All Things Apple Weekend Update – 25th October 2015

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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 – 25th October 2015

One Year With the iPad Air 2

Apple’s Latest Apple Watch Ads Showcase Siri, Apple Music, Apple Pay and More – MacRumors

3D Force Touch: beyond peek & pop – Victor Baro

Wish List: Siri for AirPlay – Six Colors

Tim Cook: New Apple TV Begins Shipping Next Week, Orders Start Monday – MacStories

Apple Removes Over 250 iOS Apps With Ad SDK That Collects Personal User Data – MacRumors

Blind Camera Shootout – Android Authority

A great developer can come from anywhere – Manton Reece

Instagram Launches ‘Boomerang’ App to Create and Share Animated Photos – MacStories

Can the Apple TV retire my Fire TV? – Six Colors

Apple’s Jony Ive and Vogue’s Anna Wintour: Machines can build beautiful things – Mashable

Apple Announces New China Clean Energy Programs for Manufacturing Partners – MacRumors

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One Year With the iPad Air 2

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Considering that there has been no new iPad Air announced during the “Hey Siri…” event that Apple conducted last month, I can almost safely assume that the iPad Air 2 has another 6 months of being on the top of the food chain in its own category. This makes the iPad Air 2 that I purchased more than a year ago, one of my most valuable Apple purchases, longevity wise. Coming from the iPad Air 1, I had little to no reason to upgrade to iPad Air 2, however the short summary of a long rationalization is: more RAM. In addition to RAM, it being lighter and thinner, with a better image quality, played a role to some extent. However, as silly as it may sound, even the fingerprint scanner improved the experience.

What Meets The Eye

How Slimmer is 18%?

Apple is always trying to make things smaller, thinner, and more beautiful. That being said, sometimes it comes at the price of performance. The 18% reduction comes at the expense of the battery life, that doesn’t endure entire 10 hours, like the previous generation did. However, the new thinner and lighter form-factor of the iPad Air 2 does make a difference when it comes to the overall feel of the device in your hands. If you would have asked me whether I would be okay with sacrificing a bit of weight on the iPad at the expense of battery life before I purchased the iPad Air 2, I wouldn’t know exactly, but now that I’ve experienced it for over a year, I can confidently say that the weight difference does move the device past the tipping point, where I can enjoy it comfortably while laying down. This makes it possible to write articles 100% on the iPad, from the comfort of my couch.

The New Display

Another great improvement compared to the previous generation is the screen. It isn’t easy to describe or quantify this improvement in the screen, but it is noticable, and I can certainly feel it, as I transition between the iPad Air 2 and my new iPhone 6+ (read the review of it on Alpha Efficiency magazine). It is one of the best mobile displays I’ve used so far and it does leave an impact on your overall experience of the device.

Touch ID

Touch ID definitively adds another dimension to the device. Last year I can understand why I rationalized not having it on the iPad, but now that I do, I can definitively feel the difference. It simplifies the entire user experience and adds another layer of comfort when using the iPad Air 2. When you spend a lot of time using tech devices, these tweaks come into play full force. Every moment you’ve saved by not manually typing in the security code, is a second well saved. Over the course of the day, this creates seamlessness that you don’t want to get rid off.

Ofcourse this benefit will be more felt, depending on how heavy of a user you are. Even then, for those that aren’t, the friction required to start using the device will be shrunk down even more, without having to compromise the security of your data.

Under The Hood

Taking a look inside of this machine reveals a very strong, almost laptop like device. With 2GB of RAM, the iPad is currently the strongest iOS device in sale as of yet (until the iPad Pro comes out).

The benefit of improved hardware on the software front is extremely evident inside of video games. I remember spending time playing X-Com, and enjoying high end graphics with seamlessness and no stuttering. I almost wish I had more time to devote to playing more games on this machine, but blogging and writing is taking the priority.

The most noticable effect, especially when compared to my iPhone, is the performance of Evernote. Where the phone fails and stutters, delaying the animations and destroying the user experience, the iPad Air 2 delivers, making you feel like you are in the future.

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All Things Apple Weekend Update – 18th October 2015

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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 – 18th October 2015

Apple Introduces new iMacs along with new Magic Keyboard, Magic Mouse, and Magic Trackpad

Quick Thoughts on the Apple + Croma Retail Partnership in India

Apple Magic Keyboard Review –  Six Colors

Apple Highlights 3D Touch in New iPhone 6s Ad – MacStories

The Inside Story of Apple’s New iMacs – Steven Levy

The Retina iMac: One Year In – MacSparky

Using the Magic Trackpad 2 on older Macs – Six Colors

Only 5% of Mac users at IBM need help desk support, compared to 40% of PC users – Apple Insider

The Apple Watch Apps I Use –  Shawn Blanc

Apple Magic Trackpad 2 review – Six Colors

Notes On Notes.App –  512 Pixels

Apple’s biggest fan has died –  Washington Post

Apple Announces New ResearchKit Studies for Autism, Epilepsy and Melanoma – MacRumors

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Quick Thoughts on the Apple + Croma Retail Partnership in India

For the longest time ever, I have complained about the Apple retail experience in India and have stressed on how for Apple to go beyond the tipping point in India, it has to focus on dramatically improving the retail experience that customers have today when purchasing an Apple product. There’s several levels of issues with the retail experience of buying an Apple product in India –  the staff have very little knowledge of Apple products (and are far too focused on sales rather than helping the customer in a polite way), most of these locations do not have the entire line-up of Apple products and generally have horrible inventory (sometimes requiring customers to wait a week before they can buy the configuration of iPhone they want), and these retail outlets never have demo pieces of freshly launched Apple products (I had to chose between a 6 and 6 Plus without even having the chance to hold and compare them). Long story short, the retail experience in India sucks big-time.

For years Apple has been trying to set up shop in India but the regulatory landscape does not allow it to set up retail outlets and have 100% control, requiring any foreign company to either partner with a local company or to manufacture a certain percentage of their products in India. It looks like 2016 might finally be the year that Apple changes this. According to a report by The Economic Times, Apple has finally decided to enter the Indian retail scene via a partnership with Croma – an Indian consumer electronics retail chain. As part of the partnership, Apple will set up stores within existing Croma outlets that will be modeled on their global design. These stores will the best experience to consumers, and Croma promises to showcase the entire range of Apple products.

What’s worth noting here is that a couple of years back, Starbucks did the same thing, and have seen phenomenal growth both in terms of retail presence and the number of people visiting them (every time I’ve been to one recently, its been completely packed). The staff at Starbucks is extremely well-trained and I’ve always had a great experience and all of these Starbucks are designed to be consistent (but still unique) with their global counterparts. Interestingly, Starbucks partnered with Tata and since Croma is owned by Tata, I have a really good feeling about these Apple stores.

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Apple Introduces new iMacs along with new Magic Keyboard, Magic Mouse, and Magic Trackpad

Apple has refreshed its iMac lineup, which now includes a 21.5 inch 4k iMac. Besides adding a 4k variant to the 21.5 inch lineup, Apple is also adding a 5k display to all 27.5 inch variants. The new lineup boasts faster processors and better graphical performance. It also features two new Thunderbolt 2 ports along with new storage options.

The new models also ship with updated peripherals including a brand new “Magic Keyboard” as well as updates to the Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad. The new Magic Trackpad 2 looks completely different than the current variant – it is much wider, slimmer, and has a white color scheme instead of the silver one on the previous version. The two changes that impressed me the most were the inclusion of ForceTouch (I wonder if ForceTouch will work with my Macbook Air) and the ability to charge the Magic Trackpad using a lightning cable (Apple claims that the battery will last a month on a full charge).

The new 4K and 5K iMacs are available today online as well as Apple retail stores and select resellers. Every new iMac comes bundled with the new Magic Keyboard and Magic Mouse, while users can upgrade to a Magic Trackpad.

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All Things Apple Weekend Update – 11th October 2015

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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 – 11th October 2015

Ethics and Brand Rankings

Overcast 2 – Marco

Disney animators use iPad Pro to sketch characters such as Mickey and Olaf – 9to5 Mac

Zane Lowe in conversation with Ben Cooper – Music Week

Apple Acquires Artificial Intelligence Startup Perception – MacRumors

iPhone 6s camera review: Switzerland – Austin Mann

Wish List: 3D Touch in Control Center – Six Colors

My Home Screen: iOS 9 Edition – MacSparky

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Ethics and Brand Rankings

Apple has been named the most valuable brand in the world in the 2015 Interbrand ranking. This is the third consecutive year that Apple has topped the list, having overtaken Coco Cola in 2013. The Interbrand ranking lists the worlds top brands, ranking them on the basis of their brand value, which is calculated by taking into consideration three key aspects: the financial performance of the branded products or services, the role of brand in the purchase decision process, and the strength of the brand.

Apple’s brand value has seen an increase of 43% over last year, increasing from $118.9 billion to $170.3 billion, a total increase of $51.4 billion. Last year Apple has been Apple’s most successful year both in terms of sales of existing products (except perhaps the iPad) and the launching/announcement of new products.

Obviously, I have no qualms about Apple topping the list or Google coming in at the 2nd spot, I think that these companies indeed enjoy the highest levels of brand recall globally. That being said, I think an exhaustive brand ranking must take into consideration the non-ethical practices of a company and the negative impact it has on a company’s brand value. I am extremely curious to know whether Interbrand considers ethical practices of a company as part of their methodology. Factors like product recalls, privacy concerns, and sustainable operations need to be mapped across these companies in order to have a balanced assessment. I do not know if Interbrand is doing this or not, but in order to add credibility, I definitely hope they start doing this.

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All Things Apple Weekend Update – 4th October 2015

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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 – 4th October 2015

Apple Sells 13 Million iPhone 6s and 6s Plus Units on Launch Weekend

My Favorite Features Introduced in OS X El Capitan

Which iOS Content Blocker is the Fastest? – The Brooks Review

Why the iPad won’t replace the MacBook as my main work tool any time soon – MacWorld

These Pictures of You – 500ish Words

The ultimate iPhone camera comparison – Snap Snap Snap

If It Ain’t Fixed, Break It – Bitsplitting

OS X 10.11 El Capitan: The MacStories Review – MacStories

Apple’s software king Eddy Cue on streaming battles, the iPhone 6s and getting rid of roaming charges – Evening Standard

Putting Mobile Ad Blockers to the Test – NY Times

The New Apple Maps vs. Google Maps: Which is Right For You? – How To Geek

What it means to be great – Asymco

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My Favorite Features Introduced in OS X El Capitan

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As revealed during the “Hey Siri” event earlier this month, Apple has released the latest iteration of OS X – 10.11 El Capitan. The update mainly builds upon the improvements made in previous versions of OS X, with many of the new features introduced in Yosemite and Mavericks being fine-tuned. Here are some of my favorite features introduced by Apple in OS X El Capitan –
San Francisco
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Apple first revealed the “San Francisco” typeface when they unveiled the Apple Watch last year. San Francisco was the default system font on the Apple Watch and one of its key features is better readability. The difference between the two fonts (Helvetica and San Francisco) is very subtle and I had to really pay close attention to notice the difference (to me what gives away San Francisco is that it is much narrower). The font is also speculated to offer better readability on non-retina displays and I found this to be true in my testing.
Both my Macs (2015 Macbook Air and 2008 iMac) are non-retina and I since I spend most of my day looking into these devices, this is a big one for me.
Split View
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Unlike most of the time I spend on iOS, where I generally focus all of my attention on a single app, I tend to multi-task when I am using my Mac. This is true for most of my use-cases – whether I am writing and need to have Safari open for research, or when I am working on a cover in Logic X and need to have the chords open in Safari. Although I’ve always been able to split the screen into two apps in the past manually, having a quick way to perform this task definitely adds to my productivity. One annoyance about Split View is that Many 3rd party apps do not currently support Split View, as a matter of fact many of Apple’s own apps themselves lack support or well thought-over implementation for Split View.
Call out your cursor
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I remember being blown away by this feature when Craig demoed it during WWDC 2015. This feature has sort of become my guilty pleasure and I find myself shaking my mouse intentionally every-time I turn on my computer in the morning. I’ve also got a few “woahs” when I’ve done this for my friends (most of whom use Windows).
Spotlight
I don’t remember using Spotlight much before OS X El Capitan, but since getting it I have been using Spotlight all the time to not just search for things offline but also in order to search the web. I’ve been using Spotlight mainly to keep up with the schedule and scores for the sports I follow. Spotlight can now be used to not just search for sports scores and schedules but also in order to search for the local weather, stock information, and even videos. Spotlight in El Capitan also lets users search in their own language, which allows you to quickly perform a rather complicated search (for instance you could ask Spotlight to look-up documents you worked on during the last weekend).
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Apple Sells 13 Million iPhone 6s and 6s Plus Units on Launch Weekend

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Apple has just announced that they sold a record-breaking 13 million iPhone 6s and 6s Plus units during the launch weekend, which is an increase of 30%. The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus went on sale in 12 countries this year including the United States, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Singapore, and the UK.

Apple is going to be launching the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus in another 42 countries by the 10th of October, and is aiming to hit a total of 130 countries by the end of the year. Many people are surprised by this, considering the fact that this is a “s” iteration. But as far as I am concerned, this isn’t at all surprising – this years line-up has been the most impressive till date among all the “s” based updates Apple has shipped. The changes introduced have a very tangible impact on consumers – whether it is the better camera (most non-tech people who I have spoken to about Live Photos find it magical), the faster RAM & processor, or 3D Touch. I am really looking forward to Apple’s financial results for the holiday quarter, which I am expecting to be their best yet.

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