From time to time, we’ve seem articles that explain Apple’s plight with its TV business. But John has found a splendidly complete diagnosis at The Verge for this week’s focus. It examines the deepest motivations of Apple, it’s clash with the entertainment industry, its successes and failures, and how that has, in turn, affected Apple TV software design and customer perceptions.
It’s Part II of Dr. Mac’s annual gift guide, with four more reasonably-priced gadgets that make perfect gifts for the geeks you love.
Few people were thinking 2016 has been a great year for Apple, but…well, look at this list of things Apple released in 2016. There’s just
13 14 items on it, now that AirPods have shipped. That’s still depressing. Worse, Bryan Chaffin argues, it’s boring.
“That’s it? You could have done this one day after our last meeting. What have you been doing for the past two weeks?” That’s Steve Jobs after many presentations from his employees, according to Ken Segall, an ad exec who worked with Apple and Steve Jobs. In a blog post, Mr. Segall used that to succinctly and accurately (to me) capture the frustrations many Mac fans have about Apple.
It’s seldom convincing to pretend to know what Steve Jobs would have done in any situation were he alive today. We have general ideas, but invoking him as a cloak of authority is fraught with problems. On the other hand, when someone intimately familiar with Steve Jobs makes an astute observation, it’s worth a read. John Martellaro found one of those insights and highlights it.
Right after Apple revealed more of its plans to the U.S. Government regarding its autonomous car project, we learn that Apple is going to break with tradition and start publishing its AI research. This is an interesting sequence of events. John speculates on what may have been the cause of Apple’s more open approach.
Recently, a high profile executive, Yoky Matsuoka, left Apple for unknown reasons. Often, the temptation is to surmise that a departure of any given executive at Apple is a sign that Apple is losing interest in a particular technology. However, that’s not always the case. Sometimes, certain high-powered people have to leave for personal reasons. Or perhaps they just didn’t realize what they got themselves into and decide that the Apple culture isn’t for them. John explores the various scenarios based on his experience.
It’s that time again and, as always, Dr. Mac has discovered a bevy of superb-yet-inexpensive tech gifts guaranteed to bring big smiles to the faces of the geeks you love.
Jean-Louis Gassée has an excellent piece on the future of desktop and mobile operating systems. It includes some lore—including that time Apple tried to buy a a code dump of BeOS from Palm—and some interesting speculation on the future. Both are well worth your time, and it got me thinking about an old interview of Steve Jobs from the mid-1990s. Think: the Reverse ToasterFridge.
Companies exist to make money. But when wealth beyond dreams, at any cost, is the driving force behind internet business, chaos results. Big tech companies have great power. How they use that power and their own sense of what constitutes ethical, disciplined behavior might all that’s left before the free internet and its free people are no more. Apple is leading the way, but cannot do it all.
The proliferation of “fake news” has been blamed in part on social media companies’ hands-off approach to curation. Charlotte Henry argues this is one area where social media can take its cues from Apple and its heavily curated approach to Apple News.
Dr. Mac follows up on whether or not it’s safe to upgrade to macOS Sierra; a longer-term report on his EcoTank vs. Instant Ink printer comparison; and a lower price on the leather loop Apple Watch bands he bought in July and August (and still loves).
This week’s episode explores why Dr. Mac and his family love Apple Music so much and why it’s a great gift to give any music lover.
Modern tribes are groups formed of one mind held together by their beliefs and easy, fast communication. They work to obtain a voice in the community and are often at war with each other or Apple over some technical topic. Apple tends to dismiss these tribes and focus on the customer, but tribes can have an influence too. Understanding Apple’s intentions and vision against the torch of the tribes is a tricky process. John explains.
Vanity Fair has a great piece about zero day exploits, the black market for selling them (to mostly governments, including repressive regimes), how they’re used to spy, and how the whole thing came to be. The story, which is quite long, is built around a particular piece of sophisticated spyware discovered by a couple of researchers, and Apple’s “engineering feat” that patched against the exploits in just ten days.
Apple Chief Design Officer Jony Ive worked with Marc Newson to design Claridge’s Christmas tree in London. The result is a minimalist installation with no Christmas ornaments or decorations.
Dr. Mac prescribes a pair of painless, safe, and relatively quick procedures that can often fix whatever’s ailing your Mac and save you a trip to the Genius Bar. His experience is that these two techniques fix many types of wonkiness in ten minutes or less.
From time to time, we get really excited about some new gadget from Google. But then we discover later that there’s long way to go to make it a successful consumer product. On the other hand, Apple is the kind of company that can productize a great new technology. Perhaps the Apple Watch has given Apple new confidence that it can do the same for AR.
Apple was, it seemed, somewhat late with the 4th generation 1080p Apple TV that shipped in October of 2015. Not delivering at 4K device at that time could be forgiven because High Dynamic Range (HDR) specs hadn’t been formalized during its development. But for the holidays of 2016, most all the 4K/UHD TVs have HDR. The new Roku has HDR. So what is Apple thinking? John, as always, ponders the situation.
A new report says Apple is working on AR glasses. That’s all well and good, but how should we consider such reports in light of Apple CEO Tim Cook’s past comments about Google Glass, wearable computing, and the face? Bryan Chaffin walks us through the permutations.