CNET Tech Review
Apple's Jobsless rate skyrocketsThis week on the CNET Tech Review: a look back at Steve Jobs' career; five items smartphone owners can do without; wake up on the right side of the bed with Night Stand for iPad; and how to clean the cooties out of your keyboard.
-This week on the CNET Tech Review: Steve Jobs calls it quits as CEO of Apple and we take a look at his historic career. Plus, how to keep your keyboards squeaky clean and lighten your load with the help of a smartphone. It's all coming up right now. Hi everyone, I'm Molly Wood and welcome to the CNET Tech Review where we collect our hottest videos of the week and tell you what's good and what's bad in the world of tech plus offer our own unique tech wisdom in the form of the Bottom Line. Actually, we're gonna switch things up a bit this week and start with the bad. It's bad news for Apple fans and employees alike as Steve Jobs has announced that he is stepping down from his position as CEO. Although Jobs is handing the reins over to Apple's COO, Tim Cook, he does intend to stay on as Chairman of the Board. Now, many are left speculating what this means for the future of the company, but let's take a look back at the impact Jobs has had during his career thus far. -We're gonna make some history together today. -Steve Jobs has made history many times and he's changed the way we communicate and are entertained. His vision will continue to define our digital lives for many years to come and the story of his life in technology has played out in three acts. Act one, it's 1977. Jobs and Apple cofounder, Steve Wozniak, introduced the Apple II, the first successful personal computer, but 1984 brought a much bigger milestone, the first personal computer that was really personal. -Today, for the first time ever, I'd like to let Macintosh speak for itself. -Hello, I am Macintosh. It sure is great to get out of that bag. -With a graphical interface, mouse, creative software, and whimsical design, it was a completely different animal from the sterile machines coming from Microsoft and Intel. Just as different was the TV commercial that announced the Mac, one they still talk about in the ad business today and which showed Jobs new technology sells better with a little hype. But, none of that would be enough to hold back the juggernaut of Intel and Microsoft and the difficulties Apple faced in growing the Mac business led to Jobs being shown the door at his own company in 1985. -I was basically fired from Apple when I was 30. That was difficult when it happened, but may be the best thing that ever happened to me. -Act two, shortly after Jobs ouster he founds NeXT to produce a new kind of advanced workstation computer that runs on an object-oriented software architecture, which would become the basis of a dramatically new and better Mac OS years later. Similarly telling was the design of the NeXT machine; stylish, austere, and breaking convention. Sound familiar? In 1986, Jobs also acquired the graphic arts division of Lucasfilm turning it into Pixar, the studio that mainstream animated features and can boast that its films deliver the highest average gross revenue of any studio in the film industry. But in classic form, Act three was Jobs biggest. He retook the helm of a nearly bankrupt Apple and introduced the iMac the following year with what was the first of what we now call a Stevenote. -iMac comes from the marriage of the excitement of internet with the simplicity of Macintosh. -It was the first personal computer designed around the internet. With Bill Gates and Microsoft were to the PC era, Jobs was about to become to the internet and eventually mobile era. -Good morning. We have a lot of incredible stuff to show you today. -His presentation skills and events such as Macworld would become legendary examples of showmanship and star power in industry. -It's really beautiful. This is what it looks like. -Detractors would derive Jobs hype as a reality distortion field, but the iMac worked; and Apple began to turn around. But Jobs' single biggest course change for Apple was not a computer, but the iPod. -What is iPod? I don't have one right here in my pocket, my friend. There it is right there. -Introduced in October 2001. It was small in size, spacious in capacity, and looked good. But more importantly, it diversified Apple away from head on competition with the Wintel computer makers while alluring away their customers when iTunes launched Windows Support in October of 2003. -I'm here to report to you today that this has happened. -Apple began to rewrite the music business, become a major media player, and got its first taste of market dominance. But in terms of financial success, nothing tops the Apple product that was built on the shoulders of the iPod. -Today, Apple is going to reinvent the phone and we are calling it iPhone. -But Jobs and Apple showed an uncanny ability to once again get the formula right, appear the originator, and make a piece of advanced technology seem simple, magical, and fashionable. With that same DNA, the iPad arrived in April 2010. -We would like to show to you today for the first time and we call it the iPad. -And again, legitimize the category that other companies had only nibbled at the edges of for years. -It's so much more intimate than a laptop and it's so much more capable than a smartphone. -Apple has had its share of flops, but they mostly pale compared to its hits; and there were always notes of hubris surround the latter day company seen most in Jobs almost dismissing documented problems with the iPhone 4's antenna. -We think it's affecting a small percentage of users and we think some of that problem is inherent in most every smartphone. -But mostly, Apple since Jobs return has been a culture changer as much as a technology company, one of the biggest success stories in American business and virtually indivisible from the identity of its CEO. -What more could I say? The man's company, personality, and vision changed the world twice over. This is the end of an era. And we now resume our regular programming and take a look at the good. If there's anything we learned since the iPhone came out, it's that there is very little a smartphone can't do. It lets you leave many of your other gadgets at home in fact. Here's Brian Cooley with the Top 5 items that for many people have been replaced by smartphones. -Don't you pity that poor Luddite? I'm sure you know who is still carrying around some dumb flip phone telling you, "I don't need a smartphone. I just wanna make calls." Dumbass. Okay, that's a little harsh, but smartphones aren't really even about being phones anymore. I'm Brian Cooley with the Top 5 things the smartphone replaces, not even including your home phone line based on a survey done in June 2011 by Prosper Mobile Insights. See how many of these ring a bell with you. Number 5 is the mp3 player. 37% of us don't use one of those once we get a smartphone. You see, simple phones were generally crap or nonfunctional as iPods, but smartphones are usually at least okay with their big colored screens, touch interfaces, plenty of and often expandable storage. Oh! And they are connected so they can stream stuff like Pandora, and Spotify, and Last.fm. Now, you may find the smartphone a little too bulky or delicate to sweat all over as your gym music device, but aside from that, you can see why the iPod is rapidly becoming quaint tech. Number 4 is the personal planner. 41.6% of us. Uh, thank you smartphone for jamming a stake in the heart those horrible old Franklin Covey day planners with their bad pleather jackets that match your band tassel loafers. Of course, sinking calendars across various web services to various smartphones can give you a stress-related disease, but at least you won't die clutching a daybook. Number 3 is the digital point and shoot camera. About 44% of us said goodbye. I don't recall the last time I used my point and shoot digital, not even sure where it is to be honest. For many people, there just is no longer a gap between the smartphone on one end of photography and the DSLR on the high end. Smartphones now take high res photos, often HD video. They share the stuff because they're connected. They can GPS stamp things all in one little stealthy device that doesn't say "I'm a tourist." Oh, by the way, if you want a great camera phone, check out my other recent Top 5 best camera phone at top5.cnet.com. Okay. The number 2 thing the smartphone kills is the GPS portable navigation device. 52% of us don't use those once we get a smartphone. Now, there's decent to excellent turn by turn nav in all the recent smartphones that have come out. A lot of folks will object and they'll say "Yeah, too many compromises. The screen size is a little too small. The power usage means I might not be able to make a call. Multitasking can be kind of clumsy." But you know, most of us don't use nav that often, once in a while like I bet you know how to get to work and back. So, GPS nav that is good enough is good enough. Before I take you to the number 1 the smartphone is putting out of business, can you guess what it is? Here are some other things that is knocked off a little further down the list including a disturbing one. 24% of us say we got rid of our computer because we got a smartphone. Let's not go overboard here. Okay, the number 1 thing people say their smartphone put in the box to sell on eBay is their alarm clock, right? I don't even know how to set my alarm clock anymore. Your phone is your appointment, travel, to-do, and home alarm device. Why would you have a separate one on the night stand that does nothing but just wake you up? For more Top 5s like this, go to top5.cnet.com. I'm Brian Cooley. Thanks for watching. -Okay, but if that is the case, how come my purse hasn't gotten any lighter? Uh! Now Brian had some harsh words for folks who prefer a simpler phone just for making calls, but for some people, smartphones may do too much. Maybe grandma just needs a phone with big buttons. It's easy to use. Maybe you don't wanna shatter that glass touchscreen when you're at the gym. Well, luckily, Nicole and Donald have not forgotten about you. -I'm Nicole Lee, senior associate editor for cnet.com, and this is a First Look at the Pantech Breeze III. The Breeze III is essentially a basic flip phone for A&T Wireless. On the front is a simple external display that displays the usual date, time, and caller ID information. Underneath to the external display are 3 LED notifications for incoming messages and so forth. On the side here is the volume rocker. On the other side is the micro USB port and on the back is the 1.3 megapixel camera. Flip the phone up and then you will find a very colorful display. Underneath the display, you do get 3 quick keys that can be used for speed dial or shortcut keys. You do get the usual navigation array that includes shortcuts to the camera function as well as voice command. The overall keypad as you can see here is quite spacious. Each key is quite large and a little bit raised above the surface, so it's easy to text and dial by feel. The Breeze III has 2 different phone menu modes. One is the Breeze or easy mode and the other is advanced mode for savvier users. The Breeze mode as you can see here is pretty simple. All of the menu options are displayed in a list style form factor. The Advanced mode opens up the phone's full list of functions as well as displaying things in a more grit-like fashion. Additions to the Breeze III from the Breeze II is that it also has a new pill reminder application. The Breeze III is perfect for senior citizens, kids, or just cellphone novices in general. The Pantech Breeze III is quite affordable at only around $40 with a 2-year service agreement with AT&T. I'm Nicole Lee. This has been the First Look at the Pantech Breeze III. -Hey, I'm Donald Bell and today we're taking a first look at the Sansa Clip Zip, which is a super compact, super affordable MP3 player from SanDisk that's available in 7 different colors and 2 capacities. It's a 4 gigabyte version that will set you back just $49 on an 8-gigabyte model that runs $69. Now, the basic design of the Sansa Clip hasn't changed a whole lot since the Clip+ we saw last year. You navigate using the direction pad up front. It has a headphone jack and a MicroSD card slot here on the side, power button up on the top, and a volume control and USB port over here. Of course, the main appeal here is the clip on the back, which makes it perfect for working out. The construction is all plastic, but so is just everything else in this price range. As far as features go, you got music playback, FM radio, audio book and podcast support, voice recording and a basic stop watch. The Clip Zip is both Mac and PC compatible; works with MP3, AAC, WMA, FLAC, and even subscription music services like Rhapsody. Battery life is rated about 15 hours. All in all, it's an easy MP3 player to recommend. It's one of the best values you will find under $50 and arguably one of the best under $100. It's not as tiny as Apple's Nano or shuffle, but it's not as likely to get lost or run through the laundry either. So, that's the Sansa Clip Zip, the perfect practically disposable MP3 player for the gym or those times where you just don't wanna put your smartphone in harm's way. For CNET.com, I'm Donald Bell. See? There's something to be said for simple products that do one job really well. I mean, I wouldn't buy them, but if you like that sort of thing, go crazy. Alarm clocks may be on their way out, but one problem with using your smartphone to wake you up is that it's only on your night stand when you're not using it. What if you wanna know what time it is without digging in your pocket or better yet, the weather forecast. Well, all you iPad owners have another clock replacement option as you'll see in this week's Tap that App. -Welcome to Tap that App. I'm Jason Parker and this is the show where we cover the hottest apps in the mobile space. Those who own iPads know that Apple's tablet is great for quick access to the Internet and e-mail and offers tons of apps and games to make it even more useful. But what about the times when you're not actively using your iPad? This week, we're showing off a handy app that's perfect for when your iPad is charging and propped up in the stand either at home or at the office. It's called Night Stand for iPad, and its main function is to show you time, date, and weather information; and you can set alarms to use it as your primary alarm clock. But there is plenty more here to make Night Stand worth your money. The app displays the time, date, and weather info in an easy to read font. You can adjust the clock to display in either black or white and small or large sizes, and you can choose which side of the screen you want the clock to display on. But what makes this app more interesting is that you can display calming videos as your desktop background and view info from popular social sites. Tabs across the bottom of the screen include Twitter, Facebook, RSS, and Weather. Touch the Twitter tab to sign into your account and from there you'll see all the latest tweets from people you follow in a window at the bottom. You can swipe horizontally to see earlier tweets. The same is true for Facebook. Just sign in and authorize, and you'll be able to view the latest statuses for your friends and family. If you have something to say, you can touch a button on the left to bring up a window to post a new tweet or Facebook status. With the RSS tab, you can display the latest feeds from your Google Reader account. If a particular headline catches your interest, you can tap the headline and read the full story in a browser window. Perhaps the most useful feature as you wake up in the morning, the daily weather is shown under the Weather tab, giving you a forecast for the next few days. Just like the other windows, you can swipe to see more info. In this case, you'll see an extended forecast. Aside from all the info you can quickly get with only a few taps on your iPad screen, Night Stand for iPad has some cool aesthetic options that make it more than just a bland-looking clock. You have the option to show slideshows of images using provided shots or images from your library, and they have that slow zoom, Ken Burns effect. But you also can show animated movies as backgrounds. You get a few demo movies to see what the animations are like, but you can buy movie packs of 10 movies for 99 cents or spend a dollar and 99 for all four offered movie packs. Whether you are using images or movies as your background, you can quickly change what you see by hitting the settings button, then adding and subtracting movies and images from your slideshow. When you're satisfied with your choices, just hit Start Slideshow. A nice interface feature here is that you can adjust the brightness for both the clock and your slideshow by touching and dragging on screen, great for when you want to tone it down at bedtime. Overall, Night Stand for iPad is a neat app to have for when your iPad sits charging. It's great for setting alarms, but it's especially cool for getting quick updates from your favorite social sites. With all these features for $1.99 at the iTunes App Store, it's easy to recommend anyone to Tap this App. That's it for this weeks show, if you have any suggestions, send them to Tap that App at cnet.com. I'm Jason Parker and we'll see you next time. -Might I suggest turning off FaceTime before you go to bed or don't, that's totally up to you. Alright, it's time to take a break, but stick around. We have a lot more Tech Review right after this. Welcome back to the CNET Tech Review, our weekly video digest of all things good and bad we've seen here at CNET TV. Continuing on in the good, our latest CNET editor's choice product is a keyboard and it's a clickety-clackity keyboard. This is not the 80s. People are still doing it. Check it out. -Hi, I'm Justin Yu, associate editor for CNET.com. This is your First Look at the Deck 82 mechanical keyboard, but first quick history lesson. The mechanical keyboard trend is growing. Thanks for companies like Deck and Das keyboard producing their own unique takes on the original IBM model M keyboard. So, that one is the really old quickie keyboard that used to come with IBM desktop machines. So, anyway, some people seem to prefer the click-clack nature of these peripherals. So, the new mechanical keyboard we've seen seeing lately like the Deck 82 are modified with mechanical key switches underneath that add a more tactile typing feeling than you would normal sensors with style keys that you get on current laptops. So, what makes this one so great that we awarded it an editor's choice. Well, first the Deck 82 is so named because it has only 82 keys. They achieved this by removing the number of pad that normally goes on the right-hand side and that also means that a lot of the secondary functions like num lock, page down, home, etc, those all get relocated in different places in board. That takes a little time getting used to it, but the compact layout definitely save space on your desk and lets you get your mouse a little closer to your typing hands. Second, the Deck 82 has ultra bright back lit LEDs under each of the key caps that illuminate the keyboard and darkness. In fact, the bulbs are so bright that they also look pretty cool in broad daylight as well and Deck tells us that each LED will last at least 200,000 hours or 22 years if you never turn it off. Actually, the whole keyboard is very tough to match as well. The bottom has a bolted in steel plate that make sure it stays put while you're typing and the cherry black MX mechanical switches underneath are rated at 50 million key presses. So, what it is like to type on a mechanical keyboard? Well, to answer that, you need to know about the different kinds of mechanical switches available. So most of them, the switch is by a brand called Cherry who in turn used this color coding to differentiate between different types of key switches. The most commonly used and loudest are the Cherry blue switches, but this one actually has Cherry black switches that are not quite as loud and they feel a little bit more pillowy rather than clacky because of the longer distance you need to push down on them to engage the letter, 60 grams to be exact. The keys themselves are indented at the top to make it feel like they are molded to your fingers and the whole experience with the lights and translucent chassis, it makes feel like you're typing on a keyboard from Hackers. So Deck also keeps the door open to modifications on its 82 series keyboard and encourages users to post their hacks on the Deck message board online and you can buy replacement colored chassis if you don't like the blue one. Deck also covers mods on its one year warranty, which is perfect for uses that like to tinker with their gear. You can read all the details on our full review on CNET.com, but that's gonna do it for me. I'm Justin Yu and you just took a First Look at the editor's choice winning Deck 82 Mechanical Illuminated Keyboard. Thanks for watching. -Okay, if you're gonna spend money on a fancy keyboard like that, you're going to want to take care of it. Here's Sharon Vaknin with some tips for keeping your keyboard tidy. -Most of us spend hours a day at our desks eating, sneezing, and coughing over our keyboards. And even if you're really good about washing your hands before typing away, there's definitely bacteria on your keys. I'm Sharon Vaknin for cnet.com with a quick tip on clean and disinfecting your keyboard. First unplug your keyboard or remove batteries if it's wireless, then flip it upsidedown and give it a few good shakes over a garbage can to get any crumbs or dirt out from under the keys. Now, grab a can of compressed air to really remove any other dust or crumbs from in between the keys and if you have a mini vacuum, now it's the time to use that too. If there's still grime stuck in between the keys, dip a Q-tip in some rubbing alcohol and remove the dirt key by key, which might take a while if it's really dirty. Now, when all the dirt is free, grab a disinfectant wipe and ring out all the excess liquid. Then wipe the keyboard down including the palm rest to disinfect the keyboard. When you're done, immediately wipe it down with a damp micro fiber cloth and then dry it off with a dry micro fiber cloth. Disinfect your keyboard everyday and try to do this whole routine once a week and set an alarm to remind yourself if you need to. For more tips, visit howto.cnet.com and send your questions on twitter at CNET How To. For CNET, I'm Sharon Vaknin and I'll see you on the interwebs. -Just looking around our office here. There are some really gross keyboards around like mine. Also, don't forget your mouse. Sharon has another video explaining how to clean those too, but I'll give you a little tip. You basically do it the same way. Alright, since we've already got the bad out of the way, it's time to jump right in to the Bottom Line. There's no getting around the fact that Steve Jobs' stepping down was the biggest tech news in the world this week, but rather than pontificating about his place in history any further, lets let the man speak for himself courtesy of our friends at ZDNet. -It's really beautiful. This is what it looks like. Okay. That's what it is. This is made incredibly durably. This is polycarbonate plastic, the stuff that make bullet-proof vest out of. Well, we've gone one step further. We've double shot it in rubber all the way around. So, what you see in orange is all rubber. It feels wonderful and it makes the unit even safer to travel with. Again, all in the back. When you open it up, it's really beautiful inside and the iMac has got a fantastic 15-inch display. But today, we are introducing a model with a 17-inch landscape display. Let's go ahead and take a look at it. We are opening 25 Apple-owned retail stores across the US this calendar year in 2001. 25. And the first two stores will open this Saturday here at Tysons Corner in McLean, Virginia and at the Glendale Mall in Glendale, California across the other side of the country. Why these two? Because they were the first two that were ready. There's nothing magic about it. You can trust that we know Mac OS X is not perfect. We think it's a tremendous start and we think already in many instances we are way above anything else in the market in terms of certain aspects of performance, in terms of certain features, but we're not stopping there and we are continuously going to improve this OS so that is the best in the world in every respect and your criticisms and feedbacks help us a lot. So, keep them coming. We are listening. Today, we are announcing that the second generation iTunes doesn't just run on the Mac but it runs on Windows too, exactly the same thing on Mac and on Windows. Not-- This is not some baby version of iTunes or the music store. It's the whole thing. iTunes for Windows is probably the best Windows app ever written. There is one more thing. There's one more small thing. When we were inventing all of the technology to build this-- tremendous technology to be able to do this, it's way far ahead of what anyone in the industry is capable of doing. We decided to apply that technology to something a little smaller, which is this. Yeah, let's see it again. A new 12-inch PowerBook. It's the world's thinnest notebook. It's so thin, it even fits inside one of these envelopes that we've all seen floating around the office and so let me go ahead and show it to you now. This is it. Let me take it out here. This is the new MacBook Air and you can get a feel for how thin it is. Yeah, there it is. Now, stop me if you've already seen this. Believe me, you ain't seen it. You've got to see this thing in person. It is one of the most beautiful designs you've ever seen. This is beyond the doubt the most precise thing, one of the most beautiful things we've ever made. Glass on the front and in the rear, and stainless steel running around, and the precision of which this is made is-- is beyond any consumer product we've ever seen. Its closest kin is like a beautiful old Leica Camera. We'd like to show it to you today for the first time and we call it the iPad. And again, to see the whole webpage is phenomenal right there holding the internet in your hands. It's an incredible experience. Keeping these devices in synced is driving us crazy and we call it iCloud. -The Botton Line this week: Thanks for everything, Steve. You may be stepping out of the spotlight for now, but I look forward to more one more thing moments down the road. And that's our show for this week. Come on back next time for all-new CNET Tech Review. Until then, there are tons of great videos available everyday at cnettv.com. See you next time and thank you for watching.