Apple just obsoleted the Mac and nobody noticed

Photo: Roberto Baldwin/The Next Web

Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, unveils OS X Yosemite to the world at WWDC 2014. Photo: Roberto Baldwin/The Next Web

With iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, Apple is finally showing us its idea of how we’ll compute in the future. Perhaps not surprisingly, this pristine vision of our computing destiny — unveiled after years of secret, patient and painstaking development — aligns perfectly with how we currently use our computers and mobile devices.

The keynote at this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference earlier this month not only showed off a new way to think about computing, based on data not devices, but also silenced pretty much every criticism leveled at the company over the past few years.

Let’s take a look at Apple’s new way of doing things, which fulfills Steve Jobs’ post-PC plan by minimizing the importance of the Mac.

How we used to do it

There are two ways we go about any given computing task. One is simply grabbing the nearest device. If you want to know who played Biff Tannen in Back to the Future, for instance, you don’t care how you find out. You just take your iPhone out of your pocket or start typing on the Mac in front of you. (The answer is Thomas F. Wilson by the way.)

The other way we start a task is to not start it. If I want to make a long reply to an email, I’ll wait until I’m at my Mac (and usually forget to do it) or – to use a current example – if I want to know today’s World Cup fixtures, I’ll check on my iPad or iPhone, because then Google knows where I am and gives the results in my time zone.

Instead of forcing OS X to be more like iOS (as we all thought would happen with OS X 10.10 Yosemite), Apple’s ecosystem instead lets each device do what it does best — and uses iCloud to tie them together.

In with the new: Continuity

Writing about the new Continuity features Apple is using to unite iOS and OS X Yosemite, Apple Outsider’s Matt Drance wrote: “The ‘Continuity’ suite of features says more to me than anything else announced [at WWDC], naturally blurring the line between Mac and iPhone and iPad while still accepting each product for what it is.”

That’s dead right, but there’s more to it than just that. Continuity covers a few features. You can make calls from your Mac using the iPhone’s radios, ditto for SMS. You can also connect your Mac to the Internet using the iPhone’s data connection, but with all the settings and password shenanigans stripped away.

The biggest part, though, is Handoff. Handoff lets you start a task on one device and finish on another. The obvious example is email – start it on your iPhone, then realize you need to add some attachments and continue on your Mac.

But what Handoff really does is let each device be itself. The iPhone is a quick-twitch device, perfect for messaging and taking photos. The iPad excels at both reading and viewing, but also offers the direct manipulation of your data that the Mac can’t even wish for. And the Mac does everything, but it’s not as polished.

Examples: You can take pictures on your iPhone and dump them into a Keynote presentation. Then, you add other pictures and documents from the Mac, in the same app and in the same document, just with a machine better suited to the task. Then you finesse the presentation on your iPad, where you can fine-tune everything with your fingers. This is clearly the reason Apple reset the iWork suite last year to bring parity to iOS and OS X versions.

iCloud as ‘digital hub’

Back at WWDC 2011, Steve Jobs said this: “We’re going to demote the PC and the Mac to just be a device. We’re going to move your hub, the center of your digital life, into the cloud.

Up until iOS 8 and Yosemite, iCloud wasn’t much more than a series of tubes. There were occasional moments of magic – my mother just got an iPad 4 to replace her first-gen iPad and was amazed when she just tapped in her Apple ID, waited a few minutes and saw all her apps and photos and even her wallpaper restored, just like before – but in general iCloud, was a clunky alternative to Dropbox.

Now, iCloud is the hub. It’s your photo library, it’s your backup and it’s even your Finder. Skeptics will say that iCloud Drive is just Dropbox, but that’s missing the point as much as calling the iPod “just an MP3 player” back in 2001.

iCloud Drive (and the related iCloud photo albums) finally lets you forget where your documents are, because they’re everywhere. The previous iOS model trapped documents inside the apps that created them. The idea was good in principle – you look in Pages to find your Pages docs – but in practice it led to multiple copies of the same file hidden inside different apps.

Now you create one file, and you can access and work on it from anywhere. Nerds like you will laugh and say we could already do this with Dropbox, but remember, Apple isn’t making stuff for us. It’s making stuff for the hundreds of millions of normal folks who buy its hardware.

Being able to get at your data wherever you are, whichever device you’re using, is huge. Not only can you forget about managing your files, but they’re all backed up for you.

Some will call this “lock-in,” but to me it’s no more of a lock-in than the one exercised by cheese — which locks me into eating it because it’s so damn delicious. And unlike cheese (which you’ve already eaten), you can always take your data elsewhere.

Photo: Roberto Baldwin/The Next Web

iOS 8 brings exciting new features to iPhone and iPad, making them more Mac-like than ever. Photo: Roberto Baldwin/The Next Web

iOS gets more Mac-like

With iOS 8, the iPad and the iPhone get more like the Mac than ever. In fact, with this release you will be able to dump the Mac entirely if you like.

Even when I used the iPad for all my work, I still needed a Mac around. I needed it to back up my photos, and I needed it as a place to store my documents and so on.

If anything, iCloud Drive and iCloud photo albums replace the Mac.

The biggest problems on the iPad were managing documents and managing photos. iOS 8 and Yosemite take care of both.

Photos

Photo management is in a terrible state. I have pictures in Lightroom, Dropbox, on Flickr and on my iPad. When I get a photo in my mail that I want to keep, I have to mark that email as unread, then open it on my iPad so I can save it to my Camera Roll (and from there it is spirited off to Flickr via the Flickr app’s auto-upload).

Next year, when the Photos app for OS X launches, I’ll be able to forget about organizing my photos forever. I’ll just pay Apple a few extra bucks a month and enjoy a 200GB photo library hosted on iCloud. Wherever I take, save or edit a photo, it will be mirrored to all my other devices. I’ll still be using a Mac, but if you own a 32GB iPhone and you take a lot of pictures, you’ll never need to delete photos to free up space for new ones. This is “post-PC” for realz.

Photo: Roberto Baldwin/The Next Web

Craig Federighi talks about new photo features at WWDC 2014. Photo: Roberto Baldwin/The Next Web

Multitasking, take 2

The other big headache on iOS is working with documents in various apps. The iOS paradigm of single-purpose apps that focus on one task is great in theory, but falls down when you want to shift a single task between them. That is, you have to save yet another copy of that document or photo before you can open it and work on it in another app.

iOS 8’s plug-ins fix this. Plug-ins essentially let you use one app’s features inside another app. The easiest demo is photos, where a filter app can make its filters available right there inside the native Photos app.

But another plug-in could be an Evernote clipper that pops up inside any app, or a clipboard that can keep track of multiple pasteboard items. We’ve already seen this with the system-wide Twitter and Flickr sharing panels. Now third-party developers have access to the same thing.

Another neat feature of plug-ins is that you don’t need to wait for your favorite app to add support for, say, Instapaper. If Instapaper provides a plug-
in, then any app that can share a URL can send it to Instapaper. This means less work for developers, and a more consistent experience for users.

Apple’s biggest strength

There are two prevailing and contradictory views of Apple. One is that the company is arrogant and dictates its superior tastes to the “faithful.” That it is so obsessed with control and secrecy that it will forego useful features out of spite.

The opposing view is that Apple makes great choices and everything just works. It’s products are easy to use. But boy, wouldn’t it be nice if we could get that thing Android has had for years now?

What both of these views acknowledge is that Apple takes its own sweet time to do things. And I think that in its 2014 WWDC keynote, Apple showed off its biggest strength: patience.

Clearly, third-party keyboards, plug-ins, a universally accessible file system and great photo management are all obvious features for iOS. But equally clearly, Apple has been working on these for years. It has waited until it could implement these features securely. It has waited until the hardware was powerful enough to run two apps simultaneously without crashes or data loss.

And it has worked on all of this in silence while everybody in the tech press complained over and over about the lack of these exact same features.

One of the most memorable quotes from recent Apple events was Phil Schiller’s “Can’t innovate anymore, my ass.” That line showed the frustration that Apple’s secrecy must bring. You know you have something so cool that it’ll shut up all your critics, but you can’t show it off until it’s done. That’s patience.

This year’s WWDC keynote was fantastic. Why? Maybe because Apple was finally able to show off what it has been working on for years. And not just the four-years-in-the-making Swift programming language, but a new file system for both OS X and iOS, new integrations that blur the edges between all your devices, and even a teaser for Apple’s next step, health care. Everyone at the keynote was having a ball, because they could at last show off what they’ve been working on in secret for so long.

There might now be a third way to look at Apple: You can see it as a company that listens to exactly what its customers want, and then spends as much time as it needs to bring them exactly that. You just have to be patient.

  • josephz2va

    Only thing missing is a massive drive to store all the iTunes content you purchased and downloaded. I have nearly a Terabyte of purchased content to transfer select content over.

    • Rick Roberts

      You already have that. It’s called iTunes Match.

      • Steve_Sava

        why would I pay twice? and monthly..

      • pk_de_cville

        iTunes Match costs $2 a month. Hope you can scrape that together.

      • thomg875

        Everyone wants something monthly. My monthly income has a limit unlike I guess all the tech gurus.

      • pk_de_cville

        Good point. It’s not for everybody.

      • Majipoor

        Because content owners think that allowing people to keep all their music in the cloud and listen to it seamlessly on any iOS device has a cost.

        It is already a miracle that Apple did convince them to allow ANY track you have in your library to be eligible for iTunes Match, whether you actually purchased it, borrowed it from a friend or pirated it.

      • Les F

        iTunes match is limited to 25K songs. doesn’t sync audiobooks or Movies.

      • Rick Roberts

        All of the movies you have purchased from Apple are there in the cloud any time you want them. Same for music.

        I don’t keep any music or movie files on my Macs or iOS devices now. I’m about town all day long listening to my music as if the files were on the device. It streams great.

      • Elena Genuos

        Until internet access goes down or gets slow.

      • Les F

        thats cloud purchases and not iTunes Match. Purchases are unlimited. Match is limited to 25K

      • http://rawrsoft.com/ Michael G. Calvert

        I typically stream my movies from my ipad, windows pc using itunes, or mac.

      • pjs_boston

        All music, movies, TV shows, and books bought via iTunes are available on demand, for free, via iCloud to any Mac or iOS device.

        iTunes Match adds the ability to stream music NOT purchased via iTunes…

      • pjp1

        actually that is incorrect. imatch [as the name suggests] matches the purchases made by storing them in the cloud. It is not a streaming music service. iTunes radio is the apple streaming music service. You should research before correcting someone

      • pjs_boston

        You are mistaken.

        All songs purchased via iTunes are immediately available to stream or download for free via iTunes in the cloud.

        Upgrading to iTunes Match provides cloud based streaming or downloading of one’s entire library, even songs not purchased via iTunes. This is done by matching when possible. Matched songs are instantly available via Apple’s servers. Songs that cannot be matched are uploaded.

        In any case, the user’s songs can be streamed or downloaded to any iOS device or personal computer running iTunes.

      • Les F

        wrong. Google iTunes match 25K.

      • Steve__S

        Apple’s iTunes match web site clearly states:

        “You can store up to 25,000 songs in iCloud (more if songs are purchased from the iTunes Store), but only what you play or download is stored on your device.”

      • AndroidAdvocate

        PJS BGR keeps deleting my replies to you. I can’t comment on that forum to respond to your four points.

      • pjs_boston

        Can’t use BGR or any terms relating to money on the BGR site, otherwise you get flagged for moderation.

      • AndroidAdvocate

        That may be true, but now anything I post to you is reviewed and moderated. I can’t even post, “I am the walrus”. Believe me I tried.

      • pjs_boston

        That’s weird.

      • AndroidAdvocate

        They have a vendetta against me.

      • pjs_boston

        BGR blocked some of my posts a while back. Not sure how their moderation system works.

      • pjp1

        I am believing the best, that you are not purposefully lying, but what you said is clearly not true, please think and prove out what you are going to write. All music, audio books, movies, tv shows, anything purchased in iTunes is backed up for free. No limits

      • PMB01

        He’s right and it’s a well-known limitation. You must not get the Internet under your rock.

      • Steve__S

        Honestly…. if some of you people would spend half as much time doing actual research as you do arguing about it, this issue would be resolved. pip1 is correct. The 25k limit is for content not purchased through iTunes. Content purchased through iTunes is unlimited.

        http://www.apple.com/itunes/itunes-match/

        “You can store up to 25,000 songs in iCloud (more if songs are purchased from the iTunes Store), but only what you play or download is stored on your device.”

      • Les F

        You are wrong, do your homework before you accuse someone of lying.

        Itines Match 25K limit:
        https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3492422?start=90&tstart=0

        iTunes Match Audiobooks:
        https://discussions.apple.com/thread/5607572

        iTunes Match Movies:
        https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3788971?start=15&tstart=0

        I suggest you take your own advice “You should research before correcting someone”

      • CelestialTerrestrial

        They have file size limitations. I use my desktop most of the time anyway.

      • josephz2va

        Nah I mean offline. Like you have a vacation’s worth of Movies and TV shows at the helm. Versus using Netflix on the Go where your Carrier will hound you for using up 3 GBs in an hour.

      • Elena Genuos

        Exactly. One day, when high speed internet is available everywhere on the planet and costs basically nothing then maybe.

      • pjs_boston

        Nothing stopping anyone from downloading content from iCloud and storing it locally…

      • Elena Genuos

        No, it has to be local storage.

      • Dale Ray Deforest

        iTunes match will only hold 25,000 songs. If you’re a music lover like me, 25,000 songs is only PART of what you own.

      • Rygaard

        But lets be honest you are the 0.01% – Just like the person who owns 5000 movies is the 0.01%.
        I know one person who (legal) owns about 2000 albums, but besides him I dont think any one i know owns more than 100.
        And i the age of streaming (Spotify and others) the number of people with huge album collections will shrink.

    • pjs_boston

      All content purchased from iTunes is available to stream to any Apple device for free, forever, via iCloud. Has been for years…

      • Elena Genuos

        My bandwidth is not free.

      • pjs_boston

        Neither is electricity. Not sure I get your point.

      • starkiteckt

        I’d invest in a high capacity NAS with a couple 1TB SSD’s and forget about ever using the cloud again. If… you have the cash. Time is money– if you spend too much time shuffling music/files around it might be worth it.

    • pjs_boston

      All content purchased from iTunes is available to stream to any Apple device for free, forever via iCloud. Has been for years…

  • popeyoni

    This is just an attention grabbing headline that doesn’t deliver.
    If anything, “Continuity” proves that the desktop is NOT obsolete.

    • Wei Yang

      Seriously… I thought they were going to talk about the fact that unless you have a newer Mac within the last 2 years that support Bluetooth LE, you won’t be able to participate in Hand-off; ergo, making my Mac obsolete.

      • http://freefungamesforu.co.nr Michael Mort

        Same.

    • JeanLucLabarre

      Yep. This site was already lackluster, this is the last time I’ll bother coming here.

    • Kr00

      No, its obsoleted, according to Charlie. Extremely bad grammar for a headline.

      • mahadragon

        ‘For realz’ (as Charlie said above).

    • mahadragon

      Agree, headline is total click bait. Charlie Sorrel just showed he or she is a lousy writer ‘for realz’. He didn’t even make a solid point to me supporting his title. I have 2.6GB of pictures on my 27″ iMac which I have only owned a little over a year. I have even more in video files. No way I’m putting all those files in the cloud. Plus all that talk about “multi-tasking take 2″ had absolutely nothing to do with the title of the article. His article just meanders sometimes addressing the title and sometimes wandering off onto topics that have nothing to do with anything.

  • http://sherifsoliman.com/ Sherif S.

    This unbelievably silly headline is the last push I needed. I don’t need to see this crap in my RSS reader anymore.

    • digitaldumdum

      Man, I couldn’t agree more. Charile is either reporting on his latest favorite leather case, or offers an utterly hyperbolic, silly headline and accompanying story. Of course it’s •possible• he doesn’t write his own headlines. Such used to be the case in journalism. But since this isn’t really journalism, all bets are off.

      • http://sherifsoliman.com/ Sherif S.

        Right, I wouldn’t be quick to blame the writer for the headline, because I know editors often will dick around with those. So, I wasn’t criticizing the write specifically. I’m just tired of this 200 articles-a-day with one silly headline after another. It’s exhausting, and the hit-to-miss ratio is so tiny.

  • Jay Parmar

    this is a thoughtless article – there are so many POWER apps like adobe dreamweaver etc that work best with a MAC environment with a keyboard and mouse – SCREEN real estate is paramount – true multitasking is deeper – you cannot be serious and think by adding that continuity feature, the mac becomes less relevant – I just loathe thoughtless articles like this that don’t consider intricate aspects of the digital work place.

    • Guy

      Yes but Apple is no longer a computer company, they’re a consumer electroniccs company and they no longer cater exclusively to power users.

      • Elena Genuos

        When did they ever cater exclusively to power users. The idea that powerful machines are obsolete is still inane.

      • Guy

        Power users are what kept them alive in the 90s/early 2000s. Having apps like FCP and that Adobe’s software “generally” worked better sold a lot of expensive Macs. Once they went Intel the writing was on the wall that power users were going to take a backseat to promoting more general purpose devices. Can’t really blame them.

        It isn’t that powerful computers (running OS whatever) are obsolete, it’s that it’s really no longer a priority for any company that sells computers to the general public.

      • observer1959

        What does moving to Intel have to do with not catering to PUs? The very reason Apple DID move to Intel was because IBM/Moto’s portable offerings were not keeping up with the competition. Apple wanted a G5 PowerBook and that was not in IBMs plans. Apple was all about making the best pro laptops on the market and intel brought us those.

      • Guy

        The move to Intel was a project started at least 4 years before they actually did it and while you are correct in the what the trigger was that finally got Jobs to push the button, the plan to move to a broader base than what Power Users were bringing was not a decision made overnight. Apple could not survive on just that 1-2% of the market they had, so they made computers that appealed to a broader base and that ment leaving behind many of the things PUs liked.

      • Joshua D.

        So your saying the new Mac pro isn’t a power user device? Lol.

      • Guy

        It makes me cry a little when people don’t understand context or the actual meanings of words. Seriously, I get teared up (sniff)

    • Joshua D.

      I’m an android user but I use apple computers and I agree with you.

      I use a lot of applications with Adobe Creative Cloud which I highly reccomend to anyone in the creative field offers a program for literally everything.

      I also use final cut pro x I know many power users who use Mac including myself.

  • CelestialTerrestrial

    I disagree with the article and agree with it. Why Apple takes longer is anyone’s guess, it could be a variety of things. Either way, they usually bring things out that are different that the competitors don’t have. They just had to get both os’s under one manager and it takes time to get them on the same page. iOS 8 looks like a really good update as does OS X.

    • Wei Yang

      Well, in this case, securely adding support to 3rd party keyboards required re-doing the foundation. (i.e. allowing apps/data to jump out of the sandbox to interact with others) While they were at it, they also integrated more with iCloud, increased interaction between OSX and iOS, and added a brand new programming language while they were at it. This is why Apple took so long time time around.

      All these changes obviously will benefit other programs as well, but my point is, there are not short hacks to “catch up” with others, as nothing is without extensive planning.

  • http://appletite.tumblr.com/ Alex

    No. The one thing that Apple obsoleted that no one noticed was Google.

    I don’t know if you noticed, but at every turn in Apple’s new OS, there is a searchbar. That search bar never hits Google and takes you directly to your results.

    That is the news story here. Not some silly article that makes no sense.

    • Guy

      Actually you’re both right. Apple has absolutely no problem relegating their hardware to minor league status if they have something better or more profitable either in the wings or just out. The iPod line was a major source of income until the iPhone came out and now it’s barely a blip on the radar and hardly mentioned except in quarterly reports saying how many less were sold year over year. It’s clear that Apple sees iOS and it’s components as the future and the Mac is becoming less and less important each year. HealthKit, CarPlay, iBeacons…all based on iOS foundations with the Mac as a “me too!” device its best bits being slowly rolled into iOS (better multi-tasking, cooperative applications now, multi-user functionaility and a rudimentary file system probably next year).

      On the other hand it’s also obvious that Apple is doing what they can (within the law) to minimize what Google gets from this explosion of new Apple users to both the Mac and iOS. WWDC had nary a mention of Google and Microsoft’s Bing seems to be the new default for Spotlight and Safari (except for iOS Safari which is odd). That doesn’t mean you can’t swap out Bing for Google, but frankly few bother to go beyond the defaults.

      • Elena Genuos

        Eventually, once truly powerful, iOS will be OS X.

      • Guy

        iOS is pretty powerful right now. Pretty much anything you can do on a general purpose PC you can do on an iPad (as long as the software or apps aren’t OS specific like say PhotoShop). Multitrack audio and video editing, photo manipulation, and so on I can do from the 3rd Gen iPad I still use.

        Where it currently falls down is multi-user support (Android has it) and the poor system set up for file manipulation. I doubt they’ll do it, but I think turning the Finder around would work on iOS. Instead of folders with the hodgepodge of everything it currently has with selecting a file and having it open in a default program or opening a program to get to a file, show just the files and with a tap the applications capable of doing something with it. A swipe gesture to move it in and out of the screen will keep it from taking up too much room. Already have an app open? Same swipe gesture will show current files the app can do something with.

      • BarryDwight

        “Pretty much anything you can do on a general purpose PC you can do on an iPad (as long as the software or apps aren’t OS specific like say PhotoShop).”
        well, sure it’s no slouch but it’s just not that close, either. file management and root level operations mean that third party ios apps can claim to do some of this stuff, but really don’t even approach ‘acceptable’. ios8 brings more general usefulness and convenience, but really it’s not replacing a pc for multiple-hundreds of thousands of users.. will the general millions of average customers use their computers less? sure.. but it’s a ways off for many. i’ll bet ios8 will continue to polish this old format, and maybe ios9 or 10 in the next 2-3 years will offer file management and CPU power for applications like full-on photoshop. then we’ll see if PCs are on their (inevitable) way out just yet.

  • fiftyplusgeek

    Obsoleted? Good grief. If you’re going to pretend to be a writer, at least use verb forms that haven’t been out of widespread use since the 1700’s. Your thesaurus failed you.

  • Matthew Sanabria

    Horrible article. False statements everywhere and the title was very unclear. Baii

  • veggiedude

    The so-called ‘dropbox’ features incorporated into iCloud was found in iTools back in 2001. Glad to see Apple bring it back.

  • Stanford

    This is hyperbole, and I hope it was written with that intention, although that’s unclear. I’m a graphic designer; I don’t think I’ll be doing that on my iOS devices. I’m also a writer, and I hate writing on my iPhone or iPad. Finances and spreadsheets are cumbersome on small screens too. Some of us use computers to do more than look up information or browse online.

  • Andrew Hope

    Ahhhhhhh, the rants of brainwashed fanboys, never cease to amaze! I would point out, I didn’t set out to troll, this was an article on flip board. Not everybody wants all of their stuff on the cloud. My previous experiences in the past with Apple, taught me that with Apple “Everything just works” is a complete myth, as is their build quality.
    Planned obsolescence, things breaking & buggy software updates are what I remember. WWDC brought steps in the right direction, but Apple is still way behind on so many levels, for me as a power user. Admittedly, for average Joes & Ya Dad, it’s probably the better option though. Enjoy your Koolaid…..

    • Guy

      For someone claiming to not setting out to troll, you’ve done an amazing job!

    • Mike Chu

      If you get anything in technology, it will be obsolete within a few years as technology is advancing at an astounding pace, old hardware can’t keep up

    • Kr00

      Uses infantile terms such as “fanboy” and “koolaid” but didn’t come here to troll. No, not a bit. Grow up, if you wish to have an adult discussion, best become an adult first. I can see why the other side attract your type.

  • Prasad Pandey

    I code on my Mac. I am pretty sure I ll continue doing it on the Mac.

    • Elena Genuos

      Maybe they’ll introduce a 27″ iPad with a trackpad and keyboard for people to do work on. I wonder what they might call it? :-)

      • kcwookie

        The counter top?

  • digitaldumdum

    “Apple just obsoleted the Mac and nobody noticed”

    Ridiculous headline, and completely pointless, over-written, fluff-filled story.

    Without a bad rumor, mocked-up photo, new product to bash or yet another meaningless comparison to Android, this is the kind of “article” we get.

  • SixDegreesPGH

    Obsoleted? (Cringes)

    So…I’m assuming you didn’t just need your iPad, but also a keyboard to type out this article?

    Also, I really don’t like the idea of everything being in the cloud due to security and a preference to keep local copies of most things and use a good old fashioned external hard drive for my backups. The cloud does have its uses, but not for everything.

    • dmw2001

      Until the current Cloud suite comes close to the feature set of iWorks 09 you can count me out.

  • Jurassic

    “Apple showed off its biggest strength: patience.”

    This is what many people don’t fully understand about Apple. Rather than rushing to be the first at something, they take the time to be the best at that thing.

    Apple wasn’t the first to make a smartphone. Smartphones had been around for years before Apple introduced the iPhone, with Blackberry being the 500 pound gorilla in this area. But the iPhone rather than being first, completely advanced the concept of a smartphone to a level that no one had expected.

    The same can be said about tablets. Apple wasn’t the first to sell a tablet. Microsoft and other companies had been trying to push tablets on the public for about 10 years before the iPad was introduced. But when the iPad was introduced, it completely changed the usefulness of tablets, and people’s expectations of what a tablet should be.

    This combination of innovation combined with patience to wait until the technology is ready, is what sets Apple apart from other companies.

  • Cooper Luce

    So Apple copied Google Drive, yay. How innovative. And it’s other great “leap” was integration between apps, something Android has had for years. And now you can answer calls on your Mac! This is super exciting because it saves you the trouble of having to push a button on your smartphone you undoubtedly have to have near you. I’m sorry apple, you make great phones and overpriced but efficient computers, but you just don’t innovate anymore. Show me something new.

    • Jurassic

      Cooper Luce: “So Apple copied Google Drive”

      You obviously don’t realize it, but Apple had Internet services in the 1990’s with eWorld which had file uploading… almost 20 years BEFORE Google Drive, which began in 2012.

      Also, iCloud began in 2011… a year BEFORE Google Drive. iCloud had data syncing and file storage right from the start.

      It’s people like you, who try to re-write reality to suit your own anti-Apple bias, that make the Google fanboys look so ridiculous. ;-))

      • Cooper Luce

        Thanks for the new information. It’s now fairly clear that Apple started its drive first. As for finishing first, well, Google definitely won that round. Also, according to your information, it took apple around 20 years to complete a product that Google did in about 2. So there’s that. By the way, I’m not a Google fanboy. Just a guy that hates apple because of their corporation, exaggerated marketing, constant narcissism, and the fact that they’re just plain overrated. Here’s what I say to iPhone fanboys: apple is indeed a touch more user-friendly (although not by much after Samsung’s TouchWiz interface improvements). But, if you are smart enough to use an android, you’ll find out exactly how huge the limitations of iPhone are.

      • Kr00

        You hate Apple, but come to an Apple tech blog, why, if you’re not some kind of fandroid troll? Also, Apple had iDisk as apart of MobileMe well before Google even existed. May I suggest you frequent blogs of hardware manufacturers that you don’t hate. You just embarrass yourself otherwise.

  • James Leseke

    Maybe I’m just too old school or maybe my needs are just too specific but even 200 Gigs of storage is not enough. If your “camera” is an iPhone or iPad (yes, I have seen people whip out the 8 inch iPads and use them for snapshots, it’s rather ridiculous) you will be O.K. But the minute you start using a rig that shoots RAW the data starts getting chewed up at a prodigious rate. Add a photo editing program that gives an end product in TIFF and expansion gets more prodigious. Bottom line, I’ll be needing my “truck” for while. I’ll be hanging external hard drives off the Mac because that is the back up solution that works for me. I may move the iTunes library off in to the cloud if needs be, just so I can have room for more photos.

    I do not see where the present Apple iCloud ecosystem works for those happy few that deal in large amounts of data. If you are a advance amateur photographer or a working pro, iCloud is just not going to cut it. I hate to think about the people who do video, what do their options look like?

  • winstonsmith39

    How does any of this obsolete the Mac? I’ll grant you that it shifts the primacy of the desktop to the side for some users, but as someone who doesn’t even own a mobile phone (gasp! How do I survive!), I’m going to buy a new Mac in the next few months and, unless they stop making them, it won’t be my last one.

    This use of the false consensus to assume that EVERYONE has a phone and lives in it is just that – false.

  • herbaled

    Sooner than later, this article will be completely true. I’m almost there now. As I write this comment, my MacBook Retina is closed but connected to my 30″ display while I type on a wireless keyboard and point-&-click with a wireless mouse. In a couple of years, what we now call an iPad will be even more powerful than my present MacBook Retina, and have more memory. Then I will not need what we now call a computer (i.e., MB Retina or Air, iMac, etc.) because the “iPad” will be doing the same work that my MB Retina is doing now.

    I’ll be able to use the iPad either as a fully powerful, touch-screen tablet …. or as a “computer” that wirelessly attaches to an ultra-light/thin display (or my OLED TV) and a keyboard & mouse. And, ditto for the iPhone.

    We’re not that far away from this reality. It’s really only a matter of the much smaller size of your future “computer” … or whatever the hell we’ll call it.

  • jeffsters

    Sorry this is click bait! I won’t fall for it again. Carry on!

  • http://nanchatte.wordpress.com Graxxor Anandro Vidhelssen

    Click bait headline. Will boycott cultofmac for a bit to compensate.

  • Rodney Gordon

    Garbage article title. Utter garbage.

  • Maxwell S. Overholt

    nope

  • Mykeljon

    Who wrote the headline?? Apart from the dreadful grammar error, it has absolutely nothing to do with the article that follows. Obsolete is an adjective, not a verb!!!

  • Ketim Porta

    “The biggest part, though, is Handoff. Handoff lets you start a task on one device and finish on another. The obvious example is email – start it on your iPhone, then realize you need to add some attachments and continue on your Mac.”

    Jajajajaja! OMG! So people using an iPhone have to go to a Mac just to attach something to their emails? What a laugh!

    In another related note

  • Guest

    Is this guy on crack or something?

  • KillianBell

    Is this guy on crack or something?

  • http://www.armshousegroup.co.uk/ Hyder Khalil

    Interesting article. I think that it sheds some light as to where Apple and even computing in general is going long term.

    My personal view is that they are manoeuvring to eventually provide a Citrix-like experience for the masses. By that I mean that even the OS will someday become remote and live on an Apple server somewhere. Users will pay to subscribe to an Apple OS, cherry pick the apps they want and it will be delivered down the pipe to whatever device they are using. What you pay will depend on what apps you have ‘installed’ or even how much you use them.

    It’s like we’re going full circle back to the days of mainframe computing, but with the user experience that today’s technology can provide. So in a way the author is right, eventually it won’t matter what device you’re on or even what brand – they’ll all pretty much do the same thing, which is to give you access to your digital life.

  • Joshua D.

    Silenced all the critics? Lol that’s funny and wrong. I love apple computers but iOS devices have a a lot of work to do if they want to truley silence the competition. iOS 8 is a good update but also almost nothing but 3 year old features.

    And before you cry I’ve used many android and iOS devices for extensive time over the years. Android has come a long way and only keeps getting better and better by leaps and bounds. IOS has basically stayed the same. I’m not saying I hate iOS devices they are beautifully designed and solid but I would rather pay $700 for way more functionality and features. I don’t want to pay for a device that feels like its years behind.

  • Tymnus

    So… how is this any different than what Google has been doing for a decade now? I don’t see this as ground breaking at all. Just catching up with the innovators.

    • Swordmaker1949

      A decade? Exaggerate much? Do you seriously think you can rewrite history and expect people to believe you? Android 1.0 was released about 5 1/2 years ago and did not have anything close to these features. . .

  • Sean Scherer

    What in the world? I’m pretty sure everything this article points out as new already exists? I do all of these tasks just the way they describe, but maybe that is because I don’t use Apple products (I own all of them but never find myself actually using any of them, just nice to look at)… For all of these tasks there already exists a simple solution within the Android/Chrome/Linux/Windows world… Typical of Apple to be playing catch-up though, I’m sure they will get a lot of hype going about this stuff! Do they realize Dell had laptops that would function as two devices many years ago? (dual boot, one quick boot to a simple OS (like iOS) and the other button loads it to a full OS (like OS X)) I’d imagine the future of Apple products to potentially hold this capability (or perhaps not, they don’t even have touch-screen computing yet, perhaps they know their fans will simply buy all of the devices rather then have just one that does it all) and they will then tout it as new and revolutionary but the reality is its a dated idea.

About the author

Charlie Sorrel Charlie Sorrel is the Reviews Editor here on Cult of Mac. Follow Charlie  on Twitter at @mistercharlie.

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