When a new technology first emerges, corporations have no choice but to hype their products in the hopes of becoming a leader, collecting all the early adopter profits and squeezing out the competition. Customers, on the other hand, get tired of the hype and bear the brunt of half-baked products. The technical term for all this is the Hype Cycle. Could this be happening with home automation?
Have OS X users become overwhelmed by terabytes of data? Are they bored or over burdened by the idea of backing up? Is iCloud a simplistic, lame answer to a much more complex question? OS X El Capitan does nothing to address this emerging issue.
When merchants say they are reluctant to embrace Apple Pay, the reasoning, amazingly, doesn't rest on sound technical ground. Instead, there seems to be a pattern of self-delusion, denial, foolish frugality, excuses about lack of customer demand and even downright ignorance. In time, this strategy is destined for major disasters that will drag their customers down with them.
For the past few years, Apple has introduced a new version of OS X at WWDC. The demos have been presented with wit, charm, and enthusiasm, but, in practice, customers have found the initial release wanting, even with public beta testing. Can Apple change its routine to surprise and delight us in a more fundamental way?
Apple is brilliant at building user interfaces. One essential element in that practice is to have a vision. But sometimes the vision doesn't work out in the real world, and Apple engineers have to backtrack. In the case of iOS on an iPad, Apple's obsession with the one app at-a-time on a 9.7-inch display is not serving the customer well. Apple may be getting ready to fix that problem.
We've heard rumors that Apple is working on its own car. It's likely to be a standard electric car with, we think, a phenomenal battery. However, down the road, our attention will turn to self-driving cars, and one question to ask about autonomous cars is whether making them work very safely can be done to the satisfaction of the consumers. Can Apple take that leap as well?
A tremendous amount of science fiction lore has built up our expectations of personal robots. And today, a great deal of research is being poured into artificial intelligence and robot mechanics. But we're still nowhere close to the "Data" of Star Trek or "Ava" of Ex Machina. Which company is worthy to tackle that challenge? Might it be Apple?
It's a tough decision. Pay more for an Apple Watch with a sapphire crystal. Or settle for Ion-X glass and hope it won't get too badly damaged over the next year. The fact is, people's wrists end up in the oddest places and can get banged about. Consumer Reports does the science and scratches the surface of this quandary.
Now that the MacBook and Apple Watch are shipping, it's time to start thinking about the iPhone 6s (or iPhone 7 according to some rumors). Just when we think the iPhone can't get any better, Apple seems poised to blow us away. Again.
Some observers complain that Apple doesn't come out with innovative products fast enough. But, in fact, it's actually quite hard to keep up with what Apple is doing, and it takes personal time and work to appreciate what Apple achieves. The alternative is to be left behind.
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