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  • Editorial: Apple's removal of 3D Touch is a backwards step for 'Pro' iPhones

    I think the comments are overstating this change by a lot. I have owned every model with 3D Touch. The jump to Haptic Touch on the new iPhone 11 Pro is not that big of a deal.  The only thing that I am quickly getting use to is having to use the spacebar to move the cursor instead of anywhere on the keyboard. But in iOS 13, it's much easier to move the cursor anyway.  3D Touch had it's own issues with pressure sensitivity.  I've not had any problems with touch misfirings, the flashlight turning on accidentally, etc.  

    Bottom line for Apple and myself as well, this change will please a lot more people because the battery is larger and now Haptic Touch can be implemented across the entire iOS/ iPadOS line.  In this way it can actually become useful to developers who can build universal apps to support long touch.  

    It might have been somewhat cost effective to put 3D touch in an iPhone screen but possibly cost prohibitive in an iPad Pro.  Now they don't have to worry about that and can focus on the software instead.   
  • Study: Apple Pay at 9% adoption in US, lags far behind PayPal and traditional payment meth...

    Apple doesn't do a good enough job of marketing the simplicity of Apple Pay. There should be ads running regularly during major sporting events etc. showing people using their iPhone and/or Apple Watch to pay for stuff.  And Apple should also work with all major retailers, banks and POS terminal vendors to remove all of the ridiculous PIN and or Signature authentications for Apple Pay on transactions less than $300.   I could see also having to enter a debit card pin for larger amounts, but biometric auth is more secure.  And a Signature for a credit card is useless.  You can scribble anything you want and it works.
  • Editorial: Steve Jobs would have been proud of Tim Cook's Apple News & Apple TV event

    AppleZulu said:
    jboly said:
    I think most of your Apple analysis is spot on, and I agree that the completely unwarranted Apple sniping has become a whole cottage industry for the tech press.   

    That said, I think in this case, you are missing an opportunity to give some important feedback to Apple.   The new services are well intentioned, as are many of the hardware product changes we have seen, but lately Apple has sacrificed a lot of what has traditionally been their strong suits, in pursuit of goals that do not agree with many of their customers.   Examples:
    1) QA is suffering. There are many more bugs and less reliable parts of macOS than we would typically see from Apple in past versions.
    2) Extreme minimalism - butterfly keyboard.   Great idea, but when it gets to the point that even small dust particles can cause problems, it's both an engineering and a QA issue.  And to what end?  No reasonable customer would sacrifice reliability for a fraction of a millimeter in thickness.
    3) Extreme minimalism - USB-C ports only.  Unlike when the iMac was the first machine to introduce USB ports in the late 90s, this time around USB-A ports are common.  Most of the rest of the industry is very slow to adopt USB-C and has put USB-A ports on their devices as well or not added USB-C ports at all. This gives peripheral vendors a pass to continue to use cheaper and more ubiquitous USB2 and 3/ USB-A connectivity rather than upgrade to USB-C.  Especially for very low bandwidth and mundane peripherals like mice, keyboards, and charging and connectivity for things like wireless earbuds.   And this means it will be many years, perhaps five or more before USB-C is truly ubiquitous. So Apple is essentially requiring their customers to adopt a less than elegant and awkward use of dongles and USB hubs just to use most of the current devices they own, and even ones that are brand new, but still not supporting USB-C.   Again, no Apple customer would be upset with the inclusion of one or two USB-A ports on a MacBook Pro.   

    With respect to the newly announced services, I'm not sold on Apple TV+ instead of YouTube TV.  Where are the local channels and the sports?  And Netflix has a deeply established position. So far I don't see anything compelling enough to make me want to drop Netflix for Apple TV+.  Similarly, while I laud Apple's efforts at creating a better credit card, what about all my airline miles, and it is not as if Apple has created a revolutionary shift in interest rates such that I would want to switch any of my current credit cards to the Apple card.   And I'm not sold on News+ either. The most compelling feature is the new Magazines feature, but unlike Apple Music where I might listen to a wide variety of music from playlists to justify a monthly subscription, if I only read a few magazines and most news is free from other sources, why would I pay for a News+ subscription?  What might have worked better is a lower tier where for $3.99 a month I can pick up-to 5 magazines only.

    I love every attempt Apple makes at new products and services and I am really happy about the overdue refreshes of great products like the Mac Mini, iPad Mini and iPad Air 3. But there are many areas where Apple has room for improvement and needs listen a bit more to feedback from their best customers and from writers like yourself who are well positioned to offer constructive and yet critical commentary.
    Your rationale, particularly on item #3, makes me want to bang my head on the desk. USB-C/Thunderbolt is a faster port. I would rather have a dongle for backward compatibility to the slower tech now than have a slow port/chokepoint built into the machine and taking up space for as long as I use it. Inclusion of a USB-A port would require a redesigned body for MBP, because the old port necessitates a bigger hole, which necessitates enough material surrounding that bigger hole to keep from damaging the case by accidentally levering a USB plug while inserted into the machine. Going all-in on USB-C is no more draconian than prior decisions to leave out the floppy disc and CD Drives. At some point, it's not necessary to accommodate a waning technology inside the case, requiring users to haul around legacy hardware they use less and less. I like the smaller profile of my MBP and would rather not have it be bigger and heavier just to accommodate a legacy port/chokepoint. Your "no Apple customer would be upset" statement above is therefore negated. Finally, if you think adoption of USB-C is slow now, imagine what it would be if a company as big as Apple didn't go all-in on the standard? Apple's choice will actually speed broad adoption of USB-C. This was the right choice for a forward-looking company.

    There are other things above that are also worth refuting, but I'll stop there.
    All good points re: USB-C.  But it's not true that adding USB-A means a slower USB-C.  Chipsets can support both.   And if it wasn't clear, I'm not saying don't have USB-C ports.  I'm saying add one USB-A port.  Or at least include a USB-C to Lightning cable.  And I don't think there is a thin case issue.   There's also a 3.5 mm audio jack that still exists on the Pros.   It's about the same thickness as a USB-A port with the same leverage issues.  For that matter if you are worried about leverage hurting the case, then why did they get rid of Magsafe, or not include a Magsafe to USB-C adapter?.  Having your laptop fly off the table when you trip over the power cord is a lot worse than leverage applied to a USB-A port.   

    I get what you are saying, good for Apple to speed up adoption.  And at this point, maybe that's where we are at industry wide.  But I still question the knee jerk to design minimalism that often trumps reasonable function.