apple

Why Every MacBook Needs A Different Goddamn Charger – CollegeHumor

HAHA!

But seriously, as much as I respect Apple for having the cojones to take away things they think we don’t need and force-feeding us things we don’t yet need, it’s getting to the point where I’m not sure I want my next laptop/desktop computer to be a Mac.

A single USB-C port, really? And I need an adapter that sells for US$79.00 just to get a USB and HDMI port while charging? No doubt there’ll be new MacBooks with more USB-C ports in the future, but what’s it going to cost me?

The big reason why I like my Mac over Windows is the superiority of OSX. But Windows 10 looks really, really good so far. And frankly, I’m not fond of Apple’s walled garden attitude. We’ll see.

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Apple’s Broken Promises – BBC Panorama

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b04vs348/panorama-apples-broken-promises

*The video requires a UK IP address to access (I recommend the extension Hola if you’re using FireFox).

Shocking. Just shocking. But after the hour-long program, I don’t know what’s worse. Apple’s lies and hypocrisy about their supply chain, or my own unwillingness to abandon Apple products despite my supposed dislike for said hypocrisy. I can justify it to myself by saying that most, if not all electronics companies do the same, and I shouldn’t drop Apple products because of the materials they use, or the terrible working conditions that went into making them. But the amount of posturing from Apple about how they are above all other companies is staggering in the face of these accusations.

I have even more respect for the Apple marketing division now. Not only did they create a cult, but they’ve managed to con millions of people into thinking they actually give a shit about more than just profits. Turns out they are pretty much like every other company. Kudos.

In the end, even after all this is revealed, is any Apple product user going to give up their electronics? Is anything going to be done by Apple or the consumer? I doubt it. I can’t see myself giving up the OSX environment, and I’m not even a fanatic. I feel dirty typing this on my MacBook Pro, but in a few days’ time, this will probably all be forgotten. So much for all of my own bullshit regarding human rights on this blog.

The Apple Watch

Yea…no.

The Moto360 is still prettier in my opinion. I don’t actually like that apps display; it looks a bit childish and not really mature, which I associate watch-wearing with. The digital crown is mostly for right-handed use, and inverting the watch for left-handers seems like an awkward solution. The fact that they add this crown thing, along with a touchscreen just complicates things.

NFC payment is a decent idea, and Apple’s involvement can only mean it’ll take off in a big way. But having to get another cable just for charging the phone? And without a peep about the battery life, something that Apple has been crowing about on their other devices all the time? That’s dodgy.

What’s with the sending heartbeat thing too? That’s creepy. I mean, would you really want to be feeling the pulse that your friend sent you on your watch? And all of those crude drawing messages and emojis; seriously, it’s such a strange feature to have. It’s so untypical of Apple to do gimmicks like this; it was Samsung’s shtick a few years ago, and even they have toned it back because good design from other companies has overshadowed their gimmicky features.

I do like the strap system they have, but for a watch not to be water-resistant seems silly. Granted, maybe my idea of an ideal watch is skewed towards practicality, but I can’t imagine having to baby my watch every time I wash my hands (even if they say it’s perfectly okay to do so).

As glad as I am for Apple to push into the smartwatch market and possibly ignite huge growth and competition, I can’t say I’m impressed with this first iteration of the Apple Watch. Given how expensive it is, and how you have to have an iPhone to get it working, it’s a big fat no from my part.

Also, why Apple Watch? It’s such an awkward name. Imagine calling it Apple’s Apple Watch. Don’t you already have the rights to the name ‘iWatch’?

IKEA Channels Apple in a Hilarious Ad for Its New Catalog ‘Bookbook’

TIME

There’s a reason the items you see in an IKEA catalog look so ridiculously appealing — it’s because the Swedish furniture chain uses 3D rendering technology to create digital models of the products.

To play on the fact that browsing an IKEA catalog is a sort of holistic sensory experience, the company has created this clever new ad, which skewers Apple’s notoriouslyover-the-top product commercials. The result is hilarious, and the jokes really just write themselves.

“The 2015 IKEA catalog comes fully charged, and the battery is eternal,” says an exec named Jörgen Eghammer, also know as Chief Design Güru. He explains that this catalog is not a digital book or an e-book, but a bookbook. “The navigation is based on tactile touch technology that you can actually feel,” he adds.

We’ve seen plenty of good Apple commercial parodies before, but IKEA definitely gets major points for this…

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Apple WWDC 2014

Well, that was a very welcome update to OSX and iOS. With the increased integration, it’s making it harder for me as a Mac user to continue shunning iPhone. I’m still headed for an Android phone this year, and in two years’ time, when my contract is up, then perhaps I’ll consider the iPhone if Project Ara flops and HTC collapses.

There was great humour throughout the keynote presentation, especially from Craig Federighi, whom, let’s be honest, took up most of the time on stage anyway. I prefer his style to the not-so-sly digs at Apple’s competitors, because it does make Apple look arrogant. But hey, I guess they’ve earned that right?

The main draw for WWDC ’14 for me was OSX 10.10 Yosemite. Mavericks is already a pretty darn good OS, and Yosemite improves on that quite well. The change to flat icons and translucency everywhere is a beautiful and welcome change, although there are apparently question marks over the font choice. Given I’m not using a small screen, the issues with Helvetica Neue on a tiny iPhone screen don’t really affect me.

I love the idea of a Dark Mode, which is far less straining to the eyes. I have Tranquillity installed, but I don’t use it often because it inverts ALL colours. Hopefully the Dark Mode will be more discerning and can prove a pleasing option.

The change to Notification Center is welcome too, making it more than just a Growl replacement. The addition of widgets might spell the end of Dashboard for good, given its convenience at the side of the screen. Spotlight’s update resembles Alfred awfully, and if they allow for custom search options, then I will wholeheartedly buy into Spotlight now. This is on top of its pretty darn good integration with the system for massive search options that trump Alfred just that little bit.

iCloud finally became useful with iCloud Drive, turning it into a proper cloud service. Its integration with Mail is also finally here via MailDrop, although Gmail and Google Drive did it a long time ago, and I can’t see myself turning back to using Mail at all.

Safari’s integration with Spotlight is okay, and its RSS feed integration is kewl, but I’m already using Feedly, so it’s a bit too late. Also, FireFox and Chrome did Private Windows a heck of a long time ago, although I do like the tab view in Safari where they group tabs from the same website. If the extensions in Safari were better, I’d switch, but I like customising my browser heavily, and FireFox suits me better. It even has Tab Groups which I can organise when I have a ton of tabs open, which is bloody useful at times.

The ability for iMessages to pick up Android SMSes via the iPhone, and for Macs to pick up and even MAKE calls is brilliant, and it’s really, REALLY tempting to go with an iPhone. But I’ll have to wait and see what the iPhone 6 is like before making any decisions. Again, I don’t particularly like the lack of customisability of the iOS screens, so it’s Android for now.

The interactive notifications on lockscreen and in other apps of iOS 8 is a good idea, though I’m not sure if Android 4.4.2 KitKat has that already. Widgets in the Notification Center of the phone is too awkward IMO, so again, Android for now. The revamp of Messages is a shot at Hangouts, Whatsapp and SnapChat, and I think it’s pretty good going by Apple to integrate all of the best things from each messaging app together.

The voice messaging capabilities of Messages basically blurs the line between phone calls and SMSes, and it’s also a very nice touch from Apple. They really do know how to pull things out of the bag that you never knew you needed until it appears in their devices, and now we can’t live without it. It won’t be long before other messaging apps come up with similar add-ons.

As for the current rage over health tech, I think Apple has stolen a march on Android and Samsung. With the HealthKit, it’s a far better way of monitoring health than silly gimmicks like the IR sensor at the back of the GS5. It’s a clever way to tie people even deeper into the system, but when the system is this good, who’d fight it?

Security seems to be a huge factor in this keynote, with numerous mentions of security of data on the phone. Given the recent NSA spying scandals, it’s no surprise that Apple are harping on their security. It all sounds very nice and pretty, but I haven’t had problems with my HTC One X, so it’s a bit meh.

The end of the keynote was all developer stuff, stuff I can’t really appreciate. But it’s clear from this keynote that Apple triumphs in the OS space once again. Only the customisability of Android and its interface keeps me away from iOS, although I’m starting to warm to it ever since iOS 7. I think it won’t be long now before my tech goes fully Apple.

I just hope I haven’t given up hope on great music and end up buying Beats to match my Apple products.

My First 7 Questions About This Apple-Beats Deal (Which, By the Way, I’m Not Assuming Is Happening)

As a budding audiophile who’s trying his best not to spend all his money on new audio goodies, Beats has always been a brand that looks good (though really plasticky and cheap to me), but sounds horrid and costs a bomb.

The only thing from the Beats line-up I would buy is the Pill, and that’s not going to happen now that Creative have released the SR20, which is cheaper, more impressive, more feature-packed, and probably better sounding. Oh, and I should support a company from my own country too.

But anyway, from what I hear, the old Beats headphones were just muddy bass and not much else. So much for ‘reproducing what the musicians want you to hear’. The brand got by not on sound quality, but on marketing, branding, good looks, and celebrity endorsement.

Monster got a bit of an unfair deal having to produce Beats for Dr. Dre, and their reputation wasn’t so good until they came up with their own line of headphones and earphones which were miles better than what Beats could offer. Their split meant that Beats was now on their own, and Monster could shine without having its name dragged through the mud in audiophile circles.

Apparently, the 2013-revised Beats line-up is much better in terms of sound, and bar some design flaws, could actually be recommended by audiophiles. That was surprising news to me, but on further consideration, it wasn’t really that shocking for Beats to actually improve their sound (but not their ridiculous pricing).

With Beats’ arrival on the scene, proper headphone companies had to rush to create consumer-friendly products. The Sennheiser Momentum is one of many beautiful headphones that look AND sound good, and Beats had to up their game or lose out on the lucrative market they created in the first place.

But where does this all go? For me, as a mild fan of Apple products, I would love for them to get Jonny Ive on the scene and redesign Beats to be something classier. A more industrial look is something I crave, and it would be awesome for Apple to produce headphones like that.

Not to mention sound quality. Steve Jobs always harped about sound quality in Apple devices, and from accounts, the iPhone has always been one of the best-sounding smartphones. Ditto the iPod lines and so forth. So a Beats purchase could potentially see even more improvements in the sound and design, which could make Beats an actually desirable product for audiophiles.

Of course, I doubt Apple will fix the ridiculous prices Beats have slapped on their headphones, which will keep me away and push me towards buying other cheaper, better sounding headphones. And if Apple does purchases Beats, more than likely it’ll be for Beats Music.

But one can dream, eh?

TIME

When you hear that Apple may buy a well-known company, it’s dangerous to assume that it’s going to happen. Actually, based on history, the safest assumption is that the idea is sheer fantasy–there have been countless rumors of such acquisitions which, though always fun to speculate about, never amounted to anything.

With that out of the way: Matthew Garrahan and Tim Bradshaw of the Financial Times are reporting that Apple is “closing in” on a $3.2 billion deal to buy Beats, the maker of headphones and speakers (and a new subscription music service) which was co-founded by Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre. They say it’s possible it could be announced next week.

I’m not assuming that the acquisition is as real and close to being done as Garrahan and Bradshaw say it is–and even they stress that it could fall apart at the last minute. But even if you…

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