Flaw or Feature?

I came across this article by BusinessInsider on Linkedin earlier this week –

“The watch and the phone are constantly talking,” said an iOS developer. “The code actually sits on your phone. Only the [user interface] elements are on the watch.”

The Apple Watch will be dependent on your iPhone to run virtually every application.

Your iPhone does all the heavy lifting while your Apple Watch acts like an extra display.

“It’s interesting how little the watch does; it seems that it literally does nothing except [user interface] work.”

That doesn’t bode well for the Apple Watch.

Apple is known for linking its products together, but the Apple Watch is so dependent on the iPhone to do anything that Apple has effectively added hundreds to the cost of their already pricey smartwatch.

To me the fact that the Apple Watch makes the iPhone perform most of its task is a clear feature and not a flaw. The iPhone should do all the heavy lifting for the Apple Watch, since it has a bigger battery, more processing power, and since we carry our phones practically everywhere we go. A device independent smartwatch might make sense a few years from now, but as of now, I don’t see this as a flaw.

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All Things Apple Weekend Update – 16th Nov 2014

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Weekend Update is a weekly dose of All Things Apple. We curate the best Apple related articles that have been published throughout the week. These include news pieces, guides, editorials and even reviews. Here is this weeks curation of Apple related articles, by us and others that you cannot afford to miss –

## All Things Apple Weekend Update – 16th Nov 2014

Brief Thoughts on iOS 8 Adoption

Reasons Why You Should Get the iPad Air 2

Using VSCO Cam for iPad – Shawn Blanc

A New Business Model For Slow Fast Slow – Studio Neat

Staples Begins Accepting Apple Pay in Retail Stores – MacRumors

Worldwide Smartphone Shipments Increase 25.2% in the Third Quarter – IDC

The Tools and Toys iPad Air 2 Review – Tools and Toys

Dueing it Wrong – Shawn Blanc

The desperate struggle at the heart of the brutal Apple supply chain – The Guardian

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Brief Thoughts on iOS 8 Adoption

iOS 8 Released

According to the latest data published by Apple on their support page for developers, iOS 8 adoption touched 56% last week. This iteration of iOS has definitely been a bit tricky for the folks at Cupertino. Here are some reasons I think that the iOS 8 adoption rate might have stagnated –

  • Expecting iOS 8 to have the same rate of adoption as iOS 7 isn’t fair. iOS 7 was easily the most significant iOS update since 2007 and I don’t think any of us should be expecting iOS 8 to out-do it
  • Most people prefer to upgrade their iOS devices Over The Air (OTA), and since the OTA update for iOS 8 required 5.4GB, a lot of users (specially those of us who own 16 or 8GB devices) did not or rather could not upgrade to iOS 8 right away
  • Some people probably did not upgrade to iOS 8 right away because they were waiting for the jailbreak to arrive
  • Many people like to wait till x.1 until they upgrade the OS on their phones
  • The overall bugginess of the initial builds and the QC nightmare Apple faced with iOS 8.0.1 definitely did not help

I think in the coming years iOS adoption rate will gradually decline. Needless to say, the adoption rate for iOS wouldn’t have been this high in the first place if Apple allowed users to downgrade their devices.

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All Things Apple Weekend Update – 9th November 2014

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Weekend Update is a weekly dose of All Things Apple. We curate the best Apple related articles that have been published throughout the week. These include news pieces, guides, editorials and even reviews. Here is this weeks curation of Apple related articles, by us and others that you cannot afford to miss –

All Things Apple Weekend Update – 9th November 2014

Reasons Why You Should Get the iPad Air 2

That Android-first developer “trend” – Marco

Apple faces iPhone trademark challenge in India – TUAW

Expectations for WatchKit – David Smith

Google’s App Aesthetic – Daring Fireball

Calcbot for Mac – MacStories

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Reasons Why You Should Get the iPad Air 2

 

Last year, when Apple updated its iPad lineup, it was clear that the only difference between the larger iPad Air and the smaller iPad mini was exactly that – the difference in their sizes. Both the iPads came almost identical internals and offered the same features and functionalities.

This year, Apple has taken a slightly different approach. The iPad Air received a major performance boost, due to the increased RAM (it now comes with 2GB instead of 1GB) and has a custom A8X SoC. This makes it 40% faster compared to last years model in terms of processing performance and 2.5x faster in its graphical performance.

The iPad Mini 3 on the other hand didn’t get a speed-bump at all and the features the same internals as last year. All it got was a gold variant and TouchID.

If you prefer the form-factor of the larger iPad Air, this deviation should not matter to you at all. But if you are like me, and prefer the form-factor of the iPad Mini, this deviation can cause some serious confusion. Luckily for me, I don’t really need to upgrade my iPad for another year (if not more), but for those of you that are planning to get a new iPad, here are some reasons why you should consider getting the iPad Air 2 instead of the iPad mini 3.

Form Factor

The iPad Air 2 is super thin at 6.11mm (c) Wired

The primary reason I purchased the Retina iPad Mini last year was because of it’s superior form-factor. This year, things have changed though, as the gap between the two models in terms of their form factor has significantly narrowed. The iPad Air 2 (6.1mm) is not only thinner than the iPad Mini 3 (7.5mm), but is also thinner than the iPhone 6 (6.9mm). This makes it much more easier to carry around and even hold during casual reading. The iPad Air 2 is also lighter than its predecessor, weighing in at 437g compared to the 331g of the iPad Mini 3. The only situation in which you will notice this difference is while reading, but in every other scenario, this difference shouldn’t even be noticable.

Performance

The gap between the iPad Air 2 and the iPad Mini in terms of processing and graphical performance is stark. If you mainly intend to use the iPad mini for consuming content (reading books, browsing the internet, listening to music, watching videos) the iPad mini will suit you better. But if you plan to use it for creating content, you should definitely go for the iPad Air 2. In comparison to the iPad mini 2, the iPad mini 3, and the original iPad Air, the iPad Air features twice the RAM. It is also significantly faster in terms of its processing capabilities and graphical performance. The iPad Air 2 is 2.5x faster in its graphical performance, and 40% faster. This additional horse power will come in handy for those like me who intend to use their iPad to create content – whether that is music, videos, photos, or something else.

The 2.5x improvement in the graphics department will also make the iPad Air 2 a great device for gamers. In his review for Wired, Nate Lanxon tested the graphical capabilities of the iPad Air 2, by running Antutu’s GPU benchmark – which makes the iPad render a scene from a 3D video game with complex visuals. The iPad Air registered a score of 14,306, while the original iPad Air scored 6,584. It is worth noting that the iPad Air 2 renders at 60 frames per second, which is more than double the rendering capabilities of the original iPad Air (and the iPad mini 3).

Longevity

Most users may not end up noticing the difference that the 2GB RAM or the A8X processor make as of now, but when iOS 9 or iOS 10 rolls out, the additional RAM and processing power will definitely come in handy. Compared to any other iPad that is presently available in the market, the iPad Air 2 is the most future-proof model out there. If you do not intend to upgrade your iPad for a couple (maybe even few) years, then the iPad Air 2 is the perfect device for you.

Camera

I can’t remember ever having used any of my iPads for taking pictures, but if you plan to use your iPad for taking pictures and videos, the iPad Air 2 is definitely what you should get. The iPad Air 2 features an 8 mega-pixel camera (as compared to the 5 mega-pixel camera on the iPad Air and the minis). It also has the same image processing capabilities as the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus. Pictures captured on the iPad Air 2 will be better in terms of – low light performance, details, color rendering, and frame size.

Conclusion

Last year, choosing between the iPad Air and the mini was a really tough decision. Both had almost identical internals and offered the same functionality. This year, Apple clearly wants customers to go for the iPad Air and I highly recommend that you do. Really, why would you want to get the mini, when for an additional 100 dollars, you could get the fastest, most feature-rich, and future-ready tablet in the market.

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All Things Apple Weekend Update – 2nd Nov 2014

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Weekend Update is a weekly dose of All Things Apple. We curate the best Apple related articles that have been published throughout the week. These include news pieces, guides, editorials and even reviews. Here is this weeks curation of Apple related articles, by us and others that you cannot afford to miss –

All Things Apple Weekend Update – 2nd Nov 2014

Apple Registered 1 Million Card Activations During First 72 Hours of Apple Pay

On Tim Cook’s Coming Out Letter

“San Francisco Treasure” Jony Ive Talks Apple Watch at SFMOMA Gala – re/code

This terrible CVS receipt shows why Apple Pay has little to fear from retailers – Quartz

iOS 8 Now Installed on Over Half of Active iOS Devices – MacRumors

A Week With the Retina iMac – Shawn Blanc

Thank you, Tim Cook – The Verge

A week of Apple Pay: Chips, PINs, and… signatures? – Six Colors

 

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On Tim Cook’s Coming Out Letter

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While I have never denied my sexuality, I haven’t publicly acknowledged it either, until now. So let me be clear: I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me.

So that finally happened. I’d generally stay clear of commenting on someone coming out of the closet but considering this is Tim, and considering he chose to do it in a public manner, I don’t think that he’d mind me sharing my thoughts.

First things first, this is a great thing. Tim definitely comes across as a rather private person and the fact that he felt he needed to do this, that he needed to publicly acknowledge his sexual orientation is an indicative to me that the society is still by and large not where it needs to be, in their outlook towards diversity. He goes on to talk about what made him give up his privacy –

I don’t consider myself an activist, but I realize how much I’ve benefited from the sacrifice of others. So if hearing that the CEO of Apple is gay can help someone struggling to come to terms with who he or she is, or bring comfort to anyone who feels alone, or inspire people to insist on their equality, then it’s worth the trade-off with my own privacy.

There are people who feel that Tim didn’t need to come out publicly, claiming that they don’t care what Cook’s sexual orientation is, as long as Apple continues to make great products. I think that these people are missing out on the reason behind why Cook decided to come out. This letter has nothing to do with the “Apple” part of Cook’s life. That is why he published the letter on BusinessWeek and not on Apple’s website.

This isn’t about Apple. This is about the LGBT community and this is about Tim Cook wanting to give back, make a contribution, towards social development.

A forum member (yg17) on MacRumors summed it up pretty well –

It’s important because there are so many gay kids out there who live in West Bum****, Alabama and are told by their parents and everyone else they know that they’re sinners, they’ll never amount to anything, and they’ll burn in hell for being gay. And then after finding absolutely no support amongst the people who should love them, they kill themselves.

Now they can see Tim Cook, who is gay, grew up in West Bum****, Alabama, and went on to become the CEO of one of the largest companies in the world and perhaps the most powerful person in the industry. It might give some hope to these kids out there who thought there was nothing for them in life.

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Apple Registered 1 Million Card Activations During First 72 Hours of Apple Pay

Apple CEO, Tim Cook took the stage at the WSJ.D conference today. During his interview with Gerry Baker, Cook revealed that during the first 72 hours that Apple Pay was available, Apple saw more than one million credit and debit card activations.

This number might seem small compared to the 500 million plus iTunes accounts that have a credit or debit card associated with them. That being said, to have 1 million early adopters within 3 days is definitely an impressive achievement.

Apple launched Apple Pay in the US last week, and the response Apple has received has been more or less positive. Most people who have used the service have said that it is very easy to finish a transaction and haven’t faced major issues.

Apple Pay can be currently used in more than 220,000 retail locations in the US and Tim Cook said he himself has been using Apple Pay to shop at Whole Foods. On the topic of retailers dropping support for Apple Pay, Cook had the following to say – “Over the long arc of time, retailers will have to do what shoppers want.”

Cook also went on to suggest that the key differentiator for Apple Pay will be its focus on ensuring user privacy.  “We’re not Big Brother,” we’re not collecting your data. “We’ll leave that to others.”

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All Things Apple Weekend Update – 26th October 2014

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Weekend Update is a weekly dose of All Things Apple. We curate the best Apple related articles that have been published throughout the week. These include news pieces, guides, editorials and even reviews. Here is this weeks curation of Apple related articles, by us and others that you cannot afford to miss –

All Things Apple Weekend Update – 26th October 2014

Apple Releases iOS 8.1

The iPad Air 2 (And a Few Cursory Words Regarding the iPad Mini 3) – Daring Fireball

This is Tim: Apple’s CEO answers the analysts – Six Colors

Apple Reports Q4 2014 Year-End Results: $8.5 Billion Profit on $42.1 Billion in Revenue [Call Concluded] – MacRumors

Local man uses Apple Pay to buy groceries – Six Colors

Thoughts on Yosemite’s Look and Feel – Subtraction

Last Year’s New Tech – Shawn Blanc

Review: 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K Display – Six Colors

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Apple Releases iOS 8.1

iOS 8 Released

Yesterday, while me and the rest of the eastern hemisphere was asleep, Apple released iOS 8.1 which brings support for Apple Pay, enables Yosemite users to access Continuity features like SMS relay and Instant Hotspot, offers all iOS 8 users access to iCloud Photo Library, fixes several bugs, and more.

Here’s the complete change-log

  • Apple Pay support for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus (U.S. only)
  • Photos include new features, improvements, and fixes
    • Adds iCloud Photo Library as a beta service
    • Adds Camera Roll album in Photos app and My Photo Stream album when iCloud Photo Library is not enabled
    • Provides alerts when running low on space before capturing Time Lapse videos
  • Messages includes new features, improvements and fixes
    • Adds the ability for iPhone users to send and receive SMS and MMS text messages on from their iPad and Mac
    • Resolves an issue where search would sometimes not display results
    • Fixes a bug that caused read messages not to be marked as read
    • Fixes issues with group messaging
  • Resolves issues with Wi-Fi performance that could occur when connected to some base stations
  • Fixes an issue that could prevent connections to Bluetooth hands-free devices
  • Fixes bugs that could cause screen rotation to stop working
  • Fixes an issue in Safari where videos would sometimes not play
  • Adds an option to select between 2G, 3G, or LTE networks for cellular data
  • Fixes an issue in Safari where videos would sometimes not play
  • Adds AirDrop support for Passbook passes
  • Adds an option to enable Dictation in Settings for Keyboards, Separate from Siri
  • Enables HealthKit apps to access data in the background
  • Accessibility improvements and fixes
    • Fixes an issue that prevented Guided Access from working properly
    • Fixes a bug where VoiceOver would not work with 3rd party keyboards
    • Improves stability and audio quality when using MFi Hearing Aids with iPhone 6 and 6 Plus
    • Fixes an issue with VoiceOver where tone dialing would get stuck on tone until dialing another number
    • Improves reliability when using handwriting, Bluetooth keyboards, and Braille displays with VoiceOver
  • Fixes an issue that was preventing the use of OS X Caching Server for iOS updates

As always, the update can be downloaded Over the Air (OTA), or through iTunes on your Mac or PC.

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