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    DOWNLOAD — Free Version: We feature prolific author and commentator Bob “Dr. Mac” LeVitus, who talks about his first self-published book, “Working Smart for Mac Users.” He’ll discuss how he overcame his Adult ADD disorder to organize his time and become more productive as a freelance writer. He’ll also explain how he began as a hunt and peck typist to become reasonably fast on the keyboard. Does he type as fast as Gene, and does it even matter? And does he intend to review the Late 2016 MacBook Pro or does he have other products to cover?

    You’ll also hear from commentator Jeff Gamet, Managing Editor for The Mac Observer. His bill of fare this time includes a brief pop culture discussion, and then he moves to the Mac Pro and whether it makes sense for Apple to upgrade a product that has been sold unchanged since 2013. Gene brings up his dream or mythical iMac Pro configuration with a more powerful processor and two internal drives. And what about AMD’s new Ryzen processor family, which they claim is faster than comparable Intel silicon? Jeff brings up a recent case of ransomware on a Mac, where those infected will find their data encrypted unless they pay the fee — and maybe not even then. And is Apple going to hold a media event to launch a new lineup of iPads? What about all those predictions about the next iPhone, rumored to have an edge-to-edge OLED display and wireless charging?

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    About the iPad and Productivity

    February 14th, 2017

    I am usually on the same page as commentator Daniel Eran Dilger, who hangs his hat at AppleInsider these days. In an otherwise excellent article about why Apple ignores “pundit innovation advice,” Daniel extols the virtues of the iPad compared to other tablets. He correctly points out that tablets went nowhere until the iPad arrived, and how it continues to dominate the market.

    In response to several years of falling sales, he partly blames the fact that people don’t upgrade tablets as often as smartphones. He also mentions the fact that the larger-screened iPhones are doubtless taking sales away from the iPad. I would agree with that, too, since there are parts of the world where an iPhone Plus phablet is someone’s only computing device. I expect it mainly ripped sales from the iPad mini and other tablets with smaller displays.

    So far so good.

    Continue Reading...

    Newsletter Issue #898: So is Apple Getting Ready to Ditch Intel?

    February 13th, 2017

    In the latter days of the PowerPC, development had clearly stalled. Although you could buy a Power Macintosh G5, a forerunner of the Mac Pro workstation, there was no similarly outfitted notebook. PowerBooks were still saddled with the G4 The reason? IBM and Motorola were not able to tame the beast to work within the constraints of a mobile device, or perhaps they didn’t care.

    Indeed, some Power Mac G5 configurations required liquid cooling, and even with just fans, the system required several operating in an extremely sophisticated environment to keep the units from overheating. If the coolant leaked, your computer was toast.

    At the time, Steve Jobs told interviewers that he was pleased with IBM’s PowerPC product roadmap, but that Apple was always considering its options. A key problem was the fact that other computer makers weren’t using PowerPC chips, which became more popular in the embedded market. So there wasn’t much incentive to deliver the parts Apple needed.

    Continue Reading…

    On the Future of the iPad

    February 10th, 2017

    After several years of falling sales, it’s hard to believe that the iPad was once thought of as the future of personal computing. Sales continued to soar for the first few years until it stopped. The prevailing theory is that existing iPads are good enough, and that even satisfied customers aren’t being persuaded to upgrade, and Apple has provided few compelling reasons to do so.

    Consider the changes Apple has made to the lineup in recent years. Product development of the iPad mini and the regular 9.7-inch iPad have stalled. The “Pro” models, available in 9.7-inch and 12.9-inch versions, are mostly about improved performance and a custom Smart Connector for an attachable Smart Keyboard. When connected, it turns the iPad Pro into a clumsy notebook that is not altogether different from the Microsoft Surface concept.

    It’s hard to tell whether the Pro line has impacted sales all that much, except to give customers another model to select, and, of course, increase the average sales price across the lineup.

    Continue Reading...

    Paying Through the Nose for the Next iPhone?

    February 9th, 2017

    Except for the very first iPhone that sold for the full price without subsidies or special carrier deals, most any iPhone can be mostly affordable. So if the unlocked purchase price, which starts at $399 for the entry-level iPhone SE, is daunting, you can always put it on our credit card or take advantage of special lease/purchase deals from the carrier or, if you prefer, Apple.

    Such leasing programs as AT&T Next allow you to upgrade your gear on a regular basis, say 12 or 18 months, before the device is paid off. You only need to return it to the carrier when you buy a new model. This particular program, if kept up, would lock you in to buying new gear regularly, thus guaranteeing continuing sales for carriers and handset makers.

    Although some of Apple’s critics would love to see the company sell cheaper iPhones, that’s not in the cards. The only way to make them cheaper would be to sacrifice profits, and that’s not Apple’s plan either, except by tiny amounts.

    Continue Reading...