The New-Year-Watch Edition Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Apple Celebrates The Chinese New Year With Exclusive Apple Watch Sport Styles, by Joseph Keller, iMore

Apple will be carrying two exclusive versions of the Apple Watch Sportfor a limited time in select countries to celebrate the Chinese New Year. Until February 22, customers in China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, and Taiwan can get their hands on two exclusive styles of the aluminum version of the watch.

Apple Watch Launches In Malaysia, Coming To Portugal And Czech Republic On January 29, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

The Apple Watch originally launched on April 24 in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, the UK, and the United States, but availability has since expanded to more than 30 countries.

Of Playlists And Timelines

The Year Of The Playlist, by Original Fuzz

Say what you will about the user experience in the Apple Music app. I agree it's a mess, but I think that Apple nailed the core job of a streaming service: I want to be able to listen to whatever I want–anytime, anywhere–but most of the time I don't want to think about or spend time figuring out what to listen to.

Who Controls Your Facebook Feed, by Will Oremus, Slate

I had a rare chance recently to spend time with Facebook’s news feed team at their Menlo Park, California, headquarters and see what it actually looks like when they make one of those infamous, market-moving “tweaks” to the algorithm—why they do it, how they do it, and how they decide whether it worked. A glimpse into its inner workings sheds light not only on the mechanisms of Facebook’s news feed, but on the limitations of machine learning, the pitfalls of data-driven decision making, and the moves Facebook is increasingly making to collect and address feedback from individual human users, including a growing panel of testers that are becoming Facebook’s equivalent of the Nielsen family.

Speaking of Timelines...

On Twitter Going Beyond 140 Characters, by Federico Viticci, MacStories

But, it's also undeniable that people have been demanding ways to share longer text messages appended to a tweet and have been relying on undesirable workarounds such as unsearchable, unselectable text (textshots) and chained replies that are hard to follow (tweetstorms). Tweetstorms aren't going away (and I can see how they can makesome sense as one shares multiple thoughts on the spur of the moment), but note some important aspects from Jack's message: text search and highlights. Both of these aren't possible when text is shared as a static image (not to mention the accessibility downsides for users who require the ability to zoom and have text read aloud by software).

Twitter’s Reported Plans To Remove Twitter’s Defining Feature Are Terrible, by Peter Bright, Ars Technica

But we already have places to write long tweets.

Twitter Isn’t Raising The Character Limit. It’s Becoming A Walled Garden., by Will Oremus, Slate

If I’m right about what’s really going on here, this move will not fundamentally alter how Twitter looks or feels, nor how people use it. Rather, it will change where online content is hosted, who controls it, and who is in a position to monetize it.

App Store Money

Apple Announces ‘Biggest Ever’ Holiday Season For App Store Sales, Over $1.1bn Sales In 2 Weeks, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

Apple has announced that the App Store had its best ever holiday season in 2015, setting records for Christmas and New Year’s Day. January 1st 2016 saw $144 million of App Store spending, the best day in App Store history. It beat the previous record set just a week earlier on Christmas Day.


How To Avoid A Surprising Bill Due To Wi-Fi Assist, by Glenn Fleishman, Macworld

I’d recommend most people disable Wi-Fi Assist, which Apple turns on in iOS 9 by default. Go to Settings > Cellular, and scroll what can be way way way down at the bottom to find Wi-Fi Assist, and tap it off.

If you find your iPhone or cellular-enabled iPad has connection problems on Wi-Fi networks after disabling it, you can turn it back or switch intentionally to a cellular network.

Even If You Die, LastPass 4.0 Has You Covered, by Joe White, AppAdvice

Perhaps the biggest change made in LastPass 4.0 is the app’s Emergency Access feature, which aims to help users future-proof their password vault against their very own death.

Achieving Personal Goals With Streaks, by John Voorhees, MacStories

An app isn't going to magically make you eat better or wake up early to work on your next big project, but through a system of reminders and tracking, Streaks creates a sense of personal accountability that I find helps a lot.

Allowance & Chores Bot Review: Manage Your Kids’ Tasks And Money On Your iOS Device, by Rob Rob Griffiths, Macworld

No longer do I fear allowance weekends and we are closer than ever to being cash free. The kids love the spending flexibility Allowance & Chores Bot provides and we love not having to deal with actual currency.

Turn Sheet Music Into An Easy-to-learn Game With The One Smart Piano, by Caitlin McGarry, Macworld

Learning how to play an instrument is a tough slog, but the makers of a new digital piano are making it easier by lighting the way—literally.


Swift Development Realities, by Erica Sadun

You can’t properly develop in Swift without preparing for refactors. The two core realities of adopting Swift right now are writing tests and documenting the hell out of everything. Allocating time and building tests and comments are part and parcel of getting ready for the next big flood.

How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Cubicle, by Forrest Brazeal

I’ll admit that working in a cube farm can feel a little soul-crushing at times. The daily commute eats into my free time and the break room keeps running out of hot chocolate packets. But every time I have to work remotely for one reason or another, it’s not long before I get the itch to go back to the office. Why would I prefer my cubicle over the carefree, location-independent lifestyle, you ask? Let’s look at three common gripes about cubicle work and see how they compare to the supposed advantages of working from home.


Apple Stores To Expand Into Latin America, Flagship Store Planned For Mexico City, by Steve Sande, Apple World Today

Apple only has two stores in Latin America at this point, both in Brazil. The bulk of sales of Apple devices in the vast region come from third-party retail partners and online stores.

Apple Files Permit To Build Second Data Center Cluster In Reno, by AppleInsider

Veteran Mac Developer Circus Ponies Shuts Down, by Steven Sande, Apple World Today

Bottom of the Page

Having a to-do list application that attemps to gamify your doing of to-dos sounds great...

... until you found yourself being too confident yesterday in scheduling tasks for yourself to do after work today

... and you find yourself having to stay late in office today

... and reach home quite late

... and you are super tired

... and the tasks you've scheduled for yourself turn out to be not so important after all.


Thanks for reading.