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    DOWNLOAD — GCN Version: On this week’s all-star episode, we feature Josh Centers, Managing Editor for TidBITS, and author of “Take Control of Apple TV” and other titles, who will talk about  the use case for Apple Watch, and whether he would have kept his had he not been a tech editor. He’ll also talk about the prospects for the next Apple TV and whether Apple will add support for 4K TV. Do people even care about 4K and other fancy TV features? Josh will also discuss his one month as an AOL member.

    You’ll also hear from tech columnist Rob Pegoraro, of USA Today and Yahoo Tech, who will cover what may be the beginning of the end for AOL, which is being acquired by Verizon. He’ll also talk about cable cord cutting, Comcast’s efforts to make the company more likable to customers, prospects for an Apple branded TV subscription service, the fight over the Patriot Act and NSA surveillance, and the arrival of EMV security on credit cards in the U.S.

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    Reading the Tea Leaves About Jonathan Ive’s New Position

    May 27th, 2015

    It’s fun to speculate about what Apple’s corporate moves signify. And when the opinions are all over the place, guessing the truth is probably impossible except by sheer accident. It’s not that Apple will necessarily give you all the facts, although I wouldn’t necessarily say they are lying.

    So we have the recent announcement that Sir Jonathan Ive is being elevated from Senior Vice President of Design, where he manages both the hardware and the software divisions, to Chief Design Officer. In the latter position, Ive will oversee everything related to design, including the stores and the new corporate campus. By parcelling out the managerial work to two of his long-time lieutenants, Richard Howarth and Alan Dye, Ive will free himself from the daily drudgery and have more time to focus on what he does best.

    At least that’s what Apple is telling us.

    Continue Reading...

    Should Apple Respond to Microsoft’s Big Bet?

    May 27th, 2015

    A recent article from one of my long-time colleagues, Peter Cohen of iMore, started me thinking about the various approaches taken by Microsoft and Apple towards operating system releases. Up till now, a new OS was an event. There would be full-blown media events, often accompanied by advertising, and tech writers would often be granted early access to get the buzz out.

    Microsoft would offer public previews, or betas, to give customers an early crack and what they were working on. In 2014, Apple expanded an existing public beta program to deliver OS X seeds to over one million Mac users.

    But success of new versions of Windows has been hit or miss. Windows XP and Windows 7 were extremely successful; the former still has a double digit share of the market even though Microsoft withdrew support many months ago. Windows Vista bombed. With Windows 8/8.1, Microsoft made all the wrong decisions and the public reacted accordingly. Indeed, many of the serious problems were reported during the public preview process, but Microsoft was tone deaf.

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    About Buying Failing Companies

    May 26th, 2015

    There’s something about the way Apple acquires technology. In recent years, dozens of small companies have been purchased, but not because they were in danger of going out of business. In large part, it’s because they had one or more technologies that would be useful for Apple’s portfolio. Don’t forget that the A-series chips that power the iPhone and the iPad incorporate technology as the result of buying such chip designers as PA Semi.

    Over the years, Apple has been urged to spend huge bundles of money to acquire one company or another, although the reasoning isn’t always quite clear. After all, Facebook, Google and Microsoft spend tons of money buying up companies that may or may not have useful technologies, a decent product portfolio or, perhaps, the potential for something-or-other. So why not Apple?

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    Newsletter Issue #808: Expecting the Next Version of OS X

    May 25th, 2015

    As the Yosemite era draws to a close, speculation is mounting over what Apple has in store for its sequel. Although yet another Yosemite update — version 10.10.4 — is under construction, it’s high time to move on. This was not a terribly robust release.

    With an App Store rating of just a tad better than two-and-a-half stars, Yosemite hasn’t quite received the love of its predecessors even though more than 60% of the Mac user base has upgraded so far. That will only increase before 10.11 arrives if only because of the continued high sales of new Macs preloaded with Yosemite.

    First and foremost, it appears as if Apple maybe tried to do a little too much too quickly with Yosemite. The concept of Continuity and its related feature, Handoff, is a worthy enough scheme to allow the desktop and mobile systems to play well together. So you can read and respond to text messages received on your iPhone with either an iPad or a Mac. You can take phone calls, and, when it works, actually start work on one device in Mail, Pages and other supported apps, and continue where you left off on another Apple gadget.

    Continue Reading…