Opinion November 12

AAPL: 115.72

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Apple’s fourth-generation Apple TV has been available for two weeks now and after using it using it exclusively for all my media consumption, I’ve gathered a handful of thoughts. When Apple announced the device back in September, I was perhaps more excited for it than I was the iPhone 6s. And rightfully so. Tim Cook touted the new Apple TV as the future of television, using superlatives that seemed extreme even for Apple. The device had been a long time coming, too, which further contributed to the hype in my mind that surrounded the release.

As someone who had incredibly high hopes for the fourth-gen Apple TV, what do I think of it two weeks later? Let’s discuss…

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Opinion November 6

AAPL: 121.06

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I know, it’s almost a blasphemous headline, and I can feel the comments system bracing itself for impact even before anyone has read a word of my arguments. Especially as Apple has engaged in lengthy lawsuits against Samsung for copying its own features.

But while Apple doesn’t blindly copy, it does learn from other companies, and it does so all the time. Indeed, you could say it’s one of the key things that sets Apple apart in the tech world: it doesn’t scrabble to be first to market with new technology. Apple instead sits back and watches, looks at what other companies do and then figures out how to create a better version.

Touch ID is a classic example. Fingerprint readers have been around forever in laptops, and Motorola put one into a smartphone – the Atrix – way back in 2011. But early fingerprint readers were inconvenient, requiring you to scroll your finger across them, and unreliable. Apple waited until it could do the job properly.

So what are some of the things Android manufacturers have done that I think Apple could usefully learn from … ?  expand full story

Opinion October 30

AAPL: 119.50

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After a rough start and a mixed early experience, I did finally press the button on Apple Music – a decision I’m grateful for at present as my main Mac is away for repair. This diary piece is as much about that experience as Apple Music, but I will get to music, I promise …

I love a large screen on a laptop, so have stuck doggedly to my 17-inch MacBook Pro, despite the fact that it’s now four years old. It’s a maxed-out late-2011 machine that has been very heavily upgraded over the years, with 16GB RAM and 2TB of SSD storage, and consequently still offers decent performance.

Until recently …  expand full story


Opinion August 25

AAPL: 103.74

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As anyone who knows me or follows me on Twitter will tell you, I’ve been openly critical of the Apple Watch and the entire concept of smartwatches for a long time now. Most people have responded with an attitude of “don’t knock it until you try it,” which I suppose is a fair attitude to have. The problem was that I had no plans to spend over $300 (or $1,000 for the model I really liked) to try an Apple Watch.

Recently, however, an opportunity arose to try the watch out for a while. I was offered a loaner watch to test out an app that I was covering. I accepted the offer and spent about a week with it, wearing it full-time and using it for everything I could (including, of course, using the app that I was testing whenever I could). Earlier this year my colleague Ben Lovejoy had been convinced to keep his after using it for a week.

Could I be convinced that the watch was, in fact, a convenient and useful gadget to have in the same amount of time? I went into this week with an open mind to find out.

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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


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