February 11th, 2013
Nick Bilton of The New York Times:
In its headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., Apple is experimenting with wristwatch-like devices made of curved glass, according to people familiar with the company’s explorations, who spoke on the condition that they not be named because they are not allowed to publicly discuss unreleased products. Such a watch would operate on Apple’s iOS platform, two people said, and stand apart from competitors based on the company’s understanding of how such glass can curve around the human body.
Apple. You have over $100 billion in cash on hand. You’re making around $20 billion in profit per quarter. You have some if not the most talented design and engineering staff the world has ever known, a supply chain that money can’t even buy, and a beloved brand that people wait in the freezing cold to pay money for. Do not make a watch.
Even if the watch is cool… and I believe it will be. Even if the glass of the watch can literally mold to my skin and be utterly transparent in ways I could never imagine… and I believe you could do that. Even if the watch can use Siri and Maps and allow me to check-in on Foursquare… and I believe it could. That still isn’t enough to justify your time and attention.
With the resources you have you could build a small village on Mars. You could tackle the TV industry and turn it on its head the way you did music just a short decade or so ago. You could disrupt the way modern-day computing happens yet again by offering relatively inexpensive laptops with retina displays that are always connected to the web, for free, anywhere I go. Or, create an even better iPad that begins to rival the computational power of a desktop computer.
Any one of these efforts would be considered an amazing feat but truly worthy of being tackled by a company with your resources. Choose to do something amazing with your resources. Even if you make the best watch the world has ever seen… and I believe you could… you shouldn’t.
December 24th, 2012
One niggle I had with the new Flickr app for iOS was the upload progress indicator was far too subtle (though an interesting take on what could be done to make it unobtrusive). They fixed that with this update.
Now they need to take a queue from Instagram (and many other modern mobile apps) and start uploading the photo immediately, rather than waiting for the user to click “done”, so that it seemingly uploads instantly.
December 20th, 2012
Well, not really. This post is really about how Don Melton doesn’t remember how Safari got its name and how there are a lot of stories to tell you about later.
So, to whoever suggested the name “Safari,” thank you.
Though I’m a Chrome guy now (Safari is just far too slow) I too thank the person that came up with Safari rather than Freedom as the browser’s name.
December 6th, 2012
Craig Hockenberry opened the kimono on development of Twitteriffic 5:
Personally, I find myself actively disabling notifications in most of the apps I install these days. Notifications are great when used in moderation, but it’s very easy to use them to the point of distraction. Since I read Twitter as free time permits, I don’t need a reminder. Similarly, a constant flow of streaming tweets interrupting my day sounds more like a bug than a feature.
So do I. And I’m doing it more and more. In fact, I run my iPad in Do Not Disturb mode more often than not. I wonder if we’ll see this as a trend; that app developers decide enough is enough and simply remove the ability for push notifications from their apps.
Perhaps push notifications are the new blog comments.
/via Stephen Hackett.
November 28th, 2012
Me, not even a month ago:
I’ve already made a deal with myself not to buy any more products, from Apple or any other company, that do not include a retina-quality display.
Unlike John, Eliza and I will be waiting for an iPad mini that has a Retina Display.
Well, I got her a mini. And it is awesome.
November 13th, 2012
Good tip from Rob LeFebvre on Cult of Mac:
You might notice that your hard disk is constantly spinning on your Mac. If you check Activity Monitor, you might find out that the CPU is also being used up by the Finder, which typically doesn’t use a lot of CPU.
Turns out that the culprit could, in fact, be video files on your desktop.
I had two video files on my Desktop as I read this tip. I removed them and within minutes my Mac’s fan spun down. Coincidence? I think not.
November 13th, 2012
Stan Schroeder for Mashable:
Apple has launched an initiative called “Blue Sky,” which encourages employees to devote some of their time to personal pet projects.
I hope this is true. And I have absolutely no inside dirt at Apple anymore so this could have always been the case. But if not, this could help out with the potential innovation problem Lopp posited.
November 12th, 2012
In my years at Apple, the Caffe Macs chatter about Forstall was that he was the only legit successor to Jobs because he displayed a variety of Jobsian characteristics.
Comparing anyone to Steve Jobs is a tall order but Lopp does a good job in his most recent piece about innovation being a product of disruption and contention.
If Lopp is right, and Apple’s slow (we’re talking a decade here) decline begins with the departure of Forstall would Apple ever consider bringing him back if Apple needs help? Remember what happened to Jobs? He was fired. Then his company acquired by Apple. Then he became the CEO with the best “second act” in the history of business.
I dare Forstall to start a company named anotherStep.
/via John Gruber.
November 5th, 2012
Watercooler 1.0 is a Twitter and App.net client by Troy Gaul.
It looks interesting but I might wait for 1.1 based on the reviews before I pick up a copy.
/via John Gruber.
November 1st, 2012
Though iOS 6.0.1 is a .x.x release it actually has a fair number of bug fixes.
- Fixes a bug that prevents iPhone 5 from installing software updates wirelessly over the air
- Fixes a bug where horizontal lines may be displayed across the keyboard
- Fixes an issue that could cause camera flash to not go off
- Improves reliability of iPhone 5 and iPod touch (5th generation) when connected to encrypted WPA2 Wi-Fi networks
- Resolves an issue that prevents iPhone from using the cellular network in some instances
- Consolidated the Use Cellular Data switch for iTunes Match
- Fixes a Passcode Lock bug which sometimes allowed access to Passbook pass details from lock screen
- Fixes a bug affecting Exchange meetings
That one about the horizontal lines on the keyboard was something I thought was wrong with my particular iPhone 5. I’m glad to know it will be fixed in this update.
November 1st, 2012
Turns out Shawn noticed the very same things that I did.
November 1st, 2012
John Gruber on the iPad mini:
It’s really light and easy to hold one-handed. The hardware design — chamfered edges, less tapered back, metal rather than plastic buttons — strikes me as better, more elegant, than that of the full-size iPad 3/4. But it’s disappointing to go non-retina after using the retina iPad for the last seven months. All of the accolades and advantages of retina displays work in reverse. I adore the size and form factor of the iPad Mini, but I also adore the retina display on my full-size iPad. My ideal iPad would be a Mini with a retina display.
I don’t even need to hold an iPad mini to know that my thinking is aligned with John’s. I’ve already made a deal with myself not to buy any more products, from Apple or any other company, that do not include a retina-quality display. The mini looks like a device that has found the right balance of size, speed, and weight. But the display is the thing you stare at the most.
Unlike John, Eliza and I will be waiting for an iPad mini that has a Retina Display. That iPad 4, on the other hand, looks like a good deal to me. Hmm.
(Side note to John: iPad Mini? Apple writes iPad mini. So I will too. Sorry.)
October 3rd, 2012
Things are getting very, very interesting. Tapbots releases Netbot, a Tweetbot-esque client for App.net for both iPhone and iPad.
September 28th, 2012
We launched Maps initially with the first version of iOS. As time progressed, we wanted to provide our customers with even better Maps including features such as turn-by-turn directions, voice integration, Flyover and vector-based maps. In order to do this, we had to create a new version of Maps from the ground up.
This reads as if these features were not possible with the relationship that Apple had with Google. But, this is only one side of the story so I take this with a small grain of salt. Could be true, though.
While we’re improving Maps, you can try alternatives by downloading map apps from the App Store like Bing, MapQuest and Waze, or use Google or Nokia maps by going to their websites and creating an icon on your home screen to their web app.
The fact that he openly suggests to use alternatives while Maps gets better is interesting. Obviously Maps are very, very important to some people so perhaps this is his way of acknowledging that. Or, he knows that Apple Maps will prove to be so much better than these alternatives that he is confident in suggesting them.
I hope Maps improves very, very quickly. Not year-over-year. But, perhaps, every single day.
September 28th, 2012
Matt Van Hoven:
Bottom line, flat structures create confusion about where power lies, because eventually someone has to be in charge – whether because a client demands it or a job won’t get done unless someone takes charge.
Van Hoven leaves off an important point; it really depends on the type of start-up whether or not a flat structure will work. He’s lumping all start-ups into the same bunch and that is never fair to do. Some companies may never need to deal with an agency, as he proposes, or have any reason to work with companies that wouldn’t understand its structure.
But then you have exceptions to this rule as well. Companies such as Valve, Apple, Facebook, and others that have pulled off this flat structure to phenomenal success. The difference? Having key management positions in place at the top of each team but then going flat everywhere else. Each team can be flat while all teams answer to a CEO, COO, etc. Apple is structured like 100 start-ups all working together but everyone knows who is in charge at the top.
A flat structure can be confusing to outside organizations, especially if you’re dealing with companies that aren’t flat, but you can pull it off if you work at it … and you can even succeed.
/via Darryl Rentz.
September 25th, 2012
If you use Instagram and you updated to iOS 6 or bought an iPhone 5; you may now update. Seeing the first few comments in addition to the likes on a photo in Instagram is actually a palpable upgrade in experience.
Addendum: Something I didn’t notice, because I literally have never used this feature, is that Instagram is “phasing out live filters”. Live filters means that when you take a photo you can optionally choose to see how the filter will look even before you shoot the photo. It sounds great on paper but it forced Instagram to create what some feel are less superior filters overall. So, by getting rid of them, they can presumably make better filters and – perhaps – even more filters more quickly? We’ll see.
Addendum /via John Gruber.
September 24th, 2012
Jean-Louis Gassée on Apple Maps:
The ridicule that Apple has suffered following the introduction of the Maps application in iOS 6 is largely self-inflicted. The demo was flawless, 2D and 3D maps, turn-by-turn navigation, spectacular flyovers…but not a word from the stage about the app’s limitations, no self-deprecating wink, no admission that iOS Maps is an infant that needs to learn to crawl before walking, running, and ultimately lapping the frontrunner, Google Maps.
I never thought of this. It would have been nice to see or hear exactly that. Forstall might be wishing he could do the presentation again and throw in a sentence or two about how Apple’s Maps will get better over time.
/via The Beard.
September 24th, 2012
You’ll have to forgive me for wanting to quote Brandice’s entire post about the iPhone 5 since I totally agree with everything she says but I’ll do my best to take out a few key snippets:
I read comments online about how it’s so light it almost feels too insubstantial or breakable. I think it might be a lot lighter than the 4s, which is heavier than the 4. To me (who has only owned a 4, no 4s), it’s definitely lighter but doesn’t feel THAT light. Still feels substantial and solid to me.
Agreed. It is light. Very light. But it isn’t so light that it feels any less well-built than the iPhone 4 (which feels like a brick in both weight and sturdiness). The iPhone 5 is a solid piece of engineering.
The panoramic photo feature is pretty badass, even if I rarely take panoramic photos. Kind of seems like magic, no stitching/processing time or anything.
The fact that the panorama feature on the iPhone 5 has zero processing time is what really struck me on my first use of it. I’ve used a fair number of panorama applications (though I seldom shoot panoramas in practice) and they’ve all had rather long wait times. Apple’s new feature has none. How?
So many people don’t like the Maps app, but I think it’s pretty snazzy and the turn by turn directions worked really well for me earlier today.
As you already know, I agree.
I might be getting too old for this waiting in line at obscene hours for new toys stuff. I was practically in a coma by the time I got home and set the phone up. Must get my preordering done more quickly next time!
Try pre-ordering next time Brandice. Same wake up time but you’re asleep about 15 minutes later. And you’ll get your phone only a few hours later than store-liners delivered directly to your doorstep while you’re still wearing your pajamas and drinking your coffee.
Go read the rest of her post.
September 24th, 2012
Mapping is indeed one of the hardest of mobile services, involving physical terrestrial and aerial surveying, data acquisition, correction, tile making and layer upon layer of contextual info married to underlying data, all optimized to serve often under trying network conditions. Unfortunately, like dialect recognition or speech synthesis (think Siri), mapping is one of those technologies that can’t be fully incubated in a lab for a few years and unleashed on several hundred million users in more than a 100 countries in a “mature” state.
The entire post is a gem.
/via Dan Frommer.