The Mac Observer's Apple Context Machine

The Mac Observer's Apple Context Machine

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The Mac Observer: You'll Hear Your Mac News Here From Now On...

Episodes

Frolic in the Apple Park, Rumors for iPad and Apple Watch - ACM 399  

Apple announced the name of what we used to call Apple Campus 2.0—now it’s Apple Park. Bryan and Jeff chew on the name for a while, and discuss what we might expect when it opens in April. They also pore over Apple Watch 3 rumors and the news that a key supplier will stop making Apple Watch displays. And somehow they segue that into some new iPad and iPhone rumors.

Mac Users Can Expect More Malware and TV Shows Are Good for Apple Music - ACM 398  

With state-sponsored hackers from Russia developing malware for the Mac, Bryan Chaffin and Jeff Gamet fear Mac users can expect more malware in the future. They also discuss the negativity that greeted Planet of the Apps, and argue that TV shows are good for Apple Music. Plus, they visit listener comments on Net Neutrality.

Apple Doesn't Love iBooks and Samsung Schadenfreude - ACM 397  

Evidence suggests Apple stopped loving iBooks. Bryan and Jeff go over that evidence and discuss why Apple should rekindle that love and make iBooks great again. They also take a few minutes to experience some schadenfreude over Samsung’s battery factory fire, and argue that a loss of market share demonstrates Samsung’s lack of software relevance.

Apple Profits, Mac Sales, and Fun with Apple's Cash Hoard - ACM 396  

Apple turned in a record December quarter this week, and Bryan and Jeff look at the numbers. They also look at this one weird trick Apple did to goose Mac sales—the company released a new Mac. And for grins, they discuss some of the things Apple could do with the astounding $246 billion in cash the company has squirreled away.

The Goodies in iOS 10.3, Net Neutrality on the Chopping Block - ACM 395  

iOS 10.3 is out in beta, and it has some fun new goodies. Bryan and Jeff look at what they think is most interesting. Net Neutrality is also on the chopping block, one of those situations where politics and technology intersect in annoying ways.

FCC Net Neutrality, Backdoor Hacks, and New Apple Products - ACM 394  

Outgoing FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler made a plea for the incoming administration to protect Net Neutrality. Bryan and Jeff discuss whether that plea is likely to fall on deaf ears [spoiler: yes, it will]. They also discuss the implications of the Cellebrite hack, and the fact that Apple released two product updates this week.

Apple TV and Amazon Prime TV, iPad Rumors, Apple Departures - ACM 393  

Nvidia is adding Amazon Prime TV to its Shield TV settop box, leaving Apple TV as one of the only devices that doesn’t support the #2 streaming service. Bryan and Jeff think Apple needs to fix this. They also look at some sketchy iPad rumors and talk about key departures from Apple’s executive ranks.

Lounging at CES 2017 with Bryan and Jeff - ACM 392  

LAS VEGAS – Join Bryan and Jeff as they lounge at CES 2017. On deck for this week’s episode are Q.RAD, the super computer that heats your home, smart clothes (for Android only?), and Eugene, the smart trash can thingy.

Bryan Gets Paranoid About the IoT - ACM 391  

Bryan is totally paranoid about the Internet of Things, and he isn’t at all happy about the idea of having an Amazon Echo or Google Home listening in on everything in his house. Jeff laughs at him. Once the guffaws die down, they talk about how and why Apple is getting crushed by these good enough devices.

Congressional Encryption Working Group Backs Encryption, Thoughts on CES - ACM 390  

The Congressional Encryption Working Group has issued a year-end report on encryption that finds weakening encryption would harm the national security interests of the United States. Bryan and Jeff discuss the implications, as well as a new request from the Turkish government asking Apple to unlock an iPhone 4s owned by an assassin. They cap the show with a preview of CES expectations.

Apple AirPods, Kickstarter, and Augmented Reality - ACM 389  

Apple shipped AirPods. Sort of. Bryan and Jeff think it was a terrible idea to ship them before Christmas if Apple couldn’t meet demand, which is exactly what’s happening. They also weigh the merits of Kickstarter and discuss the state of augmented reality and its future.

Living with Apple's Touch Bar, the Reverse Toaster Fridge - ACM 388  

Bryan Chaffin quizzes Jeff Gamet about living with Apple’s new TouchBar on his MacBook Pro. They also discuss whether or not the so-called Reverse ToasterFridge could be the future of Apple’s hardware. Listener comments have been pouring in, too.

ACM 387: State of Apple Advertising, Apple’s Product Vision  

John Kheit joins Bryan Chaffin to discuss the state of Apple’s advertising, including Frankie’s Holiday, Balloons, and Bulbs. Spoiler, John hates them and Bryan thinks they’re lovely. They also talk about Apple’s product vision and the end of AirPort. Another spoiler: John is cranky about that, too.

ACM 386: Apple’s Lackluster 2016, Mac Automation, and Black Friday  

Apple released only 13 new products in 2016, an embarrassing lack of riches. Bryan Chaffin and Jeff Gamet discuss what this might mean. They also talk about the future of automation on the Mac, as well as the return of Apple’s Black Friday sale. Does Apple feel the need to goose sales for the December quarter?

ACM 386: Apple Coffee Table Book and Design Run Amok  

Apple has a new coffee table book out called Designed by Apple in California. Bryan Chaffin is joined by guest-host John Kheit to talk about it. Spoiler: Bryan likes it and John sees it as a sign of Apple having lost the plot. They also discuss the idea that design has run amok at Apple, starting with the idea that Jony Ive needed Steve Jobs as a counter balance.

ACM 384: Demand for iPhone 7 Plus, AWS2, MacBook Pro  

John Kheit guests with Bryan Chaffin to talk about demand for iPhone 7 Plus, for which wait times are still 3-4 weeks. Apple Watch Series 2 has 2-3 week wait times, and MacBook Pros seem to be flying off the shelves. Join them while they explore these topics.

ACM 383: iOS Song Star Ratings Return, MacBook Pro Innovation Rants  

iTunes Song Ratings are back in iOS 10.2 beta, and Bryan and Jeff are stoked, even if it’s not perfect. They also talk about the pushback gets when Apple pushes the envelope with its products. They cap the show with a look at MacBooK Pro’s Touch Bar being a double down against making a ToasterFridge.

ACM 382: How Pro Are the New MacBook Pros?  

Apple just announced new MacBook Pro models, and Bryan and Jeff talk about their pros and cons. In particular the “pros” part, because while these devices are powerful, they question whether they are really that pro at all. They also talk about the new TV app for Apple TV.

ACM 381: Tim Cook as Veep and iTunes Star Ratings  

Tim Cook was apparently on a list of possible running mates for Hillary Clinton. Bryan and Jeff talk about Mr. Cook as a possible candidate and whether or not he would have wanted the gig. They also discuss iTunes Star Ratings for songs and the fact that they’ve been taken away in iOS 10.

ACM 380: USB Kill 2.0 and Samsung Schadenfreude  

Bryan and Jeff talk about USB Kill 2.0, a device that looks like a hard drive, but can damage—if not destroy—a Mac, PC, iPhone, iPad, or any other device with a USB port. They also take a few moments to enjoy some schadenfreude at Samsung’s defense.

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