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.
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.
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.
Dr. Mac’s going to tell you all about Apple’s AirPods wireless headphones today, after a bit of backstory (for context). Spoiler alert: He likes ’em but thinks they are overpriced.
During Apple’s Q2 2017 Earnings Report, Apple CEO Tim Cook noted that demand for the newest MacBook Pro remains strong and that Mac revenue grew by 14 percent year-over-year. On the surface, this seems like something to crow about, but it may be simply all that glitters.
Meet Ben Lieberman of New Castle, NY. He suffered a horrific tragedy in 2011 when his 19 year old son was killed by someone texting-while-driving. Powered by his personal loss, Mr. Lieberman is on a crusade to dramatically amp up the power of the police to search your smartphone without a warrant.
When it comes to reporting on iPhone news and rumors, it’s important to keep your rumors and facts straight. Not everyone does that, though, and it has Jeff Butts a bit concerned about the state of Apple news and rumor reporting. Let’s pick apart one recent article and make some sense of it.
Recently, Facebook has suffered some difficulties that were caused by its very design. It’s clear now that one of the features of large, complex social services is that they contain within themselves the seeds of tragedy. Worse, thanks to the money at stake, there’s no remedy. Not even a tough one.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
What happens when AI machine learning becomes so sophisticated and inscrutable that humans can no longer understand how an AI came to a decision? AI processes will go far beyond simple structured code that can be debugged and audited. Will we just shrug and accept? John maps out the major issues with advanced AIs.
Apple has put out four videos that take an animated look at yaks, zero-waste initiatives, a breathing building, and making artificial sweat. Each focuses on a different aspect of Apple’s global environmental efforts for Earth Day, which takes place on April 22nd, 2017.
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).
A couple of interesting pieces got me thinking about Apple. The first was by Neil Cybart, who wrote, “The Mac Is Turning into Apple’s Achilles’ Heel.” The second was John Gruber reacting to that, saying ” The Mac is not Apple’s Achilles heel. The iPhone is.” They’re both well written and insightful pieces, but they’re also both wrong. Bryan Chaffin offers his thoughts.
There they are. The five tech giants: Facebook, Google, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon. FGAMA. They’re all doing well. But if one had to predict which one won’t be around in 50 years, which one would it be?
John humbly predicts.
The education market is very price sensitive. Three players are in a pitched battle for the right-priced personal computer: Apple (iOS), Google (Chrome OS + Android), and Microsoft (Windows 10 Cloud). These OSes and their implementation on hardware, plus the right kind of marketing and staying power, could determine which company seizes the hearts and minds of schools and students.
Several things have become clear regarding AIs in our lives. There is little regulation. AIs can be manipulated in clever ways. Small devices like Google Home and Amazon Echo have very indirect business models so that they can be priced for the middle class, but have hidden drawbacks. John wonders where all this will lead with family service robots if Apple doesn’t step in and do it right.