Category archives for "apple"

What can I tell you guys about the HomePod?

A guy from Reddit Audophile tested the HomePod:

When the song calls for it, there is bass. When the song turns to crystal clear highs, they are reproduced faithfully. What really was interesting is the instrument separation in the room. At about 45% volume, the HomePod FILLED the room I was in with some great sound. When you walked away from it, the sound gets quieter, but not as quickly as you’d expect. All the details were still there, just softer. there was no feeling of walking out of the sweet spot that you get with a normal speaker. And that’s when it hit me… Apple really has done it.

The whole review is music to my ears.

Touch input as the future of computing

A couple of days ago Apple released a set of videos explaining the new powers of iOS 11. Here is the first one, showing you how to use the dock on an iPad:

(The other videos in the series.)

In September 2015 Tim Cook asserted: “The iPad is the clearest expression of our vision of the future of personal computing.”

I’m not sure. Here is why: this strikes me as an argument for creating, say, 3D models in VR. It’s certainly nice to be in it, but physically it’s exhausting, like standing on a ladder and doing actual sculpting work. This is what I see in these videos above. It’s nice to have this stripped down Mac interface that allows you to do more on an iPad, but I wonder if this is the future of input.

Just imagine five finger pinching every time to see the desktop instead of doing a small flick either on the touchpad or the mouse to activate a hot corner. Selecting multiple files is the same, you need to utilize both your hands, making all these movements instead of just command clicking a couple of files and dragging them. I don’t think that’s more efficient. (But then again, you could make the same argument for using the CLI in favor of the GUI.)

Again, I’m not sure, it’s just I tried to picture myself in the future of personal computing learning all these new interaction patterns and waving with both of my hands. I see it as a different kind of input (just like VR), and touch input might prevail for the masses, just like GUI did after CLI. You’ll be able to use all of them depending how you like to work. In that sense Tim Cook may just be right.

The new MacBook Pros are interesting

Tobias van Schneider, designer extraordinaire:

As for the new Macbook: I’m not impressed. As a “pro user”, my Macbook Pro is mostly connected to an external display which renders the new Touch Bar useless.

This is a valid point, but maybe the Magic Keyboard with Touch Bar is already in the works?

I think Apple used to be the company that shipped magical products. It used to be the company that built “computers for the rest of us”. But things have changed, Apple has changed. Today, Apple doesn’t ship magical anymore, but solid experiences that work but don’t necessarily surprise you.

Touch Bar as another dedicated channel of interacting with the screen in itself is a pretty interesting paradigm. I can’t wait to try it out (and use it!). People are demanding way too much from Apple. If you consider your view as a technology bystander, I think they’re just moving at the right speed doing the right things AT THE WRONG PRICE. 😀

The last iOS vector resource you’ll ever need

You’re probably thinking, “I already use Facebook’s and/or Design+Code’s iOS 9 GUI document for Sketch. Why download another one?” Put simply, ours is better.

But there is more:

Along with an extensive collection of navigation bars, segmented controls, table views, keyboards, and other reusable system components to help you build iPhone app mockups more quickly and efficiently, this kit includes a near complete set of Apple’s system icons for navigation bars, toolbars, tab bars, activity sheets, quick actions, settings, and weather.


Our kit also includes a collection of over 80 recreated full-screen Apple system app screens to review, study, and reference. This is by far the largest resource of system apps you can find.

This is all true. Just click the link and you’ll have 78 mb large .sketch file on your desktop with all this. Amazing, meticulous and outstanding work, it’s like if Apple had released its iOS resources.

(I wish we had a similar file for OS X, too.)

60 minutes – Inside Apple

It’s very hard to resist the urge to go to an Apple Store and just buy something after seeing this – marketing? – video. I mean, how could you make a segment of the worlds number 1 business who is full of secrets without the accusation that it was just marketing and working our brains that they’re something special and noone else out there is? There isn’t much to learn, but it is good entertainment and builds the myth properly.

A couple of things I liked. First, you get to see Ive’s designers. Although for just a couple of cutaway shots, but they’re there, pretending they’re doing actual job. Then here are two sketches of what seems to had been designed by Ive himself (or at least this is how I understood):

“This is still Steve’s company” – Cook made me feel happy.

Charlie Rose is very professional when it comes to his craft of talking to people and I think he was in a position where he could press Cook on several fronts. He immediately recognizes when someone is trying to talk around what he is trying to know, he knows how to cut in to Cook, it’s all very good. This is not to say we get to know trade secrets, but it was entertaining to watch.

Here is a question asked from Cook that was the most subtle thing I’ve ever heard:

“How hard is it to say, Apple will be in the car business?”

Even Cook smiled on the elegance. My interpretation is that they’re in the car business. At the end, visiting the new campus, Ive was wearing a white construction workers hat with a gray Apple logo on it and concluded the segment, when asked, that his office will be on the top floor.

If you’re interested in seeing the segment, here is a pointer where to go to download.

Apple Smart Battery case is good, embrace it

The internet has gone all out on the announced Apple Smart Battery Case, but I, for one, am welcoming towards the “lump”. The design is a clear indication that you hold extra battery in your palm. If I was in a need for some extra juice, I’d buy this. Wired has tested it:

There are no indicator lights that show the case’s battery, and no on/off switch that will initiate charge, instead the case acts like it’s part of your battery. If you put your phone in the case when it has less than 100 percent, the case will start to charge it. When the case’s battery is gone, your iPhone will use its own battery. How do you know what percentage the case is at? Pull down the Notification Center and an icon will appear near the top telling you how much juice is left in your phone and case. It’s a cool little detail that shows off Apple’s inter-device compatibility, but it’s also the only way you can gauge the case’s battery. The case has a Lightning port for charging, which means you can plug in your iPhone in its case and charge both at the same time. This adds to the illusion that your case becomes one with your iPhone, and you never have to take it off.

This is all good and that’s how I’d have designed it.

[t]he performance of the case isn’t that great. The 1,877 mAh battery won’t even give you a full charge from zero percent.

A recurring element is that a case that doesn’t provide a full charge is shit. Come on. Do we really need to get into the same arguments over and over again when Apple releases something?

Here is someone from Reddit:

Form of function = complains
Function over form = complains
Steve Jobs alive = complains
Steve Jobs dead = complains
Apple makes an Android app = losing sales
Apple doesn’t make an Android app = assholes
Apple starts iPad Pro at 32GB = why no 16GB option
iPad gets split screen = copied Microsoft
iPad doesnt have split screen = stuck in 2008

The smart battery case was never meant to fully charge your phone. It’s a battery extension for your phone where the lump seamlessly integrates with your phone, giving you the extra battery. It’s an official gadget, integrates with your notification center, in true Apple style hides as many technical details as possible, and THAT IS IT.

Design is good.

Product is solid.

Jony Ive is the man.

Did Apple really make a stylus?

“If you see a stylus, they blew it.” – Steve Jobs, 2010

Now that the iPad Pro is shipping with one, this question needed to be answered. And there is an answer, given by Tim Cook to the Independent:

“Well, we didn’t really do a stylus, we did a Pencil. The traditional stylus is fat, it has really bad latency so you’re sketching here and it’s filling the line in somewhere behind. You can’t sketch with something like that, you need something that mimics the look and feel of the pencil itself or you’re not going to replace it. We’re not trying to replace finger touch, we’re complementing it with the Pencil.”

It makes perfect sense: manipulating the UI with touch is one thing, but for creative professionals you need a lag free, palm-rejecting, pressure sensitive pencil. I’d just mention one more thing: I still could imagine a cheaper pencil for text or quick sketch drawing even on my iPhone. But I guess it will also come as an extra accesory.

What’s Object Oriented Programming?

Amogh Talpallikar on Quora:

I haven’t seen a better explanation about OOP till date than the one given by a guy who never had any formal engineering training but always had clear idea about everything he did and preached, be it technology, design or art.

He is referring to Steve Jobs in an 1994 interview for the Rolling Stone:

Objects are like people. They’re living, breathing things that have knowledge inside them about how to do things and have memory inside them so they can remember things. And rather than interacting with them at a very low level, you interact with them at a very high level of abstraction, like we’re doing right here.

Here’s an example: If I’m your laundry object, you can give me your dirty clothes and send me a message that says, “Can you get my clothes laundered, please.” I happen to know where the best laundry place in San Francisco is. And I speak English, and I have dollars in my pockets. So I go out and hail a taxicab and tell the driver to take me to this place in San Francisco. I go get your clothes laundered, I jump back in the cab, I get back here. I give you your clean clothes and say, “Here are your clean clothes.”

You have no idea how I did that. You have no knowledge of the laundry place. Maybe you speak French, and you can’t even hail a taxi. You can’t pay for one, you don’t have dollars in your pocket. Yet I knew how to do all of that. And you didn’t have to know any of it. All that complexity was hidden inside of me, and we were able to interact at a very high level of abstraction. That’s what objects are. They encapsulate complexity, and the interfaces to that complexity are high level.

And here we are in 2015, when Aaron Sorkin made the following lines into a movie:

Steve Wozniak: What do you do? You’re not an engineer. You’re not a designer. You can’t put a hammer to a nail. I built the circuit board! The graphical interface was stolen! So how come ten times in a day I read Steve Jobs is a genius? What do you do?

Steve Jobs: Musicians play their instruments. I play the orchestra.

I have less and less inclination to watch this movie.

Everything about the new emojis

Jeremy Burge on the new Apple included emojis:

Apple has released the iOS 9.1 update for iPhone and iPad, which includes 184 new emojis. This makes iOS the first operating system to include every single emoji in the Unicode Standard.

My personal favorite in the new set is 🕴 Man in Business Suit Levitating. I also like the miscellaneous tweaks. Too bad, facepalm will be a 2016 thing. The post above omits the following four emojis: ❣ ☠ 🏵 🏺 However, the short post is complete listing all 184 new emojis.

There are new mice in town

Steven Levy got a rare look inside Apple’s Input Design Lab:

The input device, dubbed the Magic Mouse 2, would look to users exactly like the previous model. But on the inside and underneath, everything would be different, mainly because Apple was switching to a rechargeable lithium battery instead of the previous replaceable alkaline ones.

Late in the process, everything seemed to be going fine. The internal lithium battery was custom-engineered to fit the cavity. The redesigned antenna — necessary to deal with the potential interference from an internal battery — was working well.

But one thing was totally unacceptable.

The mouse didn’t sound right.

The mistery of the disappearing song in My Music

Hey, happy Apple Music subscriber here. I noticed an interesting thing today. Here is a list of “My Music” sorted by date added. (I find this a very convenient way to re-listen songs which I’d found interesting.) Anyway, here is a portion of My Music on the Mac:

Turns out I wanted to listen to Two weeks by FKA twigs on my phone. Here is what I saw:

The song was missing. Everything was there but this. I checked if I was logged in the same iTunes Stores etc, but the solution was much simple: the Two weeks song was classified as “Explicit” by the Store and the default behaviour on the iPhone is to not show explicit content.

To change this go to: System Settings – General – Restrictions, enter a 4 digit PIN, write down the PIN, then enter “Music, Podcasts & News” section and turn it on. The second I did this, the song appeared.

update: I was told Explicit might not be on by default.

The future of the TV

John Gruber:

The MLB At Bat demo during the event was one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. Not just because I’m baseball fan, but because it presented a revolutionary way to watch live events, period. I think Apple TV might be the most disruptive product from Apple since the iPhone. Not the most lucrative, necessarily, but the most disruptive — in the sense of defining how all TVs will work in a few years.

Funny, because I thought the same thing with one difference: I’m not even a baseball fan. Here is the relevant portion from the keynote:

Seems like an innocuous screenshot from a television broadcast, right? At some point the channel might overlay some more information on top of it:

But then, since you’re in a baseball app, press a button on your controller and there you go:

The television experience is just a video streaming container within the app. Which is what it should have been all along. Tim Cook said this is the future of television. Makes complete sense. And not just for sports, for traditional programming, films and TV shows as well.

Content blocking with Safari

Apple is taking the privacy issue more and more seriously. For some time I thought, well, this could be just PR, but peeking into WWDC session 511, the message is clear: they’re not afraid to put meaning to the PR speak. In this session they explicitly endorse ad blocking. They say, we give you the tools, write the ad blockers already! Given the number of iOS/Mac devices out there, this will seriously hurt the media business in its current form.

Ad blockers will be developed by small indies, like Dean Murphy, who is working on Crystal, a new content blocker using this framework for iOS. He’s experimented with the technology a couple of months back, now he’s on a spree to get this content blocker out there with the release of iOS 9.

Dean yesterday published a new post outlining the capabilities of Crystal, and it’s very compelling:

On average, pages loaded 74% faster with Crystal and used 53% less bandwidth. Just by having Crystal installed, I saved a total of 70 seconds and 35MB of data on these 10 pages.

If you watch the WWDC session video, you’ll understand why: because the ad tracking JS code will not even hit your device, Safari will just ignore the references and not load them. Can’t wait to install Crystal.

Wi-Fi assist

Feleségem felhívott, hogy a 3G iPad nem működik, biztos elfogyott a gigabyte stb. Először mentem a tippel, aztán gondolkodtam, várjunk csak. Mi van a képernyőn? Kiderült, hogy az eszköz felugrott egy szomszédos wifi hálózatra, attól meg nem kapott adatot. Én tudom, mi a tennivaló ilyenkor, de nem triviális, meg kell találni a “Forget this network” opciót.

Ezt a dolgot megoldották iOS 9-ben. A beta 5-től van egy kapcsoló, ami automatikusan leszed a wifiről abban az esetben, ha arról nem jön adat: