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    DOWNLOAD — Free Version: On this week’s all-star episode, we feature outspoken blogger and podcaster Kirk McElhearn, also known as Macworld’s “iTunes Guy.” Gene and Kirk briefly discuss the probe by French authorities into alleged emission faking by more and more car makers, the latest being Mercedes-Benz. Kirk describes the new features in iTunes 12.6 for Mac and Windows and some of the glitches he’s discovered that Apple needs to fix. The discussion moves to the modest March iPad refresh from Apple, and what might come next. There’s a brief debate between Gene and Kirk about the potential for the iPad as a productivity device. Gene says it could be better, while Kirk believes that power users should stick with their Macs.

    You’ll also hear from columnist Jeff Gamet, Managing Editor for The Mac Observer. During a pop culture segment, Gene and Jeff discuss “Duets,” the musical episode of a TV super hero show, “The Flash.” Jeff makes a pitch for Apple users changing their passwords in light of recent hacking attempts, and he briefly describes 2-factor authentication. The discussion moves briefly to iTunes 12.6, the limits of the Apple TV, and on to the iPad refresh. Gene and Jeff focus on the possibilities for iPad productivity, especially being able to record and edit audio — and perhaps video — assets on Apple’s tablet. Does it make sense to enhance its capabilities, or should such tasks be left to a Mac or PC?

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    Of Cars and Trucks and iPads and Macs

    March 16th, 2017

    In response to recent columns about the iPad, some of yous have explained your priorities. You may find valuable uses for your iPads, but others can’t go past a Mac to get things done. It’s very clear you may have different priorities depending on what you need to accomplish, and your preferred methods to perform those tasks.

    I’ve made it quite clear where my priorities lie, but the limits I see in the iPad are in large part due to Apple’s decisions about iOS features and App Store limits. So I cannot record and edit my radio shows on an iPad, because Apple’s sandboxing won’t permit one app to grab audio from another app, such as Skype, and an outboard hardware accessory. In my case, that’s a mic mixer. Switching among apps and managing assets present additional problems.

    You’ve heard this before.

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    Does a 10.5-inch iPad Solve the Problem?

    March 15th, 2017

    Last year the sole change in the iPad lineup was the launch of a 9.7-inch “Pro” version. Apple’s tablet was more or less ignored after that, as sales continued to drop. While iOS 10 added a few tricks to advance iPad multitasking, being productive with multiple apps and documents is still not near as flexible as on a Mac or a PC.

    It’s quite possible that the lack of attention to the hardware conveyed the message that Apple didn’t care so much about the iPad. It appeared to be languishing for the most part, and customers responded appropriately, so sales languished. This may also be a reason why sales of new Macs flagged until the last quarter, when the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar arrived.

    Over recent weeks, the usual Apple supply chain leaks, and comments from industry analysts, are pointing to across-the-board refreshes and perhaps even an all-new iPad. So there will be an update for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro and perhaps a refresh for the 9.7-inch model that was introduced last year. The larger iPad could gain the display enhancements of its smaller counterpart, such as True Tone.

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    What a Change! Analysts Talking Up Apple, Talking Down Samsung

    March 14th, 2017

    In recent years, whenever a new gadget is expected from Apple, many so-called industry analysts will go on at length as to how the products will somehow be unsatisfactory. This despite the fact that Apple has, with a few exceptions, been able to grow revenue year-over-year.

    So the iPhone 7 was supposed to be little more than a minor refresh of the iPhone 6s. The case was essentially the same, and where’d Apple get the temerity to ditch the headphone jack? At least that was the complaint that persisted for months before it was released.

    That Apple was able to break a down cycle with the iPhone 7 isn’t lost on some skeptics. Besides, it’s water-resistant, so I’d be less fearful of its imminent destruction if it were dunked by accident. Well, not in deep water. Besides, it’s faster and has a better camera than its predecessor. If you have an iPhone 6 or earlier, it’s a huge deal.

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    Newsletter Issue #902: About Changes to an Unannounced Apple Product

    March 13th, 2017

    It’s getting closer. There’s more and more online chatter about the form and features of the next iPhone. The basic premise is that Apple will offer three models. Two will be minor refreshes of current gear, which means there will be an iPhone 7s and an iPhone 7s Plus. The new features are said to include the usual speedier processors, plus some extras, such as wireless charging support.

    This is to expected, and it’s always possible Apple will add a few things that are, as yet, not predicted. But since the Asian supply chain leaks like a sieve, most of the basics will probably be known before Apple makes an official announcement in September, and I assume that date will hold. Apple would suffer if it’s delayed, although it’s always possible it’ll come earlier. But doing it after Labor Day means that the media event will come after the kids are back at school and vacation time is over for many.

    But this year there may be something extra, one more thing, and that’s a specialty flagship model to honor the 10th anniversary of the iPhone. Has it been that long?

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