Interesting Keyboard

At Apple’s recent keynote, there were a number of interesting announcements from the fruit company around a number of their product lines. The focus, rightly so, is around Apple Watch for now, but it is the newly announced redesign MacBook keyboard that has me the most intrigued.

I’m not a keyboard aficionado, but it is something I constantly use every day. I use Apple’s keyboards, Microsoft’s latest Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop Keyboard & Mouse, and Lenovo’s last-generation keyboard on the ThinkPad X220 and have never been able to settle on a single model or type of keyboard.

The smaller distance, larger keys, and metal click all makes the MacBook keyboard one of the most interesting. Most of what I use right now uses the scissor mechanism and the new butterfly mechanism looks to be a marked improvement in many key areas.

So I’ll wait and play with one at a store in the future. Whether Apple brings this new mechanism to the rest of their line, I am not sure.

Apple’s Billions at Work

Wondering what Apple might do with its billions of dollars of profit each quarter?

I think they’ve been telling us for a while, and it fits in really nicely with some of the concerns people have had about Apple for a long while.

the Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple is going to be building a data command center in Arizona in the husk of GT Advanced Technologies. Not a bad ending for that sordid affair.

Along with the data center itself, there are plans for a 70 megawatt solar array to be put on/near the site to provide power, much like the North Carolina data center they are also expanding. They also have data centers under construction in Oregon and Nevada.

It takes a lot of up-front capital to try to get these sorts of facilities off of the ground and Apple has cash.

Why the Mac App Store

The App Store (both Mac and iOS) has its fair share of problems.

However, it has allowed me to offload many problems I had to deal with in the past when it came to recommending, purchasing, and installing software. Mainly, it has to do with enabling others to do that part so that I don’t have to go and visit that person every time they have a question.

My mother records her piano students at various times during the year for Statewide Graduation with the Suzuki Association of Minnesota. Those files need to be converted to MP3s and then submitted for judging before a student can be accepted.

In comes Pro Audio Converter and the Mac App Store. I send her the link, she can purchase and download using her Apple ID with attached credit card information and I get an email back later that day saying that everything worked just fine.

In the past she never even purchases the software because she doesn’t like giving her credit card information out over the web if she doesn’t know the company. Apple, being a corporation that she knows, handles the trust issue and then OS X handles downloading, installing, and showing her where to find the software.

The added benefit is that I don’t see three mounted images on her desktop where she runs the programs out of the next time I visit.

So she gains some independence from me taking care of the software side of things and I gain time. That’s a win-win in that situation.

However, let’s not minimize the issues the App Store has. There are needs for resources to make App Review faster and better, better management to keep policies in-line across the company, and continued development to make sure that new apps can show up on the store as well. Those are real needs.

There are real wins, for real people, with the App Store as well … and that is really cool.

Stanford iOS 8 Course Now Available

The Developing iOS 8 Apps with Swift course from Stanford University is now available on iTunes U …

… and it is entirely in Swift! Obviously.

I’m done with the first lecture and half through the second. I’ve started a number of the old classes, but never finished since I ended up finding them after they had all of the materials available and my tiny little brain was too intimidated to stick with it.

This time I am hoping to keep up with the material as it is released. Hopefully that will help me push through. So far, so good.