Opinion pieces & commentary Overview Updated October 20, 2016

Opinion pieces & commentary

OpinionOpinion pieces are intended to provide interesting perspective on an Apple-related topic, and to be an entertaining read. They represent the opinions of their authors, and not of the site as a whole: this is the reason we don’t label them as editorials.

We use the ‘Opinion’ prefix for longer pieces, and ‘Comment’ for shorter pieces that may be making just a single observation.

We fully encourage discussion and debate on opinion pieces, and you are of course welcome to strongly disagree with both the author and other commenters. All we ask is that you apply the golden rule to your interactions: treat others as you’d wish to be treated. In particular, debate the topic not the person – it’s absolutely fine to say that you think someone is completely wrong because x, y and z; it’s not ok to call their views idiotic.

That said, we love to hear your thoughts and views, and really appreciate those who take the time to give their considered opinions.

243 Opinion pieces & commentary stories

December 2010 - October 2016

Opinion Stories Yesterday

AAPL: 117.06

Stock Chart

IBM reported some pretty impressive stats this week. Not least among them the fact that 73% of IBM employees – the company whose personal computer division was once almost synonymous with Microsoft – want a Mac as their next PC. The company is currently equipping its employees with Macs at the rate of 1300 people per week.

Indeed, IBM Japan has gone as far as making Macs standard-issue: any employee wanting a Windows machine instead has to make a special request justifying their need.

The company said that it had to overcome a number of assumptions – or prejudices – in order to make the transition …

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Opinion Stories October 18

AAPL: 117.47

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I love the Apple ecosystem. It’s not perfect by any means, but I’d say that the vast majority of the time it lives up to Steve’s famous ‘it just works’ promise. It’s the main reason that I have two Macs, an iPad and an iPhone.

So when a big Apple fan deliberately moves outside of that ecosystem, that’s a sign that something is very wrong. And I do so not just in one area, but two. The common theme? iCloud …

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A report from last night suggests that Apple is planning to drop the 11-inch MacBook Air when it unveils new MacBook Pro models later this month.

Macotakara has an above-average track-record, but the move would – on the face of it – seem surprising. The 11-inch Air has always served two purposes. First, it has been the machine of choice for those who want a Mac in the sleekest possible form-factor. It of course lost that role when Apple launched the 12-inch MacBook, so that side of things makes sense.

But the 11-inch machine also served a second role since the plastic MacBooks were phased out: as the entry-level machine designed to bring new customers into the Mac world. In particular, it appealed to students on a tight budget – customers whose lifetime value to Apple would be huge once hooked on Macs from a young age. It’s not a market Apple would want to abandon.

So what might Apple be planning if the rumor is true … ?

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Opinion Stories October 14

AAPL: 117.63

Stock Chart

Following speculation that Apple may be looking to acquire Sonder Keyboard, the startup yesterday confirmed to us that it has been in discussions with Apple’s procurement board. Coincidentally or not, the company’s website was not accessible at the time of writing (that may simply be yesterday’s story driving too much traffic to it, of course).

Sonder was not the first company to make a keyboard with dynamically-assigned keys. Patents for the idea go back as far as the 1970s, and the first commercially-available one was the German-made LC Board in the 1980s.

The Optimus Maximus was one of the better-known examples of the technology, later superseded by the Optimus Popularis, in which each key is an individual color LCD display. At $1500, it hasn’t exactly made it into the mainstream, and other examples have come and gone.

But Sonder’s approach has a realistic shot at making dynamic hardware keyboards a mainstream technology …

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Opinion Stories October 6

AAPL: 113.89

Stock Chart

As regular readers will know, I’m a long-time fan of Siri. It’s my default way to interact with my iPhone: from checking the weather forecast through opening apps to dictating text messages. It was the sole reason I upgraded from the iPhone 4 to the 4S back in the day.

At the same time, I’ve also long wanted Siri to do more. Last month, Apple finally granted the request I made last year: to give her access to third-party apps. But I was also hoping then for more – much more – while Apple seems to be content to expand Siri’s capabilities at a relatively leisurely pace.

Many of Siri’s original developers, it turned out, had also grown frustrated at Apple’s apparent lack of ambition for the intelligent assistant. They wanted to proceed at a much faster pace, and finally parted company with Apple to develop a next-generation assistant, Viv. The demonstration they gave back in May seriously impressed me, and I said then than Viv was what Siri should always have become …

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Opinion Stories September 21

AAPL: 113.55

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One of the new features of macOS Sierra is that it can automatically ‘manage storage’ on your Mac. What this means is, if you’re getting low on SSD space, macOS can automatically upload older and larger files to iCloud and then delete them from your Mac. When macOS deletes a file, it leaves an alias that will download the file from iCloud as required.

Effectively, you don’t have to worry about how much physical storage your Mac has – you can just treat it as an infinitely large drive and macOS takes care of shifting things back and forth from the cloud as required.

That’s great in theory, but there seem to be a few flaws in practice …

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