Apple Damage

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Apple Watch

By now, everyone knows about the $10K+ USD Apple Watch and I have no problems with Apple pricing that at a ridiculous price; let’s just attribute it all to high fashion and move on.

I’m hung up on the $449 CAD price tag for the Apple Watch Sport. This is supposed to be for commoners. It comes with the cheapest band, it’s built with aluminum instead of stainless steel and it doesn’t feature the scratch resistant sapphire crystal. They’re asking $449 CAD for an accessory to the iPhone. It’s important to stress that the Apple Watch is neutered without the presence of the iPhone. Without the iPhone, it’s a glorified sports band and digital watch.

The expected 18 hour battery life is fine if you remember to charge it nightly and refrain from long days. I am a fan of the magnetic charger which should make it painless to remove and charge. Having to fiddle with small charging ports could get annoying.

On top of all of that, I’m still not a fan of the look of the Apple Watch. I’m not a fan of square faces but there are designs out there that ooze class and style. The Apple Watch doesn’t emanate any of that. In fact, to me, it looks like a ginned up Timex.

12″ MacBook Retina

I’ve been waiting for this. A MacBook Air class laptop with a Retina display. Finally, a worthy upgrade to my 2011 MacBook Air. I was prepared to pay $1300- $1400 taxes in for one of these but after seeing what Apple unveiled, I’m holding off.

I like the form factor, I’m okay with the 12″ screen, the 16:10 aspect ratio is more than welcomed and needless to say but I’m also a fan of the choice of colors. I’m okay with the choice to move to USB-C; I don’t use my ports on a regular basis. I’m not okay with Apple not including the breakout box and charging $99 CAD for it. What Apple is saying is: “If you want to plug your USB stick into this computer, pay us an additional $99 CAD”.

That’s just dumb.

Hopefully Apple upgrades the MacBook Air line-up with a Retina display. The new MacBook’s 2lbs weight is nice but I wasn’t exactly clamoring for a laptop that’s lighter than the MacBook Air. I just want my MacBook Air with a Retina display.

Star Citizen

What is Star Citizen? A space simulation game headed by long time developer Chris Roberts (of Wing Commander fame) and funded by the people. It’s currently in development and nearly every single piece of media have shown quality work. There’s a buzz surrounding the game and I have no idea what’s worth getting excited about. The vision is grand and the attention to detail appears to be incredible. I’m just not convinced it’ll ever materialize in a reasonable amount of time. I want to experience something resembling a full product.

In the mean time, I will enjoy these pretty tech demos..

Petal to the Metal

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Now we’re all ready for next-generation graphics

“Getting closer to metal” is the hot thing in graphics these days. With so many low power devices needing more horsepower without needing wads of power, companies like AMD, Microsoft and Apple are looking for ways to increase efficiency from the software side things. AMD got the ball rolling with their Mantle API, Apple introduced their Metal API with iOS 8 and Microsoft’s Windows 10 will also usher in the era of DirectX 12 and its low level access. That only leaves one major player and that’s the successor to OpenGL.

That successor’s name is Vulkan and with the backing of several key players such as Intel, AMD, NVIDIA, Valve, EA, Blizzard, Pixar and Epic Games, it promises to be right at the coat tails of DirectX 12. If you’re looking for digestible details, I suggest you pay a visit to AnandTech’s article on the matter.

We know who will support Vulkan but what will support it? Will the PlayStation 4 see support in the future? Is it even necessary? I’m sure it’ll make life a lot easier for porting reasons but if Sony already has solid low level access to their systems, what’s the incentive for Sony to support an API like Vulkan?

I’m glad the industry as a whole is doing this giant re-evaluation of software. I’m glad we’re not just stacking things on-top of established known quantities just because that’s the way they’ve always been. Apple have been at the forefront of technologies and breaking up established norms and it’s about time other companies are willing to shed away the old and make way for modern ideas.

Oh, Apple. How you amaze me

These are just a few items that are generating buzz for Apple.

  1. They’re looking to get into the car business.
  2. They secured the highest percentage of smartphone sales in the Q4 2014.
  3. The impending launch of the Apple Watch on March 9th

I want to talk about the second item, the popularity of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plaus and their 4.7″ and 5.5″ screens. We know what the market wanted. It’s in large part why Samsung phone sales ballooned during the iPhone 5 and 5S years. What I want to know is if Apple did this on purpose: did Apple purposely take the incremental step from 3.5″ to 4″ and finally to 4.7″ and 5.5″? Did they purposely drip feed the size increase with the 4″ iPhone 5 and 5S to maximize sales? I’m not condemning them for that move, I’m just wondering if they were doing it on purpose.

There was no reason not to tackle Samsung’s Galaxy S3 head on with a large screen of their own. I cannot believe that it took Apple this long to tackle the one handed utilization issues that purportedly held them back from pursing large screen phones in 2012.

Again, I’m just curious because by going down the path that they did, they made an incredible amount of money.

Quote of the Week

“Live long and prosper.”

— Lt. Commander Spock & Leonard Nimoy

Apple this & Apple that: A new era begins?

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apple-logo.pngToday’s iPhone 6 Keynote was full of new Apple products new and updated. They touted new features and ideal usage scenarios with Apple’s tight integration of hardware, software and services. It all looked so beautiful and harmonious.

But as the announcements and confirmations rolled in, I was left disappointed. In many ways, this is still the Apple that I appreciate but at the same time, the products announced today were not as I hoped they would be.

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