Opinion

That iPhone is Missing a Keyboard

From the New York Times
If there is a billion-dollar gamble underlying Apple’s iPhone, it lies in what this smart cellphone does not have - a mechanical keyboard. As the clearest expression yet of the Apple chief executive’s spartan design aesthetic, the iPhone sports only one mechanical button, to return a user to the home screen.

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Leopard Preview: Desktop and Finder Changes

From Macworld
Leopard got some serious stage time during Monday’s Worldwide Developers Conference keynote, with Steve Jobs detailing 10 of the OS X 10.5 update’s 300 features and enhancements. But the features garnering the most attention were the ones not included in previous Leopard previews: A new Desktop (referring, in this case, to the overall look of the screen, menus, and the Dock) and a new Finder.

Actually, calling Leopard’s Desktop and Finder new is a bit of a stretch.

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How Adobe's Photoshop was Born

From Silicon User

Adobe Photoshop was, for a time, the killer app for the Macintosh. During the mid-nineties, publishing and graphic design had supplanted consumers as the most important market to target, at least in the eyes of former Apple CEOs Gil Amelio and Michael Spindler. Consumer Macs languished as Apple poured resources into multi-processor Macs and ill-conceived operating system replacements for the Mac OS. Even after Apple emerged from its crisis of the mid '90s, Photoshop is still immensely popular and has even been adopted as a verb for retouching or modifying images much to the consternation of Adobe.

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Do We Expect too Much from Apple?

From Macworld
When Steve Jobs showed off Leopard at this year's WWDC conference , the reaction was immediate: Apple 's share price fell by 3 per cent. The stock market had spoken, and its verdict was more "boo" than "woo".

Leopard 's top-secret new features turned out to be a few interface tweaks. The rumoured development environment for the iPhone turned out to be AJAX. And Steve Jobs failed to announce new Macs, a teleport or a giant robot army.

That's a shame, because Leopard includes some clever things.

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iPhone and the other Shoe

From Macworld
Tick… tick… tick… the iPhone timer is ticking down. As Steve Jobs told us over and over during Monday’s Worldwide Developers Conference keynote, we’re now 18 days out from the release of Apple’s Next Big Thing and the excitement—both at WWDC and out in the real world—is building. The mainstream press has declared the iPhone both a winner and loser, AT&T has had well over a million inquiries about the thing, and potential buyers are considering laying in camping supplies so that they can squat down before the door of their local Apple Store the evening prior to its delivery. Apple even revealed some details about how third-party software makers can create applications for the phone. Yet one important question remains:

What’s the damned thing going to cost!?

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Mac vs. PC Cost Analysis: How does it All Add Up?

From Computerworld
People have been arguing online about how much more expensive Macs are than PCs -- or not -- for more than a decade (and in print for years before that). These discussions usually involve some hard facts but also some persistent myths. As a longtime Windows guy who has recently migrated to the Mac, I think I'm in a pretty good position to try and sort out reality from fiction. Let's take a look at what you can really get for your money these days.

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Is ZFS Apple's Secret Weapon?

From Computerworld
Apple collects secrets like a pack rat collects shiny things. It’s part of the company’s culture. So when someone breaks the code of silence, it sets virtual seismographic needles scratching. That happened this week, when Sun Microsystems Inc.’s CEO Jonathan Schwartz said Apple’s upcoming Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, would rely on a file system that engineers at his company have spent years creating: ZFS.

Just what is ZFS, and why did it send Mac enthusiasts spinning? Read on. …

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Made for iPhone Accessories? Not so Fast, Guys

From iLounge
A friendly message to our friends out there in the iPod accessory and software development communities: you might not want to put those “Made For iPhone” claims on your packages, press releases, and advertisements just yet. And readers, you might want to hold off on placing your orders for iPhone accessories until, well, at least June 29th. Maybe a little later.

This is the advice we’d offer based on well-informed chatter we’ve been hearing over the past few months. Developers have been making lots of assumptions about the iPhone, some of them unwarranted, and some of the negative consequences of those assumptions are now only a few weeks away from becoming widely known. Since several companies have claimed to be shipping “iPhone accessories” over the past few weeks, we wanted to share some truth about a couple of major misconceptions that are currently out there.

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How Big will the iPhone be?

From Business Week
Hard as it is to believe, all the excitement surrounding Jobs and his new toy may actually understate the impact of this device on Apple's fortunes. Beyond the hysteria surrounding its June 29 launch, the iPhone has the potential for adding a totally new, $10 billion-a-year business within just a few years. If Apple can expand so-called smartphones from a luxury carried by corporate road warriors into an everyday tool for the masses—combining the functions of a BlackBerry and an iPod—Apple could soon see a new growth tear.

That's the kind of thinking that has some analysts pegging Apple's stock price at 160 and up.

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The Profile of an iPhone Line Waiter

From Ars Technica
We've beaten nearly every topic to death relating to the iPhone. How many people are going to switch? Who's going to buy one? Do they own iPods or not? But one question has yet to be answered: Who is going to be one of those poor saps waiting in line come June 29?

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the iPhone will...

"iPhone to Flop...Then Fly"
The iPhone will flop...and then it will soar. Anyone who doesn't know this isn't paying attention.

Apple's iPhone Will Fly . . . Then Flounder
Once the initial fever wears off, U.S. sales will disappoint.

(Shawn's Comment: I think they are *both* wrong. The iPhone will start off and continue to be a hit for at least the next 2 years))

iPhone Hysteria

From Datamation
Ah, more iPhone news, and of course, the Internet is a-twitter over it. Apple has now given us a release date (June 29th), and a series of commercials showing off the iPhone. Of course, this is feeding the echo chamber that's been set up around the iPhone, with the usual two camps forming: "It's going to be the best thing since breathable air!" on one side, and "It's going to be the greatest failure since the Titanic! Jobs is going down!" on the other.

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Why is the Mac OS more Secure than Windows?

From eWeek
PC users should forget their outrage and come to understand that life isn't fair. The Mac platform is more secure than Windows and will continue to be so.

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Bill and Steve's Excellent Adventure

From Macworld
The joint evening appearance of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates? The feeling was electric, even for this high-tech, high-powered crowd. Even 15 minutes before showtime, the sheer anticipation in the audience was more like the vibe you’d get from a rock concert than from a sedate sit-down with two Wall Street Journal writers and two technology billionaires.

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Videos of the complete Steve Jobs and Bill Gates interview here.

Leading the Charge on iPhone

From Seattle Times
May's craze was "American Idol." June's will be the Apple iPhone, which is going on sale in a few weeks. As with "Idol," the iPhone show has lots of Seattle connections.

The season begins Wednesday when Apple boss Steve Jobs is expected to talk up the device at a Wall Street Journal tech conference in California.

Playing the foil on stage with Jobs will be the Simon Cowell of the software world, Bill Gates.

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Apple’s Lesson for Sony’s Stores: Just Connect

From New York Times
Retail is supposed to be hard. Apple has made it seem ridiculously easy. And yet it must be harder than it appears, or why hasn’t the Windows side of the personal computer business figured it out?

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Where are the Third Party MagSafe Accessories?

From Macworld
Why the dearth of third-party MagSafe products? Because the MagSafe connector is a patented technology and, according to a Kensington representative, Apple has thus far not licensed the use of that technology to other vendors. Specifically, Apple has provided accessory makers with the following statement: “Apple, at the present moment, does not have any plans on licensing the MagSafe notebook connector to any third-party power adapter manufacturers.”

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iPod Mic Shootout

From O'Reilly
The iPods made after 2005 (except the Shuffles) boast 16-bit, 44.1kHz stereo recording. But is it really possible to record CD-quality audio on your iPod? To find out, I tested three popular add-on mics: the Belkin TuneTalk Stereo, Griffin iTalk Pro, and XtremeMac MicroMemo.

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Apple's Color-Blind MacBook Marketing

From Macworld
According to one article I found, this is standard industry practice — But being an standard industry practice doesn’t mean it’s right. Of course the manufacturers of 6-bit displays would want to claim that their products could display 16 million colors instead of 262,000.

A lot of Apple’s customers are extremely color-sensitive design and graphics professionals. Even if it turns out that the display industry’s standard practice is legitimate, Apple owes it to those customers to more completely disclose what they’re getting when they buy an Apple computer or display.

Let’s hope that this situation makes Apple see the light — all 16 million odd colors of it.

Apple's Color-Blind MacBook Marketing

One Year as an Indie Mac Developer: What I've Learned

From Code by Kevin
I haven't gotten rich from software development. In fact, the income I've earned so far might qualify as a nice supplement to my main income, but isn't yet enough to provide my living. However, by at least one measure--"only the lucky/smart few make >$100 per month"--my software business qualifies as a success, albeit a modest one. In that light, I'd like to share a few insights that have helped the growth of my business.

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Stylus Pro 3800: New Benchmark for 17" Printing

From Macworld

I have also been testing Epson’s latest high-end photo printer, the Stylus Pro 3800. As is the case with nearly all of Stylus Pro printers that I have used over the past decade, the 3800 turns out impressive prints on many different media types. It has a few quirks that are worth mentioning, but they don’t really overshadow the 3800’s print quality, which remains the hallmark of Epson’s high-end printers.

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Gullible Blog Wipes $4bn Off Apple

From ValleyWag
Pity the poor investor who sold Apple shares at $103.42 per share, today, after reading a blog report on delays to the iPhone.

Here's the interesting question. Someone, who bought on the panic, made a serious profit on today's little blog embarrassment. It could be that Engadget was just the victim of a prank. Or, more seriously, that it was in fact a pawn in some trader's clever market-spooking scheme.

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Shopping, or not, at the Online Apple Store

From Macworld
Every Mac fan is probably familiar with the large yellow sticky that replaces the actual store during these announcements. Some like it and some hate it—I have a friend who has a Photoshop-customized version that reads “We’ll be back someday,” and that becomes his iChat icon during the rollouts. Personally though, I like it, and think it’s a good thing that Apple’s store works this way. So why do I think a closed store is a good thing?

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Apple, Open Your Phone

From iLounge
Should the iPhone be opened to third-party software? We’ve heard the arguments against it: Apple wants to guarantee a universally excellent iPhone user experience, and protect its partners’ data networks. Since it can’t fully control how third-party applications will look and perform on iPhone, the company has suggested that the right strategy is to lock them out - just as it did, largely, on the iPod.

This could have been a dead issue. Apple CEO Steve Jobs in January apparently foreclosed the possibility of third-party application development. But in comments several days ago, he opened the door a crack, noting that the company was “wrestling with” whether to permit non-Apple programs to join the ones we’ve seen already for iPhone.

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10 Biggest Apple Rumors (that never came True)

From the Apple Blog

With Apple rumors getting spread further around than ever (and regular coverage from national news media), it’s important to remember that many (most?) tend to be either completely untrue or so premature they never come true. So here’s a look back at 10 of the worst offenders.

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Apple, Labels Sketch Out Roadmap for Digital Music 3.0

From Jupiter Research
The one price fits all strategy proved an astute move for driving adoption of iTMS, by simplifying the consumer proposition. However it has now served its purpose and both Apple and the labels would benefit from a more flexible approach to pricing. Bringing a consumer electronics pricing mentality to selling music only works so far. Not all music is worth the same. Just as Apple wouldn’t want to be forced to sell a generation one iPod for the same price as a video iPod, the music industry doesn’t want to sell 70’s album tracks for the same price as a top 20 single.

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Inside (sort of) Apple's Industrial Design Machine

From Technology Review
Designers tend to speak about the "genetic code" of products and companies. Pontiacs and BMWs, for example, can be recognized but also distinguished from each other by their split grilles. In some products, such distinctive characteristics serve mainly to aid brand recognition. But in complex objects such as computers, they can also signal operational familiarity: a customer who knows how to use product A will be able to use product B.

To whatever degree Apple can be said to make products with a distinctive genetic code, they can also be said to have inherited most of their traits from a single parent: founder Steve Jobs.

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Confessions of a Mac Genius

From Electric Escape
Nobody (and I mean nobody) makes an appointment just to wait thirty minutes during their lunch break at a crowded Apple Store and say, "Hi, I just wanted to let you know that my computer is running great! I haven't lost any data, my iMac never freezes up or overheats, Apple is not responsible for any problems that may occur, everything runs perfectly." Although, any customer who says that will most likely be hugged by a crying Mac Genius.

The process of technical triage begins with unhappy customers and bad news.

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Gasp! A Less than Bullish Apple Analyst?

From Macworld
It would appear that everyone loves Apple these days, if not for the likes of Citigroup (C) analyst Richard Gardner. He's covered Apple for about 10 years, and even as his counterparts at other firms gushed, Gardner urged caution: Hold the Apple stock you have, but don't buy any more, for now.

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