Tag - Editorial
The problem of doing something you love for a job is when you aren't able to do it anymore, and you have to separate yourself from it. As you are likely to be aware from earlier this week, myself and other members of the editorial team were informed our services will not be required from the end of this month. Since each of us are writing what could be described as a note of farewell for an impending closure, I'm now having to go through that separation process -- and believe me, it's hard.
Stop me if you've heard this before: Apple releases a computer. "Fans" flip out, because the computer doesn't have everything that they wanted to see in the new version. Enthusiast forums light up with complaints, claiming that Apple is doomed because of this, that the company isn't listening, or that this never would have happened if Steve Jobs was still alive. While there is a nugget of truth from a certain point of view in the statements, the core behind the fan arguments are demonstrably wrong. Let's cover them one at a time, shall we?
If you aren't already a TextExpander user, then what appeared to happen last week was that makers, Smile Software, switched to charging a subscription for the software, and everyone complained that it cost too much money. They did do that switch, and everyone did complain about the cost, but this was not really about one price point versus another. Perhaps if a different company had done it with lower prices, the debate would not have started when it did, but it was coming regardless. The debate is really about the whole issue of subscriptions, of software as a service (SAAS), and that is something we are going to see more and more of: we have to.
Those who might think the battle between the FBI, US Department of Justice, and Apple over privacy and security is over -- because the FBI withdrew its case on a claim that it found another way into a seized iPhone -- are wrong. Indeed, this battle has only just begun, and the public -- at least those who paid attention to this fiasco and understand the implications of it -- are taking up arms in the form of even-more secure apps, switching over to iOS from other platforms, and generally amping up their personal security as much as possible. Governments are going to hate it, but they only have themselves to blame.
Apple's three-year legal case over price-fixing of e-books has ended, with the US Supreme Court saying that it will not allow the company to appeal. The court will not listen to Apple's contention that a 2014 settlement requiring it to pay $450 million in costs and damages is wrong. That's the Supreme Court's right, and all legal cases have to end somewhere, even if more nebulous ones do seem to go on for a lot longer. Yet this isn't a nebulous case -- and the result, in my opinion, is wrong.
Editions at Play is the new Google bookstore, and it is a brand new idea of bringing pages to life, of adding interactive elements and of bringing old-fashioned books into the 21st century. Stop us if you've heard that before. As with ebooks before them, as with Choose Your Own Adventure books before that, this new Editions at Play idea puts the reader at the center of the action. It's meant to solve the problem of people not reading much, by meaning they don't have to read much.
As you may have seen from our Rumor Roundups, there has been a lot of talk lately about an alleged new iPhone model that is thought might launch this spring. As is the case with rumors not based on hard evidence, the supposed specs of the device change nearly hourly, and resemble more closely someone's wish list than a practical or sensible device at times. Two things have stayed constant in the various versions of the rumor, however: a four-inch display, and that it is based on the idea of a revamp of the iPhone 5s.
I think that we've got a unique thing going on here at MacNN. We feature a lot of editorials, a lot of different looks at things that you might not encounter too many other places. I think that's probably the best thing about this job: that I get to read and write so many articles that actually end up being quite a bit different than a lot of the others that I come across. Here's a few of my favorite examples of the last year.
For me, sometimes it's not the content of the articles that makes them truly great, but rather the stories behind them. Normally, we don't get to spill our secrets, but now that it's the end of the year, I'm ready to tell you guys about some of my favorite, funny, or weird moments I've had while writing for MacNN over the past year.
There will always be people who have to switch between Macs and PCs, there will will always be people who are tempted by the other side. Tomorrow in a totally unbiased way we'll cover the thousands and thousands of reasons you should move to a Mac but for today here's a grudging five reasons to switch to PCs and Windows. Five good grudging reasons, though, and followed by a single reason why we're staying where we are.
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Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE