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by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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Jason Snell for Tom's Guide

After iPhone X, where does Apple go next? ↦

One thing I’ve learned in writing about Apple in the era of Jonathan Ive as chief designer is that the company’s products will always aspire to get thinner, lighter, and simpler, striving for the ideal of being nearly featureless slabs of glass and metal. (The Monolith from “2001: A Space Odyssey”, that’s an Apple product if ever I saw one.)

Apple made some major changes to the iPhone industrial design with the iPhone X, so we might not expect to see any revolutionary changes for a few more years. But every fall Apple releases new iPhone models, and with them an opportunity to keep creeping ever closer to that ideal. So what might this fall bring?

Continue reading on Tom's Guide ↦


Dan Moren for Macworld

Apple’s new model: Please subscribe ↦

Over the past year or so, Apple’s spent a lot of time talking up its Services division—which includes not only Apple Music, but also the likes of iCloud, the iTunes Store, and Apple Pay—and for good reason. Analysts have been paying a lot of attention to Apple’s Services, not least of all because it’s shown solid growth, even at times when other segments of Apple’s financial results have been more lackluster.

So you can bet that Apple’s not about to walk away from the services business anytime soon. In fact, if recent reports are any indication, the company is devoting even more effort to the segment, with at least two brand new services in development and the shifting of two of its biggest storefronts to a more subscription-focused angle.

Continue reading on Macworld ↦


Podcast

The Rebound 183: A Smith Corona Tagline

The Rebound

This week, on the irreverent tech show that features two and a half hosts, we discuss Apple’s handling of leaks, rumors of a news subscription service, Lex’s latest MacBook meanderings, Spotify and Hulu’s bundle, and Apple’s recent machine-learning push. All before lunch.


By Jason Snell

Writing on my iPad at home

My kitchen workspace

If there’s one thing I’ve learned writing about tech, is that’s if I mention using any sort of accessory in passing without providing details, people will ask for the details. And so I was already planning on writing this when a reader inquired on Twitter about my iPad writing setup, which I mentioned in passing in a recent piece about mechanical keyboards.

So for Reader John and everyone else, here’s the story. My primary workspace is largely unchanged from when I set it up in 2014, though I’m now using a clicky keyboard and an iMac Pro now. I don’t do all of my writing from my desk, though; I’m a big believer in increasing productivity through a change of scenery1. Sometimes that involves taking my iPad outside, often to the Starbucks that’s five minutes from my house. In the summer I’ll attach the laptop-like Brydge Keyboard and go sit in the backyard.

Kitchen workspace 2

When it’s not nice out, I’ll just relocate to the bar in my kitchen and write on my iPad. This workspace has evolved over the last year or two. When it started, I was generally using a Smart Keyboard or a random Bluetooth keyboard with a wooden iPad kitchen stand I got at Macworld Expo a few years ago, but I was never really satisfied with the ergonomics. I wanted the iPad to be a bit higher, and I was intrigued by the idea of writing with the iPad in portrait orientation.

(In the truest spirit of knowing that readers always have follow-up questions, I haven’t mentioned the app that I use to do my writing on the iPad mostly because it varies from day to day. For the longest time, 1Writer and Editorial have been my go-to apps. I wrote this particular story in Drafts 5, which just came out. When I’m painfully rewriting my novel I use Scrivener.)

A reader on Twitter suggested I buy this iPad stand on Amazon, and I’ve been using it ever since. It’s surprisingly sturdy. The base that approximates the foot of an iMac is metal, not plastic. A hinge lets me pivot the iPad up and down and likewise doesn’t feel cheap. And the clip mechanism—the stand comes with clips for large and small iPads—is strong enough to hold my iPad without any worry of it sliding out. Best of all, the thing rotates, so I can use my iPad in portrait (for more words on the screen) or landscape (for use with Split View) as I see fit.

Just before I bought the stand, I started using the Matias Mini Tactile Pro keyboard with the iPad here in the kitchen, attached via Apple’s USB 3 Lightning Adapter. It worked great, and I enjoyed the upgrade to a mechanical keyboard, but it was awfully fussy to bring out this keyboard connected to an adapter connected to a lightning cable connected to a power plug.

So I replaced the Mini Tactile Pro with the Matias Laptop Pro, a Bluetooth mechanical keyboard with a silver-and-black style that fits in pretty well with my iPad and its stand. Until I find something better—let’s face it, I appear to be collecting mechanical keyboards—this is my preferred writing environment when I’m away from my desk. At least until my kids come home from school, at which point I have to go back into my office and close the door.


  1. I talked about this idea a bit on this week’s episode of Free Agents. ↩


Podcast

Clockwise #237: We Call Those Features

Clockwise

This week on the 30-minute tech show that animals love to talk about, Dan and Mikah are joined by special guests Allison Sheridan and Caitlin McGarry to discuss Twitter’s delay of API changes for third-party clients, our favorite Mac menu bar apps, rumors of an Apple news subscription service, and whether Facebook’s recent privacy changes are enough to give the service a second chance.


Jason Snell for Macworld

QuickTime Player 7: Goodbye to Apple’s brushed-metal dinosaur ↦

It was minor news last week: In another step along the transition to 64-bit apps, Apple began warning users of 32-bit apps that their apps would need to be updated or stop running. The warning was news, but this is a long story. Last year, Apple warned Mac developers that 32-bit apps would stop running “without compromise” this fall with the release of the successor to macOS High Sierra.

The writing’s been on the wall, more or less, since all the way back in 2009 when Apple began its 64-bit transition with the release of Snow Leopard. But the move to 64-bit apps will have casualties, namely a whole generation of apps that are no longer being updated, but are still used every day by Mac users. No software is forever—who out there is still writing with Microsoft Word 5.1?—but when you lose a whole generation of apps at once, it’s a bit more noticeable.

Continue reading on Macworld ↦


Linked by Jason Snell

iPhone war on buttons, redux

Last year I talked to The Ringer’s Alyssa Bereznak about how the iPhone X was the culmination of Apple’s “war on buttons”, a somewhat silly way of referring to the company’s endless goal to simplify its industrial design by dropping interface chrome, buttons, ports, and anything else that diverges from the dream of a perfect, featureless slab of magical technology.

Today I’m quoted a bit in this new piece by Tonya Riley at CNBC on the same topic:

Recent reports indicate that Apple has been experimenting with touchless gestures and curved screens. If motion detectors were embedded into the screen, it would reduce the need for room in the bezel for sensors. A patent registered on March 8 shows that the company is still experimenting with how to mount its electronic components underneath the display itself. And the fact that the company has started focusing on producing more of its parts, such as its own MicroLED screens, has piqued the interest of designers and investors.Samsung currently supplies Apple with OLED screens, but rumors that the company will produce its own screens has shaken Samsung investors.

Like the speed of light, the ideal of a featureless slab is one that can be approached but never reached. And the closer you get, the slower you creep toward the goal.


By Dan Moren

Apple is serious about machine learning, but maybe the wrong parts

The latest entry in Apple’s Machine Learning Journal showed up a couple days ago, and it details how the “Hey Siri” trigger phrase works, including how it prevents other people from activating it by mistake. It’s a fascinating, if technical, read.

But the timing of this entry is interesting. Just two weeks ago, Apple poached Google’s AI chief and today word comes that Apple is beefing up a Seattle-based machine learning team. It’s also the Journal’s first entry since December of last year, prior to which updates were coming at least monthly.

Set all of that against the backdrop of recent suggestions that the HomePod’s initial sales might be underwhelming and it’s not hard to see a tacit narrative emerge. There’s a temptation to phrase it as “Apple gets serious about machine learning,” but that’s a facile interpretation: The engineering demonstrated in the “Hey Siri” implementation proves that the company doesn’t half-ass these things. In fact, you might go so far as to say the opposite, that Apple spends too much time perfecting these fine details.

Elegance and sophistication are a key part of Apple’s brand, but at times it feels like they do overtake the substance. It’s like spending a lot of time landscaping every tree, shrub, and blade of grass in the yard of a house that’s a movie-set facade.

Perfect, as the old saying goes, is the enemy of good, and in this case I wonder if Apple has been perfecting some features at the expense of others that might be more crucial. It’s great that the HomePod can recognize me a couple rooms away even when loud music is playing, but if it can’t or won’t execute the commands that follow that trigger, what’s the point?

[Dan Moren is a tech writer, novelist, podcaster, and the Official Dan of Six Colors. You can email him at dan@sixcolors.com or find him on Twitter at @dmoren.]


Linked by Jason Snell

Clicky keyboards are back!

Ross Rubin writing at Fast company:

If you care about keyboard feel, what you really care about are the switches below the keyboard caps. Among modern mechanical keyboards, the most well-known switches are the MX Series switches from Cherry. The various models are named after colors such as blue, red, brown, clear, and white. Their names are merely shorthand for a range of factors such as how much force is required for them to be depressed, and whether they produce an audible click like classic mechanical keyboards.

Most people don’t care, but if you do care, there are a lot of amazing keyboard choices out there these days. I admit, I’ve got a growing collection of mechanical keyboards—this is a problem—but right now I’m back on my Leopold compact model with Cherry Brown switches. (I decided the chirpy sound of the Cherry Blue switches weren’t for me.) When I write on the iPad while standing at the bar in my kitchen, I use a Matias Laptop Pro.

If you’re interested, I also recommend checking out the Wirecutter guide to mechanical keyboards. I’ve ended up settling on “boutique” keyboards that are very small while still retaining traditional arrow keys, so I can keep my trackpad as close as possible to the right side of my keyboard for ergonomic reasons.

Then there are the custom keycaps… suffice it to say, this is a deep hole you can fall into if you want. Or you can just find a great keyboard and go about your business. Your decision.


Podcast

Upgrade #189: Obsolescence Isn’t What It Used to Be

Upgrade

This week on Upgrade Special Guest Merlin Mann joins Jason to discuss the weather, old speakers, Apple’s latest TV acquisition, the long slow fade of 32-bit Mac apps, and the arrival of a new version of his favorite iOS writing app.


Linked by Dan Moren

Report: Koss Porta Pro Wireless en route?

Usually interest in FCC filings is limited to things like new Apple products, but in this case, I chanced upon a story from Ars Technica’s Jeff Dunn indicating that Koss may have submitted a filing with the government agency for a Bluetooth version of its classic Porta Pro headphones.

But the reason this piqued my interest is because the Koss Porta Pro have been my daily wear headphones for years now. (I’m on my second or possibly third pair.) In-ear headphones have never been my jam, and I don’t like wearing my noise-canceling Bose QC-35s outdoors—they’re too bulky, for one thing, and I don’t like wearing them in inclement weather.

However, I’ve grown increasingly frustrated using the Porta Pros with the last few iPhones, thanks to Apple’s discontinuing of the headphone jack. I’ve relied on the Lightning-to-headphone dongle that Apple includes with recent iPhones, but if I could get the same fit and audio quality with a pair of Bluetooth headphones, well, I’m all in.

That said, I will be sad to move away from headphones that don’t have to be recharged and use what is perhaps the last remaining standard interface port. But that’s the way the wind is blowing.


Podcast

The Rebound 182: How Computer Work

The Rebound

This week, on the tech podcast that’s dealing with a slow tech news week, Dan and John discuss rumors of underwhelming HomePod sales, the end of the 32-bit app era, and Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony before the U.S. congress. Also, Dan scratches his head a bit over Apple’s latest TV series acquisition and we rate Siri’s latest “jokes.”


By Dan Moren

A tale of two QuickTimes

QT

Among the casualties of the impending transition to 64-bit apps is one long-lasting oddity: QuickTime 7 Pro.

What makes this app so unusual are a few factors. For one thing, it’s one of Apple’s own apps. For another, it was first released in 2005, making it almost 13 years old, though it hasn’t seen an update in about 8 years.

But despite its age and the fact that the writing was on the wall for QuickTime 7, news that it wouldn’t see an update when macOS makes the jump to all-64-bit-all-the-time sparked some cries of frustration from users, including both myself and Jason, who have carved out a place in their workflows—and their hearts—for this little anachronism.

The biggest reason that people are up in arms about the death of QuickTime 7 Pro is that its successor, QuickTime Player X, never quite filled its shoes when it came to features.

The Pro features of QuickTime 7 include making simple edits by cutting and pasting sections of tracks, the ability to export specific tracks from a multi-track file (such as podcasters get if they use a recording utility like Ecamm’s Call Recorder), creating and viewing chapter marks within a file, and more. Most of those fell by the wayside in the far more basic QuickTime X, which is focused much more on media playback than on any editing features. (And there are those, like our friend John Siracusa, who simply want a media player where the controls don’t appear on top of the video.)

It’s understandable that Apple didn’t invest a lot of time in bringing those pro features to QuickTime X. After all, the company has iMovie and Final Cut Pro for consumer and professional video-editing needs. But what it doesn’t have is a good utility for dealing with simple media tasks. Setting up a whole iMovie project to do some format conversions or make a quick trim or two is overkill; Apple at least acknowledged the latter by adding a basic Trim feature to QuickTime X, but the rest of QT7’s Pro features are still MIA.1

When QuickTime X was first released in 2009, many thought that it would eventually add those missing features, catching up to and surpassing its predecessor. But that never happened. QuickTime X does have some features that QT7 lacked, such as making recordings of a Mac’s screen, but it’s also remained largely unchanged in the last several years.

And Apple has tacitly acknowledged QTX’s lack of features by keeping QuickTime 7 available for download, and letting owners of Pro licenses continue to unlock those features even today.2

There are some underlying technical differences as well: Apple used different frameworks and APIs in QuickTime X than in QuickTime 7, and for some features and codecs QTX still relied on QT7 in the background. It’s unclear exactly what happens to those features when 32-bit support goes away: either Apple will need to significantly update its QuickTime frameworks in the next version of macOS, or the company will decide they’re simply not worth supporting.3

Those of us who rely on QuickTime 7’s features do have some alternatives. Ecamm, for example, provides its own set of tools for dealing with multi-track recording files. There are a few other media converting and simple editing applications out there.

But it still marks the end of an era. Those concerned about the future of the Mac will no doubt add another tick to their worry column, and while I personally don’t subscribe to that view, I do think it’s another indication of functionality useful to a few that gets squeezed out over time. All I know is I’ll miss this little app when its time comes. But until then, I’ll still be using the heck out of it.


  1. You can skip back and forth between chapters in QuickTime X using menu commands, but there’s no visual indication that those chapters even exist.  ↩

  2. I’ve been using the same QuickTime Pro license for at least 15 years.  ↩

  3. Given that the next version of macOS is presumably well underway at this point, it’s possible an update is happening—but we won’t know until WWDC.  ↩

[Dan Moren is a tech writer, novelist, podcaster, and the Official Dan of Six Colors. You can email him at dan@sixcolors.com or find him on Twitter at @dmoren.]


Dan Moren for Macworld

Apple innovations that you can’t live without ↦

As a technology columnist, it’s tempting to spend a lot of time noting the places where Apple can improve its products. There are always glitches, bugs, and design tradeoffs to pick on.

But, on the flip side, it’s worth calling out the places where Apple has made great strides, not just in terms of introducing new features, but also for those capabilities that actually improve our everyday lives, or even just refining the technology that already exists to make it that extra little bit better.

So to shift gears a bit in this week’s column, I’d like to mention a handful of Apple innovations that I’m pretty thankful for—even if they could occasionally still use a tweak here and there.

Continue reading on Macworld ↦


Linked by Jason Snell

Disney launches ESPN+

Fast Company’s Harry McCracken on today’s launch of Disney’s ESPN+ streaming service:

Jimmy Pitaro, the company’s new CEO, made that clear with almost the first words out his mouth at a small ESPN+ press briefing the company held at its Los Angeles facility, hosted by executives from ESPN, BAMTech, and Disney. “I think it’s important to highlight the fact that this service will be complimentary to our existing business model,” he stressed. “We will continue to invest in, and drive value from, that multi-channel business, which has served us quite well over the years, and we expect will continue to do so. But in parallel, we’ll now have additional ways to serve the sports fan.”

Still, even if ESPN+ isn’t meant to immediately usher in a radically new era for ESPN, it’s the first taste of a big change for Disney that’s “the apotheosis of a long-running strategy we’ve had at the company to get closer to the consumer and to be a direct-to-consumer business,” said Kevin Mayer, the newly named chairman of a new Disney division responsible for direct-to-consumer services.

Disney’s also launching an entertainment streaming service that will include content from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm in fall of 2019. And it’s buying large portions of Fox, which will also give it a majority stake in Hulu. This is an entertainment conglomerate that is aggressively making the transition to, as Mayer said, “a direct-to-consumer business.”

ESPN+ may be a curiosity now—it’s literally bonus material that doesn’t fit on ESPN’s linear networks—but it’s hard not to see it as laying the foundation for a streaming service that wraps all of ESPN’s sports content into a single package.


Linked by Dan Moren

Report: HomePod sales lagging

The HomePod isn’t selling as well as expected, according to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman:

During the HomePod’s first 10 weeks of sales, it eked out 10 percent of the smart speaker market, compared with 73 percent for Amazon’s Echo devices and 14 percent for the Google Home, according to Slice Intelligence. Three weeks after the launch, weekly HomePod sales slipped to about 4 percent of the smart speaker category on average, the market research firm says.

Setting aside the usual grain of salt that comes with reports on sales from non-Apple sources, I have absolutely no trouble believing that the HomePod isn’t performing as well as Apple would like.

Unit sales, of course, aren’t Cupertino’s primary driver:

Apple often says it doesn’t strive to sell the most units in any particular category and points to revenue and user experience instead.

The problem here is that usually Apple’s value proposition involves a more expensive device that brings you a better experience than that of its competitors. You pay more, but you get more.

But in the case of the HomePod, it’s hard to argue that the “better experience” is there. I have a HomePod in my office, along with an Echo, and it’s pretty much always a deliberate effort for me to remind myself to use Siri instead of just asking Alexa.

The reason is that not only does Alexa do pretty much everything that Siri does, but Alexa also does considerably more.

Yes, the HomePod is a great sounding speaker.1 Yes, its ability to recognize its wake word, no matter the volume, is better than the Echo’s. But the amount of tasks that it simply falls down on gives me little reason to use the voice control part of it. Even something like playing music, which is supposed to be its bread and butter, is unreliable in my experience. (Maybe that’s because I’m using it with iTunes Match instead of Apple Music, but that doesn’t really hold water as a good excuse. It should be able to reliably play the music in my library.)

It doesn’t help, as Gurman points out, that touted features like multi-room support and stereo pairing are still MIA, a couple months after the device’s release.

Rumor has it that a cheaper HomePod might be in the works, but that raises its own questions. For one, where does Apple cut costs? Is it by downgrading the audio quality, one of the few things the HomePod has going for it? For another, why is this the market in which Apple would compete on price, when it doesn’t in most other places?

But, most importantly, does any of that really matter if the company doesn’t deliver a more capable, more compelling version of its voice assistant, that’s good for more than just grade-school humor?


  1. I’m honestly not sure that I prefer it to my Sonos Play:1, but it’s easily better than any of the Echo family.  ↩


By Jason Snell

Apple activates warning for users of 32-bit apps in High Sierra

Apple’s long transition away from 32-bit software takes another step beginning April 12. When the clock strikes the witching hour (local time), Macs running macOS 10.13.4 will display a warning the first time any non-Apple app that isn’t 64-bit compliant is opened.

The warning, which reads “[App name] is not optimized for your Mac,” will only appear once per app, and will direct users to an Apple knowledge base article to learn more about the situation.

Apple alert

For years, Apple has been migrating its hardware and software from the older 32-bit approach, with 64-bit apps having access to more memory and allowing faster, more efficient system performance. Many of the newest core features of the Mac, including the Metal graphics acceleration architecture, are designed with 64-bit in mind and only work with 64-bit apps.

Though this new wrinkle will expose the migration to Mac users for the first time, it’s just the latest in an ongoing series of transitional steps. Users of 32-bit iOS apps were warned in late versions of iOS 10 that their apps were deprecated, and iOS 11 won’t run 32-bit apps at all.

Mac developers were told at Apple’s developer conference last year that macOS High Sierra would be the “last version of macOS to run 32-bit apps without compromise,” and many of them have been busy updating their apps to be fully 64-bit compatible. Just a couple of months ago BBEdit, one of my favorite Mac apps, updated to 64 bit.

To get a complete list of your 32-bit apps, open the System Report app by choosing About This Mac from the Apple menu and clicking the System Report button. Click on Applications under Software in the sidebar, and you’ll be presented with a list of all the apps on your Mac. One of the columns in that list is “64-bit (Intel)”, and if an app’s entry says “No”, you will be warned if you launch it. (Unless it’s from Apple, which is apparently exempt from warnings.)

What does this mean for my favorite 32-bit app?

For now, nothing. The one-time alert is the only thing that’s new in macOS 10.13.4 on this front. 32-bit apps aren’t behaving any differently now than they did last week or last month.

While Apple hasn’t detailed exactly what “without compromise” means, it’s my understanding that 32-bit apps will run on the successor to High Sierra due this fall… just with some sort of undefined compromise. (That could mean more aggressive alert dialog boxes or even a requirement that you set your Mac to run in a 32-bit compatibility mode complete with performance and feature penalties. Or something else. We just don’t know.)

Do the math: that means it will probably be at least 18 months before there’s a new release of macOS that absolutely refuses to run 32-bit apps at all, so there’s no need to panic. Deep breath. There’s time.

That said, if you are alerted by macOS 10.13.4 that an important app you use has failed the 64-bit test, it’s worth checking with the developer of that app to see if there’s a newer version or if there are plans to release an updated version in the future. If not, you may eventually be forced to find an alternative or keep a Mac (or emulator) around running an older version of macOS.

(Before you send a strongly worded message to that developer, be sure to visit the app’s website. You may find that the developer has already posted an update about its plans for 64-bit compatibility. Adding 64-bit compatibility can be a lot of extra work for developers, and since the feature isn’t yet required, they may be planning on implementing it later this year. Seeing this alert doesn’t mean an app’s developer is sleeping on the job.)

Architecture transitions take a long time. This transition is well underway, and at some point 32-bit apps will be a thing of the past, but there’s still a ways to go before that happens. Apple has, as yet, not made any firm announcements about when that might happen, though we might hear more of that in June at the company’s annual developer conference.


Jason Snell for Macworld

iOS apps that need to be on the Mac ↦

Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, who has a great track record of reporting Apple scoops, wrote a few months ago that Apple was working on a new approach to app development that would let developers “design a single application that works with a touchscreen or mouse and trackpad depending on whether it’s running on the iPhone and iPad operating system or on Mac hardware.”

Accepting that Apple could change direction at any time and that this project—code-named Marzipan—might not even be announced this year, it’s an intriguing possibility. Obviously iOS has a much more thriving app store than the one on the Mac, so if Apple could make it easier for iOS developers to deploy their apps on the Mac, it might help the platform thrive. Merging the approach to developing apps on Apple’s two platforms also may make sense in light of the report that Apple may be replacing Intel processors with Apple-designed ARM processors in future Macs.

A lot of rumors and speculation, to be sure. But let’s go back to the root premise of this entire story: The Mac could be improved if it was much easier for iOS developers to bring their apps over. Which got me thinking, what iOS apps do I use today that I wish were on my Mac?

Continue reading on Macworld ↦


Podcast

Clockwise #236: Audible Cringe

Clockwise

This week, on the 30-minute tech show where it’s all (second) hands on deck, Dan and Mikah are joined by special guests Jeff Carlson and Cella Lao Rousseau to discuss our email setups, whether there are viable alternatives to Facebook, how we feel about Uber expanding into other forms of transit, and whether or not there will ever be a social media platform we can trust completely.


Linked by Jason Snell

Apple’s video service developing ‘Foundation’

Lesley Goldberg at The Hollywood Reporter:

Apple is adding another space drama to its roster. The tech giant is developing a drama series based on Isaac Asimov’s Foundation book, with David S. Goyer (Batman Begins) and Josh Friedman (Avatar 2, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) attached.

I’m a big sci-fi fan and re-read the Foundation series for The Incomparable a few years ago. What’s clever about this pick-up is that while Asimov built a galaxy-spanning civilization with a lot of interesting aspects, the novels themselves don’t have a lot of things that modern audiences look for like “characters” or “details.” They’re novels of ideas, which is great—because they leave a huge amount of leeway for a television interpretation. It’s as if Gene Roddenberry wrote a detailed account of how the “Star Trek” universe worked, but only wrote a handful of (largely unrelated) stories in the universe.

(Of course, the show could also turn into “Hari Seldon’s Fightin’ Genius Psychohistory Commandos”, which in my opinion would be unfortunate.)

This is the latest in a string of genre acquisitions for Apple, which has already bought a space drama from Ron Moore of “Battlestar Galactica”, and a new take on “Amazing Stories.” I’m pretty sure Apple doesn’t want to spend billions to build a new version of the SyFy channel, but if you’re looking for a breakout hit (like “Game of Thrones” and “Westworld”), science fiction and fantasy seem to be pretty good areas to invest in.

It’s important to note, however, that “Foundation” apparently hasn’t been purchased with a series commitment; the show is “in development”, which means Apple is backing this project at an earlier point in the process than most of the shows it’s picked up. If Apple’s planning on launching its service in mid-2019, “Foundation” is probably a second-wave show, maybe arriving in late 2019 or 2020.