Apple isn’t planning a Surface clone, Snapchat wants you to buy Lenses, Microsoft kills Zune, Turkey blocks Reddit, and Mission Impossible finally gets a dose of reality.
Cook Says No to Mac/iPad Hybrid
Apple has already copied Microsoft to a certain degree with the iPad Pro, a larger iPad clearly inspired by the Surface Pro. However, the company is not planning to go the whole hog and develop a Mac/iPad hybrid that incorporates the best of both in one device. Because it would suck, apparently.
Speaking to the Irish Independent, Apple CEO Tim Cook said:
“We feel strongly that customers are not really looking for a converged Mac and iPad. Because what that would wind up doing, or what we’re worried would happen, is that neither experience would be as good as the customer wants.”
“So we want to make the best tablet in the world and the best Mac in the world. And putting those two together would not achieve either. You’d begin to compromise in different ways.”
“It’s true that the difference between the X86 [Mac] and the A-series [iPad] is much less than it’s ever been. That said, what we’ve tried to do is to recognize that people use both iOS and Mac devices. So we’ve taken certain features and made them more seamless across the devices.”
This is a clear statement that Apple intends to stick with its core product line, producing both Macs and iPads. Which isn’t all that surprising. Then again, no one can predict the future, so things could change in the years ahead. After all, Steve Jobs hated the stylus, but the Apple Pencil is now a thing.
So, while a Mac/iPad hybrid that combines the best features of both in one glorious whole doesn’t make sense at this point, it could very well do so in the future. Especially with iPad sales on the decline, and Apple’s share of the tablet market dropping below 25 percent as a result.
Snapchat Launches Paid Lenses
After tempting users in with its range of free Lenses, Snapchat is starting to offer paid Lenses. The free Lenses, which are overlays designed to make your boring selfies more exciting, aren’t going away, with seven available every day. The paid ones are there as optional extras.
Each premium Lens costs 99 cents, and once you have bought one it’s yours to keep for ever. To access the Lens Store, just press and hold your face in Selfie mode. Paid Lenses are available now in the U.S., Canada, the UK, Australia, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, and “a handful of other European countries”.
This may seem a bizarre little story, but it demonstrates how Snapchat is getting serious about in-app purchases as a way of making money. Over and above the money it makes from advertising, obviously. Love them or loathe them, completely optional in-app purchases such as these are undoubtedly the future of online commerce.
Microsoft Finally Kills Zune
Believe it or not, Zune was still a thing until yesterday (November 15th), when Microsoft finally killed it off for good. In September, Microsoft notified the remaining Zune users (all six of them) that the service was being shuttered, and that inglorious fate has now come to pass.
As set out on its support pages, Microsoft explains:
“You will no longer be able to stream or download content to your device from the Zune music service. However, Zune devices will still function as music players and any MP3 content that you own on the Zune device will remain there. You’ll also be able to transfer music to and from your Zune player.”
As reported by Network World, the actual Zune hardware was discontinued in 2011 after failing to take off in any big way. Which surprised no one as it arrived five long years after the iPod changed the world of music. And now the whole brand is dead as a dodo, and unlikely to ever be revived.
Turkey Blocks Reddit
Turkey has officially blocked its citizens from accessing Reddit, with users reporting that the ban kicked in on Friday (November 13th). According to a thread on Reddit itself, a message on a government website reads, “After technical analysis and legal consideration … administration measure has been taken for this website”.
It appears that Reddit is the latest victim of Internet Law No. 5651. This allows the Turkish government to block websites for a number of reasons, including pornography, drugs, terrorism, and, more controversially, “crimes against” Mustafa Atatürk, the first president of Turkey.
Previous blocks, on Twitter and YouTube, have been overturned by Turkish courts, but there’s no guarantee Reddit will be rescued in the same way.
Realistic Mission Impossible Hacking
And finally, while the original Mission Impossible movie is almost 20 years old now, having been released in 1996, the iconic scene in which Tom Cruise hacks into a computer while hanging precariously from wires is still worth revisiting. After all, it’s not exactly realistic.
This video addresses that lack of realism, imagining how the scene would have played out if Hollywood had played by the rules. The actual scene is a cinematic masterpiece, while this mocked-up scene is comedy genius sure to mildly amuse geeks around the world. [H/T Reddit]
Your Views on Today’s Tech News
Is Apple wrong to rule out the chances of combining the might of the Mac and the iPad? Will you be buying Snapchat Lenses? Are you sad to see Zune finally killed off? How do you feel about Turkey banning Reddit? What’s the worst example of hacking in movies you have seen?
Let us know your thoughts on the Tech News of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.