Date Archives April 2016

The Convergence of Emoji

Interesting post by Sebastiaan de With on how tech companies are working together to form universal emoji characters:

Significant design differences in emoji can be a hassle at best, but at worst it completely alters the meaning of a communication, and creates a jarring disconnect between the intended meaning the sender is trying to convey to the recipient. Imagine if the letters of our latin script varied depending on the phone you used!

Here’s where emoji differ from latin script: While Unicode defines the meaning of the emoji, the makers of emoji ‘fonts’ — Apple, Google, Microsoft, Twitter and a few others — are left to interpret how to visualize these textual descriptions in an icon.

For this very reason, I avoid using emoji whenever possible.

A Flop Unlike Any Other

M.G. Siegler on the Apple Watch:

Last year, Rolex did $4.5 billion in sales. A solid year for the premium watchmaker. Of course, it was no Apple Watch. That business did roughly $6 billion in sales, if industry estimates are accurate.

The point here isn’t to compare the two devices — an Apple Watch is just about as comparable to a watch as an iPhone is to a phone. But it does provide an interesting context for Apple’s fledgling business — a new product category which has come under a lot of scrutiny since its launch a year ago. Many have called it a “flop,” which, again, is interesting in context.

More than any other product line from Apple, the second version of the Apple Watch will be the defining moment for its future.

Copied for Mac/iOS Review

Despite how far personal computers have come over the past few decades, the copy-and-paste function has remained relatively unchanged. Many apps have tried to improve this function, like Paste, which took the concept and added the ability to store more than one clip at a time and present them in a visually-appealing way.

Copied, available for both Mac and iOS, also attempted to improve the copy-and-paste mechanic and succeeds in a few different ways.

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Apple's Watch Outpaced the iPhone in First Year

The Wall Street Journal:

As the Watch marks its first anniversary on Sunday—two days before Apple’s quarterly earnings announcement—the product’s fate is critical to the company. It is Apple’s first all-new product since the iPad and a test of its ability to innovate under Chief Executive Tim Cook, when sales of iPhones are slowing.

So far, the numbers appear solid. Apple doesn’t disclose sales, but analysts estimate about 12 million Watches were sold in year one. At an estimated average price of $500, that is a $6 billion business—three times the annual revenue of activity tracker Fitbit Inc.

By comparison, Apple sold roughly six million iPhones in its first year.

It’s far too early to judge the Apple Watch as either a hit or flop. It will take at least several generations of the device to see whether it has wide-appeal.

My God-Awful Year With the Apple Watch

Casey Chan from Gizmodo:

I bought the Apple Watch a year ago. I stopped wearing it two months ago, and I’m not sure if I’ll ever wear it again. That’s because it doesn’t really do anything that anyone needs, and even when it does, it doesn’t always work like it’s supposed to.

I wanted to buy the Apple Watch because I was excited to jump out of the hamster wheel that is buying a newer, slightly nicer version of something I bought a few years earlier. Anything we buy these days is just sequels of the same crap we already have at home, so it was fun to try something new! It was also frustrating as hell. Here are some things I learned over the past year (minus two months) of strapping the shitty screen vibrator to my wrist.

I shouldn’t expect anything more from Gizmodo, but this article is good for a laugh.

Looking at the Future

Craig Hockenberry writing about the 9.7 inch iPad Pro’s new display:

After using this iPad for a couple of weeks, I’ve realized it’s like the advances of Retina in an important way: I never want to use a lesser display again. And as with higher density, I think it’s obvious that Apple will eventually update all its products to use this improved screen technology. I can’t wait!

It also wouldn’t surprise me to see these wider color gamuts coming to the cameras in our devices. All iOS devices currently create images in the sRGB gamut, while professional gear can produce images in ProPhoto or AdobeRGB. High dynamic range (HDR) photos need a wider range of color, too.

After using the new iPad Pro for the past few weeks, the display of my iPhone is startlingly bright. I can’t wait until Apple brings this new technology to all iOS devices.

Omnifocus for iPad Review

I already announced this in my recap of my favourite pro apps for the iPad, but I’ll say it again. Omnifocus is best served on the iPad.

I’ve already gone into extensive detail of why I love Omnifocus and why it’s my go-to system for getting things done. Despite barely scratching the surface of my productivity potential with Omnifocus, it keeps me sane. Without Omnifocus, I wouldn’t know what to do with my spare time and my life at the office wouldn’t be nearly as organized.

Since I jumped on the Omnifocus bandwagon (I’m sure there is one), I’ve used it most on my Mac. Simply, my Mac was the place Omnifocus felt most powerful and was the most convenient platform for dumping my brain into my inbox.

That’s changed now that I have an iPad again.

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GoodNotes for Mac Review

If you’re like me and have multiple Apple devices, you know in order for a tool to truly fit into your workflow, it has to work on all your devices. This is true for most apps, but it’s especially true for note-taking.

After trying – and subsequently – loving GoodNotes for iOS, I was eager to give the Mac version a try. Despite the iPad taking over some elements of my work, I still use my Mac at the office for most of my business-related tasks.

When I started to use GoodNotes to write notes on my iPad, it was clear they needed to sync to my Mac to be useful. Fortunately for me, GoodNotes for Mac exists and is a wonderful complement to the fantastic iOS app.

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