eXtensions - Friday 15 March 2019
Cassandra - Weekend Review: March Event, WWDC, Apple Watch, and Elizabeth Warren
By Graham K. Rogers
Another main reason for not for not having written on technology-related matters for so long is that I have been focusing on cameras and photography. Of course I have been using my digital cameras: Nikon D850 and the iPhone; but I have concentrated on using Film in recent weeks. I have written a number of things about that medium and more will be coming.
Before WWDC of course there is an Apple event later this month. Although the invitation suggests that this is something to do with Apple's media content there may be hardware. Some people have predicted the new iPads and there was a rumor about a different size. The iPad mini seems to have disappeared from the radar and it is a shame really because a lot of young people used to rely on that.
With regards to hardware, I have noticed over the last few weeks many offers for reduced prices on Macs and iPads. At least, these were discounts in the USA: there are rarely such discounts here; and last year, after the Apple Watch 4 had been announced, certain outlets were selling the Apple Watch 3 at a higher price than Apple's recommended level. This discounting in the USA suggests a clearing of the decks and hopefully the potential arrival of new hardware, some of which is long overdue.
Apple iPad Pro - Image courtesy of Apple
There are some suggestions that Apple would also use this event for an announcement on its magazine subscription service - linked to the News app on iOS.
I blanched when I read that the lady wanted to separate Apple from its App Store as the monopoly she sees (if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail) is a construct that keeps me and thousands of users secure. Just look at the alternative of the happy-go-lucky Play Store and see how insecure those devices can be. While Warren did some wonderful work on the banks - not enough in my opinion - she may do herself some harm by looking at technology companies through the same lens. Note also that California has the largest number of electoral college votes.
The Apple Watch faced considerable opposition initially, but bit by bit has found its way onto the wrists of many people: young and old (and in between). It had early acceptance in some parts of the medical profession who saw its value as part of a strategy of collecting direct input from users. This can indicate any oddities of a particular patient if the hospital is set up for it; but (along with the iPhone) it can also provide larger data sets that can be useful for wider statistical analysis.
As people recognize the benefits of health, body tracking, and messaging, so sales of the device are growing and even IDC reports positively on this. Commenting on this D.M. Martins Research (Seeking Alpha) notes the recorded 31% growth, part of which is coming from corporate take-up: healthcare organisations (and insurance companies) view the monitoring as a valuable way to reduce risk. Investment in the Apple Watch has a related economic benefit as trends, predictions and warnings are more readily available.
I mentioned then that Apple has seen drops in each share price before, but always the price changes to rise a short time afterwards. And now we see predictions of $220 by some analysts. Apple's current share price is $184, about what it was this time last year, before the rise to $232 and then that rapid drop. Commentators often consider the short term, but if you look at the long-term trend, say from 2007 when the price of an Apple share was $200, the trend has continually been upward. There has been a 7-way split in the price since 2007 so one share then would have been worth just under $30, which gives a rise of around six times from then to today.
What Marzipan will make possible is for a developer to write one set of code and then the app can be ported to both systems. It will not be that the app will run on both the iPhone and the Mac, but there will be a built-in economy that will not need two separate sets of code to be written for one app. Affinity had some good ideas along these lines with the basic engine for their applications like Developer, Photo and others. I am not sure that this is the same approach as Apple is taking with Marzipan, but the ideas sound similar: with the basics created, porting to another operating system is more easily accomplished.
Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs. After 3 years writing a column in the Life supplement, he is now no longer associated with the Bangkok Post. He can be followed on Twitter (@extensions_th)
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