Skip to main content
Message Font: Serif | Sans-Serif
 
No. of Recommendations: 5
This used to an interesting board with lots of info about Apple products and innovation and whatnot. Now it's dead except for the TRs and the cheerleaders.

I'm wondering what that says about the products and the brand. Lost the innovative lead, the products aren't cutting edge, and the excitement is kind of gone...to quote the orang-utan in chief: Sad!
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1
A lot of the earlier folks have aged out, maybe moved on to dedicated Mac centered sites, boards, or maybe just busy raising their family. I watch macsurfer.com, pretty much daily, should subscribe, but also listen to MacWorld, other podcasts as I walk or am at the gym. Any problems still go to the User board, but I also have a local Mac User Group, so some go there.. No more BMUG, those days have left us.. I'm still interested enough to try to keep up on developments, but we've also lost that MacWorld Expo, here in SF as well as others..
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 5
For my part, I think that although Apple still makes the best products, which I use, the difference between Apple's products and others' has shrunk considerably over time. While I won't touch Android, I'm not entirely averse to using Windows, if I have need at work. And of course, there's Linux.

That said, I really do think the size and pace of innovation has declined at Apple, and in the rest of the industry. Apple has produced no new product categories since the Apple watch (which I own and use), and I may not even consider that a significant product category. The Apple television never materialized, and neither has the Apple Car, and until I see real products, everything about them is, to my mind, rumormongering by cheerleaders. No thank you.

Ever since the switch to Intel, and eventually the i3/i5/i7 chips, it's been hard convince me that one generation of Mac CPUs is significantly better than the previous. Sure, there are benchmarks, but those seem to have lost their meaning. What do we get that's new? Thinner & lighter, connectivity changeovers, and a touch bar. An annual rollout of 1-2 dozen new features in the OS, many of which I don't use (as in MS Office).

Similar things could be said of iOS/iPhone/iPad.

And honestly, similar things can be said of the rest of the industry.

I've even stopped caring about changes to the once sacrosanct Mac interface.

A lot of the earlier folks have aged out, maybe moved on to dedicated Mac centered sites, boards, or maybe just busy raising their family.

I'm still here, and I haven't moved on to other Mac sites or boards. Maybe Twitter, except that has declined, too? Family is definitely a bigger priority -- it always has been, and now family and work take up almost all of my time.

The glory days of this board were fun when I cared more, but if all we have left are fanboys and such, it's no wonder people like me have drifted away.

-awlabrador
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1
That said, I really do think the size and pace of innovation has declined at Apple, and in the rest of the industry.
I'm not sure I agree with the last part, or even if I do, the decline in the pace of innovation is a lot lower in the rest of the industry than it is at Apple. A lot of the more recent more significant computing trends have originated elsewhere than Apple, for example ...

* Touch on laptops - you may or may not like it but plenty of folks do & it is arguably more user friendly than the touch bar.
* True 2-in-1s - Microsoft Surface or Surface Book et al producing a more portable yet more productive tablet/PC. Poorly copied by the iPad Pros (as the iPad Pros have a clunky UI & the inability to run 'complete' productivity software.)
* 360 laptops - A less portable version of the 2-in-1 idea.
* Phones morphing into a PC - Pioneered by Ubuntu & Microsoft (with Continuum.) This is a potentially important trend IMO, especially in the developing world where their first & primary computing device is a smartphone.
* A lot of the improvements in AI boosting ease-of-use were pioneered elsewhere - Cortana & Google were available earlier & are more capable on the PC than Siri. Siri is lagging on the smartphone. Self-driving cars would be another example. Machine vision etc.
* VR & AR - these are being led by others outside Apple & largely don't involve Apple hardware in any way.
* Home-based voice computing - Alexa & Google Home have already eclipsed HomeKit in this space in terms of ease-of-use & device integration.
* A lot of the recent smartphone ease of use & capability additions have been pioneered elsewhere & Apple's own innovations haven't been getting spectacular traction (force touch etc.)

... and those are just quickly off the top of my head in terms of potentially more significant trends in which Apple is lagging. Now, if you are deep in Apple's ecosystem then these may not seem as significant & useful as to someone who is more promiscuous in their technology use, but at least to me (and I'd expect many others) I can use a lot of these innovations to shift & advance my computing use without having to add to the total number of devices.

For example - to provide an idea of something I'd like to do that is almost there - I'd like to (& plan to) collapse my computing devices down from the current 'smartphone, tablet, laptop, media PC & very old desktop' to say 'smartphone, 2-in-1 & NAS' adding back a home "voice" computer to manage queries around the home, play music. Eventually this could drop to just smartphone perhaps (with Miracast screen & Bluetooth keyboard both of which I can buy or have now.) Total devices (for me) are 4 (from 4-5), but with increased & easier capability. This is not easily possible in the Apple ecosystem, but is *right now* elsewhere & does represent innovation.

(Now there is a class of innovations where Apple is leading - 'under the skin' hardware improvement. The pace of improvement of the A-series chips is strong, although these improvements are focused on iOS's needs & so are not 'directly' the same elsewhere.)

In a sense this is the "strategic price" Apple pays for selling devices & needing to sell more or more expensive devices to grow. Other competitors - who earn revenue in other ways or don't earn as much from devices - don't have these issues and so are able to further combine device capabilities in interesting ways - much like the original iPhone did (check out the time Steve Jobs spent in talking this up in the original launch.) And so those other competitors are more easily able to innovate. Adding touch to a Mac & turn it into a fully productive 2-in-1 is an issue for Apple - who uses touch to distinguish the iPad from the Mac - but not for anyone else, hence the 'franken-touch bar.'

In short: There is plenty of innovation around if you are willing to step outside Apple's 'walled garden.' And Apple's "strategic price" is potentially turning it into an early-mid 2000's Microsoft.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 5
* Touch on laptops - you may or may not like it but plenty of folks do & it is arguably more user friendly than the touch bar.
* True 2-in-1s - Microsoft Surface or Surface Book et al producing a more portable yet more productive tablet/PC. Poorly copied by the iPad Pros (as the iPad Pros have a clunky UI & the inability to run 'complete' productivity software.)
* 360 laptops - A less portable version of the 2-in-1 idea.
* Phones morphing into a PC - Pioneered by Ubuntu & Microsoft (with Continuum.) This is a potentially important trend IMO, especially in the developing world where their first & primary computing device is a smartphone.
* A lot of the improvements in AI boosting ease-of-use were pioneered elsewhere - Cortana & Google were available earlier & are more capable on the PC than Siri. Siri is lagging on the smartphone. Self-driving cars would be another example. Machine vision etc.
* VR & AR - these are being led by others outside Apple & largely don't involve Apple hardware in any way.
* Home-based voice computing - Alexa & Google Home have already eclipsed HomeKit in this space in terms of ease-of-use & device integration.
* A lot of the recent smartphone ease of use & capability additions have been pioneered elsewhere & Apple's own innovations haven't been getting spectacular traction (force touch etc.)


Although I will agree on the above comments, I have to take exception on this:

For example - to provide an idea of something I'd like to do that is almost there - I'd like to (& plan to) collapse my computing devices down from the current 'smartphone, tablet, laptop, media PC & very old desktop' to say 'smartphone, 2-in-1 & NAS' adding back a home "voice" computer to manage queries around the home, play music. Eventually this could drop to just smartphone perhaps (with Miracast screen & Bluetooth keyboard both of which I can buy or have now.) Total devices (for me) are 4 (from 4-5), but with increased & easier capability. This is not easily possible in the Apple ecosystem, but is *right now* elsewhere & does represent innovation.

That is actually EASIER on Apple products than elsewhere due to iCloud. Use an iPhone, an iPad Pro, and a Mac mini with a mic attached. That has actually been possible for longed on Apple than elsewhere. The iPad/iPhone have been able to do 99% of what most people will use on any given day for several years including reading, editing and exporting Office files. You can access your home computer on the the iPad (I have many times, it's not speedy, but it isn't ridiculously slow either), you can attach a Mac mini to an HDMI TV and with a mic and the accessibility options, use it as you discussed to handle queries and music. The queries aspect in some respects is new, but the rest has been there for quite a while.

In short: There is plenty of innovation around if you are willing to step outside Apple's 'walled garden.' And Apple's "strategic price" is potentially turning it into an early-mid 2000's Microsoft.

I will agree in some respects, but again, sometimes they do not think things out clearly elsewhere. I think the Surface Studio is a prime example of that. It is clearly designed to be for graphic artists, yet in order to get even reasonably decent specs, you have to price it out at $4100. For a system that I can crash 3 times in 20 minutes without any effort at all and using the software they recommend, that is a serious issue. Add in the fact that you can get an iMac AND either an iPad Pro or even a Wacom Continue for the same price and it will work better, and that is an issue.

HTH,
Kathleen
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1
* A lot of the improvements in AI boosting ease-of-use were pioneered elsewhere - Cortana & Google were available earlier & are more capable on the PC than Siri. Siri is lagging on the smartphone. Self-driving cars would be another example. Machine vision etc.
* VR & AR - these are being led by others outside Apple & largely don't involve Apple hardware in any way.
* Home-based voice computing - Alexa & Google Home have already eclipsed HomeKit in this space in terms of ease-of-use & device integration.
* A lot of the recent smartphone ease of use & capability additions have been pioneered elsewhere & Apple's own innovations haven't been getting spectacular traction (force touch etc.)


The part I finding most annoying about this, and yes, I do agree, is that Apple actually led the way in these areas, and then just kind of let it fall by the wayside. The Home-Based Voice Computing is one in particular. Apple has had built-in voice computing for years, yet they only promote it as an accessibility option for those with vision/hearing issues.

For many of the others, everything is an add-on whereas with Apple it is built-in. I'd love to see them build on that more, and cater it to the general public rather than have it hidden away as part of accessibility only.

Kathleen
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
That is actually EASIER on Apple products than elsewhere due to iCloud. Use an iPhone, an iPad Pro, and a Mac mini with a mic attached. That has actually been possible for longed on Apple than elsewhere.
I don't agree. With a proper Windows 10 2-in-1 I can run exactly the same software as on a fully powered laptop, using synced local files. That's tough to do on a Mac & iOS device unless your use cases are fairly straightforward (and mine aren't, in fact a key piece of mission-critical software can't be used on iOS at all.) And 'jacking into' your home computer from a tablet doesn't reduce the number of devices at all, you'd still need a phone, tablet & Mac (otherwise you couldn't access it.)

I do agree that for a lot of folks an iOS device *could* work though. For a lot of others (like me) it couldn't. But hey, why should I compromise to run an iOS device when the other guys can offer me a workable portable device where I wouldn't need to? And for less money overall.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1
The Home-Based Voice Computing is one in particular. Apple has had built-in voice computing for years, yet they only promote it as an accessibility option for those with vision/hearing issues.
Well the other guys have it built in too now, on both their more powerful PCs & their phones. Of course the *friction* is far greater using your phone - you have to pick it up, sometimes switch it on & then talk - compared to just talking to Alexa across the room. And Alexa's voice recognition seems far better (and Google Home's certainly is) and faster than using your phone. And today Alexa can do a lot more - in the home - with voice than Siri can even if you have HomeKit compatible devices.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 4
Of course the *friction* is far greater using your phone - you have to pick it up, sometimes switch it on & then talk

That's not quite true. If your iPhone is plugged into a charger, it can operate exactly like Alexa, with no touching necessary. You wake it up with "Hey Siri".

Alexa can do a lot more - in the home - with voice than Siri can even if you have HomeKit compatible devices.

You should be more specific. And with Alexa you have 1) the possibility of everything you say within range being eavesdropped on by snoops, and 2) a home device system that is significantly more susceptible to electronic takeover, because of a lack of proper security. HomeKit devices have to pass security testing before they are HomeKit approved.

And Alexa's voice recognition seems far better (and Google Home's certainly is)

I don't believe this for a minute. The actual recognition of the voice is pretty much on par. The interpretive algorithms may be different, so the capabilities of the various systems are different. Besides, Alexa and Google Home both understand a total of three languages each. Siri understands twenty seven languages (and that includes all dialects of a language counting as 1).

Bottom line, each company has pursued different areas of expertise concerning voice control, and by the time I finish this reply it probably will improve for all companies involved.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1
I agree with platykurtic, a 2 in 1 device would be a very attractive proposition. A large iPad Pro that can act like a laptop with a wireless keyboard and mouse. Files in iCloud so I can seamlessly transition from working on my iMac at home from working away from home.

Unfortunately I don't think it will happen. As much as Apple had great success with the A processors, it also painted them in a corner. It means software available for desktop will never be automatically available for tablet, taking away the main driver for such a device.

It will probably take another decade before Apple realizes they need to make another transition to Intel.

Mark
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 2
A large iPad Pro that can act like a laptop with a wireless keyboard and mouse. Files in iCloud so I can seamlessly transition from working on my iMac at home from working away from home.

Uh, that is in place now with iCloud, and iWork.

It will probably take another decade before Apple realizes they need to make another transition to Intel.

Or maybe a complete transition to the A processors. If everything is in the cloud as you wish, what does it matter what the processor is on the terminal you are using?

Kathleen
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 5
Am I the only one who thought this was about Apple's board of directors?
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1
That's not quite true. If your iPhone is plugged into a charger, it can operate exactly like Alexa, with no touching necessary. You wake it up with "Hey Siri".
Except that the microphones don't work nearly as well (as you hint in your second point.) And I need to think of plugging it in which adds friction/effort.

And your second point becomes a red herring. That is doesn't specifically address the point that you are replying to. That is ... Alexa has thousands of skills connecting to (well these days) essentially every vendor (a quick Google,Bing or perhaps even a Siri query can easily verify that.) HomeKit has no official numbers I can find, but at best it appears there are (maybe) low hundreds of devices. And usually (read almost always) the HomeKit devices work with Alexa so if you wish the security situation is exactly the same.

I don't believe this for a minute. The actual recognition of the voice is pretty much on par. The interpretive algorithms may be different, so the capabilities of the various systems are different. Besides, Alexa and Google Home both understand a total of three languages each. Siri understands twenty seven languages (and that includes all dialects of a language counting as 1).
Alexa and Google Home understand the languages of the countries where they are sold (and Siri doesn't BTW or it would be far more than 27 languages.) And do you reasonably believe that Google Home won't easily expand to more as sales locations expand (given Google's overall lead in Voice Recognition)? And do you really believe that Siri is as good at voice recognition as Google, given all the comparisons over the years showing that it's not (another quick Google that backs up my experience as an English speaker with a less common accent)? At best it'd be equal.

But all this back & forth obscures the original point - that there is plenty of innovation in the industry, and often that innovation is working at cross purposes to Apple's revenue generation.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 2
I am still here....lurking about. Just sayin.

Oh, and quite pleased with my AAPL stock.

Birgit
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1
I think what you're seeing seems to be happening on TMF as a whole. You could argue it's a lack of excitement about Apple, but all of the investing boards I visit on TMF are fairly dead -- Apple's board is still more active than the others, in fact (including MSFT's board which is fairly dead, even with the company's revitalization).

dsbrady
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 3
That's not quite true. If your iPhone is plugged into a charger, it can operate exactly like Alexa, with no touching necessary. You wake it up with "Hey Siri".

If you have an iPhone 6s or newer (or an iPad Pro), you don't even need to be plugged in.

dsbrady
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1
I'm not sure I agree with the last part, or even if I do, the decline in the pace of innovation is a lot lower in the rest of the industry than it is at Apple.

[List of things deleted]

We have a somewhat different take on innovation.

Your list of things that the rest of the industry is going with appears to me to be a lot of "let's throw things up against the wall and see what sticks." It's far from new, so just throwing things out there fails to impress me. Companies have been doing things like that for a long time, but if whatever they do doesn't take the industry by storm, or at least have a very broad effect, then eventually the "innovation" will dry up, disappear, and be forgotten. There was a time when netbooks were considered "innovative" and Apple had "fallen behind" because they didn't have an answer to that in their product line. And just because we think of netbooks as crap now doesn't mean that people didn't think they were really innovative, e.g. https://www.roytanck.com/2009/08/12/why-netbooks-are-importa... -- yes, the title really is "Why netbooks are important: Innovation").

Just because Apple isn't doing something doesn't mean that Apple is "falling behind", particularly if the things that the others are doing are of unproven value.

I could say that a lot of -- or all of -- the "innovations" you have on your list are still wait-and-see. VR and AR? Feels like 3D television, to me, and it may very well go the same route in the market. Home-based voice computing? I have and very much like my Amazon Echo -- it's a surprisingly good speaker -- but there's no way it eclipses HomeKit. And yes, I've installed things like Wifi thermostats, outlet switches, etc. They work with Alexa and HomeKit, but they integrate with HomeKit better; the Alexa Skills are simply awful. I'd rather have remote access via HomeKit, anyway, than voice access with Amazon Echo.

-awlabrador
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 14
I think what you're seeing seems to be happening on TMF as a whole. You could argue it's a lack of excitement about Apple, but all of the investing boards I visit on TMF are fairly dead -- Apple's board is still more active than the others, in fact (including MSFT's board which is fairly dead, even with the company's revitalization).

Two things. First, yes, all the investment boards are down. Some of this is conscious decision by the Fool, as these free boards do not put money into supporting the organization, so they opened up other "pay" boards, which siphon traffic (especially the "I'll pay for investing talk" stuff). And without a revenue base, the boards have been allowed to linger in the 1990's, without support for jpgs, charts, gifs and whatnot. Some might argue this is a good thing, but then the fee boards do support more than the simple ascii keyset, so...

Second, the world has changed. There are a lot more places for people to time sink, Facebook only the most notable. There are also three times as many cable TV channels, Facetime, Tinder, and whatever all those other things are, so volumes are down across the board, unless you are one of the lucky few which has hit the jackpot (aka: Facebook).

Third, having been here for something like 20 years, I have watched boards explode, level off, wither and die, and they do so for a variety of reasons. METAR, for instance, has had two successful incarnations, largely due to the group leaders. But most investment boards get hyper when a stock is zooming (AOL, @Home, Starbucks, Apple, etc.) and then as the company goes into "normal growth" the interest levels off, and eventually it ends up being a shadow of its former self. Some never achieve the hyper phase at all, even when hot. A few, like Berkshire, retain a kind of cult status across the years - but most follow the trajectory of the stock: growth, maturity, old age, death. Apple hasn't come out with a revolutionary product in almost a decade (not a criticism, just an observation). The stock is not a rocketship any more, although most here still believe it to be a good investment. Fine. I wouldn't short the stock, but I might the board; it's just how it works.

Fourth, I know I said "two things", which have now grown to four. Consider it an alternative fact, and don't penalize or criticize me for it just because it's so obviously wrong.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 2
Think it says more about the Foolish boards and the ancient, outdated technology here.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
Am I the only one who thought this was about Apple's board of directors? - stevenjklein | Date: 2/4/2017 11:56:20 PM | Number: 207732

Probably yes!

WHOVPLLC
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 4
Am I the only one who thought this was about Apple's board of directors? - stevenjklein | Date: 2/4/2017 11:56:20 PM | Number: 207732

Probably yes!


Considering SJK got 5 recs out of it, I think not.

Kathleen
Print the post Back To Top