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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 — Free Version: This week’s guests include tech journalist Josh Centers, Managing Editor for TidBITS, and author of “Take Control of Apple TV” and other titles. Josh talks at length about his iPhone X, and perhaps its most controversial feature, the notch. He explains how easy it was for him to adapt to a smartphone that doesn’t have the traditional Home button. As the owner of a new Nintendo Switch portable gaming console, Josh explains how he, his wife, and his son have been using the new gadget. Gene delivers an update on whether or not he’s changed his mind about not buying an Apple Watch, and the discussion moves to the case of the missing spare tire, as most cars come with either a limited use donut spare tire, a canister with which to repair a flat, or a “run-flat” tire that is costly to replace.

    You’ll also hear from columnist Bryan Chaffin, co-founder and co-publisher of The Mac Observer. As the interview continues, Bryan will explain how he’s waiting for the arrival of an iPhone X that may arrive during the session. Did it show up, or was there a false alarm? He also discusses his decision to buy an Apple TV 4K even though he doesn’t have a 4K TV. There’s also a brief discussion about an article from Bryan’s colleague, John Martellaro, about why Apple needs a “smarter way” to manage macOS upgrades. He suggests several system checks, including whether apps are compatible with the new OS and making sure the user has backups. Gene expresses his skepticism about comments made by Sir Jonathan Ive, about Apple’s innovation process, in a Time magazine interview in connection with the iPhone X being listed as one of the top 25 inventions of 2017.

    Click to hear our latest episode: The Tech Night Owl Live — November 18, 2017

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    So What About — An iOS Book?

    November 24th, 2017

    For the longest time, Apple has maintained that Macs and iOS gear — iPhones and the iPads — are meant to be separate gadgets. Operating systems, related to one another at the core, are otherwise quite different. Macs are meant to be managed via keyboard and mouse, while iPhones and iPads use touchscreens; well, except when you pair keyboards to them.

    In the Windows world, Microsoft has tried for convergence, supposing 2-in-1 notebooks that have touchscreens that can be swiveled or perhaps even removed. Supposedly Windows 10 can adapt. Surface PCs all have touchscreens, and receive a remarkable amount of media coverage even though actual sales are no great shakes. It’s not dissimilar from the outsized publicity the Amazon Echo platform gets even though the supposedly “unsuccessful” Apple Watch has a larger customer base.

    Apple tells us that a Mac with a touchscreen would be akin to trying to merge a toaster oven with a refrigerator. Besides, it’s awkward to type and reach up to navigate your desktop by touching the display. It’s even more awkward when you have a Mac with a larger display, such as the 27-inch iMac.

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    Clues About Apple’s Self-Driving Plans?

    November 23rd, 2017

    Apple and self-driving cars have been in the news ever since the existence of Project Titan was revealed. This was a program that, at first, was believed to represent an attempt to design an autonomous vehicle of some sort, perhaps an electric car in the spirit of a Tesla. The alleged testing facility was said to be located near its original corporate headquarters in Cupertino, CA.

    But it appears that the possibility of a motor vehicle went by the wayside, as the original staff of 1,000 people was thinned, and leadership was changed amid reports of turmoil. Long-time hardware executive Bob Mansfield reportedly took over the project with a scaled down goal of building a reference  platform that would integrate with iOS.

    In April of this year, Apple received permission from the California DMV to begin to test a network of specially modified Lexus RX450h SUVs so that self-driving technology could be tested on public roads.

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    About Missing Shipping Deadlines

    November 22nd, 2017

    Does it matter if a company is late to ship a product? I suppose if you need it right away, now, yesterday as if you’re life depended on it, maybe it would be a major issue. If you wanted to give it as a gift for the holidays, someone’s birthday or someone’s anniversary, and the deadline was missed, it would be an upsetting situation. After all, just sending a sales slip as proof that a present was on the way wouldn’t convey a very nice impression.

    When it comes to technology, being late is not unusual. An auto maker introduces a new model, and it may take a while for production to catch up with demand, especially for a hot seller. I remember waiting for months for certain cars years back; I’ve always been a little obsessive about colors and options. More recently, in addition to setting my sights on cheaper models, I try to buy what’s on the showroom floor, or something that can be exchanged with another dealer. That way, virtually instant gratification, well except for that lengthy and annoying process of making the deal and waiting for the finance manager to get things in order.

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    More About iPhone X Demand

    November 21st, 2017

    As regular readers know, this past weekend’s newsletter covered a survey from a previously unknown company that indicated higher demand for the Samsung Galaxy S8 than the iPhone X for holiday giving. This was a survey of adults. For young folk, the results were essentially reversed.

    While the market research company, Propeller Insights, seemed real enough, at least based on its site, there was no indication that it had any known clients, or any clients for that matter, and certainly no track record for providing accurate data. Now I don’t want to seem paranoid, or expressing sour grapes since I have no personal interest in the outcome, but it may well be that the company was put together to conduct a single survey. Or perhaps to produce similar faux surveys.

    While the survey was supposedly commissioned by Ebates, a company specializing in tracking product rebates, I also wonder about the motive. Apple is not offering product rebates for any iPhones these days. It’s not a practice in which they often engage. So what was the point, unless this was all done to hide the identity of the party that really funded the survey.

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