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Apple Dystopia (Appledystopia)
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I write for Appledystopia. Read it!
I write for Appledystopia. Read it!

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I knew there was growth, but didn't know it was soaring. It's still not enough for Apple to have the smash hit product they need Apple TV to be. But if they can get the right deals in place so most people can replace the cable box with a streaming box, it could be very successful.

The worst thing about Apple TV is the price compared to competing units. I'm a bit surprised it hasn't come down in price since the launch.

It's also not as polished as the iPhone, for good reason. They simply can't put their best and brightest on Apple TV. At best, they inherit a lot of code and hardware from the iPhone. That's the saving grace of Apple TV.

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The new Apple TV brings the App Store to your living room. Check out a list of the top 10 free and paid Apple TV apps and a video displaying every tvOS app available. UPDATED MONTHLY

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I was always hoping that Apple TV 4 could support 4K resolution with a software upgrade. From what I understand, both the processor (A8) and the HDMI connection are capable of delivering 4K video.

It looks like 4K will come with an new model. Well, it's a rumor.

Even though I don't own a 4K UHD TV, it's still a bit embarrassing that Apple TV doesn't support it. Every other TV device supports 4K, even before Apple TV 4 was launched. They're all less expensive. I get that they don't take the product that seriously, but come on.

The one saving grace of Apple TV is that its gaming capabilities are amazing. But there aren't a lot of games, other than iPhone ports. When I compare something like Asphalt 8 or Riptide GP: Renegade on Apple TV to the same title on a game console or TV device, the Apple TV version is so much better. I have Riptide GP graphics maxed out, and it is still buttery smooth. The PlayStation version looks so low res. I've looked at it on competing TV appliances -- average graphics and abrupt pauses in game play. Not very good. Apple TV really has great hardware and a great core operating system (inherited from iOS). It supports Apple's Metal technology, which explains why high res graphics are so smooth. It just hasn't sold well enough to woo developers.

The author of this Forbes article, John Archer, pans Apple TV as too little too late. In terms of specs, that may be so. But the game play does rival game consoles. It's pretty darn impressive. If only they could get more great games!

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This video really shows that Apple has always had its ups and downs. It focuses on Apple in 1985, when the home computer market was dwindling and IBM dominated business computing. Apple was doomed.

I think the funniest thing is Steve Jobs' attire. The bow tie just cracks me up. His presentation skills were not very good. He basically read prepared speeches from the podium.

The best part is their AppleTalk launch presentation. They really hyped it up back then too. It was a cable that connected two Macs, but you'd think it was a miracle. I guess, back then, it was nifty.

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It turns out that the display is part of the reason why the new MacBooks gobble power more than their predecessors. This MacBook owner simply turned down the brightness. That makes the brightness comparable to the last generation MacBook, and provided similar battery life.

Apple Store geniuses advised him to do this. I guess there's no official word from Apple about it.

I think it makes a lot of sense. It's nice that you can crank up the brightness, but it has the downside of using more power. If Apple throttled the brightness control to preserve battery life, people would be upset -- they're treating me like a child. People are also upset that they allow users to drain the battery rapidly. Can't please all of the people all of the time, even though that's kind of the goal of democratic design.

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Consumer Reports notoriously failed to recommend the MacBook Pro based on their battery test. Learn more about why this test was flawed.

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This doesn't surprise me. Apple likes to fool users into thinking they have privacy. They may offer more privacy than their competitors, but an iPhone isn't as private or secure as you may think.

We all know Apple refused to unlock the San Bernardino shooter's iPhone. The FBI hired a third party security firm to do it. It's not easy, but it can be done. What most people don't know is that Apple complied with over 70 FISA warrants, handing over customer's data. Whether it's right or wrong isn't the issue. It's more that they mislead people into thinking they protect privacy.

Another problem is that any phone can be hacked. I was surprised to see a story on VICE where they demonstrated how to eavesdrop on phone conversations on any smartphone. They demoed it using an iPhone. They hacked into one of their correspondent's iPhone, without even touching the device, and listened in on his phone conversations. It's a great episode and it really blew my mind.

I'm not trying to be overly critical of Apple. I just want people to realize that, despite their marketing claims, the iPhone isn't as secure as people are led to believe. Also, Apple has happily handed over customer data to the authorities. The San Bernardino case was high profile and offered a lot of PR value. That's the only reason they refused.

Now we see that Apple stores deleted web browsing history on iCloud. I'm not worried about it, but it's not the privacy one would expect from Apple, given their claims.

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I have to agree with Ross Gerber, only adding that if you want something like cable, Apple TV is worse than cable. If you're looking for something more on-demand driven, it's better than cable.

In my case, I don't like cable. I don't like channel surfing. I don't like planning my schedule around TV. Apple TV works well for me. It has enough live TV to get news and sports. For those who like channel surfing 1000 reality and food shows (which seems to be the bulk of cable these days), it will be disappointing.

I'm not sure it's really the right comparison, but it sort of begs to be made. The TV appliance most people have is the cable box, and most people like it. Efforts to make this experience available on TV devices has failed, mostly due to business negotiations. For example, DIRECTV NOW and similar services have so many rules and blackouts, unlike cable.

It's not the fault of the devices. They are fully capable of delivering cable services over the Internet. It's the negotiations. When you couple that with the fact that Eddie Cue was notoriously arrogant, which stymied talks with networks, Apple does bear some responsibility. The hardware is great. tvOS has some quirks, but it is good enough to replace a cable box (which, in terms of operating systems, UI and UX, are vastly inferior). It's just the business deals that are lagging, mostly out of greed. The new horizon for television has opened new opportunities to re-negotiate everything, and that's exactly what's happening. They're all trying to maximize profits before these deals are cemented.

If you hate cable, get an Apple TV, and don't expect it to be like cable. You can get pretty much any show or movie you want, but if channel surfing is your thing, it's not a good fit.

My last experience with cable was visiting a family member... That remote is ridiculous. It has like 100 buttons on it -- one button for each function. Ridiculous!

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Well done. It can only get better, if they give him the resources he needs to make it a decent product. There are things I love about Apple TV. Some of the games are just sick. But it could really be a much better product.

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Wow, Apple is really trying to unload Apple Music. You don't hear much talk of subscriber growth anymore. They really ended up helping Spotify more than hurting them. I know I subscribed to Spotify after Apple Music helped me like the concept of music subscription, but dislike Apple's implementation.

Google Play Music is the best. They just overhauled the UI and it's even better. They use machine learning and predictive computing to figure out what you want to listen to, and the recommendations keep getting better. "It" knows more about Italian progressive rock than the nerdiest of prog dorks. Their "I Feel Lucky Radio Station" has me actually listening to radio, because it plays really great selections! Apple Music's human curation isn't a selling point, especially when their hipster curators don't really know that much about music. Yeah, believe it or not, most prog fans know about ELP. Nothing insightful there... Apple's human curation had the most obvious recommendations. Even albums I bought on iTunes years ago, with the same Apple ID, were recommended as new music I should be listening to. A simple db query would reveal that I already know about that artist...

I'm not sure I would actually use three free months of Apple Music. I would hope it improved since the launch, but even three months after the launch, I still had 30 second dead-air breaks in music streams, even if I downloaded the music! It happened on every device. Even if it's free for three months, I just find that aggravating. It really throws me off if I am doing something and the music cuts out for 30 seconds.
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