Apple's Instincts About the Watch Buyer Mentality Prove Correct

· John Martellaro · Editorial

Apple Watch series 2

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Apple's Power Starts with Dismissing Engineering Truths as Irrelevant

· Bryan Chaffin · Editorial

Apple Watch Back

We’ve long understood that the user comes first at Apple, but former Apple engineer Bob Messerschmidt recently illustrated that in a clear and concise manner. It humanizes the magic that can happen when engineering truths are dismissed as irrelevant.

A Clever Microsoft Ad Gets to the Heart of Apple's Fuzzy iPad Message

· John Martellaro · Editorial

MacBook-iPad side by side

The early iPads were a sensation. It seemed that Steve Jobs had brought forth the successor to the Mac. However, things have not gone as planned with the iPad, and Apple is scrambling to construct a clearer branding and imperative for the iPad. Even Microsoft senses the difficulty and has poked fun at Apple’s newfound toaster-fridge mentality.

Twitter and NFL on Apple TV Could Be Big For Everyone

· Bryan Chaffin · Editorial

Apple TV, NFL, and Twitter

Twitter is reportedly talking with Apple about bringing a dedicated app to Apple TV for live-streaming NFL games. A solid Twitter app bringing this kind of content to your TV could be a big winner for fans, Twitter, Apple, and the NFL, too.

Warren Buffett Buys 5.41 Million Shares of $AAPL

· Bryan Chaffin · Editorial

$AAPL Logo

Warren Buffett bought some 5.41 million shares of Apple during the June quarter, according to regulatory filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The investment cost more than half a billion dollars, and represents a 55% increase in Berkshire Hathaway’s stake in Apple.

Apple Music and iTunes Downloads Combine into One Powerful Music Platform

· Bryan Chaffin · Editorial

Apple Music and iTunes

Apple’s decision to continue selling iTunes downloads alongside its Apple Music streaming service is proving to be a powerful combination. Three albums debuted in the number one spot this year as exclusive offerings from Apple. No other competing service can claim to have pushed an album to number one.

Microsoft Expertly Demonstrates Why Encryption Backdoors Are Terrible Ideas

· Bryan Chaffin · Editorial

Golden Key Website

Microsoft did long term privacy advocates a huge favor, even while it screwed over untold millions of customers. The company expertly demonstrated the foolhardy nature of backdoors even existing by accidentally leaking a so-called “golden key.” That key will allow anyone to bypass Microsoft’s Secure Boot protections, rendering them moot.

Apple Uses Black Hat Conference to Launch Bug Bounty Program, Will Pay up to $200K

· Bryan Chaffin · Editorial

Researcher Money Pile

Apple announced a bug bounty program on Thursday, a much-needed departure from the past. The program will pay up to US$200,000 for bug reports on its software. In another departure, Apple made the announcement at the annual Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas. Apple hasn’t given a presentation at the event in four years.