Donald Trump thinks it’s time for Apple to start manufacturing its products in the United States, and told CEO Tim Cook as much. Mr. Trump said Mr. Cook called him, and that he wants to give companies like Apple big tax breaks and remove industry regulations to get new factories in the country. That’s a pretty big dream considering the U.S. hasn’t ever had the production capacity to meet Apple’s needs.
There’s been discussion for a while now that Jony Ive was on his way out at Apple, or that he was trying to leave. My favorite was when being promoted to the C-Suite in Cupertino was somehow proof that he was leaving. That doesn’t make sense. Seems Apple’s new coffee table book, Designed by Apple in California, is also being seen as some kind of swan song for Sir Jony. John Gruber’s The Talk Show podcast added fuel to such speculation, but Mr. Gruber posted a written piece arguing the opposite was his intent, saying: “Fundamentally I think Jony Ive loves Apple, feels a responsibility to the legacy of his collaboration with Steve Jobs, and that whatever aspirations he has for the remainder of his career, personally, they’re only possible at Apple.” I agree with that. Sir Jony has a bit more freedom these days to do side projects like Claridge’s Christmas Tree, but he’s not leaving Apple for a long while to come. Mr. Gruber’s piece is solid analysis, and I recommend it.
A friend of mine let me know last night that Australian Apple customers were also emailed about a Black Friday sale. To my knowledge, this is the first time Australia has been included in Apple’s Black Friday sales, in part because Black Friday isn’t a thing in Aussieland. As with other markets getting this sale, the Apple.com/au site has a landing page featuring an Apple Watch, with the message that, “Friday can’t come soon enough.” I’m noting this because it shows a push by Apple to make a splash with this sale. As I said, Black Friday isn’t a thing Down Under. Not only is there no “Thanksgiving” holiday weekend happening (there is a “Thanksgiving” celebration unrelated to our Pilgrims, of course), but holiday shopping has a more general ramp up than it does in the States. That said, American culture pushes out to many corners of the world, and the idea of “Black Friday” as a time for sales isn’t unheard of. It’s merely uncommon. Jeff Gamet and I discussed this on Wednesday’s Apple Context Machine. It’s possible that Apple is feeling the need to goose December quarter sales.
Apple released only 13 new products in 2016, an embarrassing lack of riches. Bryan Chaffin and Jeff Gamet discuss what this might mean. They also talk about the future of automation on the Mac, as well as the return of Apple’s Black Friday sale. Does Apple feel the need to goose sales for the December quarter?
A non-negligible number of 2013 Mac Pro owners have been, for some time now, experiencing intermittent GPU freezes no matter what remedial action is taken or the version of OS X installed. That is, until macOS Sierra was released. John provides his updated report on how Sierra solved the problem for him.
Apple’s Craig Federighi says the company isn’t abandoning automation tools on the Mac, but the way he said it wasn’t reassuring. John Martellaro and Kelly Guimont join Jeff Gamet to share their thoughts on what’s in store for system-level Mac automation tools, plus Kelly has some tips for helping our less tech-savvy family and friends over the Thanksgiving holiday.
Today’s Quick Tip is all about using the iPhone’s Health app to view collected heart rate data from your Apple Watch. If you’ve never looked through that info, then boy, are you gonna be surprised at how much you can see! It’s a little nuts, to be honest.
Hey, grab em while you can ahead of Christmas. It’s a 3-pack of 10-foot MFi-Certified Lightning cables for $21.99. Easy peasy.
Last week Sal Soghoian announced his job as Apple’s Manager of Automation Technologies had been eliminated, and this week senior vice president of Software Engineering Craig Federighi says Apple intends to continue supporting scripting technologies on the Mac. That’s a little reassuring, although “intending to support” is a far cry from “committed to continue developing.”
Check out the PowerTime Apple Watch Charging Dock with 3 USB Ports. The name is pretty self-explanatory—this is a charging dock for your Apple Watch that includes 3 USB ports for charging your other devices. The surface where you rest your Apple Watch is coated in silicone, and it’s designed to be used with your charging puck. You can get this device for $39 through our deal, a 20% savings.
SwitchEasy has a new case for iPhone aimed particularly at Jet Black iPhone 7 owners who want to show off that Jet Black finish and have a case, too. The case is called Glass, and the back is made out of hardened glass (7H on the Mohs’ scale of hardness). The company says it has 90% optical transparency, and it was designed with a 1mm gap between the phone and the back of the Glass. That’s to minimize contact with the case to preserve that Jet Black finish. It has a retail price of $39.99.
I found a fun new mathy kind of puzzle game for you called Magic Square Puzzle. It’s from Japanese developer Tristore, and it’s pretty cool. Borrowing from a number of disparate flavors of such games, it gives you a grid of numbers. Your job is to arrange them in order so that every row adds up to a certain number. At the “Easy” level, you only have to line up the horizontal rows, and there are only three rows. At the hard level, you have a 4 x 4 grid, and you have to line up the horizontal and vertical rows, as well as two horizontal rows. That’s well beyond my ability to solve, but there are four levels of difficulty. Oh, and you can’t drag any number to any square you want. Instead, by sliding a number up, down, or sideways, you rotate the entire row. Numbers fiends will love this stuff. One last thing: in the screenshots below, I cut out the ads at the top of the screen. On the other hand, the game is free and there are no in-app purchases. Personally, I’d love an in-app purchase to go ad-free.
Yesterday’s show about Apple dissolving its wireless networking team got lots of comments and questions from listeners, so today Dave Hamilton and John Martellaro join Jeff Gamet to offer up their responses to your reactions, and share their thoughts on your questions.
Samsung has an idea for goosing Galaxy S7 smartphone sales: make a jet black model. The glossy black version is reportedly a move to compete with Apple’s latest iPhone color option, and an effort to boost sales following the Galaxy Note 7 explode-a-phone debacle.
The future of home Wi-Fi is mesh networking, a new approach to consumer wireless networks that includes smart management and multiple radios designed to handle the load of today’s gadgets. If you’ve been fighting with range extenders and other solutions to broaden your Wi-Fi coverage and keep your streams alive, you can now stop all that silliness and blanket your home with Wi-Fi. The future is here, and that future is mesh networking.
John Kheit has been searching for a wireless keyboard with a numeric trackpad that he likes, and he’s finally found it, the Matias Wireless Aluminum Keyboard. He put it through its paces and fell in love. Check out his full review for more.
Apple announced its Black Friday sale for 2016. Black Friday is the only day of the year Apple offers discounts on its products, and the company skipped Black Friday altogether last year. Apple sent out an email to customers pointing to a placeholder page for Black Friday. That page has no details, but says, “Our one-day shopping event will be here before you know it. Come back this Friday to check everyone off your list.” Both the email and the placeholder page feature an Apple Watch with Friday, November 25th, marked on the face. Seems likely that Apple Watches will be included in the sale, but you never know with Apple.
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.
Apple’s new coffee table book showing the history of its products in photographs is a beautiful representation of the company’s designs. Most of those products, it turns out, are in Stephen Hackett from 512 Pixels personal collections, so he put together a video showing his collection along side Apple’s photos. It’s cool to see the original iPod and iPhone, G4 Cube, iBook, next to their photos. It’s also proof Apple sold at least one set of iPod socks. You can check out Stephen’s video on YouTube.
Patrick O’Neil grew up in a family of photographers, and so designing a portable, add-on lens set for the iPhone was a natural thing to do. It all started as a Kickstarter project over five years ago at his kitchen table. Immediately successful with the iPhone 4, Patrick, along with his partner, was able to launch the olloclip company and has built these amazing lens kits ever since. The olloclip lens system is designed to have different creative options in your pocket: macro, fisheye, wide-angle or telephoto. We talked about the optics and engineering of these lenses, the mobility emphasis, keeping up with Apple’s changes, and how the product has evolved. Here’s Patrick’s story: from kitchen table to a company with almost 50 people readying the new lenses for the iPhone 7 and (joy!) the 7 Plus.