Showing posts from March 20, 2017

Do You Really Think This Is The First Time Tim Cook Used A Surface Pro?

Pictures doing the rounds from the China Developer Forum in Beijing show a Surface Pro 4 apparently setup for Tim Cook to use at his seat. The Net is more than a little excited about the idea of Apple's CEO using Microsoft's hybrid.

However I'm absolutely positive this is far from the first time Cook has used a Surface Pro and it probably won't be the last.

Having initially been dismissive of Microsoft's hybrid concept Apple has been scrambling to catch up. That is strongly suggestive of Cook and his team trying early Surface devices and finding them to be weak products, missing the effect they would have on the tablet market and then changing their minds having tried later, more capable versions.

Any CEOs not paying careful attention to the work of their rivals is going to find themselves in a heap of trouble.  I don't think Cook is that sort of CEO.

More worrying for Apple is that a high profile event like this, in a key market like China, should  close to sta…

What Does Apple's Workflow Purchase Mean For IFTTT

Apple has purchased iOS automation software Workflow for an undisclosed price, bringing the company under its own development team and removing the entry barrier to use by making the app free.

Integration of the app into iOS is sure to follow, as will wider adoption by third parties who previously held back from signing over access to the Web interfaces.

This is good news for everyone, except perhaps IFTTT. With a limited ability to monetise it's application a big buyout was probably the only way the service's founders and investors could have exited gracefully.

With more than half its user base likely to switch teams to Workflow over the next eighteen months that becomes less likely.

For the moment Workflow's iOS focus means IFTTT users have some additional capability, but I'm guessing Apple will erode that by the time it comes to give automation the big push into the public eye, possibly as early as WWDC next year.

LastPass Quickly Fixes Security Hole - Doesn't Fix Managers In General

Google uncovered a security vulnerability in the LastPass password manager. One that LastPass quickly fixed. That's good, but I'm not sure that it is anywhere near good enough.
Just a week ago I wrote about the attractiveness of password manager services to bad actors. This is exactly the reason why.
Discovery of a vulnerability like this potentially opens the doors to every service vaulted inside. Bank, credit card, share dealing accounts, retail, email and any other account of value. All unlocked by one vulnerability in an unrelated service.
A better demonstration of keeping all your eggs in one basket I haven't seen.
This isn't a criticism of LastPass itself, but we've seen in the past how difficult it is to keep a service secure. When the service holds such critical information that risk becomes unpalatable.
There are many other ways of securing passwords. Using one of those instead would seem a very sensible decision indeed.

New iPads Don't Materialise After All, Price Drops Suggest Why

So no new iPads arrived today, despite the rumour mill pumping out stories of updated iPad Pro models and an all new screen size. In fact one new iPad arrived today, but rather than being a refresh or a new range topper it's a new entry level aimed at persuading older iPad owners to upgrade. It's prime selling point is that it's quite cheap for an iPad.
What happened elsewhere was a substantial price drop on the iPad Pros we already had, some boosted storage configurations (which also made their way to the iPhone SE) and a lot of tumble weed. 
iPad sales have been slumping for quarter after quarter and whilst a price drop should help overall sales, it's likely to result in a lowered Average Selling Price and lower profits for the iPad reporting line. 
On the back of a substantial iPad advertising campaign it really does suggest that Apple is struggling to shift iPad stock. It raises the question of whether Apple has indulged in some channel stuffing in order to boost …

Microsoft Leaks Mac To Surface Migration Tool

Earlier today users were briefly able to download a tool to assist the migration from Mac to Surface. It was later pulled, presumably because Microsoft wasn't ready for it to go public. 
It's very existence speaks volumes for the progress Windows has made against Mac OS. For whilst the tool is branded for Surface owners there's no reason why Windows owners of any hardware persuasion shouldn't benefit from it. 
The idea that users would be migrating from Mac to Windows in sufficient numbers to make a tool worth developing would have been laughable even three years ago. 
Now it seems a perfectly logical thing to do, as Microsoft's Surface has helped drive the PC market in new directions. 
Whilst Apple has lagged, with lacklustre upgrades to its desktop and laptop ranges, customers have been finding more and more reasons to switch to a PC. 
Having bucked the trend on PC growth for a while, Apple now find itself stuck with no real entry in the growing hybrid market. 

Confused Of Cupertino, What Does Apple Have Planned For New iPad Range

Over the last couple of months we've been hearing more and more rumours about a three device iPad launch for the end of March. The crux of which is that the two iPad Pro models will get a refresh and a new, edge to edge screen iPad, sporting a 10.5" display in the same size chassis as the smaller iPad Pro, will join the line-up.
I've already written about my disappointment in the apparent abandonment of the iPad Mini. Now the credibility of these rumours needs to be called into question.
The iPad Pro was the focus of a big push into the booming hybrid market. It hasn't been an unqualified success. Possibly because the iPad Pro has a much more focused market than an equivalent Windows 10 hybrid.
Customers weighing up the possibility of having one device to cover all of their computing and tablet needs are increasingly finding that the right answer is a Windows detachable - of which there are a variety of choices and prices which cover many more use cases than the limi…