Apple’s Mac lineup is stale, and that is putting it mildly. The Mac Pro is now a staggering 2 1/2 years into its lifecycle without a single upgrade. The MacBook Air has seen almost no changes, save for incremental processor updates since 2010. The iMac form factor has not changed since the fall of 2012. The newly minted MacBook and MacBook Pro's have seen only slight incremental upgrades this past year, and the Mac mini is a mere afterthought. What's going on?
The only significant new release to Apple’s Mac lineup has been the MacBook (of which I use and love), in April of 2015. It recently received a slight Intel processor update. Wow... In fact, all Apple has been keen to do the past few years is release Intel processor updates to products, with the MacBook Air still living in an ancient design, with what can now only be described as a horribly low-resolution display. Apple’s Mac lineup has become a cash cow with little invention, but that may be about to change.
If you are in the market for a new Mac, now is probably the worst time in recent history to purchase one. Following Apple for over two decades now, it is clear that the culture of our favorite fruit company allows it to only really focus on one major project at a time. While the iPhone is on an annual update schedule, Macs updates have fallen by the wayside like the ugly step sister from the fairytale Cinderella.
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.
Will Apple’s OS X Yosemite Spotlight Search be used by the masses? Will dark mode be the default go-to look and feel? Will Continuity be a must users simply won’t be able to live without? Like test driving a car, once purchased, the owners continued long term use reveals the gimmicky sales tools versus what features are truly useful. In many respects new OS releases are much the same. Widgets once seemed like a great default tool to quickly discover weather, stock prices and flight times. Fast forward a few years and OS X Widgets are rarely developed for or used. Sherlock seemed a sure bet, then morphed into Spotlight, but was limited in only finding things on your local drive. Now Spotlight has been given a rebirth in Yosemite under its new name, Spotlight Search. Long term value of such tools will be discovered over time, thus, here are some initial impressions of Apple’s newly minted OS.
When Apple showed off OS X Yosemite (aka 10.10), the Moscone crowd’s excitement grew at the turn of each new slide. OS X Yosemite promises to polish off some rough edges that Mavericks attempted — away from skeuomorphic design and to a more simple, elegant (aka flat) user experience. In addition Yosemite will deliver a host of new features and connectivity with iOS devices.
The AppleTV is a nice device for the living room. Right now, it can play music and movies from a number of sources like iTunes, YouTube, Netflix, or an iOS device through Airplay. Through Airplay, the AppleTV can also mirror the display of an iOS device and a Mac Computer.
Mirroring a Mac display on the AppleTV is nice, but it is limiting. Users can’t watch an Internet movie on the AppleTV and still use their Mac at the same time. This limits the usefulness of not only the AppleTV , but also the Mac. This is all going to change this Fall.
After watching the Keynote presentation live via AppleTV and then re-watching it again later that day, one application Apple did not feature was Mail. While Craig Federighi showed forthcoming versions of an updated Safari, a modern Finder, a much improved multiple display management system and an enhanced Notification Center, what was lacking was any mention of Mail.
Mail along with Safari and the Finder are arguably the three most used apps on any Mac. Not bringing any improvements to Mail tell us that Apple either thinks Mail is fine the way it is in Mountain Lion or the updates were not ready for the demo.
OS X Mountain Lion took away something very dear to many Mac users: RSS Feeds (sometimes also called Atom feeds). RSS feeds (Really Simple Syndication) is a technology used by websites and social media to notify subscribers when content has been updated. For example, on this website you can subscribe to an RSS Feed that will notify you every time a new article is posted.
The Mail application was one of the first apps that Apple wrote for OS X. Those who remember the first official release, OS X 10.0 (Cheetah), know that Mail.app was there from the beginning, as it was to be an example for developers on how to write an app for the OS X platform. However, Mail.app soon was adopted by many and Apple started improving it with each release of the OS.
That said, there are several things Mail.app doesn't do very well or could do better. Below is a list of improvements we would like to see in the OS X 10.9 release:
The Mac OS is a mature operating system. It is a good looking and clean interface that stays out of the way so users can focus on their work. The gradient gray interface minimizes distractions while shadows create depth for better window separation, but with all these great features, there is still room for improvement.
There still are many ways Apple can improve how the OS interacts with the user. One of those areas is spotlight. Spotlight is great for searching for items on the computer in real-time, and it is lightening fast with solid state storage, yet Apple could make it so much better.