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No. of Recommendations: 2
Generally, I favor Apple products, but sometimes Apple just makes it too hard.

1) Our son recently turned 6 and, for his birthday, he was asking for an iPad. Given that he's 6 and that the cheapest iPad is $400 (the Mini without cellular) but we could get an Amazon Fire Kids Edition for about $100, the choice was simple. With built-in parental controls, a rugged case, and a 2-year "pretty much anything" warranty, we went with the Amazon Fire. I'd really prefer Apple consider something like this (it might require multi-user support in iOS though) -- even if it weren't as cheap as the Fire but closer, I'd consider it. (It doesn't help that the movies we own are via iTunes, which means they can't be watched on his Fire).

2) My brother-in-law got us a Google Home Mini for Christmas which, so far, has been pretty nice. I'm not a huge fan of Google (actually, I really dislike them as a company), so I wish Apple had decided to go this route rather than the one they're taking with the HomePods (it might require Siri to work better, though :); the Google Assistant rarely messes up ).

Right now those are 2 (fairly small) cracks in an Apple household, and I think they're cracks that could have been avoided.

dsbrady
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No. of Recommendations: 1
With built-in parental controls, a rugged case, and a 2-year "pretty much anything" warranty, we went with the Amazon Fire. I'd really prefer Apple consider something like this (it might require multi-user support in iOS though) -- even if it weren't as cheap as the Fire but closer, I'd consider it. (It doesn't help that the movies we own are via iTunes, which means they can't be watched on his Fire).

So, I'm guessing you never heard of AppleCare? Also, as far as parental controls, that part is REALLY funny because one of the things Appole catches flack for is the "walled garden" AKA iTunes that has multiple things they do not allow including porn, etc. OH, and Apple has Family Sharing in which you can allow the kids to purchase something but ONLY after you punch in the parental control code.


My brother-in-law got us a Google Home Mini for Christmas which, so far, has been pretty nice. I'm not a huge fan of Google (actually, I really dislike them as a company), so I wish Apple had decided to go this route rather than the one they're taking with the HomePods (it might require Siri to work better, though :); the Google Assistant rarely messes up ).

I have Echo Dots in every room of the house, so I agree with you whole-heartedly on that one. You can see the details in one of my previous posts.

Kathleen
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No. of Recommendations: 0
So, I'm guessing you never heard of AppleCare?

AppleCare gets you 1 year of a limited warranty. AppleCare+, for a fee, extends that coverage to 2 years, but for accidents, you have to pay more. Amazon's 2 year warranty on the Fire Kids Edition that covers just about any problem and will fix/replace the device for free during that time. Those two types of coverage aren't really that close.

Also, as far as parental controls, that part is REALLY funny because one of the things Appole catches flack for is the "walled garden" AKA iTunes that has multiple things they do not allow including porn, etc. OH, and Apple has Family Sharing in which you can allow the kids to purchase something but ONLY after you punch in the parental control code.

Again ... not really all that close. On the Kindle, I can set time limits for overall usage or for particular activities (reading, apps, videos) (I actually wish it went a bit further and let me adjust limits for particular apps [he has a reading app he uses for school, but Amazon doesn't recognize it as "reading"], but I haven't found that option if it exists).

Having said all that, when he gets older and is ready for a non-kid device, we would probably still go with an iPad (at this point), but he might decide he likes the Amazon device and wants to stick with those.

dsbrady
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No. of Recommendations: 5
I agree that there have been missed opportunities for apple (so far) although I am not sure I agree with what categories of product.

I am likely to buy Sonos speakers soon for a home theater setup. Apple's home speaker looks first gen to me (not even clear it will be positioned against Sonos) and likely needs a whole lot of work to catch up to where Sonos is.

I am not sure it makes sense for apple to try to compete against amazon for $50 kindles and $30 dots. I am pretty sure that is a loss-making business for Amazon maybe made up for greater Amazon stickiness and retail sales which wouldn't apply to apple.

I do think there is unmet need in home automation. Audio, networking, smart devices, etc. Apple seems way behind on this. Almost as if it is a hobby for them. They had quite a bit of the pieces (Airport, Apple TV, Siri). But they haven't done much. They could've been a lot more aggressive if they were serious.

Rob
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No. of Recommendations: 0
I am not sure it makes sense for apple to try to compete against amazon for $50 kindles and $30 dots. I am pretty sure that is a loss-making business for Amazon maybe made up for greater Amazon stickiness and retail sales which wouldn't apply to apple.

I'm not necessarily saying they need to be as inexpensive as Amazon's products, but it would be nice if they were closer (and in the case of the HomePods, closer to the functionality). If there were a $200 iPad Kids Edition or something (which could possibly be an older version of the iPad Mini), I probably would have gone for that (assuming it had similar parental controls). And, while a cheaper Google Home-like assistant device could help push more people towards Apple Music. If Apple is Siri-us (ha ha) about pushing their services, they may need lower margin devices that integrate with them into more mass-adoption).

dsbrady
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No. of Recommendations: 2
So, I'm guessing you never heard of AppleCare?

LOL. You couldn’t have made his point better. Two year AppleCare for the iPad mini would be the price of the Kindle Fire + warranty.

I don’t know about parental controls in Android, but the iOS one pretty much sucks golf balls. Every 5-year old and up wants to watch YouTube and /or Netflix but that’s only possible when the apps are set to 17+, completely defeating the purpose. Apple excecs probably don’t have time to have kids.

Mark
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