On the FBI, Apple, and encryption

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.

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Sponsorship Sale: 80% off!

Update 5/25/15: This offer no longer valid.

In honor, excitement, and anticipation of Apple Watch, I am announcing a huge sponsorship discount for items related to Apple Watch (apps, bands, accessories, etc.)! If you’ve got a cool item and are looking to promote it, markdmill.com will give your app exposure to thousands of Apple fans for just $10–80% off the normal sponsorship rate! I am that excited about Apple Watch and everything it’s going to bring!

During the months of May and June, I’ll be writing weekly review posts about Apple Watch, apps I’m using, and how the device fits into my life. Grab this chance to get in front of thousands of early adopters! You’ll get the same great benefits of a normal sponsorship, including the Start-Up Sponsor Bonus, but for one-fifth the price.

If you’re interested,  contact me via email or on Twitter to choose your sponsor date.

This offer only good for Apple Watch app sponsorships…however, if you can make a good case that your sponsorship is related to Apple Watch…I’ll listen.

Apple Watch is about Content Reception (Updated)

My thanks to this week’s sponsor, World Time Widget, an app that puts timezones  in your Today View. Read my full review or why you’ll like it.

Abdel Ibrahim wrote an excellent piece over at WatchAware.com wherein he writes:

From the Watch Face, you are able to see your Glances and notifications. In order to see apps, you have to engage the Digital Crown. This makes it seem pretty obvious that Apple has purposely designed apps not to be front and center like they are on iPhone. Instead, Apple Watch apps are mere repositories where stored information can be pushed to the user in the form of Glances and via Notification Center.

This may sound a little weird, and I think to some of us it is. We’re used to apps being the focal point. But on Apple Watch, on initial waking, they’re not.

Astute observation. The “home state” isn’t the app screen, it’s the watch face. It’s only seems weird because of expectational debt. But there is excellent reason why it differs, and it relates to what Apple Watch uniquely offers the user. Continue reading

Apple’s Vision of Computing

My thanks to @TechHunterCo for sponsoring this site. TechHunter.co is a site that finds great tech deals each day so you don’t have to.

Apple’s Spring Forward event and Apple Watch are not without controversy, much of it arising from Apple’s choice to release the expensive Apple Watch Edition and foray into “fashion.” Most analysts understand that fashion is important, but few actually understand why. The more observant have argued that, in order for Apple to built a computing platform of wearables, the form must first be attractive, and so Apple must care about fashion.

While this is true, it unhelpfully views Apple’s goal as being a platform and the means of achieving that goal as being fashionable products. A close examination of Apple’s marketing, however, suggests that fashion is not merely a means to an end, since a computing platform is only a part of Apple’s vision. Rather, the form and function of AppleWatch both serve a bigger vision: that the future of computing itself will be deeply personalized, even intimate. Continue reading

The Focus in Apple Watch

Thanks to Iconic: The Ultimate Tribute to Apple for sponsoring this site. Iconic is a stunning book of photography that lives up to its name. Learn more!

When the Apple Watch was first announced, a popular critique in tech circles was that it showed a lack of focus, that it did too much, including things it was not well suited to do. One piece often referenced said this:

Messy.   Too many options.  This is such a huge blunder. Instead of a single, perfect product, we got a jumble of features and choices.   There should have been just The One.

For Apple that famously emphasizes focus, saying “a thousand no’s for every yes,” having so many options seemed odd. What had Apple said “no” to in the Watch? What could it not do? Why did Apple, a company so focused on focus, make the Apple Watch capable of doing virtually anything?

These questions are answered by deeply understanding what the product is: a personal, even intimate, computer. The more personal a product, the more its hardware and software together must reflect and adapt to the individual wearing the device. Continue reading

Homescreen on MacSparky

My Homescreen
My Homescreen

My homescreen was featured by MacSparky today. Check it out for a brief description of some of my favorite apps, how I use them, and how I attempt to be productive. Some have asked for my Workflow, IFTTT, and LaunchCenterPro recipes/workflows; I hope to write a post over the weekend specifically about those, so stay tuned or subscribe to my RSS feed.

Update 2/23/2015: I’ve now posted a piece on Automating Instagram Posts into DayOne.