Siri Shortcuts, The Scooter Economy and More

One: Shortcuts: A New Vision for Siri and iOS Automation

"In my Future of Workflow article from last year (published soon after the news of Apple's acquisition), I outlined some of the probable outcomes for the app. The more optimistic one – the "best timeline", so to speak – envisioned an updated Workflow app as a native iOS automation layer, deeply integrated with the system and its built-in frameworks. After studying Apple's announcements at WWDC and talking to developers at the conference, and based on other details I've been personally hearing about Shortcuts while at WWDC, it appears that the brightest scenario is indeed coming true in a matter of months."

Federico Viticci, MacStories

 

Two: The Scooter Economy

As I understand it, the proper way to open an article about electric scooters is to first state one’s priors, explain the circumstances of how one came to try scooters, and then deliver a verdict. Unfortunately, that means mine is a bit boring: while most employing this format wanted to hate them, I was pretty sure scooters would be awesome — and they were!

Ben Thompson, Stratechery

 

Three: A New Era of Frankensoftware is Upon Us

"Last Week's Announcement that Apple intends to make it easy for developers to create Mac variants of iPhone appsbecame something of a matter of semantics. Would it ever merge the two operating systems? Are the apps being ported to macOS? They're certainly not being emulated."

Lauren Goode, Wired

 

Four: Apple's AirPods are an Omen

"The moment I put the Apple AirPods in my ears, I feel like I’ve already dropped them in the toilet. They are so small and slippery. The mere act of removing these precious, wireless ear buds from their lozenge-shaped case makes them feel like a futuristic cure to unknown ills. I am late to adopt them, so I indulge a marvel. I take one out of an ear; this time I feel like I’m sure to ingest it, eventually, mistaking it for a space-age apparatus for wellness or transhumanism. My AirPods, I am convinced, are not long for this world."

Ian Bogost, The Atlantic

 

Five: Inside Amazon's $3.5 Million Competition to make Alexa Chat Like a Human

"Onstage at the launch of Amazon’s Alexa Prize, a multimillion-dollar competition to build AI that can chat like a human, the winners of last year’s challenge delivered a friendly warning to 2018’s hopefuls: your bot will mess up, it will say something offensive, and it willbe taken offline. Elizabeth Clark, a member of last year’s champion Sounding Board team from the University of Washington, was onstage with her fellow researchers to share what they’d learned from their experience. What stuck out, she said, were the bloopers."

James Vincent, The Verge

 

Bonus: Finder