Howard Blume and Teresa Watanabe, reporting for The Los Angeles Times:
A Microsoft representative urged the board to try more than one
product and not to rely on one platform. Doing so could cut off
the district from future price reductions and innovations, said
Robyn Hines, senior director of state government affairs for
Read that again. A Microsoft representative urging people not to rely on one platform.
And his work on the show made possible Vic Mackey, Al Swearengen,
Walter White, Don Draper and every complicated, riveting anti-hero
(or worse) who followed him. “The Sopranos” was an enormous hit,
and told the business that the old rules need no longer apply.
Sharon Terlep, Dennis Berman, and Shira Ovide, reporting for the WSJ:
Microsoft Corp. was recently in advanced discussions
with Nokia Corp. about a purchase of the Finnish
company’s device business, according to people familiar with the
matter, in a marriage that could have reshaped the mobile-phone
The talks have faltered, they said. One person said talks took
place as recently as this month but aren’t likely to be revived.
I do not mean to imply to that Neven Mrgan is either foolish or
possessing of a little mind. This is not a straw man argument. I
mean to say that it is foolish for a designer to rely on intuition
to inform design because it yields repetition and blinds them from
new opportunities. A small mind is a limited mind and using
intuition as a guide will yield nothing new, only that which
“feels right.” Or to put it another way, what “feels right” is
what your mind is used to.
Apple is going to let OS X be itself, and let iOS do the same.
Multiple times during the keynote we heard an exec say “ten years”
— in reference to needing a new case design for the Mac Pro or in
coming up with names for OS X. This is awesome news for Mac
developers and what we’ve been wanting to hear for a long time
now. Apple still cares about the Mac and you really felt like they
meant it this year. From the session content to talking with
employees about OS X issues to parity between new frameworks
introduced on iOS and OS X- the Mac is still getting a lot of love
down in Cupertino.
One of my key takeaways from last week is that it’s not just user interface design where Apple has increased collaboration under its post-Jobs/Forstall management structure, but they’ve increased engineering collaboration too. There was far less “iOS this”, “OS X that”, and much more “here’s how you do this on Apple platforms”.
Apple today announced that HBO GO and WatchESPN are now available
directly on Apple TV joining the great lineup of programming
offered to customers. iTunes users have downloaded more than one
billion TV episodes and 380 million movies from iTunes to date,
and they are purchasing over 800,000 TV episodes and over 350,000
movies per day.
The idea was fairly simple, though complex in the making: for
those of us in big metropolitan, light-polluted areas like Chicago
who can’t see the night sky very clearly, we wanted to travel to
this beautiful, dark section of rural Nevada and then bring the
stars back with us, capturing a full night sky to be played back,
in real time.
4K resolution — twice that of most movie theaters.
But whether we accept the idea of a grid or not, here’s the bigger
point: no icon designer I’ve asked thinks Ive’s grid is helpful.
In that sense, it’s wrong. The large circle is too big. Many apps
in iOS 7 use it: all the Store apps, Safari, Messages, Photos… In
all these icons, the big shape in the center is simply too big.
Every icon designer I’ve asked would instead draw something like
the icon on the right. To our eyes — and we get paid to have good
ones, we’re told — this is more correct.
Press coverage is disproportionally focusing on the Home screen
(about which more in a moment), but the reality of day to day
usage is that you’ll spend time in apps. Where there were
previously gloomy cubbyholes and low ceilings, there are now
floor-to-ceiling windows, skylights, and clean surfaces.
I think it’s an enormous improvement, and a typically
Joel Santo Domingo, reviewing the new 13-inch Air:
Road warriors and jet travellers rejoice, we’ve found a laptop
that will last all day and well into the night. The newest Apple
MacBook Air 13-inch (Mid-2013) lasted an astonishing 15-and-a-half
hours on a battery test that makes most current mainstream
ultrabooks and ultraportables cough and die after four to six
hours. The fact that the system gives up very little if any
day-to-day performance is astounding.
The security state operates as a ratchet. Once you click in a new
level of surveillance or intrusiveness, it becomes the new
baseline. What was unthinkable yesterday becomes permissible in
exceptional cases today, and routine tomorrow. The people who run
the American security apparatus are in the overwhelming majority
diligent people with a deep concern for civil liberties. But their
job is to find creative ways to collect information. And they work
within an institution that, because of its secrecy, is
fundamentally inimical to democracy and to a free society.
Remarkably thoughtful essay; if you read only one thing this week, make it this.
Week-old roundup of day one designer commentary on iOS 7. I was right about one thing: it’s polarizing. Two remarks I very much agree with:
What was outlined today looks like a very rational base on which
to extend the OS — somewhat timeless, far more timeless than what
we had before.
I think the design had to be reset so that newer interaction
models could surface. More gestures, more animations. They added a
physics engine to the SDK. It’s like a pendulum swinging from
obvious visual affordances to engaging kinetic ones. The parallax
effect, the physics of the messages bubbles and I’m sure many
other ‘kinetic’ behaviors are new to devs in iOS7. Apple wants
apps to use more motion and less visual design.
The design and goal is clearly focused on listeners purchasing
music — but even so, iTunes Radio feels like the first truly
modern take on what terrestrial radio wishes it could be. Radio
was always meant to be a promotion tool, a way to sell more music,
but without being built directly on top of the world’s biggest
music retailer, it was always too distant from the marketplace to
be more effectual. Now a “buy” button lives next to every song, or
a wish list one for those hesitant, and it feels like this is how
modern radio should function.
Agreed; iTunes Radio is well-done and well-designed. I’m a little surprised Apple is making everyone wait for iOS 7 to get it.
According to the Financial Times of London (paywall), Richard Yu,
chairman of Huawei’s consumer business group, said at the launch
of its latest smartphone offering, the Ascend P6, in London: “We
are considering these sorts of acquisitions; maybe the combination
has some synergies but depends on the willingness of Nokia.”
I can’t find one person who has been using the Nexus 7 for an
extended period of time, and hasn’t seen a massive downgrade in
performance. Just what kind of downgrade are we talking here? I
cannot pick up my Nexus 7 without experiencing problems like a lag
of ten seconds, or more, just to rotate the display; touches
refusing to acknowledged; stuttering notification panel actions;
and unresponsive apps.
I tried the basics at first, like a factory reset. I then moved onto
drastic measures, like rooting and installing CyanogenMod 10.1
(which I thought would surely fix everything, since I’ve used
faster devices with lesser hardware, and performance problems were
merely a lack of software optimization). And nothing seems to work.
My first-generation iPad from 2010 works just as well as the day I bought it. Actually, even better, because iOS has gotten better.
Update: A lot of pushback from readers on my claim above, arguing that their first-gen iPads have been rendered slow and unstable by iOS 5 (the last OS to support the hardware). My son uses mine for iBooks, watching movies, and playing games. Mileage clearly varies with other apps. (And yes, the App Store app in particular is a bit crashy.)
Brian X. Chen, reporting for the NYT from the e-book price-fixing trial:
Both parties showed their evidence on a projector screen. Apple’s
legal team used a MacBook to shuffle between evidence documents,
stacking them side by side in split screens and zooming in on
In contrast, the Justice Department’s lawyers could show only one
piece of evidence at a time. One video that Mr. Buterman played
as evidence failed to produce the audio commentary needed to make
The race to the bottom. Deceptive low-now, high-later pricing.
Scam and clone apps. Shallow apps with little craftsmanship that
succeed, but many high-quality apps unable to command a
sustainable price. The “top” list encourages all of these —
we’d still have them without the list, but to a substantially
Apple has always placed a priority on protecting our customers’
personal data, and we don’t collect or maintain a mountain of
personal details about our customers in the first place. There are
certain categories of information which we do not provide to law
enforcement or any other group because we choose not to retain it.
For example, conversations which take place over iMessage and
FaceTime are protected by end-to-end encryption so no one but the
sender and receiver can see or read them. Apple cannot decrypt
that data. Similarly, we do not store data related to customers’
location, Map searches or Siri requests in any identifiable form.
That last sentence separates Apple from many other companies.
Darby Lines, on Apple’s new “This Is Our Signature” campaign:
In my opinion this has been, from the return of Steve Jobs at
least, the singular goal of Apple. Not to make all the moneys, not
to dominate markets, not to impress bloggers but simply to make
products that enhance our lives.
Apple spent nine months in complete silence — from the release of the iPad Mini through last week. The only thing they announced in that interim was the ouster of Scott Forstall and corresponding reshuffling of executive responsibility. No new products, no new designs. And the business and tech media lost their shit over this, declaring an end to Apple’s ability to innovate. Apple’s “This Is Our Signature” mantra is in defiance of this superficial demand for an endless stream of new new new. Apple is saying they’re above the churn of the news cycle, and if you don’t understand that yet, they don’t care. You’ll either get it through your head eventually, or you will never understand Apple.
Judging from my inbox, Twitter and Messages, people are losing
their minds over iOS 7 and some of the changes Apple introduced at
WWDC last week. Here is my advice to you — sit back, take a deep
breath and relax.
There are a few things you need to remember about iOS 7. First,
it’s nowhere near finished in terms of design or functionality.
Apple engineers stopped adding or changing the operating system
before WWDC so they had a stable build to show during the keynote.
It’s not done.
iOS 7 is so far from done that maybe there is a story here, in that Apple has a mountain of work ahead to get iOS 7 ready for actual release this fall (presumably, coincident with the release of new iPhone and iPad devices). But to judge iOS 7 beta 1 as you would a release version is silly.
My thanks to Squarespace for sponsoring this week’s DF RSS feed. Squarespace puts world-class design in your hands and provides everything you need to create your own website in minutes. Squarespace websites are different. They’re designed to be simple, modern, and to look great on every device. With Squarespace, your personality, products, or content are always the focus.
Apple has set fire to iOS. Everything’s in flux. Those with the least to lose have the most to gain, because this fall, hundreds of millions of people will start demanding apps for a platform with thousands of old, stale players and not many new, nimble alternatives. If you want to enter a category that’s crowded on iOS 6, and you’re one of the few that exclusively targets iOS 7, your app can look better, work better, and be faster and cheaper to develop than most competing apps.
Recorded earlier this week in front of a live audience in San Francisco, I was joined on stage by Guy English, Scott Simpson, and a cavalcade of very special surprise guests. I’m pretty happy with how this show turned out.
Droid Life, “That Moment When iOS 7 Became Android”:
We’ll have so many more thoughts on the way related to iOS 7,
but we thought we’d start with the eerily similar lock screens.
Floating bubble live wallpaper, minimal clock, fading on the
actionable icons, semi-Roboto font, etc.
Helvetica Neue Ultra Light, “semi-Roboto”. OK, then.
The truth about the greatest commercial of all time — Think
Different — is that the intended audience was Apple itself. Jobs
took over a demoralized company on the precipice of bankruptcy,
and reminded them that they were special, and, that Jobs was
special. It was the beginning of a new chapter.
“Designed in California” should absolutely be seen in the same
light. This is a commercial for Apple on the occasion of a new
chapter; we just get to see it.
This morning, I watched the videos of the iOS 7 interface again,
and I saw a bunch of rushed designers unable to stabilize an
uneven interface. It’s worth remembering that Ive took over
Human Interface only 7 months ago, and they redesigned the whole
phone in that time. Straight up: seven months is a ridiculous
Astute take on iOS 7’s design by Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan, writing for Gizmodo:
The predicted rebirth Susan Kare’s original black-and-white OS
design, it ain’t. Actually, let’s just ban using the term “flat”
altogether for this post. The iOS 7 we met today was full of what
Jony Ive called “new types of depth.” Alongside a poppy,
neon-and-pastel color scheme, the icons, apps, and homescreen of
iOS 7 are full of layering and dimensionality. There are also
entirely new types of animation: from a screen that uses the
accelerometer to adjust in parallax, to beautiful new animated
My thanks to Robots and Pencils for sponsoring last week’s DF RSS feed. Robots and Pencils make iOS apps, including Spy vs. Spy and Primeval DFX (Hollywood style CGI dinosaurs, inserted into your own videos) last year.
Their company name reflects their philosophy, with programmers and designers working in tandem. If you’re looking for someone to build an app for you, get in touch with Robots and Pencils.
Things went downhill from there. Under Snyder’s questioning,
Turvey acknowledged that he couldn’t remember a single name of
any of the publishing executives who had told him Apple was the
reason the publishers were switching their business model. He
conceded that the publisher’s move to the agency system was
important to Google’s own fledgling book business, yet Turvey
couldn’t remember any details about the conversations with
publishers. By the end of the interview Turvey had gone from
saying the publishers had told him directly, to saying they had
merely told people on his team, to finally saying the publishers
had “likely” told someone on his team.
It was a topsy Turvey moment for the increasingly unsure Google
exec. For Snyder and Apple it was one of those rare times when a
trial opponent is practically defenseless. Mercifully, Cote
adjourned saying “Let’s allow Mr. Turvey to escape so he can enjoy
Below, I have carefully parsed Yahoo’s statement, line by line, in order to highlight the fact that Yahoo has not in fact denied receiving court orders under 50 USC 1881a (AKA FISA Section 702) for massive amounts of communications data.
If it had, even if I couldn’t talk about it, in all likelihood I would no longer be working at Google: the fact that we do stand up for individual users’ privacy and protection, for their right to have a personal life which is not ever shared with other people without their consent, even when governments come knocking at our door with guns, is one of the two most important reasons that I am at this company: the other being a chance to build systems which fundamentally change and improve the lives of billions of people by turning the abstract power of computing into something which amplifies and expands their individual, mental life.
Strong statement. And here’s Google’s chief legal officer, David Drummond:
We cannot say this more clearly — the government does not have access to Google servers—not directly, or via a back door, or a so-called drop box. Nor have we received blanket orders of the kind being discussed in the media.
Lander Brandt, on making good use of Vesper. It’s the tag that sells it.
About the Linked List
The Daring Fireball Linked List is a daily list of interesting links
and brief commentary, updated frequently but not frenetically. Call it
a “link log”, or “linkblog”, or just “a good way to dick around on the
Internet for a few minutes a day”.