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    DOWNLOAD — Free Version: We present outspoken columnist and podcaster Kirk McElhearn, who talks at length about Apple’s controversial changes in iTunes 12.7, in which they removed access to the App Store. This means that iPhone and iPad users will have to download and organize their apps on their mobile gear rather than Macs and PCs. With the release of a developer and public beta seed of the Golden Master of macOS High Sierra, Gene and Kirk discuss Apple’s decision to remove the ability to convert Macs with Fusion drives — which consist of a regular hard drive and a small solid state drive — to the new Apple File System. They also talk about Apple’s iPhone announcements, which include the iPhone X. And what about the controversial “notch” at the top of the unit? What about the new Apple TV with 4K and HDR?

    You’ll also hear from writer/editor Adam Engst, of TidBITS, who covers the new Apple Watch Series 3, which includes an LTE radio that can make phone calls. He reflects on how the product has become more of a health and fitness accessory as Apple has continued to develop the product. Gene and Adam also talk about the iPhone X, the notch and its impact, plus Apple’s last minute change to the High Sierra OS that no longer supports Macs with Fusion drives. You’ll also hear an extended discussion about the Apple TV, its new features, and about the growing fragmentation of TV streaming services. This is creating a situation where you may have to join a number of these services to watch their exclusive shows. How does this impact cable cord cutting? Does it end up costing more than cable and satellite what with all the separate services?

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    Newsletter Issue #929: They Won’t Buy a New Apple Gadget Because Blah Blah!

    September 18th, 2017

    You may have noticed that, whenever new gear is expected from Samsung, say an update to the Galaxy smartphone line, it will often be touted as yet another iPhone killer. Well, except for one blog from a major publication in which the writer claimed that the iPhone X was meant to be a potential Samsung Galaxy killer.

    So turnabout is fair play?

    Now before I go on, I will certainly not argue anyone’s taste in any tech gadget. There’s lots of product out there. Some of it is really good, some of it is all right, some of it is cheap and not much else. But the quality of such gear is better than it used to be, so it’s really hard to find a clunker. Well, unless you buy a premium smartphone with a battery that might overheat or burst into flame.

    Continue Reading…


    Apple and the Face ID Freakout

    September 15th, 2017

    In the run-up ahead of Apple’s iPhone media event, news emerged that Touch ID wasn’t part of the picture on the iPhone X. Apple allegedly had problems outfitting the system to work beneath an edge-to-edge OLED display and all that, so they brought out their trump card — Face ID.

    The impression that story conveys is that Apple rushed the thing out, and thus it may be seriously flawed.

    The facts are otherwise. Face ID requires several components that aren’t needed with Touch ID. Apple has been working on the system for several years. The 2013 purchase of PrimeSense, an Israel-based developer of 3D technology, formed a key part of the its facial recognition capability. This obviously means that Apple thought about moving past Touch ID four years ago.

    Again, the thought that this was a rush job is absolutely not true. I suppose, of course, that Apple could have considered offering two biometric systems, with Touch ID in the rear, but opted not to. The Samsung Galaxy S8 has three; the third being iris recognition, but since two of the systems are seriously flawed, it hardly matters.

    Continue Reading...


    The iPhone X and the Thousand Dollar Freakout

    September 14th, 2017

    The other day, I made some pointed comments about a certain national newspaper that ran a silly article about alternatives to the iPhone 8 before it was outed as the iPhone X. The argument was solely about buying something other than some — as yet — unannounced Apple product. It feel apart real quickly when the blogger tossed in Andy Rubin’s Essential smartphone even though it had what he admitted was a subpar camera.

    Now that the rumors have been mostly confirmed about Apple’s new stuff, one criticism won’t go away. Indeed, the fears have been confirmed. Apple is daring to charge just one dollar short of $1,000 for the 64GB iPhone X. The 256GB version will be $150 more.

    Outrageous!

    Or maybe not!

    Remember, Apple is the company that charged over $10,000 for an Apple Watch before taking a more measured approach beginning with the second version last year. But there will be an iMac Pro that will cost nearly $5,000 for the entry-level model, and match the price of a compact car when maxed out. The Mac Pro’s price will be off the charts!

    Continue Reading...


    Apple and Critic Boredom

    September 13th, 2017

    As you might expect, the Apple critic population will have its way with the announcements from the September 12th iPhone media event. How could it be otherwise?

    But there was plenty of positive news to consider, even if most of product introductions and specs were pretty well known ahead of the event.

    So there really is an iPhone X, and it does have a 5.8-inch OLED edge-to-edge display. At a resolution of 458 pixels per inch, roughly twice that of a normal retina display, Apple calls it Super Retina, which is not altogether different from what the Android smartphone makers have been doing for a while. The difference is that Apple’s brand new in-house designed GPU is without doubt powerful enough to push those pixels without the typical stalling you see on handsets from the competition.

    That said, despite the promise of superior color, you probably won’t see a sharper display compared to a regular iPhone since, again, it’s retina, and thus the differences will be beyond normal visibility.

    Continue Reading...