John Kirk on ‘Apple Claim Chowder’ over the years

Over the last few days, over at Tech.pinions, John Kirk has been aggregating and documenting various instances across the years of people making completely untrue in retrospect and seemingly insubstantiated – yet assertive as ever proclamations – about practically each and every move Apple has made, and how each of them will be responsible for its forever-imminent downfall (except they weren’t).

Hindsight is always 20/20, of course, but it’s still pretty amazing to see the certainty and unabashed confidence with which people – oftentimes the same people, on multiple occasions years apart – have kept on damning Apple into certain oblivion, year over year.

Here are links to each article of the 7 part series:

Part 1: Introduction
Part 2: Events
Part 3: Killers
Part 4: Cynicism
Part 5: Product
Part 6: Evolutionary Or Revolutionary
Part 7: Business Models

There’s almost exactly three days to go for what is being widely touted as “the” Apple event of our times, and the one that’ll be a defining cornerstone in Tim Cook’s reign as CEO. I highly recommend that you take the time read these pieces in the intervening duration.

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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 “My iOS 8 wishlist”

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.

Continue reading “Apple, Accessibility, and Innovation”