The last few months have seen this blog remarkably silent as I have taken a double full-time load at graduate school and work three jobs–there simply has not been time to write amidst everything else going on. And despite the fact that my workload this week is even busier than normal, I am writing now because I believe your voice is needed to do five simple things to ensure the current debate regarding encryption is won.
Black Friday & Cyber Monday iOS & Mac App Deals!
I’ve gone through 3400+ apps on sale & curated the best app deals for you. Rather than give you a list of hundreds of app names w/o explanation, I’m giving you just the cream of the crop with a brief explanation of what it is and does. I hope you enjoy! Continue reading
iPad Pro and the toaster-fridge
In 2012 Tim Cook answered a question about merging OS X and iOS by saying:
“You can converge a toaster and a refrigerator, but those aren’t going to be pleasing to the user.”
This year, at the BoxWorks conference, Cook was again questioned about whether OS X and iOS would merge. His response was similar:
“We don’t believe in having one operating system for PC and mobile…We think it subtracts from both, and you don’t get the best experience from either. We’re very much focused on two.”
The philosophy behind these statements is, of course, that the best user experience comes when the software is perfectly suited for the form of the device it will be running on. Devices intended to be put in one hand or two hands or on a lap or on a desk are radically different. Cook’s argument is that this requires that the OS itself be suited to the form of the device. Apple has consistently refused to make toaster-fridges. With one glaring exception: iPad. Continue reading
Thoughts on Apple Watch at The Apple Fancast
This week, I was featured in a discussion on Apple Watch over at The Apple Fancast. It’s an interesting discussion that ranges from how I’m using Apple Watch to whether I see a role for complications, glances, and apps on the device to what I’d like to see improved and changed. There’s a lot in the piece and I think you’ll find it worthwhile. Check it out! Continue reading
Watchscreen: Jan Dawson, tech analyst with JackDaw Research and TechPinions
Each week, I ask someone to share their watchscreen, examining how they’re using Apple Watch, what apps are useful, and tips or tricks they have. This week, I’ve asked Jan Dawson (Twitter, Blog, Company) to share his screen.
Jan has been a technology analysts for thirteen years, having founded the Jackdaw technology research & consulting firm, writes actively for Techpinions, appears on the highly recommend Techpinions podcast, co-hosts the new and excellent Beyond Devices podcast, and writes frequently at his personal site, BeyondDevic.es. His thoughts are always insightful, full of perspective from years of following the technology industry yet matched with a perceptive understanding of the human side of technology. I’m excited to see his perspective on Apple Watch!
So, Jan, show us your watchscreen! Continue reading
My answers to Apple’s Apple Watch survey
Today I received an email from Apple asking for my feedback on my Apple Watch purchase. Partway through the survey, I decided to copy some of my answers and post them here so you can see some of the things I would change or some frustrations I have with the device. While I’ve written positively about Apple Watch in general and love the device, that’s not to say there aren’t some frustrations. Here are some of my answers: Continue reading
Everyone (but Apple’s) Wearable Problem
It’s widely believed that the next form of computing will be wearable computing, but the potential of this category has barely been scratched by any company. I’ve previously written multiple times and have podcasted about some challenges Google faces as it seeks to enter the wearable market, but these challenges are not unique to Google. Every company, including Apple, faces significant challenges as they try to crack the wearable market, but of the fitness, luxury, and technology companies vying for the space, Apple has the best chance at making a product that becomes mainstream. In fact, compared to the substantial market, cultural, and fashion challenges facing these other companies, Apple has the best chance of them all.1 Continue reading
Guest appearance on WatchAware podcast & expanded shownotes!
I am honored to have been the first guest on the podcast of WatchAware, co-hosted by Abdel Ibrahim and Julia Mayhugh. In it, we discussed a wide variety of subjects, including how China is the most important market for Apple Watch, how Apple approaches its products in a more human way than other tech companies, and how we see great potential in the form factor of Apple Watch. I’m biased, of course, but I thought it was a stimulating discussion and I highly recommend you check it out. If you like this site, you will like the podcast.
Listen to it on iTunes or in Overcast — and if you like it, be sure to rate it in iTunes or recommend it in Overcast!
The Irreducible Reality of Form
In the second to fourth centuries, the philosophy of Gnosticism became popular. Though it had many variants, a key tenet was that matter was a lesser emanation of a kind of divine spirit. Human spirits were thus spiritual and good, but human bodies and matter were physical and evil, a limitation that had to be escaped in order to achieve true gnosis or enlightenment.
Why on earth do I start an article about technology–and this is an article about technology–with an ancient philosophy?1 Because good design of technology has to be based on an anti-gnostic notion that humans, fundamentally and irreducibly, are physical creatures and use physical products in a physical world. Those physical products, just as fundamentally and irreducibly, have a specific physical form that can be well or poorly suited to a human’s physical body or to the physical world.2 These forms both limit and enable functionality that is unique to that form. This interplay between a form’s function, it’s suitability to the human body and it’s appropriateness for the physical world is what design considers–and it is the interaction of these elements that has led to the success and failure of many technological products.3
Watchscreen: Julia Mayhugh, co-host of WatchAware podcast
Each week, I ask someone to share their watchscreen, examining how they’re using Apple Watch, what apps are useful, and tips or tricks they have. This week, I’m excited to feature Julia Mayhugh (Twitter). Julia has developed and designed software for twenty years, contributes to WatchAware, runs a meetup for women coders in Denver, and is a co-host of the WatchAware podcast (which I would recommend for dedicated analysis of all things Apple Watch).
So, Julia, show us your watchscreen! Continue reading