WWDC 2015 is just around the corner, but one of the most interesting updates to the Mac product line will not be mentioned on Monday. Over the next year we can expect all new Mac models to begin incorporating Touch ID into their designs.
All new iPhones and iPads have Touch ID, and Apple Watch leverages the technology with Apple Pay abilities. Apple intends to extend the technology to Macs, eliminating the need for laborious passwords. Consider this Apple’s secure One Password solution, only faster, easier, more secure — better. Like iOS, upon reboot, OS X will require the user to type in their password to start using Touch ID (for security) but after that passwords for access to your Mac or Keychain can all be had with your fingerprint.
If you hadn’t noticed, Apple is on what can only be described as a never-ending tear of success, and their enemies seem incapable or inept at stopping them. But this does not mean other tech players aren’t trying to wear their big-boy pants — they just continue to come up short at competing effectively. Perhaps the worst offender is Microsoft. Under former CEO Steve Ballmer, the Redmond software giant became very good at making lofty promises, delivering failures, demonstrating vaporware or throwing an occasional chair. Today’s Microsoft, run by Satya Nadella, is now a softer, gentler software vendor, but has yet to be any more effective at defeating the iPhone, iPad, Mac, and soon to arrive and dominate the wearable market, Apple Watch.
Nadella showed initial promise by downplaying the consumer electronics market, turning his focus on enterprise solutions. Old habits die hard. Microsoft is once again is pulling out their Fisher Price "My First Marketing Playbook" in another attempt at capturing the consumers eye with Surface 3. Will a cheaper Surface, whose best feature is the 5 seconds of switching between a poor tablet and so-so ultrabook, backed with a massive advertising budget, be enough to derail Apple’s best laid plans?
As we approach the launch of the new MacBook, with the latest Air and Pro updates already on store shelves, Apple may be preparing to make this one of the last Intel updates to high volume Macs for the foreseeable future. The only Mac requiring Intel hang around for some time to come is Apple’s Mac Pro, which is a low-volume, high-powered Mac, largely dedicated to the video and creative markets. Beyond the Mac Pro, every current Mac is open to being replaced with Apple’s own A-series of processors. Ironically, Intel’s focus on power consumption versus raw performance is aiding ARM, thus Apple, as they are catching up to Intel’s performance figures at a rapid pace.
Sometimes we get spoiled. We seldom stop to reflect on what has happened, always wanting more of something we don't yet have. Tis one of the pitfalls of capitalism coupled with our natural, insatiable tendency for something more. The fix for this problem is gratitude — being thankful for what we do have and have been given.
In the realm of Apple, this plays out in our desire for the “next best thing” instead of looking around us and being amazed at all the things Apple has done, just in 2014. Here are a few highlights to reflect upon from Apple in 2014.
Guy Kawasaki, Chief Evangelist for Apple in the mid-80’s, was interviewed on Bloomberg Surveillance today. And while Kawasaki has insight on where Apple once was, his ideas of Apple are now clearly from the outside looking in. Guy Kawasaki’s belief that Apple is a luxury brand is simply wrong.
We just received a note from John Poole at Primate Labs. They have just updated their Mac Benchmarks to include the new iMac (27-inch Retina) and Mac mini (Late 2014).
The iMac with Retina display tops out at 16,315* in 64-bit multi-core mode and the Mac mini at 7,300*.
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.
We have predicted, and now it comes true — here, here and here. Apple is to hold a special event on October 16, 2014, with the teaser on the invitation stating "It's been way too long." Since the Cook-era at Apple, this is the third year in a row where the company has held a special event in both the months of September and October.
October is a special month for Apple as it is the first month in its fiscal year, which is important on many levels. Most importantly, launching new products at the beginning of their fiscal year sets the stage as to what must happen throughout the next 12 months in order to make internal projections. If a product is given 12 months to succeed, versus 6 months, less panic sets in and clear thinking can prevail. October also allows enough time for newly announced products make their way onto store shelves and into shopping carts for the Christmas season.
Only ripples remain in the wake of Apple's iPhone and Apple Watch announcements last month, and a vacuum is beginning to fill with "what's next from Apple?" Many rumors are pointing towards Apple hosting an October 21, special event, which appears to be chalk full of Mac goodies.
Apple's Mac lineup, while continuing to build sales momentum, is due for a major upgrades. The iMac is two years old without a chassis, display or major internal overhaul. Rumors of a 5k 27" display are sketchy at best, and whether Apple will magically get their hands on Intel's slow in coming Broadwell chipset is another mystery. Intel isn't expected to launch Broadwell until early 2015, but if anyone can get their hands on Intel's latest and greatest first, history has shown us it would be Apple.
Now that the third OS X Yosemite public beta has been released a clearer picture of when OS X Yosemite’s Gold Master version — the final version — will be ready for download. We continue to predict that Apple will hold true to form and have another Special Event in October. October is a special month on Apple’s calendar as it is the beginning of a new fiscal year, and most corporations like to start their fiscal year by exceeding expectations instead starting behind projected sales and revenue numbers.