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Good vs. Better at Bad

There’s a particular point I’ve been trying to articulate about HomePod vs Amazon Echo and all the others that I haven’t quite figured out how to express succinctly in a tweet. So I’m going to resort to charts. If we wanted to compare HomePod and Echo as “Smart” devices, digital assistants—whatever term you want to use—I think most people will agree that Echo has an advantage. How much of an advantage is up for debate, but let’s be extremely generous to the Amazon…

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Using iPad for Long-Form Writing

I fought the notion of a mechanical keyboard for my iPad for years. Part of the reason was every keyboard designed for a tablet I’ve tried (including Apple’s own Smart Keyboard) is just not good. Small keys. Crappy feel. I’ve never been able to type a sentence on any of them without immediately concluding that they were terrible compared to the on-screen keyboard, let alone my MacBook Pro keyboard. But the bigger reason I’ve always been opposed to external iPad keyboards is I just fundamentally believe…

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On HomePod

Let’s do a quick thought experiment. You’re Apple. You want to launch a smart speaker product, but you haven’t gotten one into the market yet. Years have passed, and some of the competitors (Amazon and Google) are making some headway, though their products are far from mainstream. Those products are both backed by what has become pretty refined voice recognition systems, however, ones that surpass your own Siri in some respects, at least. And the people who do have these devices are pretty tied to the functionality…

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Wearable Challenges

Well, it’s finally come to this. After more than a year of walking around New York with my AirPods, I finally gave in and bought these silicon hooks from EarBuddyz to keep the darn things from slipping out of optimal sound position, or worse, falling out of my ears altogether.[1] I had remarked when I first got my AirPods that they were not exactly a snug fit. Over time, it seemed like they were actually getting looser, if that’s possible. My ear holes have gotten bigger over…

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More Ups Than Downs

Rumor has it Apple is cooking up a new framework that helps unify the development of macOS and iOS apps. At least, that’s the part of the rumor that makes the most sense, anyway.[1] Code-named, Marzipan, this new framework would help developers who make either iOS apps or Mac apps to make both using the same basic toolset. Obvious differences between the platforms would necessitate some variation, of course (clicks vs taps, and all that), but the underlying APIs for creating either would be largely the same. And…

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