Apple Archive

AppleWatch – Apple’s Riskiest Product Since Newton

On Tuesday Apple launched AppleWatch, their first player into an increasingly crowded SmartWatch field.  The AppleWatch features the Digital Crown which, along with taps and swipes of the AppleWatch face, help you navigate the device.  Apple proclaims that the Digital Crown is the most revolutionary navigation tool since the Click Wheel while Tim Cook has stated that the AppleWatch is the Apple’s most personal device to date.

Despite the standing ovation that the AppleWatch received during the keynote on Tuesday, make no mistake.  This is a risky product for Apple.  It’s not a “bet the company” risky but it is risky.  One analyst this week said it was the riskiest product since Apple launched the Newton back in 1987 and I tend to agree.  The AppleWatch, like the Newton, faces a fundamental question from consumers:  Do I really need this?

Just A Random Post on an Apple Centric Blog

It’s Sunday night here in the UK.  It’s a cool 21c (roughly 70F) this evening as I enjoy a very nice French Merlot with windows open and a cool breeze in my office.

As I do every Sunday evening, I’m surveying new apps & new news that came in from the United States over the weekend concerning all things in the world of Apple.  Monday’s are usually slow when it comes to news anyway because most of us who blog about Apple as a hobby (raises hand) or professionally generally take the weekend off – publicly anyway.  Undoutedly most of us have been working hard on putting the finishing touches on our iOS 8 reviews, iPhone 6 preliminary views posts and our thoughts on OS X Yosemite this particularly weekend. I know I have been doing just that.  Then there is the iWatch… or iWear or whatever it is going to be called.  Yeah, that’s one that has been fun to ponder these past few days too.

Which gets to the point of this post.  There is no point.  Seriously.  This is random ramblings of a guy with a blog because there is absolutely nothing to report on in the world of Appleville right now.  It all happens Tuesday. Sure I could update you on the latest app update or maybe post a review or maybe even a How To.  Truth is, I can’t be bothered.  Why?  Because you won’t read it.

Seriously.  If you have made it this far in this post I’m really impressed!

What We Expect From Apple on 9.9.2014

Editors Note:  This post will remain at the top of AlliOSNews through Tuesday, 9 September.  Newer news items will be below.  Clinton’s Comments are in Black while Tricia’s comments are in Red

Tuesday, 9 September 2014 could be one of the most important days in the history of Apple.  I appreciate that, as an opening line for a post, that may sound hyperbolic or drama-ish, but I stand by it.

SHINY TOYS! SHINY TOYS!

Apple is expected to announce a series of products, software and solutions that could set their course for the next several years.  It is also an opportunity to do what Apple does best:  Change a market that nobody expected.  They have done it in the past three times:  iPod (changed how we consume music), iPhone (changed how we use and expect a smartphone to work) and iPad (changed how we casually compute and created a new category).  Will they do it again with wearables?

There is a lot of what we expect from Apple in this event.  Some of it we know (or think we do) while some of it is still speculation.  And while we at AlliOSNews try to stay above the rumour mill fray, we do pay attention and read the tea leaves just like you and everyone else.  To that end, Clinton & Tricia have put together a list of things we expect to see next Tuesday.  As we have done in the past, we give what we think is a percentage of us seeing that particular product or service based.  Sometimes we are right, some times we are not so right.  But it’s fun to speculate!

To the point of Clinton’s click-bait intro above, there is good reason to expect something big. Apple is known for meticulously planning every aspect of their announcements; this includes location. Tuesday’s event will take place at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts in Apple’s hometown of Cupertino, California as opposed to the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco. Announcements previously coming out of this more intimate venue include the original Mac (1984), Bondi Blue iMac (1998) and is the location of their annual shareholders meeting. To me this indicates a brand new category will debut.

iPhone 6 – Chance of Announcement:  100%

Make no mistake, this is an iPhone event.  And it is a huge iPhone event literally and figuratively.  Apple is expected, like last year, to announce two different iPhone 6 models.  There is expected to be the 4.7″ variety and the phablet 5.5″ version.  Both will be running iOS 8 of course and all indications are that both will support NFC for a new wallet purchasing system on the devices.  Both will be powered by the Apple A8 processor, have the M8 updated motion processor and the 5.5″ will have a sapphire front while the 4.7″ will have Gorilla Glass 3.  If the mockups we have seen are any indication, look for a thinner, rounded almost iPad Air-like look to the new iPhone.

Frankly Apple is behind a bit when it comes to screen size.  People are wanting larger displays than 4″ and I am most certainly amongst them.  Have been carrying around the Nokia Lumia 1320 for weeks, that 6″ phablet is an absolute joy to use and the screen size is beautiful.  When I go back to my iPhone 5s, the 4″ screen looks super tiny.  Because, realistically, it is in today’s market.

The real question is around delivery dates for these devices.  All indications are that the 4.7″ iPhone 6 is ready to launch and we will probably see that within 10 days of this event.  So I would expect you to be able to pre-order within a week and delivery within two.  The 5.5″ on the other hand could be a November or even December product.  Rumours point to difficulty with the sapphire displays and Apple is behind on production.  This could prove to be problematic for Apple as I personally think the 5.5″ will be in demand immediately.

I completely agree that we will welcome two new iPhones into the shiny toy collection and I’m excited about the potential for a larger screen. There are many times I’ll switch over to my iPad because navigating certain searches on my phone screen are just too much of a pain in the tushy. However, I struggle with the need for the larger phablet – isn’t that the point of the iPad? (I will readily admit to doubting the need for an iPad mini at launch, and now really want one.)

My biggest problem with the ever-increasing screen sizes is the ever-increasing device size that comes alongside those glorious viewable screens. As a woman, I am plagued by tiny pockets (if any at all). Currently my iPhone 5 will only fit in the back pocket of some of my jeans. As someone who needs my iDevice by my side at all times as a sort of technological security blanket, it can get dangerous when I have to juggle it as part of all the other TechMom gear I’m toting. Which brings me to my next point…

Sources say the phablet (tangent – can we all take a moment to agree that phablet is a stupid name?) will have the sapphire screen to decrease the potential for a shattered screen, while the iPhone 6 standard will continue to feature Gorilla Glass. One of Apple’s key differentiators in the market continues to be their beautiful hardware in addition to ease-of-use. I would love to see sapphire screens on all devices as well as water-resistant. This would allow users to shed the case (and resulting added bulk) and proudly tout their chosen iDevice in all its naked glory.

Apple Releases iTunes 11.3.1 Podcasts Fix

Apple has quietly released a minor update to iTunes aimed at helping resolve some lingering problems with Podcasts for some users.  The new iTunes 11.3.1 update is available now for Mac through the Mac App Store (check under Updates) or you can download it from the iTunes site.  If you are a iTunes user on PC, you can use the Apple Software update app to get the latest update.

iPhone 6 Launch Event Anticipated for September 9th

The anticipation around a new iPhone launch every year is always a big news maker and this year is no exception and if anything it is bigger this year.  With anticipation around larger displays, the iPhone 6 launch event is likely going to prove to be one of the biggest news makers for Apple in the last few years.  I know I’m eager to see the new iPhone 6 but I’m not sure if I’m as excited as my partner in arms Tricia.

iMessage with Tricia on iPhone 6

iMessage with Tricia on iPhone 6

All indications, from multiple sources, are pointing out that the iPhone 6 launch date is going to be Tuesday, September 9th.  Those sources include Bloomberg which stated:

The Cupertino, California-based company is set to introduce two new models: one with a 4.7-inch screen, and another with a 5.5-inch screen, people with knowledge of the plans have said.

And not to be outdone, the Wall Street Journal is also saying September 9th is the date:

Apple is expected to hold an event to introduce its new iPhones on Sept. 9, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The timing of Apple’s announcement would fall in line with its recent track record of announcing the new phones in early- to mid-September and then starting sales a few weeks later.

These are two credible sources who, in the past, have been accurate on these types of things.  I would recommend we call circle September 9th in our diaries now.

Russia Asks For Apple Source Code Amid Spying Concerns

The Russian Communications Minister has asked for Apple source code to be handed over to the government in an effort to determine if spying is happening on their citizens with the use of Apple software and hardware.  The request, which has been requested of other companies like Microsoft (in 2003) and SAP and comes in the aftermath of the Edward Snowden revelations about the US government along with public statements made about strengthening intelligence gathering on Russia.  Interestingly, the statement from the Russian government comes on day that the US and Europe consider further sanctions against Russia over the Ukrainian crisis.

Apple Seeds OS X Mavericks 10.9.5 Beta 1 to Developers

In what will likely be its last significant update, Apple has seeded OS X Mavericks 10.9.5 Beta 1 to their developer community today.    The beta is available exclusively through the Apple Developer portal and is accompanied by a beta version of Safari 7.0.6.  As we all know, OS X Yosemite will supersede Mavericks in the October timeframe so this final update is to push forth any minor issues remaining and do any last minute prep work required for a Yosemite upgrade.

The Apple Enterprise Push Quietly Continues Moving Forward

The Apple enterprise push from the consumer realm quietly but steadily continues as evidenced by their latest patent application.  Over the course of the last few months I’ve pointed out that the Apple has started to move the enterprise telephony goalposts with the introduction of  a new mobile security tool along, video and voice integration into Messages and the ability to place and receive calls on your Mac from your nearby iPhone without actually having to touch your iPhone.

Then a couple of weeks ago Apple announced a relationship with IBM in which the two tech giants would work collaboratively to bring IBM enterprise level applications to iOS.  It was a huge step towards the enterprise for Apple as working with IBM to develop some of their 120 applications to the iPad will naturally drive them into places that Apple has struggled to get them into up to now.

Today we see yet more evidence of the Apple enterprise push with United States Patent 8791978 that outlines, by using FaceTime, a multi-person conference room video system.

The Apple Enterprise Play Taking Shape With IBM Deal

One of the killer features of OS X Yosemite and iOS 8 that will be coming this fall is the ability to answer a call coming in on your iPhone on your Mac.  I highlighted this in an article I wrote back in June on how Apple may very well move the enterprise telephony goalposts with this feature.  This week Apple and IBM announced an agreement where the two giants will be working together to develop enterprise applications and solutions to get iPads and iPhones more into the enterprise.  Putting the tumultuous history these companies have had in the past aside, it is becoming ever more clear that Apple has their eyes set on the enterprise with this combination of features and this agreement.  We are now starting to see how the Apple enterprise play is starting to take shape.