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    Coming September 20: On this week's all-star episode, we cover one of Apple's most important weeks, including the introduction of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, and the launch of iOS 8. You'll also hear views about the media freakout over Apple's decision to introduce U2's latest album, "Age of Innocence," free to iTunes customers. In addition, we'll cover some of the new keyboards available for iOS 8, which add learn and swype functions, and present a first look on the iPhone 6.

    The guests include prolific author/columnist Bob “Dr. Mac” LeVitus, who will also discuss his views about the decision to discontinue the print version of Macworld, along with Kirk McElhearnMacworld's "iTunes Guy," whose articles continue tol appear in the online version of that publication.

    Click to hear our latest episode: The Tech Night Owl Live — September 13, 2014

    For more episodes, click here to visit the show’s home page.

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    Newsletter Issue #772: When Success is Not Success

    September 15th, 2014

    If you were waiting patiently, hoping to order an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus on the morning of Friday, September 12, you might have been very disappointed. Apple's servers were slammed, delivering "sorry" messages to many of those who fought to get a connection and place an order.

    It was no better at the wireless carrier sites, where the ordering systems were just overwhelmed. What's more, it didn't take so long for delivery times to slip, first with the iPhone 6 Plus, and later by its smaller compatriot. It may also be that Apple didn't have as many of the phablet-sized iPhones to ship, so available, or anticipated stocks were quickly depleted.

    Of course, the number of units available for shipment on the day of release will probably not be known, although one might make educated guesses from the initial sales figures. It's also very likely that Apple won't actually break down the numbers for the various models, except in general. So if Apple says that the larger model did better than anticipated, that's a good thing since prices — and profits — are higher. Well, except for some tech pundits who will complain about poor planning.

    Continue Reading…

    Apple Watch: Gadget or Fashion Statement

    September 12th, 2014

    The first logical question one considers when evaluating the Apple Watch is not Apple's new naming convention, which gives up on the "i" prefix. After all, there is the Apple TV. The key question is: who is going to buy them?

    Therein lines the difficulty in predicting the potential for massive sales of the Apple Watch. You just know that most everyone needs a mobile handset, and some are doing fairly well, though compared to any single model on any platform, the iPhone remains tops. That's true even if the overall iOS share is but a fraction of Android's share.

    The key issue with the Apple Watch — and I suppose the same was true with the original iPod in 2001 — is that the media and industry analysts really haven't a clue how well these products will do once they go on sale. When the iPod came out, it was panned, and regarded as a curiosity. Hundreds of millions of units later, the best that can be said is that the world has now moved on.

    Continue Reading...

    The Apple Media Event Report: Let the Silliness Begin

    September 11th, 2014

    Ahead of Tuesday's Apple media shindig, the skeptics were claiming that Apple was in disarray, and anything less than a grand slam would be a failure. They gave us chapter and verse on what Apple had to do to stay credible and survive, forgetting that the credibility of some of the critics might just be the real question.

    So we have the example of one commentator, who shall remain unnamed and not linked, who claimed that the iPhone 6 was just more of the same, using components taken from the parts bin. Not mentioned was the fact that the mainstream model and the iPhone 6 Plus both use the same A8 and M8 chips, NFC, and other components, so basic performance capabilities out to be essentially the same, although twice as many pixels need to be moved around on the Plus. The major hardware differences, beyond the displays and screen resolutions, are optical image stabilization and a beefier battery for the Plus. Parts bin my eye!

    Continue Reading...

    The Apple Event: Talk About Being Slammed

    September 10th, 2014

    So what was the biggest news from Apple Tuesday morning? Forget the Apple Watch, the Apple Pay digital wallet, or even the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. What may be the most important announcement is that Tim Cook and U2 arranged to have the band's newest album, Songs of Innocence, released free on iTunes. That makes it available for up to 500 million users through October 13.

    Of course, they made it seem as if this was a spur-of-the-moment decision, but of course it had been in the works for a while. There's even a TV spot to announce the free album.

    But let's get to the more-or-less expected developments at the media event, which was held at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts in Cupertino, the site of the launch of the original Mac in 1984.

    Continue Reading...