The Mac Observer's WWDC 2017 coverage sponsored by:

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A Stellar Concept Video for iOS 11 and the Rebirth of the Mac

· · Particle Debris

2016 MacBook Pro

The Particle Debris item of the week isn’t a written article. Instead it’s a concept video, a joint effort by Federico Vittici at MacStories and designer Sam Beckett in the UK. The reason it’s so cool is because it punctuates the hunger we all have for a new iOS on the iPad that leaves the past behind, truly enables and excites. John is excited, and you will be too. Plus: rebirth of the Mac.

A Glimpse Into Microsoft's Future

· · Particle Debris

Future User Interface.

Microsoft is a changed company under CEO Satya Nadella. We’re not the first ones to notice. This change has manifested itself in several ways, most notably the willingness to provide solutions on whatever platform the customer wants to work with. More exciting, however, is how people interact with their computers. This week, John points us an article that reveals Microsoft’s important new thinking about the human-machine interface.

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.

Apple's iPad Fights For the Education Market

· · Particle Debris

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

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.

Soon, You Will Be Told What To Think About Apple

· · Particle Debris

AI concept

Artificial Intelligence agents started out as friendly voices that could answer some simple questions. We’re in a new phase now in which AI agents can order goods and control our home. Recently, Google tried to jump to another level when it introduced an ad into a morning briefing. We can see where this is going, and it’s not good.

Amazon is Just Getting Started With Alexa/Echo

· · Particle Debris

Amazon Echo

The Amazon Echo family of devices shouldn’t be underestimated. We talk about how it appears to be a device for casual questions, weather, music and shopping. But the underlying technology is going after something much bigger. Moreover, Amazon’s lead over Apple in AI and home automation may be unstoppable. John looks at two articles that provide insight into what Amazon is after in the long run.

How to Stop Your New TV From Spying On You

· · Particle Debris

Eye Spy on Your TV

Recently, Vizio agreed to pay the Federal Trade Commission and the state of New Jersey a total of US$2.2M to settle a complaint that it spied on its TV customers. It’s an unexpected and sorry state of affairs when a new, beautiful, expensive 4K/UHD TV is also reporting on your viewing habits. John offers some advice on how to put a stop to that spying.

How Can We Tell if Our Love for Apple is Logical or Biased?

· · Particle Debris

Apple is our most favored company for perfectly good reasons. Or so we think. And yet there are people who despise the company. How can both attitudes be right?  The reason for this duality may depend on a particular kind of thinking called cognitive bias. John Martellaro explains. Or, at least, he thinks he’s explaining.

Apple's Underappreciated Technical Evolution

· · Particle Debris

TextExpander 6.1.3 with MacBook Pro Touch Bar support

Apple periodically comes out with The Next Big Thing. Along the way, however, the company makes incremental changes that also make our lives better. How those many advancements accumulate to positively affect our lives depends on how often we upgrade. Meanwhile, the punctuation of big product events keeps us coming back for more. It’s all in a delicate balance, perceived in our flow of time.

Education May be in Apple's DNA, But Not in Apple's Future

· · Particle Debris

Supercomputers, the internet and Artificial Intelligence (AI) agents are coming into full bloom. The future is evolving quickly away from GUI and touch-based methods to AI and voice control.  The implications for our personal computing experience are immense, and it all starts with the fundamentals of how we educate our children.

Apple's TV App Reveals its Plight with Television Industry

· · Particle Debris

CW app on Apple TV doesn't require cable subscription

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.

A Fascinating, Realistic Glimpse: What Would Steve Jobs Have Done?

· · Particle Debris

Steve Jobs

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.