Apple and the Craftsmen

On 25 March, Apple invited celebrities and members of the tech and entertainment press to the Steve Jobs Theater for a range of special announcements. What made this event a little odd, however, was that it was entirely focused on services.

In a global tech market and culture that is often about racing to the bottom or chasing market share, at this event, Apple showed us that it continues to be a global tech culture unto itself. It plays by its own rules.

Source: Apple and the Craftsmen

Interesting piece.


I’m not going to do a full-blown review of my new iPad Pro, which I’ve christened Georgia (it’s just easier to keep track of the all the iPads and iPhones when they have proper names).

This is what I wrote in DayOne on the day that Georgia was delivered.

These are some impressions from using the iPad Pro for a week or so. The Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil arrived yesterday, so I’ll gradually expand this post before I publish it.

Georgia is no lightweight. You can hold the iPad Pro with one hand, but I wouldn’t want to for any length of time. But I was surprised how quickly I got used to the size. The first evening I sat on the sofa playing with Georgia, installing apps, organising folders and just generally trying different things out. After a few hours, I put Georgia aside and picked up Nikki to take her to bed. Nikki—my iPad Air 2—seemed tiny. [Read more…]

A Watch Guy’s Thoughts On The Apple Watch After Seeing It In The Metal

Again, Apple paid great attention to detail with this new wrist-bound peripheral, and it shows the Swiss that it is possible to have great design at low costs. That is the most exciting thing about the Apple Watch for me – it will push the Swiss to take the sub-$1,000 mechanical watch category more seriously.

via A Watch Guys Thoughts On The Apple Watch After Seeing It In The Metal Tons Of Live Photos — HODINKEE – Wristwatch News, Reviews, & Original Stories.

After the recent Apple keynote, I was certainly more than likely than not to get an Apple Watch. This very detailed and interesting piece just increased the probability.


Why Apple really cares about your privacy

Apple has always tried to build an emotional connection between its devices and customers. With its increasing focus on privacy, it’s clear that Apple not only sees privacy as important to maintaining this bond, but as a means of differentiating itself from the competition. For a variety business and technical reasons, it’s an advantage that will be hard for Apple’s competition to duplicate.

via Why Apple really cares about your privacy | Macworld.

Interesting read.

30 Years of the Mac

At the risk of coming off like a fanboi, I’m recommending you take a look at the Apple pages celebrating 30 Years of the Mac. They have put together a beautiful presentation. Each year features a story about someone who worked with some flavour of Mac: like John Knoll who developed Adobe Photoshop with his brother Thomas (1989); electronica musician Moby (1999); and architect Jürgen Mayer H who designed the Metropol Parasol in Seville (2005).

Even if you have no particular interest in things Apple, the photos are great and the stories fascinating snippets from the history of personal computing.

If you have owned a Mac, you can add your data about how you used Your First Mac.

A Quick iOS Keyboard Trick

Unapologetic: A Quick iOS Keyboard Trick.

What many people (myself included for the first three years in which I used an iPad for almost all of my typing) don’t realize is that if you tap on that key and then quickly swipe upwards it will immediately insert an apostrophe. Tapping and holding to reveal deeper functionality within the main keyboard keys is no secret, but what makes this key special is that there is no need to hold. As quickly as you can tap and swipe upwards and let go of the “,!” key is as quickly as it will place the apostrophe. This is significantly quicker than any other method of inserting an apostrophe, even using the apostrophes located on custom keyboards in apps like Drafts or Editorial. The exact same functionality works on the “.?” key, but inserts a quotation mark instead of an apostrophe.

I’ve experimented further and it appears the touch and swipe up will work any key on the keyboard that has one extra character definition like the apostrophe and quote that Alex mentions. (If you touch and hold a key, you’ll see what other characters are defined, e, for instance, has 7 with the various diacritical characters that can be stuck on). The period on the numeric keyboard produces an ellipsis when you touch and swipe. The w gives ŵ. The number ? puts out ¿. There are a few others.

I think what is happening that the iPad doesn’t need to wait for you to make a choice on the alternative character, but reacts to the swipe and outputs the alternate. Of course, you’re probably not going to remember all the alternates—but I do like to use the ellipsis.

There’s obviously some deeper meaning behind this operation… because I also discovered that the apostrophe on the number keyboard has three alternate characters (left and right single quotation marks, and what looks like a grave accent). Whatever character is chosen when this key is touched, the keyboard immediately returns to the letters, which doesn’t happen on any other key.

Automating iOS: A Comprehensive Guide to URL Schemes and Drafts Actions

Automating iOS: A Comprehensive Guide to URL Schemes and Drafts Actions – MacStories.

A really excellent explanation of how to build actions to work with Drafts and other apps that understand URL Schemes.

Update: Should have given credit to Paul Dutka who emailed me the link to this article.

Design Crazy: Good Looks, Hot Tempers, and True Genius

I’ve just finished: Design Crazy: Good Looks, Hot Tempers, and True Genius by Max Chafkin. Short, interesting commentary—the book combines interviews with a bunch of people who worked at Apple, but not any more. It’s only 0.99p from the Amazon Kindle Store; I enjoyed it.

The guy next to me was working was working on NeXT for Steve Jobs. I saw three identical mice on his desk, and I couldn’t tell the difference between them, so I asked. He said, “Can’t you see?” And he pointed to the bottom plate of the mouse. One was 1 millimeter thick, one was 1.5 millimeters, the other 2 millimeters. And then I saw the difference—and it transformed my worldview about details in design. That’s the reason I moved to California.

That is Apple’s contribution: this dogmatic, beautiful striving for perfection, that chasing for the last millimeter. It drove the world of design to a completely new level.