Three Guys and a Podcast: Apple News & Analysis
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.
With OS X Mavericks, Apple ended the era of naming their desktop operating system after big cats (Puma, Lion, Leopard,...). OS X Mavericks is the first in a series of naming conventions focused on areas around California. Mavericks is a surfing town on the coast of California, near Apple head quarters. This new naming goes nicely with the new signature Apple recently launched: “Designed by Apple in California”.
So what is next? Isn't that always the question after the launch of a new product passes? What will the name of the next OS X release be? Here's a few we thought of and a few we thought Apple should stay away from...
During his demo at the WWDC13, Craig Federighi talked about OS X Mavericks Notification Center enhancements. Craig said that in OS X Mavericks (10.9), Notification Center could also handle notifications from websites. Upon hearing that news I wrote an article on how after Apple had taken away the ability to manage RSS feeds with Mail or Safari in OS X Leopard and Snow Leopard, it was great news to know that Mavericks would soon manage RSS Feeds.
That assessment was wrong.
Apple announced the new iPad Air and iPad mini during their October event. The iPad Air is not supposed be released until November 1, but performance benchmarks are already available. This new iPad sports the recently announced A7 processor, also found in the iPhone 5s.
In Mac OS X Leopard (10.5), Apple introduced the concept of Spaces. Spaces were essentially multiple desktops on a single monitor. In Leopard and Snow Leopard you could arrange a grid of Spaces (desktops) that made it easier to manage multiple open apps and windows at once. For example you could make it so when you opened Safari it always opened in Space 1, Mail in Space 2, Calendar in Space 3 and so on.
Then in Lion, Apple folded Exposé and Spaces into Mission Control. Mission Control was Apple’s new app and window management system that let you organize and find apps like on an iOS device. In addition Mission Control took over the window management of Spaces and Exposé.This change was essentially a step sideways for desktop management rather than a leap forward. In other words it was different, but not necessarily better.