April 24, 2019

Article: Macs in the Age of iOS

For the last few months, there have been a number of articles, posts on social media, and general grumbling about the state of iOS, macOS, what kind of company Apple is becoming, and what the future will bring. I’ve often found myself having knee-jerk reactions to things, comparing with my own experiences, and I’ve got a few different thoughts that I’d like to share…

Snippet: Nick Heer on the Apple Watch at Four ☍

Nick Heer:

The Apple Watch is, for me, a highly polarizing product within my own head. That is: the things I like about it I really like about it; the things that I do not are deeply frustrating. I think its small size and more limited nature concentrate and amplify its high points as much as its flaws.

I had an original Apple Watch, upgraded to a Series 4 last year and it was an impressive improvement. However, there are days where I wonder if it is a bit too much and I’m kind of “locked in” because I already own the Watch, a variety of bands, and enjoy some of the fitness/health feature.

While I’m not going to go without right now, it does bring up the interesting question of if I’m going to participate in another round of upgrades, however many years down the road that would be.

Snippet: Developers, It’s Time to Delete the Facebook SDK ☍

Andrew Orr for The Mac Observer:

I’m starting a movement. Every movement needs a hashtag, so ours will be #DeleteFBSDK. I’ve been seeing more people becoming aware of their privacy, and seeing how valuable it is. It’s one of those things that you only see the value of once it’s already gone. […]

It always starts with people. The U.S. government may or may not create privacy regulations. Regulations won’t just affect tech giants, they will affect indie developers too. But we don’t have to wait around for the government to do something. All of us can take action, like using products and services that align with good values. For some people, that means using Apple products. For others it means using an operating system like LineageOS, with Linux on the desktop.

I still find the concept of signing into various apps and services using Facebook or Google credentials very strange. I like the idea of decoupling my relationship with that particular company and that of Facebook, Google, or whomever else. What’s even more annoying are the places that have only built their accounts around a Facebook login.

Snippet: Gregg Popovich Loves Dinner ☍

Baxter Holmes for ESPN (via Om Malik):

In the NBA, the Gregg Popovich meal is the dining room where it happens — a roving retreat through which the Spurs have forged a team culture that’s the envy of the league. But for those in the league who’ve not secured the invite, Pop’s legendary dinners remain shrouded in mystery and no small amount of fascination.

And so it was that over the past 18 months we talked to dozens of NBA and college coaches, current and former NBA players, team executives, chefs and sommeliers, all to answer a question: Why does Popovich — the NBA’s all-time winningest coach and architect of a two-decades-long basketball dynasty — care so damn much about dinner?

I came across this article yesterday and even if you have no interest in the NBA, it’s a rather enjoyable read about leadership, friendship, treating people well, and has absolutely nothing to do with technology. As we’re getting deeper in the NBA Playoffs, it’s easy to take the success the Spurs have had for granted—they have been consistently good for so long. It’s even crazier if you look at all of the successful people that have come out of that organization that work elsewhere in the NBA, too.

April 12, 2019

Snippet: Disney+ Streaming Service Starting in November for $7/month ☍

Peter Kafka for Recode:

Now we have them: Disney+ will launch in the US on November 12, for $7 a month. It will have a very large library of old Disney movies and TV shows — crucially, including titles from its Marvel, Pixar, and Star Wars catalog — along with new movies and series made exclusively for the streaming service. It won’t have any ads. And it will allow subscribers to download all of that stuff, and watch it offline, whenever they want.

For comparison: A standard Netflix subscription now costs $13 a month. […]

Disney’s event still left several unknowns, some of which won’t get answered anytime soon: For instance, does Disney plan on distributing its service via big internet platforms like Amazon and Apple, who are now officially frenemies with the media giant?

And how will Disney bundle its suite of streaming services, which also include Hulu and an ESPN spin-off? (Kevin Mayer, the Disney executive in charge of all of Disney’s streaming services, said the company would likely bundle them in some way, but didn’t say more.) […]

Oh, and one more thing: Disney+ will also feature shows and movies that previously belonged to 21st Century Fox, which Disney mostly absorbed this year. That means the service will also be the place to watch The Simpsons, for starters.

I think for many this will be an insta-susbcribe. The service will have a discounted rate if you subscribe for a year at a time ($69.99/year). Between the vast back catalogs of Disney (with Pixar and Marvel) and 21st Century Fox, there’s immediately a vast library of proven content, not to mention the new content that will be created explicitly for the service. The price also puts it in a place that it probably won’t be the first thing canceled if people decide to cut back on streaming options. Furthermore, if there is some sort of bundle discount, Disney+, ESPN+, and the lower tier of Hulu would end up coming out cheaper than Netflix.

Seeing how Disney CEO Bob Iger sits on Apple’s board and Hulu was featured prominently at Apple’s event last month, I suspect Disney and Apple will continue to have a good relationship, despite their streaming services competing for your time.