July 22, 2016

Link: The iPad Paradox ☍

Michael Gartenberg for iMore (via Jason Snell:

With some products, including TiVo, there’s a distinct conflict between consumer understanding of the features and the value assigned to those features. While the internet was filled with a rabid fan base of customers who loved and praised TiVo at every opportunity, most consumers didn’t understand the value of a $500 “digital VCR.” […]

In short, if you met a TiVo owner at a party, they were rabid. It was like being cornered by an insurance agent. They wouldn’t leave you alone until you tried it. When most people tried it, the lightbulb turned on. TiVo was not an expensive VCR — it redefined watching TV.

I suspect iPad is suffering from the same paradox. Customers who buy an iPad Pro understand the power it unlocks relative to a Mac. The more they use it, the more it displaces their Mac.

As regular readers of this site know, I’ve gone “iPad Mostly” for awhile, and tried even on an original iPad, with my Mac relegated to some specific tasks and not much else. While it’s still somewhat of a hard-sell, as a computer is perceived as being able to do more, and larger phones have also become part of the conversation, I think more people will discover that modern iPads pack a lot of power for everyday tasks, especially as a personal, home computer to complement a work-issued one. Apple just needs to start advertising what’s possible and convince people to give it a try.

Link: Obsolete ☍

Stephen Hackett linked to a video originally shared by Steven Sandhoff of Steve Jobs looking at what happens to technology long-term. It puts things into perspective in a somewhat depressing way, especially for someone who looks back on old technology with some fondness.

July 18, 2016

Link: IDC Estimates That Macintosh Sales Slipped at Nearly Twice the Market Rate ☍

Nick Heer for for Pixel Envy:

Apple’s sales decline is an 8.3% reduction compared to the year-ago quarter. Given that the most recent Macintosh news — the discontinuation of the Thunderbolt Display notwithstanding — was a spec bump of the MacBook, this is completely unsurprising. MacRumors’ own buyers’ guide shows a “Don’t Buy” indicator below every Mac except the MacBook.

Although I’m looking forward to an iOS-only future and do appreciate some of the progress in that regard, it is very strange how the Mac lineup has gotten so old. I suspect the Air will be done and sell as-is until the MacBook is cheap enough to take its place. Non-Retina iMacs will eventually disappear, too. As for the Mac Pro and Mac mini, we might as well take bets for if those will be upgraded before or after the iPhone 8 launch.

July 14, 2016

Link: Between Two iPads ☍

Ben Brooks moves between two iPads, depending on the task and it’s really no different than someone using multiple Macs or PCs, even if people will scoff:

There used to be endless posts online on how to best work with two Macs — how to keep things in sync between a desktop and a laptop — and all the other messes that technology had yet to solve. I was right there with everyone, trying to divvy the work between two computers. In a way, having two iPads reopens this same discussion.

Although I haven’t subscribed to this setup myself, I have tried to used multiple computers in tandem over the years and even with the best synchronization services, it still felt awkward. For some reason, going from one iOS device to another feels more natural and seamless, probably because of how the operating system system, filing structure, and overall tools are designed. I could easily throw an iPad mini or some sort of 9.7″ iPad between my iPhone SE and 12.9″ iPad Pro and grab whatever device is closest.

Link: This Blind Apple Engineer is Transforming the Tech World ☍

Katie Dupere for Mashable:

[Jordyn] Castor, now 22, has been blind since birth, a result of her early delivery. But throughout childhood, her parents encouraged her to defy expectations of people with disabilities, motivating her to be adventurous, hands-on and insatiably curious.

It was that spirit that led to her interact with technology, whether it was the desktop computer her family bought when she was in second grade, or the classroom computer teachers encouraged her to use in school.

She says the adults in her life would often hand her a gadget, telling her to figure it out and show them how to use it. And she would.

This is something that is often overlooked when it comes to technology and technology training. Even if something is good for you, you need to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. It’s nice to see Apple doing that by hiring people like Ms. Castor.