Recent Articles By John Martellaro [RSS]

TMO Background Mode: Interview With AquaMinds Co-founder Scott Love

3:45 PM, May. 23rd, 2016 · John Martellaro · Background Mode Podcast

Background Mode Podcast

Scott Love is the co-founder of AquaMinds, famous for its NoteTaker software. Like many successful developers, Scott got an early start with Steve Jobs at NeXT. One genesis of NoteTaker was their early fascination with thinking tools. A well designed notebook is not just a scrapbook—it's powerful personal software. Another inspiration was how Steve Jobs had a strong desire for visual fidelity on the display and an immersive experience with text. Finally, add the emergence of the Internet and more information to manage, and NoteTaker became the obvious, elegant solution. Later in the show we cover the tough decisions faced by a modern developer, betting on certain Apple technologies, being in Mac App store and dealing with yearly updates to OS X. Scott closes with an interesting prediction about future data storage.

The Real Reason Apple Retail Stores Flourish

7:45 PM, May. 20th, 2016 · John Martellaro · John Martellaro's Blog

Apple Retails Store Success

One of the classic Steve Jobs videos is his introduction to the first Apple retail store in Tyson's Corner, Virgina in 2001. In that legendary video, Mr. Jobs lays out his vision for what those stores would do for customers. Because other similar stores had failed, pundits assumed the Apple store would as well. Here are some observations by John Martellaro why Apple flourished.

iTunes is Still Apple’s Worst Software, But Now It’s Much Better

5:40 PM, May. 17th, 2016 · John Martellaro · John Martellaro's Blog

iTunes 12.4 tweaks

Apple has been taking a lot of heat lately for iTunes. The user interface, which was stellar when it first launched, has become complex, confusing and opaque. Plus, many small problems have plagued its robustness over the years as it tried to do too much. iTunes 12.4 takes two steps forward after many backwards steps, and restores some interface sanity. This is in itself notable.

TMO Background Mode: Interview With MacVoices Producer & Host Chuck Joiner

2:45 PM, May. 16th, 2016 · John Martellaro · Background Mode Podcast

Background Mode Podcast

Chuck Joiner is an insurance company executive. But you probably know him as the producer and host of his video podcasts. It all started with MacVoices, individual interviews. Then came MacNotables with a distinguished cast of Apple subject experts. From 2008 to 2013 Chuck also produced MacJury panel discussions. Now, it's all under the umbrella of MacVoices. Chuck talks about how his experience in the insurance claims industry taught him how to genuinely listen. We hear about his early interest in the Apple II, then Macs, which led to involvement with a local user group, then MUG leadership, then an Apple Advisory Board. All that led to learning video production, and ever since Chuck has gone on to become one of the premiere video podcasters (and listeners) in the industry. This is his personal story.

What to Look for in the Next (4K) Apple TV

1:30 PM, May. 16th, 2016 · John Martellaro · Link

The Next Apple TV

Apple surprised us with the 4G Apple TV's lack of 4K support. Now, however, with healthy momentum emerging in the 4K UHD industry, we can almost certainly expect the 5G Apple TV to support 4K UHD. But that's not all we're looking for. A new and important feature for any 4K TV is called high dynamic range (HDR).  HDR makes a 4K TV more desirable—independent of the resolution. Here, on page 2 of Particle Debris, are the detailed specs to look for in the next Apple TV when it finally ships.

Panic Software Finally Gets its Building Sign - With Something Special

4:30 PM, May. 13th, 2016 · John Martellaro · Cool Stuff Found

"The idea was simple: wouldn’t it be cool if, at the touch of a button, you could change our sign?" Cabel Sasser explains the new building sign for Panic Software: "With the Panic Sign, I wanted to ... not just feel cool about seeing our name on a thing but also build in a little magic for the city, something special for the observant, curious, and knowledgable. And I thought we could take it one step further: we’d put the magic in your hand." And so they got to work building a lighted building sign, in Portland OR, that anyone can change with an app on an iPhone.  There's a lot of interesting lighting technology and playfulness in this story, so check it out.  It's very cool.

iPhone Upgrade Fever: We’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling

4:00 PM, May. 13th, 2016 · John Martellaro · Particle Debris

Apple Upgrade Fever Gone?

The iPhone has gotten better and better every year. The iPhone 6 sated customer hunger for a larger display, but then Apple had to fill the gap for many who preferred a 4-inch display on the iPhone SE. Along the way, the world economy slowed, dramatic improvements for the 6s dried up, and many customers felt like their current iPhone was good enough. So what's next for the iPhone?

The iTunes App is Too Big and Needs to Fail

2:00 PM, May. 12th, 2016 · John Martellaro · Editorial

iTunes drift into irrelevance

It's no secret that customers and observers are greatly annoyed with the current state of the iTunes app on the Mac. It's become bloated, confusing, and it certainly Apple's worst piece of software. Daily, there are pleas on the internet to fix it. Apple may have other ideas.