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    A PREMIUM TECH NIGHT OWL LIVE EXPERIENCE! Welcome to Tech Night Owl+! For a low monthly or annual subscription fee, you will receive access to an ad-free higher-resolution version of The Tech Night Owl LIVE and other exclusive content. For more information and simple signup instructions, click here.

    DOWNLOAD — GCN Version: On this week’s all-star episode, we feature cutting-edge commentator Daniel Eran Dilger, of Roughly Drafted Magazine and AppleInsider. Hell talk about such topics as the the current state of the platform wars. Daniel covers the open source nature of Google’s Android mobile OS, and the ongoing problems with fragmentation. This means that critical security fixes, including system updates, are usually not available to most users of Android gear. In response to a column suggesting that Google give up on open source and try to emulate Apple’s proprietary approach, Daniel explains how other tech companies are often following Apple without success.

    You’ll also hear from Bryan Chaffin, co-founder and co-publisher of The Mac Observer. The bill of fare this week includes possible changes in Macs over the next few years, and some talk about the future of the platform. Will there come a time in our lifetimes where Macs have been completely replaced by something new and better? Bryan will also discuss the controversy over rumors that Apple plans to ditch the headphone jacks on the next iPhone, presumably the iPhone 7, and rely on the Lightning port for such connections. He’ll explain why it’s not going to be bad news if it happens. He’ll also talk about watchOS 3, and whether the forthcoming update for the Apple Watch will allow people who merely like the device to learn to love it.

    Click to hear our latest episode: The Tech Night Owl Live — June 25, 2016

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    Cortana and Siri: A Lead Foot and a Sprinter?

    June 21st, 2016

    Apple is often accused of being late to the party. Other companies come out with a feature that appears to be a great fit for Apple. But no Apple gadget has it, and thus the criticisms are endless. Why can’t they do it too? Have they lost their edge?

    But one of the key differences between Apple and the competition is a matter of trying to first prepare the new features for public consumption. So it may appear that Apple is late to the party in some ways, while ahead of the curve for others.

    Obviously Apple didn’t make the first personal computer, nor the first digital music player, nor the first smartphone or tablet. But what they did create changed industries.

    Take the Macintosh which, as most of you know, debuted in 1984. At the time most PCs used a text-based OS,  PC-DOS and MS-DOS. Indeed, when Apple delivered a graphical user interface to the masses, the typical PC user laughed it off. Real PC users were expected to know the command line to get work done. Thus, Macs were toys.

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    Newsletter Issue #864: The Strange Case of the Empty Mailboxes

    June 20th, 2016

    This is a weird story and, as the result of the fact that I host a popular paranormal radio show, you might think weird is my middle name. Forget for the moment that my parents, in their infinite wisdom, opted not to give me a middle name; they didn’t have one either. But after many years following the personal computing world, lots of things have happened.

    But few match what happened twice in recent weeks.

    Let me explain: My copy of Mail for El Capitan has eight active email accounts. This may seem to be overkill, but there is method in my madness. You see, I want to compartmentalize my various projects, such as the two radio shows. By having separate Inboxes, Sent boxes, and so forth and so on, I can be assured my responses, often rushed, are in the proper context. I realize some of you might prefer to throw it all into a single iCloud or Gmail account, but with 250,000 messages going back to 1999, I’d quickly exceed their storage limits and then some.

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    Apple Services, Bandwidth and Reliability

    June 17th, 2016

    With the newest versions of its operating systems, Apple has continue to push forward the goal of further integrating its hardware and software. On the basis of the press releases alone, no other company comes close in making sure everything works together as much as Apple. So on the basis of pie-in-the-sky hopes and dreams, Apple is on a roll.

    As most of you know, some of the most interesting new features of macOS Sierra depend on a reliable iCloud setup — not to mention having enough space left for all that stuff. You know from yesterday’s column what I think about the latter. Apple should boost the amount of free storage, and make larger allocations cheaper.

    The most serious concern is iCloud’s reliability, which is no great shakes. There have been numerous troubles over the years syncing content, and we all know about cases involving Apple Music and alleged disappearing music libraries. From time to time, iCloud services, such as email, are down for the count for a while.

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    Apple Makes New Efforts to Suck You In

    June 16th, 2016

    While Apple didn’t reinvent the wheel when demonstrating macOS Sierra, iOS 10, watchOS 3 and tvOS 10 at the WWDC keynote, they did introduce significant features that work best if you’re totally committed to one company’s products — theirs. So consider Continuity, which enables integration with macOS and iOS. It has been shaky, particularly HandOff, which lets you start a task on your iPad, such as working on a document and writing a message, and continue it on, say, your Mac. Or any combination of the above that may also include the iPhone.

    But among the features that really hold promise is the Universal Clipboard. What this means is that you can copy a text or picture object on your Mac, and paste that content on your iPhone or iPad — or another Mac! It requires using the new operating systems of course, but it can surely save the drudgery of having to email or use Dropbox or another scheme to carry that material across the room, or into your pocket.

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