Thursday, October 24, 2013

5 Things that Most Writers missed in the Apple Announcement on Tuesday

There has been a lot of comparison between Steve Jobs and Tim Cook in their announcement style.   One of the things I have come to appreciate is that Cook is a very different type of salesman.   First, he seems to know that the best presentations are not based on a personality but a product.   Such were the announcements in Tuesday's event.

The press was not as excited as I was about what the announcements included.

Here are some things I thought were significant:

1) The New iPads - What is most important here are not the incremental improvements (the new models will boast an improved (dual) WIFI antenna, and in the case of the full size model - about half a pound less in weight.   The addition of more LTE bands will make these devices more useful across borders.   There are more pixels in both models - I think the screen is already pretty good - but this will make it a bit better.  Then there are the processors (see number 2).    For the last year, I have brought only my iPads on short business trips.   That becomes even more likely in the future. 

When the iPad was first introduced a lot of the critics yammered about the lack Adobe Flash - quite frankly I do not miss it.  With all the new stuff that is even more true.

There are plenty of other Tablets and Phones for people who do not want to be in the Apple environment (or ecosystem) - but both the hardware and the software integration (see below) makes it less likely that current users will bolt.

1a) Laptops - The major change in the laptops of Apple is to introduce Flash and eliminate hard disks - that is also true for the Pro.   That adds a ton of speed to this monster.  

2) Processors - The iPad processors both include the A7 chip and the M7 Coprocessor - just like the new 5S phone - all new iPads will now have 64 bit processor capability.    Compared to roll outs of earlier new chipsets on other platforms - that means that in less than a year all of the Mac Tablets and phones will be operating near the edge in capabilities.   

3) Software - In my opinion the biggest announcement was that some of the best software on Macs is now FREE.   Mavericks - which is a nice update of the laptop/desktop operating system is a free update.   But so are core applications like Pages, Numbers, Keynote and iPhoto and iMovie.  Ultimately now when you buy an Apple product - it is useful immediately and as long as you own it.

About two years ago I quit using the Microsoft Office Suite - I never liked Powerpoint and Excel and Word got big and complex.  The Apple alternatives were as functional but simpler to use.

Microsoft, with Windows 8 has tried to do the same kind of integration but there is a major difference.  Both for Windows and the Android operating systems - not everyone is using the current system.   Within a very short time since the introduction of iOS 7 - about two thirds of the devices that could have upgraded to the new system.

Mavericks also does some back processing for earlier models and will help increase things like battery life and graphics usage.   So your older model of a Mac (I have a two year old Air) actually adds some functionality.   Things like Safari and Maps have also been improved.   So when it was released it went on all my laptops and desktops.   The Software downloads were quick and simple.

4) Integration - The new introduction of iBooks on to the Lap/Desktops means that a lot of scholarly work can be more easily done on the Apple platform - you can copy material from a book and then drop it into a document you are reporting.   There is not an absolute integration (for example it does not allow one to use formal footnotes - in any one of the footnote formats.   But that feature is a significant improvement for people like me who no longer read hardbound books.

5) Cloud Integration - One of the problems I have had with my clients over the last two years has been the necessity to convert a document into a PDF to send it to people who use an alternative operating system.     With all of the iWork Applications one can now send a document into the Cloud and then allow anyone that you authorize to edit it.    I have had to use the Google alternative at times and found it very clunky.   From a short use of the new cloud based Apps - that is not true for documents, spreadsheets and presentations created on the Apple platform.

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