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November 6, 2023

Snippet: Apple Confirms No Plans for 27-inch iMac with Apple Silicon ☇

Dan Seifert for The Verge:

Apple will not be making an Apple Silicon version of the 27-inch iMac to replace the Intel-equipped model that it discontinued in 2022. The company is instead focusing the iMac line around the 24-inch model that was first released in early 2021 and just updated with the new M3 processor this fall.

Apple PR representative Starlayne Meza confirmed the company’s plans to The Verge. The company encourages those who have been holding out hope for a larger iMac to consider the Studio Display and Mac Studio or Mac Mini, which pair a 27-inch 5K screen with a separate computer, compared to the all-in-one design of the iMac.

The 27-inch iMac was a great computer for much of its run, but I also wonder if Apple should keep selling any iMac. Between the popularity of laptops and Apple selling a “good, better, best” lineup of modular desktops, the iMac is sort of the odd computer out—about the only thing it brings to the table is being a good-looking computer that cuts down on cable-clutter. Dropping it from the lineup and offering a 24-inch Studio Display could be a more compelling option.

November 3, 2023

Snippet: The Never-Ending Price Hikes for Streaming Services ☇

Rachyl Jones for Fortune:

Half of the major streaming platforms in the U.S. now charge a monthly fee that’s double the price they charged when they initially came to market. And many of these streaming services haven’t even been around for ten years.

Consumers have grumbled, but have so far been willing to keep paying up. It’s hard to say where the breaking point will be for consumers, but given that analysts believe the platforms are likely to continue raising prices even further, we’ll probably find out soon enough. […]

For legacy media companies, increased streaming prices are a step towards recouping lost revenue from their slowly dying traditional television businesses. As consumers increasingly cancel their cable TV subscriptions in favor of streaming platforms, companies like Disney, Warner Bros. Discovery, Comcast and Paramount are losing money on their once reliably profitable TV businesses. […]

With so many streaming services, and no end in sight to price hikes, something will have to give at some point. The streaming industry is on the verge of losing some of its major players, analysts agree. “The macro, high-level view is that there are too many streaming services losing too much money, and someone is going to raise the white flag,” said Rich Greenfield, analyst at LightShed Partners.

Lots of people suggest “just going back to cable,” but prices for most of those services have also climbed, sometimes more significantly. On top of the higher base rate, most cable services are still tied to just a TV and require equipment fees.

While price increases are due to greed trying to make the services profitable, the current economic climate, mixed with the writers and actors strikes feels like a slap in the face to consumers. Mix in services that have too high of an opinion of themselves and consumers may eventually get fed up and unsubscribe for the last time. I know there have already been a few of those for me.

Snippet: In Defense of Being in Defense of Modest RAM ☇

Jason Koebler for 404 Media:

I’m not here to argue that the M-series chips aren’t good. I think that they are. But I also think that people have been far too quick to dismiss the importance of RAM for anyone who runs multiple programs at once or opens any meaningful number of tabs. Using swap on Apple silicon might be better than on other computers, but it still isn’t ideal, and you are still likely to suffer performance problems at times.

I can’t disagree that more RAM = better and Apple should start most of the lineup at 16GB instead—at the very least any MacBook Pro. However, even with a handful of Safari tabs open, Mail, Messages, NetNewsWire, Ivory, Pixelmator Pro, and a few little tools here and there, I’m only showing 6.5GB of 8GB in use on my M2 MacBook Air. In the year or so that I’ve had this computer, I haven’t thrown anything at it that it couldn’t handle. I’d suspect most people buying things like the Mac mini or M1 MacBook Air are in a similar boat.

As I mentioned, I use my computer like a monster, and currently have 95 Chrome tabs open, as well as Slack, Discord, Adobe Premiere, Spotify, Adobe Audition, 23 instances of TextEdit, Signal, Apple Podcasts, Pages, and iMessage open. I am currently using 46 GB of the 64 GB of RAM that I have on this computer. Several of my Chrome tabs are using more than a GB of RAM each, while the vast majority of them are using a few hundred MB each. This is not a problem, because my computer is new, and it is incredibly good, and I’m currently very happy with it. I sleep soundly at night knowing that I can open up as many tabs and programs as I want and will not make my computer freak out.

Seeing Koebler’s use case, one isn’t surprised that 8GB RAM probably isn’t going to cut it for him—and that’s absolutely fine. While it seems somewhat common, I really don’t understand the need to leave almost a hundred browser tabs open, with some consuming an absurd amount of memory when idle. This is also part of the reason why I swore off Chrome on all platforms. While Koebler’s computer can handle it, it is a problem with tools that are terrible with resources. Google and Adobe are massive offenders in this regard and I really wish these companies would get more public shame on the matter.

Additionally, as someone who has done troubleshooting with all sorts of BYOD devices at my current and former job, the bigger issue with older Macs has always been storage—I have users with 8GB RAM on 2015 MacBook Airs that are running fine except they can’t install updates or load large software packages because the 128GB SSD is full. Even older Macs with 4GB RAM seem to handle high RAM usage rather gracefully, so I’m not quite sure what “freaking out” exactly means.

Snippet: Siri’s Announce Notifications Detects Image Content in iOS 17.1 ☇

Justin Searls:

I didn’t see this reported elsewhere, but it’s pretty impressive that Siri is now doing realtime recognition of the contents photos (and in this case, animated GIFs!) when announcing messages to your AirPods or via CarPlay.

I noticed this, too—it caught me off guard the other day when it announced that I received an image that looked like a meme and then described a few elements on it. I think this is great for convenience, but also accessibility. I’ll be curious to see how this grows and develops.

November 2, 2023

News: Apple Reports Q4 Results

Apple announced financial results for its fiscal 2023 fourth quarter ended September 30, 2023. The Company posted quarterly revenue of $89.5 billion, down 1 percent year over year, and quarterly earnings per diluted share of $1.46, up 13 percent year over year…