Archive for September 29, 2017

Friday, September 29, 2017 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Finder’s Unwanted Conversions to APFS

Mike Bombich:

Take any HFS+ formatted volume that does not have an installation of macOS on it (that part is key), right-click on the volume in the Finder and choose the option to encrypt it. Rather than simply converting the volume to a CoreStorage Encrypted volume and keeping the HFS+ format, macOS converts the volume to APFS with no warning, and then enables encryption.

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APFS Encrypted volumes aren’t backwards compatible at all, so if you attach that converted disk to a Mac running an older version of the OS, you’re greeted with this heart-attack-inducing error message[…]

[…]

But if I disable encryption on my APFS volume, the APFS part sticks – it’s not possible to convert an APFS volume back to HFS+ without erasing it.

Cultural Insularity and Apple TV

Casey Newton and Chris Welch (Hacker News):

Amazon today introduced a new $69.99 Fire TV with HDR and 4K capabilities. The redesigned Fire TV is a small flat square dongle with an HDMI cable sticking out, and it again ships with an Alexa voice remote included. It’s basically a smaller version of the discontinued set-top box that now plugs into the back of your TV and hangs there. The previous Fire TV box already did 4K, but this one can now play it at 60 frames per second and adds HDR (high dynamic range) as a brand new feature to Amazon’s streaming devices.

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The new Fire TV is powered by a 1.5Ghz quad-core processor and has access to tens of thousands of apps and Alexa skills; if you don’t want to bother with the remote, you can also pair the Fire TV with an Echo device in your home to control it with just your voice at any time.

John Gruber:

Earlier this week I wrote about my vague concern about Apple’s insular culture. Apple TV is the product line where I think that might really be a problem. Apple charges a significant premium over the average product in PCs, tablets, and phones. It works for them in those markets. That’s what Apple does and has always done: they make superior, premium products for people willing to pay for them.

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I like Apple TV a lot, but I think Apple is ceding marketshare by not having a box that competes on price. I think there are a lot of people who look at iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks and see them as “expensive but worth it” but who look at Apple TV and see it as “ridiculously overpriced”.

Andrew Pontious:

Arguments why people buy things other than Apple TV (same basic thing, much lower prices) SO MUCH apply to rest of product line.

Bradley Chambers:

The real issue is that set top boxes for good portion of people = Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Sling, etc. The experience is the content.

Abdel Ibrahim:

Hence why I argue that as TVs get more built-in apps, why would someone even bother with these boxes, let alone a $200 one.

Zac Cichy:

For all its UX superiority, Apple TV just isn’t meaningfully differentiated in terms of content or even as a platform. App Store is a joke.

Dave Wood:

#AppleTV is a premium device, just needs devs to make the apps, which they won’t do b/c the App Store is a shit show.

Josh Centers (tweet):

The big question is how Amazon’s content lineup will match up to Apple’s. Amazon Prime Video has offered 4K titles for a while, but its selection of 4K movies has been limited and expensive. However, Amazon recently slashed prices on 4K films. If the company can match iTunes by improving its collection of 4K HDR movies and upgrading HD movies that customers have purchased, Amazon will be hard to beat in the living room.

Similarly, Apple will have a tough time justifying the $349 price of the HomePod when you can buy four Amazon Echoes for that price — and don’t forget, Echo now does multi-room audio (see “Amazon Echo Gains Multi-Room Audio Capabilities,” 29 August 2017), so for the price of a single HomePod, you could fill your entire house with audio.

Previously: Apple TV 4K, Still a Hobby, Why Apple Should Make a Cheaper, Streamlined Apple TV.

Update (2017-10-06): Craig Grannell:

I like Apple, and write about the company a lot. I also like Apple TV. It’s a solid unit, with a decent UI, and a ton of potential. But if none of that potential is going to be realised in terms of the unit’s primary purpose, what’s the point in buying Apple TV over an Amazon box? That’s what Apple needs to address, rather than beaming that you can rapidly get an iCloud photo gallery on your telly.

Update (2017-10-13): Michael Rockwell:

John mentions iTunes as the primary selling point for the Apple TV, but I don’t see it that way and I don’t think Apple does either. When the default behavior of the remote’s home button was changed late last year, that was a clear signal about the device’s primary function — it’s all about the TV App.

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The best case scenario is for Apple to do all of these things at the same time, but I’m not convinced they’ll do any of them. Apple should be well aware of the problems with their offering and the announcement of the Apple TV 4K was their opportunity to address them. They didn’t. I just hope they have something incredible coming to platform soon that will position the Apple TV as more than just the expensive option.