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I played with Alexa the other day on a friend's Sonos: I was impressed and amused. I have never been impressed by Siri. The actual speech parsing is good but the reaction to so many enquiries is just to display a web page on the display; this defeats the object in many cases. A rethink is overdue if Apple intends to compete in this area.
StrangeDays said:command_f said:I think the Lightning connector is physically superior to USB-C (having used an all-USB-C MBP since late 2016). I do see the need for USB-3 speeds, especially when setting-up a new phone or pad, but I continue to believe that Apple could engineer that into Lightning in a backwards-compatible fashion.
Putting USB-C on the other end of the cable seems more important to me. With my MBP 2 years old and Apple's apparent drive for USB-C, I couldn't believe that my new iPhone XS needed a dongle to connect to my MBP. So let's have a brave drive for the future at the charger/host end of the cable first.
If Apple believes that USB-C is the future (and the MBP, plus statements at its launch, suggest that they do) then why does the iPhone, two generations later, not come with a USB-C charger and cable? Or with a USB-C cable in addition to the USB-A one (which would be analogous to the inclusion of a headphone dongle with previous generation iPhones).
It's not the cost at issue, it's the lack of system thinking and integrated ecosystem that used to be a hallmark of Apple kit (the "it just works" bit) Transitions are always difficult but Apple doesn't seem to be consistent on this one.
When comparing audio systems, it is essential to equalise the sound levels of the systems. At all reasonable levels, a louder playback will gain a quality advantage; this is down to the extra detail revealed by boosting the volume of the quieter parts. This is a common problem when trying to compare sound quality, be it of different systems or different versions (eg remastered CD vs original CD - it may not be a coincidence that remasters are usually louder than their predecessors).
While they were playing at a lower level, the HomePods were disadvantaged (I think the story acknowledges that but it's a bit subtle in saying so).
2 points that makes Google Maps much more useful than Apple Maps.- the global coverage. Apple announces support for public transport city by city, Google does it country by country. At the pace Apple is announcing a global coverage of public transport will be for the next century- the integration with search engine. You look for something in the search engine and the location is automatically available in the Google Maps on any device you have.For developers: integration in your own developments.
- Streetview. See your destination before you leave: my favourite example is when I was driving into Sydney for the first time, lots of traffic and lots of one-way streets. My hotel was on a block corner but where was its car park entrance? Once I knew that, I knew which one-way street to approach on.
I prefer to think of this as keeping out the bad guys. In my book, in the UK, that doesn't include the security agencies. YMMV.
However, it's a Good Thing that Apple is doing this, the agencies should have (be given) different and better methods. Interestingly, the ex-head of GCHQ (UK's equivalent of NSA) is on record as opposing backdoors: he says they're technically difficult and and open to abuse (https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/07/10/former_gchq_wades_into_encryption_debate/). About what has been said here in the past.
BTW The original story is here (but it may not be accessible outside the UK):https//www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/technology-40554686/end-to-end-encryption-back-door-a-bad-idea