Date Archives March 2015

Apple Opens Watch App Submissions for All Developers

Apple:

It’s time. Apple Watch will be in the hands of customers on April 24. Get your WatchKit apps ready and submit them for review now.

One of the most interesting parts from the release is this:

Once your WatchKit app is approved and released by Apple, your existing iPhone users will receive the app update and customers will see your WatchKit extension icon and description on the App Store. A small group of people who currently have an Apple Watch will be able to use your WatchKit app before April 24, so make sure your back end systems are ready.

Luxurious

Horace Dediu on Apple Watch pricing:

It used to be said that Apple’s profit engine was fueled by the ability to price memory at a significant mark-up on its cost. The iPod earned the vast bulk of music player profits by offering additional memory increments at significant price increments. Even today, a 64GB iPod Touch is priced $100 higher than a $16GB version. Sounds reasonable, but a quick check shows that 64GB of Flash memory probably costs about $5. This exploitation of pricing/cost differences at the margin allows for great profitability and is rooted in the ways the buyers contemplate value.

Therefore the difference between memory-based pricing and materials-based pricing is only in the choice of how to attach value in the mind of the buyer. In one case it’s having the option on storage, in the other it’s having the option, perhaps, of more durability, quality or glamour.

The comparison between storage sizes and materials makes a lot of sense.

When I first thought about buying the Apple Watch for function, I wanted the Sport Edition, but now that I’ve thought about the material as a benefit, I’ve been leaning towards the Apple Watch.

Tim Cook Puts His Dent In The Universe

John Paczkowski writing for Buzzfeed:

For those who worried that Jobs set an unmatchable standard for Cook to meet, the past few months have been a pointed rebuttal. With Jobs’s passing, Apple may have lost a visionary leader. But in Cook, his handpicked successor, it may well have another. Different, but visionary just the same — a CEO who’s willing to weigh in on political and human rights issues and to bring Apple’s corporate might to bear on them at a time when the company commands the world’s attention.

Well said.

Tim Cook Speaks Out On Discrimination

Tim Cook writing at The Washington Post:

America’s business community recognized a long time ago that discrimination, in all its forms, is bad for business. At Apple, we are in business to empower and enrich our customers’ lives. We strive to do business in a way that is just and fair. That’s why, on behalf of Apple, I’m standing up to oppose this new wave of legislation — wherever it emerges. I’m writing in the hopes that many more will join this movement.

It’s refreshing to see a CEO speak out like this on world issues.

The Chopping Block - Week of March 28th

Every week I run out of time to post some fantastic links, and I’ve decided to do something about it.

The Chopping Block is my way to ensure these links don’t go unread.

Check back every Saturday for a new collection of things to read. Enjoy!


On This Week’s Chopping Block

Nike’s “Just do it” slogan is based on a murderer’s last words, says Dan Wieden – Dezeen

When Muhammad Ali Was A Has-Been – The Stacks

Everything Don Draper Has Ever Worn on Mad Men – GQ

Critical Sharks Part IV: Fear of Apple – Eli Schiff

The Future of the Dumbwatch – Marco Arment

The billionaire’s typewriter – Practical Typography

The Upside Of Slower – M.G. Siegler

Can we cure the common hangover? – The Verge


Fantastical 2 for Mac Review

When I think of iconic Mac apps, Fantastical is one of the first that comes to mind.

With Fantastical, Flexibits (the mastermind developers) made it easy to add new calendar events with their parsing engine, made it quicker to view your calendar with the menu-bar view, and now with Fantastical 2, they aimed to make the best calendar app, period.

As much as I loved the original Fantastical, I still needed to open iCal (or Calendar) to view my schedule from time to time. Everyone has a different approach to using a calendar, and for me, it’s week view or bust.

With the release of Fantastical 2, Flexibits aimed to kill all other calendar apps by making Fantastical a full-fledged calendar app. It takes the old menu-bar app and transforms it into a fully-functional desktop calendar application. In fact, it’s probably the biggest feature of Fantastical 2.

Fantastical 2 utilizes a clean, two-pane interface with a running agenda on the left and full calendar on the right. And since it syncs with the Reminders.app, you can also view your Reminders from within Fantastical.

This isn’t all to say that the menu-bar style of Fantastical is dead and gone – far from it actually. Fantastical 2 features a redesigned menu-bar experience that allows you to view your entire calendar and create new events and reminders, all from your menu bar (accessible by a keyboard shortcut). The best part is, now with Fantastical 2, the menu-bar app is now detachable. That means you can now have the minimal-view of Fantastical anywhere on your screen.

If you’ve used Fantastical on either the iPhone or iPad, you’ll feel right at home with the design of Fantastical 2. Flexibits kept their design similar across all platforms, without looking out of place on Yosemite. I personally love the colourful interface of Fantastical – it’s the perfect example of how to adopt a design language, but still have a unique look.

One of the best new features of Fantastical is ‘Calendar Sets.’ Calendar Sets allows you to setup different versions of your calendar for various parts of your life. If you’re anything like me, you  have 8 different colours on your calendar representing various parts of your life. Instead of simplifying your calendar, they end up creating a confusing, cluttered look.

With Calendar Sets, I was able to setup individual calendars for my home and work life, as well as separate calendars for my other projects. The best part? You can setup geo-locations associated with each calendar set which means Fantastical 2 will automatically switch to your work set when you arrive at the office and automatically change back to your home set when you return home.

Now that I’ve had a chance to setup and use Fantastical 2 on a daily basis, I love using it as my only calendar app on all platforms (iPhone, iPad and Mac). It’s beautiful design makes using my calendar fun, and Calendar Sets allows me to stay better organized.

When it’s all said and done, Fantastical 2 is the best calendar app available for Mac, bar none.

At $49.99 (or a limited-time launch price of $39.99), the price may turn some people off, but if you’re like me and rely on your calendar to stay organized and efficient, it’s a small price to pay.

Apple's Tim Cook Leads Different

I love reading these profiles of Tim Cook. This was one of my favourite parts:

To Cook, changing the world always has been higher on Apple’s agenda than making money. He plans to give away all his wealth, after providing for the college education of his 10-year-old nephew. There should be plenty left over to fund philanthropic projects. Cook’s net worth, based on his holdings of Apple stock, is currently about $120 million. He also holds restricted stock worth $665 million if it were to be fully vested. Cook says that he has already begun donating money quietly, but that he plans to take time to develop a systematic approach to philanthropy rather than simply writing checks.

Twitter's Periscope App Lets You Livestream Your World

On Monday morning, I watched the Today Show. Not on TV, though, and not standing and screaming alongside middle-aged Texans in the vicious cold outside the show’s Rockefeller Center digs. My view was from the middle of the set, between two hulking broadcast cameras, as the three anchors wrapped up a segment. I don’t remember what they were talking about, only that as soon as they threw to commercial, I was suddenly walking up to Al Roker, the show’s anchor and weatherman and all-around hilariously weird dude. Just as he bent over to grab something from underneath the set’s table, a voice I couldn’t see said, “hey Al, say hi to Periscope.”

Roker looked directly at me, and smiled. “Heyyy, Periscope. How ya doing, Periscope?”

I’ve played around with Periscope and I found it way more polished than Meerkat.