Blind Bargains

Apple Rundown: The Apple Edition Edition

It's a post Apple event week and we're going to examine how the Kool Aid buzz wore off faster than expected in the press. So I'm warning everyone upfront that this week's links will be more negative than positive, as the stock market analogy of buying and selling on hype applies to what gets clicks for Apple news stories. Except in the rumor department that is... Pink iPhones anyone? Yeah, that might be a thing now that gold is starting to lose its luster.

If you aren't up to speed yet on all the fun that was to be had on March 9th, let me suggest that you take a listen to our show and a gander at our show notes for the eighth episode of our weekly podcast. Or, if you have more than 2 and a half hours to kill, you could always tune into the hands-on discussions over at Mac Break Weekly. And people say we are long-winded on our shows. Ha!
Both will have information and summaries of the Spring Forward event.

It wasn't all about hardware however as the week also held a ton of software updates for Mac and iOS. Be careful though in the case of iOS because some apps need a few updates for various reasons. Notably, the Voice Dream Twitter feed mentioned the upcoming patch for working around non-system voices in 8.2.
Other apps that saw updates this week range from the useful, Uber and Audible, to the just plain fun, Trivia Crack and DiceWorldd.

Enjoy your stability -- and sanity -- on social media while you can though. Soon it will be filled with the drama that is the iOS Public Beta. I'm preparing to mute so many conversations the very moment I read that someone who probably shouldn't be running the beta is having issues with an app not ready to run under the beta. Seriously, a drinking game for this should be created by someone out there. It's going to drive others to drink regardless of if you run the public betas or just end up trying to avoid those who are doing so.

Two other high profile app releases this week, which may or may not be Voiceover friendly at the time you read this, were Google Calendar for iOS and Nokia's Here Maps app.
Those two releases will have uphill battles to dethrone Apple bundled apps or their alternatives. Moreover, in the digital assistant race, Microsoft's announcement that Cortanna will be coming to iOS in the future probably also fits that bill quite nicely.

Hardware was the star of the week and, as expected, iFixit was all over the new Macbook. Hands on reports came in far and wide.
Some noted the bugginess of the new Butterfly keyboard
while others gave some interesting impressions of the new "Force Touch" track pad.
The biggest discussion about the new Mackbook, however, centered on the controversy of dongles
and USB C. Speculation about the need for a $79 add on to regain basic functionality fueled some to cry foul and for others to say that you should grin and bear it if you want more of the "thinner and lighter" variety of Apple hardware.
Then, thank you Daring Fireball, the real nerdcore roar came up when John G posted that Apple was the driving force behind USB C. Hardware loyalists then felt compelled to fact check of course, this being the internet and all. Comparatives didn't stop there, oh no, the poor Macbook Air, presumably standing around waiting for a bus, got tossed under a bus in articles that justified its very existence in an ever-growing field of Mac hardware choices.

Still, beyond all measure, the Apple Watch drew the most interest and ire.
Not even the cutesy no-speech all-music marketing spots could hold back the swell of a knives-out" public and press.
Let us just take a spin around the web to see what some said about the new iPhone accessory shall we?

The Gold Apple Watch Is Perfect For Douchebags

Apple’s special gold isn’t so special after all

Apple’s Trick for Using “As Little Gold As Possible” in Its New, $17,000 Gold Watch

Apple watch to cost more outside the US

10 things you can buy instead of a $10,000 Apple Watch

Apple Byte: How Apple failed to make the Apple Watch a must-have. Again.

Why the $17,000 gold Apple Watch might actually be too cheap

Why the $10,000 gold Apple Watch really winds me up

This is a $10,000 iPhone

Is the Apple Watch app Apple’s first crapware?

Apple doesn't want to talk about the real use for the Apple Watch

FuelBand in Stores — Making Way for the Apple Watch

Why Apple Stores Get A Rent Break At Malls

Whew, what a spectrum of buzz words and punditry eh? All that nearly drowned out the bit about the watch having a replaceable battery.
Or the instant availability of knockoff Apple Watches for those who wish to impress, or fool, their friends.

The Apple event also saw the announcement of the open source Research Kit.. Its initial success put it in the crosshairs of the link bait writers.

Then, if timing wasn't everything, Apple's DNS woes fell on the same week that the CIA has been after the keys to the kingdom for iPhone unlocking. This prompted iMore to do a little reality checking on security and the Apple Watch. But don't worry if you think all these hit pieces will stick to Apple. Seems that people can't even remember what the logo looks like, let alone pay attention to the knocks on the teflon coated armor the company has en masse.
Besides, fanboys will just move back to the dreams of an Apple car until June and WWDC to pass the time before iPhone 6s right?

This week's "Timspotting" found CEO Cook on the "Mad Money" show after the March 9th event.
Tim was also mentioned in regards to yet another Steve Jobs book. This time for the book's claim that Tim offered Steve a portion of his liver for a transplant. And Tim's name came up in another venue with those noting that decisions like the one to go with the release of a watch, and the generous spending on new tech or rival businesses, shows that it is truly not Steve Jobs' Apple anymore. Another turning point comes in where Tim is all about the charity and the promotion of minorities in tech and Steve was seen as a more conservative guy when it came to donations of time and money.

Finally, we'll end the week with a few good things for those using Apple products and services.
Stanford engineer produces free Braille-writer app

iOS Apps for Blind and Low Vision Users in the Workplace

Getting Started with the iPhone and iOS 8: Step-by-Step Instructions for Blind Users

And that ends our look at the wild and woolly week post event fanfare. Things should be less hectic until the pre ordering stories, and rampant prediction and gambling, rises to a fever pitch this April 10th. Enjoy the silence everyone...

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Joe Steinkamp is no stranger to the world of technology, having been a user of video magnification and blindness related electronic devices since 1979. Joe has worked in radio, retail management and Vocational Rehabilitation for blind and low vision individuals in Texas. He has been writing about the A.T. Industry for 15 years and podcasting about it for almost a decade.

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