Craig Federighi Talks about Bringing iOS Apps to the Mac


That might have been the case a two years ago, but Surface is gaining ground ground rather quickly and Apple cannot afford to be be complacent if they want iPads to remain the dominant high end tablet. Here’s some market from two very respected research firms. J.D. Powers and Creative Strategies; I suggest reading the articles in full:

Consumers officially like Microsoft’s Surface tablets more than they like the iPad.

J.D. Power released its 2017 U.S. Tablet Satisfaction Study on Thursday and noted that customers are more satisfied with Microsoft’s Surface tablets than they are with Apple’s iPad and tablets built by Samsung, LG, Amazon, Acer and Asus.

Microsoft topped J.D. Power’s consumer survey in three key areas including internet connectivity, availability of official accessories and the variety of pre-installed applications. Microsoft also beat the iPad when it boiled down to consumer preference for tablet attractiveness, quality of materials and size of the tablet.

Here’s something investors who have watched the decline in sales of Apple’s iPad will want to note, too: 51 percent of Microsoft customers believe they’re “among the first of their friends and colleagues to try new technology products.”

In other words, people who want the newest technology — early adopters — are picking up Microsoft Surface tablets instead of iPads.

Overall, it appears that the large range of support for full Windows apps may have helped the Microsoft Surface’s case, especially among consumers who wanted to get work done.

“The Microsoft Surface platform has expanded what tablets can do, and it sets the bar for customer satisfaction,” J.D. Power’s vice president of service industries, Jeff Conklin, said in Thursday’s news release. “These tablet devices are just as capable as many laptops, yet they can still function as standard tablets. This versatility is central to their appeal and success.”

Despite a decline in quarterly sales, Apple remains the king of the tablet market. Consumers are enjoying their Microsoft tablets more than iPads, though, and that could chip away at Apple’s market share.

Microsoft Surface is the Only Apple Competitor in the PC Market

2in1s or hybrid computers are certainly growing in popularity. Twenty-one percent of American consumers have already replaced their laptop with a Surface Pro or an iPad Pro. Another 17% is interested in making the switch to a Surface Pro and 14% to an iPad Pro. While both these families of devices support pen/pencil input, this input tool does not play a role in the purchasing decision process for 31% of consumers.

When asked to pick their PC of choice Early Tech Adopters have a strong preference for Microsoft Surface (52%) over everybody else, including Apple (38%) while Millennials and mainstream consumers see these two brands being equal.

Microsoft has been talking a lot lately about creativity being the new productivity, and the good news for Surface is that early adopters see Microsoft Surface as the brand that empowers them to be both productive (49%) and creative (48%). Interestingly, Millennials continue to see Apple as the brand that empowers them to be creative (45%). I am sure that such belief comes partly from the strong integration with the iPhone and the range of apps that seamlessly work across iOS and MacOS. Apps availability is something that Microsoft needs to continue to address, especially for devices like the Surface Laptop that ships with Windows 10 S as the default OS.

So, the moral of the study is that while overall sales might not ring any alarm bells for other PC manufacturers, Microsoft Surface quietly established itself as the most aspirational brand in the Windows ecosystem as well as the only brand able to compete with Apple. This might not translate straight away in an impact on sales, but it is likely to impact positioning and pricing on the higher end of the market where all PC vendors have been focusing more as of late

(Simon) #22

Unimpressed. Been hearing that same story for the last years. The big Surface takeover is always about to happen. It’s just around the corner. Sure. :smiley:

Fact is MS is a bag of hurt even if they put lipstick on Win 10. Pretty much every Surface sale is a PC notebook sale that didn’t happen. Good for MS, bad for HP/Dell/whoever, and completely irrelevant to Apple.

In my field those people who have a Surface are corporate IT purchases where the Surface was regarded as the cheaper option compared to a ThinkPad and of course the IT people try to sell it to users as cool because of the touch screen. It’s all a bunch of meh to me. As long as Apple keeps its eye on the ball with the MBP (and maybe to some extent with the MB or MBA) Surface won’t even show on their radar.

(Adam Engst) #23

As others have said, I’ve never accidentally invoked Launchpad—it’s easily ignored. I do use Keyboard Maestro to manage the function keys because doing so radically increases my productivity over Apple’s basic keyboard shortcut capabilities. I’m impressed you still use Dashboard—it has been moribund for years and I can’t remember the last time I heard anyone mention using it before this.

To my mind, personal productivity is the job of the user, not of Apple. Apple has no way of knowing how I want to work, or what changes would make me more productive. They can guess, and in nearly all cases, they’ll guess wrong. There’s no shame in that—99.9% of all developers guess wrong for me too.

Frankly, this is the entire reason for TidBITS—to help our readers improve their productivity by teaching them techniques and introducing them to tools that may work for them. That’s why I’m getting tired of all the complaining about Apple this and Apple that. Apple is like weather, and it’s up to us to choose the right clothing and bring an umbrella at times.

(Adam Engst) #24

I’m confused at what you’re seeing. Just deselect the Show Launchpad item and then assign F4 to Show Dashboard. Works fine. But let’s wind this specific branch down (I’d move it to a new thread, but the starting message has too many other points in it.)

(Simon) #25

No, it doesn’t. It requires you to use F4 as in press and hold fn while hitting the F4 key. You can’t redirect the overlaid function (Launchpad) to Dashboard. The only way to still get it to work (w/o “hacks”) is to get a pre-2011 MBP where the overlaid function is still Dashboard. There it works just fine. Not on any new iron though. I’d hope Launch Bar at least allows having direct access to Dashboard.

And btw, this is exactly why this whole no-choice-Apple’s-way-or-the-highway attitude is so wrong. Most people cannot imagine all the ways other users work. You never use Dashboard. I use it routinely. I never use Animoji, others seem to swear by it. So our own experience is usually a very limited one and extrapolating from it to others is rarely a good idea.

Apple used to be about empowering the user to do exactly what she/he wants. Now it frequently seems like it’s all just about being cool and fashionable and acting like 90’s MS. It’s a very different attitude and this change has definitely been for the worse. Reversing that isn’t helped by all the “pundits” who cannot stop defending each and every Tim move and justifying every single corporate decision as long as it makes AAPL go up. Speaking of what makes me tired and all. Thank goodness some haven’t lost sight of users (or consumers) in all this.

And for the record, even when I have an umbrella with me, that doesn’t make rain a nice thing. And I sure as heck won’t kid myself into believing I like rain just because I happen to have that umbrella with me.

(Adam Engst) #26

Not on my MacBook Air, where “Use F1, F2, etc, as standard function keys.” is enabled in the Keyboard pane of System Preferences and where I can easily assign F4 to Dashboard. And I even remembered that you can also do that in the Mission Control panel of System Preferences as well. So I’m just not sure what’s different for you.

I realize this horse is rapidly expiring, but the point is that you’re saying Apple isn’t letting you do what you want and using an example that works fine for me and others here. I’m staying on it because I want to help you get it working.

More generally, we try hard to provide a balanced view of what Apple is doing, so it’s frustrating when anything we post turns into a Bash Apple session. It’s not constructive, and frankly, it’s a bummer to read constantly. Lots of pundits say lots of stupid things about Apple—pro and con—and they should be held directly responsible for their words, but their stupidity doesn’t have to color everything here too.

My point in comparing Apple to the weather is not that we have to like it, but that complaining about it won’t make any difference. And yes, I’m sure someone will immediately point out a situation where feedback has caused Apple to change course, but in general, Apple ignores all individuals. Just like the weather. Which was also better before global climate change too. :slight_smile:

(Simon) #27

Well, I guess in that sense I am an optimist. I have still not lost hope that maybe feedback a la Mac Pro refresh would get them to eventually do the right thing. But I agree with you, to a large extent they do their thing and they keep doing it. They don’t solicite opinions and then try to go with whatever comes from that. I guess I’ve just been more happy with their ways in the past than as of lately. But that all said, this has nothing to do with TidBITS which is still as great a place as always for getting advice and exchanging info.

I think I now realize why we’re not seeing the same behavior. You have fn keys set to actually behave as fn keys. I have them set to work as their overlays because I use a lot of the other things like brightness or volume, etc. So when you select F4 you actually get F4 straight away and I’m sure that would work for me too if I had it set up that way as well. But since I have it set to follow overlay, when I set F4 it actually expects me to hit F4 (as in fn key + F4). The actual problem is that the GUI doesn’t allow me to set overlay. Even when I just hit the key (w/o holding fn), it inserts F4 and consistent with that, I then need to hold fn when I hit the key for it tow actually work.

It’s not a huge deal. I’ve remapped to something that I can hit ok while typing. I was just trying to make the point that you cannot always just ignore the new stuff. Sometimes it gets in the way of the old stuff. Now some people don’t use the old stuff, but those of us who do get our workflow broken because of the new bling. That’s a bummer when you have no opt-out.

(Adam Engst) #28

Ah! Yes, that would do it. I used the function keys for so many years before the Fn key existed (for me, that was new stuff!) that I ignore it with that setting. And because of that, I’ve never internalized what the overlay keys are at all (I also have trouble identifying icons; I find F1, F2, etc. much easier to remember and map in my head.

(Alan Forkosh) #29

It would be nice if all the functions available via icons on the top row keys were also assignable to keystrokes (specifically function keys). You could then assign the top row to be function keys and have the icon functions work where useful to you.

I, too, like access to Dashboard. On my Magic Keyboard associated with my iMac, no icons are assigned to F5 and F6 (they are for keyboard lighting on laptops). It turns out that, in that case, the function key assignment will always work. So I have assigned Dashboard to F6—works fine on my iMac but requires holding down the ‘fn’ key on my MacBookPro.

(Simon) #30

That’s great advice, Alan. If you chose a fn key with no overlay, the shortcut will work even without holding the fn key.

At work I use an Apple USB keyboard and there F5/6 have no overlay so it works fine there. On the other hand, on my MBP those aren’t available (there they do screen brightness) so that doesn’t work either. In fact, on my MBP there’s not a single fn key without an overlay.

It is kind of inconsistent that Apple does not distinguish between fn and overlay when defining the shortcut, but then when attempting to use it does. I wonder why they chose not to allow overlays in the shortcuts. They’re symbols or icons, so no character for it maybe? There must be a better reason.

Anybody with a Touch Bar MBP who has been able to get Dashboard onto the Touch Bar?