Three Guys and a Podcast: Apple News & Analysis
Is it a TV channel, a network or an application? It is a confusing subject, because technically, Apple TV "channels" are indeed applications by nature, and are more or less streaming networks that simply live in the form of an app.
Microsoft is on tough times. Their stock price has been relatively flat during the past five years, they've lost their swagger, and outside of Xbox effecting the lives of 17-year-old boys (and those who still act like them), no one outside of stock holders really care all that much about the software giant.
The world seems a blaze with Android news, and for good reason — Android is everywhere on almost every type of device imaginable. Android also creates a media frenzy, allowing any business to make news with their shiny new gadgets. This is perfect for sites like c/net and engadget whose lifeblood relies on a constant flow of shiny new devices to talk about. But for all the Android devices roaming the planet, only a scant few are making Google or the hardware makers a dime. On the other hand Apple continues to increase sales of their iOS devices and pull in a stunning average selling price (ASP). and margin. How can it be that Apple is expanding iOS sales with Android dominating everywhere?
Market share and any individual company’s sales are two completely different areas of discussion. Apple continues to grow their iOS world, just not at the same pace that Android has, and is, growing the middle to low-end market share.
Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone in the U.S. (and Canada), Christmas magic is in the air. Cyber Monday is today. Many retailers very survival often depends on sales during the next four weeks — although I highly doubt this is what the wise men had in mind when bringing gifts to the Christ child.
Nevertheless, the world we live in is full of anticipation — for the next big thing. And Apple fans are no different. While we have seen new versions of most of our favorites, only the new Mac Pro broke the mold and gave us something truly new and exciting. Everything else — iPhones, iPads, Macs — have all been improvements on the same theme. Arguably the iPad Air could be considered an exception as it really did make some big advancements.
Ever read an Android blog or an iOS blog? How about watching people trying to decide which smartphone to purchase in a Best Buy, an Apple or Carrier retail store? It's quick fun, if not shocking, but much more than that, it is quite revealing.
Widely consider a joke, the question of, “Who has been a more successful Apple employee: Tim Cook or Steve Ballmer?” Funny as it sounds, it rings true in some circles, and the comparison and contrast between the two men is worth thinking about.
Both Cook and Ballmer became the successors to high tech empires that were at the top of their game. While Bill Gates did not pass away, he did step aside from the day to day operations and stayed on the board or directors (he also is the company’s largest stock holder). This left Steve Ballmer in charge of a company at its peak — a company that could do no wrong. At the time of Steve Ballmer's ascension to becoming Microsoft CEO, the company had done nothing more than amass a track record of success and mammoth growth.
When iCloud first came out, the service was buggy. Apple solved many of the problems for syncing Calendar, Mail, and Safari. Yet, syncing data across iCloud for third party applications still proved to be problematic. Did Apple solve these problems with iOS 7 and Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks?
We have been testing iCloud data sync on multiple of applications from Apple’s iWork suit to third party applications like Byword and 1Password. Tests show that Apple and software developers have indeed improved iCloud data sync. Data gets synced across multiple devices even while files are being used. Most of the errors are now gone. There are still some areas that Apple can improve on, like conflict file management, but the service works reliably now. More and more developers are adding iCloud to their application. It is starting to replace Dropbox as the must have syncing solution.
There are many internet radio services available today. Each service has its strengths and weaknesses and they all appeal to different type of music listeners. With iOS7, Apple introduced their own music service, iTunes Radio. How will iTunes Radio compete with the other Big names in the music service?
iTunes Radio has many advantages over the competition and several disadvantages when comparing it to music services likes Pandora, Spotify, and others. The biggest advantage for iTunes Radio is that it is built into every Apple product through iTunes. Users don’t have to download anything or sign up for anything. This makes the service simple and easy to use.
Every so often Apple does this — they launch two products that occupy the same space and the difference between the products is so minimal, it is difficult to decide. Historically, Apple has had this dilemma involve the Mac Book Air versus Mac Book Pro. This choice was most difficult before retina displays were available on the Pro models. With that feature (coupled with price) there is now enough differentiation between the Air lineup and the Pro models that it makes choosing between the two an easier road to navigate.
However, the new entry into Apple’s “difficult to choose” category is between the new iPad Air and the new iPad mini with Retina display. First off, both are new iPads. You are not buying old technology with either choice. The iPad mini with Retina display and the iPad Air both use the same über fast processor and both have Retina displays containing the exact same resolution. Both come with iOS 7, the same camera technology, the same battery life, and both come in the exact same color schemes. So what is different to help you decide which to buy?
IDC’s latest market share numbers are figures should make Android's Mom proud. Roughly 81% of the world during the September 2013 quarter picked purchased some type of Android smartphone. Meanwhile, Apple saw a decline in share from 14.4% to roughly 13% during the same year-over-year quarter.