Good Reads for January, 2015

Every month, we’ll be bringing you no more than a handful of slightly longer — but always worthy of your time and attention — reads about the wonderful world of Apple. Bring your own Instapaper account, because this is Good Reads.

  • We kick off Good Reads (for the year!) with a piece on Apple Watch battery life. Now that we know the Apple Watch will be released in April, Kit Eaton says that we shouldn’t be stressing about battery life because battery life is the one problem that has plagued all watches for the past 500 years. It’s gotten better over time, and just like you got used the battery life of the do-everything smartphone of today, you’ll get used to the battery life of the Apple Watch.

And now the next paradigm shift is upon us. The modern smartwatch, let’s say exemplified by the Apple Watch (which is, let’s face it, going to be the smartwatch to beat), is effectively an ultramobile computer with processing power that would’ve boggled the minds of 1970s-era watchmakers, and seemed like witchcraft to those engineers who crafted the earliest portable clocks.

  • This month’s Apple complaint was mostly focused around software quality, as summarised by Michael Tsai in over two dozen links. Whether you believe that Apple is too focused on marketing great features at the cost of stability or whether Apple’s development style internally has caused the issues of lackluster software releases, there’s plenty of fuel for the fire. And it’s not just the details, either — Marco Zehe writes Apple are also dropping the ball when it comes to accessibility quality.

In the beginning, especially in Snow Leopard and Lion, Apple also did the same for OS X. It gradually also added many of the features it had added to iOS to OS X to keep them in sync. But ever since Mountain Lion, VoiceOver did not see much improvement any more. In fact, the lack of newly introduced features could lead one to the perception that Apple thinks that VoiceOver is done, and no new features need to be added.

  • After Apple reported their quarterly financials, the results were in: Apple is, in fact, not doomed. A lot of people want to think Apple is about to disappear off the face of the earth, or that one misstep is all it will take to unseat the biggest consumer electronics companies in the world, but here’s the thing: they’re all wrong, as Ben Thompson explains.

It’s difficult to overstate just how absurd this is, but here’s my best attempt: last quarter Apple’s revenue was downright decimated by the strengthening U.S. dollar; currency fluctuations reduced Apple’s revenue by 5% – a cool $3.73 billion dollars. That, though, is more than Google made in profit last quarter ($2.83 billion). Apple lost more money to currency fluctuations than Google makes in a quarter. And yet it’s Google that is feared, and Apple that is feared for.

Perhaps more surprising, the Apple model of integrating all aspects of the design and manufacture of a product, long abandoned by other manufacturers, has been vindicated. Microsoft was once content to stick to software, ceding processors to companies like Intel and the PCs themselves to an array of other manufacturers.

  • With every product iteration, Apple devices get thinner and thinner, even when it arguably isn’t needed. TechCrunch asks what the point of this continual push for thinness is, especially when compromises have to be made in other areas to satisfy Apple’s increasingly thinner and lighter devices.

But there comes a point where size, surely, no longer matters. Where a phone or a laptop or a computer is now thin enough for even the most fashion conscious gadget owner. And yet still Apple thins.

Start the discussion at talk.appletalk.com.au