Editorial

Deconstructing Apple's October iPad and Mac event

On October 23, 2012, Apple held a special event to introduce their new Mac and iPad lineups. Unlike the previous month's iPhone 5 and iPod event, it wasn't bifurcated into effectively two different keynotes, nor was almost any time at all spent on software. Instead, one after another, product after product, spec updates, redesigns, and entirely new hardware was shown off on the California Theater stage. It was an unprecedented display of force projection. It was Apple firing everything. It was Tim Cook clearing his skies.

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Apple, iBooks, and competing with Kindle

Buried among the numbers at yesterday's iPad and Mac event, Tim Cook announced a new version of iBooks with a few new features. From the beginning I'd heard the iPad mini was about removing weight and cost as barriers of entry to iPad sales, and about taking the ebook fight to Amazon and, as Ryan Block of GDGT aptly terms them, their Kindle line of consumer content appliances. Yet the event came and went without Apple matching the Kindle on pricing, or challenging Amazon on ebooks. Why?

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iPad mini round-table - reactions to Apple's latest and greatest product announcements

Yesterday was a busy day for Apple fans and we're rounding up reactions from all of iMore's contributors to see how they feel about the iPad mini, the 4th.-generation iPad, and other new products announced yesterday. 

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Editor's desk: New podcast schedule

October madness is open us, with Apple's iPad and Mac event coming on Tuesday, along with several Microsoft, Google, T-Mobile, and probably other events later in the month. That's then. This is now. And I'd like to take this brief breather to go over some exciting changes we're making to our podcast schedule.

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Barriers to entry

App.net (ADN), an alternative to Twitter that seeks to better balance the needs of the platform owners with developers and users, saw substantial growth in the last couple of weeks. This is partly due to the arrival of popular clients -- for end users the interface is the app, after all, and familiarity is a huge feature. In addition to attracting attention, these clients reduced the learning curve and the stress level often associated with platform change. ADN also lowered the cost of their service. Initially ADN cost $50 a year for a non-developer account, which was a substantial barrier to entry for anyone but the geekiest of geek users (#227, at your service). While $50 is less than some people spend on fancy caffeinated beverages each month, it still feels like a big up-front expense for something that may or may not provide a significant return. ADN dropped the yearly price to $36, but what's more, they introduced a new $5 monthly option. $5 a month is actually $60 a year, which is more expensive than it was previously, but far more people will be willing to give ADN a chance at $5 than $50, as any substantial period of time beyond a few days blurs towards the amorphous. It's a lower up-front cost, and hence, lower up-front risk.

It's objection handling at the product level, and it's smart business. It's something Apple has been doing going on a decade, and something they're doing especially well with iOS devices right now.

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New York Times explores patents of mass destruction, once again focuses on Apple and misses the broader story

Patents, the weaponizing of patents in particular, and the weaponizing of patents by Apple in particular is the latest in the the New York Times' curious iEconomy series. This, the 7th installment, is penned by Charles Duhigg and Steve Lohr, and once again, rather than explore the real problems with patent litigation, the Times instead chooses focus on Apple and its lawsuits against Android partners. They once again focus on Apple to the detriment of the real, pervasive problem.

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Editors desk: Çingleton, Passbook, gripes, and giving thanks beyond the Wall

It's Thanksgiving weekend here beyond the Wall, in Canada, so I'll keep things brief. The iPhone 5 has launched and while we've done our full iPhone 5 review and iOS 6 review, there's still plenty left to cover. iMore has the benefit, and responsibility, of only having one phone to focus on a year, so we're going to make sure we do the best job possible for you. Top to bottom, inside and out, day one to year two, we're going to help you get the most out of your new iPhone.

Now, before the turkey...

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iOS 7 wants: Better App Store search usability

With iOS 6, Apple has totally changed the way search results appear in the on-device App Store app. With the old App Store search, five results were immediately visible in a list view, and you could vertically scroll or flick quickly through large amounts more. With the new iOS 6 App Store search, only one result is visible at a time, and you whether you scroll or flick, you only ever get one result more at a time. And that's not good.

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iOS 7 wants: Ability to mute alerts when on a call

Since the early days of the iPhone, we've received a steady stream of complaints about how alerts are handled when you're on a call. Namely, you can have the phone to your ear, chatting away, when suddenly a text message comes in and the tone and/or vibrate goes off full blast into your ear and rattles through your skull. Since push notifications launched for 3rd party apps, especially the trumpeting horror that is Game Center, it's only gotten worse. If you're not used it to and expecting it, it can make you want to drop your phone and start stomping. That's only mild hyperbole, mind you, as that's exactly what several significant others have told us, with rage-filled eyes, after it happened to them for the first time.

While some people may want to make absolutely sure they don't miss an important alert while on a phone call, and are willing to pay the price in low-yield skull trauma, others would pay a significant amount of money for the option to turn it off.

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Regarding Passbook

I joked today that Passbook was this year's Newsstand. I meant that on several levels. First, it's an app that people seem to be struggling to use. Second, it's an app that depends on being fed content that's out of Apple's control. Third, because of those two factors, it's an app that could have done with some better hand-holding and partnership placements at launch.

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