Apple TV 404

Somewhere in a box of stuff in our storage room lies a sleek Apple TV remote control. Nice. simple, and hard to find.

Apple provides an app that lets you control your Apple TV from your iOS device. It works reasonably well, except after a software upgrade. When the device restarts, it wants to confirm its network connection and device name.

apple.tv.config.screen

You cannot, however, use the iOS app ┬áto do this. Even though Air Play mirroring works, the app can’t find the Apple TV device.

apple.tv.not.found

Grr.

Staples. It’s (not) easy.

Staples has an app. All God’s children have an app.
The Staples app purports to let us do things, except the things that seem obvious.
Each time I buy something at Staples, I can’t find my card, the loyalty card that enables coupons and discounts. .I provide them with my phone number. They look up the card and apply the credit, if anything, to my purchase.
This last time, I thought I’d be clever. The app lets me store my Staples reward card. I did so.
When I went to check out at the store, I hold up the app, displaying the barcode and number.

The clerk looks at my phone and then enters my number by hand because their scanner cannot pick up the barcode stored on their app.
One less reason to use their app on the way to one less reason to shop at Staples.

At the Mall with Apple and Microsoft

We’ve seen this before, but it seems worse now. On a winter’s Saturday, a trip to the Natick Mall showed two very different retail experiences.

The Apple Store is lively with people of all ages. The further into the store you go, the more customers will you see, excitedly playing with, learning about, and buying stuff.

The Microsoft Store employees outnumber the customers. The liveliest place is not in the store, but out front, where a two-year-old girl is dancing to the big XBox video.

It’s no wonder that Apple, with but a sliver of the desktop computing market share, is worth twice what Microsoft is worth.