What’s New from Apple

Apple just made their always-anticipated September product announcements. Featured this year were the iPad Pro, new iPhones, Apple TV and OS 2.0 for Apple Watch. There are many summaries you can read about the details, including:

The upgrades are interesting, but are not compelling me to purchase the new devices, at least in the short term. I made the following post on Facebook…adding up the cost of all of the new devices and making a comparison to a desktop computer purchased 17 years ago.

comparison

Certainly I enjoy the camera technology, and the camera and video technology upgrades look interesting. Apple TV and, specifically, the remote are nice (and overdue) improvements.

Here are my key takeaways:

  • The iPad Pro could become my replacement for my home laptop. Its screen is larger and has a much improved keyboard (compared to third-party devices). Besides, my trusty five-plus-year-old MacBook has been sitting on the floor in my office for at least two months without me turning it on. Why? There isn’t anything I have had to do on it that I couldn’t do with my iPad or an occasional simple task on my work laptop (create a bike route, type something, fill out a longer form or interact with a legacy (non tablet friendly) website). Data is in the cloud. Devices sync wirelessly to the cloud or they don’t need to sync.
  • The iPhone will become a new standard. The camera and 3D Touch, improved glass and additional hardware features are nice.
  • The biggest improvements are iOS9 software-related. In particular, the multiscreen presentation on the iPad and 3D Touch navigation on the iPhone. This creates new possibilities for application developers and increased ease of use in a variety of situations.

But when is good enough good enough? I’m sensing a topic for my next post.


R.I.P. iPod

iPod Cache

A veritable treasure trove of iPods collected at the Baker household. It’s quite possible there are a still a couple more hidden somewhere. Photo by Mark Baker.

First, the headline grabbed me: On Death and iPods: A Requiem. Then this well written article hooked me, its larger message a reflection on something I try to bring to the table every day. We often have surface conversations about the shiny new hardware (or in Apple’s case, the media fawning over the Apple announcements and the “just one more thing” shtick). However, focusing on the hardware often misses a crucial point. Hardware has features, but what we value are the benefits. The benefits are wrapped up in how we can do new things, how things become easier, or at the highest level, how we alter behavior in response to new capabilities.

 The iPod fundamentally changed how we learn about, purchase, organize, share and consume music. Parents could no longer yell at their kids to turn the radio down. Kids didn’t have to share the stereo or tote around a massive boom box. Portable MP3 players drove the rapid expansion of new categories of accessories, such as docking stations, $400 stylized and branded headphones and Bluetooth speakers. And how can we forget the iconic white headphones?

In the end, like all technology, it’s not about the hardware. It’s about how it changes what we do. RIP iPod. You’ll be staying in my device museum to remind me of the good old days!

For more information on the history of the iPod and iTunes, this interesting timeline shows how far we’ve come.


Weekly Download 14.12

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Here’s a recap of news and notes from around the Web that caught my attention over the past week or so.

How Did The Meter Get Its Length? If a foot equals 0.3048 of a meter, what is the length of a meter based on? Hint: it took a long time. Perhaps the precision wasn’t worth the effort!

Reinventing the Wheel gives proof that challenging historical conventions can make sense.

A corporate giant continues to evolve. The last time Apple split its stock, it was a completely different company. This month Apple’s stock split 7-for-1. What’s new since their last split in 2005?

The lizard brain is at work again, this time impacting our response to constructive feedback. When listening to criticism, don’t use the wrong part of your brain. Instead, tap into the mammalian side.