Page 2 – News debris for the week of Nov 14th
The Surface Studio Reviews Are In

It’s an odd world when Microsoft, which doesn’t need the revenue from desktops, is on the rise while Apple which does need the revenue seems to be losing interest. Gregg Keizer at Computerworld explores the nuances of positioning, perception and revenue with these two giants. “What’s the Mac mean to Apple, the Surface to Microsoft?

Keizer goes on to explore the importance to creative professionals to Apple and vice versa. He quotes tech analyst Jan Dawson, who thinks Apple has a plan.

They will update the desktop Macs, maybe starting with the Mac Pro, in the next few months…

If so, there would be rejoicing such as Apple has never seen.

Microsoft Surface Studio

Microsoft Surface Studio

Speaking of desktops, the Microsoft Surface Studio has landed in the hands of reviewers. Here’s the first of two I’ve seen, and it’s from Tom Warren at The Verge . “Microsoft Surface Studio Review: A Beautiful Invader Of Apple’s Base.” From the conclusion:

The fact that Microsoft is even being considered an alternative to Apple’s line of machines for creatives is not something anyone, not even Microsoft, was expecting for the Surface devices. The Surface Studio won’t take over Mac-focused design houses just yet, but that it’s even a possibility is remarkable. The Studio is special because it knows exactly what it is and who it’s for—and it’s largely spot on. If Microsoft keeps developing its strengths here, some of Apple’s most loyal customers might well be tempted to switch camps.

That’s also what I’m hearing from readers.

The second review I saw was from CNET. “Pricey Surface Studio can teach iMac a few good tricks.” The bottom line: “Microsoft’s ambitious love letter to creative professionals is the touchscreen iMac of your dreams — albeit crazy expensive and running Windows.”

And that, right there, may be the key. The Microsoft Surface Studio has potential users so completely drooling that they’re willing to put up with Windows 10 to have the hardware. And that may be, in the end, Apple’s brilliant response. That is, Apple has a really cool OS in macoS Sierra. Now we’re just waiting for Apple to come out with its own great hardware and then we’ll say to ourselves, “We were idiots to doubt.”

Or Apple could continue to abandon us. Your choice Apple.

More Debris…

There’s nothing like a slide show to help the reader visualize the details of a comparison. Here’s a visual essay, “7 Reasons Roku Ultra Beats Apple TV.” If Apple waits another year for 4K/UHD and HDR, the competition could well be on its 2nd generation units and have the advantage of years of engineering and customer experience. As Microsoft found out with the Surface tablet family, time is not on your side in tech when playing catch up.

Roku Ultra.

Roku Ultra. 4K/UHD + HDR.  Image credit: Roku. Can Apple ever catch up?

Forbes has a major article on the iPhone 8, derived from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. “Apple Leak Reveals Massive New iPhone.” It’s quite a read.

Aside from all the cool technology discussed above, an emerging issue is whether manufacturing sources could supply Apple with all the OLED panels it would need. Solution? Offer TFT-LCD models as before and add one very high end model, with a 5.8-inch OLED display—one that’s so expensive, the reduced demand will give Apple a lot of attention and prestige and yet enable the company to meed demand. Ah, the intrigue….

The iPhone lock screen should be just that. Locked. And yet, it seems that every time Apple makes dubious concessions to information access on the lock screen, it opens a security hole. For example, “iOS bug exposes photos and messages on locked iPhones.” The article explains how to block this hack.

The moral of the story? In Settings, lock your iPhone’s lock screen up really well and log on when you need to access information.

From the Particle Debris Department of Intrigue. Bloomberg has an interesting story: “Apple’s Chip Choices May Leave Some iPhone Users in Slow Lane.” A cellular research firm reports:

The data indicates that the iPhone 7 is not taking advantage of all of Verizon’s network capabilities, said Gabriel Tavridis, head of product at Twin Prime. I doubt that Apple is throttling each bit on the Verizon iPhone, but it could have chosen to not enable certain features of the network chip.

More intrigue. Security Week reports: “iPhone Call Logs Quietly Synced to iCloud, Forensics Firm Warns.” But there’s more to know. Additional elaboration is at Macworld.”Apple saves iPhone call history to iCloud, but barely mentions it. Ian Paul explains a bit more and then links to even better explanation at iMore by Rene Ritchie. Apple comments on iCloud call history sync: What you need to know!” It’s always an interesting progression from initial discovery, to concern and some panic, and then to calm comprehension.

Here’s another smartphone security issue. Again, it seems to be under control. But it’s a sign that these complex devices are always full of surprises. “Powerful backdoor/rootkit found preinstalled on 3 million Android phones.” Buyer beware.

Finally, when, gosh darn it, will we see new iPads? MacRumors thinks it’ll be March, 2017. Here are the juicy details and rumors. “Three New iPads Said to Launch in March, Including Bezel-Free 10.9-Inch Model.


AR teaser image via Shutterstock.

Particle Debris is a generally a mix of John Martellaro’s observations and opinions about a standout event or article of the week (preamble on page one) followed on page two by a discussion of articles that didn’t make the TMO headlines, the technical news debris. The column is published most every Friday except for holidays.

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Lee Dronick

This afternoon at the Apple Store, well Apple, I had a chance to mess around with a MacBook Pro and Touch Bar. I think that I will opt for the model with the Touch Bar, it is very nice and will come in handy. Only 30 lbs more to go on my weight loss program, the new MacBook Pro is my incentive.


Hmm . . . I have no doubt Apple could makes something neat with AR, but the question remains whether or not people actually want it. I think a big part of the issue with tech in general is this insistence on developing things for a future that has yet to arrive. Until something like this is as easy and functional as a ‘J.A.R.V.I.S.’, it’s just too much hassle. Is Silicon Valley insularity to blame? I can’t say for certain, but it sure seems to be. Wearing glasses isn’t much different than wearing a watch – if one isn’t inclined… Read more »

Lee Dronick

I agree Buck. We would end up putting a wider case on the iPad.


Re: new iPad rumors:
I don’t understand how bezel-free could possibly be wanted by anyone. Sometimes when I pick up my iPad (Air 2) a finger or thump barely grazes the edge of the screen and unwanted things happen, like interrupting the stream I am listening to. When iPads magically follow us around, then maybe edge to edge screens will be useful. Till then, not so much.

Lee Dronick

“They will update the desktop Macs, maybe starting with the Mac Pro, in the next few months…”

See today’s Joy of Tech comic


What geo said. I would add that the ol’ paradigm of Apple taking other’s pre-existing technology (swipe to unlock; NFC; stylus’, smartwatch etc) and sprinkling fairy dust on it just won’t fly any more. The AI assistance field (echo etc) seemed like Apple worthy; VR seemed Apple worthy, I just wonder. So, this glass will be the latest thing Apple poo-poo’d like NFC and stylus’ a few years ago only to backpedal and copy. Great. Steve’s rolling in his ‘pod’. Please, Apple – BUY Tesla and install Elon as CEO ASAP!!! I want a 35 lb carbon EV Apple Bike… Read more »


Or Apple could continue to abandon us. Your choice Apple That is true of so much in the Apple universe right now. They keep saying there’s great stuff on the way. Rumours are out there of really cool stuff that will revolutionize things. But they never seem to arrive. Macs are stagnant, the SmartWatch fad has peaked, Tablets are essentially unchanged, and Phones are commodity items. Yes they are making money but they’re stagnant. You know what Apple reminds me of? GM in the early 1970s. Making lots of money making more or less the same thing they did ten… Read more »