Apple at $2 trillion is amazing for investors, but boring for fans [Opinion]

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Tim Cook WWDC
Are Apple's days as a game-changing innovator behind it?
Photo: Apple

Apple’s surge past a $2 trillion market cap this week underlines just how well CEO Tim Cook’s vision works for shareholders. But is this good news for Apple fans?

The first publicly traded U.S. company to hit this milestone, Apple has transformed from one of the world’s dynamic companies into one that can be, well, kind of boring. The strategy that fueled this unprecedented success makes it far less likely that we’ll seen an insanely innovative product coming out of Cupertino in the future.

Focusing on major movies could prime Apple TV+ for success [Opinion]

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It's the perfect time for Apple TV+ to makes its move with movies.
It's the perfect time for Apple TV+ to makes its move with movies.
Photo: riviera 2005/Flickr CC

The deal to bring legendary director Martin Scorsese’s future films to Apple TV+ sounds like a gift for movie fans who subscribe to the streaming service.

But signing Scorsese and other top filmmakers could turn out to be a shrewd and self-serving move that benefits Apple, too. Focusing on films crafted by the world’s top directors could differentiate the fledgling Apple TV+ from dominant rivals like Netflix. And it looks like Apple might be timing the market perfectly.

Why Apple needs to fix the medical mask emoji ASAP [Opinion]

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The medical mask emoji needs an update for 2020.
The medical mask emoji has way too much in common with the disappointed face emoji.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, when wearing a face mask slows the spread of this disease, Apple really must change its medical mask emoji. It seems like a small tweak, but it’s important.

Currently, the face shown is unhappy about having to wear a mask. The design needs to show the person is glad to do their part.

After virtual WWDC, Apple should never go back to live keynotes

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During the WWDC 2020 keynote, Apple software chief Craig Federighi reveals big changes coming in iOS 14.
It was certainly a different experience, Craig. I'll give you that.
Photo: Apple

WWDC 2020 Apple turned chicken sh*t into chicken salad with Monday’s WWDC 2020 keynote, and now I don’t want Cupertino to ever go back to doing live keynotes. Crude? Perhaps. Truthful? You bet.

Before the streaming event started, some of my Cult of Mac colleagues discussed how Apple would deal with its first virtual keynote. Some of us thought Apple would simply deliver the same Steve Jobs Theater experience, but with no audience present. (Heck, if Apple wanted to, it could have gone the route of U.K. televised football and added crowd noise.) Others thought Apple would, well, think different.

Apple chose this second option and, in the process, freshened up a formula that has remained the same for years. Here’s why it would be a step backward for Cupertino to consider going back to live keynotes.

iPad Pro is a Swiss Army knife, not a surgeon’s scalpel [Opinion]

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The iPad Pro is the perfect tool for many people.
The iPad Pro is the perfect tool for many people.
Photo: DP Spender/Cult of Mac

By DP Spender

The launch of the new 2020 iPad Pro brought a plethora of articles from tech journalists asking, “Is this Apple’s laptop replacement?” That question is so open-ended, it might as well be an infinite loop. It’s like asking a toolmaker, “Is your new hammer a suitable replacement for last year’s wrench?”

It is in many ways a pointless question — and one that in my opinion totally misses the point. The question should be, “Does the 2020 iPad Pro get your job done?” To which my answer is yes, but then so did the 2018 model.

What’s the point of drag and drop on the iPad?

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Even the Magic Mouse combines touch, drag and drop better than the iPad.
Even the Magic Mouse combines touch, drag and drop better than the iPad.
Photo: Harpal Singh/Unsplash

The iPad added drag and drop in iOS 11. We’re now on the third version of iOS to support this potentially super-useful feature, and yet it still doesn’t work. Third-party app support remains spotty and inconsistent. And, worse, drag and drop doesn’t work properly even in some of Apple’s own apps.

What’s going on?

The Patriots are the Apple of football [Opinion]

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The Patriots aren't doomed, and neither is Apple.
The Patriots aren't doomed, and neither is Apple.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Imagine an organization that’s loved by its devoted, cultlike followers, but despised by haters. The close working relationship between its mercurial leader and one of the greatest talents in the field led to an unprecedented run of success. Even the occasional “-gate” style controversy failed to dent its success. But despite all this, analysts still question its long-term viability.

I’m referring, of course, to the New England Patriots. They may not be in the NFL playoffs this year, but people just can’t stop talking about the Pats. Kinda like the way everyone talked about Apple at CES last week, even though it barely attended.

Love them or hate them, the Patriots are the Apple of football.

Sidecar is the closest we’ll get to a touchscreen Mac, and it’s good enough [Opinion]

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Ableton on Mac and iPad.
Ableton on Mac and iPad.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

We will never see a touchscreen Mac. Apple has made this clear over and over. Whenever one of its executives is asked about a touchscreen Mac in an interview, the answer is always the same: macOS is for trackpads, and iPadOS for is for touch. Combining them would compromise both.

I agree. While I do catch myself tapping the Mac’s screen from time to time, there’s no way I’d want the Mac redesigned for touch. For one thing, you’d lose all the accuracy of the mouse, because clicking targets would have to be big enough for your fingers. But it doesn’t matter, because Apple has already made a touch option for the Mac. It’s Sidecar, and it’s amazing.

Why the new MacBook Pro will be my first new Mac in 6 years

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macbookpro
To be honest, I’d buy any MacBook as long as it didn’t have that broken butterfly keyboard.
Photo: Apple

The new 16-inch MacBook Pro launched yesterday, and by all accounts, it’s fantastic. But it arrives at a time when the MacBook (Pro or otherwise) is no longer the default choice for a portable Apple computer. Regular readers will know that several Cult of Mac writers use an iPad Pro as their main machine. Killian, Ed, Ian and I all ditched the Mac awhile ago in favor of iOS.

And I haven’t bought a Mac since 2013. It was a MacBook Air that has since moved on. The only Mac I still own is a 2010 iMac. And yet I have already ordered the new MacBook Pro. Why? What changed?