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Apple's Advantage: Privacy

by: E. Werner Reschke | Sep 19, 2014

Privacy and SecurityIt 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.

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Icloud-icon-by-gabrydesign-d4h798cAt WWDC, Apple unveiled many new iCloud features. One of those features is iCloud drive. Users will be able to store files on iCloud directly from the Finder with multiple layers of folders. They will also be able to store photos on iCloud. Hopefully, iPhoto and Aperture will integrate iCloud in their next updates.

When users start to store more files in iCloud, the demand for better storage payment options will rise. Apple already addressed these demands at WWDC as well with a new pricing model. The following chart compares the new iCloud pricing against the old iCloud, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Dropbox, and Box. Also noted is how much one gets for free and the price per year for 20GB, 50GB, 100GB, 200GB, and 1TB.

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Os_10

It’s big, it’s powerful, it’s fast, and it’s coming soon — now being revealed even sooner. No, this isn’t the world domination 4.7-inch iPhone 6 I’m talking about, it’s OS X (10.10), and it’s sure to knock the socks off developers and users alike. 

Certainly, if an iPhone 6 (what T-GAAP believes will be called iPhone Air) arrives at WWDC, virtually all media attention will be cast upon the svelt device, relegating Apple’s iOS and OS X operating software magic to section b, page 14.

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What iCloud Improvements Should Come Next?

by: Karl Johnson | Dec 17, 2013

Icloud-logoApple cleaned up iCloud’s many syncing bugs with iOS 7 and OS X version 10.9. Not all of them are gone, but enough to make it reliable. Now that iCloud is a stable solution, developers have been adding iCloud features to their software. As iCloud continues to grow in popularity, users will be asking for more features.

There are lot of features that Apple could add to iCloud. What are the most important ones? Which features will have the most impact on the users? Here are three features that would have the most impact.

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Icloud_logoWhen 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.

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Android vs iOS, When Winning Is Losing

by: Mark Reschke | Oct 09, 2013

Ios_android_market_share

It wasn't complicated. The Big 3 automakers sold fleets of cars, each owned great chunks of market share, and all were amazingly profitable. Coke dominated soda market share, reaping fantastical profits as a result, and Google dominated global share with Android, piling up mounds of mobile cash for over a decade...

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The Problem with The Cloud and Apple

by: E. Werner Reschke | Aug 08, 2013

IcloudCloud computing and Cloud services have been around since the first computer was networked with a server. Cloud services are things that happen on a server somewhere in cyberspace, such as Google docs, which are server applications used through a web browser. It may feel like a locally running desktop application, but make no mistake, everything is driven from the server level. While the client computer does all the inputting through the magic of javascript and very fast network servers, the computations are done on the server side.

Cloud services are problematic for Apple. In order to build iCloud into a very usable tool, Apple can't limit it to just Mac users or iOS users, but needs to deliver it to all types of users on different platforms, using a variety of web browsers. The idea for the Cloud is to be able to share, access and collaborate platform independently. Think of Facebook. What if Facebook only ran on Windows? This is Apple's dilemma. Apple has no incentive to create a raft of software that runs on ALL platforms with any browser. Apple only wants to create something for its platform which in turn sells their hardware, which is where Apple's value - and money - is made. 

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WwdcApple will be showing off their new versions of iOS and OS X at WWDC this year. iOS 7 should see some big changes since Jonathan Ive took over development for Scott Forstall (fired by CEO Tim Cook in October 2012). Ive is expected to update the user interface, but Apple needs more than an iOS facelift to stay ahead of the competition.

Jonathan Ive took over iOS development in the middle of its development cycle. Apple had to pull developers from OS X to get iOS back on schedule. This means OS X 10.9 will be unlikely to see any major changes and may even be released after iOS 7. What are we likely to see from the next major operating system updates from Apple besides an interface change?

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Iwork_vs_office

By all media accounts, Apple's Maps app was an absolute disaster, at least at launch. Apple should have either announced the product as a beta solution, launched it later as a production level product, or never launched it at all. Truth be told, I've used it from day one, well over 100 times and it's never steered me wrong. But going far beyond the hysteria that Apple Maps was going to lead you into a dark cave of death instead of your intended destination, Apple achieved a major victory with the launch. Google was forced to pony up and deliver a quality iOS maps application. Apple would be wise to play the same card on Microsoft.

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Alternatives to Googles Services

by: Karl Johnson | Apr 19, 2013

Googleservices

Google is a powerhouse within the realm of Internet services. From Adsense to YouTube, Google's services drives an amazing amount of web traffic through their front door. The biggest draw to these services is that they are free, because they are augmented with ads. Google makes money by selling their users to ad companies, much like free broadcast TV.

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