November 10, 2015

“I’m travelling with the iPad Pro and other than the iPhone it’s the only product I’ve got.”

November 6, 2015

Link: Now on Apple News ☍

I decided to jump in and give Apple’s new publishing platform a try. There’s probably a few bugs that need to be worked out, especially once I get a chance to go over Apple’s new documentation. Right now, it’s basically the main RSS feed, but I’ll be adding some additional items as time goes on. Although some have been critical of Apple News (rightly so), I wanted to use this as an opportunity to learn about the platform, and also give readers more options for seeing content. You can also subscribe to SchwarzTech in other ways, including RSS, Twitter, and Facebook.

October 27, 2015

News: Apple Reports Q4 Results

Apple announced financial results for its fiscal 2015 fourth quarter ending September 26, 2015. In the conference call, Apple posted quarterly revenue of $51.5 billion and quarterly net profit of $11.1 billion, or $1.96 per diluted share…

October 15, 2015

Link: Gary Allen Passes Away ☍

Many people knew Gary Allen for his site, ifo Apple Store, which wrapped up in March to allow him to spend more time with friends and family (it was linked a number of times here). It may seem sort of silly to focus your writing on one very specific area, but there was so much that went into the Apple Stores and it also served as a way for people to learn about Apple’s main presence in many communities.

He offered a lot of insightful information over the years, and was just an all-around great guy, taking time to respond to many emails and tweets and share his love of Apple’s retail operation with others. He’d share tips and rumors about new or larger stores coming, which was always exciting, especially for someone living in the Midwest where new Apple Stores as a bit less rare.

Allen lost a battle with brain cancer on Sunday at the age of 67. After seeing the headline, my knee-jerk reaction was that the initial diagnosis was the real reason for shutting down the site, and his brother confirmed it. My thoughts are with his friends and family.

October 14, 2015

Link: Sweating the Details ☍

Steven Levy:

Early this year, the top-secret laboratory where Apple designs its Macintosh accessories was bedeviled by a crisis on tiny feet. It had to do with the reinvented mouse the team was designing to accompany a new set of iMac computers that will be released today. The input device, dubbed the Magic Mouse 2, would look to users exactly like the previous model. But on the inside and underneath, everything would be different, mainly because Apple was switching to a rechargeable lithium battery instead of the previous replaceable alkaline ones.

Late in the process, everything seemed to be going fine. The internal lithium battery was custom-engineered to fit the cavity. The redesigned antenna — necessary to deal with the potential interference from an internal battery — was working well.

But one thing was totally unacceptable.

The mouse didn’t sound right.

This exemplifies everything that is right with Apple. The rest of the article is a fascinating look at the work put into developing input devices.

October 9, 2015

Link: A List of All the Things iCloud Syncs ☍

David Chartier:

Apple tells you a number of things that iCloud syncs between devices in Settings (or System Preferences) > iCloud, such as Photos, Contacts, and Reminders. But I’ve noticed a number of other OS-level things that sync between my devices (presumably through iCloud), but Apple doesn’t seem to keep a central, comprehensive list. Let’s make one.

October 7, 2015

Link: The Texas Instruments Graphing Calculator Monopoly ☍

Jack Smith IV for Mic:

Technology has not yet killed the reliable old TI-83. Nearly 20 years later, students are still forced to use a prohibitively expensive piece of outdated technology. It’s not because better tools aren’t available; they exist, and some of them are even free. It’s because Texas Instruments, the company that creates them, has a staggering monopoly in the field of high school mathematics. The American education system is addicted to Texas Instruments.

I had a TI-83 Plus, later replaced by a TI-86. At the time, a handheld computer based on technology from about a decade before seemed magical to middle-school-aged me. Now, I’m shocked that there really haven’t been any advances, mostly for the sake of standardized testing and these are about the same price (not counting inflation). I seem to recall that tests like the SAT and ACT didn’t allow for devices with QWERTY keyboards or touch screens, so that could also play a big role. Regardless, this is a market that probably should change, but won’t.

October 4, 2015

Link: What’s Worse Than Paid App Updates? ☍

Dan Edwards:

Recently Tweetbot 4 was released as a cross-platform update that’ll work on iPad &iPhone. Right now (at 50% off), it’s a $4.99/£3.99 app. Regardless of whether you bought the old Tweetbot recently, or at all.

Some people were pretty angry about this…

I agree with his assessment (go ahead and read the post), as Apple has created an environment for the expectation of one-time app purchases with upgrades for life. This is simply not sustainable for developers, especially small shops. With the amount of time and work that developers put in, I think asking $5 or $10 every so often for a new version quality product that runs on iPhones and iPads is more than reasonable, especially if you use it all the time. Supporting developers is how everyone can ensure that quality products continue to be made and we don’t end up with a ton of ad-supported, customer-disrespecting junk. Besides that, if you have the old version, it’s probably going to keep working for the foreseeable future (unless Twitter changes the API), so nobody is forcing you to get the new version.