Tag: Apple

  • New iPad Pros

    Apple announced new iPad Pro models, with a new and really cool keyboard to boot, yesterday. Yes, I ordered one, because now that I’m lugging around a 16″ MacBook Pro, the 12.9″ iPad Pro is a bit much – they overlap for me – so I got the 11″ model. That is the only reason I’m opening my wallet this time, because my current iPad Pro isn’t breaking a sweat in my workflow. Size is important though, and this lets me go back to smaller bags when I’m not carrying the whole damn office with me.

    I’m looking forward to a smaller device again, both for reading and writing in coffee shops (when the damn COVID-19 thing has blown over, that is). Less so for designing, screen real-estate is key there, but that happens on my MacBook Pro too, which offers even more pixels to push. I think the only time I’ll miss the big screen is when reading comics, and watching something in bed.

    (I won’t comment on mouse support until I’ve tried it. It does look pretty clever though.)

    Apple also announced an upgraded MacBook Air, which looks great. I’d be all over that a decade ago.

  • iPhone X

    iPhone X

    There’s something horrible about writing a post on the latest smartphone from Apple. It’s such a luxurious gadget, so over the top unnecessary, that I almost feel bad for getting it. Which is obviously ridiculous, since my previous model has found a new home, and so it goes until these precious pieces of tech don’t work anymore. We’re not ruining the world as long as we pass our stuff forward, right?

    Be that as it may, a $1,149 phone is sort of mind-boggling. That’s a computer, two computers, or five, or whatever, depending on what you think is decent enough to be called a computer. Personally I’m struggling with this, which is such a weird thing coming from someone tapping away on an iPad Pro… I’m not blessed or anything, I’m just gadgetally inclined. My bank account hates me for it.

    I don’t hate the iPhone X though. It’s the best bloody phone – sorry, portable computer – that Apple has ever made. I love the fact that it’s smaller and yet bigger than before. Face ID is magic, the build quality is amazing, the camera(s) are what you expect from The Next iPhone, and, well, yeah. It’s great. Next generation. It has the wow factor.

    You shouldn’t get it.

    Again, best iPhone ever, which – honestly – means best phone ever. Period.

    But the money, oh all that money! Chances are that you, if you’re contemplating the iPhone X when your contract runs out, already have a decent phone. The battery might be struggling, running dry even, and it’s starting to get sluggish.

    Restart it. Reset it. Try again.

    You see, while I can’t help myself, you could be stronger. Don’t swap out your stuff just because hey new shiny!!! hits you. There was literally nothing wrong with my iPhone 7 Plus (now removed from my setup), it was – is – a great phone. The iPhone X might be better, but my iPhone 7 Plus was more than enough. I never wanted more power, not really. I did want a smaller phone, and I got that, but the rest is just gravy.

    Sweet, sweet gravy.

    Where was I? Oh yeah.

    Save your money. Consider what you need, then reconsider, and ask yourself if a new phone will make you happier.

    I didn’t do that. I’ve got the iPhone X by my side. It’s amazing, but it doesn’t make me happy. On the other hand, owning it doesn’t make me sad either. It’s just one of those things, another gadget that’s better than the last, that won’t change my life.

    But it sure is the best iPhone ever.

  • Dropping the tech giants

    Dropping the tech giants

    No, I’m not doing that. I stopped using Google once, but they ensnared me again. I’m weak, I know. Anyway, this semi-interactive column at the New York Times has been making the rounds, and I find it interesting. It asks the question which of the tech giants you’d stop using first.

    Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft and Alphabet, the parent company of Google, are not just the largest technology companies in the world. As I’ve argued repeatedly in my column, they are also becoming the most powerful companies of any kind, essentially inescapable for any consumer or business that wants to participate in the modern world. But which of the Frightful Five is most unavoidable?

    I’d drop them in the following order.

    First, Microsoft. There’s not much they make that I can’t live without, but gaming would be difficult since I have a pretty extensive Steam library and the SteamOS is far from ready for prime time. I’d shed a tear and move on though, that’s what the Switch is for after all.

    Second, Facebook. It’s no secret I find this to be an abhorrent company with questionable motives. That said, I find myself struggling to drop Instagram, and a lot of communication is happening on Facebook itself, and through Messenger. Still, all of that is replaceable to me. Still not panicking.

    Third, Alphabet, which is Google’s parent company. This one would mean I’d have to go back to Fastmail for email as well as cut all the other Google Apps services. But you know what? While that would be a pain, the alternatives are getting there. Outside of email, I think all of Google’s services can be replaced with equally useful tools. In fact, had I done my Fastmail experiment today I probably would’ve been happy without Google still. They do quality services, but the ever watchful eye is as frightening as Facebook’s. And DuckDuckGo is a proper search engine too.

    Fourth, Amazon. Prime isn’t really a thing in Sweden so this one might hurt more for some of you. I’d miss Kindle, my Oasis is my primary reading device, but there are plenty of alternatives. I’d also miss Comixology, where I read graphic novels. Much like the column I’m viewing this as a consumer, so Amazon Web Services (and Microsoft’s Azure, for that matter) are still free to use through the companies that rely on them. Quitting Amazon would hurt.

    Finally, Apple. It’s not just that I’m invested in their ecosystem or that they make the best phones and tablets, no, it’s trust. Apple is the only one of the big five tech companies that appear to be fighting for me, and my privacy. Now if that would change things might be different, but hopefully they’ll continue to stand for the little guy.

  • Is the iPad turnaround coming?

    Is the iPad turnaround coming?

    Jean-Louis Gassée believes that the iPad turnaround, where the naysayers are predicting doom and gloom due to the huge dip in sales. This, after writing about the relaunched iPad product line, sans pro, in the Monday Note piece:

    This leads us to an easy guess for future iPad Pros. We’re likely to see linear hardware and software improvements (keyboard, screen, stylus, more independent windows…), plus others we can’t think of immersed, as we often are, in derivative thought. All will make the Pros more pro: Powerful enough of take business away from the Mac (and Windows PCs). I like my MacBook, but can see an iPad Pro on my lap and desk in a not-too-distant future.

    I believe this is possible, I know the vast majority of people would enjoy their computing tasks more if they used an iPad Pro instead, with the suitable accessories of course. However that’s a big step, and for some a change in mindset. It’s a tough battle to win.

    I write columns for Di Digital, a Swedish business tech site, and whenever I mention a computing solution that’s far from the laptop, I get emails about “not being able to work without the Thinkpad nub” and the like. People, professionals especially, are creatures of habit.

    That said, putting iPad Pros in the workflow of the younger generation, which are clearly the target of the new iPad Pro ads (one embedded below), might be the longterm route to success. Some industries you disrupt over night, others take more time. Professional computing work isn’t as easily defined as a smart mobile phone segment.

    Oh, and before you click play, make sure you read the whole Jean-Louis Gassée piece and the tiny little note about perspectives at the end. The iPad is a big deal, the only reason Apple pundits and analysts are chirping about its doom is because of the declining sales. That’s only really a truly worrying factor if people never upgrades their iPads. Looking at my immediate surroundings, that’s something people are interested in doing.


  • Let's talk about the AirPods

    Let's talk about the AirPods

    I’m interested in sound and abhor bad headphones. The fact that great music is consumed through crappy cheap in-ear headphones is a travesty. And yet, here I am sitting at an airport, tapping away on my iPad Pro, and listening to an audio book using Apple’s wireless option, the AirPods.

    Let’s get one thing straight right away: The AirPods doesn’t offer great, even good, sound quality. The talk time is about 90 minutes, then you need to charge them. They’re expensive, the fit isn’t perfect, and white is so 90s.

    And yet, despite all this, the AirPods might be the best thing to come out of Apple in a long time. They’re magical.

    Because you see, where other wireless options feature a wire between the headphones, and are generally bulky, the AirPods are anything but. Truly wireless headphones isn’t anything new, but ones that doesn’t suck, doesn’t skip or loose connection, that’s rare. So rare that I haven’t found a serious contender in the same price range, or even ones above. That’s the other thing, because while the AiPods cost a pretty penny, they’re actually not even expensive compared to the competition. Rumor has it Apple is selling them at lower margins than they usually do, and I find that easy to believe.

    None of this is the magical part.

    Pairing is instant and obvious with an iOS device (all others are stuck in Bluetooth hell). It just works has never been more true, the experience is so seamless that I jump between devices without a second thought.

    Take out an AirPod and it pauses the playback. Put it back and it resumes. In fact, if the AirPod isn’t in your ear, it isn’t on. Not the first to feature this, but I daresay these things have never worked so well.

    AirPods aren’t for listening to music, however they’re certainly good enough to play some in the background

    I’m not a fan of Apple’s headphones (also known as EarPods), they fit me poorly and if the cable gets slightly caught in my clothes they’ll almost fall out. AirPods are wireless, no cables, and while the fit could be better I can exercise without worrying that they’ll dislocate. In fact, I can see how some people forget that they’re wearing them in the first place.

    Fucking magical, that’s what it is. The AirPods are the first pair of headphones where I don’t mind the sound quality. Battery life isn’t an issue, not only do they charge in mere minutes within the sleek battery case, it’s more than adequate for listening to music on the commute. I don’t want to turn off the world when I’m in traffic, I want to hear my surroundings should something happen.

    AirPods aren’t for listening to music, however they’re certainly good enough to play some in the background. I’d say you’d have to reach professional DJ level in-ear headphones if you want to really listen to music as it was meant to be heard, and even then you’re still worse off than over-ears.

    As far as phone headphones go, the AirPods are as good as it gets. Full of compromise, sure, but also so completely superior to everything else in terms of life fit. The competition has a lot to live up to, and I can’t wait for what’s yet to come.

  • Workflow and Sucuri acquired

    Apple has acquired Workflow, and immediately updated the app to remove integrations with services such as Uber. There’s going to be some noise about this acquisition because of that particular update, but overall it might mean that so called power uses (sic!) might get more out of iOS out of the box. Workflow lets you create workflows (obviously), which are basically scripted actions, much like Automator for macOS. The user interface is a lot more user friendly than its macOS counterpart, so it’s probably not a far stretch to imagine Workflow crossing the border, one way or the other.

    In other news, the hosting company GoDaddy, who’re so desperately trying to fix its reputation, has acquired Sucuri. That means that they now have one of the premier WordPress hosts (WPEngine), and the best security scanner, for the platform.

  • No master keys, please

    Tim Cook, from the recent Time interview:

    No one should have a key that turns a billion locks. It shouldn’t exist.

  • Everything Apple in 2015

    9to5mac doing what an Apple blog should, listing everything Apple released in 2015 year by year.

    […] 2015 has been one where Apple has truly released new products all across the year. So many, in fact, that it’s probably difficult to recall every single new hardware and software product without referencing the history books. Starting with the X released in X to the X released in X, we’ll take a retrospective look at everything new that came out of Apple this year and what to expect in 2016.

  • The device chain

    The device chain

    Steven Levy has a really interesting piece, albeit perhaps somewhat fluffy, on Apple’s new iMacs, as well as the accompanied new keyboard, mouse, and trackpad. It’s well worth a read, and there are a ton of things to quote if one was so inclined.

    I’m picking this one, which is Levy’s take on Apple’s Phil Schiller’s view on how the company’s devices add up:

    Schiller, in fact, has a grand philosophical theory of the Apple product line that puts all products on a continuum. Ideally, you should be using the smallest possible gadget to do as much as possible before going to the next largest gizmo in line.

    Start at the Apple Watch to keep your phone at bay. Then, on your iPhone, you do all the things that makes sense. Too small? Go to the iPad (and soon the iPad Pro), then to the Macbook. Finally, wrap it up on a 27″ iMac, or possibly a Mac Pro, if Apple would be so kind to release a proper Thunderbolt display with retina screen.


  • Android Auto wants too much for Porsche

    Porsche picks Apple CarPlay over Google’s Android alternative, for not so surprising reasons. The Verge:

    The publication says that Android Auto tracks variables including vehicle speed, throttle position, fluid temperatures, and engine revs, information that is collated and then sent back to Google. Apple’s CarPlay, on the other hand, only checks with the car’s powertrain control module to ensure that the vehicle is moving. Porsche was apparently unwilling to enter a deal that would send reams of information back to Google — partly, Motor Trend says, because the manufacturer thinks those details make its high-end autos special, and partly because Google itself is in the midst of building its own car.

  • Apple's September 9 event

    Speaking of Apple’s event and their new products, here are my takeaway thoughts.

    • I will buy an iPad Pro. The iPad is, alongside the iPhone, my favorite device to work on. It’ll be interesting to see what the larger form factor will do to that.
    • The Smart Keyboard looks alright, I’ll pick one up since I’m a sucker for things like that, but I don’t expect to use it much. As I wrote in The Writer’s iPad, one of the strengths of writing on an iPad is that it’s not connected to the keyboard, and you can position it any way you like.
    • I doubt the Apple Pencil will make me use a stylus more, but it does look promising. I’m having a hard time fitting Paper’s and Wacom’s alternatives into my workflow, so I’m skeptical.
    • The Apple TV could be huge. It could change home gaming completely, especially if the games carry across all iOS devices. It’s too early to tell, but I must say I’m excited about the new Apple TV.
    • And I’ll get a new iPhone 6S Plus, I think. 3D Touch looks really promising. I haven’t regretted switching to a new iPhone model yet, and I doubt that’ll change.

    All in all, a pretty nice Apple event. They’re all doing their thing, selling their brand, so well now. I’m happy to not only see white men on stage as well, although there’s still ample room for improvement. You can watch it all for yourself on Apple’s site, which is preferable from reading these posts.

  • Clickbait and quality

    Gizmodo (and Kotaku) really likes to take a negative spin on all things Apple. These are some of their recent headlines, coming off tonight’s/this morning’s Apple event: Apple’s New Smart Keyboard Turns the iPad Pro Into a Surface Clone, Apple Pencil: The Stylus Steve Jobs Warned Us About, Apple’s So-Called Gaming Console Is A Major Bust. These posts, aside from the last one which is whiny and ridiculous, aren’t even that negative. They’re reports, they’re noise to drive in the links (sorry about that) and the pageviews. It’s soulless reporting, rehashing what anyone could find out from Apple’s site. The soul purpose of these headlines is to drive more eyeballs, nevermind the fact that they fit poorly with the content.

    This is the thing I don’t get with Gizmodo. They sometimes produce great content, break stories and run with them in true new journalistic fashion, but then you get this crap. It’s not just Apple either, although that’s clearly a favorite topic of writers and readers alike, it’s all over the place. The strategy probably works, pissing some people off, and give others what they like. It’s just weak and, frankly, boring. For some reason it continues to amaze me, these things, when they come from outlets that can produce great content. Luckily I don’t have to read it, and neither do you. In the end, quality and analysis will prevail.

  • Apples nya iPod touch

    Apple har (äntligen) uppdaterat iPod touch till något lite modernare. Jag skrev lite om det, och vad det kan innebära, på TDH.me.

    But here’s the thing: I don’t think that the iPod touch exists to be an entry level device. I think this is the replacement for the iPod classic, because you can fit a whole lot of media in 128 GB. I also think that Apple wants to keep the iPod alive, and understands that some people doesn’t want to rely on streaming at all times, and thus they offer this. The iPod touch is the top of the line iPod, a true entertainment machine that can do so much more than just play music.

  • The iPod touch and the 4 inch iPhone

    The iPod touch and the 4 inch iPhone

    Apple has released a new model of the iPod touch, alongside new iPod models. Where the latter are more or less the same as before with new colors, the iPod touch is a different story.

    The new iPod touch retains the same form factor as before, adding new colors. That means that it’s still a 4 inch screen, much like th iPhone 5/5s has. This is surprising, since Apple used to keep the iPod touch in line with the current iPhone, but obviously that’s out of the window since they left it untouched for years, up until now.


  • Apple Music is on Tumblr

    Apple has launched its Apple Music service (and iOS 8.4, of course), which I’ll talk more about after having given it a proper go, as well as the Beats 1 always on radio channel. If you’re curious about the latter, check out beats1radio.com, which incidentally is powered by Tumblr, as is the rest of the Apple Music site. Is this the new, hip, Apple?