Editorial

HomeKit promises to clean up the mess of home automation

Why upgrading to HomeKit often requires new hardware for new features.

There's an article in Fortune today that talks about the transition to HomeKit, Apple's home automation framework, and the hardware upgrades it necessitates. Unfortunately, instead of trying to inform people about what's happening and why, so they can make better buying decisions, the article sensationalizes it. And that hurts the reader.

So, what's really happening?

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18 features in iOS 9 you may have missed during the keynote

We've heard about the big stuff. Here are my favorite little features hiding away in iOS 9.

We're a month away from iOS 9's public beta and, like I do just about every year, I've compiled a collection of my favorite tiny features you may not have heard about yet, thanks to the onslaught of info.

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Metal for OS X is so huge, I no longer need a Mac Pro

When Apple unveiled Metal for OS X at the 2015 WWDC keynote, I wasn't very impressed.

Metal, Apple's optimized set of 3D tools for developers, first showed up on iOS last year in the form of a particularly beautiful Unreal Engine demo. it provided answers for serious problems that my development team faced when making cinematic games on the iPhone and iPad.

But Metal for OS X? The particle effects on stage were less impressive than last year's iOS demo, and moreover, while watching the demo onstage, I couldn't help but note that Unreal Engine games barely exist for the Mac. There's Tomb Raider, the Borderlands trilogy, X-Com, and a handful of indie titles, but many major games like Mass Effect haven't been ported.

I worried that "Metal" had become Apple's version of "Blast Processing," a catch phrase in the 90s for the Sega Genesis. In commercials, Sega would gloat that only the Genesis had "Blast processing." The only problem was, Blast Processing didn't really do anything that mattered.

But it turns out, I was wrong.

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Remember, don't install beta software on your primary devices

Remember, developers: It's very tempting. But please don't install beta software like the new OS X 10.11 and iOS 9 unless you can afford to live without your Mac or iOS device if something goes horribly wrong.

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12 features I'm excited to see come to OS X El Capitan

Here are the coolest little features I'm excited to see come to OS X this fall.

OS X El Capitan was announced at WWDC on Monday, and there are a ton of little bits and pieces to be excited about — super-powered graphics, a new-and-improved Mission Control, full-screen tweaks, and more. But what about the awesome little things that Apple may not have mentioned on-stage? Here are my favorite hidden features coming to the Mac later this year.

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Understanding Apple and privacy

A lot of people are getting a lot of things wrong about Apple's stance on privacy and security, and what it means for the future.

Last week Apple's CEO, Tim Cook, once again reiterated the company's belief that people have a right to privacy and security, and that the cost of free-as-in-paid-for-by-your-data services isn't always clearly understood. Those for who believe the conversation about privacy and security is the most important of our generation appreciated someone as powerful and influential as Cook giving it the spotlight it deserves. Those who believe the advancement of technology requires the relinquishing of previously held beliefs about privacy and security, however, reacted harshly. The problem is, many of them also reacted in a way that's just plain wrong.

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8 Apple Watch fixes I want in the next software update

The Apple Watch has correctly been lauded by critics as the best wearable on the market to date. That said, it's a first generation product — and it shows.

The central problem with the Apple Watch is its software. When I hand someone an iPhone, its user interface is intuitive. Yet to me, the Apple Watch isn't something that's easy to understand. On top of that, for a company that's known for sweating the details, Apple has seemingly missed a few with its software.

I like my Apple Watch. It's great. But here are eight simple software changes — four fitness-based quirks, four general tweaks — that would make it even better.

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Verizon's disaster readiness is an impressive combination of hardware and manpower

We spent a day with Verizon looking at their disaster readiness plans, which includes everything from opening their retail locations up as safe places to go to deploying massive vehicles for civilians and local emergency agencies to work out of.

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Merchants aren't 'skeptical' of Apple Pay, they're just self-serving

Apple Pay isn't everywhere yet, but where it's going tells me a lot about where I'll want to be.

Apple Pay, the contactless payment system announced by Apple last September, absolutely faces challenges when it comes to gaining widespread adoption by an industry not always aligned with the best interests of the customer. No, not Hollywood — big retail. The top 100 merchants in the United States of America.

Reuters ran a survey to find out what those challenges were, but framed the results in such a way as to make the merchants seem "skeptical", when the actual data seems to suggest a far better term would be "self serving". When reached for comment, Apple told iMore:

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Here's what every Apple Watch Sport color combination looks like

There are fifteen Sport color combinations. Which one will you rock on your wrist?

I went out and bought every single Sport band last week. In part, I wanted to look at every color in my Sport band review. But really, I wanted to mix up the colors.

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