Elgato Eve, an App for Controlling Smart Devices

4:50 PM, Jun. 22nd, 2016 · · Columns and Opinions

eve app easy homekit

Dr. Mac says he's tried at least half a dozen apps for controlling his smart HomeKit devices, but the only one that checked all his boxes was the Eve app from Elgato. He's got the lowdown in this installment of Rants & Raves.

Many Apple Pay Customers Confuse Simplicity with Vulnerability

6:05 PM, Jun. 17th, 2016 · · Columns and Opinions

Particle Debris

The iPhone and Apple Watch contain sophisticated security and encryption protocols for use with Apple Pay. To make it very easy for customers, Apple has brilliantly made the setup and use incredibly simple. Has that simplicity fooled customers into thinking that the Apple Pay process is risky and makes them vulnerable? A Pew study suggests that potential customers mistake the simplicity for various kinds of vulnerabilities, and they shy away.

Smart Products Made Smarter Together

2:15 PM, Jun. 15th, 2016 · · Columns and Opinions

This week in Dr. Mac's Rants & Raves, the good doctor shares his first impressions of HomeKit, Apple’s framework for securely controlling smart home products with your iPhone or other devices. While only moderately impressed with HomeKit so far, he does have a couple of HomeKit-compatible products he likes enough to recommends in spite of HomeKit's shortcomings.  

Apple Loosens Developer Controls, Ushering in a New Age for Users

1:48 PM, Jun. 15th, 2016 · · Columns and Opinions

Siri + Developers

The thing that most excited me about Monday's World Wide Developer Conference had to be Apple opening up significant features in its platform(s) to developer, including Siri, Maps, iMessage, and to a lesser extent, the Phone app. There was a lot to be excited about from the keynote, but this particular move could be the single biggest catalyst for improved functionality in Apple devices, and it represents a significant milestone in Apple loosening some control.

Apple Adds Smart, Interoperable Features to macOS Sierra

4:25 PM, Jun. 13th, 2016 · · Columns and Opinions

macOS Sierra

Once upon a time, Apple was adding features by leaps and bounds to OS X. Some generally got used and some seemed to fall flat. And some didn't work very well in the early releases. With macOS Sierra, Apple's Craig Federighi is focusing on the really important things users need instead of gadgety features.

The Weakness of iPads in K-12 Education is Starting to Show Up

3:30 PM, Jun. 10th, 2016 · · Columns and Opinions

IPads in education

Apple believes that tablets are the future. And so, it's natural to push iPads for K-12 education. The idea is that these iPads are great educational devices because they're cheaper, more secure and easier to maintain than MacBooks. But what about the ability of teachers to invoke iPads for the kinds of skills training the curriculum calls for? And fit them into the budget? Signs are, it's not working.

The Pain of iTunes Can Be Traced to Apple’s Time Machine

5:00 PM, Jun. 8th, 2016 · · Columns and Opinions

iTunes and Time Machine

There was a time when Mac users had ripped a few hundred favorite songs from their CD collection. A laborious process. There was also a time when Time Machine could easily back up a 100 GB hard disk. But time and a failure to scale available technology has left many Apple customers with a huge, purchased iTunes collection that's hard to back up reliably. Apple has been too successful and not successful enough.

Apple Will Announce New MacBook Pros at WWDC Next Week

2:45 PM, Jun. 8th, 2016 · · Columns and Opinions

2016 MacBook Pros

It's just about certain. We have all the information we need. There is precedent. There is pressing need. There will be 3,000 MacBook Pro users in the WWDC keynote audience next week. It's the right time and the right place for Apple to announce new MacBook Pros. John Martellaro counts the reasons.