June 22, 2016

Link: End of the Road for MacNN ☍

Pour one out for MacNN:

Cast your mind back to the spring of 1995. Apple was making Macs — the last of the Performas, among other models — and the Clone Wars were already underway, all while MacNN was starting out as a serious journal covering Mac technology. Nothing has changed since then, and yet everything has changed: Apple is now a cultural force, it’s shaping new industries, and it’s even making some money now, we hear. From when the company was teetering on the brink of bankruptcy and irrelevance, to the crowning of Apple as the most valuable and influential tech company in the world, MacNN has been there. As of July 1, Apple will carry on — but MacNN will not, we’re sorry to say.

It’s kind of amazing we made it this far – only TidBITs and MacWorld are older and still around – but we’ve been told we’re packing it in. We’ve joked before that Apple becoming a huge mainstream company is the worst thing that ever happened to us, but it’s true: there’s less need for an Apple-specific news site when news about Apple is plastered everywhere, on every site, all the time. This is not the sole reason why we’re having to give up our comfy home (and just after repainting it, too!), but it’s part of the reality we’ve been working in.

MacNN was a favorite of mine from way back, although I think it didn’t make the jump to my new list of must-reads after Google Reader was shut down. Still, it will be sad to see another longstanding site that survived the rough times of Apple calling it quits.

June 14, 2016

Link: The End Of Apple Man ☍

Katie Notopoulos for BuzzFeed News:

The prototypical Apple demo person is someone I’ll call Apple Man. Apple Man is a fortysomething dad who just wants to FaceTime his adorable children while he’s on a business trip, and also find a local pourover coffee shop while he’s in town. Apple Man has an Apple Watch (obvious). He needs a way to manage his photos of his adorable children and hiking trips with friends. He loves jogging and mountain biking and wants to use his Apple Watch to monitor his workouts, because he LOVES working out. Apple Man is very fit for his age — you can just barely tell he’s totally ripped through his light blue, off-the-rack, wrinkle-free, button-down shirt. Apple Man has a great head of hair. Apple Man owns his home and wants to be able to open his garage door from his phone to park his family-sensible-yet-sporty-crossover. (He’s on the Tesla Model 3 preorder list.) He wants to make brunch plans, and it would be great if he could add a brunch plan to his calendar app directly from text messages. Apple Man wants to track his health, but of course he has no need for a period tracker. His calendar is full; his inbox is zero.

Special: Thoughts on WWDC 2016 Keynote

Over the years, the tone of Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference keynote has changed from being entirely developer-focused to being something that is a mix of setting the tone for the rest of the conference for developers, getting the general public excited about new technologies that will be available in the fall, and offering a bit of a mid-year peek in at Apple's core values. This year was no exception, as Apple had to kick the App Store changesto a few press conversations last week, and instead showed off refreshed versions of watchOS, tvOS, macOS, and iOS…

June 8, 2016

Link: Cartography Comparison: Google Maps & Apple Maps ☍

Justin O’Berne goes in depth on the differences between the two mapping products:

It’s interesting: I can easily find hundreds of articles that’ll tell me the differences between an Apple iPad and a Microsoft Surface, or even the differences between iOS and Android. But I can’t find anything comparing Google Maps and Apple Maps, despite how important they’ve become.

Although there isn’t a conclusion as to which is better, it does provide a fascinating look at what items are labeled at what zoom level and the differing philosophies behind each.

June 6, 2016

Link: iPads for India ☍

Fraser Speirs is doing some great work with old iPads:

I’m starting a new short-term project to raise money to send iPads to the Barefoot College in India.

My friend Srini Swaminathan recently asked me if we had any iPads that we could donate to the project he’s working with in India. We didn’t actually have any right then but we are coming up to the end of our lease at school and I thought there might be an opportunity.

Our lease requires that we either send the iPads back to the leasing company or buy the lease out. To buy out, we would need to pay back the fair market value of the iPads, which is currently about £100 per unit and we have 110.

I spoke to our leasing company and they generously offered a cut in the buyout price to support my plan and my intention is to try and crowd-fund the rest of the money from people who read this blog, listen to my podcasts and follow me on Twitter.