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    DOWNLOAD — GCN Version: On this week’s all-star episode, we again offer extensive coverage about the Apple Watch, this time focusing on its usability and potential for success. We also present information on the famous iFixit teardown, featuring Kyle Wiens and Andrew Goldberg, and how the company sent its reps to Australia to get some of the first shipping units to test how easy it is to replace the battery and do other repairs.

    Author and publisher Adam Engst, of TidBITS and Take Control Books, is a runner and one of the key uses for his Apple Watch is fitness tracking. Just how well does Apple’s smartwatch fill that purpose?

    You’ll also hear from Bryan Chaffin, co-founder and co-publisher of The Mac Observer, who will focus his discussions on Apple Watch prospects, and some takeaways from Apple’s record March quarter financials. Can something be done to boost flagging iPad sales? Will more customers come once they get around to replacing the ones they have?

    Click to hear our latest episode: The Tech Night Owl Live — May 2, 2015

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    Apple and Cord-Cutting

    May 1st, 2015

    So we have broad hints from Apple CEO Tim Cook about some future media-related venture of which Apple is to play a huge part. We have Time Warner CEO Jeffrey Bewkes saying he’s “pretty confident” that Apple plans to launch a subscription TV venture soon. The HBO division of Time Warner already has a subscription TV product, HBO NOW, which launched exclusively on Apple gear, although it will spread to other platforms after the initial three-month rollout period.

    So if nothing else, it would seem HBO would be a part of that service, and the same is true for Disney and other services. Although it was originally reported that talks with NBC, owned by Comcast, broke down, it so happens that NBC Sports Live Extra recently debuted on Apple TV. That development comes after Comcast, who owns NBC, denied having talks with Apple.

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    The Apple Watch and a Buggy Rollout

    April 30th, 2015

    You just know that Apple’s marketing machine has been in full force trying to convince you that the Apple Watch is absolutely amazing, about to take over an industry that has, so far, not gone very far. Reviews present a more nuanced view. It’s a fashionable, trendsetting gadget, but somewhat rough about the edges.

    Understand that I have not had direct exposure to an Apple Watch. But I read a lot about it, perhaps a large book’s worth, and I have examined the illustrations. So I know a fair amount on an academic level, and personal experience will come. There are things worth observing, however.

    At first, I felt it would be easy to learn the new controls, such was Force Touch and the Digital Crown. But, based on what I’ve read and the information guests on my radio show have conveyed, it clearly takes time to understand what does what and which technique works better to accomplish a particular task. Worse, it appears that Apple turns on too many functions, particularly notifications, when the smartwatch is first set up. This may help reduce the learning curve at the expense of annoying people with too many distractions.

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    Has the iPad Become Obsolete?

    April 29th, 2015

    As expected, iPad sales continue to decline at a fairly large pace. To those who thought the skies were the limit with Apple’s tablet computer, and that it would soon take over the PC world, well customers clearly have different priorities. So after a few years of large sales increases, they began to stall in 2014, and the pace of decline only increased in the March quarter.

    Now in the scheme of things, selling 12.6 million units of everything is nothing to apologize for. But how the iPad has fallen? The question is why and whether Apple’s hopes and dreams for some stability and sales growth will come to pass.

    Or is the tablet market already saturated?

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    Apple Mostly Beats Wall Street Estimates — Again

    April 28th, 2015

    Ahead of the release of Apple’s fiscal second quarter financials, the company’s stock market price was up, closing at $132.65, an increase of 1.82%. Clearly the financial community expected Apple to do well, perhaps better than analyst estimates. In the past, however, stock prices have often declined in after hours trading. This time, the stock price rose 1.24% to $134.30.

    Despite the arrival of new flagship smartphones from Samsung, it’s questionable whether the South Korean conglomerate can gain much traction against the iPhone. In the March quarter, Apple remained the unstoppable juggernaut with sales that far exceeded estimates from financial analysts. Some 61.17 million iPhones were sold, compared to expectations averaging 56 million. It’s interesting to note that, according to CEO Tim Cook, some 20% of iPhone users had upgraded to the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus, so there appears to still be plenty of room to grow. And that’s before you factor in switchers from Android and other platforms.

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