The Tightly-Curated Edition Thursday, May 5, 2016

The Trials Of Packaging A Product For The Apple Store, by Mark Wilson, Fast Company

"It’s a pain in the ass," Marc Barros says with a laugh. This week, Barros's products will appear on the coveted shelves of Apple’s U.S. retail stores. Originally funded through two successful Kickstarter campaigns that started in 2014, the Moment lenses and cases—created for the prosumer iPhone photographer—caught the attention of Apple earlier this year.

It may have seemed like a big win for a small company. But the practicalities of taking an e-commerce business to Apple's tightly curated retail stores—in only a month’s time—was a harrowing gamble for Barros's 15-person team. Here’s why.

Online Apple Store Now Has Category For Accessibility Accessories, Confirming Earlier Rumors, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

Apple currently offers a total of 15 products, addressing the three areas of vision, physical & motor skills, and learning & literacy.

Dangerous To Not Fight

Adult Coloring Books Face Threat From App Rivals Colorfy, Recolor And More, by Paresh Dave, Los Angeles Times

Coloring book enthusiasts insist they’d never abandon the pad and paper. But the concern is that, like Brown, people will become accustomed to the on-demand, dynamic enchantment of apps and ditch the old medium. That’s what has happened as other throwback trends enjoy revivals — for instance how young adults subscribe to Netflix, not cable, to watch Nickelodeon shows from their past.

The issue reflects a spreading realization: It’s dangerous for companies entrenched in making physical products or selling goods at bricks-and-mortar shops to not fight for online spending — and vice versa.

Designing Music

Apple Music’s iOS 10 Overhaul Detailed: Black & White UI, ‘Huge Artwork’, Lyrics Integration, by Mark Gurman, 9to5Mac

The new user-interface ditches the current colorful and translucent look in favor of a simpler design that emphasizes black and white backgrounds and text. For instance, the user interface in the albums view will no longer change in appearance based on the color of a particular album’s art. While the new interface will eschew color in the user-interface, album artwork will become “huge” and a larger part of the interface in order to avoid a dull black and white look, according to people who have seen the updated Apple Music service.

Apple Music And Coherent Product Design And Marketing, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

A big aspect of iOS’s success, from day one in June 2007, is that it emphasized smaller focused apps that do less over larger monolithic apps that do more. The monolithic style leads to desktop iTunes — a single app for managing your personal music collection, buying music from the iTunes Store, buying and playing TV and movies, podcasts, iOS app purchases, and device syncing and backups. The iOS style leads to dedicated separate apps for music playback, video playback, podcasts, and store purchases. Maybe there’s a way to design “all your music in one app” that is completely clear, convenient, and obvious. But the bottom line is that a music app shouldn’t be confusing. I think that’s held Apple Music back.

Apple Stole My Music. No, Seriously., by Jamesspinkstone, Vellum

If Apple Music saw a file it didn’t recognize—which came up often, since I’m a freelance composer and have many music files that I created myself—it would then download it to Apple’s database, delete it from my hard drive, and serve it back to me when I wanted to listen, just like it would with my other music files it had deleted.


MacBook 2016 Review: All Of The Possibilities, All Of The Realities, by Lauren Goode, The Verge

For Apple laptop lovers, obsessed with a certain design aesthetic, who are willing to ignore the inconvenience of a single port, and who aren’t put off by the price, the new MacBook won’t be a tough sell. At all. Sometimes when we buy a new consumer product, we buy into the possibilities of the product rather than its capabilities, and this is one of those times. But for most people? I’d wait to see what’s coming down the pipeline.

OutlineEdit Packs Power Into A Simple Outliner, by John Voorhees, MacStories

OutlineEdit’s strength lies in its use of keyboard shortcuts. Every major editing command has a keyboard shortcut, which makes makes manipulating outlines lightning fast.

Procreate For Cartooning On The iPad Pro, by Michael E. Cohen, TidBITS

Unlike some graphics apps in my iPad artist’s arsenal that attempt to provide the wide range of features that Photoshop refugees desire, Procreate is sharply focused on the act of drawing.

MacCheck Is New Problem-solving And Diagnostic Utility For The Mac (And It’s Free), by Dennis Sellers, Apple World Today

Micromat, the company behind the TechTool Pro line of software, has released a new troubleshooting utility called MacCheck. The new product can perform a series of critical tests on Mac systems running OS X 10.6 or higher, helping to isolate what might be wrong with a particular computer.

The Smartphone Way To Inner Calm, by Kit Eaton, New York Times

Our busy modern lifestyles have a million wicked tricks for increasing stress, including the repeated pings and buzzes of our smartphones. But with the right app, a smartphone can actually be a tool to help reduce stress and find calm.

AirMap For iOS Lets Drone Pilots Easily Avoid … Incidents, by Tim Moynihan, Wired

AirMap gathers real-time aerospace data and provides a communication pipeline between drone pilots, airline pilots, and airports. It already has software integrated into the systems of higher-end drones from 3DR, DJI, and Yuneec, but the company’s new app takes care of a crucial part of the communication puzzle. It lets drone operators view aerospace information, report when and where they’re going to fly, and feed that information to certain airports to avoid accidents.


Supporting IPv6-only Networks, by Apple

Starting June 1, 2016 all apps submitted to the App Store must support IPv6-only networking. Most apps will not require any changes because IPv6 is already supported by NSURLSession and CFNetwork APIs.

This Is Why Most Mobile Development Projects Fail, by Clean Swift

You now know the reality. You, the mobile developer, is actually both the frontend and backend developer. And this double responsibilities is the major reason why most mobile development projects fail.

You also saw it wasn’t possible to separate these roles because of the heavy coupling between storyboards and code.

What can you do to fix the situation, to improve the likelihood of a successful project?

Apple Issues Xcode Security Update, by SC Magazine


tvOS At 6 Months: Where Are The Apps?, by Josh Centers, TidBITS

When he introduced the fourth-generation Apple TV, Tim Cook proclaimed that the future of TV is apps. That’s an entirely sensible position, but as we can see, political issues that weren’t present for the iPhone are hampering Cook’s predicted future.

LAPD Hacked Into iPhone Of Slain Wife Of 'Shield' Actor, Documents Show, by Matt Hamilton and Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times

LAPD detectives found an alternative way to bypass the security features on the white iPhone 5S belonging to April Jace, whom the actor is accused of killing at their South L.A. home in 2014, according to a search warrant filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

The bypass occurred earlier this year, during the same period that the FBI was demanding that Apple unlock the iPhone 5C of San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook. The FBI eventually said it found another method for unlocking the phone without using Apple.

Cupertino's Mayor: Apple 'Abuses Us' By Not Paying Taxes, by Nellie Bowles, The Guardian

Getting local politicians to battle Apple is hard, Chang said. He recently proposed that Apple – which is building a massive new campus its own employees nicknamed the Death Star, or more favorably, The Spaceship – should give $100m to improve city infrastructure. To move on the proposal, Chang only needed to get a single vote ‘yes’ among the three other eligible council members. He failed to get that vote.

Bottom of the Page

Dear iOS: Please stop reminding me that your location service may not be that accurate because I've turned off Wi-Fi. In particular: Please do not pop up a dialog box to remind me when I am launching the Camera app to take a photo.


1996: Armchair advice on how Apple can save itself.
2006: Armchair advice on how Apple can add telephone capabilities to iPods.
2016: Armchair advice on how Apple can redesign its Music app.



Thanks for reading.