its price to $299 to match the FCPX price for new purchase!

We are talking about business strategy to regain long lost market share! A market that has been dominated by Apple Final Cut Pro for a long time. I don’t understand why Adobe Read the rest of this entry »


Apple to Lodsys: cease and desist from any further threats

Monday, 23 May, 2011

MacWorld, “Full text: Apple Legal’s letter to Lodsys

MacWorld, “Apple to Lodsys: ‘App makers are protected by [our] license

See the previous entry “iOS developers face patent threats” for some background info.


iOS developers face patent threats

Monday, 23 May, 2011

Apple must defend developers against patent threats, says EFF – Public silence from Cupertino highlights vulnerability of iOS developers, says Julie Samuels” Guardian, (emphasis added)

Apple has been publicly silent since the legal threats were first publicised by worried developers earlier in May – likely less a sign of a lack of concern on its part, and more a sign that its lawyers are scrutinising the threats and the patent that forms their basis.

The EFF is not impressed, though. “Apple’s failure to defend these developers is troubling and highlights at least two larger problems: patent trolls and developers’ vulnerability when harassing and counter-productive patent litigation comes around,” writes Samuels, who links this into a wider trend of small developers without the resources to defend a patent infringement lawsuit being targeted.

What’s different here, however, is that Apple provides this functionality to its developers and requires that they use it. Apple itself is protected from liability – Apple took a licence from Lodsys’ predecessor to use this very patent (which was likely part of a larger blanket licence). And the apparently one-sided Apple-developer agreement does not require that Apple indemnify developers from suits based on technology that Apple provides.

The importance of in-app payments to the iOS platform – something likely to be repeated on Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phone in the months ahead – cannot be overstated.


Guardian’s iPad Eyewitness app – Love it!

Saturday, 23 April, 2011

I’ve been using the Guardian’s iPad Eyewitness app for a while and I love it!. Here is a YouTube demo of the app by a photographer. [HT Guardian eyewitness]

Here is another explanation.


iPhones Tracking questions to Steve Jobs from US Senator Al Franken

Thursday, 21 April, 2011

US Senator Al Franken asks the following questions in an letter to Apple CEO Steve Jobs,

1. Why does Apple collect and compile this location data? Why did Apple choose to initiate tracking this data in its iOS 4 operating system?

2. Does Apple collect and compile this location data for laptops?

3. How is this data generated? (GPS, cell tower triangulation, WiFi triangulation, etc.)

4. How frequently is a user’s location recorded? What triggers the creation of a record of someone’s location?

5. How precise is this location data? Can it track a user’s location to 50 meters, 100 meters, etc.?

6. Why is this data not encrypted? What steps will Apple take to encrypt this data?

7. Why were Apple consumers never affirmatively informed of the collection and retention of their location data in this manner? Why did Apple not seek affirmative consent before doing so?

8. Does Apple believe that this conduct is permissible under the terms of its privacy policy? See Apple Privacy Policy at “Location-Based Services” (accessed on April 20, 2011), available at http://www.apple.com/privacy

9. To whom, if anyone, including Apple, has this data been disclosed? When and why were these disclosures made?

[HT Information Week "iPhone Tracking Only Tip Of Security Iceberg"]


iPhone Tracking Discussion – iPhone keeps record of everywhere you go in secret file

Wednesday, 20 April, 2011

iPhone Tracking Discussion

Have a read of “Researchers raise privacy concerns over location tracking in Apple’s iOS 4” for more info. See also: an earlier article here, CNet “Your iPhone’s watching you. Should you care? (FAQ)“.


Video of Final Cut Pro X Intro at SuperMeet (NAB 2011)

Thursday, 14 April, 2011

MacRumors (with extensive 50+ minutes video clip), “Video of Final Cut Pro X Introduction Now Available” [HT @joshjanssen]

Here are the video clips (very clear 720p video available). Clip 1 and clip 2. [HT Les Machineurs for the vids]


NABShow 2011 tidbits of info

Monday, 11 April, 2011

Following is a collection of NAB Show 2011 info that caught my eyes so far. I will add more later.

James Cameron and Vince Pace NAB Show 2011 Opening Keynote

Dejero Demonstrates Live HD Wireless Broadcasting Using Panasonic Toughbook at NAB Show 2011

* Studio Daily, Sony Spotlights F65 4K Camera at NAB (Sony press release)

* Some more hints about the Next Final Cut Pro at 2011 preNAB meetup with video (starts around 3 minutes point) (also see this older news New Apple Final Cut Pro at NAB 2011)

ThunderBolt Products Starting to Roll Out at NAB

* Apple Insider, “New MacBook Pro Thunderbolt port gets attention at NAB 2011

* Quantel, NAB 2011 build up diary from the team in Vegas

* [via @Quantel], Ian Vertovec, DI Colorist at Light Iron, will be on the Quantel booth at #NABShow today & Tuesday at 3pm talking about “The Social Network“. (see also “Five Questions: Ian Vertovec, Colorist, Light Iron Digital”)


Kodak patent moment: $1 billion from Apple & RIM

Saturday, 26 March, 2011

Here is a $1 billion Kodak moment. Kodak has already settled with Samsung and LG for a combined $964 million over the same patent.

* Bloomberg, “Kodak Wins a Round in $1 Billion Apple, RIM Patent Dispute

“The patent covers a feature that previews low-resolution versions of a moving image while recording still images at a high resolution. Higher resolution requires more processing power and storage space. Kodak, which generated $838 million from patents last year, contends the image-preview feature is used in every digital camera and phone with a camera.”

* AP, “Kodak patent complaint against Apple, RIM revived


iPad app review: Jibbigo English to Chinese speech-to-speech translation app

Saturday, 5 March, 2011

iPad app review: Jibbigo English to Chinese translation - Pix 2

What is Jibbigo?

Jibbigo is a “speech-to-speech translation app for your mobile device. You talk in one language, it talks back in the other. [...] No data charges required–just your voice. Jibbigo is available in eight different language pairs on iTunes and the Android Market.

Apple iPad app:  “Jibbigo ” (link to iTune)

Price: US$ 24.99

Star rating: 1.5 out of 5 stars

*** Background ***

Machine translation is a very difficult problem even for desktop/large computers. I see translation in three levels of difficulties, beginning with the hard problem of text-to-text translation, then speech-to-text translation, and the toughest one is speech-to-speech translation (the one Jibbigo tries to do). Why? Because speech-to-speech translation requires,

1) the original (e.g. English/Chinese) human voice be recognized and converted correctly into (English/Chinese) text;

2) the translation of recognized text into target language text (Chinese/English) be performed correctly (very hard in itself); and

3) the translated target text being read out in the target language correctly (should be easier but not always as you will see here).

I’ve spent days and many hours testing and exploring the Jibbigo iPad app (feeling like testing software in one of my previous jobs). The following is my review plus an edited video highlighting some of the tests I’ve conducted.

*** The Good/OK ***

* Translation of simple greetings (“Good morning.”, “Good Afternoon.” etc) were done correctly most of the time.

* Some simple English sentences were picked up and translated to Chinese correctly.

(e.g. “How much?” ==> “多少钱?”; “How about two million five hundred thousand dollars?” was translated to “2500000美元怎样?” (note: ; 2500000 was read as 2 million, 500 thousands); “Do you have orange juice?” ==> “有橙汁吗?”; “I live in Canada.” ==> “我住在加拿大。”)

* Jibbigo allows user to enter names and their Chinese translations. For example, I entered my name Kempton and my name in Chinese. Jibbigo was able to recognize my name “Kempton” in English and translated it to Chinese. Unfortunately, Jibbigo failed to pronounce my Chinese name correctly. More on this in the next section.

* Some simple sentences were translated somewhat correctly.

(e.g. “What time do I need to get up in the morning?” was translated to “我想要什么时候起床?” The translation missed the word “morning” “早晨/早上” and confused “need to” with “想要” (the word for “wish to”).

“Where can I rent a car?” was translated to “我在哪能租车吗?” . This Chinese translation is understandable but a better one may be “我在哪里可以租到车?” since the “吗” at the end is not really necessary. And being the picky me, I think “哪里可以” is stylistically better than “哪能”.

* To “protect” the user :), Jibbigo won’t display or translate profanities. So if you said “F*ck off!”, the Jibbigo will show it detected/picked up “<beep> off.” and actually create a beep and display “<beep>.” instead of doing any Chinese translation!

*** The Bad/Not-so-good ***

* The simple sentence of “Do you have steak?” was translated to the non-sensical “你有排怎么做?” instead of the correct one of “你有牛排吗?”.

“I am having steak for dinner.” was incorrectly translated to “我的牛排吗。”, missing the word/idea of “dinner” and adding the question word “吗” for no good reason. A better translation may be “我的晚餐是牛排。” or  “我吃牛排晚餐。”

* “The machine part number is 123456789.” was translated to “这个机器号码是123456789分。” The last word “分” is not needed and indeed confusing and misleading.

* “How much is your machine?” was badly translated to “你是多少钱?” meaning “How much are YOU?” Jibbigo missed the important word of “machine”. A better translation is “你的机器是多少钱?”

* “I need it next month.” was incorrectly translated to “我需要它。” missing the translation for “next month”. A better translation may be “我下个月需要它。”

* I think this one may be tough but important to crack. Jibbigo has problems with proper nouns. e.g. “China Airlines.” was translated to “中国航空公司。” when the proper Chinese name for this Taiwan-based airline is “中華航空公司”. Imagine, someone at the airport trying to fly “中国航空公司” and being told there is no such airline!

“How about two million Canadian dollars?” was badly translated to “加2500000美元吗?”, misplacing the word “加” (for Canada?) and missing the fact that it is “Canadian dollars” and not US dollars “美元”. The correct translation should be “2500000加元怎样?”

* When the Chinese tester said hello and her Chinese name (which was entered into Jibbigo), the app picked up, “你好。我交换怀孕。” and translated the words to, “Hello. I am exchange.” Jibbigo goofed badly because “交换” and “怀孕” are the words for “exchange” and “pregnant”, very far off from her name!

* “Bee” was translated as “啤酒”, the words for “beer”! The correct Chinese words for bee are “蜜蜂”.

* And for some strange reason, Jibbigo failed to translate the following list of words when they were said individually. “Talk, Speak, Speaking, Love, Month,

*** Software stability problems and errors ***

* When iPad went into sleep/auto-lock mode (I set my iPad to go to sleep in 5 minutes) while Jibbigo is running, it will crash and will fail to record voice/function properly when the iPad is woken up.

*** Concluding comments ***

As a computer geek and someone who wants to see Jibbigo‘s technology working, I am disappointed to find Jibbigo failed to work as advertised. Based on my extensive testing, I cannot recommend Jibbigo. And as one Jibbigo user commented in his review, “I wouldn’t dare use this on a trip for fear of getting laughed at or smacked!“. To be truthful, I don’t think he was being excessively harsh.

I think the Jibbigo English to Chinese translation app development team needs to spend some time in resolving the various translation and stability problems in the current version of the software (Jan 21, 2011, Version 1.12226). I wish the Jibbigo team the best of luck.

iPad app review: Jibbigo English to Chinese translation - Pix 3

iPad app review: Jibbigo English to Chinese translation - Pix 4

iPad app review: Jibbigo English to Chinese translation - Pix 5

P.S. The user can choose one of two language pairs, “English International <==> Chinese” or “English USA/Canada <==> Chinese”, I picked Canadian English.

iPad app review: Jibbigo English to Chinese translation


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 657 other followers

%d bloggers like this: