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Improving discovery on the App Store

App Store

Andy Baio, of Upcoming fame, on how Apple could fix the App Store’s discovery problem:

But how we discover apps has stayed virtually the same since its launch: editorial picks, sales charts, and search. We’ve been using the same set of tools to navigate the App Store since 2008 launch.

What worked for 500 apps in 2008 doesn’t work for 1.2 million in 2014.

As I mentioned in my iOS 8 wishlist, I think discovery on the App Store is a terribly complicated and needlessly painful process, and wrote a bit on how user-created lists could help improve that process. Andy provides a more comprehensive look into the workings of such a system.

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My iOS 8 wishlist

iOS 7

Ever since Scott Forstall’s ouster, iOS 7 was touted to be a massive update, perhaps the most significant ever, at least in terms of the interface.

The shake-up resulted in the division of his responsibilities amongst various other Apple SVPs. Eddy Cue got Siri and Maps, and Craig Federighi, who then lead the OS X engineering division, took command of iOS engineering too. The most interesting reassignment, however, was that of the Human Interfaces department to Jony Ive, the revered industrial designer whom Steve Jobs called his “spiritual partner”, thus consolidating Apple’s hardware and software design efforts under one person. This was a truly massive change, one that can potentially define the face of computing for years to come Continue reading

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With Paper, Facebook finally proves its worth on mobile

Facebook Paper

Flash back a decade ago, to early 2004. XP powered desktops are laptops were practically the only computers you’d see, running either IE6 or an early version of Firefox, and more likely than not connected to the internet via dial-up. Gmail wouldn’t be announced until April, the iPod was still black and white, and Fortune wondered aloud if anyone could ever topple Blackberry. YouTube was still a year away, and Netflix streaming wouldn’t be a thing for 3 years. The iPhone was still over 3 years away, and Android even further.

That’s the world Facebook was launched into.

Great piece here by Matthew Guay on Facebook Paper, and how with it Facebook finally has a truly mobile-friendly experience now.

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Apple, Accessibility, and Innovation

Great piece here by Steven Aquino on Apple’s dedication to improving the accessibility features of its products.

Purely by dint of being what they are, accessibility features are probably useless1 for the overwhelming majority of iOS users, but can be make-or-break for some. It’s nice to see that Apple still cares and devotes its – rather precious, given the way it operates – resources to making sure that its products remain easy to use and enjoy for one and all despite going through rapid cycles of iteration and redesigns.

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Is Yahoo even worth trying to save?

Yahoo does not have the best technology, nor the best content. Yahoo does not have the best users, nor the most. Yahoo is close to irrelevant on mobile – the future of computing – and has flubbed every effort to be social.

Yahoo is the Detroit of web properties. Once big, once thriving, it helped create a future it can never be part of.

Nice take on Yahoo by Brian S Hall at Techpinions.

Ever since Marissa Mayer took over as CEO at Yahoo, every move they have made is getting levels of attention from the press otherwise reserved only for the reigning giants of the industry, such as Microsoft, Google, and Apple. Startup acquisitions, product relaunches, new products – heck, even a logo redesign – have all been discussed at length by technology media, and received as signs of the stirring of a comatose titan…but why?

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