Three Guys and a Podcast: Apple News & Analysis
Ever read an Android blog or an iOS blog? How about watching people trying to decide which smartphone to purchase in a Best Buy, an Apple or Carrier retail store? It's quick fun, if not shocking, but much more than that, it is quite revealing.
Widely consider a joke, the question of, “Who has been a more successful Apple employee: Tim Cook or Steve Ballmer?” Funny as it sounds, it rings true in some circles, and the comparison and contrast between the two men is worth thinking about.
Both Cook and Ballmer became the successors to high tech empires that were at the top of their game. While Bill Gates did not pass away, he did step aside from the day to day operations and stayed on the board or directors (he also is the company’s largest stock holder). This left Steve Ballmer in charge of a company at its peak — a company that could do no wrong. At the time of Steve Ballmer's ascension to becoming Microsoft CEO, the company had done nothing more than amass a track record of success and mammoth growth.
When 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.
There are many internet radio services available today. Each service has its strengths and weaknesses and they all appeal to different type of music listeners. With iOS7, Apple introduced their own music service, iTunes Radio. How will iTunes Radio compete with the other Big names in the music service?
iTunes Radio has many advantages over the competition and several disadvantages when comparing it to music services likes Pandora, Spotify, and others. The biggest advantage for iTunes Radio is that it is built into every Apple product through iTunes. Users don’t have to download anything or sign up for anything. This makes the service simple and easy to use.
Every so often Apple does this — they launch two products that occupy the same space and the difference between the products is so minimal, it is difficult to decide. Historically, Apple has had this dilemma involve the Mac Book Air versus Mac Book Pro. This choice was most difficult before retina displays were available on the Pro models. With that feature (coupled with price) there is now enough differentiation between the Air lineup and the Pro models that it makes choosing between the two an easier road to navigate.
However, the new entry into Apple’s “difficult to choose” category is between the new iPad Air and the new iPad mini with Retina display. First off, both are new iPads. You are not buying old technology with either choice. The iPad mini with Retina display and the iPad Air both use the same über fast processor and both have Retina displays containing the exact same resolution. Both come with iOS 7, the same camera technology, the same battery life, and both come in the exact same color schemes. So what is different to help you decide which to buy?
IDC’s latest market share numbers are figures should make Android's Mom proud. Roughly 81% of the world during the September 2013 quarter picked purchased some type of Android smartphone. Meanwhile, Apple saw a decline in share from 14.4% to roughly 13% during the same year-over-year quarter.
On November 5, 2013, Apple posted a PDF outlining information requests by various governments. What stood out in the report was the number of U.S. Government requests which dwarfed all other country data requests — in many cases by thousands. However, the U.S. data was shrouded in vague numbers due to U.S. Government regulations.
We are unaware of exactly when this report was pulled from Apple’s website, but it was no longer available as of Saturday, November 9th at 9:30 pm Pacific.
CEO of Apple, Inc. — Tim Cook — is his own man. He is no Steve Jobs (who is?) and has certainly done many things differently than Jobs would have. This isn't to say that Cook’s direction is poor, and Jobs was perfect. Stated another way, Apple is no longer running on Jobs’ legacy thoughts and leadership. The ship is truly Tim Cook’s to maneuver.
Mac OS X has come a long, long way. When it was first released in 2001, Apple was struggling to make a comeback. The multi-colored iMac platform had been launched, but it was running OS 9 dot something. There were not any iPods, iPads, or iPhones to help Apple’s cause.
Now it seems you can’t walk into a coffee shop, hotel lobby or airport without seeing someone using a product from Apple. However, more telling of Apple’s success is the comeback of the Mac. It has only been since the launch of the iPhone and iPad that Macs are now appearing everywhere — including being used by the Dallas Cowboys.
When Apple announced that their new Mac desktop operating system, OS X Mavericks, was going to be free, the audience roared with approval. Just like with iOS, now OS X was a free upgrade.
This news must have driven Microsoft completely nuts. Microsoft’s entire business model consists of writing software and then charging a license fee to each user. For Windows and Office it can cost anywhere from $99-499 per license. The notion that software should be, or can be, free is actually a monster Microsoft created the mid-90's In 1996 a company called Netscape was charging $30 for their Navigator browser. At the time Navigator was the most popular browser on the market. Microsoft was late to the browser game. Therefore in order to make a quick dent in market share Microsoft decided to give Internet Explorer away for free. Explorer became “part” of the operating system. The era of paying for software began to decline.