Have you ever been on a camp-out or a backpacking trip and during breakfast, lunch or dinner someone pulls out a spork? You know, a spoon that half-way up becomes a mini-fork? For advanced sporks the side can also be used as a knife to cut food. Microsoft’s Surface 3 is the perfect spork, but would you use it beyond your digital campsite?
A spork’s not a really good spoon, and it’s not really a good fork, but it’s functional enough, given an outdoor hiking/camping situation. If you lose the spork it isn’t a great investment gone south — it’s just a spork!
Apple Watch goes on pre-order sale April 10, and the new MacBook is available for in-store pickup on the same date. But Microsoft just tried their best to crash Apple's party, announcing a new Surface tablet/laptop product which effectively replaces the failed Surface RT. Will Microsoft's long-term endeavor to convert customers from using a laptop or tablet, to using their merged device pay off? Despite a massive ad campaign, Surface Pro 3 December quarter sales resulted in only 1 million units sold and the Surface RT product was canceled as a nearly $1 billion write-off earlier in the year. Yet Microsoft seems to be beyond stubborn in continuing to pushing their idea.
The immediate temptation is to compare the new Surface 3 to an Apple iPad Air 2 or an 11" MacBook Air, as this is exactly what Microsoft wants it to be stacked up against. Their marketing clearly positions certain strengths against the iPad and others against the MacBook Air, in an attempt to blur the lines that the Surface 3 is both a great tablet and ultrabook laptop. But is Surface 3 a great tablet and ultrabook, or something that is less than the sum of it's parts? It's time to take a look at the areas of Surface 3 that Microsoft isn't spinning.
Apple Watch hype has hit a fever pitch, but don't think the mania is over quite yet. The watch does not go on pre-sale until April 10, thus the noise should last at least another month before settling down. Meanwhile, MacBook owners – including us at T-GAAP – are embroiled in debating the merits of the latest MacBook versus the rest of the refreshed MacBook lineup. For all of Apple's efforts in focusing our attention onto the latest and greatest, it can be said the iPod started it all, and yet the product will have been without an update for 3 years come this September. Should Apple make a 6th generation iPod touch?
At the heart of the current 5th generation iPod touch is Apple's 32-bit A5 processor. To gain some perspective in how old this chipset is, it was last used in the iPhone 4S. The iPod also sports a 4" screen, while the latest iPhones have moved onto 4.7" and 5.5" displays. The iPod touch utilizes some old technologies, and yet has stubbornly remained at $199 for just a 16 GB version. Topping off iPod touch's dated appeal, sales figures for the entire iPod lineup are no longer reported in Apple's quarterly conference call or press release. The days of this diminutive little iPhone – without the phone – seem numbered, but there is a glimmer of hope.
While Google and Apple’s search engine contract is about to expire, other players stand in line like available bachelorettes, desperate to become Apple’s next choice for Safari’s default search tool. And while it would seem Apple and Google are likely to hammer out another contract together, Apple could use this opportunity to turn the search engine game upside down, selecting little known DuckDuckGo as their default search engine of choice.
If Dish Network believes Sling TV is akin to hitting a home run, they may be right. And while it may not be bottom of the 9th with the bases loaded with the game on the line, it is at least the bottom of the 7th. The problem? Dish Network, standing over the plate, just struck out.
T-GAAP was able to test Sling TV before it launched publicly, and while first impressions were favorable, as a Mac and iOS user, after several days of use the experience fell flat.
April is almost here, and that means the launch of Apple Watch. The one looming question we here at T-GAAP have is, “What problem does Apple Watch solve?” Will it tell time better? Will it be a better status symbol? Is Apple Pay enough to make it valued and unique? To answer these questions we took a look at two previous launches of brand new Apple products and the time piece industry itself to find the answers.
Apple’s iPhone entered a market during a time when “smart phone” meant a devices such as a Blackberry that could handle email and not much more. Many tried but failed with web browsers. Managing contacts and calendar events was a downright nightmare, and the phones themselves were clunky and difficult to use. No one loved their mobile phones, everyone just put up with them. Enter iPhone. iPhone made all of functions exponentially easier. The multi-touch interface and full screen display made using iPhone simple yet elegant. iPhone did everything well and that was just the beginning. Once Apple delivered the App Store the entire platform exploded.
Dish Network has managed to pull off a near perfect cord cutter miracle. Dish Network’s Sling TV delivers live streaming of some of the most popular cable networks, creating a “network mini-bundle” for only $20 a month. ESPN, EPSN2, TNT, TBS, CNN, Disney, Cartoon Network, HGTV, and many more worthy channels. The bundle is a fantastic solution for those without cable, and Dish Network gave T-GAAP the keys to beta test Sling TV. There’s only one glaring issue for Dish Networks shiny new toy – Sling TV is not on Apple TV (yet) and is not able to work with Airplay from iOS. However, we at T-GAAP have a solution to get Sling TV onto your television thru Apple TV.
A while back we reviewed AirParrot, but the software has since grown in maturity with in AirParrot 2. (Squirrels, the company who created AirParrot, is located in the high-tech capital of the U.S., in North Canton, Ohio). Regardless of where they guys/gals are located, they make great software.
If Apple were an ocean liner and Tim Cook her captain, there is little doubt that the USS Apple would be parsing the open waters at “full steam ahead”. While Steve Jobs turned Apple around, was very good at gathering top talent and then focusing that talent on a few key ideas — bringing excitement to the world with new gadgets and gizmos we all had to have, Tim Cook has brought stability to Apple.
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.