Why Apple Won’t Hire Me Anytime Soon As A Product Engineer Or Creative Director

My credentials for being hired by Apple are rock solid. I’ve used Apple products for nearly 20 years, own nearly every major product the company makes, and I have a critical eye for that sweet spot between usability and esthetic design.

That would seem to make me a good candidate for a product engineer or a creative director at Apple. So, why won’t Apple hire me?

Celebrity status.

Or, rather, the lack of celebrity status. Or, the complete lack of celebrity, name recognition, and the ability to generate PR just by using my name. You know, the way Alicia Keys, Lady Gaga, will.i.am, and Ashton Kutcher have generated such great buzz for BlackBerry, Polaroid, Intel, and Lenovo, respectively.

What? Didn’t you hear?

Singer songwriter Alicia Keys was hired by BlackBerry a year or two or three ago (time flies by so quickly when no one pays attention to you) as creative director, a gig that barely lasted 12 months, and even then it makes you wonder what impact the woman had on BlackBerry’s fortunes which remain mostly unfortunate.

There is plenty of precedent for companies that don’t know what they hell they are doing to add celebrities to their staff; usually in a fit of obvious desperation to generate a little PR buzz. In addition to Keys and BlackBerry, Lada Gaga was creative director for Polaroid. will.i.am was director of creative innovation at Intel. The latest is Ashton Kutcher, the actor from Demi Moore fame, who became a product engineer at computer giant Lenovo.

The way I see it, and based upon my astute analysis of celebrity hires by technology companies, there are only two obstacles to prevent yours truly from showing up as Apple’s next creative engineer.

The first obstacle I face is name recognition. I don’t have any. Or, at least no name recognition to match Keys, Gaga, will.i.am, or Kutcher. Maybe if word got out that Tim Cook reads my blog, or that I once dated Jonny Ive and the guy won’t stop calling me, I could overcome this name recognition issue.

The second obstacle I face is more obvious. Apple is not a company that is desperate to get attention or a little PR on the cheap (as if Antennagate, Mapsgate, Bendgate, and Hairgate were not enough). Unlike BlackBerry, Polaroid, Intel, and Lenovo, Apple knows what the hell it is doing and doesn’t need a celebrity to shill the company’s wares.

Well, other than Bono.

Apple Watch Has An Achilles Heel

This is before anyone has had a chance to use an Apple Watch or more than a few minutes, but Jess Bolluyt thinks battery life is the devices Achilles heel.

It seems increasingly likely that Apple has chosen to compromise battery life to build a smartwatch packed with features and functionality

I remember reading about experts who said it was not possible for an iPad have a 10-hour battery life.

[Experts] think that the Apple Watch is likely to include software that regulates the device’s activity in order to conserve the battery, and that could mean that users won’t be able to use all of the device’s functionality at once, or leave the display on. So while all of Apple Watch’s functions — its ability to send and receive messages, answer phone calls, read emails, or use the walkie-talkie or heartbeat functions — will appeal to consumers considering a purchase of Apple’s first smartwatch, it’s likely that the device’s battery won’t be robust enough to enable them to use each of those functions as frequently as they imagine. Apple has conspicuously avoided giving a definitive number of days (or hours) that the battery will last, or addressing how the device will handle the demands of the operating system and its various functions and apps.

We’ll see.

$3,400 DSLR, Meet iPhone 6 Plus

This comparison from Lee Hitchinson makes me think Apple might be working on an ubercamera. Here’s a comparison of a $3,400 Canon EOS 5D Mark III DSLR to Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus.

The idea here is that the person, not the gear, takes the picture. And there is a (likely apocryphal) story that tells the tale of an encounter between famous novelist Ernest Hemingway and famous photographer Ansel Adams. In the story, Hemingway is purported to have praised Adams’ photographs, saying, “You take the most amazing pictures. What kind of camera do you use?”

Adams frowned and then replied, “You write the most amazing stories. What kind of typewriter do you use?”

Interesting anecdote, but what about the comparison?

A true apples-to-apples comparison would be a lot more difficult to pull off than simply shooting a few sets of images under a few different lighting regimes, and it would likely yield a lot more objective data. However, what matters in a lot of these cases isn’t megapixels and histograms in a vacuum, but how the images look to your eyes. We’ve definitely got enough here to show that under many conditions, a smartphone that costs a few hundred dollars is mostly as good as a DSLR that costs eight-to-ten times as much.

In summary:

So raise your iPhones up high and snap away—unless you need to spend a lot on a camera, you’re almost certainly fine. Step away from automatic shooting and learn the camera’s settings a bit, maybe, but don’t feel like you need to spend thousands to take better pictures. Instead, remember this photography aphorism: “Amateurs worry about gear; professionals worry about money; masters worry about light.”

Old Disease At The New Microsoft

Newly minted CEO Satya Nadella on women and compensation within the Microsoft workforce.

It’s not really about asking for the raise, but knowing and having faith that the system will actually give you the right raises as you go along… Because that’s good karma. It’ll come back because somebody’s going to know that’s the kind of person that I want to trust

Sigh.

So, women should simply do their jobs and wait for men to pay them more because, you know, karma?

After thinking about it (and probably hearing about it), Nadella tweeted a followup response.

Was inarticulate re how women should ask for raise. Our industry must close gender pay gap so a raise is not needed because of a bias.

And then came the official response from a Microsoft employee:

I answered that question completely wrong. I believe men and women should get equal pay for equal work. And when it comes to career advice on getting a raise when you think it’s deserved… you should just ask.

Nadella is lucky. His gaffe was not as much of a flap as “You’re holding it wrong.”

Apple, Google, And Microsoft: Three Sides Of The Future

What’s going on among the technology giants we know and love or loath? Three of the largest are locked in a head-to-head-to-head battle for supremacy in the desktop and mobile device wars, and each one has a distinctly unique approach.

Which do you choose?

Apple does business the old fashioned way. It makes attractive products that live in a highly curated ecosystem. Think Mac, iPhone, iPad running OS X and iOS with similar applications, all tied nicely together with iCloud, Apple TV, the various app stores, Apple’s retail stores.

That business model works well for Apple as the company commands the lion’s share of profits in each industry product line. To Apple, you’re the customer, and the company works diligently at every level to keep customers happy.

Contrast that with Google which mostly eschews contact with users.

Note that if you use a Google product– smartphone, tablet, Maps, Chrome browser, or the various and sundry and free Google apps– you’re the user, not the customer. Google’s customers are advertisers who want to put messages in your face; messages tailored and targeted with the personal data that Google culls from your online usage habits.

That business model works well for Google as the company’s only true revenue and profit stream– advertising– commands the lion’s share of that industry.

Contrast both Apple and Google’s approach with Microsoft, which has been struggling to find a niche as the world moves toward mobile devices. Basically, Microsoft uses the subscription model to generate revenue and profits.

Subscriptions?

Yes. Think of licensing Windows and Office to PC makers as an annual subscription.

Microsoft now has a subscription service for Office in Office 365, so users and customers pay by the month or year to use Word, Excel, PowerPoint, et al. Microsoft Azure and the new Dynamics CRM Online services are mostly subscription services– pay by the month– per customer or per user, to use the company’s growing line of online services.

There’s also some overlap between products from these three tech giants. Apple’s iCloud, at certain usage points, has a subscription fee. Google and Microsoft dabble in hardware. Apple collects customer usage data for advertising but does so differently than Google (mostly to support developers of iOS and OS X).

All three companies are, as they say, richer than God, but each one has distinct weaknesses. Apple is dependent upon enticing customers to buy new hardware products. Google is dependent upon a growing source of user data to sell to advertisers. Microsoft makes most of its money from Windows and Office. Both Google and Microsoft have trouble diversifying their business model to create new and worthy revenue streams.

How will the future play out? Because each company is so different, I see more of the same for many years into the future, or at least until the next great thing comes along.

‘If it’s not one thing, it’s always something’

Thank you, Roseanne Roseannadanna.

Just when you thought Bendghazi had drifted away, there’s another. This one is called Hairgate or Beardgate. Read this package of lies carefully.

iPhone 6, the most wanted smartphone of the year by Apple, has seen harsh reviews and flaws with the design.

Where are those ‘harsh reviews’ and ‘flaws?’ They must be hidden under the accolades.

First it was the display screen, which was breaking within a few falls. Reviewers and critics claimed that the display screen is feeble and can shatter with just a two to three falls from a few feet.

That is what happens to educated people when they’re unemployed. Their imagination goes into overdrive.

Now comes the Bendgate, an issue with the chassis bending with sufficient force. People who kept the iPhone 6 in their pockets found that the smartphone bent quickly.

Nine customers and a few souls in league with YouTube views does not a scandal make.

And now this time the Hairgate is doing its rounds. Hairgate is the phenomenon where the iPhone tends to catch the hair and pull it… In short, the hair gets stuck between the display screen and the chassis, where the two meet, and the hair tends to get stuck in this gap. Some have called it Beardgate, where they are getting their scuff caught in the seam of the iPhone 6.

Good grief.

Apple’s Bendghazi Scandal? It’s Horse$#!}. Says Who? Take A Guess, Watch The Video

There comes a time when a company hits the bottom, and there are plenty of examples of riches to rags storiesin the tech industry. When a company comes upon hard times, one of three things usually happens.

First, the company goes out of business, or gets bought by a competitor just before it dies (think Nokia). Second, there’s a ‘dead cat bounce‘ whereby things get better for awhile, then get worse; much worse (think BlackBerry). Finally, when a company hits rock bottom it also becomes desperate to survive, and, for the right company with the right leader, all sorts of good things can happen (think Apple).

Back in the mid-to-late 1990s Apple was in dire straights and had already used up one dead cat bounce. Then Steve Jobs returned to Apple. He sliced and diced the product line, simplified the company’s focus, got the Good Ship Cupertino sailing again, set out on a new course working on the future and the next insanely great thing.

From there, Apple launched the iMac, iPod, iTunes Music Store, Apple Stores, iPhone, iPhone App Store, Apple TV, Mac App Store, and the iPad.

What Apple needed back then was a straight talking, no-nonsense leader, who almost by sheer will power moved Apple kicking and screaming into the 21st century and an amazing string of product hits, as well as incredible riches.

As happens from time to time, Apple was struck by another scandal. The company has nursed itself through a few in recent years. Antennagate. Mapsgate. Bendgate (I prefer Bendghazi; we’ll probably hear plenty about Benghazi when Hillary Clinton runs for president in 2016).

Who came to Apple’s defense in the Bendghazi scandal?

It wasn’t Apple’s competitors, whose products bend much the same way. Was it any of the major U.S. cell phone carriers who have grown rich and fat by selling the iPhone (insert comical laugh here)? AT&T? Nope. Verizon? Uh huh. How about Sprint? Zilch.

Standing next to Apple on the world stage of YouTube publicity was non-other than the newly minted CEO of T-Mobile, John Legere, a somewhat flamboyant executive with experience at AT&T, Sprint, Dell, and a few other technology companies.

The straight talking Legere is credited with turning T-Mobile around, re-building the company’s anemic network, simplifying cell phone plan pricing, and getting T-Mobile back to an improved state of financial health– thanks in large part to getting the iPhone to put on store shelves.

What does Legere have to say about Apple’s Bendghazi problem?

That is such horse shit. I mean, come on, what the fuck did you need to see?

Whoa. Did Legere really say that? Yes, at a GeekWire conference, and it’s exactly the kind of straight talk that gets employees fired up about their company, struggling or otherwise, and his pronouncement should be the final nail in the coffin of Bendghazi extremists.

It’s a lengthy video but the real fun begins at about 18:00 minutes in. Enjoy.

The Sport Of Apple Slamming

Ken Segall’s view on Bendgate, Bendghazi, and the art of slamming Apple for fun and profit, and how Apple overcomes all the manufactured scandals.

Apple’s resilience isn’t a fluke, and it doesn’t result from some kind of mind control over sheeplike customers. It’s the result of a purposeful, wide-ranging effort that’s gone on for at least 15 years.

Building customer loyalty as Apple has done requires vision, talent, investment and determination.

For many companies, a Bendgate-style story could cause incalculable damage, whether or not it is based in fact.

Because it’s worked so hard to earn customers’ love, Apple has a built-in defense system. Stories like this may get millions of views — but they do virtually no long-term damage.

Speed Test: iPhone 6 vs. Galaxy S5 vs. HTC One (M8)

You gotta love speed tests, especially when Apple’s A8 CPU is pitted against chips from yesteryear.

Obviously, the iPhone 6 fares rather well.

Safari Tricks In iOS 8

Nice list of Safari browser tricks in iOS 8 from Derek Walter:

Safari for iOS is as old as the iPhone itself, and even with all the apps that have come and gone in those seven plus years, Safari is the old standby, the essential app that’s in the dock row of millions of iPhones and iPads. Apple improves Safari in every iteration of iOS, and iOS 8 is no exception

Spoiler Alert!

  • Desktop Safari version
  • Scan credit cards
  • Use DuckDuckGo
  • Subscribe to RSS feeds
  • App passwords

A Few Words On Replacing The Mac

As a technology company with a variety of products which sell well and overlap in functionality, Apple does not seem to fear cannibalization, a common occurrence that is often feared in product marketing.

cannibalize |ˈkanəbəˌlīz| verb [ with obj. ]
1 use (a machine) as a source of spare parts for another, similar machine. cannibalizing two broken-down cars might provide spare parts to make one working car. figurative : high culture should cannibalize mass culture.
• (of a company) reduce the sales of (one of its products) by introducing another similar product.

Remember the iPod mini? Apple killed the entire line in favor of the iPod nano. Cannibalization, handled correctly, actually is a good thing.

In marketing strategy, cannibalization refers to a reduction in sales volume, sales revenue, or market share of one product as a result of the introduction of a new product by the same producer.

While this may seem inherently negative, in the context of a carefully planned strategy, it can be effective, by ultimately growing the market, or better meeting consumer demands. Cannibalization is a key consideration in product portfolio analysis.

For now, Apple has a growing line of computers, many of which perform tasks and functions which overlap other devices. Starting with the iPod, Apple’s string of products have slowly but surely cannibalized functionality from the Mac.

Think about it. The Mac and iTunes were once all about Photoshop, browsing, email, spreadsheets and word processing, as well as music and movie making. Along came the iPod and music moved off the Mac and into the pocket.

Likewise, with the iPhone, we’ve moved function after function away from the Mac and into the pocket– browsing, email, music and movies, photos, calendar and contacts, and much more. Similarly, functions that once required the larger screen on a Mac have been offloaded to the iPad; games, graphics, photo enhancements, movie editing, sound production.

Step by step since the iPod debuted in 2001, Apple has been pulling features and functions from the Mac and stuffing them into mobile devices. Yet, the Mac sells in greater numbers than ever; owns the premium end of the PC market in sales, and Apple takes about half of the PC industry’s profits.

Apple seems intent upon replacing the Mac (or, the Mac’s functionality) with mobile device functionality, yet preserving the essence of the Mac in each device, and yet morphing the Mac itself into a desirable device that integrates well with today’s mobile devices.

If ever there was a technology company that knows how to cannibalize itself, it’s Apple. Can you name another company that does it better?

‘These People Are Nuts’

Former Apple employee Don Melton on the company’s famed work ethic:

And by the way, when you hear the so-called apocryphal stories about Tim Cook coming to work in the wee hours and staying late, it’s not just some PR person telling you stories to make you think that Apple executives work really hard like that. They really do that. I mean, these people are nuts. They’re just, they are there all the time. I know that for Bertrand, certainly when he was there, you would never know what time of the day or night you would get email from that man.

Munster Predicts Again

The guy who predicts Apple products for a living, and has predicted an Apple television every year since forever, now predicts how many watches Apple will sell next year. Gene Munster:

Overall, we believe that the Apple Watch is light years ahead of any other smartwatch on the market, but consumer application may be limited initially until developers begin to create useful applications for the watch… We believe that to date, there have been less than 3 million smartwatches sold in total, thus the Apple Watch will represent a significant change in the smartwatch industry

The number? 10-million.

Pros And Cons Of iPhone 6

Interesting list from Adrian Kinglsey-Hughes:

…this is the first iPhone I’ve owned where I feel truly torn over how I feel about it. Yes, the iPhone 6 Plus is a great handset, but the ultimate price of ownership isn’t the price tag but tolerating a number of compromises. And as a result of that, I don’t think that the iPhone 6 Plus is for everyone.

Really? Maybe that’s why Apple sells many different iPhone models. Spoiler Alert!

Pros: Battery life, display, superior camera, toughness, vibrate motor, call quality

Cons: Big, case makes it bigger, charging takes longer (larger battery), sluggish, buttons awkwardly placed.

Apple And Life In The Media Echo Chamber

Our favorite Mac, iPhone, and iPad company is one of many that live prominently in the 21st century media echo chamber, which works, more or less, much like the yellow journalism publications of the last century which fomented war and political upheaval to sell newspapers.

What is an echo? And how does it work both for and against Apple?

echo |ˈekō| noun (pl. echoes)
1 a sound or series of sounds caused by the reflection of sound waves from a surface back to the listener: the walls threw back the echoes of his footsteps

2 a close parallel or repetition of an idea, feeling, style, or event
• (often echoes) a detail or characteristic that is suggestive of something else

Wikipedia puts the echo in a similar light.

An echo (plural echoes) is a reflection of sound, arriving at the listener some time after the direct sound. Typical examples are the echo produced by the bottom of a well, by a building, or by the walls of an enclosed room and an empty room. A true echo is a single reflection of the sound source. The time delay is the extra distance divided by the speed of sound. The word echo derives from the Greek ἠχώ (ēchō),[1] itself from ἦχος (ēchos), “sound”.

On the positive side, the digital media echo chamber of the 21st century works for Apple by amplifying the company’s product details, reputation, features and benefits far beyond the money devoted to advertising and promotion.

On the negative side, the echo chamber works against Apple by amplifying what appear to be inherent problems in a product or service. Good examples of the negative echo chamber are Antennagate of a few years ago, the recent Bendgate (also known as Bendghazi) issue where iPhone 6 models appear to bend too easily.

What’s really happening in this echo chamber is a rehash of yellow journalism from the early 1900s, where sensationalism ruled print media for the sake of newspaper sales. Frank Luther Mott defined it this way:

  • scare headlines in huge print, often of minor news
  • lavish use of pictures, or imaginary drawings
  • use of faked interviews, misleading headlines, pseudoscience, and a parade of false learning from so-called experts
  • emphasis on full-color Sunday supplements, usually with comic strips
  • dramatic sympathy with the “underdog” against the system

As much as that definition appears to fit and reflect today’s digital media madness, it was written back in the 1930s. Other than the method of distribution (atoms vs. bits), not much has changed.

Enter ‘apple iPhone bend’ in Google and you’ll be treated with headlines befitting of a bona fide media disaster for a problem that does not exist.

I Walked Into An Apple Store And Bent An iPhone 6 Plus.

That’s a fetching headline for a criminal act designed to get readers and eyeballs onto a website notorious for playing fast and loose with the truth.

With a somewhat more sane approach to the details of fact than Business Insider is Consumer Reports.

Apple’s iPhone 6 Found Tough To Bend.

As is usually the case, the truth is out there but requires the reader or listener or viewer to go beyond normal effort to determine what is fact vs. what is fiction. When it comes to segregating the two, today’s digital media (TV, cable, websites, print media, et al) often fail to apply even the basics of journalism integrity, falling instead to the lure of sensationalism, regardless the of the cost to truth, fact, or justice.

For good or bad, Apple lives in the center of that media echo chamber; beloved by hundreds of millions customers (so much for ‘cult’), bashed by a few thousand who buy digital ink by the barrel. Is it any wonder that Apple pays little attention to the way the world works, and continues to walk to the beat of a different drummer?

‘Hey, Windows. Who’s Your Daddy?’

More proof that Apple’s strategy to own the premium end of the market pays big dividends, and bucks the trend toward cheap and profitless margins. Chris Ciaccia:

During the back-to-school shopping period (July 4th through Labor Day week), Apple saw notebook sales rise 16% year over year as customers clamored for the latest MacBook Airs and MacBook Pros, according to research firm NPD Group. Even more impressive is how well sales of Apple notebooks did in the final three weeks of the period, rising 27% year over year. That growth allowed Apple to capture 26.8% of the unit device share.

Overall, Mac OS-based products rose 14% year over year, partially helped by the recent price cuts and refreshed MacBook Air and MacBook Pro notebooks Apple has instituted in recent months.

Windows still owns nearly 70-percent of the market, almost all of it at the low end– low cost, low profit– of the market spectrum. That’s why Apple’s Mac owns about 50-percent of the entire PC industry’s profits.

FBI: Apple, Google Put Customers Above The Law

FBI Director James B. Comey apparently hasn’t read the U.S. Constitution. He blasted Apple and Google for developing smartphone encryption that law enforcement officials cannot break.

There will come a day when it will matter a great deal to the lives of people… that we will be able to gain access. I want to have that conversation [with companies responsible] before that day comes.

I’m curious to know how the FBI, CIA, NSA or whomever would know that something valuable to national security resides on a smartphone if they don’t have access to the phone’s data?

The solution appears to be a phishing expedition.

What Goes Around, Comes Around

For the moment, Apple’s smartphone competitors are having a field day on Twitter, mocking the iPhone 6’s Bendghazi problems. Kelly Hodgkins has a collection.

These social marketing efforts are a response to Apple’s controversy in which some iPhone 6 Plus users were accidentally bending their 5.5-inch handsets after placing them in their pockets. While the prevalence of the issue appears fairly low, photos of warped iPhone 6 Plus units spread like wildfire, with subsequent “bend test” videos showcasing how much the iPhone 6 Plus was susceptible to bending.

Where are the bending tests of Samsung, HTC, LG, and BlackBerry smartphones?

Whatever Happened To Apple’s Quality Control?

Other than Pippin and some models of the Mac and Apple II series from the last century, there are few modern Apple products that I have not owned, used, loved to use. Apple’s move to aluminum in Mac, iPhone, iPad, and even various iPods lends itself to a level of quality and durability in the hardware that few competitors can match.

What about software?

While OS X for the Mac lives in a different category, in some respects, Apple found itself a few years behind Android OS and needed to do some catching up with iOS 8, which, increasingly appears to have been rushed to market; almost as if Apple is reacting too quickly and not thinking things through, or not testing as thorough as it could or should.

How so?

Here’s the most recent example. iOS 8 has a few glitches but that’s common with almost any major release of a new OS; Mac, Windows, iOS, Android or whatever. In this case, the glitches, hiccups, and odd behavior seem far beyond that of iOS 7. Battery life, Wi-Fi connectivity, apps crashing, and more. Maybe that’s because iOS 8 has more new functionality than the last version.

Worse, Apple put out a bug fix in iOS 8.0.1 which itself contained bugs and had to be pulled in favor of iOS 8.0.2.

See? There’s a problem with quality control; an issue which has raised an ugly head on various software updates ranging from Final Cut Pro X at the high end, to iPhoto, iLife, and iTunes on the free side of the equation.

There’s no question that Apple has quality control; both hardware and software. The issue is this. Apple’s profile is much higher than the company’s marketshare, regardless of product. Quality control problems that don’t get much comment or criticism on Samsung, Google, Motorola, HTC, Xiaomi or competing devices, merit days of headlines for Apple.

Here’s why this is an important issue for Apple, and why the company must have ever greater quality control.

We pay more for Apple products. We appreciate the hardware quality, attention to the details of fit and finish, and the fact that both hardware and software work well together. And, again, we pay more for that privilege, so when hiccups, problems, and glitches occur, they’re more prominent and more disturbing with Apple than the company’s competitors.

I pay more, so I should get more. Three iOS 8 versions in a week is not the ‘more‘ I’m looking for.

BlackBerry Passport: The Very Definition Of Niche

Steve Ranger on BlackBerry’s new smartphone something:

The square 4.5-inch touchscreen phone with touch-sensitive Qwerty keyboard will certainly stand out from the mass of anonymous black slabs, or the “sea of sameness”… it’s an unashamedly boxy device described by some as powerful but cumbersome and by others as “like typing on a Pop-Tart.”

Meanwhile, things are so bad that BlackBerry’s COO Marty Beard said:

BlackBerry is not dropping the phone business, quite the contrary.

Maybe the phone business is dropping BlackBerry.

iPhone 6: Bendgate? Or, Breakability Leader?

For all the news about customers bending their new iPhone 6 models, overlooked is SquareTrade’s breakability testing:

The iPhone 6 and its larger sibling, iPhone 6 Plus, performed impressively in Breakability testing, and each carries the top Breakability Score™ in their respective category. The SquareTrade Breakability Score ranks today’s top devices based on how prone they are to break due to accidents. Evaluating key elements such as front and back panel design, edge construction and materials, size, weight, friction quotient, water resistance and grip-ability, SquareTrade’s Breakability Score fills in the missing gap left by traditional device reviews: it tests devices in everyday danger situations brought on by our lifestyles and habits.

I wonder if ‘bendability‘ fits into the score.

Apple Television: Now It’s 2016

Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster has made a career out of Apple predictions, primarily the much anticipated and totally invisible Apple television. Lance Whitney:

Analyst Gene Munster returned to his mantra of an Apple television set. The analyst has been forecasting such a product for the past few years, but so far Apple has yet to produce one, instead continuing to focus on mobile devices. The company has offered the Apple TV set-top box for many years. But should it ever hit the market, the much-rumored Apple television would likely take shape as a full-blown HDTV set with access to traditional and online entertainment, apps and other content.

He’s becoming a laughing stock in the industry because of this Apple television fetish. Munster:

Given how many times we have predicted a television and have yet to see one launch, it may be easy to dismiss our insistence of the television. However, as recently as 9/12 on Charlie Rose, CEO Tim Cook said that the TV is a category in which Apple has great interest in, given the experience is ‘stuck in the 70s.’ Cook also noted that Apple has ‘taken a stab’ at TV with Apple TV and claimed that it is an area Apple continues to look at. We also note that in Steve Jobs’ biography in 2011, Jobs stated that he felt he finally cracked the TV. We believe the evidence remains that something is there, the question remains when.

Indeed.

The Absolutely, Positively, Horribly, Terribly Bad Battery Life In iPhone 6 Plus

As it was for about 10-million other Apple customers, I bought my iPhone 6 Plus sight unseen. Why? I like to live dangerously. Apple’s new products usually are good enough that there’s little ‘buyer’s remorse’ by ordering from the first manufacturing run, and there’s a social camaraderie while standing in line a few hours. Besides, zealous Kool-Aid drinking cult member and all that.

I picked up my iPhone 6 Plus on Friday, showed it off to a co-worker, so we went to a couple of Apple Stores on Saturday to check out the new models. And, again on Sunday. Why two days? It took that long to find an iPhone 6 Plus displayed on the Apple Store product tables that did not have a drained battery.

That’s right. In each case, Saturday and Sunday, the iPhone 6 Plus models on display in the Stores had their respective batteries completely or nearly drained. The best we could do was the 5th Avenue Apple Store at mid-day Sunday, and even then the battery was already down to less than 20-percent.

There are two take aways from that experience (as well as the first 24-hours of using my iPhone 6 Plus).

First of all, that means the iPhone 6 Plus models on display in the Apple Store were constantly being used by prospective customers and didn’t have a chance to recharge during the course of the day. When we could get to an iPhone 6 Plus on display that did not have a customer holding it in hand, it was because the battery was so drained the screen was blank.

Secondly, iPhone 6 and iOS 8 have a lot more going on behind the scenes so there is a need to watch which applications are doing what, when, and how often. Add up all the alerts, location checking, notifications, extensions, and widgets that are new to iOS and battery life is impacted– and not in a good way.

Simply put, iOS 8 needs more monitoring; more riding herd on the apps that phone home, or generate notifications, and anything else to do with using the CPU, cell phone, Wi-Fi, or Bluetooth.

Without paying close attention to which applications are battery wasters, the iPhone 6 and iOS 8 could get the reputation of being battery hogs. Fortunately, iOS 8 also provides a way to know which apps are using the battery the most. It’s called ‘battery shaming.’

Open Settings in iOS 8, open General, open Usage, then open Battery Usage. In a moment you’ll get a list of which apps use the most of your iPhone’s battery; in the past 24-hours, and over a longer period of time.

For me, Mail is seldom used but always on in the background and uses, so far, about 15-percent of the iPhone’s battery. Safari, which I use more frequently, is at 20-percent. My Pedometer app, which is always running, only 1-percent. Your mileage may vary, of course.

Every new iPhone model ups the power requirements and capability, and iPhone 6 Plus, even with a much larger battery, is likely to provide a day, or at best, two days of battery life, with average usage. That’s the problem. What’s average usage?

On another note, the iPhone 6 Plus screen is to die for; absolutely gorgeous color, with photos and movies unlike anything I’ve seen from such a small device.

iOS 8: The Complete Guide

Good list of details and photo gallery from CNet on the major goodies in iOS 8.

iOS 8 by itself simplifies and enhances features you already had in iOS 7 and adds more conveniences to the apps you already know. It’s not a drastic change like the redesign in the previous version, and it’s not even as big an overhaul as iOS 6. But it is definitely something you’ll want to download for the improvements it adds across the board. Just keep in mind that its most promising features may still be in development.

What isn’t mentioned is how much of an upgrade iOS 8 is for app developers. Within the next six months iPhone users will have thousands of extensions and widgets available.