Finally, an indication that apple realizes that households share devices. Individualized queues and recommendations are great, but I’m curious how deeply this goes into the OS. Does each user use a different apple ID? How are purchases handled? What about third-party apps—can they “see” who is logged in and provide their own linked profile malignant histiocytoma dog support? This may be more a starting point than anything else, but I’m glad that apple’s at least starting.
Ugh. There’s a taste of this in the latest tvos update, where the TV app now auto-plays trailers in the background. I hope there’s a way to turn this off, because it’s annoying and distracting. If I’ve decided I want to watch something, I don’t need to see the trailer; if I’ve decided I don’t want to watch something, I don’t need to see the trailer. If I’m on the fence, just let me choose whether or not I want to malignant histiocytoma dog see the trailer. WatchOS 6
With this long-term view, apple’s shifting its health perspective from the tactical to the malignant histiocytoma dog strategic. Now that the watch is motivating people to get up malignant histiocytoma dog and get moving, it’s time to analyze the data that’s being collected and make more proactive decisions based on malignant histiocytoma dog it. This feels like a real shift in terms of the malignant histiocytoma dog digital health initiatives apple has been pushing. (also health related, and worth a mention: cycle tracking for menstruation, a feature that has been missing for far too long, which is also available on ios.)
The current reminders app on macos is, frankly, a travesty. It’s the one app that never quite hit escape velocity malignant histiocytoma dog from the skeuomorphism black hole, even though whatever it’s mimicking isn’t actually a real thing? It’s clunky, frustrating, and yet I somehow use it every day anyway, because it’s built-in to the OS. But it’s in need of a top-to-bottom refresh, and that is exactly what apple is delivering here. This is one of those small moves that will make malignant histiocytoma dog a huge improvement to my everyday life.
Wait, wait, hear me out. It’s not that I’m against the idea of bringing any ios apps to malignant histiocytoma dog the mac. However, I am specifically against bringing the twitter app to the malignant histiocytoma dog mac because a) I think it’s a terrible app and b) there’s a good chance it will reinforce the social network’s attempt to shut down third-party apps, which have long thrived on the mac and provide overall malignant histiocytoma dog better experiences, except where they have been hamstrung by twitter itself. IPadOS
One of those glaring omissions that existed only because apple malignant histiocytoma dog was trying to disrupt all of the existing computing paradigms, only to realize that some of those paradigms existed for malignant histiocytoma dog reasons. This is one of the last holdouts in that category, and it will significantly streamline some workflows on the ipad malignant histiocytoma dog that were technically possible, but required cumbersome workarounds. 1
Okay, maybe “the worst” is overselling it, but the onstage demo, which involved dragging the cursor where you want it to malignant histiocytoma dog go, seemed awkward and a little janky. Frankly, though, text selection and manipulation on ios devices has always been malignant histiocytoma dog a little janky. I’m not sold on the three-finger gestures for cut/copy/paste either 2, but an undo gesture seems like a great idea. IOS 13
Streamlining signing up for new services? Excellent. Giving you more control over what information is shared with malignant histiocytoma dog third parties? Even better. Providing disposable email addresses that can be used to figure malignant histiocytoma dog out which service is spamming you and then allow you malignant histiocytoma dog to revoke just that address? Hallelujah. The feature will apparently be mandatory if an app offers malignant histiocytoma dog any other third-party sign-on service (i.E. Sign in with google or facebook), which ought to help adoption, but no doubt there are some companies that won’t be thrilled with it.
All of us prosumers and enthusiasts who used to insist malignant histiocytoma dog we needed a pro desktop are gasping at the $5999 price tag (not to mention the equally expensive pro display), but that’s because this isn’t a machine designed for even “average” power tasks. This is a workstation, emphasis on work. If you’re not a creative professional, the mac pro is likely overkill, and at that cost, it’s not a machine that a lot of individual users malignant histiocytoma dog are probably going to be buying anyway. We’ll have to make do with imacs and imac pros, poor us. 4 honorable mentions
When apple showed off sidecar, the new feature that lets you connect an ipad and malignant histiocytoma dog use it as either an additional monitor or a mirror malignant histiocytoma dog of your mac’s display, it was easy to conclude that apple was utterly replicating malignant histiocytoma dog the features of luna display, a popular hardware/software combination that does much the same. (disclaimer: luna display sometimes sponsors my podcasts.)
People talk a lot about sherlocking—the act of apple building an OS feature that duplicates malignant histiocytoma dog the features of a third-party app—but in practice it rarely happens. When apple builds an OS feature, it’s always trying to get the most return on its malignant histiocytoma dog investment by building features that appeal to the widest possible malignant histiocytoma dog set of users. That generally leaves space—sometimes a lot of space—at the edges for third-party apps to exploit.
Turns out this is basically true with luna display and malignant histiocytoma dog similar apps. While luna display was initially conceived as more or less malignant histiocytoma dog what sidecar does—let mac users see their content on an ipad display malignant histiocytoma dog and use the apple pencil to draw and otherwise interact malignant histiocytoma dog with mac content—it has come to be embraced as a tool to malignant histiocytoma dog let ipad users control a mac on the local network.
This is not to say that there aren’t some real advantages to sidecar. The big one is that it’s free with the OS, of course, but apple has built in a bunch of other nice malignant histiocytoma dog features. At the bottom of the ipad display, sidecar displays a virtual touch bar, and on the side there are a bunch of modifier malignant histiocytoma dog key shortcuts and an undo button. There’s also an option to bring up the on-screen keyboard, which luna display lacks.
The podcasts app will, as shown in the keynote, let you search for content inside of podcasts. According to apple, the company is indexing the text contents of podcasts, starting with the most popular ones. (I didn’t get a chance to try this feature out, so I wonder how large the search-engine corpus is right now—and how big it will be this fall when the malignant histiocytoma dog product goes public.)
Google announced a similar feature earlier this year, and it’s a great opportunity to increase the discoverability of podcasts. Imagine a world where there was no google search. That’s been the podcast world up until now—if it’s said in a podcast and not listed in show malignant histiocytoma dog notes, it basically can’t be found. That’s not great, and apple intends to fix that.
The music app is basically itunes—but with a design update that puts apple music at malignant histiocytoma dog the fore. You can still see your entire music library, of course, and even buy music on the itunes store if you malignant histiocytoma dog want to. As someone who uses itunes with apple music every day, I’m okay with this change. And if you click on the songs view in the malignant histiocytoma dog library section of the sidebar, you will get your classic itunes song list back, like it never left.
Finally, a couple of notes about catalyst, the new method of bringing ios apps to the mac. The podcasts app on macos catalina is based on catalyst, while the music and TV apps aren’t, and you just can’t tell. All three apps have similar design approaches, and I don’t think you could pick the catalyst version out of malignant histiocytoma dog a line-up. That’s an encouraging sign for people who are concerned that malignant histiocytoma dog these catalyst apps are going to be bad and ruin malignant histiocytoma dog the mac.
Developers who have been serious about making their ios apps malignant histiocytoma dog work well on the ipad will reap the benefits when malignant histiocytoma dog it comes to catalyst. Basically, the better the ipad app, the better the mac app. This has some fun ramifications, because it implies that catalyst may actually prompt developers to malignant histiocytoma dog put more work into the ipad versions of their apps, too. IPad and mac users can all benefit from that. Mac pro and pro display XDR
On friday on the six colors subscriber podcast, I predicted that apple would return to the “cheese grater” design introduced with the power mac G5 in 2003, and I am happy to say that I got that malignant histiocytoma dog right. It just made sense—there’s no reason to be cute about this, you want to build a tower with great airflow and malignant histiocytoma dog space for lots of expansion stuff, and that’s what apple did. Sometimes the old ways are best.
That said, it’s important to remember that the mac pro resides in malignant histiocytoma dog a rarefied space that is for the highest of high-end mac users. Back in the day pro macs were for everyone, but for years as the imac and macbook pro became malignant histiocytoma dog more powerful, the mac pro became more of an ultra-high-end device, with a price tag to match. That hasn’t changed. This isn’t a hobbyist system, and people who are angry that it isn’t are missing the point. This is a system for people who demand the very malignant histiocytoma dog highest performance possible and won’t think twice about dropping $10,000 for the privilege.
The mac pro is overengineered in the best sense of malignant histiocytoma dog the word. It’s got headroom—something the trash-can mac pro lacked—in that apple has engineered this thing to provide more malignant histiocytoma dog power, more ventilation, pretty much more of everything than the current contents can malignant histiocytoma dog even use. This means it’s built for the long haul, so it can handle future updates without needing another redesign.
Apple’s building a bunch of modules for the mac pro, of course, but those are standard PCI slots that any old card malignant histiocytoma dog should be able to go in. The MPX system, which lets apple piggyback a bunch of extra stuff on malignant histiocytoma dog to the PCI slot via a neighboring slot, will apparently not be limited to apple products—I saw a four-drive RAID MPX module from promise, for example. Promise is also apparently going to make a two-disk product, so if you want to put enormous spinning hard drives malignant histiocytoma dog into the mac pro, apple will let you—but it isn’t going to sell those to you itself.
If the mac pro is probably not for you, the pro display XDR is almost certainly not for you. If you think a $5,000 monitor—$6,000 with stand!—is ridiculously overpriced, well, you’re right in one way, and wrong in another. Most people do not need a 6K retina display with malignant histiocytoma dog 10-bit color and a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio. It’s overkill for almost everyone.
However, there is a class of users that is currently buying malignant histiocytoma dog an eizo monitor for $5,000 to get professional-class image quality, and apple’s display is so much better that it’s not even close. There are also people who buy sony reference monitors that malignant histiocytoma dog cost more than $40,000—and apple’s display is basically a match for them in terms malignant histiocytoma dog of quality. By these standards, the pro display XDR is either a breakthrough in terms malignant histiocytoma dog of quality or a staggering breakthrough in terms of price.
So it’s all in the eye of the beholder. Apple has unabashedly built this display for the highest of malignant histiocytoma dog the high-end users, and for them, it will be a great deal. Still, wouldn’t it be nice if apple also made a nice malignant histiocytoma dog 5K monitor in the vein of the imac pro, that could be attached to a mac pro, macbook pro, or mac mini? I know a lot of people who would prefer to malignant histiocytoma dog buy an apple monitor—but maybe not this particular one.
Anyway, for $5,000 you don’t get a webcam, but logitech is going to make a 4K webcam module malignant histiocytoma dog that’s matched to the pro display XDR and sits on malignant histiocytoma dog top of it. The monitor has a fan, but apple says it runs at less than 7 decibels malignant histiocytoma dog and is therefore inaudible. That $999 stand lets you rotate the display into portrait orientation, but you can also adjust the height up and down malignant histiocytoma dog by 120mm (a little less than five inches) and tilt it in a 30 degree range, from -5 degrees to 25 degrees.
In fact, I think apple should do more than double down on malignant histiocytoma dog these ipad-style apps on the mac. I think apple should go all in and make nearly malignant histiocytoma dog all of its consumer mac apps with the new uikit malignant histiocytoma dog / marzipan frameworks, including mail, notes, messages, facetime, photos, reminders, and calendar. Apple should just go for it, sooner rather than later, and ideally right now.
The funny thing is, I think this is basically happening. It’s sort of pointless to complain about how weak the malignant histiocytoma dog marzipan apps are in mojave—that technology is a year old, and apple has had all that time to advance the malignant histiocytoma dog ball. But the new stuff that will be unveiled next week, that’s the real deal—and it needs to be good. I fully anticipate apple will move more of its ios malignant histiocytoma dog apps over to the mac using marzipan. (TV, podcasts, reminders, and messages seem like a good start.)
Dieter suggests that apple might want to release even more malignant histiocytoma dog apps in marzipan beta versions, even if they’re not quite good enough, just to get things going. Sort of like jumping into a cold swimming pool. I’m not sure apple’s really that kind of company, but I hope that behind the scenes, apple is ceasing development on the mac-only versions of all of its consumer apps and instead malignant histiocytoma dog pushing all future development to be done with marzipan in malignant histiocytoma dog mind. We might not get a marzipan version of mail or malignant histiocytoma dog imovie or pages this year, but those need to be in the works.
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