November 9, 2018

Link: People Have Different Computer Use-Cases ☍

Dave Smith for Business Insider (via Ben Brooks):

This is still an iPad, like the one you bought years ago. Yes, it’s faster and prettier than before. But it should not be mistaken for a work computer. You would be a less efficient worker if you chose an iPad Pro for work instead of the many standard laptops and desktops.[…]

I insist the iPad Pro is not a real work computer because even trying to perform the most basic of tasks felt underwhelming and compelled me to use a laptop instead.

For the last week, social media and the tech press has been debating the value of the iPad Pros and if you can replace your computer with one. Honestly, it’s exhausting because you could pick out about ten, twenty, or thirty things that an iPad doesn’t do well, but that a Windows PC does. The iPad vs. Mac argument gets brought up, too, but it’s typically people who are using some sort of portable Windows PC that sit down at an iPad and are immediately annoyed that something that may cost as much as their PC doesn’t work the way they expect it to. Some tech writers jump at the chance to “prove everyone wrong” about how the iPad is still a letdown and a glorified, oversized iPhone.

Smith’s argument is crap because it’s a few particular use cases where an iPad very obviously does not work for him. He also was quick to call his iPad use a failure—I would have probably been just as discombobulated if I had to switch to a Windows PC for everything and immediately expect the same level of productivity. For the people who use an iPad as their primary computing device, many workflows take some careful consideration and time. You can’t get an iPad out of the box and expect it to work like a computer that you’ve probably also been working with for awhile and iterating your processes. Still, rather than trying to find ways that traditional Windows PCs and Macs fall short, I’ll be off using my iPads to get work done—or apparently twiddling my thumbs pretending to work.

November 5, 2018

Link: Scooping Up the Apple Writers ☍

Gabe Weatherhead responding to comments by John Gruber:

I agree with John completely. I’m not sure if John is talking about blogs or professional web publications though. On a personal level I don’t find it very fun to write in this category as a blogger. It’s not a niche and there’s little companionship among writers.

But, maybe this was brought on by ourselves. Cross linking between blogs has nearly dried up. It’s almost impossible to find new opinions because everyone links to the same three websites, like I’m doing now.

This originally came up because Macworld alum Dan Frakes was joining Apple and while congratulatory, Gruber brought up this concern:

The talent pool writing about Apple products and platforms from outside the company’s walls is getting noticeably shallower. And on a personal level, this trend is not good for me, because I can’t link to App Store articles, because they’re not on the web.

I’ve been coming to terms with this over the last few months, even questioning the point of running a site like this. Every major tech site covers Apple exhaustively now because Apple has gone from something people wrote about as a labor of love to something any worthwhile tech publication has to cover. Throw in a who’s who of some of the best writers from Apple’s rough days and mid-2000s rise going to write at Apple, not just about the company and things start feeling a bit more generic and bleak.

It’s kind of like someone who kept a blog about the Golden State Warriors from the same timeframe—there were some awful seasons, fans bonded over a shared interest in the team, but competitors like the Lakers, Spurs, Celtics, Thunder, and any Lebron James team made all of the headlines. All of a sudden the Warriors became unstoppable and lots of people forgot they had been historically mediocre for much of their existence. Taking this analogy to its conclusion, this would be like the Warriors hiring away those who wrote about them before they were good and you start to see what’s left.

Link: Standing Still. iPad Pro 2018 ☍

Thomas Verschoren (via Gabe Weatherhead):

But, even with all those new bells and whistles, it’s still the same iPad running the same iOS. It’s an iPad. A device that was perfect when it was released. And then kinda rested on its laurels and iterated with safe bets and predictable improvements.

I’ve been trying to gather why I’ve been so underwhelmed about the new iPad Pros released last week. It’s not that they’re terrible devices, but that they really don’t make a compelling argument for me to replace my iPad Air 2 for work or iPad (5th generation) for personal use. The hardware improvements are certainly amazing, and the new designs are quite compelling, but fundamentally, they aren’t going to allow me to do more at this point in time.

While I would probably be equally disappointed if the new iPads signaled a shift to something new, rendering all prior models obsolete, I think it comes down to software. Even before last week’s announcement, the general consensus are that the iPads are extremely powerful and often hamstrung by iOS. It’s a good start of an operating system, but there are so many little things that can really take advantage of the iPad. The fix is for iOS on the iPad to diverge from iPhones and not to migrate macOS to a tablet.

November 1, 2018

News: Apple Reports Q4 Results

Apple announced financial results for its fiscal 2018 fourth quarter ending September 29, 2018. In the conference call, Apple posted a quarterly revenue of $62.9 billion and quarterly earnings per diluted share of $2.91…

Link: Tim Cook Talking to Lana Del Rey Was the Most Human Moment at Apple’s Event ☍

Julia Alexander for The Verge (video on linked item):

Fans of Del Rey’s previous work will immediately recognize the familiar dreamlike, almost apathetic tones on her new tracks. Despite the pleasant performance, which took place at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York City, the most enchanting part happened after Del Rey stopped singing. Apple CEO Tim Cook came out to give Del Rey a hug and thank her for performing, and Del Rey confessed that she’s “always so nervous” about performing.

“No, I’m the one who’s nervous,” Cook said, laughing as he walked with Del Rey.

It’s an endearing moment, this little spontaneous burst of humanity! Apple spends so much of its time trying to connect its products to human beings — technological objects that enrich the lives and contribute to our world’s overall story — that can often lead to eye-rolls at its obvious marketing tricks. But this was a small, humbling exchange between people at the end of a successful presentation. And it reminds us that we’re all just nervous beings trying our best to make it through this world.