Opinion ▪ August 3

AAPL: 118.44

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For some reason, a popular opinion floating around the web these days is that splitting iTunes up into a bunch of separate apps that all do one individual task each would be a vast improvement on the current one-app-for-everything design. “They did it on iOS,” the logic goes, “so why not do it on the Mac as well?”

After pondering this suggestion for a while, I’m fully convinced that doing so would that be an unnecessary over-complication of the entire ecosystem.

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Opinion ▪ July 31

AAPL: 121.30

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After my first impressions, lengthy update, decision point and one month update, this week is when I have to officially lose the ‘skeptic’ prefix to my Apple Watch diary series and relabel myself as a fully-fledged convert.

The trigger for this realization was a fairly small one, but one which clearly demonstrated to me that – little by little – the Apple Watch is transforming itself into a gadget I eventually won’t want to be without …  expand full story

Opinion ▪ July 29

I’m not entirely sure why I’ve been rooting for iOS 9’s upcoming Apple News app to succeed. I’ve been a dedicated Reeder user since it debuted in the App Store, quickly dumped alternatives such as Flipboard and Pulse, and don’t need to change my daily news reading routine. But ever since Apple launched Newsstand in 2011, I’ve been waiting for a truly next-generation iOS news reading experience. Apple hasn’t just missed the boat on this; it actually sank the ship it launched, and lost a lot of talented sailors to rival companies that were developing digital book and magazine apps.

Having paid for Newsstand digital magazine subscriptions, I (like many people) was beyond disappointed when Apple abandoned Newsstand and the publishers who supported it. Newsstand was a great first step, and had the potential to become much better. Today, it seems obvious that Apple was hoping to coax Newsstand publishers over to its new app Apple News, but after testing iOS 9, I don’t think News is ready to replace Newsstand. Moreover, unless something major changes over the next few months, I’d be very surprised to see News succeed where Newsstand failed.

Whether it’s Apple or someone else (say, Amazon’s Kindle division), I’d like to see a bold company take the next big step and unify published content — at least traditional newspapers and magazines, and probably also traditional books and Internet-based publications — into a single Reading app with the best features of News, Newsstand, and iBooks. Below, I’ll explain why this would be a great next move for publishers, consumers, and Apple itself…

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Opinion ▪ July 28

itunes

I’ve complained before about the massive missed opportunity of Apple failing to properly integrate both owned and streamed music within iTunes. I got over that enough to use and enjoy Apple Music, and I’m confident I’ll be continuing my subscription once Apple starts charging my card, despite the raw deal we get on pricing in the UK.

But I also agreed with Variety that Apple needed to adopt the same approach for OS X as it does for iOS, splitting out the various iTunes functions into separate apps. Having now been using version 12.2 of iTunes for a month, I’m escalating this from a moderate whinge to a full-scale rant. The time has come for Apple to finally rid us of this creaking, bloated disaster of an app, and start afresh …  expand full story

Opinion ▪ July 27

historyofmac

Apple can’t advertise Macs as having ten-year lifespans for legal reasons, and reviewers rarely write about their old computers ten years later — they’re typically focused on each year’s latest and greatest machine. But the average person buys a computer and keeps using it until it stops working, something I note every time a friend or family member “finally” upgrades from an old Mac to a new one.

This morning, Christopher Phin’s article “Saying goodbye to a beloved 2008 MacBook Pro” recalled the many end-of-life Mac discussions I’ve had with people over the years — specifically that their still-working-but-old Macs are so antiquated that virtually every internal component has been replaced in current models. Yet no one ever says they’re switching from an old Mac to a new PC; instead, the conversation is always about figuring out which new Mac to buy, or whether to squeeze a little more life from the old machine with a hard drive to SSD swap or additional RAM.

The superb longevity of Macs isn’t discussed very often, but it’s due as much to the durability of the hardware as the engineering of the software. Let’s take a quick look at what keeps Macs going so long…

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Opinion ▪ July 24

Apple Music ecosystem

It’s been almost a month since Apple Music first launched, and reception seems to be largely critical despite the music streaming service being completely free to use for the first three months after signing up.

Parts of the service suffered the far-too-common multi-hour outage earlier this week while professional Apple blogger Jim Dalrymple condemned the “nightmare” service after losing purchased music and experiencing complicated UI/UX issues. 9to5Mac’s Jeremy Horwitz wrote a day after the launch that Apple Music’s execution shows the opportunity for Apple to focus on creating intuitive experiences again, and Apple Music listeners haven’t avoided the technical hiccups during the few weeks of use.

With Apple Maps-level horror stories materializing after spending some time with Apple Music, should Apple have simply labeled the service as a beta until the initial three-month trial expired and the service hopefully shapes up? expand full story

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