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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 we present a very special encore episode featuring outspoken tech commentator Peter Cohen. This week, Peter talks about a pet peeve of his, that, with so many models in each Apple product line, the differences may be blurred. This harkens back to the way it was in the 1990s, where there were many Mac models under the Performa moniker that were hardly different. Peter also talks about the alleged “Apple Tax,” where the company supposedly charges higher prices for its products and services. There is also a discussion about reports that the next version of iOS will give the iPad mouse support, some speculation about the form of the next Mac Pro, due out this year, and whether there will someday be a switch from Intel to Apple’s own ARM-based CPUs. And what about reports that Facebook may be hit with a multibillion dollar fine from the F.T.C. for various privacy lapses? Will it make a difference in how the world’s largest social network operates, or just be a drop in the bucket in its impact on the company’s finances?

    You’ll also hear from tech editor and commentator Bryan Chaffin, co-founder and co-publisher of The Mac Observer. Bryan will also talk about what may come at Apple’s media event, and the possible future of Apple TV. CorelDRAW’s return is also discussed, as will the Spotify/Apple dispute. Bryan will also reveal his expectations of the forthcoming and long-delayed Mac Pro refresh, new versions of the iMac and iMac Pro, and repeat his qualms about the wisdom of buying gear with aging technology that Apple hasn’t updated. Indeed, will such gear feature Apple’s ARM-based processors instead of CPUs from Intel? There will also be talk about Facebook’s plans to encrypt more of is services. And what about a new project involving an open source voting system from DARPA, the research agency that developed the world-wide web and other notable projects. Is this software platform something that the makers of voting machines may adopt, and will it mean greater security and more accurate election results?

    Click to hear our latest episode: The Tech Night Owl Live — June 22, 2019

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    Android Apps

    June 15th, 2018

    Most Android applications are downloadable from Google Play Store. Android users scrolled down to see the many application options there are in a certain category. Once they find the application that they are looking for they either get it or look for another one.

    Categories of Android Applications

    Google Play applications for Android fall under a number of categories. There are more than 30 different application categories. A few of them include parenting, food and drink, weather, music, books, travel,  sports, finance, games and a whole lot more.

    Most popular Android Applications

    According to the Statistics, for the first quarter of 2018, the most popular applications were for Education and Entertainment. The Statistics Portal reports that Education had an 8.29%of usage and Entertainment was at 7.43%.

    The Statistics Portal goes on to say, top 5 applications for 2017 included Video Players and Edit (96.7%), Travel and Local (95.8%) and Social 95.2%).

    And for the first quarter of 2018 in the top five are also Business (6.96%), Lifestyle (6.73%) and Tools 5.45%).

    Continue Reading...

    There’s Yet Another Rant About Apple and Mac Users

    June 11th, 2018

    Over the years, some tech pundits have decided that Apple really needs to drop the Mac. To them, it has outlived its usefulness and, besides, far more money is made from selling iPhones.

    But it’s a good source of hit bait to claim that “Mac users don’t really matter to Apple.”

    Indeed, Apple has, at times, made it seem as if that claim was accurate. The Mac mini has not been refreshed since 2014. After releasing a total redesign for the Mac Pro in late 2013, Apple appeared to drop the ball and mostly abandoned that model.

    When a new MacBook Pro was launched in late 2016, some thought the claim that it was a professional notebook was a huge exaggeration. It was thinner, in the spirit of recent Apple gear, but the highly touted Touch Bar, powered by an ARM system-on-a-chip, was thought to be fluff and not much else.

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    Forcing Your Apple Gear Out to Pasture

    June 7th, 2018

    When the question comes up, Apple regularly denies that it’s deliberately making, or sabotaging, older gear to become obsolete; there is no nasty planned obsolescence plot that will force you to buy a new model before its time.

    But it’s not that Apple hasn’t done things to foster that impression. It almost always seems as if the newer OS is slower than the previous one on older gear. So is Apple doing nasty stuff under the hood to make it run that way? Or is it just a matter of having more features, and exploiting the capabilities of newer hardware to do things quicker?

    There is also that notorious update, which first appeared in iOS 10, to manage a problem with sudden shut-downs on some iPhones. What Apple failed to explain at first was that this problem only occurred in units with failing batteries, and thus Apple opted to reduce peak performance to fix it. At least until the battery was replaced. But it also meant that many users would suddenly see a huge dip in performance, made crystal clear in benchmarks.

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    Newsletter Issue #966: WWDC 2018: Forget the Hardware

    June 5th, 2018

    Last week, there were contrary rumors about whether new Macs, and possibly iPads, would debut this week at the WWDC. It was largely wishful thinking, because there were few indications of impending hardware updates, but since last year’s developer event was flush with hot new gear, there was always a possibility. I even thought Apple might demonstrate the next Mac Pro, expected in 2019. But that didn’t happen either.

    This is not to say there was nothing that would impact hardware. There is a set of performance boosts for iOS 12 that will benefit many iPhone and iPad users, especially those with older hardware who have experienced slowdowns whenever major OS updates arrive.

    It’s a common theme, those slowdowns, which fuel the theory that Apple really wants you to buy new hardware, and thus throttles performance of older gear to hasten the process. It’s not just that the new OS requires more resources to effectively access new features. And this is what has caused people to expect the worst when Apple did release an iOS update that actually reduced performance on some older models.

    Continue Reading…