Tech Trends: Week of 4/18/2011

Admittedly, this post should probably be titled “Apple Trends” – the past week’s been pretty saturated with fruit. So be it.

iPhone location tracking

In a blowup that we’ve all heard about, iOS 4′s been discovered to store a file, consolidated.db, that contains latitude and longitude coordinates of its location history.  The issue’s hit the mainstream news, and a good amount of people are now freaking out that “Apple knows where I am”. It’s important to understand that the file is stored locally, not on Apple’s servers. Maybe I’ve been conditioned by the use of Foursquare and the like, but I don’t see a huge cause for concern. The lack of user consent is a little disconcerting, but as long as users act with responsibility in the security of their device, there shouldn’t be an opportunity for anyone to snatch the file. That means don’t jailbreak, install OpenSSH, and leave the default password.

iPhone 5 (4S) buzz building

It’s been pretty well-circulated that the iPhone 5 won’t be coming until after June, and if Reuters is anywhere near the mark, it looks like September is the magic month. The next-generation phone’s also being rumored to sport an A5 processor; BGR somehow picked up a T-Mobile test device which backs up the theory. Deetz on the naming scheme weren’t given, but I’d hope Apple continues with “iPhone 5″ for the sake of consistency, although my bets are on the rumored “iPhone 4S” based on the history of “3G” and “3GS”. Both are consistent in their own right, though, depending if you compare it to numerical progressions or past devices.

Apple sues Samsung…and vice versa

Apple’s suing Samsung based on allegations that TouchWiz has too many user interface similarities to iOS.  I’ve never used a Samsung device full-time, but I’m not sold on the similarities between the two platforms, especially when a lawsuit’s in play. The whole idea of skinning Android has never been something I’m fond of, but Apple’s taking the wrong approach in granularly comparing color schemes and icons. An OS shouldn’t be defined by textbook UI elements, but by the overall feeling that washes over the user when using the device. In that respect, TouchWiz can’t *touch* iOS; unfortunately, that “overall feeling” is extremely difficult to quantify. So let’s just sue each other.

Phat beats in the cloud

Reuters is at it yet again, claiming that Apple’s positioned to beat Google to market in rolling out a cloud music storage platform. Regardless of internal progress, I doubt Apple will announce anything too soon, even at WWDC. The scenario that makes the most sense to me would be an expansion of their typical September music event to include the unveiling of the iPhone 5/4S in conjunction with the music service. The race to 1.0 probably won’t be as huge of a deal as it’s being made out to be, though – both Apple and Google have a solid base of users, and each platform’s users will end up using the respective service independent of the other.

Thoughts? Nervously looking around and taking a hammer to your iPhone? Supporting Apple or Samsung in the series of lawsuits? Comment away!

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