Applelinks Tech Web Reader - Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Why We Should Hope Apple Never Buys Dropbox
BMW Adopting Apple's Genius Model in Its Dealerships For 2014 i3 Electric-Car Launch
Steve Jobs Wanted To Take On Detroit With An Apple iCar
The Register Reviews HP's Spectre XT TouchSmart Touchscreen Ultrabook
PaintCode 1.3 Vector Drawing App That Generates Objective-C Drawing Code For OS X


Why We Should Hope Apple Never Buys Dropbox

Veteran Apple pundit Ted Landau writing for Macworld says that the not-from-Apple utility he uses most during a typical workday is Dropbox, and affirmation I expect many production-oriented IT device users would mirror.

Landau says Dropbox earns his number one spot because of its versatility and simplicity in keeping the latest version of current works-in-porogress always accessible on both of his production Macs and his iPhone, as well as sharing data with his wife, noting that especially on the Mac, Dropbox handles these tasks in such a simple, transparent way that you can barely tell youre using third-party software at all.

I also agree with Landau that Apple's iCloud with its Documents in the Cloud feature, makes a poor alternative to Dropbox due to Apple's sandboxing and other self-imposed restrictions, such as if
you save a PDF to iCloud in Preview, you can't open it from your iOS device at all, and even on a Mac, there is no Apple-supported way to access iCloud documents from the Finder, with Apple using that limitation to coerce you into accessing iCloud only via Open and Save dialogs, which is the not-so-thin-edge of a wedge shunting us toward an iOS-esque app-based rather than file-based model on the Mac, giving you access a given document only from the Open dialog of the app that created it.

Nor can you group related iCloud-stored documents, created by different apps, into a single folder.

Which is why Landau finds the notion of Apple buying Dropbox, as some have speculated, scary, observing that the operative fantasy isn't that Apple might someday acquire Dropbox; but rather that doing so would work out well. He observes that iCloud doesn't work like Dropbox because Apple doesn't want iCloud to work like Dropbox, having deliberately committed to a sandboxed approach that will limit user access to where documents are stored and restrict documents to the apps that created them, arguing that such gatekeeping provides security advantages, better quality control, and a more consistent user interface, leading Landau to conclude that, if Apple did ever buy Dropbox, it would kill Dropbox, but reassuringly he doesn't think it will ever happen, with Apple instead simply hoping that Dropbox use declines as users increasingly depend on the App Store for all their software.

For the full commentary visit here:

BMW Adopting Apple's Genius Model in Its Dealerships For 2014 i3 Electric-Car Launch

Advertising Age's Diana T. Kurylko reports that inspired by Apple's retail stores, BMW is requiring its dealers to hire young, tech-savvy employees to handle questions about its vehicles on the showroom floor, with the "BMW Genius Everywhere" program scheduled to go nationwide in about a year in time for rollout of the company's i3 electric car that will reach U.S. dealerships in early 2014. Specially trained BMW "geniuses" will patrol dealerships with iPads in hand to inform tire-kickers about vehicles and features, but will not sell cars.

For the full report visit here:

Steve Jobs Wanted To Take On Detroit With An Apple iCar

In a New York Times blog about Apple and disruptive technologies, Nick Bilton notes that:

"In a meeting in his office before he died, Steven P. Jobs, Apple's co-founder and former chief executive, told John Markoff of The New York Times that if he had more energy, he would have liked to take on Detroit with an Apple car."

iCar rumors and speculation have ramped up sporadically over the years. Apple is rumored to have had (or perhaps even still has) a "secret internal department" at Cupertino specializing in transport-related product development, although it's unclear whether that means car accessories, car information systems, or even yet a full blown iCar.

Even after Steve Jobs's passing, there are car people still among Apple's top executives. Apple's marketing exec. boss Phil Schiller is reportedly "all about cars," and Bentley-driving Apple Chief designer Jony Ive is also evidently a car enthusiast. Eddie Cue, Apple's Senior Vice President for Internet Software and Services has been a member of Ferrari's Board of Directors since last year.

For Nick Bilton's commentary visit here:

More iCar speculation here:

The Register Reviews HP's Spectre XT TouchSmart Touchscreen Ultrabook

The Register's Alastair Dabbs reviews HP's new 15.6-inch Spectre XT TouchSmart Touchscreen Ultrabook and says he liked it a lot, noting that HP is not copying Apple, and the look-and-feel of the Spectre XT TouchSmart is nothing like that of a MacBook Pro, and that it's the most responsive, latency-free Windows 8 touchscreen at this resolution (1920 x 1080 pixels) he's tested to date.


Dabbs also reports that the Spectre XT's trackpad is generous at 11 x 7 cm and sensitive to those who prefer a light touch - with no carpal-tunnel-crunching clicks and presses required. No optical drive, of course, but you get three rather than the usual two USB ports, Ethernet (not gigabit, unfortunately) and even a Mini DisplayPort-compatible Thunderbolt port.

A big dissonance with Apple's MacBook Airs and new(ish) Retina MacBook Pros is that the Spectre XT has a conventional spinning hard drive rather than a SSD. Battery life of little over three hours was a disappointment, as was lack of rigidity in the screen bezel.

Hmmm. I more often than not agree with Alaistair Dabbs' views, but I'm nit sure I see $1,399.99 of value in this HP unit, as attractive as it apparently is in many respects.

For the full review visit here:

For more information, visit:

PaintCode 1.3 Vector Drawing App That Generates Objective-C Drawing Code For OS X

PixelCut has announced PaintCode 1.3, a full-featured vector drawing app that instantly generates Objective-C drawing code. Bridging the gap between programmers and graphic designers, PaintCode has quickly become one of the most popular developer tools on the Mac.


PaintCode 1.3 is the biggest update of PaintCode yet, bringing many new features and improvements.

One of the most requested features, the ability to import and use images in PaintCode drawings, is finally available. Users can import both Retina and non-Retina alternatives of their images, keeping the generated code resolution independent.

PSD Import:
PaintCode 1.3 makes it possible to import layer graphics, paths, texts, groups and essential effects from Adobe Photoshop (PSD) documents. The PSD Import module is available as an in-app purchase for $19.99 USD.

Color Improvements:
The update also adds an entirely new color picker, replacing the system color picker, which was previously used by PaintCode. The new color picker is tightly integrated with PaintCode, making the design process much more convenient than before.


Other new features and improvements include iCloud support, improved SVG import, overhauled export functionality, various shape improvements, a new document format for better compatibility with 3rd party tools, numerous usability tweaks and bug fixes.

PaintCode 1.3 is exclusively available on the Mac App Store as a free update to existing customers. New customers can purchase PaintCode for $99.99 USD. More information about PaintCode and a trial version can be found on the product website.

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