What would you trade/spend for a redundant interface?

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It won’t be this easy, or cheap

If you follow the tech press, you’d think that Mac computers with touchscreens are inevitable — some might even say overdue — and will be an absolute good when they finally arrive. The reasoning for this usually goes something like, “Wouldn’t it be great if you could scroll pages, open links, and zoom in and out on your Mac using your fingers instead of a mouse/trackpad?” And if you believe the tech press, the evidence that Macs will soon get touchscreens is all around us, most notably in the ways iOS and macOS have increasingly begun resembling each other both visually and in terms of functionality. …


They just have luxury options

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The absurd $15,000 Caviar “Sands of Time” iPhone 12 Pros

For a long time, Apple was considered a “luxury” brand, with both the positive and negative connotations that entails. But with an apparent shift in philosophy expressed through the introduction of some new midrange products, as well as the gains from Apple switching Macs away from Intel to their own Apple Silicon chips, I think it’s time for that “luxury” designation to end.

When thinking of the more complimentary aspects of the word “luxury”, Apple products have long fit the bill. Luxury items often are made with premium materials like leather, silk, and gold — in Apple’s case, think metal and glass instead of plastic. Luxury items are often high-quality and reflect a craftsmanship, thoughtfulness, and attention to detail. At a luxury store, you expect top-notch customer service from helpful, knowledgeable, and accommodating employees. Luxury products are often not just easier to use, but a joy to use. And yes, all of these extra features and details often lead to higher prices that put them out of reach for people with more modest budgets. …


We can’t grasp how good it will feel when he’s finally gone

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Even with Joe Biden defeating Donald Trump in the 2020 election, I know a lot of democrats are upset and scared. The Blue Wave failed to materialize. Mitch McConnell, Lindsay Graham, Joni Erst, and Susan Collins were reelected. President-elect Biden will have a major uphill battle against a conservative Supreme Court and obstructionist GOP congressmen who can’t even admit that he won the election. And most importantly, it’s incredibly upsetting and depressing that tens of millions of American voters are so divorced from reality that they somehow believe that Trump has been a great, competent president who deserves to be reelected in spite of his divisiveness, racism, dishonesty, misogyny, science/reality denialism, and numerous other defects and failures, the greatest of which has been his refusal to fight or tell the truth about a pandemic that will surely have killed more than 300,000 Americans by the time he is forced out of office. …


You’re wrong. Just wrong.

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Not going to happen

Just like every year since 2012, 2020’s iPhone 12 lineup charges via Apple’s proprietary Lightning connector (as well as Qi inductive charging). But unlike every iPhone ever, 2020’s iPhones don’t come with a charger or EarPods — only a Lightning to USB-C charging cable. Apple’s reasoning for this is that practically everyone already has several chargers and headphones laying around anyway, so including them with every new iPhone would simply be creating more e-waste for future generations to deal with while requiring the extraction and creation of more materials for these largely unneeded items. In addition, iPhone boxes can be made much smaller without chargers and headphones in them, meaning that way more iPhones can be shipped in much less space, requiring a lot less fuel to transport them. …


You‘ll appreciate the help

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If you are or are about to become a new parent, you’re probably going to get a ton of suggestions for things you need to buy or add to your baby shower wish list. Parent friends will tell you the products they swear by, and there are tons of lists online that will tell you what you absolutely must have for the first few weeks — for instance, if you don’t have a properly-installed car seat, you can’t even drive your baby home from the hospital.

But as a first-time parent to a six-month old, there’s one item that I’ve found indispensable that none of my parent friends mentioned and that you won’t find on any list: the Apple Watch. …


Studios can gamble, give in, or embrace the moment

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It’s a tough time to run a movie theater or a movie studio. With the coronavirus pandemic continuing to destabilize countries and their economies around the world, few are eager to sit in a movie theater surrounded by strangers, while studios are reluctant to release films in theaters — especially potential blockbusters — when there are no audiences to buy tickets. But due to smart TVs, streaming channels, and video-on-demand, there are more ways than ever to get a movie in front of viewers, though they all have their pros and cons.

So I thought I would look at three films — Hamilton, Greyhound, and Tenet — and the different strategies their studios employed to try to get eyes on their movies and a return on their investment, with thoughts on movie distribution both now and in the post-pandemic world as well as Disney’s recent announcement about Mulan. …


In the best possible way

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At Apple’s 2020 Worldwide Developer’s Conference, Apple announced that future Macs would abandon Intel processors for Apple’s own Apple Silicon, which will be based on the industry-leading A-series processors they’ve been using for years in iPhones and iPads. Senior Vice President of Software Engineering Craig Federighi described this change as “truly profound”, while CEO Tim Cook said that the announcement made it an “historic day” that would be “a huge leap forward” and would take the Mac to “a whole new level.” …


The Mac is no longer the beginning. It’s the end.

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At Apple’s 2020 Worldwide Developer’s Conference, SVP of software engineering Craig Federighi and VP of Human Interface Design Alan Dye had barely begun introducing macOS 11 Big Sur when the tech press and devoted Mac users began reacting with fear, consternation, and rage that Apple was telegraphing an eventual and inevitable merging of iOS/iPadOS and macOS.

Whether it was redesigned app icons, feature parity between iOS and macOS apps, more rounded corners, or the look of buttons and control sliders, virtually everything that would be coming to Big Sur was evidence that Apple would soon kill the Mac as we know it, begin making touchscreen Macs, and have all their devices run the same operating system — three things Apple has spent years assuring us they won’t do. Later in the keynote, Apple’s long-awaited announcement that they would be transitioning Macs to their own Apple Silicon chips based on their A-series ARM chips for iPhones and iPads was seen as the final nail in the coffin of the Mac and macOS as it has existed for decades. …


Lessons from Wendell Berry and Les “Survivorman” Stroud

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Les “Survivorman” Stroud and Wendell Berry

“I can’t imagine when I’ll be happy again.”

This is something a friend said to me during a FaceTime call several weeks ago as the reality of the coronavirus pandemic, the challenges of sheltering at home, and the Trump administration’s refusal-to-lead “strategy” were setting in. Will we ever be able to return to how things were before? When can we visit and hug our friends and family without fear? What is going to happen to all the people who are losing their jobs and can’t pay their rents? It’s too much for any person to truly comprehend, especially with new developments and statistics seemingly being reported every few minutes. …


Apple bet big on the future of headphones

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On May 28, 2014, Apple officially announced that it had made the biggest, most expensive acquisition in the company’s history. But the company Apple bought was not a competitor, nor was it a traditional tech hardware or software company whose flagship products could be integrated into Apple’s lineup of iPhones, Mac computers, or iPads. Instead, Apple chose to spend $3 billion on Beats Electronics, the company started by music industry mogul Jimmy Iovine and legendary rapper/producer Dr. Dre that was famous for its popular, stylish, high-priced Beats by Dre headphones.

It was a move that left countless Wall Street analysts and tech commentators scratching their heads while repeating the already common refrain that Apple was lost and doomed without founder Steve Jobs, who had died just three years earlier in 2011. Why on earth would Apple spend so much money on a company whose audio products were widely derided by audiophiles and reviewers for lacking good sound quality while also being vastly overpriced? Was Apple signaling a change in philosophy away from selling best-in-class, iconic hardware in favor of fashionable, high-margin junk? Or was Apple simply confirming what critics had been saying for years, that Apple has always been about style over substance, utilizing clever marketing to trick the vain and ignorant into spending too much for attractive but sub-par hardware that “serious” users would never touch? Before the ink was even dry on the contracts, many were already calling the deal a mistake and a failure. …

About

Jonathan Kim

Creator of ReThink Reviews, covering the intersection of movies, politics, and current events. Gentleman farmer, tech enthusiast, woodworker. And. More.

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