Katie's Week in Review: May 8, 2016

It was supposed to be an easier week after wrapping up my exams on Monday. Unfortunately personal events have kept me tied up and away from the blog. Nevertheless, here are the links I found of note for the week ending May 8, 2016:

  • With growing concerns about Apple’s stock price following its first year-over-year revenue decline, Tim Cook made a rare appearance on CNBC’s Mad Money to address the issue. Cook spoke about the future of Apple and teased their new pipeline. You can watch the interview in full on the CNBC website (part one and part two)
  • Apple announced a partnership with SAP to deliver a new SAP HANA Cloud Development platform SDK exclusively for iOS that will allow business designers and developers to design iOS apps based on SAP’s HANA cloud platform. Apple announced the news in a press release on Thursday.
  • There was plenty of Apple Music news and debate this week. Apple announced a new student membership for $4.99, half off the the standard $9.99 subscription rate for an individual. The new membership tier is available for up to 4 total years and is an option for existing or new subscribers. Verification of eligibility is required.
  • There was also discussion of a major overall to Apple Music. Alex Webb, Lucas Shaw and Adam Satariano of Bloomberg report a major redesign is coming to the user interface to make it more intuitive to use as well as plans to better integrate the streaming and download business. The revamp is expected as early as WWDC in June.
  • After confusion as to whether Apple Music is deleting or altering tracks off a user’s hard drive (looks like no), Serenity Caldwell of iMore argues maybe it’s time for Apple Music to stop matching tracks all together. I agree, at least until it gets a lot better at it.
  • Hulu is reportedly working to develop a live television streaming service to complement their existing business. As reported by Sarah Perez of Techcrunch, the service will supposedly offer a combination of feeds from broadcast television and cable TV. Multiple networks including ABC, ESPN, Disney, Fox and others are in negotiations to join. Pricing is said to be in the range of $40 a month. While this is obviously a very early report, it sounds similar to the rumored service that Apple has been trying to put together for some time. As a cord-cutter, $40 a month seems a bit steep considering a bare-bones cable TV subscription could probably be bundled with an Internet subscription for less. But we’ll have to see what packages are offered. I’m certainly excited to see things moving in this direction.
  • I love my 4th Generation Apple TV, but it’s not necessary the revolutionary product I hoped it would be and the App ecosystem has yet to really take off. One of my biggest gripes is that the video/content based apps that are available on the Apple TV still require a cable or satellite TV subscription to authenticate, making them far less valuable to cord-cutters. Josh Centers, writing for TidBITS looks at tvOS six months in and asks the question: Where Are the Apps?
  • One of my favorite applications, Hazel, saw an upgrade to version 4.0 this week. The major features include the ability to apply rules to smart folders, syncing rules Macs by saving them to cloud storage (making restoring rules a lot easier) and previewing rules while you’re editing them. I’ve also noticed that Hazel now executes my rules a lot faster than before. It’s a great upgrade for only $10 for existing users, and an amazing product if you’ve never used it. David and I are going to look at Hazel again soon on MPU, stay tuned.
  • More legal news this week (you didn’t think I was going to avoid it) a As reported by Matt Hamilton and Richard Winton of the LA Times, a California judge ordered a Las Angeles woman to use her fingerprint to unlock her iPhone. As Jeff Gamet for the Mac Observer writes, this shows fingerprints and Touch ID aren’t warrant-proof. Note that iOS always requires a password after restart, so if this is a concern, you can turn off your phone if you feel the need arises.
  • Finally, Stephen Hackett has done something pretty amazing. He has managed to acquire all 13 colors of the iMac G3. I never actually never owned one of these machines, but always envied my friends who did. I can’t wait to see what Stephen has in store for these machines, but for now he’s made an awesome introductory video: