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    DOWNLOAD — GCN Version: On this week’s all-star episode, Kyle Wiens of iFixit joins us to give the results of teardowns of some of the very latest tech gear. During this segment, he’ll discuss Apple’s 2016 MacBook, and whether, aside from minor hardware upgrades, it differs much from last year’s model. He’ll also present the results of the teardown of the iPhone SE, the latest smartphones from Samsung and LG, and some virtual reality headsets. He’ll also remind you about the poor repair rating of the Microsoft Surface tablets.

    You’ll also hear from Stephen Baker, Vice President for Industry Analysis at the NPD Group.. He discusses why he feels Mac sales dropped so much in the March quarter; he suggests some of Apple’s notebooks are long in the tooth and need major refreshes. He’ll also talk about the impact of the iPhone SE, and whether there’s a big market for smaller smartphones. The discussion will also focus on 4K TV, and where the new format is going. What price points are most popular, and what about getting more genuine 4K content to watch? Stephen also talks about the contribution of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay to the infotainment systems of a growing number of motor vehicles.

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    Is It Time for Apple to Up Its Game?

    May 6th, 2016

    Amid all the comments about Apple’s less-than-stellar sales performance in the last quarter, there have been suggestions on how Apple might fix things. Some were dumb, such as suggesting that the iPhone 7 needs to be a more compelling update. It’s dumb because we do not know what features or performance levels an iPhone 7 will offer, other than a few guesses from rumor sites and unconfirmed supply chain leaks. Sure, once we get closer to its debut — and I’ll assume the product name will be correct — there might be sufficient information, but not now.

    I mean, the rumor sites haven’t settled on whether or not there will be a regular earphone jack, or whether Apple will insist you use Bluetooth or the Lighting port. It hasn’t even been explained why Apple would do this, other than the fact that this jack is very old in terms of technology, and Apple wants to make the phone thinner.

    Continue Reading...

    Is Google Ready to Change Android Upgrade Policies?

    May 5th, 2016

    As most of you know if you care about the subject at all, Apple’s iOS migration rate is many times that of Google’s Android. So less than eight months after iOS 9 was released, Apple lists an 84% adoption rate; it’s over 90% at Mixpanel Trends.

    These numbers are somewhat better than iOS 8, but you can’t say the upgrade rate wasn’t high for that release too.

    On the other hand, users of Android gear don’t seem so inclined to use the latest and greatest operating system. So six months after Android 6.0 Marshmallow arrived, only 9% are using it. But that’s nothing unusual. Normal first-year upgrade rates for Android tend to be in the single digits.

    One article I read claims that, ‘The problem is that given Android’s current update model, no one wants or cares anymore about yearly Android releases.”

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    Step Two of Apple Fear-Mongering: Replace Tim Cook?

    May 4th, 2016

    Almost from the very first day that Tim Cook officially became Apple’s CEO, the critics were calling for his head. He’s an operations person, not a marketing person, or someone with a “vision,” and thus hasn’t a clue how to manage a large multinational corporation. Since then, anytime Apple reported something that was less than what those so-called industry analysts expected, it was all about Cook.

    But even when Cook was officially named to the top spot at Apple, he wasn’t new to the job. In fact, he had already spent months as an interim CEO during the extended absences of Steve Jobs. While he was largely acting as Jobs’ lieutenant, it was a great opportunity for some direct on-the-job training, since he was far more ready to take control when he officially got the job.

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    Apple — Always on the Ropes?

    May 3rd, 2016

    You have to wonder just how bad Apple’s situation must be — at least in the minds of certain skeptics. After all, every real or perceived setback must be a symptom of a fatal disease. Perhaps Apple got where it is today as a fluke, a few happy accidents over the years. How could that company actually succeed at what it does anyway?

    Do I really have to answer such silly questions?

    This attitude has been present ever since Apple began to emerge from being mostly a personal computer company. When the first iPod came out, a $399 gadget that let you store 1,000 songs in your pocket, the critics didn’t take it seriously. They didn’t take it seriously either when it became the number one product of its kind on the planet.

    When Microsoft introduced the Zune, first a rebadged Toshiba digital media player, the general attitude was, “Take that Apple!”

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