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Why Apple Killed The MacBook Pro

Apple’s MacBook Pro remains an iconic product, but over the last few years Cupertino has pushed it back into the shadows; handing all the spotlight, attention, and shiny launch events to the iPhone. But it did more than that. It neutered a powerful laptop and turned it into a supporting player. Today’s MacBook Pro is a pale imitation of the original masterpiece.

Once upon a time Steve Jobs took to the stage, standing on the shoulders of Apple’s previous laptops, and announced the MacBook Pro. It was 2006, and the MacBook Pro pretty much defined Apple’s approach to for the next five years. It launched with Intel’s Core Duo chipset, an aluminium design, backlit keyboard, and a magnetic power connector so any trips would leave your laptop on a desk (whatever happened to that innovative idea?).

Four times faster than the G4 PowerBook, this was a laptop for the ages. Job’s Apple iterated on the design, ramping up the power, adding new apps, and increasing the portfolio to accommodate 17-inch and 13-inch versions.

When the time came to take on the lighter laptops from Microsoft (and arguably the Mayfly like rise of the netbook), the MacBook Pro was not compromised – instead the MacBook Air picked up that challenge and the Pro continued to push the envelope with Retina Displays, more powerful apps, and remained the gold standard for a workhorse laptop that could do anything, anywhere, with no compromises.

Today In: Innovation

The MacBook Pro was what you measured other laptops against, and frankly very little came close.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs discusses a new version of the Mac Book during a "town hall" style event at Apple Headquarters October 14, 2008 (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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Then Tim Cook came along, taking over as Apple’s CEO in 2011. Given the lead time of products, Cook’s vision of Apple would arguably take a few years to become fully apparent, but when it did it was clear where his priorities lay.

The iPhone.

I’m not saying Apple should not have focused on the iPhone, after all this was a chance to dominate a new landscape (we’ll leave the discussion about how dominant Apple’s roughly twenty percent share actually is for another time. But Cook’s Apple decided that the company’s other products would be subservient to the needs of the iPhone.

That meant the Mac family, and especially the MacBook Pro, had to walk in the shadow and to reinforce the message  of the iPhone. New technology came to the iPhone and iOS first, with the Macs and macOS picking up similar apps later in the product cycle (and invariably sold as ‘now you can sync your iPhone docs to your Mac, doesn’t that make your Mac useful?’).

You even saw the physical design trends of the smartphone world affect the reliability and trustworthiness of the MacBook Pro. Everything was about making the machine thinner, lighter, more fragile, and reducing it to a single sealed unit that turned your personal computer from something you could tinker and upgrade to a ‘Tim says this is the way forward’ monolith.

Add in the move towards cloud based services, applications syncing data through to the internet to mobile devices, and the subtle indicators that your Mac was no longer a standalone machine but one that was a second-class interface to Cook’s world of monthly subscriptions, and is it any wonder that many consider Apple’s deskbound computers to be an afterthought?

Apple CEO Tim Cook previews a MacBook Pro during a product launch event at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California on October 27, 2016 (Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images)

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The MacBook Pro is no longer the MacBook Pro.

The powerful standalone computer that did things differently was sacrificed. There never seemed to be a thought to keep the Mac family as something separate to the iOS product line. No, everything had to fall in line to support the annual retail temptation of the iPhone, every feature added to macOS was one that the iOS team had already provided to the smartphone, and the Mac lost its place as a premier product.

The MacBook Pro is dead. Long live the MacBook Pro. Excuse me for not putting out the bunting.

Now read more about the problems with the latest macOS update…

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I am known for my strong views on mobile technology, online media, and the effect this has on the public conscious and existing businesses. I’ve been following this space for over ten years, working with a number of publishers, publications and media companies, some for long periods of time, others for commissions, one-off pieces or a series of articles or shows. As Scotland’s first podcaster, I continue to be a prominent voice in the rise of podcasting and new media online, and picked up a British Academy (BAFTA) nomination for my annual coverage of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, alongside contributions to Radio 5 Live, the BBC World Service, presenting Edinburgh local radio’s coverage of the General Election. You’ll find me on Twitter (@Ewan), Facebook, and Google Plus.

Source: Why Apple Killed The MacBook Pro

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Apple Just Did Something Remarkable And It’s Very Good News For Its Customers

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No one likes to admit when they’re wrong. That’s true for you and me, and it’s especially true for big companies like Apple. The thing is, when you’re willing to admit when you made a mistake, it goes a long way towards building trust. And trust is, by far, your brand’s most valuable asset.

Today, Apple apologized for how it had handled recorded snippets of users’ voice interactions with Siri, the company’s digital assistant. In a statement, the company said that  “we realize we haven’t been fully living up to our high ideals, and for that we apologize.”

You might remember that Apple, like pretty much every other tech company, recently admitted that it used contractors to listen to, and transcribe these recordings in an effort to improve the artificial intellience-powered service. Making matters worse is that fact that the company hadn’t disclosed this practice, and contractors often heard false-activations that revealed personal information and other private conversations.

Earlier this month, Apple paused its review program and ended its relationship with the contractors involved. Now, it appears to be taking the next step, which started with an apology.

That’s actually pretty remarkable. It’s not often that companies say, “I’m sorry. We messed up.” Sure, they sometimes say a lot of words that vaguely sound like “I’m sorry,” but rarely are they this direct. Apple basically called itself out, saying that it wasn’t living up to its own standards, and that it owed customers an apology for a problem it caused.

Along with the apology, maybe the even bigger news here is that Apple announced a series of steps it plans to take moving forward, including:

  • The company will no longer retain recorded Siri interactions, but will use computer-generated transcripts instead.
  • Apple will allow users to opt in to having their audio samples included in the company’s efforts to improve the product. Users will also be able to opt out at any time after that.
  • Apple will only allow its employees (not contractors) to listen to audio samples, and will delete any “inadvertent trigger,” of Siri.

This is a big deal for a lot of reasons, but mostly because Apple will now allow users to ‘opt in.’ This is exactly how it should work.

There are perfectly legitimate reasons why Apple would want to listen to recorded snippets of Siri interactions. That’s one of the only ways it can really know how accurate the AI is at understanding user requests and providing the right information for a human to review and correction. I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t agree that that’s reasonable.

But Apple is changing the default assumption of an unspoken ‘opt in’ to one where people are given the choice to participate, instead of simply offering some opaque way of opting out. Companies offer opt out because they know most people won’t go through the trouble of changing whatever the default setting is, meaning people stay in whether they really want to or not.

Every tech company handling sensitive data should do exactly this. Don’t just let people opt out, or delete their history, or make a request to no longer be recorded. Make the default position the thing that’s best for the user, even if it makes your job a little harder.

Then, make your case for why your practice is worth it to the customer, and let them decide to participate or not.

By: Jason Aten

 

Source: https://www.inc.com/

At its 2019 Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple showed off iOS 13, which will be coming to iPhones this fall. Some of the new features include a dark mode, an overhaul for Maps, and the ability to swipe to type. Here are the best features Apple showed off. The event took place at the San Jose Convention Center, not Cupertino as mentioned in the video. Tech Insider regrets the error. MORE IPHONE CONTENT: 23 iPhone Tricks To Make Your Life Easier https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U52mI… $479 Pixel 3a XL VS. $1,099 iPhone XS Max https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ddAY… Lifelong iPhone User Switches To The Galaxy S10 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1r3wb… —————————————————— #Apple #iPhone #TechInsider Tech Insider tells you all you need to know about tech: gadgets, how-to’s, gaming, science, digital culture, and more. Visit us at: https://www.businessinsider.com TI on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/techinsider TI on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tech_insider/ TI on Twitter: https://twitter.com/techinsider TI on Amazon Prime: http://read.bi/PrimeVideo INSIDER on Snapchat: https://insder.co/2KJLtVo The Best Features Apple Just Announced Coming To The iPhone

Apple Just Dealt A Major Blow To Facebook With This New IOS Feature

IPhone maker Apple has just announced a new feature in its upcoming iOS 13 that could pose major issues for messaging and calling apps such as Facebook and WhatsApp. In the interest of privacy, Apple’s updated version of its operating system will not let apps run voice over internet protocol (VoIP) in the background when programs are not actively in use, according to news site The Information.

And many apps offering these sorts of services do run in the background so, they claim, they can connect calls quickly. But this also means the apps can collect information on what people are doing on their devices.

Because it will no longer allow apps such as Facebook and WhatsApp to do this on devices such as iPhones and iPads, the move will mark a major change in how they are run. In fact, they will need to be rewritten in order to comply with Apple’s new rules by the time iOS 13 comes out this September.

App developers have until April 2020 to comply with the new rules. Facebook told The Information that it was in talks on how it would proceed following the change.

Apple has been focusing on user privacy as it looks to differentiate itself from rivals such as Google and Facebook. This saw it run a billboard advert earlier this year which read: “What happens on your iPhone, stays on your iPhone.”

However, it also came under fire last month after it emerged that Apple contractors were listening in to Siri calls.

Apple’s iOS 13: A serious privacy improvement 

IOS 13 reflects Apple’s increasing focus on user privacy. It features one-time location sharing, while the “Sign in with Apple” feature has been praised by many–although it was also criticized by one organization.

The latest change marks another blow in an ongoing rivalry between Apple and Facebook. In January, Apple removed Facebook’s certificate for its Enterprise Developer Program after it was found to be distributing apps that monitored people’s activity.

Ethical hacker John Opdenakker says because users will be able to see when an app is running, it will be “a serious privacy improvement.”

Independent security researcher Sean Wright agrees. “It’s encouraging to see some companies at least focus on their users’ privacy.

“Hopefully this change will also apply pressure on companies who have previously not paid much attention to user privacy, getting them to now start doing so. I’m hoping that Google takes heed and does something similar on Android.”

Given that Apple is a pioneer in the industry, cybersecurity expert at ESET Jake Moore says the move “makes it far easier to roll out these security and privacy changes in other companies.”

It’s true that Apple is often a first mover in the technology space. Let’s hope other companies will follow suit to help users take greater control of their security and privacy.

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I’m a freelance cybersecurity journalist with over a decade’s experience reporting on the issues impacting users, businesses and the public sector. My interests within cybersecurity include critical national infrastructure, cyber warfare, application security and data misuse. I’m a keen advocate for women in security and strive to raise awareness of the gender imbalance through my writing.

Source: Apple Just Dealt A Major Blow To Facebook With This New IOS Feature

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