the end of the genius bar

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The Cambridgeside Galleria is a surprisingly durable shopping mall undergoing a makeover. (I assume to make it look less 90s brassy bling and more Star Trek/Apple Store-ish) Their Apple Store just reopened after a long time closed for renovations and expansion. Now it looks like this… More at Kirk’s UI Dev Blog.

Interesting that this change has occurred when no other tech company has come close to competing with Apple in malls. A brave move which may work.

Apple’s Ambitious Bet on its Ecosystem

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To overcome these hurdles, once every few years, companies come up with an entirely new category of products. A decade ago, it was the smartphone, then tablet computers, convertibles, smart watches and so on. Now, it’s easily understandable that not every company can succeed in each trend. Hence, they either give up or create a half-baked product that is only going to waste their resources. For instance, smartwatches have either led to a demise of several startups or are having an existential crisis in the rest of the cases.

Apple doesn’t follow this roadmap for its development. It never completely shifts focus to any particular type of product, be it the iPhone or the Macs. On the contrary, the Cupertino giant places all of its eggs in the ecosystem and software that powers each of these devices. And that’s one of the reasons any new line of products it launches is an immediate hit irrespective of the industry’s state… More at TechPP.

You have to have used the ecosystem for the past few years to understand how much it has improved. It has improved to the point that it is becoming the single most important piece of the Apple puzzle for some.

Being a fanboy creeps up on you

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When someone jokingly called me an Apple fanboy earlier this week I thought again about the number of Apple products in our house. For a moment, I then thought they may be right-

My son: iPhone 6s

My daughter: iPad mini 2, iPhone 5s

My wife: iPad Air, iPhone 6s, Apple Watch series 1

Me: iPhone 7, iPad Pro 9.7”, iMac, MacBook, Apple Watch series 2, BeatsX headphones

Joint: Apple TV

13 products by one company in a house is a lot and lets face it, none of these products are cheap.

I don’t personally feel that I am a fanboy because I don’t get particularly excited when I buy Apple kit these days and I never buy products unless there is a use for them.

Loyalty is strong I admit, but that comes from experience. The longevity of the products, the built quality, the reliability and the customer service are all important parts of any products and I struggle to see the likes of Samsung, HP and the rest coming close in every area, if any.

I buy what feels like good value to me and I like to use products for long periods if I can. If that makes me a fanboy then so be it. I won’t listen anyway.

Apple Culture

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Ten years ago, no one could have imagined that Steve Jobs’ creation would have such an impact on Apple. Today, the iPhone represents more than 60% of Apple’s revenue, which leads many to see Apple as, first and exclusively, the iPhone company. But is it really? Did the iPhone really change Apple so dramatically? More at Medium.

A short, but decent article.

Should Apple Offer the Apple Watch to Android Users?

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You always hear people say that Apple (AAPL) should make everything cross-platform. These people make that request because it’s good for them. They want the freedom to move back and forth between platforms without having to give up any of their accessories. And Apple would rake in the cash from all those Android users who would start buying Apple Watches and AirPods. Everyone’s happy, right?

Not necessarily. First, one major question needs to be answered. Are Apple’s products iPhone accessories or are they a stand-alone business? Because I’ve gone through this drill countless times, I can imagine what Apple is doing, or has done, behind the scenes… More at Perezonomics.

A good question, but I do not see it happening, ever. Apple will share apps that enhance its services, but does not like to break the chain when it comes to hardware. Also, I suspect that by doing so it would have to spread the development too much for little reward.

This is not meant to sound snarky, but something tells me that most Android users would view the Apple Watch as a very expensive novelty that does not justify the price. And the obvious answer for them anyway is an Android Wear watch.

So, perhaps it is not such a good question after all.

A $30 Apple Pencil stand

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Imagine for a moment that you’re doodling away with your Apple Pencil on your new iPad Pro.

But now you need to step away for a moment, and this presents a conundrum: There’s nowhere to put your Apple Pencil.

Its round, smooth exterior means it could roll right off the table, and you didn’t opt for the $129 leather case that has a slot for your pencil… More at Business Insider.

Another conundrum and one that many struggle with. Apple, and many third parties, have a habit of pricing accessories at really silly levels, but the good ones can last for years if looked after. My hi-rise iPhone cradle is brilliant and always has been and in general so are the official Apple iPhone cases. Cables, however, are a complete… you don’t me to tell you the rest of the story.