The Real Reason Apple Made the Apple Watch

Tim Bajarin on the origin of the Apple Watch:

I have long been observing these key moves around healthcare, which accelerated after Jobs’ death. It seems clear that Apple’s management has now and will continue to have a major focus on bridging the gap between a person and their healthcare providers. I believe Apple is on a mission to improve the overall health of its customers as well as that of the healthcare system, a task Jobs gave them before he died. And while Apple’s products define Jobs’ legacy, it may turn out that his and Apple’s greatest contribution may be to bring greater order to the fragmented healthcare world.

It is within this backdrop that the Apple Watch was born. Apparently, Apple was looking at ways to deliver on Jobs’ goal of making their customers healthier by using technology to help monitor and track health related data points. It became clear to them that they would need some type of mobile device platform to do this. They concluded that a standard fitness tracker couldn’t do the types of things Jobs and current Apple executives really wanted to see. That’s how the Apple Watch came about.

I’m skeptic this was the only reason for the introduction of the Apple Watch. One hell of a dying wish though.

Building a New Photography Workflow With the iPad Pro

Drew Coffman:

Though the iPad Pro enables me to be more creative, that doesn’t mean there’s a solution for every creative task I want to accomplish — and in photography in particular, using the device as a primary machine forces me to make some interesting choices.

I’ve tried many photo-editing iPad apps, but I haven’t found the one for me yet.

My Tablet Has Stickers

Steven Sinofsky on the future of the iPad:

In one of the amazing Steve Jobs interviews from Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher, when asked about tablets replacing laptops, Jobs said to this functionality gap that it was “just software”.

Respectfully, he was partially right. While more and better software was needed, the other part of this shift is the accompanying broad range of otherchanges that will take place. If you doubt those changes are happening now, then consider how much of your work life/process/culture has changed by the introduction of smartphones. Tablets just took longer because they are not just additive but substitutes. The change is more like email which took two decades to become something resembling a universal tool even after being around for 20 years.

I completely agree. iOS has slowly, but surely taken over my computer usage. While I still use my Mac every day, I don’t use it nearly as much as my iPad or iPhone.

Life's Too Short for Slow Computers

Nilay Patel writing for The Verge:

We can sit around and argue about whether speeds and feeds matter, but the grand ambition of the Apple Watch is to be a full-fledged computer on your wrist, and right now it’s a very slow computer. If Apple believes the Watch is indeed destined to become that computer, it needs to radically increase the raw power of the Watch’s processor, while maintaining its just-almost-acceptable battery life. And it needs to do that while all of the other computers around us keep getting faster themselves. It’s a hard road, but Apple is obviously uniquely suited to invest in ambitions that grand, with billions in the bank, a top-notch chip design unit, and the ability to focus on the long-term.

In retrospect, I wish the Apple Watch was less ambitious. If Apple focused more on Glances and Notifications – instead of apps – maybe the Apple Watch would’ve been seen as more of a success.

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.