Hands-On with Apple's Impressive AirPods

· Bryan Chaffin · Editorial

Apple EarPods Pairing

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.

Even If You Don't Need a New iPhone 7, You Should Still Get One

· John Martellaro · Editorial

iPhone 7, black

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.

Ageism Is Not an Institutional Problem at Apple Retail

· Bryan Chaffin · The Back Page

Apple Union Square, San Francisco

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.

The Mac Hunger Games and the Rapidly Fracturing Computer Marketplace

· John Martellaro · Columns & Opinions

MacBook-iPad side by side

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.

Is There Anything Apple Can't Do? That's Now a Problem

· John Martellaro · Editorial

Apple store logo

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.

Update your iOS 9.x Devices Now!

· Bob LeVitus · Dr. Mac's Rants & Raves

What kind of

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!

Idle Thoughts on Google Entering Ride-Sharing Business in San Francisco

· Bryan Chaffin · Columns & Opinions

Google, now with more ride sharing!

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.

Blood in the Macintosh Water: Apple's Competitors Now Sense Weakness

· John Martellaro · Columns & Opinions

Concept of Macintosh, MacBook Pro with OLED strip

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.

Apple Might Destroy the EU

· John Kheit · Devil's Advocate

Could Apple Destroy the EU?

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.

The iPad Pro 9.7-inch Keyboard Case for Road Warriors

· Bob LeVitus · Dr. Mac's Rants & Raves

Logitech's Create keyboard actually feels like you're typing on a real keyboard!

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

Enough with iPhone Headphone Jack Kvetching

· Bryan Chaffin · The Back Page

Audeze-EL-8 Cipher Lightning Cable

Bryan Chaffin has had it with the kvetching about Apple maybe ditching the headphone jack in the next iPhone. He argues we should wait to see how Apple handles it before getting tense.

Siri and Apple's Machine Learning Are About to Get a Lot Better

· John Martellaro · Columns & Opinions

Siri

Siri, as we’ve know her (or him), has been both a blessing and a frustration. The technology, when it works is brilliant, but when its limitations are exposed, it can be very frustrating. Our appetite for a stellar chatbot companion has merely been whetted, and we’re about to get it. From Apple. On its terms. With privacy.

Samsung Shuts Down Milk Because LOL

· Bryan Chaffin · Editorial

Samsung Milk

Samsung announced Tuesday that it is shutting down Milk, the company’s always-doomed music streaming service exclusive to Samsung devices. Bryan Chaffin argues that failure couldn’t happen to a more deserving company.

Not Even NSA Can Keep Software Exploits Secret

· Bryan Chaffin · Editorial

FBI Guy and iPhone

Twice in two weeks we’ve gotten a solid reminder that exploits and legitimate software keys can be mishandled, even by experts. These events serve as practical certification that Apple was right in its theoretical stance to fight the FBI’s demand to create GovtOS.

Renaming Apple Products and Other Deck Chair Shuffles

· John Kheit · Editorial

[Product]

Since Apple is busy re-arranging deck chairs rather than actually making a new product, the least they can do is fix their wacked-out product naming scheme. John Kheit has some ideas on taming those names and modernizing Apple’s approach.

Apple Intelligently Delves into Machine Intelligence

· John Martellaro · Particle Debris

It’s not surprising that Apple is warming up to the idea of machine intelligence and AI agents with its $200 million purchase of Turi. The company needs to do that to remain competitive with Google and Microsoft. But, over and above that, the beneficial side effects will have even deeper implications for Apple as a company and its future.

Twitter Will Let Users Block @Mentions from Strangers

· Bryan Chaffin · Editorial

Stop Harassment

Twitter announced Thursday a new set of controls that allows users to not see @mentions from strangers. The move is being viewed as a response to Twitter trolls, though it’s more of a mask than a fix. When enabled, incoming mentions from people you don’t follow simply won’t be shown.

Apple Retail Drops 'Store' and I Think I Like It

· Bryan Chaffin · Editorial

Apple Mall of Georgia

Apple is in the process of rebranding its fleet of Apple Stores to a fleet of just Apple. The company is removing the word “Store” from those locations, turning them from retail outlets to outposts of the company itself. Bryan Chaffin thinks this is splendid