This week in Dr. Mac’s Rants & Raves, read Bob “Dr. Mac” LeVitus’ thoughts on Apple’s big event last week in San Francisco including big reveals of Super Mario, Pokémon GO, the Apple Watch Series 2, and the iPhone 7.
Numbers and facts are boring. Entertainment is fun. That’s true whether the subject is politics or technology. If you can entertain people who are bored with facts, light them up in fact, your publication will do well. For example, crafty editors know that there’s money to be made bad-mouthing Apple. It will never stop. And it will never cease to amaze us. Jonny Evans ponders and John Martellaro explains.
Apple had two major changes in iPhone 7 beyond incremental improvements. The first is the much-talked about lack of an auxiliary port for headphones, but the other will effect the way we do things far longer than the transition to Lightning audio. That’s moving from a physical Home Button to a touch-sensitive, stationary Home Button. Here’s what Bryan Chaffin thought about it during his hands-on session at Apple’s media event.
Dr. Mac has noticed a trend lately where software makers offer free, high quality basic versions, charging only those who wish additional features or services. Often known as “freemium” apps (think “free but still premium”), these days freemium isn’t just for games and entertainment anymore.
It’s official—well at least according to reported Geekbench scores spotted in the wild! iPhones are now faster than Macs! The latest, and most recently updated, 2016 12” MacBook is slower than the iPhone 7 Plus.
Bryan checked out Apple Watch Series 2 at Apple’s hands-on demo, and was impressed. There’s a lot to like in this second generation device, and he’s gathered my hands-on impressions.
On March 31 of this year (2016), Apple solved the problem that existed since September of 2014: Power users that wanted an iPhone with the latest CPU but preferred the 4″ form factor could have their cake and eat it, too – again – with the introduction of the iPhone SE. Now, though, that problem starts all over again.
In May of 2015, when the Apple Watch first shipped, a few observers opined that it would be wise to buy the cheapest possible version, the Sport Watch. That’s because Apple would, they claimed, come out with a new model in 2016 that would callously make the original painfully obsolete. It looks like Apple’s instincts, in contradiction to that notion, have proved correct.
Bryan Chaffin went into Apple’s hands-on press area a skeptic of the company’s new AirPods wireless headphones. He came out impressed. Here are his immediate impressions.
The art and science of sizing up the new iPhone each year is a formidable one, given the time between the announcement and the window for ordering. Apple provides just enough information to whet the appetite. However, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that the state of the art isn’t advancing and decide to save some money, passing on the iPhone 7. That’s probably not a good way to go, given Apple’s track record.
Does Apple have an ageist problem when hiring for its Apple retail locations? If so, it’s not institutional, and the situation that sparked the original story doesn’t actually back up such a claim. Bryan Chaffin digs into the issues.
Apple sort of activated its long-held, but dormant Twitter account @Apple. It’s yet another symbol of CEO Tim Cook’s decision to take a more active role in shaping the Apple narrative.
The personal computing industry is changing quickly. Again. Not long ago, there was a simple migration from Mac and PC desktops to notebooks. Then, Apple finally got the simple tablet right in 2010. However, basic tablets can’t do it all, and so Apple warmed to the iPad Pro concept. But the dust isn’t clearing. Rather the market is exploding in use cases and advanced technology. John tries to make sense of it all.
Once upon a time, Apple was famous for saying “no” to harebrained or even some legitimate product ideas. That was an essential strategy for Apple to emerge from its troubles in the 1990s. Now, however, a much larger company is increasing its surface area to the customer. That, combined with Apple’s organizational structure, is creating some problems that we’re seeing today. John explains.
Dr. Mac says he doesn’t usually write about Apple’s minor operating system updates, but, if you’re using an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, you should update to iOS version 9.3.5 without delay. Read all about it in Dr. Mac’s Rants & Raves #190: Update your iOS 9.x Devices Now!
Google is going into the ride-sharing business this fall. According to The Wall Street Journal, Google plans to open up ride sharing services to users of its Waze app. Bryan Chaffin offers his thoughts on Google competing with Uber, the future of cars, and ride sharing.
Apple’s competitors are sensing Macintosh weakness and are making bold moves. The MacBook Air hasn’t been updated since March, 2015. The Mac Pro, MacBook Pro and Mac Mini are very long of tooth. The latest iMac is coming up on a year old, and only the MacBook looks fresh. Soon, there may be much blood in the water.
It looks like the European Commission (EC) will rule against Apple and Ireland’s tax arrangement. If the European Union (EU) bullies Ireland (via the EC or other proxy) and basically rules that Ireland doesn’t have the sovereign right to set its own tax rates, there is some chance it could be a wedge issue that pushes Ireland to decide to leave the European Union.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has made a major pivot in managing the affairs of Apple. Bryan Chaffin believes Mr. Cook made a conscious decision to play an active role in shaping the Apple narrative.
In a perfect world, Dr. Mac says he’d ditch his laptop and hit the road with just a svelte 9.7-inch iPad Pro. Two recent events make it possible; find out more in Dr. Mac’s Rants & Raves #189: The iPad Pro 9.7-inch Keyboard Case for Road Warriors