eXtensions - Wednesday 10 May 2017
eXtensions: The Wednesday File (4) - From Q2 2017 towards WWDC
By Graham K. Rogers
Part of the fall was due to China: hard market to crack with its fierce competition. The top players there are backed by the Chinese government and pricing is always a barrier to some. As desirable as Apple products are for an expanding middle class in China, there may not be the fullest appreciation for features like integration, which I always regard as paramount with the range of devices I use. If that is not important to a user, then all you have is the shiny device and they all look the same.
The opening address (5 June) will most likely outline what is coming in iOS 11 and macOS 10.13, whatever it is called (Redwood, Lassen, Tahoe?). Certain features outlined during the Keynote will point to what is coming in the iPhone, which will probably have a vague, Fall release. while many have reported the iPhone will be late (even though Apple has notset a date), reports this week now say September. I will be looking for any slides that have unannounced features. Last year I was excited to see RAW capabilities: something that Apple has not capitalized on for itself, while allowing developers to produce apps with RAW output.
These devices are still in short supply more than 4 months after they came onto the market, are highly desirable, and Apple cannot keep up with demand. Who seriously thinks that a year after moving from the 3.5mm headphone jack to earbuds that use Lightning, Cupertino would ever choose to include such a good seller with its next iPhone (also expected to be a good seller), thereby cutting off a respectable source of income? Do people seriously pay for this financial intelligence?
I am so irritated by this that I have put more rhetorical questions in a single paragraph than I would normally put in an entire article. I will of course apologise to JP Morgan if this does come true, but a few hours after I wrote that on Monday, Jeff Gamet (MacObserver) also commented on this rumour and came to the same conclusions for the same reasons. Also see The Macalope.
One rumor that does have a little sense is an Echo-like device, perhaps with the same shape as the MacPro. Apple continues to develop HomeKit capabilities and recently Phil Schiller dropped what may have been a broad hint in an interview with Gadgets 360 which was reported last week (Tim Hardwick, MacRumors). The comments are worth reading, but he did say, "I think voice assistants are incredibly powerful . . . but the role of the screen is gonna remain very important to all of this".
In the light of this, therefore, it was what Jeff Gamet (MacObserver) calls the "biggest un-surprise of the day" when Amazon announced a new Echo device with a built-in display. Gamet also mentions the similar, rumoured Apple device. The display should certainly help, although I did hear of a humorous anecdotal experience with the current device. . . .
I checked: the Echo Show does not ship to Thailand.
The cheese-grater, aluminium MacPro, which evolved from the G5 PowerMac is still regarded as one of the best in the field. A couple of people at my office picked up one each last year for bargain prices. There is no need to reinvent the wheel.
And the iMac? These are still selling well. Even without any recent updates a few of the current version turned up at my Faculty for a project and they are widely used in offices, pro-shops and in TV soaps.
The iMac needs as much love as the other Macs.
And in an item that is certain to interest a few users here, Joaquim Barbosa (iDownloadBlog) outlines how to install Kodi on AppleTV 4.
Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs. After 3 years writing a column in the Life supplement, he is now no longer associated with the Bangkok Post. He can be followed on Twitter (@extensions_th)
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