Last Active
  • Apple again said to cut HomePod orders on poor sales performance

    tylersdad said:
    Still loving my HomePods! That it is the best sounding smart speaker goes without saying and my HomeKit and Apple Music experience with the platform has been top-notch. I'm hoping this product stays around for a long time and I'm inclined to believe that rumored Siri improvements (hopefully announced at WWDC) which have been indicated by reports of Apple beefing up the personal assistant's team should go along way to ensure that. Fingers crossed!
    Seriously? Fingers crossed? Many of us are still waiting for FaceTime to become an open Jobs promised back in 2010.

    "We're going to the standards bodies, starting tomorrow, and we're going to make FaceTime an open industry standard."
    Gruber has written about this. According to his sources Jobs came up with that on his own w/o clearing it past the team and didn't know about the barriers to doing it. (Perhaps these IP issues we're reading about in lawsuit stories here).
  • The 2019 Mac Pro will be what Apple wants it to be, and it won't, and shouldn't, make ever...

    One of the things early Apple and Steve Jobs learned was that if you give people a system they can grow on, with and in, then people will find new ways of using it. – Ways that both will be beneficial to Apple and their customers. 

    The current Apple seem to have lost much of this early gained knowledge. It has in many ways become a non-learning organization.
    Far too many companies have faltered under the philosophy of design by committee. 
    Actually, Jobs hated expandabilty and slots and sought out to block them. Read it from the guys in the room. Here’s one of the Macintosh creators Andy Hertzfeld:

    Apple's other co-founder, Steve Jobs, didn't agree with Jef about many things, but they both felt the same way about hardware expandability: it was a bug instead of a feature. Steve was reportedly against having slots in the Apple II back in the days of yore, and felt even stronger about slots for the Mac. He decreed that the Macintosh would remain perpetually bereft of slots, enclosed in a tightly sealed case,”

    So much for your theory. 

    And are are you actually claiming Apple is a design by committee company!? Good one. 
  • Video: What's new in watchOS 4.3 for the Apple Watch, featuring portrait Nightstand mode, ...

    Is anyone else no longer able to switch embedded youtube videos into the iOS native full screen mode?? This is absurd and it’s happening to me on every site I visit but I’m not hearing much about it...

  • First look: Apple's new 9.7-inch iPad with Apple Pencil support

    k2kw said:
    tmay said:
    mike54 said:
    Not impressed. A more recent CPU, but not the latest. Still has bluetooth 4.2. How much RAM? Apple Pencil and keyboard from Apple still very expensive. And no pointer support. So the only main difference is Apple Pencil support (CPU upgrade is a given). And how about a redesign to make it more rugged for schools? I expect more from this highly profitable company.
    The previous generation CPU is appropriate to keep down bill of materials costs.  So, makes sense.

    I’ll bet the RAM is matched to the CPU.  3GB for the A10 Fusion.  Apple likely knows best.  So, makes sense.

    On the subject of no pointer support, well, it’s a touch screen interface.  Tablets are designed for a different user interaction paradigm.  So, makes sense.

    No need to ruggedize the device as there are perfectly suitable cases to protect it.  Why have that capability built into the device, necessitating a whole new engineering effort and separate SKUs.  So, as is makes sense.

    Making sense in their design, engineering, and marketing is what I expect from any company.  Apple is one of few that deliver.

    The arguments against "pointer support" on the iPad are primarily ideological rather than technical.   The fact is:  iOS was created by stripping that support from MacOS.  And, that was done because it was simply not needed on a tiny 3.5" iPhone screen that valued CPU/battery efficiency above all else. 

    Today, (iPad) screens are now the size of laptop screens and the processors that drive them are as powerful (or more!) than many laptop processors  So, the technical reasons for keeping iPads cursorless are fast fading away.   And, more importantly, it is painting Apple into an "also ran" corner -- which is becoming acutely obvious in the education market where they are being overrun with Chromebooks.   An article in CNBC said it well:

    "Venture capitalist Gene Munster said iPad is strongest in grades kindergarten through fifth grade while Chromebooks are more popular among older students in middle and high school, when activities like essays and spreadsheets come into play."

    Very simply, a cursorless iPad with only a touchscreen interface is mostly restricted to play and creative / artistic pursuits.  While it can do some limited serious work like word processing and spreadsheets, it is not well suited to those tasks. To perform those tasks well you need a high quality external keyboard with a mouse or a touchpad.  The iPad has the keyboard -- now it needs to the touchpad/mouse as well.

    If Apple is to remain competitive in markets such as education they have three choices:
    1)  Give the iPad a cursor
    2)  Produce a sub $500 MacBook
    3)  Produce a "SafariBook"

    Of the three, the first is the easiest and will produce the best overall product.  (And frankly is probably the only viable solution)
    Despite the screams of anguish from the ideological elite that it's a dreaded "H Y B R I D", adding a cursor to the iPad takes NOTHING away from the iPad.  Like split screen, an external keyboard and a file system, it just adds to its power and functionality...

    Frankly, I think if Steve were still with us the iPad would have had a cursor long ago -- because Steve was not constrained by ideology, biases and convention.   And frankly, he wouldn't accept "also ran".  Instead he made every product the best he could make it without unnecessary compromise.
    I doubt that cursor support in iOS is primarily idealogical, though I would agree this it is in Mac OS, and for good reason. 

    I suspect that Apple has cursor driven apps running in their labs, but not yet meeting their standards for UX, at least not enough to drive an integration of the entire ecosystem of apps and developers. 

    More to the point, there needs to be a keyboard with a track pad to deliver that cursor, not a mouse, and it needs to be superior to the last keyboard cover; not a trivial engineering challenge. On top of that, it needs to be inexpensive for education, and even the current keyboard cover is a factor of three too expensive.

    Apple is never going to be able to compete on price with Chromebook, that's just a fact, yet I see plenty of posters, and various analysts stating that is exactly what Apple must do for the education market. I'm not seeing that as a viable business model for Apple to have razor thin margins and still not be able to compete with Chromebooks.

    1) It's not support for a cursor that is ideological -- it's the opposition to the addition of a cursor.
    2) Once a cursor is added to the iPad it can be driven by either a mouse or a trackpad -- just like a Mac.
    3) While there may be (or not) logistical issues in adding a touchpad to a keyboard cover, that does not eliminate the need or possibility of one.  The newest iPad can be driven by any external keyboard that supports bluetooth.  There is no reason to think the same would not apply to touchpads and mice.  In fact, I see no reason why the same keyboard/touchpad/mouse combinations that drive the iMac could not be used to to drive the iPad.

    4)  Correct:  While Apple can compete on price -- but they have chosen to compete on quality.  But that doesn't mean that they have to price themselves out of a market.  If they choose to sell only Rolls Royces to the education market, they won't sell too many.   In fact, they won't sell any.

    Not to long ago there was a rumor about a project called "Marzipan" which if I remember correctly was supposed to enable iOS apps to run on macOS. Maybe this would be by allowing developers create on program that could target running under both iOS and macOS with a mouse. 
    No, that isn’t what Marzipan is about. It’s about some unified framework kits for building cross-platform apps easier. It’s not about running iOS apps on a Mac.
  • Google faces $9 billion in damages after ripping off Java in Android

    bkkcanuck said:
    gatorguy said:
    The argument Google was making in this latest appeal was pretty thin, since they were relying in part on arguing "interoperability" being a rationale. In actual practice there was limited interoperability. I expected they'd lose this particular court case, but do not expect monetary damages from a follow-up retrial anywhere near the $9B that Ellison would like. He couldn't have expected that level of profit when he bought Sun years after Google introduced Android anyway which is why Sun sold so cheap. So in reality Ellison suffered no loss at all from Google not paying a licensing fee to the previous owner.
    I have been in the industry for close to 35 years... and although things have changed -- early on it was always understood generally that languages themselves could not be protected IP -- only the implementation of the compiler.  

    As far as I am concerned this is a very slippery slope since protecting languages, protecting APIs only leads to death of competition.  I have worked on projects that probably contains huge numbers of lines of code (some of it good, much of it bad and duplicated) and protecting a language and protecting an API would only lead to both the compiler being made a violation of IP, but also language translators, and things like Wine, of course, would be illegal since it implements APIs to run Windows Applications on Linux...  

    I don't have much love for Google - but I am worried about the long-term consequences.
    Yeah I personally disagree with the laws today and the notions of software patents -- implementation should be what is protected, and that's already copyrighted speech. Patents aren't needed and APIs aren't implementation.

    But that isn't the law today and thus moot in this case.