A Fantasy Conversation: Bezos and Cook Chat About Amazon Echo

· · Particle Debris

Tim Cook and Jeff Bezos.

Two very interesting things happened this week. First, we heard that Apple may be making its own Siri-powered Echo-like device, to be announced at WWDC. Later in the week, we heard that Amazon will now bring its video app, Prime Video to the Apple TV. Mere coincidence? John, just for fun, imagines a recent, fictional conversation between Jeff Bezos and Tim Cook.

Why Apple is Letting iPad Sales Drift Downward

· · Editorial

iPad Pro & pencil

Apple has watched the iPad sales numbers drift downward since 2013. Apple has smart executives. The only conclusion John can draw is that in 2013 and again 2015 Apple embarked on an aggressive, multi-phase program to breathe new life into the iPad. It’s just taking some engineering time, and so during each quarterly Earnings Report, CEO Tim Cook just has to roll with the punches until it’s done. John makes his case for a big surprise in store.

May the Force Be With You, Always, with These Apps for Star Wars Day

· · Editorial

Star Wars Day - May the Force be With You

With so many Star Wars apps, how do you pick which ones to use on Star Wars Day? Jeff Butts has spent hours scouring the App Store for Star Wars games, and then playing around with them to. see how good they are. Don’t let his sacrifice go in vain. Let him help you find some of the best apps to keep you one with the Force.

Apple is Converting Mac Pro From a Fad to a Monster Graphics Platform

· · Editorial

Capt. Picard and Lt. Cmdr Data.

In 2008, the venerable cheese grater Mac Pro was designed for Apple customers who needed high end performance and expandability. In 2013, Apple shifted gears and saw the Mac Pro as an iconic desktop system with great performance if one shared the company’s vision for both industrial design and OpenCL. Now, it appears that Apple sees the Mac Pro as a platform that will support its future initiatives. Can Apple hold to that pattern? That abiding faith in high end computation and visualization? A new trademark filing suggests Apple now sees the light.

Blasts from the Past: Classic Mac Apps

· · Dr. Mac's Rants & Raves

Crystal Quest still rocks!

Dr. Mac says today’s column is a blast from the past dedicated to Mac users who still remember Macintosh System 6, MacPaint, Crystal Quest, and other golden age Mac apps—whether fondly or not. He adds that even shorter-time Mac users will find it interesting and amusing. So you have no excuse not to read it!

Dear Facebook, Snuff Films Aren't 'Content'

· · Editorial

Facebook Angry Emoji

I have a message for Facebook: snuff films aren’t “content.” Videos and streams of humans murdering other humans aren’t “content.” Any outlook that considers such videos “content” is morally bankrupt, and Bryan Chaffin believes it is rooted in a business mind-set that sees all of our lives as product to plunder.

Emergence of Robots Will, Remarkably, Force a Change in iPad Design

· · Editorial

Apple using internal magnets to attach Apple Pencil 2 to iPad Pro

The iPad was developed, in the Macintosh era of maturity, as a simpler alternaive for content consumption. It nicely eliminated the headaches of PC complexity and security concerns. Today, things are radically different, and the need to be able to create content and generate personal revenue is much more pressing than when the iPad was first conceived nearly a decade ago.

That Time Tim Cook Spanked Uber CEO Kalanick for Breaking the Rules

· · Editorial

The Uber App on an iPhone

You ever hear the one about Tim Cook bending Uber CEO Travis Kalanick over his knee and spanking him? It happened in 2015, but went unreported until Monday. The New York Times offered an account of Tim Cook threatening to pull Uber’s app from the App Store if it didn’t stop behaving like a spoiled bully on at least one front. And, according to the story, Mr. Kalanick cried uncle.

An Excellent New iPad at a Reasonable Price

· · Dr. Mac's Rants & Raves

The new 9.7-inch iPad (left) and 9.7-inch iPad Pro (right) are more similar than different.

There’s a new iPad in town—a 9.7-inch model with the lowest prices ever for a full-sized iPad—priced from a mere $329 for a 32GB WiFi-only model (vs. $599 for the least expensive 32GB WiFi-only 9.7-inch iPad Pro). Dr. Mac has been testing one for a couple of weeks and is convinced the biggest difference between it and the 9.7-inch iPad Pro is its price—$270 less than the cheapest  9.7-inch  iPad Pro, without an Apple Pencil or Smart Keyboard  ($99 and $149 respectively).