‘Google+ Is Walking Dead’

Alexia Tsotsis and Matthew Panzarino, reporting for TechCrunch:

What we’re hearing from multiple sources is that Google+ will no longer be considered a product, but a platform — essentially ending its competition with other social networks like Facebook and Twitter.

[...]

We’ve heard Google has not yet decided what to do with the teams not going to Android, and that Google+ is not “officially” dead, more like walking dead: “When you fire the top dog and take away all resources it is what it is.” It will take copious amounts of work for it to un-zombie, if that’s even a possibility.

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Apple Launches OS X Beta Seed Program

Big, surprising news yesterday from Apple. Describing the new program:

The OS X Beta Seed Program gives users the opportunity to run pre-release software. Test-drive beta software and provide quality and usability feedback that will help make OS X even better.

I’ve been part of the Apple Seed program for a while now, in which customers get access to developer seeds of OS X. (In fact, I was running Mountain Lion betas before its release in 2012.) Previously, the Seed program was invite-only, but now it’s open to all. I wonder if Apple decided to just open Apple Seed to everyone; in any case, I, too, have a feeling that OS X will be getting some serious stage time at WWDC in June.

On Republicans and iPhones

Conor Finnegan, reporting for CNN:

In a call for free markets and open platforms, Alexander argued that government should be more like Apple, Inc. – working to give private citizens the means "to create a happier, safer, more prosperous life."

[...]

"Republicans want to enable and empower you. We want to be the iPhone party."

Methinks Senator Alexander knows not what he speaks.

(via @reckless)

‘Where the Hell Are the Android Tablets?’

James Kendrick, writing for ZDNet:

Most days I work all over the downtown Houston area. I move from place to place, paying particular attention to the mobile devices that people use. I see iPads, lots of them, everywhere I go. I see people carrying them in hand while walking down the street. What I rarely see, almost never in fact, are Android tablets.

All I see are iPads too. People buy iPads.

(via The Loop)

‘Apple, Samsung, and Intel’

Matt Richman makes a case that Intel, not Samsung, should fab Apple’s ARM chips:

This arrangement would benefit both companies in a number of ways. Apple would no longer depend upon Samsung, its biggest competitor, to produce the chips at the heart of its most successful products. (This is analogous to America asking China to build its most advanced missiles and hoping the country won’t use any of the top-secret technology it learns about for its own benefit when it’s clearly in China’s best interest to do so.) And because Intel has manufacturing capabilities that other companies don’t, Apple might well be able to create better chips than it would be able to if it were to continue using Samsung as its chip manufacturer. Finally, the company would have peace of mind knowing that its chip producer doesn’t stand to gain anything from a processor shortfall, as Samsung does. Even if the factory were to cost $5 billion — and it wouldn’t — it’d be worth it. Steve Jobs said Apple’s cash hoard is for “big, bold” “strategic opportunities”. This move exemplifies that thinking.

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On iOS Emojis and Diversity

Joey Parker for MTV, on how he called for greater diversity in iOS’s emoji:

I decided to go straight to the top of Apple to find out if they were planning to issue a new, more diverse, set of emojis. So who better to reach out to than Apple CEO Tim Cook? Within a day we got a response!

Good for Apple to be working on this. This reminds me of the push in preschools to incorporate more multicultural dolls like this into the classroom.

On Sparks Bay Area Sports

Along with my good friend Karen Datangel, I’ve spent the last couple months being part of an exclusive Giants Insiders group. We’re local to the Bay Area, and we all follow the San Francisco Giants.

The purpose of the Insiders program was/is to act as a private beta for the Sparks Bay Area app for iPhone, which officially launched this week on the App Store. The simplest way to describe Sparks is as a Twitter for sports, in essence. You write short, Twitter-like messages (with an image) to "spark" conversation about your team(s). As a sports fan, I was eager to be part of the beta group.

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‘Memories of Steve’

Don Melton wrote a splendid piece full of Steve Jobs stories from Don’s time at Apple:

[I]’d like to recount a few of my own stories about Steve here. Not only for you, but for myself. Because maybe in the process I can remember him better.

You’re nuts if you don’t take the time to read this. So great.

On Samsung

Marco Arment, writing about the Apple-Android "holy war", says this for Samsung:

Samsung is institutionally and permanently tasteless, shameless, and crass to its core. They are, and always have been, professional rip-offs. If you want to support them, that’s on you.

Tell the Internet how you really feel, Marco.

How to Run OS X Mavericks on iPad Air

Josh Centers, writing for TidBITS:

Pundits have long speculated that Apple is working on ARM-based builds of Mac OS X that would allow the company to use its proprietary A7 CPU (or successors) in Macs as well as iOS devices. This is nothing new for Apple, which secretly compiled Mac OS X for Intel-based hardware for years while Macs shipped with PowerPC CPUs.

But we hadn’t realized how far this work had come until a source inside Apple tipped us off to the fact that Apple is testing OS X 10.9 Mavericks on current iPad hardware. Not only that, but the ARM code is embedded in the shipping version of Mavericks. After months of attempts, we’ve cracked how to install and run Mavericks on the iPad Air.

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