iOS 11: Let Me Set Permanent Low Power Mode

Power.  Power. Power.  That is a mobile issue that has yet to be resolved since the beginning of time.  Well, sure, right?  And it is the most important issue that mobile warriors are plagued with. At times, we ration our power uses or, at worst, we end up with a device that we cannot use.  With iOS 10, Apple introduced the Low Power Mode that gives users the ability to toggle between regular power use by the iPhone and a lower power setting that temporarily turn some features.

Well, I'm an user of the Low Power Mode - and I toggle it on whenever I can.  But it's a daily exercise.  Sometimes, I go into the app to do it. Sometimes, I ask Siri to do it for me.  Instead of having to do it on such a regular basis, why don't Apple give us the option to keep it at the low power mode longer.

Of course, one work around is to go through settings and turn off these features that are turned off when you're in the low power mode. 

  • Background app refresh
  • Fetching mail
  • Hey, Siri
  • Automatic downloads
  • Visual effects
I've gone ahead and done most of that already.  I do have Hey, Siri on but I almost never use it unless my hands are tied and I needed Siri to do or look up something for me. 

So, in addition to be able to turn on low power mode on a more permanent basis, I would like to see further battery saving options in iOS 11.  I'm able to live with the battery life my iPhone provides but I still find myself compromising my experiences.  I'm still waiting for the day when power issue is no longer a concern but until that day comes, I like to save every last  ounce of power to make my iPhone last longer. 

Tablets Equal Today's Netbooks?

For many years after Apple introdued the iPad, sales were increasing at a rate that eclipsed even some of the best selling smartphones during their early days.  It was thought that the PC market would die of a quick death after the failure of the netbooks and there was no answer from the PC guys for tablets like the Galaxy.  Microsoft's own misguided attempt with the Windows RT versions seemed to have put to bed the dominance of the Android and iOS in the tablet market.  Windows was in trouble as PC sales slowed.

Well, not so fast.  The PC market did continue to decline for years but lately has shown some resilience and growth in some market even as the general world-wide sale has dropped.  It was mainly due to Asus (Gartner).

However, it doesn't seem like people who stopped buying PCs are replacing them with tablets either.  Hence, this is likely why the smartphone market continue to experience robust sales with annual upgrades. 

Now, the question is whether the tablet market is experiencing a netbook effect, albeit at a much slower place and likely won't go away entirely.  Tablets today a much cheaper than when they first came out and with better mobile and touch experiences.  And they are generally used for consuming media.  So, it is not as if upgrading tablets annually or even every 2-3 years is absolutely necessary. 

One could look it it this way:  either tablets are built to last longer than most companies expect or that there generally has been a lack of innovation in that market.  For instance, there is no reason why tablets with bigger form factors should not have just as good as cameras as their smartphone counter parts.  Go ahead, just charge more for it, Apple and Samsung.  And while Apple spent the last couple of years playing catch up with the pencil support with the iPad Pro, there has not been any notable innovation in the Android market either.  If anything, it's the integration of Google Play into Chrome OS that is most exciting but that had been anticipated for years. (Google)

So, there is still a chance that the tablet market can return to some growth but expericene has shown that it'll be overshadowed by smartphones and possibly gears that support augmented reality or virtual reality (unless tablet markers find a way to support AR/VR) and a PC market that just won't go away.  Growth will could come but slowly and the prominence of tablets of yesteryear will never return.  But hey, what company does not want to sell a few tens of millions of tablet each year?

Social: Fake News Ads Still Being Fed?

With the influence fake news had in the 2016 US election and now in places like France, one has to assume that social media and ad giants will  done more to prevent fake knees from seeping onto the We and search engines.

Unfortunately, this is what I saw this morning when I went onto the Yahoo new site.

fakenews ads.tiff

Now, I don't know what bombshell Mark Zuckerberg's wife might have dropped or what those rumors are but you would think this is an issue for Zuckerberg should a similar ad appear on Facebook or if such ads about Google's CEO or founders ended up on Google's search results.

This is why while I think fake news are a concern to Silicon Valley, it is overshadowed by the profit they bring in for them.

You only have to look to the EU elections and pending elections and see what a concern they have for fake news.

Apple Winning Premium Phone Market - Can Do Better

Pointing out the obvious, this BGR post points out that Apple is winning the premium segment of the phone market (still don't like calling it the phone market since most people do not use their iPhones or Android devices as phones anymore) - and the lead Apple has over Samsung (and not really anyone else has any meaningful share here) has increased.

It's likely that Apple can increase its lead even more with the next iPhone, no matter what Apple calls it, since it will likely have a new design and features.  What Samsung can do to slow down Apple's increasing lead in terms of percentage is make sure it has a flawly Galaxy 8 and Note 8 launch.  No more exploding phones - it's that simple (or not quite that simple). 

But Apple can really put this thing to bed if it answers Samsung's one unique feature in its premium device:  that the Note has a stylus.  Of course, Apple would never support the use of a stylus on the iPhone.  So, it can add Pencil support to the iPhone.  That may draw so much sales away from Notes that Samsung's mobile profit will shrink even more, perhaps to mere single digits.

According to Fortune, Apple took more than 102% of the mobile profit in the third quarter of 2016.  That is possible because Sasmung broke even because of the Note 7 disaster (not bad considering) while other mobile players in the market lost money.  It's unlike that this will happen again in 2017 and Samsung should be able to mount some sort of a comeback once its next generation flagship devices launch and ship.

A better comparision would be 2015 when Apple had 90% of the profit in the same third quarter while Samsung has more than 10%.  So, should Apple maintain its momentum, it could conceivably knock Samsung's 2017 profit share down to less than 10% even if there is a penned up demand for its Note 8.  Of course, Apple could make sure Samsung has less than an optimal quarter if the next iPhone Plus supports the Pencil.

Personally, I rather have picture-in-picture support for the next iPhone but I'll make due with Pencil support.

Touch Bar on Apple's Standalone Keyboard Will Take A While If It Ever Happens

Almost immediately upon learning about the Touch Bar on the new MacBook Pro, the next thought that occurred to me was when Apple will bring it to their standalone keyboard.

I've left it on the table for a bit and allowed it to simmer for a few days. With Halloween on the horizon, I didn't think about it until now.

I've seen a decent render of one but I'm not impressed and that has lead me to believe when Apple bring the Touch Bar to the standalone keyboard and other devices, it will work very differently and much more useful.

More at On Apple.

Best To let Macs Be Macs - You Know, With Intel Chips Inside

Source:  On Apple.

There is a lot of speculations about what Apple will or will not do with the Mac products as the level of anxiety has risen over the lack of new hardware from Apple.  Rightly so since most of the Macs on the market, the Macbook being the only exception, have been around for more than a year without any new hardware update.  

And for most of us, it does not help when even leading Apple blogs seem to suggest that Apple is no longer focusing on Macs and has shifted even more resources to the development of iOS devices and the faster growing apps and service segments of its business.  

Let me assure you that Apple will not abandon the Macs. More at On Apple.