Month: March 2016

Thoughts on the new Apple Products

I’ve been thinking about yesterday’s press event, in which Apple announced the expected iPhone SE, the smaller iPad Pro, new watch bands, and not a lot more in terms of product. My favorite coverage: Michael Gartenberg on iMore, back from his stint inside the Cupertino cone of silence; Jason Snell on Six Colors; and of course John Gruber on Daring Fireball. Almost half of the discussion was about non-product issues: Tim Cook touched on the FBI privacy fight, and Apple talked at length about it’s commitment to renewable energy and recycling and discussed the impact it’s health initiatives have been having — leading to the announcement of Carekit. This hasn’t sat well with a lot of people, but I look at it a bit differently. First and foremost: this event was handled in the tiny Town Hall (seats 300ish). Apple very consciously uses the event venue as a way to start setting expectations: Big Stuff is done in big venues such as Moscone or Bill Graham in San Francisco. Mid-level events have gone to the Flint Center in Cupertino. Town Hall has been reserved for the smaller, evolutionary type products, and in fact, it’s use has been increasingly rare recently as Apple’s chosen to release via press release more for those kind of products. Daring Fireball: I detect an undercurrent of “That’s it?” in the collective response to today’s event, but...

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Fixing the Apple App Store

The state of the Apple App store (both IOS and Mac) have been a topic of discussion among developers on and off for a couple of years now, but over the last few months this discussion has been growing and it’s clear developer discontent is growing. There have been a lot of suggestions about how to fix the stores, but a lot of them tend to be simplistic (“we need paid upgrades”) that don’t consider the complexities involved, either technically in the back end or in the business logistics. Rene Ritchie at iMore has just waded in with a very well-thought-out What no indie developer wants to hear about the App Store. He touches on an aspect that I don’t see talked about much — that perhaps Apple doesn’t see the store as broken. It is, after all, bringing in lots of money for Apple and developers, as Apple touts at every product announcement and analyst meeting. My take: I don’t think the App Stores are broken; I think they’re doing exactly what Apple wants them to, because Apple’s interest is in supporting the corporate app developers and the larger studio developers. They care about the NetFlix app and Adobe’s applications and what Gameloft is doing, not about what the small indie developers want or need. In fact, I’ll argue that the biggest problem the App Store has is that...

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Getting into a routine

I’m back from my week in SoCal and I’m now a week into my Sabbatical, so it’s time to start figuring out what my projects are for the next period of time and creating a routine to make them happen. The best way to do this, of course, is to completely schedule yourself out into things that disrupt those routines. Last week I had to go south to deal with stuff, this week the landscapers are showing up to — finally — tear out the old yards and install new, not-sucky ones for us (finally); and next week is the Yosemite Cocoaconf conference. So this home-body is traveling the first two weeks of his freedom, and the third we’re squeezing in a complete scrape and plant of the property. No biggie. But after this burst, things settle down, and I need to start making decisions. Well, honestly, I’m not going to get fired if I just fire up the Playstation for a bit…. Yeah, that’s the path I don’t want to travel, and I need to make sure I avoid that path of least resistance… The Plan So here are the current things on the project list: Get writing for the blog back on a schedule — at least 3 times a week. Re-do the blog, because, god help me, aren’t we always in the middle of a redesign of your...

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Going to Disneyland….

If you follow my twitter feed, you might have noticed that I spent today at Disneyland. I’m in SoCal this week doing various things like signing new rental agreements with a tenant but I’m also taking advantage of this to spend some time at the Mouse Park as well. It is very surprising to me to find I haven’t been to the park in a decade. Growing up near the park, it was always a big part of my young life, and  in fact I worked for the mouse from 1976-80, some of it seasonal, some of it full time, in the warehouse, either picking orders for delivery to the stores, or delivering stuff. Mostly swing or graveyard work, and for one summer I ran the parts crib for the maintenance team on graveyard, meaning I was in and around the park during the closed times and got to know the maintenance guys, so I had some ability to explore inside the rides when they needed some help getting parts delivered on an expedited manner (which occasioanlly got me written up for leaving the crib to do deliveries, not explicitly in my duties. But still… having lunch inside the Pirates of the Caribbean at 3AM? Watching the sun come up from the peak of the Matterhorn? I’ll take the occasional written reprimand…) One nice thing about working at the...

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