Page 2 – News Debris For The Week of March 12th
Apple’s Sound Strategy
• Neil Cybart, as usual, has presented us with a thoughtful analysis of Apple’s thinking. In: “Apple’s Strategy for Controlling Sound,” author Cybart lays out the history of how Apple has delivered music and why certain decisions were made.
AirPods mark the latest step in Apple’s sound on the go strategy. The device is born out of the belief that there isn’t a place for wires in a wearables world. AirPods were initially criticized for their unusual looks, but those concerns have quickly disappeared. Whereas wireless AirPods may have looked odd to some, having wires hanging out of people’s ears will eventually look out of place.
The author continues to expand on his reasoning to the HomePod.
In addition, the value found with an Echo or Google Home isn’t derived from sound quality but rather from the intelligence of the digital voice assistant that lives in the cloud. This has led the tech community to think Apple misfired by positioning HomePod as a high-quality music speaker.
This logic is at the very core of the HomePod design. The thinking is that Apple is all about delivering a better music listening experience in the home, and that’s a project worth pursuing for the long run. Smart Speakers, like Echo, aren’t designed to deliver a great music experience, and Apple seems to be betting that the wearable AI technology will sort itself out, perhaps even morph dramatically, but great music in the home endures.
As always, author Cybart develops a compelling analysis of Apple’s long range thinking.
• The organizations that are lining up against FCC’s reversal of net neutrality is impressive. Those who have file lawsuits include Public Knowledge, attorneys general from 21 states, Mozilla, the California Public Utilities Commission and more. Now, a consolidation of the cases has been ordered and the venue will be the Ninth Circuit court in San Francisco. You can read much more here: “FCC must defend net neutrality repeal in court against dozens of litigants.”
• Are you still using a 4-digit passcode on your iPhone? Grayshift has built a box that’ll crack your iPhone’s password in about two hours. It’ll take three days for 6-digits. Jonny Evans at Apple Must reports: “GrayKey iPhone ‘hack-in-a-box’ proves you need complex passcodes.” Personally, I think it’s time to go to 8 character passcodes on our iPhones.
• Regular readers here know that I have been writing a lot about 4K/UHD TV, Apple TV 4K and one of its related technologies, High Dynamic Range (HDR). In turn, I want to point you to additional reading by Josh Centers, who has written a Take Control Book on Apple TV. He dug into the industry’s (and Apple’s) difficulties with a consistent, coherent delivery of HDR across all our platforms. This is must reading before you buy an Apple TV 4K: “The Apple TV 4K’s HDR Nightmare.”
• This next link is neither cause for alarm nor over confidence. It’s simply a very interesting and informative piece about how very experienced experts can hack our systems, despite constant updates from Apple and others. “Safari Exploited Again on Day Two of Pwn2Own.” Here’s the real takeaway:
Hardware and software vendors benefit from the competition by gaining information about vulnerabilities in their software and hardware, and gain the chance to patch this holes before they are widely exploited.
• Finally, it seems that every smartphone maker would have you believe that its camera system is superior to all others. So it’s nice to find one of those showdown tests that does actual image comparions and analysis. Here’s a good one, so you can judge for yourself. “Camera Comparison: iPhone X vs Galaxy S9 vs Pixel 2.” The final winner may surprise you.
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 holiday weeks.