Free

While the discussion of free software is often met with skepticism, Apple is in a great position to set fire to the assumptions regarding the company’s focus. If they are truly focused on hardware differentiation, they need more free and exclusive software that other companies can’t match. With the iWork applications moving to iCloud and the forthcoming Mavericks release, Apple could be poised to set its software free.

iWork

iWork for iCloud

When iWork for iCloud was announced, I immediately took to the web to figure out whether the feature was going to be free to all iCloud members or, like the iWork online beta of old, only available to those who use both versions of the software, Mac and iOS. Since I was unable to find any information, I let the notion go, figuring that the information would come in due time. Recently, I received an email from Apple to developers that invited them to try the new web applications. I logged in and sure enough was able to create new documents and use the apps to my hearts content; awesome! The apps look great and seem to work well, so I will definitely be using these more as time goes on. I assume this access means that the final products will be free to use, especially given the fact that Apple is in direct competition with other free services, such as Google Docs.

iWork for iOS

Then, today, I saw a post on Macrumors that stated that the iWork and iLife Apps may go free as soon as this fall with the release of iOS 7. While I had not expected this, the information would not surprise me, as Apple wants people to use iWork in all of its incarnations and the cost is a barrier to entry that they cannot afford if they want iWork to be a true competitor with Google Docs and, for some, Microsoft Office. While I have paid for many of the iWork and iLife apps over the years, I would love to see these software titles get better and with more attention from the public, maybe Apple will give them the attention in development they deserve.

Mavericks

In addition, a conversation has sparked recently regarding Apple’s ability to make its OS software free moving forward, so it is apropos that we should be seeing these mentions of free across many of Apple’s software environments. This week’s Accidental Technology Podcast and Thomas Brand’s Egg Freckles Website each have discussions about the possibilities and feasibilities of Mavericks going free. I, too, have thought about this possibility, given the exceedingly low prices of Mac OS software leading up to now, as well as the fact that iOS software has been free almost since its inception. I think that ideally, Apple would like every iOS device user and every Mac user to be on the most up-to-date software, so there are major advantages that Apple can’t ignore when deciding how to price future upgrades.

Finally, I thought Jordan Golson of Macrumors took the following words right out of my mouth, so I will leave you with this thought:

The launch of iWork for iCloud at WWDC in June suggested that iWork could become free, as no pricing was mentioned at the show. Offering Apple’s polished iWork and iLife applications for free — much like iLife apps have always been free with the purchase of a new Mac — would be a strong differentiator for the iPhone and iPad.

-Jordan Golson, Macrumors

If nothing else, Apple already has many strong differentiators, but, to me, the move to make all Apple software titles free would simply add more fuel to an already incorrigible blaze.


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The Challenges of 2020

TL;DR: Follow this link.

One of the craziest things about Christianity during the protests of the last few weeks is the fact that there are churches out there not discussing the issues honestly, not taking the time to have the hard conversations, not devoting their Sunday services to betterment of the world and people around them. If you’re church isn’t talking about racism right now, if they don’t mention that black lives matter, instead focusing on platitudes that equate to the all lives matter” sentiment, it is time to start looking for a new church.

My wife and I meet with my home” church virtually via Zoom since the pandemic is still a thing. Kimball Avenue United Church of Christ & La Iglesia Episcopal de Nuestra Señora de las Américas (KANSA, together) combined in a collaborative way to create a single denomination focused on the needs of their community. They follow Christ together toward the vision of love, reconciliation, peace and justice. The justice looks like the demolition and rehabilitation of an old church building and its grounds into a community garden and labyrinth open to all who seek peace through contemplation.

I give this elevator speech to mention that COVID has not been kind to faith communities in general. Budgets have been slashed, funding and grants have been cut, and congregations in need are also working to serve those in need, who are less likely to be able to financially support their church in these times. KANSA in one of the good ones. They speak truth, they have the difficult conversations, they preach in a loud voice every Sunday that black lives matter, that racism has no place in the church, that the LGBTQ community deserves respect and support, and that Jesus was a social justice warrior, who fought for the least of these no matter who they were, where they were from, what they looked like.

In fact, Jesus was most harsh to those who had the means to help and decided not to answer the call.

These systems of oppression we are protesting have been around a long time; they have screwed up a lot of lives, they have been the reason for revolution and the downfall of entire civilizations, they don’t work. We need to find a better way to live by supporting each other. And support has to come in systemic, social, financial, and political ways, both national and local.

I am not local to KANSA anymore, but I support their mission, the way that mission manifests in the world, and the simple fact that they follow Jesus no matter how ostracizing that position can be at times. Which brings me to the point:

Thanks to a $10,000 matching gift’ from an anonymous donor, the challenge has become an opportunity. Over the next two months, we plan to raise at least $10,000 to meet the challenge. Through August 31, 2020, every donation we receive toward our 2020 Challenge” no matter how small or how large will be doubled by the matching gift.

KANSA is hurting financially and needs support, they do good work and are unabashedly progressive in their approach to our world. Donate now and see your contribution matched to keep one of the good ones fighting the good fight.

Thank you for your consideration.