Last Active
  • Apple uses WWDC to launch assaults on Google strongholds

    The title of the article is a bit click baitish. That being said, as Apple moves to becoming more of a services oriented company, they will be competing more and more with Google's services. 

    Apple is much bigger than Google and more importantly develops cutting edge hardware with unique capabilities. No one else in the industry has been able to follow and keep up with Apple. Google's hardware initiatives have all essentially failed. Samsung's Tizen is essentially crushing Android Wear. And with the sanctions against Huawei, Android Wear is virtually on life support. 

    The Pixel is dead. Apple controls nearly all of the cutting edge technologies when it comes to hardware. The watch OS is now in an unassailable position. Apple's chip designs are the best in the industry (better than Intel, Qualcomm, AMD, Samsung and Huawei). Apple gets the best of Samsung's display technology. Google does not control a single cutting edge hardware technology. And Microsoft is tied to an incompetent and flailing Intel. 

    Apple could cut Google off in an instant. All Apple would have to do is make Bing or Yahoo the default search engine on their devices and computers. The vast majority of users would not change the default. Apple maps may be inferior, but how many iPhone users have installed and are using Google maps instead? It's not many. And Apple maps are good enough. Apple could make the app superior to the Google product, but the incentive just isn't there. Not at present anyway. For Google, it's actually an urgency that they keep ahead of Apple. Google is far more dependent on that revenue stream than Apple. 

    Hence Apple continues their relentless focus on hardware. Superior hardware enables elegant state of the art total solutions. Apple controls its destiny from the hardware perspective. Google is desperately trying, but has been utterly incapable of developing competitive state of the art hardware. Google is dependent on others. Apple now is getting ready to go places that Google cannot. Microsoft is also in the same boat. And like Google, Microsoft is dependent on others for their hardware initiatives. 

    Microsoft and Google are just software companies. Neither of them will be able to compete with Apple over the long term. 

    What surprises me is why companies like Microsoft or even Samsung, maybe Huawei don't purchase a company like DuckDuckgo or the perhaps the Korean search engine Naver and make a decent attempt to compete with Google. If I were in Jeff Bezos shoes and sitting on the fortune he is, I would seriously have purchased a company like. Naver and retool the program for an international market. Integrate it into a home grown browser based on WebKit and optimized for the best experience on the Amazon website. Naver should also be integrated into Alexa. 

    Apple is also sitting on a fortune. Cook should also seriously look into purchasing the Korean company. Apple would instantly own the South Korean search market. Google is totally inept in Korea. Google search is hardly even used over there. Apple could leverage Naver by extending it to the North American market and making it the default search engine for safari. 

    And while desktop Chrome gets a lot of love, developers cannot afford to ignore safari users if nothing else than the fact that safari dominates the best mobile platform, iOS. There have been occasions where I have been forced to use Firefox or tenfourfox. I found using Chrome a dreadful experience and stopped using it altogether. I haven't personally found a need for the Chrome browser, nevermind a compelling use scenario. Even when using Android, I disable Chrome and use other browsers like Opera. 

    Apple's move to its own silicon is an ominous development for both Google and Microsoft. Neither company will be able to compete with Apple over the long term. Google and Microsoft have excellent software teams. But Apple is equivalent to them. The far bigger issue is that Apple has a stellar hardware team. Google and Microsoft do not. Google has the Pixel and Microsoft has the Surface line of machines. And neither the Pixel nor the Surface (Pro) compete very well in their own markets, nevermind competing with Apple. Microsoft is even closing their own stores. 

    Google cannot put an array of Tensor AI chips into the Pixel. Apple will incorporate AI subprocessors right into their own SOC. AI will be native to the iPhone. Android will be dependent on network access to Google's servers for AI. That's just the start, people. The S series for the watch will be much more powerful than anything from Qualcomm. And Intel doesn't build mobile CPUs of any kind these days. 

    Eric Schmidt made a colossal blunder in stealing iOS. His vision of duplicating the Microsoft business model but with Google the dominant software platform for mobile has failed. Google could have been the eternal search engine on Apple hardware along with software such as maps and such. Google is going to have to envision a future in being displaced from Apple hardware. It's a very bad place to be right now. 

    Otellini of Intel also made just as colossal a blunder by rejecting Steve Jobs request of building a Strong ARM CPU for the original iPhone. Intel is also going to have to envision a future in which they are also displaced from Apple hardware. 

    Samsung also made a colossal mistake. Samsung should have abandoned Android. Developed Tizen independently and kept Apples business as the exclusive supplier of chips for the iOS platform. Samsung lost Apple's business. Samsung makes the best display panels and has managed to get Apple's business there. But the loss of the CPU and even the memory business was far bigger than any of the gains afforded by embracing Android. Samsung has had to compete with the Pixel and has lost the China market. The only bright spot are the Trump sanctions on China and companies like Huawei. Samsung, at least, no longer has to compete with Huawei on a worldwide basis on the Android platform. Samsung should have worked with Apple instead of antagonizing Steve Jobs when it came to Android. Now that TSMC has Apple's business, Samsung won't be getting it back.

    Apple is poised to utterly dominate computing in another decade. That is, if the world can manage to keep the Covid crisis under control. That isn't guaranteed. At all.  
  • Rosetta 2 lacks support for x86 virtualization, Boot Camp not an Apple Silicon option [u]

    To continue with my previous post, moving to AMD with it's secure performance autonomous subsystem is just as bad as Intel's management engine. Apple's own CPU eliminates all of that mess. It's the primary reason I use a G5 for my desktop needs. 

    Admittedly, I don't make a living where high performance processing is required. So the decision to use the PowerPC for security reasons works for me. 

    So this all boils down to those who say they need the highest performing CPUs but it has to be an x86 platform makes no sense. Because the Apple CPU IS going to trounce anything from Intel. And if running legacy applications is necessary, then high performance processing isn't exactly necessary. 

    And if someone has 50k to pay for a high end multi CPU Mac Pro, then they will be willing to spend less on a higher performing Mac Pro with Apple CPU, even if it requires a dongle with an x86 CPU attached to a Thunderbolt/USB4 port to run legacy programs. Because all of the programs that require all of that CPU power will be ported over anyhow. And legacy programs requiring Windows/DOS will be fine on any modern x86 cpu for a very long time. 

    I just don't buy the argument that high end games won't make it over to the Apple CPU based Mac. Because high performance CPU/GPU combinations have always been gamers' wet dreams. And the Apple CPU/SOC will offer such in spades. 

    What will the Windows apologists say when a low end Apple platforms out performs a high performance and much more costly windows one? 

    Even if Apple gets special pricing on Intel products, there is no way Intel can match the price of Apple's own chips. Apple already spends a small fortune developing those ARM based processors for their mobile products. They might as well extend that expertise in developing high performance desktop SOCs. Most of the development cost is already baked in anyway. 

    Apple will totally own the security of their own platform and not worry about the management engine. They can much more easily customize the silicon for the needs of their user base. 

    Apple can much more rapidly develop their own platform. And the rest of the industry will be playing catch up. Even Microsoft will see the urgency of moving Windows over to the ARM platform. Virtualizing the ARM version of Windows for the Mac platform will be the ONLY way for Microsoft to remain relevant for the long term. 

    The majority of software development is taking place for ARM. Not x86. Not by a long shot. 

    Apple is going to outflank both Microsoft and Google/Alphabet with one decisive movement in taking this step. 

    The only sad thing is that current world events may make the whole matter moot. I mean, when the economy implodes, this whole thing becomes completely irrelevant. 
  • Rosetta 2 lacks support for x86 virtualization, Boot Camp not an Apple Silicon option [u]

    I find all of the doom and gloom predictions of the demise of Apple because they are appropriately abandoning the x86 platform for very legitimate reasons quite comical. 

    I myself remain tied to the PowerPC platform and still using a G5 which is considered "ancient" by modern standards. But kudos for the tenfourfox developers as my G5 remains relevant. More than I can say for my 2008 iMac using a core2 duo CPU. 

    It was actually a sad day for me when Apple abandoned the PowerPC especially when PA Semi was manufacturing the Pwrficient CPU which offered great performance at low power consumption figures. Something that Intel has still failed to come to grips with. Admittedly Intel's relationship with Apple has helped. But Intel is totally lost. AMD is outperforming Intel while Intel continued to flounder. Still on a 14 nm process when everyone else has moved beyond. And Intel's integrated GPU is still an atrocious performer. 

    Intel is stuck and their efforts are anemic at best. Improvements to their CPU are occurring at even slower than a snail's pace. 

    Suddenly those toasted bunnies from that Apple commercial all those years ago seems eerily prescient. 

    So for all of those who yearn for the x86 CPU, just buy a modern Mac today. The CPU will still be relevant a decade from now. Because Intel will still have not have advanced much even by then. Today's Intel CPUs will not be obsoleted by newer Intel CPUs for a long time. If ever. 

    Apple can either stay tied to Intel and continue to advance the A series CPUs for their mobile devices and watch the next generation iPad move past the MacBook Pro even with all of the limitations of the mobile platform or bite the bullet and develop a high performance chip based on the ARM ISA for the MacBook Pro and even the Mac Pro line of machines. 

    I mean look at the optics people. The iPad pro is matching the core i7 in single threaded performance and in a mobile device!!! Even with much lower amounts of RAM, passive cooling and a limited thermal envelope, Apples bionic CPU is on par with the i7!! For Intel, that's actually not just pathetic, it's embarrassing. 

    Why wouldn't Apple just ditch Intel. Apple clearly has a much better CPU with a superior integrated GPU than Intel. Why not just develop a high performance version for desktop and laptop use? Honestly, an Intel CPU will remain relevant for a very long time. If nothing more because Intel isn't able to advance the x86 platform. It's even more pathetic that AMD offers better performance these days.  

    For those that require an x86 CPU for Windows/DOS compatibility, well they will be fine for a long time. Windows will be tied to the x86 platform for a long time to come.  And Intel isn't exactly moving forward very fast. 

    It makes no sense for Apple to advance their mobile platforms while the desktop and laptop lines languish because of Intel's ineptitude. 

    Moving to a high performance Apple CPU based on the ARM ISA makes complete sense. And the move will remove Intel's management engine entirely. It is a security nightmare. 
  • Why Apple will move Macs to ARM, and what consumers get

    Apple will be moving their entire computing line up over to ARM CPUs. It's a no-brainer. 

    Intel is stuck at 10 nm and TSMC is down to 5 nm. That is an enormous advantage that Intel cannot overcome. In any scenario, including their high end Xeon CPU lineup. If Apple decides to build a high performance server chip based on the ARM ISA and TSMC's processes, Intel's Xeon is toast. 

    For laptops, ARM CPUs will decimate Intel's lineup. There was a very good reason Intel left the mobile CPU market. Apple's ARM units enable better performance, lower cost and better battery life than any portable Intel CPU. Especially with Intel stuck at 10 nm. And I will say it now. Intel will NOT leapfrog TSMC in Fabrication technology. Not going to happen. Take that one to the bank. And Apple's CPU design team is better than Intel's. That is a killer combination that Intel will never overcome. Ever. Intel will be lucky if they can stay competitive with AMD. In addition Intel's integrated graphics units perform abysmally. 

    Moving the laptop lineup over to ARM is absolutely going to happen. Apple may continue to offer x86 based units for a time. But eventually, the entire line up will be moving. The market will decide that. Most people will take a higher performance ARM based laptop with better battery life and lower cost than an x86 based laptop where the only advantage is the ability to run Parallels, VMWare or Boot camp. 

    Face the facts, the majority of computing is already done on ARM. Mostly on phones and tablets, but it is what it is. Developing for a single common CPU architecture makes more sense than doing so simultaneously for two platforms. One for x86 based Macbooks and Macs along with another for ARM based iphones and iPads not to mention all of the Android development going on exclusively for ARM. Android on x86 died years ago. 

    I just don't see thunderbolt as being a problem with Intel open sourcing the technology. Apple could just adopt it or dust off FireWire again. 

    Intel is one messed up company. But they were the ones that turned down Steve Jobs offer to build a CPU for the iPhone. They had no vision. Even after benefiting from Apple switching to x86 from PowerPC. But that's another story for another time. 

    Apple is relentlessly pushing development of the ARM platform. Pushed more by Android, Samsung and Qualcomm to a far greater degree than Intel and Windows. But the gap is becoming ridiculous. It makes no sense to stay on x86 just for backwards compatibility when the advantages of ARM are superior in every other sense. And Apple is always focused on the future, not the past and backwards compatibility. Otherwise, we would still be using ADB based mice and SCSI interfaces. I personally would love an OS 10.6 upgrade for my dual G5 machine. But sadly it won't be forthcoming. Which means I will never get a USB3 interface. At least the G5 is far more secure hooked up to the internet running ten4fox than any Intel based Mac running Safari. I doubt that even the NSA is looking for zero day exploits on the PowerPC platform at this time. But that is also another discussion for another time.

    Apple abandoned the powerpc and never looked back. Even at a time when the G5 was better than x86 on the desktop. X86 was just that much better for laptops. Now, ARM is superior to x86 for portable computing. The discrepancy is even bigger than it was for the G4 against Intel's Core solo. 

    Let those who want x86 and Windows compatibility purchase the slower and power hungry Intel based machines. I will choose an ARM based MacBook. At least the ARM CPUs won't have the inherent security flaws which were literally baked into Intel CPUs. With the ability to design chips for all of their computing devices, Apple could spread the costs of CPU development, integrate low power GPUs, enhance security, improve battery life and all kinds of things that they absolutely cannot do using off the shelf generic Intel parts. 

    So for those who are in denial over the upcoming switch to an all ARM based line up. It's time to come to grips with reality. The upcoming move is a poorly kept secret. 

    I hated the move to x86 from PowerPC. Even today, I remain committed to the PowerPC line up. But I still won't be purchasing an x86 based machine. I will purchase an ARM based machine, however, when Apple finally releases one. My powerbook g4 even at 1.67 GHz feels like a dinosaur. Amazingly, it is still useful. Thankfully Apple did give us an iPad pro but I would like to have a real laptop again. Something that does not come with an x86 CPU. Who knows what kind of zero day exploits the NSA already has found for that dog of a CPU. Even if running Mac OS. 

    As an aside, I have been looking for an xserve G5. They just aren't available. My suspicion is that IT personnel familiar with them know what they have and aren't letting them go. At least the aluminum encased work station
     beasts are widely available. Even G4 based xserves are difficult to find. Intel based xserves are widely available. That tells me a lot about the security and peformance of the two platforms. G4 mac minis are still available and I have one running my home automation network. I have absolutely no trust in the security of the Intel x86 platform. 

    I have waited for a long time for Apple to give me a non x86 based laptop. It seems that the wait will soon be over. That is, if Covid19 doesn't destroy the economy. Which is looking more and more likely. Again, another story for another time. 
  • Google unites its Apple Pay alternatives under Google Pay banner

    Google’s primary concern isn’t Apple Pay. It’s Samsung pay. Especially the ease of using Samsung pay from a Gear S3 smartwatch. None of the android wear watches even come close to the Samsung product. It’s a big problem for Google over the long term. Because Samsung is moving over to Tizen. 

    Since the majority of people on the Android are using Samsung devices and therefore using Samsung pay, this is a big problem for Google. Especially with the paltry demand for the Pixel and the ongoing developments at Samsung which are beginning to rout the rest of the smartphone industry with respect to hardware. 

    When google pay fails as it will because of Samsung’s dominance, Google will try to rebrand it again. Maybe Alphabet Pay?