Saturday, May 7th, 2022
Tony Fadell from his new Build book:
And you have to hold on to that “why” even as you build the “what”—the features, the innovation, the answer to all your customers’ problems. Because the longer you work on something, the more the “what” takes over—the “why” becomes so obvious, a feeling in your gut, a part of everything you do, that you don’t even need to express it anymore. You forget how much it matters.
When you get wrapped up in the “what,” you get ahead of people. You think everyone can see what you see. But they don’t. They haven’t been working on it for weeks, months, years. So you need to pause and clearly articulate the “why” before you can convince anyone to care about the “what.”
Tuesday, March 8th, 2022
At TidBits Adam Engst points out that there are other professionals using Macs beyond “developers, photographers, filmmakers, 3D artists, scientists, music producers” who may not necessarily need such giant power but could nonetheless do with some improvements.
I remain flabbergasted that the FaceTime cameras in even Apple’s latest Macs are so pathetic. Even the cheapest iPad and iPhone put the newest Mac cameras to shame, and quite a few iPad and iPhone models have Face ID support for authentication. We’re talking about technology that Apple has used numerous times. So why isn’t it in Macs?
You can get an iPad with cellular connectivity, so why not a MacBook? The lack of a cellular option for Apple’s laptops has been a glaring omission for years and is yet another example of how Apple doesn’t acknowledge the needs of mobile professionals.
I hadn’t thought of any of these things, but they are obvious.
Saturday, February 5th, 2022
During this -26.4% period of reckoning for Facebook, David Goldman has linked to his 2012 essay What if Facebook is really worth $100 billion?
Where are the ads targeted to my tastes – harpsichords, assault rifles, kosher cookbooks, and cat toys? Perhaps I haven’t posted enough for the Matrix to process my profile. Still, I suspect that the more people use Facebook, the less the computers really will know about them … What makes Facebook so popular? The answer, I think is that Facebook exalts the insignificant.
Me, I never understood why Facebook and Microsoft are valued alongside Apple, Google and Amazon, which seem to have locks on more fundamental aspects of our lives: Apple for our increasingly central digital devices, Google for information garnered via those devices, and Amazon for fulfilling much of our material consumption. Yes, Facebook seems to have a lock on our relationships with friends and family, but it’s likely that nobody wants that intermediated by anything more than a tool; it’s the part we most want to keep keeping real.
Microsoft seems to have saved its bacon by going into gaming — which it totally deserves having developed the XBox — and by buying GitHub — and then in turn NPM! — and moving closer than any other corporation to open source, which was a scarily brilliant move that kind of upgrades its own DNA as a software maker (even as it likely somehow eventually stymies human progress). Its other big purchase, LinkedIn, strengthens M$‘s lock on the domain they’ve dominated for decades: the workplace. To me the Michael Scott social network seems more feasible to monetize than Facebook, but beyond that, the workplace feels at home with Microsoft; a Microsoft product need only be almost as good as a competitor’s to be selected. It’s a great brand that way. I guess. And being wrapped up in the Apple ecosphere one can forget that Microsoft remains the dominant player in device operating systems. Nonetheless in comparison to these other giants M$ seems a company just trying to keep up — though wasn’t it ever thus yet things continue to work out just fine for them.
Whereas Facebook’s Metaverse, without having watched the video, seems to either be a quest to dominate the online identity business, which, while suitably and juicily ambitious and evil, does not seem to be as giant a business as the others. Or else the Metaverse is a revisit of Second Life with improved resolution. Only if human existence on earth goes very pear-shaped indeed might people prefer this Virtual Reality Metaverse to a pair of Apple Vision shades, and of course if things got that bad we wouldn’t have the working infrastructure to power our Oculus Shmockuluses. Rather, perhaps Meta’s future is in analytics — even its new name suggests so — which is (hopefully) not as big a business as that of the other FAANGs.
Friday, January 28th, 2022
As of Jan 14th, Marco Arment’s iOS podcasting app Overcast is now using Apple’s system font. Many commented on the change — (a few) people do care. Marco writes tantalizingly:
The way forward for Overcast is to use system fonts. You’ll see.
Saturday, November 6th, 2021
Nice appreciative review at Cult of Mac of the latest Foundation episode, “The Missing Piece”.
This week’s episode gave him the Lee Paciest showcase any of your finer Lee Paces could hope to deliver. Appearing to be on death’s door yet radiating immortality, staggering through the desert with red, peeling skin and dirty feet, a false messiah nearly killing himself to gain even more power. This is the kind of thing that simply has to be seen.
Lee Pace for James Bond. Or Scaramanga at least.
Sunday, September 26th, 2021
Safari in iOS 15 is enough of a redesign to warrant reading a primer. Thanks, TidBits, for Josh Centers’ “Hot New Features in Safari in iOS 15 and iPadOS 15”
Want to close all open tabs so you can start fresh with Tab Groups? Press and hold the Done text label to reveal the secret option. Why Apple hid it there is baffling, and there’s zero indication that “Done” would have any secondary function.
Tuesday, July 20th, 2021
I wanted a way in Apple Mail to list all emails from VIPs to which I’ve not yet replied. After googling, I found a nice solution at MakeUseOf: “4 Mac Mail Productivity Tips All Professionals Must Know” (2019).
So I made a Smart Mailbox “VIP Unreplied” with all the following rules:
- Sender is VIP
- Message was not replied to
does not containdonotreply
- Message is not in mailbox “Already Replied”
And in the “Already Replied” Smart Mailbox:
- Message has flag: Green
This second one because sometimes a message is handled in some other way than a reply or doesn’t need one.
Saturday, June 12th, 2021
From Nieman Media Lab, a newsy perspective on Apple’s recent WWDC 2021 announcements:
Will my iPhone’s algorithms decide that a breaking news story from Bloomberg is “urgent,” “important,” or “time-sensitive”? How about something more feature-y pushed by The Atlantic, or a game score notification from ESPN?
Friday, May 28th, 2021
Federico Viticci of MacStories tours Apple’s new store on Via del Corso in Rome, saying it’s one of Apple’s most ambitious restoration projects to date.
Tuesday, May 25th, 2021
Sunday, May 16th, 2021
Writing in TidBITS, Glenn Fleishman gives us 13 AirTag tracking scenarios.
Saturday, May 8th, 2021
This Dutch fellow tracked the mailing of an AirTag to his own home. It travelled 120km just go to 500m. Next he’s going to send one to Norway.
Thursday, April 22nd, 2021
Wednesday, April 21st, 2021
Thursday, November 26th, 2020
It falls to Andrew Cunningham to take up the magisterial task of the Ars Technica review of macOS Big Sur.
Wednesday, November 18th, 2020
“Indie developers need protection from monopolistic and anti-competitive practices from larger players in the market through strong government regulation, not a discount on their first $1m in sales.” “Apple’s 15% Deflection Tactic” by John Luxford.
Tuesday, November 17th, 2020
Tuesday, October 27th, 2020
Wednesday, October 21st, 2020
iPhone 12 Pro Cinematic 4K: New York by Andy To. Make sure to watch at full resolution.
Friday, October 9th, 2020
Thursday, August 20th, 2020
There are many utilities for macOS window management (looks like the most hackable and maybe powerful is Jigish Patel’s Slate) but what I personally rely on is a combination of TotalSpaces2 to keep the Spaces functionality that came and I think went with OS X Leopard; SizeUp for the snap functionality most easily found elsewhere (Moom, Spectacle, Cinch, Divvy, Amethyst); and Zooom/2 for moving and resizing windows and toggling sloppy focus, which I’ve not found anywhere else.
The above link to Zooom/2 is not however to its homepage but to a disk image I just posted because Zooom/2 is no longer available, as I realized when setting up a new Mac. You’re welcome.
The iPhone matters more than anything … it is the foundation of modern life.
Ben Johnson, “Apple, Epic, and the App Store”
Monday, August 10th, 2020
Wednesday, August 5th, 2020
In wake of Phil Schiller’s ascent, Cult of Mac lists all the Apple Fellows.
Sunday, July 5th, 2020
Poolside.FM, the lovely Mac throwback to 1997.
Tuesday, March 10th, 2020
“More news, less junk. Faster.” Brent Simmons has just released the free and open source RSS reader NetNewsWire app for iOS. This may well be a visible dent in the universe.
In an interview with Kelly Gulmont on MacObserver, he says in an interview that one of the things he’s most proud of is that search is really fast (in a 20-minute podcast, this, remarkably, is the only bit of substance; I won’t be listening again).
There’s a review up at MacStories, “NetNewsWire for iOS and iPadOS Review: The Perfect Complement to the App’s macOS Counterpart” while Cult of Mac has “NetNewsWire is reborn on iOS”. Also 9to5Mac.
Friday, March 6th, 2020
Creative Selection: Inside Apple's Design Process During the Golden Age of Steve Jobs
by Ken Kocienda
In one of those books where we see it’s perhaps more useful to be a doer who latterly writes than a professional writer, the author scaffolds a theory of success around his own respective failures and two giant successes: creating Apple’s Safari web browser for OS X and creating the iOS keyboard, no less.
We get to share the Eureka moments when these two significant dents in the universe came together. And the story of their creations serve as perfect illustrations of his theory, derived from Darwin’s.
Must-reading for many, surely.
Sunday, March 1st, 2020
Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of an Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader
Brent Schlener and Rick Tetzell
Although the simple thesis gets repeated interminably, nonetheless it’s a nice one: that Steve Jobs’s greatness stems muchly from his constant becoming, constant learning, constant trying to overcome himself (hence the title, which can be read as descriptive).
It’s great to be in his company, which you feel you are, as one of the authors was himself repeatedly so for decades.
One thing new to me was Pixar’s role in maturing Jobs; we don’t often read about who and what shaped the shaper.
Friday, November 1st, 2019
A deep dive into the newness of the iPhone 11 camera at the Halide blog.
Tuesday, October 15th, 2019
This is actually kind of important: How to select, copy, and paste text in iOS 13 and iPadOS 13. Thanks, AppleInsider. In Notes at least, 3-finger swipe-left and swipe-right isn’t just undo and redo, but an entire history of actions to the document.
Tuesday, October 8th, 2019
MacStories’ macOS Catalina review seems comprehensive enough to take over from John Siracusa’s famous Ars Technica reviews.
Thursday, September 12th, 2019
On the unstated significance of Apple’s new U1 chip.
I feel rather strongly the Apple U1 Chip, over time will be seen as one of the most important aspect of the September 10th, 2019 Apple Event. We will see it as the start of the HyperLocal world of computing that ultimately will lead to less of a need for the cloud.
Thursday, September 27th, 2018
In case anyone else was mildly traumatized by the way fonts appear on MacOS Mojave due to the disabling of subpixel antialiasing, here’s the solution by Github user alexanderyakusik:
defaults write -g CGFontRenderingFontSmoothingDisabled -bool NO
Also, in System Preferences > General, check Use font smoothing when available.
Sunday, September 23rd, 2018
John Gruber’s Daringfireball reviews — no, essays — on The iPhones XS and Apple Watch Series 4 are a pleasure worthy of their subject matter. They feel informed, informal, thoughtful. “Series 4 is to Apple Watch what iPhone 4 was to iPhone,” Gruber writes. “The model that takes the original design to a new level.”
Thursday, September 6th, 2018
Thursday, August 2nd, 2018
Why was he like this to her? Excerpt from Lisa Brennan-Jobs’ upcoming book about her father Steve.
Thursday, June 7th, 2018
Thursday, May 10th, 2018
Thursday, May 3rd, 2018
Ben Thompson concisely contrasts Amazon and Apple. “I’m not sure that Amazon will beat Apple to $1 trillion, but they surely have the best shot at two.”
Wednesday, April 4th, 2018
Transparent aluminium, coming soon enough no doubt to an iPhone near you.
Sunday, March 4th, 2018
Like latter-day cave painting, people are getting creative with their iPhone home screens. The main aesthetic beyond spacing seems to be color-coding, which may be admirable but also a bit precious. The tool to do it all is the very cool Makeovr.
Friday, January 26th, 2018
A deep dive into iPhone X’s notches by interaction designer Brad Ellis. [via Daringfireball]
Wednesday, January 10th, 2018
Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple’s Greatest Products
In what seems a common pattern, Jony Ive started early, eschewing the liberal education of say Oxbridge, instead selecting the most renowned college in the field in which he was already winning prizes: industrial design. And this great achiever of our times grew up under the happy and mighty influence of his father, an educator who rose to prominence due to character and a drive to bring design literacy to British education.
The bulk of this book about Ive constitutes one of the stronger, more detailed histories we have of Apple itself, told mainly from the perspective of the IDg, the internal design group he leads. We learn for instance that in order to meet Steve Jobs’ deadline for creating the iMac — the first product upon Jobs’ return and which revived the company — they needed to streamline the product process by making the files of the design software interoperable with those of the manufacturing software.
Someone says Ive is even less replaceable at Apple than Jobs. This isn’t quite fair because Jobs worked to make himself replaceable. Let’s hope Ive does as well.
Saturday, December 30th, 2017
Engagingly written albeit disappointingly somewhat thin, the useful angle here is how Apple differs from conventional wisdom.
Secrecy, even internally, is paramount; it helps alleviate internal politics and keep people focused. There is little internal promotion, taking seriously the Peter Principle. Unlike the rest of Silicon Valley, perks are minimal; working at Apple is the perk.
A product of its time (2012) and of the author’s lack of access, the book is marred at the end by pessimistic obsession with Apple’s viability post-Jobs, but is nonetheless ultimately worth reading because it does convey an impression of what Apple is like.
Tuesday, October 31st, 2017
TechCrunch takes iPhone X to Disneyland. A great review of considered real-world use.
Friday, September 15th, 2017
A photo essay by Dan Frommer on attending Apple’s iPhone X event — its first at the Steve Jobs Theater.
Thursday, September 14th, 2017
There’s some powerful new stuff in iOS 11, as summarized at The Verge. Document scanning in Notes (though no OCR, need an app for that). Markup on screenshots. Screen recording. A file system. Configurable Control Panel. I do so love Apple.
Tuesday, May 16th, 2017