Editorial

What would you change about Control Center?

Control Center is a way to get at all your toggles, sliders, buttons, and basic actions, all in one place.

Since it's debut in iOS 7 back in 2013, Control Center hasn't changed much. Pull it up from the bottom of the screen and you get quick access to a variety of options. The top row gives you airplane mode, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, do not disturb, and orientation lock. Next is a brightness slider. After that is media, including play, pause, skip, and volume. Then you have AirDrop and AirPlay. Last row is flashlight, timer, calculator, and camera.

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NSFW: Apple Watch, turning the corner, and betting on the future

I'm curious about how Apple Watch technology will evolve. I'm also excited to see the third party market.

I admit that I'm later to the Apple Watch game than some of my colleagues. It was only recently that I had an epiphany about how the Apple Watch could really change things for me. I'm excited about them now. But what I'm even more excited about is seeing what happens from here.

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Forget Apple fanboys, what about Apple doomsayers?

Apple zealots are one thing, but Apple doomsayers might be worse. This week, on The Network: John Moltz wonders why we ever mixed church and tech.

Stop me if you've heard this one: Apple is just like a relig—

STOP.

Yeah, you've heard it. Apple is just like a religion. And its customers are acolytes, steeped in the heady lore of the Church of Jobs blah blah blah. For certain pundits and commentators, this explains away everything they don't understand about Apple. Why it does so fabulously well, why its customers are so loyal, why the company is able to charge more for its devices... it explains everything!

A little too neatly.

See, if I could add an addendum to Occam's Razor it would go like this: The simplest explanation is usually the right one... unless it involves magic. Frankly, I think that it's much more valid to apply this argument to Apple's critics than its supporters.

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What we want to see from the next Apple TV

Apple just dropped the price of the Apple TV to $69 and announced an exclusive deal to bring HBO Now to customers just in time for Game of Thrones. But Apple also said that this was just the beginning. We've talked a little about the possible future of Apple TV, but it's a broad topic and that means we need to make the discussion big — iMore roundtable big!

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Siri and the potential for 'Voice ID'

Yell "Hey, Siri!" on podcast — or out loud at an event — and you'll get dozens of complaints from people whose phones suddenly went into voice mode.

That might sound like an edge-case for Siri, Apple's personal digital assistant, but here's something more common — a family charging station with several iPhones devices plugged in. How do you target yours and yours alone? How do you make sure only your voice can activate Siri on your iPhone or iPad? On your Apple Watch? In your car or around your house?

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How Apple Watch will be your digital wallet... and keychain

Information broker. Health tracker. Digital wallet and keys. Communicator. Remote Control. We might not have gotten it presented on stage like that, but we still got it — it's all one product. It's the Apple Watch.

The Apple Watch is going to be different things to different people — sometimes singularly, but often in combination. One of the things that will likely be compelling to many is Apple Watch as digital wallet and keychain. We've seen Apple Pay already, but when it comes to authentication, there's a lot more to see.

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How Apple Watch will be your next remote control

Information broker. Health tracker. Digital wallet and keys. Communicator. Remote Control. We might not have gotten it presented on stage like that, but we still got it — it's all one product. It's the Apple Watch.

Just like the iPhone and iPad, different people will find each of those features compelling to a greater or lesser degree, and which ones they find compelling can change over time. The Watch as remote control is a great example: Apple hasn't spent a lot of time on it yet, but it could become much more important as time passes.

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What else can Apple do?

With a market capitalization of $751 billion (and possibly a trillion in a few years), Apple attracts attention every time it launches something… anything, really.

The past year was very positive for the Cupertino behemoth. With the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus dominating the news before and after launch, it was a year of strong financial performance and increasing market momentum.

When I look at Apple overall, I see a company that has been able to grow its brand and market share by marrying software, ease of use, and elegant design – but ultimately by selling hardware. The nice shiny objects are what get consumers' attention. This can be seen by looking at the level of replacement sales that Apple's iPhone upgrades have generated. In years where improved software and services were introduced alongside changes in design, replacement sales have been greater. With the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, Apple played the "larger screen" card that many have been waiting for, and the mix of replacement cycles from previous iPhone models, as well as conversion from Android, have been amazing. This upgrade cycle technique has worked well for them, but it's a strategy with a finite horizon, since all hardware – even Apple hardware – is subject to eventual commoditization. It's an unavoidable truth for any manufacturer.

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Hey Apple, Macs need less crappy webcams

Apple needs to step up its game with the built-in FaceTime cameras in Macs. They suck.

Apple laptops are popular with podcasters and video conferencers. Why do so many of us buy external cameras? Because the FaceTime camera built into the Mac is mediocre at best.

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The future of Apple TV

Last week Apple dropped the price on the current 1080p Apple TV to $69 and announced an exclusive deal with HBO Now.

These moves make the Apple TV both more interesting and more affordable — and I have no doubt that the imminent return of Game of Thrones will help sell a lot of the little black boxes. But in the battle for the living room, with competition ranging from the ultra-cheap Chromecast to pricer if more potent consoles like Playstation 4, where does the future of Apple TV fit?

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