Walt Mossberg: Apple should fix its software in 2016

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Walt Mossberg speaking with Steve Jobs back in the day.
Photo: Joi Ito/Flickr CC

Walt Mossberg was Steve Jobs’ favorite critic, and has long been one of the most respected Apple analysts out there — with some people even arguing that he can be too forgiving when it comes to Cupertino’s mistakes.

But in a new article about what tech companies should do to improve in 2016, Mossberg has no problem taking aim at something a lot of people view as Apple’s big weakness right now: its software.

El Capitan 10.11.2 update improves Mac stability and security

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A new beta is out for OS X El Capitan.
A new beta is out for OS X El Capitan.
Photo: Apple

Apple has dropped a big new update on Mac users today with the release of OS X El Capitan 10.11.2.

This is the second big update for El Capitan since the desktop operating system was made public two months ago. OS X 10.11.2 brings with it a number of stability and security improvements for Mac, including fixes for Wi-Fi, AirDrop, Bluetooth, Mail, and Live Photos.

Here’s a full list of the changes:

PDF Expert is the lightweight, powerful viewer your Mac needs

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PDF Expert is more powerful than you'd expect for its price.
Photo: Readdle

Readdle’s highly praised iOS app PDF Expert has landed on the Mac. Shortly after its debut, it shot straight to the number one spot for paid apps on the Mac App Store. Apple’s own Preview app works fine for simply reading through PDF files or making tiny edits, but people who work with PDF files more frequently and need more power can benefit from giving the $19.99 PDF Expert a chance. Cult of Mac got the opportunity to do just that.

Everybody knows that the leader in the category of PDF editors and readers is Adobe with its Reader and Acrobat apps, but the latter costs $14.99 per month for a subscription or a staggering $449 for the full desktop software. As long as you don’t need to create PDFs, PDF Expert only asks for $20 out of your pocket and it’s jam-packed with all of the necessities and then some.

Browse securely and freely with lifetime access to a VPN [Deals]

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A lifetime subscription to proXPN VPN will keep your online activity secure and anonymous.
A lifetime subscription to proXPN VPN will keep your online activity secure and anonymous.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

These days, it’s all too easy to feel vulnerable whenever conducting a transaction, sending a message, or even just idly surfing the web. One way to feel secure is with a secure virtual private network, and for those of us without the IT chops to set one up ourselves there’s proXPN VPN. Right now you can get a lifetime subscription to proXPN’s VPN service for a full 98% off the normal price, $39 at Cult of Mac Deals.

Only hours left to save big on this popular writing assistant app–Scrivener 2 [Deals]

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Scrivener 2  consolidates and streamlines all the clutter of the digital writing process.
Scrivener 2 consolidates and streamlines all the clutter of the digital writing process.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Anyone who writes on a computer knows the mental juggling routine involved in keeping track of research, notes, drafts and edits. Scrivener 2 offers a way to consolidate the whole process in one place, making for a much more efficient and less time consuming writing process. The award-winning app has also been a hit with Cult of Mac readers, who now have an extra few hours to get a copy of Scrivener 2 for $19.50.

Become a Python coding pro with this 6-course bundle [Deals]

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This bundle of six courses will provide a complete foundation and advanced command of Python, one of the most widely-used coding languages.
This bundle of six courses will provide a complete foundation and advanced command of Python, one of the most widely-used coding languages.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Python is one of the most widely used programming languages out there, a clear but powerful and perfect for projects big and small. It’s a perfect addition to anyone’s resume, but like any new language it takes practice and guidance to master. This bundle of 6 lessons is like a full-immersion language course for Python, covering everything from general web development to data analysis to games, a wealth of skills and knowledge that can be yours for $29, more than 80% off the normal price.

Bypass all those pesky location restrictions with one simple app [Deals]

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Getflix lives up to its name, bypassing content location restrictions anywhere in the world.
Getflix lives up to its name, bypassing content location restrictions anywhere in the world.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

When shelling out for access to services like Netflix and Hulu Plus, you’re not banking on being barred from access just because you take a trip out of the country. Getflix is a service to make sure that never happens, and right now you can get a lifetime subscription for just $39.

The perfect starter kit for anyone wanting to get a taste of Raspberry Pi 2 [Deals]

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CompleteRaspberryPiStarterKit

Raspberry Pi is the super popular do-it-all DIY computer for the techno-curious tinkerer in all of us. Countless people have made video games, entertainment centers, security systems, automatic dog-feeders — if you can use a computer to do it, it’s been done with a Raspberry Pi. This starter kit is the perfect opportunity to get in on the fun, with the latest version of Pi hardware, a full array of accessories and peripherals, and instructions on all the tools, techniques and languages you’ll need to realize your Pi project. All that usually goes for more than $800, but right now you can get it for just $115 at Cult of Mac Deals.

Turn any PDF into a beautifully readable digital presentation [Deals]

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Flip PDF easily transforms simple PDF documents into beautiful digital books.
Flip PDF easily transforms simple PDF documents into beautiful digital books.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

PDFs are convenient and used by almost everybody, but flipping between preview windows is not a very attractive or engaging way to view content. Flip PDF for Mac makes it easy to create beautiful digital books and presentations out of your PDFs, perfect for designers, photographers, advertisers, anyone who could benefit from a beautiful digital presentation of their work. And right now, you can get a copy for a tenth of the normal price, just $9.

Apple brings award-winning synth back from the dead

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The new Alchemy synthesizer is center-stage in today's updates to Logic Pro X and MainStage 3.
Photo: Apple

Apple released updates today for Logic Pro X and MainStage 3, adding a famous synthesizer and other fun goodies. This synthesizer, called Alchemy, for the most part isn’t an Apple original – it was previously an award-winning piece of software from Camel Audio, which Apple acquired at the beginning of the year. Now it has officially resurfaced in Apple’s professional audio apps.