Apple Hardware

October 2016 Apple announcements

Is it just me, or is Apple reverting to gimmicks?  Touch bar so I can be a DJ and get cramps trying to jam all of my fingers on a four inch touch strip?

Let me see, who else can use it…

…I know, I could use it to replace the ribbon in Office…  Oh, I  don’t like the ribbon. 

Novel idea for sound, screen control, but not for apps.  And two of the four new models don’t have it.  I it time for Johnny to  head Special Projects?

Apple Hardware, iOS, iPads, Microsoft Hardware

Are #Apple and #Microsoft in collusion to kill the high-end #tablet?

I will refer you to My iPad Pro Wish List. This was a wish list we in the professional community had been putting together for a couple of years before I published my summary. So let’s see how I did:

My iPAD Pro Wish List:

1. I expect 14″ or so
2. QHD
3. True background processing on apps I designate
4. Remote access from my PC/Mac/BSD/Linux
5. Active stylus
6. USB 3 port capable of cow line hub
7. OSX with shell
8. Either provide better on screen keyboard options, or open it up to third parties, NOW

What Apple released in the iPAD Pro:

  1. Check
  2. Check
  3. Nada
  4. Nada
  5. Check
  6. Nada
  7. Nada
  8. Nada

While we’re at it, let’s see what Microsoft released in their Surface Pro 4:

  1. Check
  2. Check
  3. Check/Windows 10
  4. Check
  5. Check
  6. Check
  7. Check – CMD/PowerShell/Bash
  8. Nada

Microsoft appears to be the winner of the Professional Tablet.  Yes I know that MS is providing a souped up version of MS-Office for the iPAD Pro, but the Surface will run Office 365.

So does Microsoft win this race?

No, neither Microsoft, nor Apple wins.  From my perspective, and three years after the above wish list, a Professional tablet at the high end, should have 1TB storage, and 16GB’s of RAM, and be capable of running VMware Workstation or such virtualization. Today it should also have fifteen hours, true battery life.   Apple fails.  Microsoft will work, albeit not with the battery life.  At least Apple doesn’t play games with battery life, when they say ten hours, they mean ten hours of active use.

So Microsoft wins, right.  NO!!!

Both Mr. Cook and Mr. Nadella have priced both devices out of the reach of the ordinary professional.  My current laptop is an HP Envy 15 with a 3200 x 1800 touch screen, 1TB of HDD and 16GB’s of RAM, stock from HP.  I added a 512GB SSD card for less than $300.  The total package cost me about $1,300.

  • Mr. Cook would like me to buy an iPAD Pro for $2,000 that can not run a VM, nor OSX.
  • Mr. Nadella would like me to buy a Surface Pro 4 for over $2,000, with a quarter of the power of my current laptop, to the same specs.

(But here is a secret;  they both have low-end devices with very low RAM and storage, for Corporate use;  you see corporations aren’t interested in power, and the would rather you store and run your data from the cloud than locally;  just in case you thought the low end tablets were for ordinary users).

So either the success of the iPhone and iPAD has gone to their heads, and they believe the can now rip-us off big time by marking up a $100 memory module for $900.00,, or they have both decided and colluded to kill the tablet market.

Which is it?  You tell me.

Apple Hardware, iOS

Apple no longer has trust in Touch Id

It appears #Apple no longer has any trust in #TouchID. Mr. @tim_cook, I must admit when it was first released I was excited about the technology. I saw it as a solution to only having a short four digit pin as protection for my iPhone and iPad and it’s contents. So I began using a 26 digit passphrase for my security knowing i wouldn’t have to constantly type it in.

Boy was I wrong. With every update of iOS Apple has made it more difficult to continue using TouchId with a long passphrase. 

First, I had to type the pass phrase after every reboot. Apparently the safety focus groups believe in making you type while you are driving. Damn the statistics, they know better.  (Did they come from MS?) 

After another update, they made me enter my pass phrase after 48 hours of non- use. 

Now with iOS 9, they want my pass phrase after 48 hours of iPhone/iPad non-use or use.  So her I was trying to check my morning mail today, and it wants my pin. I was using my phone all day and evening yesterday. 

Of course, they have changed the pin length requirements to six digits. Wow, now that is more secure than a long pass phrase.

So what would you do?  Probably what I’ve done. Stop using a long pass phrase and go back to a pin.  Was that Apple’ intent all along?

Because I don’t want to keep re-entering a 26 digit pass phrase every two days, nor every time my phone acts up on the road and I have to reboot when driving. Which, honestly, does not happen often. But when it does, it sucks. 

I can live with the long pass phrases but the idea of having TouchId was to have trust of a biometric Id.  Does Apple no longer T R U S T.  It?

Apple Hardware, iPads, Laptops and Two-in-ones

iPad Pro

and while I’m at it Mr. Tim Cook, instead of spending time on unneeded frills as the watch you’ve released, you should have spent time on the iPad Pro. My third generation iPad is getting slow, and there is no room left. See my earlier post about what I want to see in an iPad Pro. 

I love the new MacBook, by the way.  I was almost convinced to get a 17″ MacBook but the specs are night and day. And I’ve been waiting for a new iPad. But at this rate I may be getting a new Windows laptop and a Surface Pro 4!

Oh, and I will not be seen driving around in an Apple carriage. Too afraid of what the little critters will do when I park it. 

Ok, so I’m not a comedian, what do you want?

Apple Hardware, iOS

iPad Air 2, truly nothing but Air, @tim_cook

Well if that wasn’t a sleepy announcement I don’t know what would be. Excuse me while I nap…

So now we know how much Apple listens to their customers; as much as Microsoft. Way to go Tim. We’ be only been asking for a larger size iPad, the Pro for three years. We said we’d rather not have to lug around a hard keyboard if the soft keyboard was of full size and functionality. We said we wanted more memory. And OS X running under a windowed iOS and we said we wanted 256GB and 512GB flash options. We also asked to leave the form factor alone while increasing size and resolution. And more battery life.

Did Tim Cook et al take heed? Of course not, they’re too busy copying Microsoft’s frolicking.

So it appears the only one who had listened to our whispering was Steve Balmer. Well, just…

Apple Hardware, iPads, iPhone, Laptops and Two-in-ones, Microsoft Hardware

Rejuvenation of TenGo soft keyboard from Windows CE days for mobile devices

The best soft keyboard for mobile devices in Windows CE days, was TenGO.  This was a T9 type, predictive type-ahead keyboard, however, it provided for two alpha-buttons on each keyboard row, see illustration.  To type you simply entered the word by pressing one of the three six alpha-buttons, and the predictive type-ahead engine did a really cool job of figuring out the word you wanted to enter.  If it was not in the dictionary, you could select the actual letter in the alpha block, by pressing the soft key the number of times the position of the character represented I the block.  For example if you wanted to enter the character ‘d’ outside of the predictive type-ahead engine, you would press the ‘asdfg’ block three times.  Once a new word was entered it went in to the user dictionary and was available to the T9 engine at the next entry of that word.

I hope that the maker of this keyboard, will resurrect it now, not only on iOS but for Windows and Android mobile devices.  It was awesome.  TenGO are you listening?

tengo-thumb-2[1]

Apple Hardware, iPads, Laptops and Two-in-ones

@timcook I’m waiting for the #iPadPro

1. I expect 14″ or so
2. QHD
3. True background processing on apps I designate
4. Remote access from my PC/Mac/BSD/Linux
5. Active stylus
6. USB 3 port capable of cow line hub
7. OSX with shell
8. Either provide better on screen keyboard options, or open it up to third parties, NOW.

I’m really getting tired of companies that provide a great concept device, but then sit on it. IOS did not need a face lift as much as it needed an update of its Human Interface.

Apple Hardware, iTunes Windows

iOS 7 Home Screen Editing is limited, in worse ways in iTunes 11.1.1.11 #2

Following up on my last post about iOS 7 Home Screen Editing limitations, I thought that using iTunes would make for a better experience.  And it does, since I am more adept, more accurate and faster with a mouse than the touch editor.  However, iTunes (Windows) did not cooperate.  It appears that iTunes has worse Home Screen Editor problems than iOS 7.

  1. The buffer is definitely smaller;  you can go about four or five changes at most before you have to APPLY, or the iTunes Home Screen Editor goes to lunch.  Usually, you double click to open a screen or menu item and it simply sits there, looking back at you.
  2. If you try to drag and drop from one Home Screen Menu to another sub-menu that is not displayed in the window, you can’t nudge your mouse to the bottom of the scroll list to have it scroll down.  So you are limited to moving apps between menus, but not sub-menus.  You then have to revert to your iPhone to organize your sub-menus.
  3. If you have multiple Home screens and are moving apps between menus between the multiple screens, after about two or three moves, you promote the Home screen and Menu you want to move the app from and click and hold to select it, but it doesn’t select that item.  It selects an item one or two positions to the right of the one you clicked on.  If you’ve already moved some items from the left side of the menu, you can’t select the items remaining on the right side of the menu by clicking and holding on them.  You must click and hold one or two app positions to the left of the app you want to move in order to select it, and move it to a different Home Screen and menu.
Apple Hardware, iOS, iPhone

iOS 7 Home Screen Editing is limited

I’ve found, to my dismay, that iOS 7’s Home screen editing has a very finite number of moves it will allow, before it dumps all of your changes and reverts back to what the menu structure was originally. So if you start making changes, and you don’t occasionally press the home button to save them, it appears the editor’s buffers fill up, and it just loses all of the changes since the last save.

It would be nice if there were a warning when getting close to the buffer limit.

Apple Hardware, iOS, iPhone

My feedback on iOS 7

I have an iPad 3, and an iPhone 5.  I’ve installed iOS 7 on both.

Generally I like the improvements that iOS 7 has brought.  There are some items, I am not happy with however, especially on my iPhone 5 (I also have an iPad 3):

 1. Bright background colors on home menu icons The bright colors make it very difficult to distinguish the application thumbnails Perhaps next version, Apple could allow changing the menu icon background colors manually  

2. Really thin fonts The thin fonts make my eyes hurt;  I have trouble trying to read the home menu icon text;  the same for the time on the lock screen Perhaps next version, Apple will allow changing of fonts or at least font sizes/boldness so we can read the screen without squinting

3. Stick symbol icons, i.e. in Safari, Mail and other apps Not as bad as the my other complaints, but again, it makes it difficult to ascertain the purpose of the symbols, because I can’t see them without concentrating