opinion

As WWDC ends, the mood in the trenches is neighborly

As WWDC ends, the mood in the trenches is neighborly

Apple’s WWDC is over for another year, and as the dust settles on the iOS 9, Apple Music, and OS X El Capitan launch, it’s a chance to reflect on five days of sessions. It’s hard to gauge the tone of a week-long developer event from a fast-paced keynote - even with an Apple Music section which went on too long, and which several developers I spoke to suspected was padded to fill up space originally intended for an Apple TV SDK announcement. If there can be such a thing as an overarching theme, though, it felt like it might be harmonious co-existence.

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Wearables and Fitness – Is it a permanent union?

Wearables and Fitness – Is it a permanent union?

We see wearables on the rise. But when we says "wearables", we mostly mean smartwatches and, more often and more ubiquitous, fitness bands. While the term "wearable" itself seems to cover a whole swathe of products, why is it that most, if not all, wearables in the market are those that we can only wear on our wrists? And why are almost all of them, even those that we don't wear on our wrists, seem to be focused, if not totally dedicated to fitness and health? Are wearables fated to be tethered to this particular use case?

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Microsoft needs a new tune to woo developers to Windows 10

Microsoft needs a new tune to woo developers to Windows 10

"Developers! Developers! Developers!" That chant might trigger nightmares of a rather sweaty Ballmer, but what was true almost a decade ago is now even more critical for Microsoft's success. Yes, success, not just survival. There is little doubt Microsoft could live on for a few more years on life support should Windows 10 flop, but if the next operating system is to become the success that Windows 8 was not, it needs to have more apps. Not just any app, clones or fakes, but the kind of apps that make iOS and Android users go nuts. And to get those apps, Microsoft will obviously need developers, developers, developers.

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I still trust autonomous cars more than I trust you

I still trust autonomous cars more than I trust you

I told my grandmother about Mercedes-Benz’s self-driving F 015 concept the other week, and she was horrified. “However could you trust it to drive you safely?” she wanted to know, perhaps thinking of how her DVR regularly and unpredictably dumps her favorite recordings and extrapolating that to a crazed silvery space-pod crashing and taking her grandson with it. In fact, I told her, I trust autonomous vehicles far more than I do my fellow human drivers, and recent news of self-driving car crashes in California has done nothing to change that.

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The big Apple Watch surprise is how little you use it

The big Apple Watch surprise is how little you use it

For all the furore around the Apple Watch launch, not to mention the number of people still waiting for their pre-orders, it’s a surprise just how low-key the smartwatch itself is. Of course, there’s the excitement of opening the box, strapping it to your wrist, and setting it up with your favorite apps and notifications, but after that the wearable works best if you simply... wear it.

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Living with the new MacBook Retina

Living with the new MacBook Retina

There’s an unusual degree of forthrightness - sometimes bordering on vitriol - in how outspoken people are about the new MacBook Retina. It’s something you see occasionally with high-profile, edge-pushing devices: not just dissent as to whether it’s a good product to buy or not, but a sort of slightly-frothy aggression in aiming to convince you that you’ve made the wrong decision.

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Windows 8: what Microsoft did right and what went wrong

Windows 8: what Microsoft did right and what went wrong

Windows 10 is coming really soon. If AMD is to be believed, that is happening around July. Given this upcoming version of Windows is set to fix a number of complaints about Windows 8, it's release will surely call to mind some its predecessor's shortcomings. But for all the warts that Windows 8 had, it wasn't completely a failure in all aspects and even laid the foundations of many features and mindsets still present in Windows 10 and elsewhere. Here we take a look at 5 of the things Windows 8 could have gotten right and also how they failed to reach the mark.

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Apple Watch success isn’t sales, it’s stickiness

Apple Watch success isn’t sales, it’s stickiness

Apple isn't saying how many Apple Watches it sold in the first weekend of preorders, but arguably the bigger question is how many will still be wrapped around wrists a few months after. Unofficial estimates of sales have suggested as many as a million of the iOS wearables have been earmarked for eager owners, pushing shipping estimates into the summer at the earliest, and for many it was a case of buy first, try second since preorders opened before store demo displays did.

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Take a knee; we need to talk about you (not) spending money on apps

Take a knee; we need to talk about you (not) spending money on apps

Look at your smartphone’s app selection — how many of those apps did you pay for? How many of those apps did you spend any money on via in-app purchases? According to a new study, not many. Mobile marketing firm Swrve found about 60% of mobile game revenue comes from less than 1% of players. Actually, it’s less than 0.5%. To be even more accurate, it’s even less than 0.25%. While that’s just games, it’s indicative of the app industry. This actually is your fault, and it needs to stop.

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No, the new MacBook (and its single USB-C) isn’t for everyone

No, the new MacBook (and its single USB-C) isn’t for everyone

More controversial than the keyboard, more divisive than the battery life: the thing that's causing the greatest number of arguments about the new Retina MacBook is its paucity of ports. A single USB-C on the left side of the notebook isn't, as Vincent observed in our own review of the 2015 MacBook, a deal breaker, but not everyone is quite so ready to be convinced. It's a legitimate concern, even if in the grand history of tech it's not a new one.

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