John Brandon

About the Author John Brandon


New dock on the iPad is the first sign of the Mac apocalypse

I started using a Mac for the first time at a corporate job in the 1990s.

I still remember starting up Photoshop for the first time and being amazed at how much editing I could do on a color photo, and then doing some basic page layout in a long-forgotten app called Aldus PageMaker.

These were the days when there was still a sense of wonder about being able to load multiple apps at once, and even the classic mouse was still fairly new, at least in terms of doing professional graphic design work with some accuracy.

Recently, Apple announced they would be adding a few features to the iPad that, when I first heard about them, instantly wondered if this was going to be the end of the Mac for good. I know, processing power on mobile devices is still not quite there yet. You can’t quite fit a high-end NVIDIA card into an iPad. Yet, from a workflow standpoint, several features in iOS 11 stand out as noteworthy, but they are also a sign that the Mac might be heading for extinction.

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The new dock on an iPad is the first sign of the Mac apocalypse

I started using a Mac for the first time at a corporate job in the 90s.

I still remember starting up Photoshop for the first time and being amazed at how much editing I could do on a color photo, and then doing some basic page layout in a long-forgotten app called Aldus PageMaker.

These were the days when there was still a sense of wonder about being able to load multiple apps at once, and even the classic mouse was still fairly new, at least in terms of doing professional graphic design work with some accuracy.

Recently, Apple announced they would be adding a few features to the iPad that, when I first heard about them, instantly wondered if this was going to be the end of the Mac for good. I know, processing power on mobile devices is still not quite there yet. You can’t quite fit a high-end NVIDIA card into an iPad. Yet, from a workflow standpoint, several features in iOS 11 stand out as noteworthy, but they are also a sign that the Mac might be heading for extinction.

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IDG Contributor Network: Why Macs are still having trouble in the enterprise

If you don’t live and breathe IT everyday, you may not realize what a headache it is to support the Mac. Some larger companies have figured out how to make it all work, and tools like those from JAMF certainly help. (You can buy a Mac from Apple these days and have it all configured for your company before you ever remove the shrink-wrap from the box.)

What’s still not working out?

There are still a lot of gotchas for users.

Recently, I’ve heard about end-users who have tried to use a Mac for a few simple, straightforward activities. One was related to Microsoft Teams. Even though Microsoft makes a client app for the Mac (and mobile platforms), there was a configuration problem related to Office 365 in the Chrome browser on a Mac. PC users had no trouble, but when Mac users tried to join a team, they hit a roadblock. It was a simple configuration on the back-end, but it was still frustrating and time-consuming.

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IDG Contributor Network: Why I’m worried about Microsoft Teams deployment

I did a deep dive into the features in Microsoft Teams, which is essentially a collaborative chat application for Office users (a.k.a., a Slack competitor).

I wanted to find out what it’s like to use Teams with an actual team for actual work. Fortunately, I’ve started doing some work with a local college — I’m mostly there to help with mentoring and development. It’s a team of around 12 people, and I’ll have more findings to share in the coming weeks, but there’s one initial concern.

I’m starting to wonder if people will “get” how to use Teams.

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IDG Contributor Network: Does Twitter encourage a ‘no filter’ attitude?

I’m starting to hate Twitter these days.

Since 2008, it’s been an ever-flowing channel of communication — direct and unfiltered. Celebrities, basketball stars, and even Presidents can post with reckless abandon.

We’ve been living in the age of unfiltered status updates for almost ten years now, but it makes me wonder if there is a better way to share thoughts spontaneously…but with a little more civility.

As a recent example, President Trump posted an off-hand remark about possibly ending press briefings and would, instead, hand out prepared statements only. The implication here is that reporters would not be able to ask questions in an open format or engage in dialog with White House reps. It would be more structured and controlled…and less democratic. Regardless of your political view, this is a strange tweet.

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IDG Contributor Network: 3 innovations the Apple Siri speaker needs to have

The name “iPhone” is part of the public lexicon, as common as Kleenex and Google. Yet, there might come a day when that iconic brand name starts to seem outdated.

If rumors about an Apple Siri speaker are true, the day could come sooner than any of us expect.

As a speaker, this device will play music but also talk to you, similar to what you can do with the Amazon Echo or Google Home speakers. It means you don’t need to fish out your phone to check the score of an NBA Playoffs game or get a weather report. You just ask by voice.

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IDG Contributor Network: Microsoft announces a Surface laptop that won’t run Call of Duty

Locked-down laptops rule the classroom.

It’s already possible to control what apps can be accessed if you hand a middle schooler a Chromebook. What can you run on that thing? Not anything fun. Industrious hackers could run a first-person shooter through a browser window, but let’s be honest — it’s not going to run the latest Call of Duty game.

Now, Microsoft wants to essentially do the same thing.

The Microsoft Surface laptop — available in four trendy colors like cobalt blue — weighs 2.76 pounds, opens with a finger, and runs the new Windows 10 S operating system, which only supports approved apps you can download from the Windows Store.

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