The question that came across my desk this morning is whether Apple’s software is getting better or worse? Thinking back to the initial releases of iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, I can not, with a straight face, say that Apple’s software is getting better. I am not talking about features, but rather quality. OS X Yosemite should never have been released into the public’s hands with its myriad of bugs. Only after its first update 10.10.1 is it now safe to put on my wife’s laptop or my parent’s desktop.
You may – or may not – have heard about Google’s latest mobile OS, Android 5.0 Lollipop. If you are one of the rare birds who has actually used Lollipop you may have experienced a few problems, mainly in the area of the OS containing some major screw-ups. The issues are so bad that the few devices that ship, or can support Lollipop, are almost unusable. Think iOS 8.0.1 with more problems and you are on the right track.
Now that iOS 8 is out the door, anticipation is building for the release of OS X Yosemite. The reason this OS X release is so important is due to its tight interdependence on iOS 8, which Apple calls Continuity. Never before have the desktop and the mobile operating systems been so intertwined.
I didn’t think Handshake, which is part of Continuity, was going to be a big deal until I was on a road trip and began to type an email on my iPad while in flight. But I discovered the email needed to be finished on my MacBook Air (due to some files and images that were not on my iPad). At that point I had to do some technical gymnastics. The process was not terribly difficult mind you, but now that I know Handshake is coming the current workflow seems archaic. With Handshake, I would have just opened my MacBook Air and there would have been the email in the same state as it was on the iPad, ready to go.
This weekend I spent some time watching college football and some of the NFL. I always find it fascinating to see who is spending big bucks to advertise in this expensive sports-drama space. In August Microsoft made a big splash about the Surface Pro 2 tablet (modified for exclusive NFL use) being the NFL’s sideline tablet of choice, after paying the NFL $400 million to join in of course. This weekend I saw a few commercials for the Surface Pro 3, going head-head against a Macbook Air. I also observed several Samsung commercials. One Samsung ad explained how the iPhone 6 Plus 5.5" screen is no big deal because Samsung had such a device in 2012. And then there was the Google Now commercial, where Google’s digital personal assistant is asked how long Koala bears sleep (up to 18 hours according to Google Now — if you’re curious).
It started earlier this month, when actress Jennifer Lawrence’s iCloud account was hacked and nude photos of herself (she stored in iCloud) made their way across the internet. In Tim Cook’s interview with Daisuke Wakabayashi at the Wall Street Journal he said iCloud is completely secure and that hackers guessed the right answers to a series of questions to get into Lawrence’s iCloud account. Lesson: Make sure your passwords and security questions are not obvious and easy to guess.
On Wednesday (17-Sept-2014) Apple released its newest mobile operating system iOS 8. By default iOS 8 has encryption turned on. This means data stored on an iOS 8 device is encrypted, as well as the transfer of that data, to and from iCloud. This is the first time encryption has been turned on by default. In response to Apple's beefed up security measures Google has announced it will also encrypt data by default with its next operating system release — Android L — to ship next month. However, with Google's Android, only those buying a new device with Android L will ever receive the encryption, as Android hardware makers do not upgrade older Android versions on sold on their devices — Apple does, and iOS upgrades are always free.
According to 9to5Mac, Apple may be making ready the way to replace Google Maps with their own web-based mapping solution. Currently on iCloud.com beta Apple maps are now being used for Find My iPhone. While Apple still uses Google Maps on its website for retail store locations, it is not a stretch to see how Apple could soon replace Google Maps with Apple web-based maps instead.
Yesterday Amazon's CEO, Jeff Bezos introduced the company’s first smartphone called fire Phone. Taking queues from the popular fire brand Amazon had built from their tablets, it seemed a logical extension of their tablet offering. The questions surrounding the fire Phone have largely been answered.
In yesterday’s Keynote Craig Federighi, aka Hair Force One, gave us a preview of OS X Yosemite. One feature he spent a few moments on was Spotlight. Spotlight is Apple’s internal search engine to help you find apps, files, contacts, etc. on your Mac. However, that will change in a significant way with OS X Yosemite.
What do Fisher Price phones and Android smartphones have in common? Simple. They are for first-time users, that much is abundantly clear. In other words, Android smartphones are training wheels until the user can be a big boy or girl, and ride on two wheels like all the older kids in the neighborhood.
Apple’s second quarter iPhone sales shocked analysts with stronger than anticipated sales, largely due to increased sales in China. But it is the overall base of iPhone users, coupled with a steady flow of Android users converting to iPhones, that continues to grow iPhone share in the U.S. and Europe.
Remember when you were in school and there was that über smart kid who finished their test first — and early. That kid would scoot their chair from their desk for all to hear, slowly stand up, walk forward, drop their test into the teacher’s inbox and turn to smirk at the classroom as if to say, “Good luck dumb dumbs.” For everyone else still taking the test, the emotions that would immediate ensue were lead by fear and panic. “How’d he/she finish so fast!?!? I’m behind. Hurry up! Gotta finish!!” would flood the mind.
And that’s when mistakes would be made. When against the clock, people make mistakes they normally wouldn’t. They do things they know they shouldn’t. In business it’s no different. Mistakes are made all the time by really smart people at industry leading companies because of the rush to market by competition and the fear of being left behind. The Set Top Box market is a great example. AppleTV is in the lead and we see the competition trying to catch up — in a panic.