July 14, 2016

Link: This Blind Apple Engineer is Transforming the Tech World ☍

Katie Dupere for Mashable:

[Jordyn] Castor, now 22, has been blind since birth, a result of her early delivery. But throughout childhood, her parents encouraged her to defy expectations of people with disabilities, motivating her to be adventurous, hands-on and insatiably curious.

It was that spirit that led to her interact with technology, whether it was the desktop computer her family bought when she was in second grade, or the classroom computer teachers encouraged her to use in school.

She says the adults in her life would often hand her a gadget, telling her to figure it out and show them how to use it. And she would.

This is something that is often overlooked when it comes to technology and technology training. Even if something is good for you, you need to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. It’s nice to see Apple doing that by hiring people like Ms. Castor.

July 9, 2016

Article: Defensive

Ever since the iPad was introduced, it has been dismissed as a content consumption device. Part of that seems to be that its initial sales were very good, and Steve Jobs introduced it as a device between your iPhone and a computer. Even some six years later, there is a large chunk of the technology-using population that is very vocal about what an iPad should be used for and its overall value. Most of these are negative comments, further complaining about the idea of content consumption, arguing that such a device could never be used for "real" productivity work or that the iPad is a useless device because it can't do a specific task that they arbitrarily picked out…

July 7, 2016

Link: Apple & Donate Life America Bring Organ Donation to iPhone ☍

Apple PR:

Apple and Donate Life America announced today that, for the first time ever, iPhone users will be able to sign up to be an organ, eye and tissue donor right from the Health app with the release of iOS 10. Through a simple sign up process, iPhone users can learn more and take action with just a few taps. All registrations submitted from iPhone are sent directly to the National Donate Life Registry managed by Donate Life America. The ability to quickly and easily become a nationally-registered donor enables people to carry their decision with them wherever they go.

Yes, Apple is a huge company that is driven by profit and keeping the shareholders happy, but little things like this go a long way in making the world a better place.

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.