Everything [I have determined that] you need to know about Apples 2017 announcements

Apple announced stuff. Here is that stuff and what it means.

THE STEVEN JOBS THEATER
– a nice tribute to the late Apple founder
First event to be held on the Apple Park campus in the 1,000 seat theater named after the dude who started the company and then came back to make it what it is today.

I would have done it differently, but who cares. Thought the extended voice-over with no visuals was more odd than it was tributary but it was all nice enough. Technically, the Steve Jobs Theater was the first new product unveiled at this event. Now on to the stuff you can buy:


APPLE WATCH 3
– Cellular data option and a heart monitor feature

LTE on Apple Watch is $10 addition to existing cell plan. that’s just approachable enough for me to not dismiss it out of hand and also ridiculous enough for me to scoff. It’s cool to be able to have a device on your wrist that can communicate with satellites and not need the proximity of another device to get data to it but I don’t see a user outside of athletes that would use the feature. A runner, swimmer, surfer, or sport team member training Rocky style who wants to be able to receive calls and/or listen to music while doing their activity without having their phone on them makes sense but virtually no other scenario outside of sport activity is imaginable to me. Apple also announced that the watch will monitor your heart and notify its wearer of any cardiac arrhythmia. Also, the digital crown is a red dot for some reason now instead of the same metalic covering as the rest of the watch.

APPLE TV
– Now with 4K (and nothing else added)
Notice the difference between the image above and the previous Apple TV? Thats because there isn’t one. Same exact body, same exact remote, and it has the same exact software. No big crime I guess. Underwhelming for something I think should be a much bigger focus by Apple but the current device is suitable enough and the addition of 4k video is… something… to some people. Makes me feel better about buying my parents an Apple TV two weeks ago, knowing this new version with 4k and who-knows-what-other-upgrades would be announced. I needed to get them to cord-cut their cable service before the next billing cycle so I had to buy it and was pre-annoyed that a new model was coming out in just a couple weeks, but today Apple announced the only new thing in the next version of the device is that it supports 4K video. They, nor I, have a 4K display, so this is a non-feature for us.


iPHONE 8
– Wireless charging & it’s a little faster and takes better pictures

The iPhone & iPhone 8+ look much like the 7. It’s got a faster processor (A11 chip they’re calling “Bionic” that has six cores) and better camera (same megapixels as its predecessor but now has a new sensor with optical stabilization), as every new iPhone does. The iPhone 8 Plus will have a better more powerful camera with a dual sensor so it looks like I’ll be shelling out $800 for one of those ($700 for the regular 8). Wireless charging is the only other discernable feature anyone would probably care about. Just enough to make the new product an unexciting but desired upgrade.


iPHONE X
– Same as iPhone 8 but a bigger screen & face ID instead of fingerprint ID

Steve Jobs would end his presentations with “one more thing” and then announce something cool and that’s what Apple was mirroring when they announced “one more thing” and revealed the iPhone X, which Apple pronounces as 10 (“ten”), not “ex” (same as their OSX operating system). There’s no more home button, dashing my concept that the new Apple Park campus building’s “spaceship” design was intended to represent a giant home button – which it still may well have been since it was designed when both Steve Jobs and the home button were alive and planning to go on living for awhile – and instead unlocks by scanning your face since there is no more fingerprint pad, as the screen is borderless. The camera appears to be the same as the iPhone 8 with a double vertical sensor of 12 megapixels but something slightly different about “optical stabilization”. As reported in leaks and rumors before the announcement, the new phone will be a thousand bucks. $300 more than the iPhone 8 just for facial recognition instead of fingerprint scan and a borderless screen? I can pass on both since neither feature is particularly attractive to me.

 

Apple should have bought Nest Labs. Google bought it instead

I’ve been a long time admirer of the Nest thermostat that I first got for my mother a couple years ago and then one for myself last year. It’s a pretty metallic ring with a nice circular screen that dials temperature up and down and/or connects with its own app on your other devices or your account on Nest.com to have actions performed from wherever you are.

Then the company came out with this smoke detector, which is cool, but needs to do more than it does (which is just allow silencing by motion and monitoring levels by phone). I want to see surveillance models of all their products (same version but with cameras inside to view your rooms), too.

Anyway: It was formed by an ex Apple employee, reeks of Apple design (which is a pleasant smell) and just has Apple written all over it. I’ve been waiting for Apple to make a damn offer and open up a whole series of house products that connect with the forever-upcoming Apple Television Set and others. For some reason, Apple wasn’t interested and Google stepped in instead. $3.2 Billion later, Nest becomes a Google company.

While Apple, Google, and Microsoft dominate PCs, mobile devices, and car consoles, no company has taken control of the house yet. The connected home has long been tech giants’ white whale of every tech giant; nearly every Silicon Valley player, from HP to Dell to Intel, has detailed its vision for the future of the connected home. But the fantastical future vision videos created over the years have amounted to nothing more than impressive displays of CGI–Nest, on the other hand, has actually started to execute on the promise of the connected home by creating a standard protocol for the house. If Nest is able to get there first, it’ll force other future players to build on its platform–if anyone wants to make some connected smart refrigerator or TV or toilet, the devices will have to speak Nest’s language. That’s the kind of leverage that could make Nest (and now Google) a major player in the industry.

“From the beginning, our vision was to create a conscious home. A home that is more thoughtful, intuitive–and nice to look at. No one had cracked the code and we were confident we could do it with the right product, the right team, and focus,” Fadellwrote today in a blog post. “Google will help us fully realize our vision of the conscious home and allow us to change the world faster than we ever could if we continued to go it alone.”

Perhaps the more compelling part of the deal is acquiring Fadell‘s talent. One of the most prominent characters in the Valley, Fadell helped usher in the mobile era at Apple before leaving to start Nest. Arguably more than any other Apple veteran, Fadell has built his startup with an Apple-like DNA, infusing Nest’s products with a strong sense of design, brand, and purpose. It’s certainly a huge coup for Google, one of Apple’s fiercest rivals. (Apple was reportedly not a potential bidder, whereas Google Ventures, the company’s investment arm, has long been an investor in Nest.)

As part of deal, according to Google’s statement, Nest will continue to “operate under the leadership of Tony Fadell and with its own distinct brand identity.”

UPDATE: Walter Isaacson, Steve Jobs’ biographer says on CNBC that Tim Cook is vulnerable and his deal with China takes a back seat as far as big-deals go to Google’s gobble of Nest:

Meanwhile, Apple’s marketing chief Phil Schiller unfollowed Nest CEO and the Nest company on Twitter. At first glance it may sound like petty high school popularity politicking, but it actually shows the reality that Nest is an Apple enemy now. I don’t get why Apple didn’t want to buy this company and why they didn’t. It makes no sense to me.

As the protector of Apple’s brand, Schiller’s unfollowing of Fadell and Nest is perhaps unsurprising. With the Nest deal, a source says that Google will gain approximately 200 former Apple employees. The majority of Nest employees worked at Apple over the course of their careers, with many being involved in high-profile projects like the iPod, iPad, and iPhone. The design of the Nest Thermostat and Nest Protect have also been compared to the designs of Apple products, so the fact that Nest’s products are now under the umbrella of Apple’s fiercest competitor may not be a pleasing sight for Apple’s marketing head.

This is not the first time that Schiller has publicly taken the stand against Google products. The Apple veteran has blasted Google and its partners on Twitter for issues ranging from hardware benchmark claims to mobile operating system security. Schiller’s practice of taking small jabs at competitors also goes beyond Google. For a couple of years, the then-exclusive-to-iOS Instagram app was heavily promoted both on the App Store and by Phil Schiller. After Instagram expanded its business to the Android platform, Schiller closed his Instagram account.

5 Features that can make the “iWatch” an Awesome must-have

So, just like I told you, Apple is turning its iPod Nano into a new wearable device coming soon. Given Apples history with these things, I predict it will be cool but fall way way short of its potential.

It’s unlikely any of this will actually be in version 1, but my 100% technologically and business-wise possible wish list is as follows. From my mouth to Jobs ears… Here’s what Apple could do to make this product tha bomb dot com:

1- Make it WATERPROOF.
Not water “Resistant” to where it can get splashed – iPhones are already that. They don’t advertise as such, but I’ve taken mine on enough boats and in enough oceans, lakes, pools, hot tubs and bath tubs to know that it can handle some spritz and even moisture (minimal, obvs) in the headphone jack and Lightning-butthole. The only iPhone I killed with water was Brenda1 – my first generation iPher in 2008 when my group stayed out on an offshore Hawaiian island too long and the tide came in and was rough so the swim back was equally rough, causing our waterproof bags to — whatever. The point is that a smart watch that doesn’t need to be removed in water is how to make watches a thing again. I used to love my old waterproof Fossil a girlfriend bought me back in the day to keep track of how many hours I was out in the waves and whatnot. Phones should be waterproof but I get why the care and expense isn’t taken to make them so. Theres no excuse for watches. Especially a smart watch. We already have an electronic thingy that we have to remove from our person before we go wake boarding. We don’t need another. A waterproof iWatch is how Apple can truly keep us connected with something actually useful: Get Facebook, Twitter and other notifications with you while in the pool. Don’t cut your surf session short waiting for a call – just check your wrist for important texts and incoming calls to tell you when you need to hustle back ashore. This is the #1 need for this device. All it would mean is wireless charging for the device – which is not a big deal but for some reason Apple doesn’t use that technology anywhere. The iWatch might be the first wireless charging device Apple finally releases though since there really is no sensible way to add power to a wearable device conveniently and in keeping with the minimalist Apple esthetic. And I’m not even talking about the electricity wifi that I invented and was laughed at for claiming was possible in 2001 – I just mean a charging dock with no plug-in. My tooth brush uses it. Why can’t apple? Their wireless mice should at least use it (with double-A recharbales inside that can be replaced with regulars if you choose) but doesn’t. Make the watch waterproof and that alone will get me to buy it.

 

2- Make it talk to other Apple products.
This is your chance to make being in the Apple cult really pay off, Apple. Wtf is wrong with you for letting Samsung punk you on that cool “bump phones to share a picture” feature? How was that not an Apple thing, you dummies? Especially when this iTV monster finally comes out after 4 years of developing – you’re gonna have to blend your shiz better. I want my iWatch to pause and play my iTV so I essentially have a remote with me at all times and I want it to know when I’m in the vicinity of my other Apple children so it can do things like log me into my computer without making me type in my password every time.

 

3- Make it loud AND make it silent.
Up until now, watches just beep and chirp at you. Apple has a chance to re-invent this product that’s been stuck in the 1980s for 20 years and give people a Walkman on their wrist and instead of calling it the iWatch – call it the iBand and make use of the play on words since you’ll have a music band within a wrist band. Put a speaker in this thing. Let me listen to a podcast or music playlist with the sound coming from my arm instead of a device in my pocket. That combined with its waterproof feature would make the watch fantastically unique.

For alerts, alarms and other messages: Morse code them to me with vibrations. You put your phone on vibrate and it still makes a loud “JZZZ JZZZ” sound. Put your iBand on silent and it subtly notifies you that you have something you might want to give attention to and finding out what it is not a cumbersome hassle of digging for your phone or retrieving it across the room just to see what has popped up on the screen – it’s as simple as glancing at your time telling device (which is perfectly socially acceptable in almost any instance outside of Presidential debate and other moments where you might be considered inapropes for waiting for whatever is going on to be over).

 

4- Make it a wallet.
Apple is inching towards this with it’s built in Passbook app that stores boarding passes, coupons, movie tickets, gift cards and more. Put it on the wrist. Eventually, I’d like to pay for my milkshake with money on my credit card by booping my wrist on a device in front of a register and getting an electronic receipt logging my purchase right away – but until then, I’ll just settle for paying for that milkshake with a gift card stored in my iBand the same way I can do now with Passbook on my iPhone. Put it on the wrist and give people one less thing they have to hold in their hand and dig in their pockets for. It’s the way of the future.

 

5- OBVIOUSLY open it up to the App Store
It’s really dumb that the Apple TV has existed for so many years and STILL doesn’t (and may never) allow 3rd parties to make apps for it outside of special deals made with Apple itself. Slowly, new features have been introduced to the device like Hulu Plus and a bunch of sports bullshit (baseball and basketball video streaming or something? Idk. I’ve never explored the icons) but it needs so much more. I assume this is Apple just holding back until their actual TV comes out in a million years to give it a bigger bang, make sure it works exactly how they want it to and that there aren’t conflicts of interest with their other products but it’s still lame. The iBand needs apps right away. I love the idea of having a hand-watch (which I’ve lost the ability to read) and a digital watch in the same device that is a tap away from switching back and forth in full-screen and I love the idea of being able to swipe left and right to see the local time vs time @ my destination I might be traveling to vs time in Kandahar – but that shiz is just the beginning. Make your watch a Mickey Mouse watch – put some screen savers on it that could be conversation starters – turn the screen stark-white to make it a makeshift flashlight – let me run the far superior (and free) Run Tracker exercise app on it instead of Nike’s super lame built-in iOs app that requires an external $30 device on your shoe – OPEN this thing up and it. can. Be. Awesommmmme.

These features are necessary, awesome and most of all: useful by being not redundant (ie: they achieve better ways to do things than currently exist even in other Apple products like the iPhone or any version of the iPod).

 

I rarely ask these closer questions (cuz it’s almost always just a cheap gimmick by authors to get viewers interactive) but I really wanna know: What do you want in the upcoming Apple-wrist-product?

2 months later and iPads with iOS 5 STILL can’t play Podcasts or Audiobooks

The iOS 5 update from October 2011 introduced the following issues that have yet to be fixed:

1 The playback speed control for podcasts has gone

2 Chapter support in audiobooks has gone

3 The 30 second rewind button for podcasts has gone

4 Customizable menu so podcasts and audiobooks can be moved to the front page

5 Podcast count–You now have to open each podcast “folder” to see the number of unplayed podcasts

6 Time elapsed/remaining–used to be able to look at a podcast/audiobook and determine how far along you were. Now it has to be the active track.

7 Link to more episodes has gone

Please give us back these useful features and address the bug(s). iOS 5 is exciting but for podcasts on the iPad it is a great disappointment, and very unworthy of Apple.

 

iOS Updates Australian Voice Recognition. Podcasts still play at half speed

This is the biggest fail I’ve ever experienced with Apple. This is Microsoft Windows level of wait time for something that desperately needs attention.

iOS 5 for the iPad plays audio books and podcasts at half the speed with no way to change it. You’re supposed to have half, normal and 2x options.

FINALLY an update was released. and it addressed a bunch of bullshit that isn’t nearly as important. Thanks for that..

Siri is Siri-souly kewl

The iPhone 4S has a new digital assistant in it that understands speech. so you can talk to it like a person instead of trying to use buzz words like a machine. instead of stupid things like “command: dial number” you can just say “call my drug dealer” or “whats the weather like in Bangalore?” or “where can I hide a body“. No joke…

People are calling it Skynet (Terminator) but I see Siri as more of a HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey

Not cool enough for you? Microsoft is working on interactive holograms…

iOS for iPad makes your Podcasts Retarded

Don’t upgrade to iOS 5 on your iPad if you listen to Podcasts or Audiobooks.

Apple hid the Podcasts button in a “more” menu so you have to give an extra tap to get to them and the ability to control the speed (1/2x, 1x or 2x) is gone. Whats worse is that everything plays at 1/2 speed with no option to change it.

Issue not present in iOS for iPhone/iPod.

Please stop taking away features in new updates, Apple. hiding the podcasts in a menu that users are not allowed to rearrange (like they can on the iPod/iPhone) and taking away the speed feature, forcing all podcasts and audiobooks to play at half speed? Really, Apple?

UPDATE: Reuters reports iCloud problems:

Some users reported losing their email access as Apple formally launched iCloud, an online communications, media storage and backup service, on Wednesday.

Apple’s new operating system for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch — iOS 5 — also annoyed many users who encountered hours-long delays in downloading and installation.

Investors have high hopes for iCloud, which replaces MobileMe, a collection of Web-based products that have failed to impress critics or generate substantial revenues for a company that has had success in most other ventures over the past decade.

“It failed in a very nasty way in that mail sometimes vanished, sometimes appeared then vanished, and often there was a user and/or password-incorrect message plus some rather obscure additional error messages,” said David Farber, a professor of engineering and public policy with Carnegie Mellon University.

“The behavior suggests program problems,” added Farber, a well-known computer scientist.

But the iCloud problems are especially embarrassing for Apple, as the company introduced the new online service with much fanfare in June at its annual developer forum.

Co-founder Steve Jobs, who died last Wednesday, said “it just works” when he introduced the service in June. The software is key to the new iPhone 4S, which will be launched on Friday in seven countries.

Scrubber controls available are nothing like what’s in the iPad documentation PDF for ios5:

Apple products were overpriced from day 1

Apple Co-founder Steve Wozniak reveals a lot in this interview, but his discomfort with Steve Jobs’ profit plan in the beginning days are specially interesting. Not only because it confirms the price hiking profit plan but because it shows that that was the whole idea from day 1.

“Steve had a background working in computer stores buying stuff cheap and selling it for a lot more. I was shocked when he told me how you could buy something for 6 cents knowing he could sell it for 60 bucks. He felt that was normal and right, and I sort of didn’t. How could you do that? I was not for ripping people off. But then we started Apple and I went with the best advice which is that you should make good profit in order to grow.”

It really illustrates how wealth can be created from thin air. Just like that. There’s nothing, and then some sharp mind comes along and turns it into something. and then a bigger something. and then a billion somethings. Pretty awesome.

Woz talks more about his non-profit state of mind vs Jobs’ profit-centric mindset, which is particularly interesting considering Woz was the one with the tech employment and Jobs’ was the one working with plants in a commune.

I never wanted to run a business. I had a perfect job for life at HP. I went to club meetings every week and I passed out my schematics for the Apple I, no copyright, nothing, just “Hey all you guys here is a cheap way to build a computer.” I would demo it on a TV set.

Then Steve Jobs came in from Oregon, and he saw what the club was about, and he saw the interest in my design. I had the only one that was really affordable. Our first idea was just to make printed circuit boards. We could make them for 20 dollars and sell them for 40 or something like that. I had given the schematics away. But Steve thought it could be a company.

This was actually our fifth product together. We always were 50-50 partners. We were best friends. We first did the blue boxes. The next one I did was I saw Pong at a bowling alley so I built my own Pong with 28 chips. I was at HP designing calculators. Steve saw Pong and ran down to Atari and showed it to them and they hired him. Whether thought he had participated in the design, I don’t know and I could not care less. They offered him a job and put him on the night shift. They said he doesn’t get along with people very well, he’s very independent minded. It rubbed against people. So they put him on the night shift alone.

Our next project was when Steve said that Nolan (Bushnell, head of Atari) wanted a one-player game with bricks that you hit out. He said we could get a lot of money if we could design it with very few chips. So we built that one and got paid by Atari.

I’m allegedly related to Nolan Bushnell, though I forget how the family tree works out in that regard since it was explained to me.

Woz was also asked about the legend that Steve Jobs cheated him out of some money in that first computer deal.

The legend is true. It didn’t matter to me. I had a job. Steve needed money to buy into the commune or something. So we made Breakout and it was a half-man-year job but we did it in four days and nights. It was a very clever design.

The next project we did together was we saw a guy using a big teletype machine that cost as much as a car hooked up to a modem dialing in to the Arpanet. You could get into 12 universities and log in as a guest and do things on a far-away computer. This was unbelievable to me. I knew you could call a local time-sharing company. But to get access to university computers was incredible. So I went home and designed one myself. I designed a video terminal that could go out over the modem to Stanford and then on to the Arpanet and bring up a list of university computers.

The far-away computers would talk in letters on my TV set. Instead of paddles and balls in Pong, I put in a character generator. The terminal was very inexpensively designed. We sold it to a company called Call Computer. They now had a cheap terminal. Steve and I split the money.

When the interviewer raised the seemingly odd partnership between the two Steve’s, Woz said they weren’t all that different in his mind.

We were very similar. We would hunt through stores in Berkeley looking for Dylan bootlegs. Steve was interested in computers, and he really wanted to find a way to build a computer out of these new devices called microprocessors. He thought that someday they could replace big computers and everyone could have their own computer relatively cheap. Steve had a background working in computer stores buying stuff cheap and selling it for a lot more. I was shocked when he told me how you could buy something for 6 cents knowing he could sell it for 60 bucks. He felt that was normal and right, and I sort of didn’t. How could you do that? I was not for ripping people off. But then we started Apple and I went with the best advice which is that you should make good profit in order to grow.

Steve was willing to jump right into that. Mike Markkula was the mentor who told Steve what his role would be in Apple, and told me mine. He was the mentor who taught us how to run a company. He’s very low-key. He stays out of the press and he’s not that well-known. But he saw the genius in Steve. The passion, the excitement, the kind of thinking that makes someone a success in the world. He saw that in Steve.

Mike Markkula had worked at Intel in engineering and marketing. He really believed in marketing. He decided that Apple would be a marketing driven company. He was introduced to us by Don Valentine. Don had come to the garage and I ran the Apple II through its paces and he said, “What is the market?” I said, “A million units.” He asked me why that was and I sad, “There’s a million ham radio operators and computers are bigger than ham radio.” We didn’t quite get the formula. Steve Jobs and I had no business experience. We had taken no business classes. We didn’t have savings accounts. We had no bank accounts. I paid cash at my apartment — I had to, because of bounced checks.

Woz left Apple in the mid 80s to start his own company but remained an Apple employee all these years and receives a salary of 200 bucks every two weeks.

It will never happen, but I would like to see him replace Tim Cook (Apple CEO) as the event host rolling out new products. Cook didn’t look like he’s into it or wanted to be there in that role in his first try while Steve Jobs was alive but recently resigned. Woz could do it and could breathe new life into it.

Steve Jobs: Hipster but Capitalist

Mr. Jobs, the adopted son of a family in Palo Alto, Calif., was born on Feb. 24, 1955. A college dropout, he established his reputation early on as a tech innovator when at 21 years old, he and friend Steve Wozniak founded Apple Computer Inc. in the Jobs family garage in 1976. Mr. Jobs chose the name, in part, because he was a Beatles fan and admired the group’s Apple records label.

I am glad he at least lived long enough to see The Beatles on iTunes. I thought it was silly that they made such a big deal out of it until I learned that it was a long struggling goal of Steve’s for many years and why.

Steve Jobs was Apple. He left Apple and Apple floundered. He came back in 1997 and made Apple boom. The company now produces $65.2 billion a year in revenue compared with $7.1 billion in its business year ending September 1997.

The prediction was just made on my Facebook that the Occupy Wall Street protest for socialism currently under way will probably include Steve Jobs memorializing since many of the protestors use and love his products. This would be wildly hypocritical.

I will be hugely insulted if those Occupy Wall Street protesters turn their anti-capitalism of rich people protest into a “oh, but not the one we deemed as being okay” addendum. fuck them. Steve Jobs spent his money better than any “Progressive” government has – and that includes his many donations to Progressive causes and candidates.

He made the products that hippies and hipster socialists use and love by the means that they protest: being non-union, utilizing corporate tax breaks and moving large operations overseas because it’s cheaper to manufacture and operate there.
His employees loved the hell out of him and he wasn’t evil and he wasn’t “greedy” just like the majority of the other CEOs and corporation founders who are responsible for the products and services we use and love.

Its because of people like them and non-“progressive” business practice like that that middle class income earners have the option of buying a hand held computer and telephone that can capture, store and send through the air high definition pictures and video all on a higher resolution screen than any television their parents ever owned growing up for $200 + a phone service contract.

It will be wildly hypocritical and insulting if anyone participating in the Occupy Wall Street protests publicly memorializes Steve Jobs. It would be nothing but flaunting their elitist douchebaggery. “we miss and love THIS billionaire whom we all benefitted from – but not the rest of you pigs! now join me, brothers and sisters in our fight to stop the next Steve Jobs from growing his business!”

Occupy Wall Street is a protest to prevent the Steve Jobs’ of the world from benefiting by serving humanity – which is what capitalism is. It’s the only philosophy that says (to quote myself):

Do what you want. do nothing if you want and the government won’t force you into action. but if you want nice things… you can’t just steal them from other people. if you want services from other people you can’t just force or enslave them – you must give them something they want to GET something you want. SO… if you want these wonderful advantages in life and if you want to be able to have the stuff and experiences your heart and mind desire: you can only do it by serving your fellow human being. Only by creating or providing something that someone wants can you amass wealth. Only by taking risks with your capital to make more of it can you become wealthy.

You have a choice. There are no guarantee’s except in your freedom to try.
Except when you DO try, you’ll find how true the wisdom of Yoda was:
Do. or do not. There is no “try”.

UPDATE: Judge Napolitano on Steve Jobs, Free Market Hero