Skylar Hamilton*, writing for Mouth of the River, recently interviewed Andy Grignon, one of the original iPhone team members:
“It was terrifying to be honest! Remember we had spent years in solitude working on this thing under the strictest of Apple standards. Seeing it ‘out in the wild’ was surreal, to say the least,” says Grignon. Imagine hiding something so big for years and then the entire world not only knows about it, but they all use it. “After that feeling passed, it turned into sheer terror.”
*Yes, for those of you wondering, this is a “proud papa” moment for me, too. Forget that, though, and go read the interview. Some great stuff in there, including a tip about extending your battery life!
Apple customers have waited for a long time to get new, updated Mac models. Apple kicked off the resurgence in late 2016 with the Touch Bar MacBook Pro, but there remained serious concerns. And that’s a Good Thing™. The development of technology and the approaches by the competition have evoked a strong, clear, intelligent response from the community that amounts to an excellent, thoughtful conversation about what Macs should be all about going forward. Particle Debris page 2 discusses that and ponders more new Mac hardware at WWDC in June.
Ford, which turns 114 on June 16th, is out with the old and in with the new. The company is switching CEOs, and Jim Hackett, the new guy in charge, just happens to be the executive who was in charge of autonomous vehicles at Ford. From The New York Times:
Ford Motor replaced its chief executive, Mark Fields, on Monday and vowed to catch up in the race to build self-driving cars and define a new era in personal mobility. The company said Jim Hackett, who had overseen the Ford subsidiary that works on autonomous vehicles, would immediately take the reins from Mr. Fields.
Mr. Hackett said the board had given him a free hand to transform the nation’s No. 2 automaker, including seeking alliances with Silicon Valley firms, changing its product lineup, and divesting itself of unprofitable global operations.
Driverless cars are the future. It remains to be seen if Apple’s own autonomous vehicle efforts—Project Titan—result in an Apple Car, but the entire auto industry is becoming ever-more focused on driverless cars.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has been spotted testing a glucose monitor connected to his Apple Watch, according to unnamed sources at CNBC:
Tim Cook has been spotted at the Apple campus test-driving a device that tracks blood sugar, which was connected to his Apple Watch. A source said that Cook was wearing a prototype glucose-tracker on the Apple Watch, which points to future applications that would make the device a “must have” for millions of people with diabetes — or at risk for the disease.
We already knew Apple was working on this technology, and Mr. Cook himself said earlier this year he’s been testing one. But the new report suggests whatever Apple is working on is advanced enough to be tested in the wild, or at least the wild confines of 1 Infinite Loop.
Looks like you’ll still be able to get some work done or play games on your flight from Europe to the U.S. because the plan to ban anything larger than a smartphone from the passenger cabin has been dropped.
Now that Apple has committed to a new Mac Pro, prosumers are salivating at the thought of what Apple might deliver. And the thinking also seems to be bleeding over into the iMacs (with Xeon CPUs) and MacBook Pros, high-end Macs that’ll have to carry our most demanding computational loads for awhile. Particle Debris points to two articles by Mac experts. One asks how the competition is doing against Apple’s laptops and the other has a focus on raw laptop speed.
Microsoft announced that iTunes for Windows will be coming to the Windows Store, according to TechCrunch:
Here is a surprise: at its Build developer conference, Microsoft today announced that Apple’s iTunes will come to the Windows Store by the end of the year. The iTunes app will have full iPhone support and users will essentially get the same iTunes experience from the Windows Store app that the existing Windows app currently offers.
There are two points of significance: one is that Microsoft announced this, not Apple. The second is that this is the only way Windows 10 S users can get iTunes for Windows. That makes a Windows Store version a must-have for iPhone owners with Surface Laptops running that flavor of Windows.
Reuters reports the Trump administration wants to ban electronics bigger than a smartphone in the passenger compartment on flights to the U.S. from Europe. The irony is that the batteries in all the laptops and tablets could explode in the plane’s luggage hold. So that doesn’t seem very safe.
Check out this quote from W about Paris Hilton:
Despite Hilton’s longtime dependency on various cellular devices, it is perhaps visionaries like Steve Jobs who are indebted to her, seeing that it was Hilton who took their creations beyond their wildest expectations, inventing along the way the maligned but ubiquitous selfie.
That’s right. Paris Hilton is the real hero of the iPhone. 🙄 Talk about confusing cause for effect.
In the 1980s, some people had 3 meter steerable satellite dishes and could freely access raw network feeds from geosynchronous satellites. Then the networks encrypted everything, and we migrated to smaller dishes and monthly service from Dish and DirecTV. But that’s just one-way TV, and it may be gone soon. The Next Big Thing could well be low-latency, full internet access with TCP/IP via low-earth-orbit satellites. Particle Debris page two points to several articles that cover the emerging story.
Nowadays, it’s a real challenge to find fact-based news and solid analysis about many things, including tech companies like Apple. There are so many voices. Does a lurid article title correlate well to solid research and historical insight? Probably not. Just exactly how does one go about identifying valuable, accurate analysis when it comes to Apple? Those who have learned the ropes know that a specific, experienced author is more important than an article title, and this week, one of those special authors, Daniel Eran Dilger, proves why that’s so. It’s on Page 2 of Particle Debris.
Apple’s design philosophy for consumer Macs has been that of simplicity, indeed minimalism. Approachable and beautiful. But even the 2008-2012 Mac Pro, designed in the Steve Jobs era, understood the needs of technical and creative professionals. Now that Apple has had time to digest what went wrong with the 2013 Mac Pro, it’s time, according to Marco Arment, to change the design thinking from that of “no!” to that of “yes!” Versatility should rule. It’s all on page 2 of Friday’s Particle Debris.
Companies have to be careful about grand projects that don’t serve as a foundation, change rapidly, and sometimes incur legal difficulties. This week’s Particle Debris looks at how Google Book Search foundered from a lack of commitment and legal troubles, VRML morphed into purer VR, the strained evolution of tvOS, cute robots putting laborers out of work, the rapid evolution of self-driving cars, and how Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos plans to keep his company from a slow, painful demise. These are examples of how technical evolution can double back on the very companies that spawn it.
More and more, customers will find that as artificial intelligence agents embedded in smartphones, robots and cars start to make decisions for them, freedom and choices will begin to dwindle. For example, car insurance for people who want to drive themselves, instead of letting the car do it, will get a lot more expensive. Perhaps prohibitive. This is just one of the unintended consequences of autonomous cars discussed in Particle Debris. In fact, as AI’s do the thinking for us, so will the companies that make them.
Today is Pi Day. While some people might say that Tau is more relevant than Pi, it’s still Pi Day. With that in mind, you may want to wish your friends a happy Pi Day. And while that’s cool, it’s even cooler to wish them a Happy π Day (OK, well, it may or may not be cooler to do this, but it’s definitely geekier!). Unfortunately, we don’t have a π symbol in emoji on iOS. So in order to send that symbol you’ll either have to copy it from the text of this article and paste it in … or you can do what we did in the first place: add the Greek keyboard to your iPhone and type it from there!
Lately, whenever a discussion of the Mac’s future comes up, there are two common themes. Apple remains enthusiastic about mobility and MacBooks/Pros. Likely the iMac as well. But concerns about the desktops, specifically the headless Mac Pro and Mac mini, have gone from dire to hopeless. Particle Debris page 2 points to two very good articles that explore the situation with the Mac line in general and also the Mac Pro’s fate in particular.