EU specific roaming settings found in iOS 8

Cult of Mac reports that the latest developer preview of iOS 8 has a specific toggle switch to enable/disable data roaming within the European Union.

In March the European Commission passed a directive to ban all Europe wide data roaming charges starting December 2015. That means that European citizens won’t have to pay anymore the outrageous fees that mobile companies used to charge for data roaming when travelling from country to country.

Data roaming charges will still have to be paid when crossing the European borders, so it makes sense to have a setting to enable data outside your country of residence, but within the EU.

Apple reports third quarter results

Yesterday Apple reported its third quarter results:

The company posted quarterly revenue of $37.4 billion and quarterly net profit of $7.7 billion, or $1.28 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $35.3 billion and net profit of $6.9 billion, or $1.07 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 39.4 percent compared to 36.9 percent in the year-ago quarter. 

Impressive numbers for a company whose main business is hardware. 

OS X Yosemite Public Beta 1 available tomorrow

The Loop today confirmed that tomorrow 24th July, Apple will release the first public beta of OS X Yosemite. 

Before you get too excited, please make sure you clearly understand that this is a beta version of the next Apple operating system. Beta software is not ready for prime time, and it should not be installed on your primary Mac

Beta software is known for crashes, unfinished features (Yosemite Beta 1 for example won’t have iCloud Drive), and most of the applications you currently use have likely not been fully tested with OS X Yosemite. 

Don’t be silly, install the beta on the Mac you rely on and then blame Apple if you lose data.

How to test OS X Yosemite

The best way to test it is to install it on an external USB drive. TechRepublic has a step-by-step guide on how to install OS X Yosemite on a pen drive, or external hard-disk. 

On iOS backdoors attack points in iOS

iMore has received the following statement from Apple regarding the allegations that the iPhone vendor has left backdoors, attack points and surveillance mechanisms in iOS:

We have designed iOS so that its diagnostic functions do not compromise user privacy and security, but still provides needed information to enterprise IT departments, developers and Apple for troubleshooting technical issues,” Apple told iMore. “A user must have unlocked their device and agreed to trust another computer before that computer is able to access this limited diagnostic data. The user must agree to share this information, and data is never transferred without their consent.”

As we have said before, Apple has never worked with any government agency from any country to create a backdoor in any of our products or services.

This is a sensitive subject, and Apple has repeatedly confirmed that it has never worked with any government agency to create backdoors. 

We can never be sure about news like this one, but we must believe that no company in the world could survive the backlash if the above statement was not true. Apple PR department is fully aware of the consequences. 

How much work can you do on an iPad?

After Tim Cook said that he does 80% of his job on an iPad, Macworld asked some of its editors how much of their current job is done on the iPad. 

The truth is that not many people today can tell are able to do their job on an iPad. For example:

I currently do zero percent of my work on my iPad. But if I really had to, I could probably do 90%—maybe even 100%—of it on Apple’s tablet. But it would be slow and laborious.

I am aware that famous bloggers like Federico Viticci manage to produce content mostly on an iPad, but I think that is an edge case. In my opinion, any normal person would not create all those complicated workflows to make up for the iPad weaknesses.

The iPad remains a fantastic device, but a full laptop is still needed.

How to clean your Apple products

Apple has a thorough KB article on how to clean its products. Apple specifically say not to use any specialized cleaning liquid, just a simple damp lint-free cloth. 

For example, to clean the screen of your Mac laptop:

To clean the screen on your MacBook, MacBook Pro, or MacBook Air, first shut down the computer and unplug the power adapter. Dampen the included cleaning cloth with just water and wipe the screen. Do not spray liquid directly onto the screen.

What factors could mar the Apple-IBM partnership?

I’ve decided to write some notes about the partnership signed between Apple and IBM only after a few days after the announcement because I wanted to think things over.

Being an eternal pessimistic, I am going to analyze the factors that could mar this agreement.

The partnership between the two companies is specifically targeted to enterprise customers, which is the bread and butter of IBM but a completely new game for Apple.

Almost all opinions that you can read on the Internet are extremely optimistic about the outcome of this partnership. Certainly the alliance has incredible potential. With no apparent business overlap between the two companies, the partnership seems perfect. On paper.

What could really endanger this partnership?

Partnerships between companies happen all the time, without the fanfare that the Apple-IBM has had. It’s actually a given in the IT industry that companies put their salesforce together to leverage their respective strengths. The reason behind this type of close cooperation is to drive revenue in sectors where one of the two companies is weak, or more often to create sales synergies that could not exist otherwise.

It is also common for partnerships to fail without too much drama. Breakups occur because priorities change, companies’ agenda changes, or simply because there is a culture clash.

The success of partnerships between companies depends on:

  • Business overlap
  • Willingness to share information
  • Priorities
  • Definition of roles
  • Clear and measurable objectives
  • Cultural similarities

There are other factors at stake, but for the purpose of this post the six points above suffice. Let me talk about the three points that could endanger this partnership.

Willingness to share information

This is in my opinion what could really make the difference between a successful and unsuccessful partnership. More often than not, these marriages are burdened with opinions half-said, roadmaps not entirely shared, APIs not fully documented, developers and managers unable to create a good working relationship with their counterparts, and so on. In fact, the latter the human factor is always present and it’s a huge factor too.

On top of that you have the challenge on how to share that information. What processes the two companies are going to use to exchange information? Will they be efficient? Will they be accepted by all parties or some mid-level manager is going to sabotage them? Will the decision makers get that information before going down a certain path?

Priorities and definition of roles

I smirked when I saw the comments relative to the AppleCare Enterprise Support provided by Apple and the on-site service provided by IBM.

All great in theory, but who’s going to decide when telephone support is not enough and you need to send an IBM consultant to visit the customer? Who’s going to foot the bill? Who’s going to get irritated by the too many requests for on-site service? What happens when one of the two companies start to push back on the requests?

Cultural similarities

IBM is well known in the corporate world for being a suit-and-tie type of company. Will this work well with the T-shirt and jeans culture of Apple?

Of course Apple is more corporate than its cool image might suggest but the devil is in the details, and certain differences in development strategies, project plans, requirement definitions, meeting styles could really have an effect on how the partnership works.

I’m convinced that this partnership is going to hugely benefit both Apple and IBM, but as I described in this post some points of failure exist. The executives of both companies will have to put aside their prejudice when solving the inevitable problems in order to make this marriage work.

Get the most out of your Apple devices. Mac user since 1991.