My Dad likes to say, “You often can tell as much about a person in what they don’t say as in what they do.” So since the launch of iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, Apple Pay and Apple Watch what have Apple’s competitors been saying or not saying? Here’s a quick recap if you haven’t been keeping score.
Microsoft: This time around this there is no Steve Ballmer at the helm to laugh off any of these products and suggest that an iPhone is just too expensive and therefore will never catch on or that paying $350 for a watch is ridiculous. Instead new CEO Satya Nadella has been quiet. Microsoft is doing the right thing by keeping its head down and saying nothing, because they have nothing to say in regard to any of these announcements, because they have no product response to Apple’s new offerings. Oh but wait, Bill Gates didn’t get the memo. In an interview with Bloomberg TV, Gates basically said that Apple is the innovator and Microsoft is the follower. Thanks Captain Obvious. Some habits just die hard.
After years of anticipation, Tim Cook delivered his first new product category: Apple Watch. Apple Watch was the “one more thing” at September’s keynote. It was not only a new product category for Apple it was also an extension of the iPhone and Apple Pay.
Now that iOS 8 is out the door, anticipation is building for the release of OS X Yosemite. The reason this OS X release is so important is due to its tight interdependence on iOS 8, which Apple calls Continuity. Never before have the desktop and the mobile operating systems been so intertwined.
I didn’t think Handshake, which is part of Continuity, was going to be a big deal until I was on a road trip and began to type an email on my iPad while in flight. But I discovered the email needed to be finished on my MacBook Air (due to some files and images that were not on my iPad). At that point I had to do some technical gymnastics. The process was not terribly difficult mind you, but now that I know Handshake is coming the current workflow seems archaic. With Handshake, I would have just opened my MacBook Air and there would have been the email in the same state as it was on the iPad, ready to go.
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.
During Tim Cook’s Keynote address last month, the way he began the introduction of Apple Pay was quite interesting. He said Apple was on a goal to “eliminate this...” and then a picture of a wallet appeared on the screen behind him. He then followed by saying that Apple Pay was the first step in that process. Following was a 15 minute description of how Apple had solved the payment system through a mobile device, eliminating the need for archaic credit cards while even enhancing security.
Unless you’ve been living under an anti-tech bubble lately, you have no doubt heard about Apple’s iPhone 6, have seen one, or odds are growing daily you might even own one (count me in on the latter). Upgrading from an iPhone 5, it took me a few days to adjust to my new iPhone 6. And while I considered the iPhone 6 Plus for about five seconds, the smaller of the iPhones was the clear choice. There are some consumers hanging out in the “anything larger is better” camp, opting for the iPhone 6 Plus, but there is a growing army of loyal and would-be switchers clamoring for something different, something un-big. Demand is growing for a four-inch iPhone 6.
A lot can be said of Steve Ballmer — good, bad or ugly, and there are two items I confidently speak to: Microsoft and the Los Angeles Clippers. Ballmer left Microsoft in a shadow of its former glory, with many multi-billion dollar ventures gone, with others surviving on life support. The L.A. Clippers is Ballmer’s latest venture, but if history and current decision making is any guide, we will be left to watch in horror as the derailment that began under Sterling will certainly end with Ballmer.
Apple’s latest update to iOS, version 8.0.2, removes many 8.0 glitches and is certainly an an improvement over iOS the ill-fated 8.0.1! One of the items that has been problematic with iOS and some iPhones is the axis/gyroscope sensor determining which orientation to display items on the page. Even when turning iPhone around in a circle the orientation in iOS 8 seemed to be “stuck”. This bug seems to have been eliminated in iOS 8.0.2.
Bugs aside, Continuity is a key feature of iOS 8, and while it currently works with other iOS devices, to take advantage of it's seamless workflow between an iPhone or iPad and a Mac requires OS X Yosemite (due next month). To see how Continuity works, if you have an iPad that is WiFi only, and for example, if you are traveling in your car, the WiFi only iPad can now see your iPhone and begin using it as the hotspot. This is different than legacy hotspot capabilities, as there is no need to do anything on the phone. It can remain in your pocket, or on the dashboard or in a purse and still be found and used by Wi-Fi only devices — which includes Macs.
Apple drives media attention. In fact, the world’s number one brand and the products it produces are so popular Apple’s allure drives news cycles. So when something, anything, could be amiss with something from Apple, the media covers it as if our every breath depends on how well, for example, Apple’s iPhone antenna may – or may not – work. Accurate reporting be damned, this is Apple, and by reporting negatively on Apple it is bound to drive up viewership and public attention.
This time around, Apple is on the cusp of being accused of building faulty iPhones that bend or collapse far too easily. Currently, the issue of bending iPhones is just being reported, but this is exactly how antennagate started. It is said that those who do not learn from history are bound to repeat it. Unfortunately for Apple, the media learn all too well from history and are on the cusp of creating the next non-issue issue for their own well being. Before this story creates a life of its own, it is time to shed some truth on this forming bendgate storm, and discover if Apple products are actually flawed or if it is about some users and the media making news out of nothing.