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  • Apple’s “Time Flies” September 2020 event: The bottom line

    Home Forums AskWoody blog Apple’s “Time Flies” September 2020 event: The bottom line

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      • #2296698 Reply
        woody
        Da Boss

        This just in from Nathan Parker: Apple showed its “Time Flies” September 2020 event on September 15. Here is the “bottom line” of Apple’s new product
        [See the full post at: Apple’s “Time Flies” September 2020 event: The bottom line]

        3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2296753 Reply
        Alex5723
        AskWoody Plus

        The bottom line : The whole presentation could have been summarized in 100 words of a press release.

        I am staying with my Apple Watch 5, iPad 10.5″ Pro. Not sure yet about iPhone 12 (currently iPhone xs max).

        • This reply was modified 1 week, 2 days ago by Alex5723.
      • #2296764 Reply
        DRW
        AskWoody Lounger

        I have no complaints about my time with a Mac (I switched to PC because I couldn’t justify the several hundred dollars extra for the stats I needed), and I am happy to keep using iPads. But when it comes to computers, I think Win 10 is not as bad as people claim and macOS isn’t as good as people claim. Both have their own strengths and weaknesses.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2296769 Reply
        AlexEiffel
        AskWoody_MVP

        I don’t care about the presentation, but the Ipads announced are nice upgrades.

        If you don’t feel the need to change, it’s not necessary a bad thing except for Apple’s wallet in the short term, but for long term loyalty and sustained ability to charge a premium, it might be good that you don’t feel the need to change. It shows Apple products are good and can last a while. That doesn’t mean they don’t introduce nice to have features that can wait for you to be ready to replace your aging device.

        I think they have a home run with the Air, so much in fact that there is not much left to Pro that will need an update soon to be relevant to the already tiny minority who needs the small Pro for the price difference. FaceID on the Pro is better and more useful than I thought for attention driven actions, but it is not a deal breaker to have a side button Touch Id instead. In some cases, it might even be better. In fact, having both (maybe on the next Pro) would be best. And ProMotion is nice, but I don’t know how many people notice it in real life. The new Air is that great, light, low reflection, great compromise between size and screen real estate tablet that many people can buy and keep for years without feeling limited. 6 years is not an unreasonable expectation at all.

        The standard Ipad is a great lower cost tablet with a smaller screen and big bezel. Especially after last year’s disappointing no cpu update refresh, it is back in the game as a great value for those on a budget that wants access to Apple ecosystem, although I think the best value for what is offered is still with the Air.

        I like when Apple issue products like these that seem coherent and serve the customer well with different price points without crippling in functionalities that are essential.

        They probably prepare something big for the Pro as this year’s update was disappointing and if they could have announced a better Pro with the new Air, they should have done it marketing-wise.

         

      • #2296773 Reply
        OscarCP
        AskWoody Plus

        Thanks, Nathan for giving us an easy access to the essential aspects of this event.

        Nice Dr. Who-like “wormhole” introduction to the video with host Tim Cook.

        Amazing how many things I can do without an Apple Watch, but just a wrist-watch that only tells me the time of day and the date. But I wonder how does one call a taxi with an Apple Watch, as the blind gentleman in the video is said to be able to do.

        It looks like there were no announcements specifically about macOS features, as different from a new “app” bundle for it (if I understood this correctly).

        Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS + Linux (Mint)

      • #2296778 Reply
        Zathras
        AskWoody Plus

        … and with the imminent release of iOS 14 you should be at Apple-Defcon 2.  Unless you really want to test out the new OS and all the usual issues with the .0 releases… don’t update yet!

        To disable automatic updates, go to Settings => General => Software Update => Customize Automatic Updates => Toggle OFF Download iOS Updates (which also turns off Install iOS Updates.)

      • #2296780 Reply
        Alex5723
        AskWoody Plus

        But I wonder how does one call a taxi with an Apple Watch,

        Using Siri you can call a taxi, call a friend, answer a call, book a restaurant, appointment,, call emergency service…all this if you have an iPhone with you and all this without an iPhone if you have a Apple Watch +LTE.

        • #2296784 Reply
          OscarCP
          AskWoody Plus

          Alex5732: ” and all this without an iPhone if you have a Apple Watch +LTE.

          Not sure about what that means. Does one speak on the watch, Dick-Tracy style?

          Or does “LTE” here means using a non-Apple cellphone? If so, how does this helps a blind person beyond just using a cellphone minus an Apple Watch?

          Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS + Linux (Mint)

          • #2296928 Reply
            Paul T
            AskWoody MVP

            Oscar, please use the quote button. This makes it much easier to find the original and saves you typing. See the comment by Alex above yours for an example.

            To do this in a reply

            Click Reply.
            Highlight the text you want to quote.
            Click Quote.

            cheers, Paul

            1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2296786 Reply
        Alex5723
        AskWoody Plus

        Does one speak on the watch, Dick-Tracey style?

        Yes.
        Apple Watch even has Walkie Talkie

        2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2296820 Reply
        Alex5723
        AskWoody Plus

        Let’s hope Apple has better luck with iOS 14 stability than they did with iOS 13.

        I ran all beta versions of iOS/iPadOS for years with no stability or any other problem on various iPhone/iPad devices.
        I maybe lucky.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2296833 Reply
        John
        AskWoody Lounger

        Anyone else catch that Apple will not be including a power adapter in the 6th gen watch anymore. I guess the next iPhone won’t include one either. Apple claims its being environmentally friendly and assuming I guess you would already have a adapter. I’ve seen this more and more with products, they give you the cable but not the adapter. If this is a trend, we all will be buying more adapters separately I guess. I wonder if Apple will accept any adapter as acceptable or will they try and void warranties because the adapter you had was not Apple? I like Apple products I have bought my share over the years. But Apple does tend to nickel and dime you on stuff. If they can get away with it they will charge you extra.

        4 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2296844 Reply
        anonymous
        Guest

        So Apple’s low cost iPads are finally getting a taste of Bionic processors rather than Fusion processors and that’s the biggest news other than the A14’s release. So now on the lower cost iPad the same trained AI’s can be run on the NPU and there are some nice features there for modern Graphics Software that includes being able to remove the background without needing a Green Screen/Chroma Keying setup and those extra of steps. I’m still not going to be tempted to purchase any Apple Tablet unless it’s running  iOS and I can install Blender 3D(There’s a nice 2D animation feature included there that can be worked on in planes in a 3D space for nice cut and paste set pieces and backgrounds and whatnot assembled together  in cookie cutter/diorama style using Blender Grease Pencil), and also the  Krita, Gimp, and Inkscape(SVGs) graphics applications.

        I’ve got to be able to download and install these open source applications and that’s requiring MacOS currently. I’ve got limited funds for software and would rather that go towards hardware and less software costs(0 Dollars in the case of the software that I have listed).

        I will look at the A12 based budget iPad anyways but I’m really waiting for the A14(Whatever letter that Apple tacks on at the end) for a Apple silicon based Mac Mini and I’d like any MacOS on any Apple silicon based Mac Mini to pair up with an iPad and send the desktop over to be displayed on the iPad and be able to utilize both for Graphics tasks, so the 2 working together to render things 2D/3D for whatever I’m doing, on a Keyboard 3 Button mouse or the iPad as an input device and processing partner as well using the iPad as a display/input device and even processing assistant along with the Mac Mini!

         

      • #2296850 Reply
        Bill C.
        AskWoody Plus

        … and with the imminent release of iOS 14 you should be at Apple-Defcon 2.  Unless you really want to test out the new OS and all the usual issues with the .0 releases… don’t update yet!

        To disable automatic updates, go to Settings => General => Software Update => Customize Automatic Updates => Toggle OFF Download iOS Updates (which also turns off Install iOS Updates.)

        The iPadOS 14 really intrigues me, and I have not had iOS Upgrade issues previously. However with all the changes, I will be doing a DEFCON 2 on this OS update. As my iPad Pro 10.5 is not mission critical for my life, it will be the first canary in a coal mine.

        For the iPhone SEs (Gen1), both have been set to ‘do not download’ for the time being. They are mission critical. I had minimal issues with the iOS 13 upgrades, but this seems to have an awful lot of new features and fluff that I know I will probably never use and may entail doing a lot of resetting preferences. I know my wife will NOT use many of these also.

        For both of us the iPhones are a communicator first (phone, Facetime, and text), followed by an always ready camera, weather stations, and navigation (finally more bike-friendly maps).

        The funny thing is, we have the same phones, but have very different uses and priorities. She has become quite the Facetime user once she tried it. She also does a lot of web searching via the phone, but usually emails the links to her email so she can open the website later using her Linux laptop and Firefox.

        I do not like Safari at all, but am not sure if it is due to many sites serving up mobile-centric versions, or preferring Firefox on Windows and Linux.

        The Watch SE is of interest, but I am not thrilled with the proprietary bands and the bands stylings. I am more of an analog chronograph/diving watch fan.

      • #2296901 Reply
        Nathan Parker
        AskWoody_MVP

        Glad to write up the summary. I like to write these “bottom line” summaries to make it easy for people to get a quick read of the events.

        I enjoyed the video overall. Apple has done well with the presentations and keeping them exciting even using the virtual format. I’ve enjoyed seeing parts of Apple Park.

        I like the enhancements with the Apple Watch, and the new iPad Air will be great for many (especially more cost-effective over the iPad Pro). I’m also keeping my Apple Watch Series 3 and 10.5″ iPad Pro a little longer. I may get an iPad mini for my birthday coming up since I need a smaller iPad for reading. Apple One looks interesting, but not sure if I will move to it. It may cost me more than less, and I don’t know if I’d use those extra services. We’ll see.

        I did catch that about the power adapters in the Apple Watch cartons (by the way, the Hermes Apple Watch cartons still have them, so $$$ purchasers still get the power adapter). I know Apple claims it helps the environment, but I see it more as “we want to get an extra $20 out of your purchase” just like they’ve done with dongles.

        On the Apple device updates, I’m waiting for the “o.1” updates to work out any last-minute bug finds. I’ve notified PKCano on this for the Apple Update List.

        And yes, you can talk into your Apple Watch when using the Phone (and Siri) features. I had the first-gen Apple Watch, and someone literally asked me if I were a spy when they saw me talking into it. The fact that I was wearing a long, dark coat and had a wired phone headset at the time with the cord running down the back of my jacket so I looked “wired up” didn’t help.

        Nathan Parker

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2296938 Reply
          Myst
          AskWoody Plus

          I had the first-gen Apple Watch, and someone literally asked me if I were a spy when they saw me talking into it. The fact that I was wearing a long, dark coat and had a wired phone headset at the time with the cord running down the back of my jacket so I looked “wired up” didn’t help.

          Agent Parker we are looking forward to your next update on the new iOS 14. The watch is impressive for many reasons, that it can help those with special needs is priceless.

          Win7 Home x64 MacOS Chromebook

          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2296902 Reply
        Noel Carboni
        AskWoody_MVP

        Parents: Know where your kids are at all times!
        Corporations: Know where your adults are at all times!

        Look what a great feature it is that we now no longer ship you a product capable of being recharged with just what’s in the box!

        Now without arsenic!

        That commercial “…it already has it…” was fun, though. 🙂

        -Noel

      • #2296907 Reply
        OscarCP
        AskWoody Plus

        I wonder how many of the functions of the Apple Watch depend on being connected to Apple “Cloud” servers? The use of Siri as an assistant brings up this question.

        Also: I have looked at several videos that mention briefly phone calls by blind people using Apple Watches, but they only covered receiving, not making them.

        So I still don’t know how the blind gentleman mentioned by Tim Cook calls taxis with his Apple Watch. How does one enters a phone number without seeing the watch, for example. Remembering the number and telling the phone to call it? That requires good numerical memory.

         

        Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS + Linux (Mint)

      • #2296911 Reply
        Nathan Parker
        AskWoody_MVP

        Siri requires a network connection, and many apps require a network connection. Some apps either run locally or at least hand off data from the paired iPhone, so not everything requires the cloud. Some photos and music can even be synced for offline listening.

        When you raise your wrist, Siri can auto activate or you can say “Hey Siri” to activate. You can use Siri to call (that’s how I generally do it since trying to click around to call would be difficult). A blind person can raise his wrist, say “Hey Siri, Call person” and Siri would do the work. Someone could program his watch with the commonly used phone numbers (Apple even offers Personal Setup at times which could assist with this, plus they’d be stored in a backup and iCloud if he switches watches), so once they’re programmed in, it’ll make it a breeze for him to make these calls. The walking directions with the watch tapping him on where to turn are also a nice help. Glad to see the Apple Watch helping these people in need.

        Nathan Parker

        2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2296953 Reply
        Alex5723
        AskWoody Plus

        The use of Siri as an assistant brings up this question

        Siri doesn’t send any personnel data to the ‘cloud’

        • #2297080 Reply
          OscarCP
          AskWoody Plus

          Alex, That is a very interesting article and a somewhat reassuring one explaining what they do at Apple to keep personal identifiable information (or PII in official jargon) out of the Internet exchanges between “Siri” and its users. However, such policies may change some day, but this change is not likely to be in that day’s  evening news.

          Full disclosure: I am terminally allergic to having any of my stuff, identifiable or not, in the “Cloud”, a.k.a in the computers in charge of someone else (in this case working for Apple) that I don’t even know and probably will never know. In spite of that and so far, I am still alive and well, I think.

          Also I find some contradiction in this explanation as how “Siri” is trained to recognize the voice of a particular user:

          At the heart of Siri are Apple’s natural language and voice recognition models, which allow Siri to recognize the words users say, and their meaning. In some cases, teams use the audio of users’ voice requests as training data—all anonymized, Apple says.

          We leave out identifiers to avoid tying utterances to specific users, so we can do a lot of machine learning and a lot of things in the cloud without having to know that it came from [the user],” Joswiak said. In other words, Siri can learn things about users as a whole without tapping into individuals’ personal data.

          Apple holds on to six months’ worth of the user voice recordings to teach the voice recognition engine to better understand the user. There are plenty of voice requests to choose from. Siri is used by 375 million people every month and is available in 36 countries and 21 languages. Apple has even built models that specialize in helping Siri understand the utterances of people who speak English as a second language.

          After that six months, Apple saves another copy of the recordings, sans user ID, for use in improving Siri, and these recordings can be kept for up to two years. The audio of requests about music, sports teams, and players, and businesses or points of interest are also kept to train Siri, Apple says.

          So, doesn’t that read to you as meaning that, for six months, they keep recordings of the user’s voice requests to “Siri” tagged with the identity of whose user this voice is? Hmmm…

          Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS + Linux (Mint)

          • This reply was modified 1 week, 1 day ago by OscarCP.
          • This reply was modified 1 week, 1 day ago by Kirsty.
        • #2297099 Reply
          Kirsty
          Da Boss

          Siri doesn’t send any personnel data to the ‘cloud’

          Personnel??? (personal?)

          2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2296962 Reply
        ScotchJohn
        AskWoody Plus

        But Apple does tend to nickel and dime you on stuff. If they can get away with it they will charge you extra.

        Yes, “nickel-and-dime”, my cables keep breaking at the Lightning plug end, and no amount of taping them up ever works properly.  I found an “indestructable” cable in the usual place, two of them for the same price that I could have bought one new Apple cord at the Store.

        Dell E5570 Latitude, Intel Core i5 6440@2.60 GHz, 8.00 GB - Win 10 Pro

        2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2296982 Reply
        Alex5723
        AskWoody Plus

        Yes, “nickel-and-dime”, my cables keep breaking at the Lightning plug end,

        I don’t know how you handle cables but I never broke a lightning cable, nor needed to buy one, since day 1, 8 years ago.

        • This reply was modified 1 week, 1 day ago by Alex5723.
        • #2296996 Reply
          Myst
          AskWoody Plus

          I’ve had two come apart at the ends and had to order an Amazon Basic cable that has worked great now for over a year. I use the original adapter plug and have had no problems with the replacement cables from Amazon.

          Win7 Home x64 MacOS Chromebook

      • #2297089 Reply
        Alex5723
        AskWoody Plus

        However, such policies may change some day, but this change is not likely to be in that day’s  evening news.

        It does change for better privacy not less privacy.

        So, doesn’t that read to you as meaning that, for six months, they keep recordings of the user’s voice requests to “Siri” tagged with the identity of which user this voice is? Hmmm…

        Anonymous identity.

        2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2297113 Reply
        OscarCP
        AskWoody Plus

        Alex5723 write: “Anonymous identity.

        That means, I think, that the actual user’s identity is replaced with a made up one that is also unique. I have reservations as to how anonymous the user identity can be made, because the “AI” software in the “Cloud” servers has to pair, somehow, the user with the voice they are receiving. Without a way to identify this one voice among those of many users without somehow correlating the made up with the true identities, the voice of this user will have to be tested when it uses to start a request the word “Siri”, for example, using the anonymized voice profiles of perhaps many users in order to find the one with which “Siri” is  best recognized when spoken by that anonymized user, something that can delay the ability of “Siri” to answer without undue delays.

        Many “AI” algorithms share a basic plan where “nodes”, subroutines if you like, conceptually, are arranged in layers somewhat as nerve cells in a brain’s cortex, with those from one layer connected to those in the layer underneath, with the lowest layer providing the system output, or “thought.” The connections, through training, are made stronger or weaker, so they have more or less of an effect on the overall response of the system of cells. That is accomplished by assigning the connections weights, kept in a table of them, that are adjusted as training proceeds. During training, when a pattern, of articulate sound in this case, is properly identified, the current weights of the connections are used to update this table. So to check which voice is being heard, several (probably many) tables have to be pulled in to test which one provides the proper result. This would be efficient if only one, or at least a few tables have to be retrieved and tried in this way, and for that to be possible, having some information on the user’s identity to point at its table, or at least to some manageable small set of tables containing it, seems necessary.

        However ingenious the proprietary techniques used to speed up things might be, they are not going to be magical.

        Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS + Linux (Mint)

        • This reply was modified 1 week ago by OscarCP.
      • #2297209 Reply
        Nathan Parker
        AskWoody_MVP

        I had one Lightning cable break once years ago. Other than that most have been OK, although I had one fray during a power surge (I know have a whole building surge protector, best investment I’ve ever made).

        Nomad also offers tough Lightning cables. I have one I keep on hand if I need a tough one.

        Nathan Parker

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2297217 Reply
          Myst
          AskWoody Plus

          The two we had did fray at the ends like you mentioned. Have two other Apple lightening cables put away as spares. The Amazon cables are really strong and flexible. Hopefully they’ll last. Would rather use original equipment with the devices but it is what it is.

          Win7 Home x64 MacOS Chromebook

          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2297218 Reply
        Nathan Parker
        AskWoody_MVP

        I prefer the Apple-branded ones when possible, but the Nomad ones are pretty strong as well if you need one guaranteed not to fray. It’s only seldom I’ve had it happen with Apple’s cables, but it can occasionally happen.

        Nathan Parker

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2297305 Reply
        WSmbtins
        AskWoody Plus

        Let’s hope Apple has better luck with iOS 14 stability than they did with iOS 13.

        It’s not luck — it’s focusing on quality, taking the time to fix the issues that are there w/o spending time on fluff, and actually testing their work.  At one time, you could count on every upgrade to be rock solid and better than the one that came before it.  Not so much any more.  I like their products and our family has 4 phones, two watches, and two iPads.  And I will buy again.  I just wish they would get back to their roots on the fundamentals.

        Bloatware like memojis are just there for the gee-wiz factor to try to get more folks to spend more money on the next great thing.  They add no functionality to the product whatsoever.  How many developers spent time on that when they could have been doing regression testing to find existing bugs that have not yet been resolved?

        It’s not just Apple anyway.  Consumers have accepted “good enough” with respect to computers and software for far too long.  It’s getting worse, not better as companies just want “to ship” and then fix what they can with the next upgrade. The ability to ship something with known issues and then fix it after the fact has just created lazy engineering, lazy development, and short sighted practices. If you give most consumers a shiny object to look at, they are willing to look the other way on the problems.

        Slow, down…the world won’t end if you don’t ship a new phone every year.  Skip a year and take that time to fix all the known issues and find the ones that are still not known and don’t add more blinky lights and bells and whistles to it.

        Yeah, I may be ranting, but I do have some knowledge in the area — like many of you all… I am an electrical engineering with many years of experience in developing embedded code.

        /sigh/

      • #2297348 Reply
        Alex5723
        AskWoody Plus

        At one time, you could count on every upgrade to be rock solid and better than the one that came before it.  Not so much any more

        It is for me. Never had I a crash, apps not launching, apps suddenly close, battery dying…wi-fi/BT connection problems… with any iPhone & any iOS version, while running Dev/Beta iOS releases all that time.
        One of the methods to keep your Apple device health is not to install junk, like : Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, any Microsoft software…

        • This reply was modified 1 week ago by Alex5723.
        • #2297403 Reply
          OscarCP
          AskWoody Plus

          Neither have I had any of those problems with my Mac, even when I have installed all the macOS patches (and one major upgrade to a newer operating system version) received over my three years using this Mac (and just a few patches, as macOS is not like Windows), starting with Sierra, skipping High Sierra and now running Mojave. I do have MS Office for Macs installed in it, as it is something I often need to use for certain reports, presentations, etc. that are required to be Office documents. No problems because of that, either.

          The time is coming to make the decision to upgrade, either first to Catalina, or else directly to Big Sur; then we’ll see if the above still holds true.

          Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS + Linux (Mint)

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    Reply To: Apple’s “Time Flies” September 2020 event: The bottom line

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