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.
Since last Fall, all the attention of those who carefully follow what Apple does have been focused on Apple Watch, iPhone, Apple Pay and most recently a stunning new MacBook. From all the predictions from way back in 2010 until now (including some here at T-GAAP), Apple TV has made little progress from its hobby status.
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.
Beautiful. Elegant. Practical. Gotta have one! These are descriptions of the forthcoming Apple Watch. But what makes the Apple Watch “Genius” is not merely its design, it is what it can do when paired with iPhone. During his most recent Keynote, Tim Cook reiterated that “Apple Watch was designed to work with iPhone.” In that one phrase is the entire philosophy of Apple Watch and why it was made.
I run a small business. I value privacy, for myself and my customers. Giving all my personal and company data to a Cloud owned by some other entity — whether Apple, Google, Microsoft or Yahoo! — has always made me nervous. Maybe I’m über-paranoid, or maybe I’m crazy like a fox.
Apple's new laptop, simply called MacBook, is set to go on sale April 10, and will be available online, at Apple retail stores and select Apple authorized resellers. With an ever-growing Mac customer base, anticipate the "gotta have it now" crowd leaving Apple scrambling to meet initial demand. This state-of-the-art laptop cannot be quick or easy to produce, but as supply catches up with demand I'll be purchasing the new MacBook – space gray of course.
Over the past few years, many family members and friends have asked me which MacBook they should purchase. Listening to their needs, and often their unfounded fears of switching to a Mac (which the Mac and OS X always proved out), I would recommend the MacBook Air for some, or a MacBook Pro or Pro with retina display for others. But at times I found myself puzzled by those whom I recommended a MacBook Air, as they would purchase a rather legacy formatted MacBook Pro with Superdrive. I learned they were clinging to the belief they needed an optical drive, or array of ports.
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6. Watch Faces
First and foremost, these devices are watches, and what type of face is displayed for you and others to see is very important. A watch face conveys the owners personality and what he or she thinks of the watch itself. What individuals like, or do not like, is up to each one’s personal preference. Currently, Android wear has more watch faces to choose from when downloading from Google Play — 57 in all — but that is where customization for Android Wear faces largely ends. Quality of watch faces is up to one’s own opinion. That said, Apple clearly trumps the number of downloadable Android Wear watch faces with the amount of face customization for each watch face.
Apple Watch ships with 9 time keeping faces, but each face is immensely customizable, going several levels deeper than Android Wear’s abilities. Beauty is a subjective thing, but most reviews are pointing to Apple’s more elegant, highly crafted time faces. You be the judge.
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After sifting through several articles and reading reviews on how Apple Watch stacks up to Android Wear devices, one thing became abundantly clear: Objective tech journalism, by and large, has left the building (no longer exists). Columnists either fear the mighty hand of Google search and ad power, therefore walking a careful tightrope with their reviews, or in an effort to not look like Apple fans, omit Apple Watch features, attempting to make Apple Watch and Google Wear products equal. This has the added benefit of making their review appear fair. It prompted me to lay out where each product has its victories.
Reviewing the most popular Android Wear watches, whether round face or rectangle, most are thicker, wider or taller. I could not find a fully featured Android Wear watch that was smaller than Apple’s 38mm Apple Watch, and most are larger, and heavier, than Apple’s 42mm Apple Watch Sport.
What do luxury watch brands all have in common? Rolex, Breitling, Tissot, Richard Mille and many others all have celebrity sponsors. Rolex has tennis star Roger Federer, Breitling uses actor John Travolta, Tissot promotes basketball player Tony Parker, and Richard Mille signed tennis phenom Rafael Nadal. Lessor luxury brands, watches ranging in the thousands, instead of tends of thousands, tend to gravitate towards celebrity. Higher-end watch brands search for athletes that communicate their brand and stretch brand awareness. Apple Incorporated, thus far, has no luxury endorsement for any version of Apple Watch, and they may need one, at the very least for Apple Watch Edition.
Rolex, the most widely known luxury timepiece maker in the world, has watches that generally start at retail prices of $5,000. ATP Tennis tournaments are plastered with Rolex advertising. For women, Rolex has tennis star Ana Ivanovic, and has recently re-signed Tiger Woods. Celebrity and luxury watch brands go hand in hand, largely focused around golf and tennis, but even Cricket in India and ping pong in China. Can Apple keep the luxury Edition watch from being tarnished by the $349 Apple Watch Sport model? It will be difficult.
Tech journalists who lined up at Apple's special event to get their hands on Apple Watch walked away stunned by Apple's all-new MacBook. It is widely being hailed – or harped on – as Apple's new one-port wonder. The fact it has only one physical data port is apparently quite jarring to many tech journalists. Those stunned by Apple's move may also drive a Honda Prelude, think sushi is all the rage, and are still trading Pokemon cards. The verdict is in: This is not a computer for those still living in the '90s.
Giving benefit of the doubt, perhaps the media is simply not doing their job. Rather than talk to what one physical port represents; which is that a single USB port is fine for 95% of everyone's workflow, because we live in a wireless world. Instead, they've taken the easy road, simply mirroring thoughts they think the masses might make. It's a safe, lazy position, one that identifies with the reader in stead of talking to the bold realities of where technology is today.