Mark Gurman, reporting for Bloomberg:*
Lynch, an Adobe Inc. veteran who joined Apple in 2013 to run the
software group for the company’s smartwatch and health efforts,
replaced Doug Field as the manager in charge of the car work,
according to people with knowledge of the matter.
The executive first started working on the project earlier this
year when he took over teams handling the underlying software. Now
he is overseeing the whole group, which also includes hardware
engineering and work on self-driving car sensors, said the people,
who asked not to be identified because the move isn’t public.
I think it’s fair to say that Lynch is second only to Craig Federighi software-wise at Apple, and the two initiatives he’s led in the eight years he’s been at Apple — WatchOS and Health — have been huge successes. Apple Watch is a hit product, WatchOS has gotten steadily better every single year, and a large part of what makes Apple Watch so popular — utterly dominant in a still-growing category — is its integration with Health.
I take this not just as a sign that Lynch is a star at Apple, but that Lynch sees a light at the end of the Project Titan tunnel — something that might actually ship, my jokes be damned. It’s also a sign that WatchOS has largely matured. No platform is ever done until it’s dead, so I’m not saying WatchOS won’t continue iterating year-over-year, but the “shaping and steering a new platform from launch through maturity” period is over.
It feels, however, like Project Titan is somehow cursed. Smart people at Apple believe it’s solvable with the right approach, but the project keeps “pivoting” every few years, and that takes a toll on confidence and stamina. The thrill of shipping is the reward for years of hard work, and to date no one who’s devoted serious effort to Titan has gotten even a hint of that reward.
* Bloomberg, of course, remains the outfit that shit its journalistic pants with The Big Hack — a blockbuster report that no one, including Bloomberg, has ever produced a single shred of evidence to back up — yet not only never retracted it but in fact still “stands behind” it even though it’s rather clear they hope everyone just forgets about it. So take anything they publish with a Big Hack-sized grain of salt, even though Gurman’s reporting on the Apple beat has been nonpareil of late.
★ Thursday, 9 September 2021