Editorial

What 'MacKeeper' is and why you should avoid it

Literally every time I work in the computer store, we'll get a customer whose Mac is plagued with problems they don't understand: Their Mac is acting slow. It crashes. And more. And in more cases than not, we find that they've installed a program called MacKeeper. Removing MacKeeper fixes the problem. So what is MacKeeper and why should you avoid it? Read on for details

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What could Apple do with 2GB of RAM in the iPhone?

iOS has always been incredibly efficient when it comes to its use of random access memory (RAM). It's what makes cross-platform spec comparisons so much more than just a numbers game. Apple gets to write their own native code directly to their own hardware. There's also no garbage collection to account for, no third-party skins to prop up, and no interpreters running between the apps and the metal. It lets Apple get away with 1GB of RAM in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. But it also makes me wonder — what could they do with 2GB?

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At the Core: My iPad sketchbook dilemma

This past weekend, I participated in the MIT Mystery Hunt, a delightfully zany three-day puzzle competition that asks its hunters to solve all manner of crosswords, ciphers, logic puzzles, rebuses, and more. Though my team expressly goes in with little interest in winning the hunt, it's a great time with good people, and provokes crazy questions as "How do you index into two Gilbert and Sullivan songs with different lyrics?"

It also made me keenly aware that, gadget geek though I am, I still love writing things down on paper.

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Apple Watch: With great intimacy comes great responsibility

Here's how notifications work on the Apple Watch: When a new one comes in, the "taptic engine" — a linear actuator — literally taps you on the wrist to let you know about it. There's no loud buzzing to draw anyone else's attention, just a subtle but recognizable tap, designed for you and you alone. Meanwhile, the "short look" for the notification provides a minimum of information. Nothing that anyone could oversee — just the icon for the app and a brief bit of context as to who or why.

If you lower your wrist, it goes away. Keep your wrist raised or tap the notification, and it expands into a "long look" to give you more details. It's the kind of staging that respects that with greater intimacy comes greater responsibility. And I hope it's a sign of more features to come.

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Apple and the pain of platform transitions

The stability of Apple's platforms has been the subject of a lot of debate recently. Whether you agree with it or not, there's a growing sentiment that the quality of Apple's software has gone downhill in recent years, and that some form of "Snow Leopard moment" is needed to get it back on track.

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What are HomeKit vendors waiting for?

One of the things I was most interested in for CES 2015 was seeing how far home automation vendors had come in integrating Apple's HomeKit frameworks. HomeKit is supposed to take us from tediously tapping our way through dozens of disparate apps to elegantly controlling everything in our house with Siri. For all the announcements, however, there were no shipping products. So, what's taking so long?

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NSFW: 'Dad, I want a PC...'

My 14 year old son is defecting for the Dark Side. About two weeks ago he told me that he wants a Windows PC for his birthday. As a near-lifetime Mac user, I have to say that I was disappointed. Sad even. But I knew this day was coming.

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Regarding ARM-based Macs...again

An analyst report making the rounds today suggests that Apple will get ARM-based Macs into production sometime next year. Forgive me if I yawn a bit, but this is nothing new. Last year, Rene wrote an editorial about a previous ARM Mac rumor too. According the new rumor, propagated by KGI Research, Apple will get into production a Mac using a future version of the same ARM CPU hardware it already manufactures for the iPhone and iPad. The report suggests that Apple would build a low-end machine based on this hardware, leaving Intel to provide faster chips for the rest of the Mac line, at least for now.

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NSFW: The enduring impact of the iPhone, eight years later

Time flies. This past week (Friday, more specifically) marked the eighth anniversary of the iPhone, which Steve Jobs unveiled during a Macworld Expo keynote in San Francisco. It's hard to imagine a time before the iPhone and iOS, but it really wasn't that long ago.

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8 years ago today, Steve Jobs introduced Apple's iPhone

8 years ago today Steve Jobs put sneaker to Macworld stage in what was arguably the greatest keynote in his and Apple's history of great keynotes. Following the industry-changing Mac and the iPod, Jobs claimed Apple was going to introduce 3 more revolutionary products — a widescreen iPod with touch controls, and revolutionary phone, and a breakthrough internet communicator. He asked if we got it. We did. We got the hell out of it. Not 3 products but 1. The iPhone.

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