The Pros and Cons of Legacy Apple Products Going Extinct

· · Editorial

Apple Store - Aspen Grove

It seems that there is just as much fuss about Apple products that seem to be on the verge of extinction as there is about exciting new products. John looks at the economics and psychology of Apple dropping beloved products like certain Macs, Airport base stations, displays and other devices that we’ve come to depend on. Are we on the verge of a new age of Apple?

Here’s the TV Set-Top Box Apple Could Have Built: Caavo

· · Editorial

Caavo

There are exciting new technologies coming with 4K/UHD TVs. But the basic problems persist in the connection, operation and content selection amongst all the different kinds of sources and boxes. The TV industry and parochial interests, even Apple’s, haven’t made things better. It’s going to require an independent company, deep thinking and brillant engineering to solve the problem. Caavo may be it.

Apple, Let Us Tune into Those FM Radio Channels

· · Editorial

FM Radio

Your iPhone has an FM radio chip that you’ve never been able to use. FCC chairman Ajit Pai thinks that’s a shame, and so does Jeff Butts. While the FCC chairman isn’t going to try forcing Cupertino to turn on the chip, he’s certainly turning up the heat about it. Let’s see what the good chairman has to say, and what impact that might have on streaming music services.

Amazon is Just Getting Started With Alexa/Echo

· · Particle Debris

Amazon Echo

The Amazon Echo family of devices shouldn’t be underestimated. We talk about how it appears to be a device for casual questions, weather, music and shopping. But the underlying technology is going after something much bigger. Moreover, Amazon’s lead over Apple in AI and home automation may be unstoppable. John looks at two articles that provide insight into what Amazon is after in the long run.

A 4K/UHD Apple TV is Finally in the Works. Now We Know the Story

· · Editorial

Apple TV driving HDTV

The Apple TV has taken a beating lately. The current model is barely state-of-the art. Companies like Amazon, Netflix and Roku have leapt ahead of Apple in 4K/UHD, leaving the Apple TV in 4th place amongst customers. Now we know why, thanks to a Bloomberg report. The question is, can Apple fix the product and make it a winner again?

Setapp: Like Netflix for Mac Apps

· · Dr. Mac's Rants & Raves

Setapp currently offers unrestricted use of 64 apps for $9.99/month.

Dr. Mac’s been testing Setapp, a new subscription service from MacPaw with access to more than 60 Mac apps for $9.99 a month. It’s an ambitious undertaking by MacPaw, but the good doctor thinks they’ve done a masterful job…

Who’s More Intelligent, Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa?

· · Editorial

Which AI is smarter, Siri or Alexa?

In the battle of virtual personal assistants, Apple and Amazon have strong contenders. Which one is “smarter,” though, Siri or Alexa? Perhaps it’s too early to really call the race, since both personal assistants keep growing and evolving. Be that as it may, Jeff Butts has put both through their paces, and shares his thoughts.

Russians Who Hacked DNC Now Targeting Macs

· · Editorial

Dramatic interpretation of a hacker plying his trade

A Russian group that hacked the Democratic National Committee during last year’s presidential election are now targeting Macs, according to security firm Bitedefender Labs. APT28—also known as Sofacy, Sednit APT, and other names—has been developing malware that targets Macs and gives the Russians remote access to those Macs. Bryan Chaffin has the details.

Apple Posts New iPhone 7 Plus Commercials to Highlight Portrait Camera

· · Editorial

Screenshots from Apple's Soulmate Spot,

Apple has two new commercials out promoting iPhone 7 Plus’s Portrait camera. That’s the two-lens camera unique to iPhone 7 Plus that allows photographs to have a shallow depth of field (meaning a blurry background and sharp foreground). The pieces explain in very simple terms what Portrait mode on iPhone 7 Plus does for a photo.

Apple, Kill the LG UltraFine 5K and Make Your Own Displays

· · Editorial

As if it weren’t bad enough that the LG UltraFine 5K performed poorly when placed too close to a wireless router, now Apple’s shipping times for the display have slid to five to six weeks. Jeff thinks that it just might be time for Cupertino to resume making the displays for their Macs and MacBook Pros instead of relying on the third-party market to fill the void.

How to Stop Your New TV From Spying On You

· · Particle Debris

Eye Spy on Your TV

Recently, Vizio agreed to pay the Federal Trade Commission and the state of New Jersey a total of US$2.2M to settle a complaint that it spied on its TV customers. It’s an unexpected and sorry state of affairs when a new, beautiful, expensive 4K/UHD TV is also reporting on your viewing habits. John offers some advice on how to put a stop to that spying.

It’s Time for Apple to Show iBooks Some Love

· · The Back Page

A Feast for Crows Enhanced Edition on iBooks

Apple doesn’t love iBooks, and it shows in the way the company has largely let its ebook store languish. Bryan Chaffin argues that what we’ve seen (not) happen to iBooks is what we’ve seen every time an Apple product stopped being the focus of top executives. That needs to change.