Posts tagged Featured
Atmospheric Design, Accessibility in the App Store and More

One: Atmospheric Design

"Where there was once crippling technical and design debt, design systems enabled teams to be agile. This is primarily done through building systems of reusable blocks called components that can be easily assembled to create any interface you desire. This reusability means you’re able to do far more while having far less to maintain. But what about all that happens leading up to the point of putting mouse to artboard or keystroke to editor? Design systems address the way we build, but what about the way we design?"

Marco Suarez, Medium

 

Two: How the new App Store can push accessibility forward

"While the lion's share of the attention being paid to iOS 11 is deservingly going to iPad-centric enhancements, another iOS 11 improvement that I believe is just as interesting (and important) is the completely redesigned App Store.

"The App Store changes are noteworthy for two reasons: - The visual facelift - The heavier emphasis on editorial"

Steven Aquino, iMore

 

Three: How Does the Internet Work?

"You’re on vacation in Italy, sitting at a nice café (with free Wi-Fi). It’s a few days into your trip now and you’ve taken some beautiful photos that you want to share with your parents back home.

"Mom and Dad aren’t too familiar with Dropbox or Google Drive, so instead, you attach the photos to an email.

"Your mouse hovers over the send button and click…almost instantaneously it shows up in your Mom and Dad’s inboxes halfway across the world.

"What just happened?"

Paul Lyon, IoT For All

 

Four: Speculation Regarding the Pricing of and Strategy Behind This Year’s New iPhones

"I created a bit of a stir the other day when I suggested the OLED iPhone “Pro” could start at $1,500.

"Let’s take a serious look at this. $1,500 as a starting price is probably way too high. But I think $1,200 is quite likely as the starting price, with the high-end model at $1,300 or $1,400."

John Gruber, Daring Fireball

 

Five: Google Pixel 2 Rumor Roundup!

 

Bonus: Millenial Stereotypes 😄

 

I want to make #FiveForFriday better every week. If you have any suggested links, think of a better way to present them or want to chat about a topic, reach out to me on Twitter—@TimothyBuckSF. I'd love to hear from you.

Header image from Unsplash.

Digital Assistants' Adoption, the Story of Netflix Streaming and More

One: Spam in my kitchen: The Amazon Echo Show arrives

"So I got an Amazon Echo Show last week—this is the Amazon Echo model with the screen on the front. If you’ve seen the pictures, it looks like a weird ’80s TV set, but a lot of that has to do with a lack of scale in many photos—it’s quite small, though definitely boxy and strange."

Jason Snell, Six Colors

 

Two: Lorem Ipsum Is a Crime

"I hate Lorem Ipsum. I’m not afraid to say it. In fact, I rant about it so often that one of the designers on my team suggested I write down my feelings and publish it as my own Lorem Ipsum. Then designers could use it in their mockups, just like Bacon Ipsum or Hipster Ipsum."

Jesse Day, Medium

 

Three: Digital Assistants’ Adoption: a Marathon not a Sprint!

"What a difference a year makes! Usually a statement we can make when looking at technology adoption. Either because in a year a technology is history or because it has become a vital part of our life. Sadly, when it comes to digital assistants and the interactions consumers are having with them, a year has not made much of a difference at all."

This is a solid piece that includes data from recent Creative Strategies surveys. 

Carolina Milanesi, Tech.pinions

 

Four: Neil Hunt on Netflix and the Story of Netflix Streaming

"For several months now, I’ve been complaining on Twitter and a bunch of other places that, for as ubiquitous as Netflix streaming has become—I think it’s one of the most important technology products of the last decade at least— there’s actually been comparatively little journalism or scholarship about how the product came about. That’s why I was delighted to get acquainted with Neil Hunt, who is the Chief Product Officer at Netflix. Since he’s been at Netflix since 1999, not only is he the perfect person to tell us how Netflix streaming came about (the technical hurdles, the strategic decisions, etc.) but he can also give us the whole history of Netflix, from basically the very beginning."

Brian McCullough, Internet History Podcast

 

Five: On London’s Streets, Black Cabs and Uber Fight for a Future

"London’s cabby wars are less about the disruptive power of an app, or a new business model, than about the disruption of Britain."

Katrin Bennhold, New York Times

 

Bonus: 4th of July XKCD

 

I want to make #FiveForFriday better every week. If you have any suggested links, think of a better way to present them or want to chat about a topic, reach out to me on Twitter—@TimothyBuckSF. I'd love to hear from you.

Header image from Unsplash.

Nintendo Switch UI, iPhone Turns Ten and More

One: Thoughts on the Nintendo Switch User Interface

"I’ve been using the Switch for a few months and I can’t stop thinking about its user interface. Nintendo’s newest console is in the golden era of its UI. The base features you would expect out of a game system are covered, but cruft has not yet been added to the experience. I’ve heard a lot of people say they long for more from the Switch’s UI, but I love the bare bones simplicity."

Charlie Deets, freeCodeCamp

 

Two: Living With the Original iPhone... in 2017

Joanna Stern, The Wall Street Journal

 

Three: Blockchain—The New Technology of Trust

This interactive site does a good job explaining blockchain.

"A new technology is redefining the way we transact. If that sounds incredibly far-reaching, that's because it is.

"Blockchain has the potential to change the way we buy and sell, interact with government and verify the authenticity of everything from property titles to organic vegetables.

"It combines the openness of the internet with the security of cryptography to give everyone a faster, safer way to verify key information and establish trust."

Goldman Sachs

 

Four: Ends, Means, and Antitrust

"The European Commission levied a record €2.42 billion ($2.73 billion) fine on Google yesterday for having “abused its market dominance as a search engine by giving an illegal advantage to another Google product, its comparison shopping service.”

Ben goes on to discuss the positives and negatives of this EU decision.

Ben Thompson, Stratechery

 

Five: Perfect Ten

Gruber writes nostalgically about the original iPhone keynote and the effect the iPhone has had on the world.

"In January 2007, 26 minutes into his Macworld Expo keynote address, Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone with his justly-famous “three revolutionary products” framing..."

John Gruber, Daring Fireball

 

Bonus: Doggo!

 

I want to make #FiveForFriday better every week. If you have any suggested links, think of a better way to present them or want to chat about a topic, reach out to me on Twitter—@TimothyBuckSF. I'd love to hear from you.

Header image from freeCodeCamp.

Apple has Leapfrogged its Augmented Reality Competition with ARKit

As I've written in the past, I believe augmented reality (AR) has the potential to change our daily lives in the next ten years as thoroughly as the smart phone did over the past ten. And I'm not alone in that assessment. Some of the largest technology companies in the world are making bets in AR.

  • Microsoft with HoloLens

  • Facebook with AR Studio

  • Google with Project Tango

When Apple stepped into the AR market with the announcement of ARKit at this year's WWDC, they leapfrogged their competition and laid the foundation for a serious AR platform.

I see a common obstacle for Microsoft, Google and Facebook's entrances into AR. I expect they will all struggle to incentivize enough developers to build a vibrant ecosystem.

Google's Project Tango has been around since 2014, and it is almost universally considered a flop. Project Tango only works on specialized hardware that relatively few people own, and because of that, the software landscape is bleak.

Microsoft's HoloLens was announced in early 2015, and it's really quite impressive by all accounts. But it's not really a consumer product. The HoloLens starts at $3,000 and is marketed as a developer edition. At this point, they have too few users to truly attract developers in large numbers. Obviously, this could change dramatically if they announce a truly revolutionary consumer device.

Facebook's AR Studio is only a few months older than AR Kit, and Facebook has 2 billion users. But at this point, Facebook isn't offering a way for developers to monetize their AR Studio creations. This means it will be filled with AR "apps" that are essentially ads for companies that monetize in other ways.

In the fall, Apple will update their iPhone line and hundreds of millions of iOS devices being used today will be updated to iOS 11 and capable of running ARKit apps. This is serious incentive, and I expect to see a cascade of AR-enabled apps in the App Store at the end of the year. I can't wait to see what they come up with. Until then, we can follow the example work indie developers are sharing on Twitter. Here're some of my favorites right now.

Inter-dimentional Portal

Imagine something like this when we have AR glasses!

An AR Measuring Tape

No doubt we'll see countless of these released in the fall.

A Dancing Robot

The shadows on this are mind-blowingly realistic.

AR Minecraft

Video games is an area where we will very likely see a lot of developers focusing their efforts. 

Possible Airbnb Usecase

This is just a concept, but I hope we see some more practical use cases like this.

If you want to keep up with interesting ARKit creations, follow Made with ARKit on Twitter.

Header image from Apple.

Amazon's New Customer, Smart Speakers and More

One: No one is building the smart speaker we actually want

"The perfect smart speaker for the home is easy to describe, and completely elusive. Ask Verge readers what they wanted in an Echo or HomePod, and the majority would likely land on more or less the same features. And after they finished describing it, and went out to buy it, they would learn that it doesn't exist. Can someone build us the speaker of our dreams already?"

Casey Newton, The Verge

 

Two: Amazon's New Customer

This was such a great piece that I included the entire introduction below, but definitely read the whole thing.

"Back in 2006, when the iPhone was a mere rumor, Palm CEO Ed Colligan was asked if he was worried:

“We’ve learned and struggled for a few years here figuring out how to make a decent phone,” he said. “PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They’re not going to just walk in.” What if Steve Jobs’ company did bring an iPod phone to market? Well, it would probably use WiFi technology and could be distributed through the Apple stores and not the carriers like Verizon or Cingular, Colligan theorized.

"I was reminded of this quote after Amazon announced an agreement to buy Whole Foods for $13.7 billion; after all, it was only two years ago that Whole Foods founder and CEO John Mackey predicted that groceries would be Amazon’s Waterloo. And while Colligan’s prediction was far worse — Apple simply left Palm in the dust, unable to compete — it is Mackey who has to call Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, the Napoleon of this little morality play, boss.

"The similarities go deeper, though: both Colligan and Mackey made the same analytical mistakes: they mis-understood their opponents goals, strategies, and tactics. This is particularly easy to grok in the case of Colligan and the iPhone: Apple’s goal was not to build a phone but to build an even more personal computer; their strategy was not to add on functionality to a phone but to reduce the phone to an app; and their tactics were not to duplicate the carriers but to leverage their connection with customers to gain concessions from them.

"Mackey’s misunderstanding was more subtle, and more profound: while the iPhone may be the most successful product of all time, Amazon and Jeff Bezos have their sights on being the most dominant company of all time. Start there, and this purchase makes all kinds of sense."

Ben Thompson, Stratechery

 

Three: In the AI Age, "Being Smart" Will Mean Something Completely Different

"Andrew Ng has likened artificial intelligence (AI) to electricity in that it will be as transformative for us as electricity was for our ancestors. I can only guess that electricity was mystifying, scary, and even shocking to them — just as AI will be to many of us. Credible scientists and research firms have predicted that the likely automation of service sectors and professional jobs in the United States will be more than 10 times as large as the number of manufacturing jobs automated to date. That possibility is mind-boggling."

Ed Hess, Harvard Business Review

 

Four: Tough impressions of the Amazon Echo from regular people

"I really like my Amazon Echo, and I think that voice assistants are a big part of the next wave of computing, but that does not seem to be as universal a feeling as one might gather just by reading tech blogs. I like my Echo because it can answer some simple questions and give me some basic information whenever I want it. As the Echo (and Google Home like it) is still pretty new, niche tech at the moment, I’m always interested to hear what non tech-nerds think about this."

Matt Birchler, Birchtree

 

Five: Uber Founder Travis Kalanick Resigns as C.E.O.

"Travis Kalanick stepped down Tuesday as chief executive of Uber, the ride-hailing service that he helped found in 2009 and built into a transportation colossus, after a shareholder revolt made it untenable for him to stay on at the company.

"Mr. Kalanick’s exit came under pressure after hours of drama involving Uber’s investors, according to two people with knowledge of the situation, who asked to remain anonymous because the details were confidential."

Mike Isaac, The New York Times

 

Bonus: Twitter's UI Update haha

 

I want to make #FiveForFriday better every week. If you have any suggested links, think of a better way to present them or want to chat about a topic, reach out to me on Twitter—@TimothyBuckSF. I'd love to hear from you.

Header image from The Verge.

WWDC 2017 vs My Expectations

Before Apple's 2017 WWDC Keynote, I wrote "Four Things I Expect from WWDC 2017", and now that we know what happened, I'm going to see how they stack up.

1. More Hardware Than Usual: Correct!

Apple undoubtedly announced more hardware than usual this year. They updated pretty much the whole Mac lineup. MacBook, MacBook Pro, and iMac all got nice spec bumps, and Apple gave us a sneak peek at the iMac Pro coming in December.

Apart from the Mac, Apple showed 2 new iPad Pros—an all new 10.5 inch model and a spec-bumped 12.9 inch model. And as many thought would happen, they announced their take on the home-assistant speaker—HomePod.

2. iOS Design Refresh: Correct!

I was right on this one too. Apple took the design language that's better for large phones from Apple Music and News and applied it across all of iOS 11. There's also a completely redesigned control center and notification center.

3. Better iPad Productivity: Correct!

iPad Productivity was undoubtedly a primary focus this year. Apple added an all new Files app, an expandable doc that can be summoned while in apps, better multitasking, drag and drop, improved Apple Pencil support and a lot more. If you use your iPad to get things done, iOS 11 is a massive improvement for you.

4. Focus on Siri and other Services: Not Quite Right

I wasn't quite right on this one. I predicted, "Apple Music, iCloud Drive, the App Store will all get nice updates, and Siri will be significantly revamped, because it needs to be way better."

I definitely thought there would be much more of a focus on Siri, and although it did get some updates, I was wrong about the amount of focus it would receive. That said, the other serviced did get some nice updates. Apple Music, iCloud Drive (with Files app) and iMessage were all improved, and the App Store got a completely new design.

Final Score: 3.5/4

 

Header image from Unsplash.

The Disappearing Computer, Cryptocurrencies and More

One: The Battle for Smartphone Growth in the US

"The US smartphone market is maturing rapidly, with the vast majority of US phone users now using smart rather than feature phones. As a result, growth is slowing dramatically. That, in turn, means the vast majority of market share gains will now come from customers switching behavior between vendors and platforms rather than from new users and sales growth will come almost exclusively from switching and upgrades."

by Jan Dawson, Techpinions

 

Two: How long do Android phones last?

"For the first few years of its life, Google gave two types of number for Android: cumulative activations and daily activation rates. They tended to give them at scheduled events and they tended to give round numbers, so the precision was always pretty unclear, and sometimes the daily rate was not reconcilable with the increase in activations, but you had a pretty good sense of the rate of sales, as charted below (note the wonkiness of the data points). "

Benedict Evans, ben-evens.com

 

Three: Tulips, Myths, and Cryptocurrencies

"I would argue that cryptocurrency broadly, and Bitcoin especially, are no different. Bitcoin has been around for eight years now, it has captured the imagination, ingenuity, and investment of a massive number of very smart people, and it is increasingly trivial to convert it to the currency of your choice. Can you use Bitcoin to buy something from the shop down the street? Well, no, but you can’t very well use a piece of gold either, and no one argues that the latter isn’t worth whatever price the gold market is willing to bear. Gold can be converted to dollars which can be converted to goods, and Bitcoin is no different. To put it another way, enough people believe that gold is worth something, and that is enough to make it so, and I suspect we are well past that point with Bitcoin."

by Ben Thompson, Stratechery

 

Four: Mossberg: The Disappearing Computer

"This is my last weekly column for The Verge and Recode — the last weekly column I plan to write anywhere. I’ve been doing these almost every week since 1991, starting at The Wall Street Journal, and during that time, I’ve been fortunate enough to get to know the makers of the tech revolution, and to ruminate — and sometimes to fulminate — about their creations.

"Now, as I prepare to retire at the end of that very long and world-changing stretch, it seems appropriate to ponder the sweep of consumer technology in that period, and what we can expect next."

by Walt Mossberg, The Verge

 

Five: The Case for a Siri Speaker

"Rumors have been circulating Apple will join Amazon and Google and make their own version of a smart speaker to compete with the Echo and Home speakers. Observing the commentary surrounding this rumor has certainly revealed many opinions on the matter, both in favor and against it. I even sense a debate inside Apple on whether a smart speaker is a fad or if it has staying power. I lean in the direction of Apple entering this market and competing with Google and Amazon and would like to make the case this product should exist."

 

Bonus: Sudo ku


I want to make #FiveForFriday better every week. If you have any suggested links, think of a better way to present them or want to chat about a topic, reach out to me on Twitter—@TimothyBuckSF. I'd love to hear from you.

Header image from The Verge.

Uber's C.E.O. Plays with Fire and More

One: Uber’s C.E.O. Plays With Fire

"Travis Kalanick’s drive to win in life has led to a pattern of risk-taking that has at times put his ride-hailing company on the brink of implosion."

by Mike Isaac, The New York Times

Gruber's Response: On Uber’s ‘Identifying and Tagging’ of iPhones

 

Two: NOT OK, GOOGLE

"I was, frankly, amazed when I saw this tweet:

"Let me remind you that Washington Post Editor-in-Chief Marty Baron’s industry — newspapers — is one without a business model (Baron’s newspaper is more fortunate than most in its reliance on a billionaire’s largesse). Said lack of business model is leading to a dwindling of local coverage, click-chasing, and, arguably, Donald Trump. That seems like a pretty big problem!

"Fake news, on the other hand, tells people who’ve already made up their minds what they want to hear. Certainly it’s not ideal, but the tradeoffs in dealing with the problem, at least in terms of Facebook, are very problematic..."

by Ben Thompson, Stratechery

 

Three: Can Facebook Fix Its Own Worst Bug?

"Mark Zuckerberg now acknowledges the dangerous side of the social revolution he helped start. But is the most powerful tool for connection in human history capable of adapting to the world it created?"

Farhad Manjoo, The New York Times

 

Four: Netflix to Debut in China Via Original Content Licensing Deal With iQIYI

"Global streaming giant Netflix has struck its first licensing deal in China with one of the massive market’s leading streaming platforms,  iQIYI.

"To date, Netflix has been blocked by Middle Kingdom regulators from operating its own service in the world’s most populous nation.

"The deal comes just over a year after Netflix took its service global with just a handful of territories — including China, Iran and North Korea — missing from its planet-wide strategy."

Patrick Frater, Variety

 

Five: The Uber, Waymo, Google, Otto Case

Uber must turn over to Waymo information about its acquisition of Otto, court rules

"Anthony Levandowski, the engineer at the center of the legal battle between Google and Uber over driverless-car technology, has suffered a setback. Levandowski has broadly invoked his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination in the case, refusing to answer questions about whether or not he downloaded confidential files from Google before quitting his job at the company to join Uber’s self-driving car team. However, an appeals court has denied his request to extend his Fifth Amendment rights so broadly that Uber could redact documents on Levandowski’s behalf."

Kate Conger, Techcrunch

Uber's self-driving car boss, Anthony Levandowski, is stepping aside amid legal fight with Waymo

"Anthony Levandowski, the head of Uber's self-driving group, is stepping aside in face of trade-theft accusations from his former employer, Waymo."

Biz Carson, Business Insider

 

(Bonus) hahaha 😂

 

I want to make #FiveForFriday better every week. If you have any suggested links, think of a better way to present them or want to chat about a topic, reach out to me on Twitter—@TimothyBuckSF. I'd love to hear from you.

Header image from The New York Times

Jeff Bezos' 2017 Letter to Shareholders, F8 and More

One: Jeff Bezos' 2017 Letter to Shareholders

Each year since 1997, Jeff Bezos has published a letter to shareholders, and they're always worth reading. This year is no different.

“'Jeff, what does Day 2 look like?'

"That’s a question I just got at our most recent all-hands meeting. I’ve been reminding people that it’s Day 1 for a couple of decades. I work in an Amazon building named Day 1, and when I moved buildings, I took the name with me. I spend time thinking about this topic.

“'Day 2 is stasis. Followed by irrelevance. Followed by excruciating, painful decline. Followed by death. And that is why it is always Day 1...'”

by Jeff Bezos, Amazon on SEC.gov

 

Two: Facebook And Innovation

"...We use Facebook’s F8 announcements and presentations as a lens to look at how Facebook is innovating both in the products it’s creating today and in the research and development work it’s doing over the longer term..."

by Jan Dawson and Aaron Miller, Beyond Devices Podcast

Apple Podcasts     Overcast

 

Three: Which cutting edge technologies will become mainstream?

"Sometimes I think the reason we’re fans of technology is because we are willing to expose ourselves to new and frustrating experiences just for a small glimpse at the future.

"So much of what I write, and have written for a couple of decades, is to help communicate the frustrations, possibilities, and workarounds involving brand-new technologies, for people who are pretty close to the cutting edge. We are not generally the sort of people who wait a few years for the technology to settle down and become boring and reliable. Instead, we’re in line at the Apple Store hoping for a chance to live in the future today."

by Jason Snell, Macworld

 

Four: Two Interesting Articles on the Mac Pro 😀

The new Mac Pro: The audacity to say “Yes” in a design culture of “No”

"Much of modern Apple’s design philosophy is to relentlessly strip down most products to the bare minimum in certain areas as technological progress allows, following (and largely defining) the modern design fashion of nearly-unquestioned devotion to minimalism.

"Saying “no” is the easiest path to what’s considered good design today: if something cannot be easily accommodated, or most people won’t complain too badly in its absence, just omit it."

Marco Arment, Marco.org

The Mac Is Turning into Apple's Achilles' Heel

Apple's decision to change course and develop a new Mac Pro has received near-universal praise from the company's pro community. While developing a new Mac Pro is the right decision for Apple to make given the current situation, it has become clear that the Mac is a major vulnerability in Apple's broader product strategy. The product that helped save Apple from bankruptcy 20 years ago is now turning into a barrier that is preventing Apple from focusing on what comes next. 

by Neil Cybart, Above Avalon

 

Five: A new on-demand battle is speeding toward the US, and VCs are seeing dollar signs

"While Uber’s woes take center stage in the U.S., a different on-demand battle that’s been playing out in China is coming to the states.

"The battle isn’t over car sharing. It’s not over bus sharing, either, though that, too, is a growing focus for investors and automotive companies that are desperate to understand how cities and transportation are changing. This clash is over the latest wrinkle in urban bike-sharing — dockless bike sharing. And it has founders and VCs around the globe seeing dollar signs, while regulators are wrestling — again — with how to ensure they’re not victims of a trend that seemed to emerge nearly overnight."

Connie Loizos, TechCrunch

 

(Bonus) On The Turing Completeness of PowerPoint 😂

Thanks to Jay Harris for sharing this with me.

 

I want to make #FiveForFriday better every week. If you have any suggested links, think of a better way to present them or want to chat about a topic, reach out to me on Twitter—@TimothyBuckSF. I'd love to hear from you.

Header image by Drew Anger/Getty Images from The Verge.