YouTube TV launched earlier this week, bringing another option to the quickly growing online TV subscription space. It’s basically the cord-cutting dream; being able to watch shows, news or sports as they happen instead of waiting for your favorite sitcom to show up on Hulu the next day.
Of course, YouTube TV and its competitors (which include Sony’s PlayStation Vue, Sling TV and DirecTV Now) all have their flaws. There isn’t a perfect option out there yet, but after spending the better part of the week watching YouTube TV I can say it definitely has some things going for it over the competition – but it’s also pretty clearly a service in its infancy.
So. Apple did a curious thing yesterday. They held a meeting with reporters to acknowledge a mistake. That mistake being the most recent iteration of the Mac Pro.
Well, it was as close as you’re going to get to Apple admitting they made a mistake. There’s still a lot of equivocation and defensiveness in their statements on the matter. But the very fact that they called the meeting says all you need to know.
This is an Apple mea culpa.
The only thing I can recall that was similar was around the “Antennagate” situation several years ago. Apple also summoned a small group of reporters to talk about that — I was one of them at the time — and also held it in a Apple building meant to showcase all the work they do behind the scenes on their devices. But that was a very different event. That was Apple defiantly showing off their advanced testing machinery to prove that nothing could possibly be wrong with the iPhone. This was… a chat.
And it seems pretty clear why they did it. Apple was on the verge of rolling out some updates to the Mac Pro. But they’re so ridiculously minor that the blogosphere would have thrown an absolute shit fit if Apple didn’t try to get ahead of the news cycle by previewing what is to come — something Apple never does.
It’s: pay no attention to these Mac Pros. The real ones are coming! Also professional iMacs! And stand-alone retina displays! Oh my!
Of course, those “real ones” are coming… in 2018. Which is presumably why Apple bothered with the current Mac Pro spec bump at all. We’re a ways away.
And so Apple just released the Mac Pro, Osbourne Effect edition.
With the news that internet service providers may soon start scanning all your personal data and using it to target ads, I decided it was time to investigate setting up a virtual private network (VPN) server. I’ve mentioned this in a couple places, including recently on Clockwise, and had more than a few people asking if I’d document my experience.
Dan walks through how to set up OpenVPN on your own machine, which works great.
I use ExpressVPN myself currently as my primary VPN which is nice if you don’t want to roll your own VPN server.
I had started to write my review of the Nintendo Switch, but Myke Hurley did a great job pulling together this video walkthrough of it, and nailed just about everything I had planned to write, so I’m sharing it here.
If you are interested in the Nintendo Switch, then you need to watch this video.
The Nintendo Switch is an interesting take on console gaming, play it plugged into your TV or grab it and take it on the go.
The Switch blurs the line between home and portable gaming, which makes what it can do more powerful.
As far as game play and graphics go, for what is essentially a tablet, this is a nice package.
As more games come out, it will be an even better experience but as far as current game play goes, Zelda is a great game right now.
No, your eyes do not deceive you. Some of you may not know that we founded our company in 1997, but it’s true. We’re older than Facebook, older than Twitter, older than Google, and somehow still kickin’.
Every year is a little different, and last year was for sure — a little bit quieter on the software front (at least publicly), and a whole lot louder on the launch-of-a-major-multi-platform-video-game front.
Yes, it’s time: here’s a look back at 2016, and look forward to 2017.
Apple today began sending out emails to customers who purchased popular automation app Workflow in the last few weeks, letting them know that they’ll be receiving a refund for the purchase price of the app.
Apple is handing out refunds because following its recent acquisition of the Workflow app and team, it made the Workflow app free to download and removed some key functionality.
Let’s not beat around the bush. I have great news to share:
Apple is currently hard at work on a “completely rethought” Mac Pro, with a modular design that can accommodate high-end CPUs and big honking hot-running GPUs, and which should make it easier for Apple to update with new components on a regular basis. They’re also working on Apple-branded pro displays to go with them.
I also have not-so-great news:
These next-gen Mac Pros and pro displays “will not ship this year”. (I hope that means “next year”, but all Apple said was “not this year”.) In the meantime, Apple is today releasing meager speed-bump updates to the existing Mac Pros. The $2999 model goes from 4 Xeon CPU cores to 6, and from dual AMD G300 GPUs to dual G500 GPUs. The $3999 model goes from 6 CPU cores to 8, and from dual D500 GPUs to dual D800 GPUs. Nothing else is changing, including the ports. No USB-C, no Thunderbolt 3 (and so no support for the LG UltraFine 5K display).
But more good news, too:
Apple has “great” new iMacs in the pipeline, slated for release “this year”, including configurations specifically targeted at large segments of the pro market.
Nineteen years ago, Steve Jobs unveiled his simplified Mac product strategy of a box divided into four squares: Power Mac, PowerBook, iMac, and a question mark that would eventually be filled in by the iBook.
These days Apple can’t fit its key product lines, let alone individual products, in four squares. But there are strong signs that Apple is in the midst of executing a strategy to simplify its product lines and, ultimately, make it easier for consumers to understand what products Apple is offering.
There was a bit of surprising news today out of TechCrunch from Matthew Panzarino. It looks like Apple bought Workflow, which is–in my opinion–the single most useful utility application on the iPhone or iPad. I love Workflow so much that I made a MacSparky Video Field Guide about it.
Workflow is an application that allows you to glue together other applications on iOS and create automated tasks. For instance, I use a Workflow recipe to automatically date and file PDF documents on my iPad. Once I figured it out, the process is actually faster on my iPad then it is on my Mac.
I once made a joke on Mac Power Users that the only reason Workflow got approved was because someone must have naked pictures of somebody important at Apple. The application seemed just so contrary to Apple’s general position of iOS simplicity. (Not that I’m complaining.) Over the years, the Workflow team has continued to innovate with this application, adding new features often and allowing us to automate work on the iPad and iPhone that we only dreamed about just a few years ago.
Frankly, I’m mixed about the idea of Apple purchasing Workflow
David makes excellent points in this post. I’ve been using Workflow since day 1 and love it, so am anxious to see how this turns out.
Google Talk — affectionally known as “Gchat” — is finally getting replaced for good. Google actually released Hangouts back in 2013 as a more feature-filled chat service take the place of Talk in the Gmail sidebar, but users have been able to stick with the older, more basic service if they chose.
That’s changing on June 26th, when anyone still using Gchat will be forcibly transitioned over to Hangouts. It’s not a major change for most — there will still be chat built into Gmail, contacts will transition over, and Google has been trying to get people to switch over to Hangouts for the last four years, so maybe it’s time for Talk to go. The Google Talk Android app will also stop functioning, as will any third-party apps designed for Talk. (Again, anything using Hangouts — which is essentially the same thing — will still be fine.)
Gchat still existed? I actually thought most of that got rolled into Hangouts already.