43-year-old single now the most-streamed 20th century song

Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody has become the most-streamed 20th century song across Apple Music, Spotify and other streaming platforms, following a boost given to it by the biopic of the same name … More here. Thanks to Bob.

And just in case you thought that Queen’s only extravagant effort was the above, check out the following. All of which are arguably better than Bo Rap.

How far can Apple go?

Rumblings are surfacing about Apple’s recent pricing strategy and I can understand why this is so. An iPhone for £1,000 and up, an iPad for £1,800 and up, and the cheapest Mac starting at above £1,000 feel high to me with the occasional offering (iPhone 7, iPad and Xr) being priced at more reasonable levels.

The above does not look accurate and it isn’t, but consider Apple’s marketing and the Air, iPad Pro and iPhone Xs are spoken about the most, which feeds the thoughts that Apple products are getting more expensive. It’s hard to work out actually which is the clever strategy from Apple, but the high-end products are easy upwards quickly with the low-end staying fairly static. Throw in the series 4 Apple Watch and the cost of accessories such as the Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard, and you again start to believe that the general pricing is moving up across the board.

Rumours persist that the latest iPhones are not selling as Apple would like and the same has been said of the iPads and Macs which makes all of the sense in the world to me. From what I can see, Apple is gaining customers and maintaining serious loyalty, but is not selling at the same frequency as before which is a problem.

I know a few people, including myself, who are happy with their iPhones and who see no need to upgrade. They last for 5 years max, mostly without issue, and so that may stop the standard user from upgrading (saying that many many people upgrade through mobile contracts). iPads last particularly well and so do Macs, and in these three products Apple may be a victim of its own success. Products that are expensive and which are specified in most cases for longevity, to work well through multiple software updates, will stop owners from upgrading. It’s as simple as that.

Add to this the fact that people don’t tend to be showing off their new phones anymore and that the ‘fashion’ bubble has deflated a little and the problem worsens. Let’s be honest, all phones look the same in 2018 and the Xr is an X is an Xs in terms of how they look from more than a few inches away. Phones are in everyone’s hand most of the time so they have become invisible and all that now matters to an increasing number of people is reliability, good enough features and pricing.

It’s a shame really because we live in a time where a company like Apple has to grow, and grow and grow, every quarter and under this pressure there will be the need to increase pricing to make up for the lack of numbers, but it is merely sharpening a downward curve and lessening the number of people who are able to afford the products.

I have a MacBook, an iPhone X and a series 4 Apple Watch, and even I have spent some time looking at Android phones recently. The eco-system has kept me firmly where Apple wants me to be, but I will tell you that if you have not looked at Android for a while you may be in for a surprise. Some of the phones are a distance ahead of any iPhone in specific areas, but I still get a sense that the software has not changed much at all.

At some point, however, Apple may push too a little too far and people may make the call that the advantages no longer justify the extra cost. It’s by far the biggest threat I see to Apple at this time and it’s not an easy one to stop because of the external pressures to always sell more and to make more profit every three months.

I see a utopia where the company could just concentrate on making the very best products they can at prices that are perfectly justifiable, which has been the case in the past, but alas I suspect that utopia will not be visited any time soon.

Apple Watch apps don’t really matter

This new list of the most useful Apple Watch apps seems familiar somehow. And so does this one. And indeed so does any other list of the ‘best’ Apple Watch apps.

The fact is that there are very few Apple Watch apps that are genuinely useful and which work in a way that makes them not feel clunky. Just look at the apps listings in the Watch app, it never changes. The iOS App Store changes daily, but on the watch side it stays the same.

Strangely, it doesn’t matter because the fact is that watch apps are not needed and for most people there are already enough built in to the Apple Watch, and this gives a lie to the notion that smartwatches will one day replace phones.

I can now understand what the Apple Watch offers and have been impressed by its ability to cover fitness, keep me notified and to obviously tell the time. I have, however, found a small group of third-party apps that work well for me including Streaks, SleepWatch and Better Day. I don’t need any more and probably won’t in the future unless a developer comes out with something special.

So. the lack of apps is on the surface a huge disadvantage for the Apple Watch, but is to those who own one completely inconsequential. 

The 100 Best Albums of 2018

While “Fake Love” has garnered the most success, songs like the jazz-inflected ode to Pluto “134340” and the 90s hip-hop-cribbing anthem “Anpanman” make the album feel full and diverse in a way that few pop albums do. The plush “Paradise” is the record’s standout—showing most readily the ease with which each member can bounce from lithe singing to rapping. On the whole, the record is a prime example of clean and simple pop writing, but the group’s collective quirks make it stand above everyone else, regardless of language. —Jabbari Weekes. The full list is here.

The beauty of streaming services is that you can check out the entire list, if you have the time, and that you are almost certain to find some gems that will become firm favourite artists for you in the future.

Clap ’n’ Shield, Clap ’n’ Deco, Clap’n’ Charge, and Clap ’n’ Listen

The Clap Series of smartphone cases goes beyond just protecting your precious device. The 4-part collection — which consists of the Clap ’n’ Shield, Clap ’n’ Deco, Clap’n’ Charge, and Clap ’n’ Listen — provides users with security, style, supplemental power, and wireless headphone recharging depending on their preference. Just install the main case and choose the peripheral that you need. Collect them all to use them interchangeably or select the one (in one of many chic color combinations) that best suits your lifestyle… More at YD.

Clever design and I wonder why there are not more products like this available.

The Dan Henry 1972 Alarm Chronograph

The dial is where the 1972 really comes into its own. Like the case, it starts with a basic layout pulled from the Porsche Design Chronograph I—lume covered stick hands, a 6/9/12 chronograph sub-dial layout, small rectangular indices, a clean chapter ring with a widely spaced tachymeter, and a needle seconds hand—but the 1972 Alarm Chronograph also stamps its originality here boldly. For starters, this is a sandwich dial, keeping the lumed indices on a second lower level to add depth. And, of course, the 1972’s party piece is the alarm complication, expressed here with a skeletonized and lumed triangle on a stick and an unobtrusive on/off indicator between 7 and 8 o’clock. Overall, it offers slick functionality without compromising the aesthetic… More at Worn & Wound.

It may be quartz, but there is a good reason for that. The complexity would cost £1,000’s in mechanical form, but here you can spend $350 for a seriously sweet looking watch.

Or, you can spend just $270 on the even more impressive 1970 Automatic Diver above. Go on. It’s almost Christmas, treat yourself.

Young people who have attempted suicide – it’s not serious enough to get help

The tweet above from Natasha Devon is 100% accurate. We are now at the point in the UK where even if a child has tried to kill themselves they cannot get any official mental health assistance. It used to be that actually attempting suicide, such as physically taking tablets, was enough to get a few sessions of counselling which was rarely enough to help, but now we have reached a point where there literally is nothing.

An adult can still get help, but not a child which for a first-world country is a disgrace. I have direct experience of this and am in a situation where the full force of this government’s disgraceful lack of efforts in children’s mental health is apparent every day, and I despair on so many levels at what is happening. It’s so so sad.

shape detection

While Steve Jobs was right that HAVING to use a stylus on a phone-sized device was terrible, it’s probably not great that it took 5 years into the life of the iPad to introduce a precision stylus, the Apple Pencil… More from Kirk here

Good spot from Kirk.

‘nom nom’

ADULTS who think it is quirky and fun to use words like ‘sleeps’ and ‘holibobs’ have been told to just stop it.

Other phrases that should never be spoken by anyone over the age of 20 include ‘yummy’ and ‘nom nom’… More at The Daily Mash.

Sarcastic- yes, completely true- yes.