March 20, 2016

Link: Apple Won’t Let the iPad Be an iPad ☍

Paul Thurrott:

Apple, wake up. No one was asking for a more expensive iPad Air. And while evolving iPad to successfully complete more and more productivity tasks is natural enough, no one was really asking for an iPad laptop either. (People have been asking for a Mac that supports multi-touch and comes in a 2-in-1 form factor, but Apple is curiously deaf to this need.)

This is one of those I-don’t-want-to-link-to-it articles, but it is a fascinating read from someone that doesn’t get the iPad at all. Adding a keyboard is nothing new (the original iPad had an official, optional keyboard dock), and pricing hasn’t been set for the iPad Air 2’s replacement, whenever it may be. Sure, sales have slowed, but that’s also because there are a lot of iPad 2s still chugging along. Still, the solution isn’t to put OS X on an iPad and call it a day. Swap iPad with Macintosh and Mac with Apple II and this whole argument has already been played out almost thirty years ago.

March 19, 2016

Link: iPad Presentations ☍

Serenity Caldwell for iMore:

This might just explain my simultaneous horror and internal monologue last week, when my MacBook Air decided to take a bath in an open container of bottled water. And while it wasn’t a disatrous spill (as liquids-on-computers go), I was out in public, and couldn’t do a thorough cleaning nor drying. When I tried to plug my Air in later that evening, no dice: My laptop was toast, one week before I was scheduled to fly out and present at a conference.

I debated a couple different options, including the embarrassing thought of dragging my poor waterlogged computer to the Genius Bar or grumpily buying a 12-inch MacBook replacement, but decided against both. I simply didn’t have enough time.

After picking up a Dock Connector-to-VGA adapter back in 2011, I remember the amazement of exporting slides as a series of JPEG files and presenting using my iPhone 4. As time went on, I used my third-generation iPad for a few presentations and found Keynote to be really nice. Currently, I’m not doing any hardly at all, but it’s really nice to see that the iPad has continued to grow and be a great presentation tool. I think not having a Mac to fallback on makes the stakes higher, but also gives the iPad a provable track record.

March 16, 2016

Link: Why Apps Like Siri and Cortana Need to Understand Suicide ☍

Annalee Newitz for Ars Technica:

What happens when you tell Siri that you have a health emergency? What if you confess to Cortana that that you’ve been raped, or that you’re feeling suicidal? These sound like weird questions until you consider how many people rely on apps to get health information.

Of course your smartphone may not be the greatest tool to use seeking this kind of help, but if you’re extremely upset or hurt, you might not be thinking logically and have nowhere else to turn. That’s why a group of researchers set out to discover what the four most common conversational agents say in these situations. They wanted to know what these apps do when asked about rape, suicide, abuse, depression, and various health problems.

As someone who had a job dealing with some crisis situations, this is a fascinating and important study. I’m a little disappointed that I had not considered this in the more than four years since Apple introduced Siri on the iPhone 4S or the predecessor standalone app.

March 14, 2016

Link: John Oliver on Encryption ☍

Even if you know everything you can about the San Bernardino iPhone 5C case, check out the piece on HBO’s Last Week Tonight

March 11, 2016

Link: A Tale of Two iOS Developers ☍

David Sparks:

Somewhere along the line, however, things flipped. These days Microsoft’s iPad apps are arguably better than their Mac apps. I’m particularly impressed with Microsoft Word on the iPad Pro, which I’m using just about every day. Google, on the other hand, has declined.

Remember when Microsoft Office for iPad was the rumor that was always circulated?