Tag Archives: brilliant

Tuesday Talk ~ Apple is crazy, stupid, brilliant, game-changing …


The opinions about Apple have always covered the range from ‘it’s extremely terrible’ to ‘Apple is insanely great’. Back in the Mac-only days, people either hated Apple because they used PCs, or loved Apple because they used Apple. Usually the PC users had no experience of Apple at all, and simply scoffed at what they considered an expensive, outsider machine. It was, to be fair, both of those things – and the first criticism still applies, although value for money is assured – but now that Apple is so massive, so ubiquitous, so wealthy, the criticisms have remained strong but they have shifted focus. Now people criticise Apple for not introducing a game-changing next new thing every few months.

For a long time, once the iPhone was introduced, people would echo what developers were saying: that Apple was a closed shop, an exclusive ecosystem, a walled garden. That’s because Apple never made iOS open to developers in the way Google’s Android was. This meant that while iOS was more secure, the updates were controlled rather than open slather. The user experience was consistent, which of course is great for users. And apps had to fit Apple’s development and user interface guidelines. All these favoured the users, for obvious reasons (consistent experience, security, stability) but some developers chafed. And that’s why there’s such a confusion of Android systems out there now. Will an app work with your Android system? Who knows. Will your app work with your particular device? Who knows.
And for these reasons, the developer criticism has subsided.

Partly, perhaps, Apple’s refocused emphasis on its developer community (via WWDC) has been responsible for a happier Apple development climate. They feel loved again. Swift, aApple’s faster, easier coding system, really helped too.
But I remember when the Windows Phone was introduced to New Zealand. I talked to developers who had experienced Microsoft engineers being assigned to them one-to-one to help them with their progress. This was very, very far from what Apple developers, at least in New Zealand, were used to. Apple basically gives you the tools, makes resources available and off you go. Good luck! But that, of course, has been a very successful policy – the app developer community is vast, the apps available bountiful. And Swift Playgrounds, once it comes out for iPad, is an ingenious way to bring this approach to kids. (And me.) Meanwhile, Microsoft’s late entry into the smartphone market was a huge, embarrassing flop.

This year, Apple will no doubt release an iPhone 7, hopefully (and it looks increasingly likely) a new MacBook Pro, and maybe a new, second version of the Watch. These will probably be incrementally, rather than fundamentally, better than the models they replace. They will greatly please Apple users.
They will greatly displease the haters, who want entirely new products they can then scoff at.
It’s all par for the course, really.

Normally-Off Macs, doomed soaring stupid brilliant Apple, Outlook to very belatedly get the ability to resize images.


Future Macs could be Normally-Off — If a research team in Japan gets its wish, Normally-Off computers may one day soon be replacing present computers. Normally-Off is a method of computing that aggressively powers off components of computer systems when they don’t need to operate [like modern cars that turns themselves off when they’re idling, even at the lights, then on again when you accelerate].
Such a development would eliminate volatile memory, which requires power to maintain stored data, and reduce the energy losses associated with it. Most parts of present computers are made with volatile devices such as transistors and dynamic random access memory (DRAM), which loses information when powered off.: current computers are designed on the premise that power is ‘normally on.’

Apple is doomed, soaring , stupid, brilliant … which is it? Apple is a very large company, so big that it’s impossible to quantify it overall. Only specific elements of the company can be characterised. As such, writes John Martellero, it makes no sense to label Apple as a whole because some elements are failing and some are flourishing. This leads to my rule #1 for a large company.

Outlook for Mac will soon let you resize images and try new fonts
The new email editor will start to roll out in May — Microsoft is revamping the email editor in Outlook for Mac, providing new options for working with images and adding new fonts.
The biggest change is the ability to resize [you know, like Mail has been able to do for over a decade already] and rotate images. If you insert a very large image, for instance, you’ll soon be able to make it more reasonably-sized for email recipients. [You know, like Mail … I’ve never understood how people can prefer Outlook to Mail.]