Maybe you were exploring the nether reaches of a Venezuelan jungle yesterday and missed the news that Microsoft announced that they’re making a cool looking tablet called the Microsoft Surface for Windows RT.
Despite some huge holes in the announcement, some people like Gizmodo’s Jesus Diaz have gone on to claim that Microsoft’s Surface just made the iPad and MacBook Air obsolete.
We’re actually kind of excited about the Surface and think it looks like an intriguing product, but saying that it’s better than the iPad and MacBook Air at this point is absolutely absurd.
It’s hard to believe, but there was a time when Apple’s computers were accused of being strictly last generation.
Their computers were made with clunky Power PC processors, and Windows PC owners smirked at the wheezing Mac platform. Michael Dell even famously said the whole company was so behind the times that if it were up to him, he’d euthanize it.
How things change.
While the rest of the industry was counting Apple out, a Steve Jobs newly returned to Apple spent the early part of the last decade quietly assembling a time machine. Following the iPad, iPhone and MacBook Air before it, the retina-display MacBook Pro announced Monday at the Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco is just the latest time traveler Apple has sent back to us from the future.
It’s a machine so shiny, so shimmering, so futuristic, so unlike anything else out there that it will take the PC-making competition at least a year to release a truly competing product. How did this even happen? How did Apple assemble its time machine, and why can’t the likes of Sony, HP, Dell, Acer and Lenovo seem to catch up?
I’m still sitting at my desk wiping the froth from my mouth dreaming of how much better my life is going to become once I get Apple’s new MacBook Pro with Retina display. It’s totally the most beautiful laptop computer I’ve ever seen, and I haven’t even really seen it in real life, but I know I want it. All my friends want it too, so of course after the keynote we talked about who’s going to get it, who’s not, and why not.
And then we all realized that there’s really no reason for any of us to buy it, and there might not be any reason for you to get it either. Here’s why:
In case you haven’t heard, Instapaper quietly snuck its way into the Google Play Store today. I’m going to tell you a little bit about Instapaper, its significance to Android, and why this Android user won’t be buying it. Instapaper is a popular service for saving web pages for reading later. It not only saves pages for reading later, but also strips them down to a clean text-only format for easy reading.
It’s a nice concept, which when released back in 2008 for iOS, was original and extremely useful. But over the course of the last four years, Instapaper’s developer Marco Arment has spent most of his free time insulting Android and its fans… and now he wants us to give him money? Let’s take a brief look at the Instapaper app and its history to show just how insulting this is.
Google sent out invites to certain publications this morning for a mysterious Maps event that will be taking place on Wednesday, June 6th. With the plea to come see the “next dimension of Google Maps,” the company plans to show a “sneak peek” at upcoming features for its mapping technology.
Sure, the event sounds interesting, but the fact that Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference is taking place 5 days later really adds fuel to the fire.
Is Steve Jobs's legacy really haunting Tim Cook? No. Cook's part of it.
At every public appearance by Tim Cook — say, Wednesday’s on-stage interview at AllThingsD’s annual D10 conference, or at the next WWDC keynote — there is always a certain type of commentator who, with hushed voice, will see the spectre of Steve Jobs looming behind Apple’s new CEO.
It’s no wonder. Steve Jobs was a personality larger than life, so it’s no surprise that the force of that personality can still be felt nine months after his death. Likewise, it’s undeniable that the soft-spoken but forceful Cook is less charismatic than his predecessor. But the idea that Tim Cook is a haunted man, trying to live up to the legacy of Jobs, is absurd. He’s his own man, his own CEO, and Apple today is doing better than it ever was under Jobs’s leadership.
Apple creates walled gardens, but we choose to live in them.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has been challenging Apple to higher standards for quite some time. Carrying the slogan “defending your rights in the digital world,” the EFF frequently calls out tech companies and related policies when it thinks ramifications could be negative for consumers. The EFF challenged Apple to defend its third-party developers against the Lodsys patent troll, has repeatedly addressed the company’s “anti-competieve” strategies, and so on.
In a new post today, the EFF has proposed that Apple let users of its iOS platform break through the “beautiful crystal prison” and have more control over the OS. The EFF also argues that OS X is becoming more of a restricted platform on the Mac, and that Apple should pave the way for a more open culture leading into the future.
When Apple introduced the MacBook Air without an optical drive, everyone freaked out. “How on earth will we be able to watch all of our DVDs and listen to our CDs?” cried the internet. And sure, totally disowning physical media with a disk drive-less laptop may have been a little preemptive of Apple back in 2008, but the times have changed since then. We live in a world of digital media and digital software distribution. The success of services like Netflix and the Mac App Store proves that.
With rumors saying that Apple will introduce new and improved Macs in the coming weeks, what can we expect? Faster processors? Solid-state hard drives? Retina displays? While these features certainly seem to be on the table, there’s also the chance that Apple’s next-gen MacBook Pro will sport significant physical changes. Namely, we could finally see the optical drive retire from the MacBook line once and for all.
Take a look at your cellphone. Now take a look at your camera. Pretty sad, huh? It’s a big chunky old thing, with knobs and dials for navigating menus. It’s also dumb, and disconnected. To edit and share your photos, you need a computer. To get those photos onto your computer, you have to plug the camera in with a cable. Did anybody tell Nikon or Canon that this is 2012 already?
Your cellphone, on the other hand, will let you snap, edit and share your photos in seconds, and even place them on a map so you can find them later. Camera manufacturers are understandably terrified by this, but what can they do? The answer might be Android.
Foursquare doesn't ever want you thinking about not doing this. That's why you definitely should.
When we broke the story on Friday about Girls Around Me — an iOS app by Russian-based app developer i-Free that allowed users to stalk women in thee neighborhood without those women’s knowledge, right down to their most personal details — Foursquare was quick to respond within hours, cutting off the API access that the app relied upon to function.
Foursquare’s swift response to the issue effectively killed Girls Around Me, and i-Free quickly yanked the app from the App Store in the aftermath until they could figure out a way to restore service. And for a lot of people, the story ended there. The app’s gone. Why keep talking about it?
That’s exactly the way Foursquare (and Facebook) wants things.