The One-Billionth Edition Thursday, July 28, 2016

Apple Has Sold Over 1 Billion iPhones, by Chris Welch, The Verge

Apple recently sold its billionth iPhone, the company announced today. During a meeting at Apple's Cupertino headquarters this morning, CEO Tim Cook made an appearance to celebrate the major milestone. "iPhone has become one of the most important, world-changing and successful products in history," Cook said. "It's become more than a constant companion. iPhone is truly an essential part of our daily life and enables much of what we do throughout the day." The iPhone debuted in 2007, so it took under a decade for Apple to cross the one billion figure.

Apple's Billionth iPhone Is A Rare Milestone In Tech, by Ina Fried, Recode

There aren’t that many entire technology categories that have over a billion units sold. Rarely does a single product from a single company reach the billion level. And the iPhone has reached that mark in less than a decade.

Park Smarter

Apple Maps Adds Enhanced Parking Space Info, Electric Charging Listings Via Parkopedia, by Jordan Kahn, 9to5Mac

Apple Maps is getting enhanced data for parking spots as Parkopedia today announces a deal to provide Apple with its database of parking services worldwide. That means that Apple Maps is now gaining enhanced data for the 40 million parking spots currently tracked by Parkopedia across 75 countries in North America, Asia, Europe and Latin America.

Shoot Smarter

'Microsoft Pix' For iOS Introduces Smart AI To Automatically Adjust Photos, by Mitchel Broussard, MacRumors

In order to obtain the very best image, Microsoft Pix takes a burst of shots before and after the image capture shutter button is tapped, similar to holding down the button for a burst shot in Apple's first party camera app. The new app goes one step further, however, and intelligently siphons through each shot to choose the best image, and delete whatever is left over to save memory. This usually ends up with up to three "Best Images" for you to choose from.

Go Go App Store Go

The Real Reason Tim Cook Loves Pokémon Go Is Because It Proves Apple Has Been Right All Along, by Matt Weinberger, Business Insider

In the short term, the smash-hit stands to make Apple a lot of money, since it takes its cut of the estimated $1.6 million per day that the game is generating on iOS devices.

In the longer term, though, it proves that the whole concept of smartphone apps still has legs. It’s an important philosophical victory for Apple as it navigates a changing tech landscape. And Cook knows it.

Learning Points

What I Learned From 10 Years Of Doing PR For Apple, by Cameron Craig, Harvard Business Review

If you ran any Apple press release through a readability level test it would most likely score a level easily understood by an average 4th grade student or lower. Any hint of jargon, cliché, or techno mumbo-jumbo would be removed in the editing process. If a “mere mortal” couldn’t understand our language, then we had failed. And failure was not an option. Steve Jobs read and personally approved every press release.

Disconnect, by Derek Sivers

Turning my ideas into reality is what I want the most out of life. So that’s what gives me the deepest happiness.

Then I realized that all the best, happiest, and most productive times in my life, were when I was completely cut-off.

No internet. No TV. No phone. No people.

Long uninterrupted solitude.

Design For A Better World

Set It And Forget It: How Default Settings Rule The World, by Lena Groeger, ProPublica

Defaults are the settings that come out of the box, the selections you make on your computer by hitting enter, the assumptions that people make unless you object, the options easily available to you because you haven’t changed them.

They might not seem like much, but defaults (and their designers) hold immense power – they make decisions for us that we’re not even aware of making. Consider the fact that most people never change the factory settings on their computer, the default ringtone on their phones, or the default temperature in their fridge. Someone, somewhere, decided what those defaults should be – and it probably wasn’t you.


BatchPhoto For Mac OS X Great For Automating Repeated Actions, by Aaron Lee, Apple World Today

To use BatchPhoto, you select a group of photographs, and, with a single operation edit, resize, convert, watermark, and rename every image in the group.

Upthere Cloud Services Store All Users' Data In The Cloud, With No Local Storage, by Mike Wuerthele, AppleInsider

The new cloud service eschews normal file syncing utilized by nearly every other cloud storage provider. The company claims that the user's files are on their servers, rather than on a home folder on a host computer and on the company's hardware. Through the "Upthere Home" application for macOS, users can edit files stored on the service, and save edited versions directly back to the cloud account.

Recipe For The Home Bartender: Scroll, Tap, And Pour, by Kit Eaton, New York Times

On a warm summer evening, there’s no better way to unwind than sipping a nice cold cocktail, made with the help of an app.


Marissa Mayer’s Media Problem At Yahoo Is Now Verizon’s To Solve, by John Herrman, New York Times

But one central aspect of Ms. Mayer’s strategy — putting major money and attention into Yahoo’s media properties, a wide range of news and entertainment publications and video projects — always seemed curious. And few people knew why this was a risky strategy better than Ms. Mayer herself. At Google, she had preached the coming challenges of making media on the web; at Yahoo, she lived them.

In 2009, Ms. Mayer, then the executive at Google overseeing search products, was invited to testify before the Senate Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet. The subject: “The Future of Journalism.” Her message: Fundamental changes are underway, and navigating them will not be easy for media companies.

The Babysitters Club, by Jesse Barron, Real Life

What unites Yelp, Seamless, and Venmo is, in part, their desire to monopolize particular spheres of adult life (“spaces,” in Valleyspeak). They also offer services that diminish the user’s autonomy in a way that — from a certain low angle, in a certain light — reads as patronizing when we’re supposed to be the patrons. We cannot find food on our own, or choose a restaurant, or settle a tiny debt. Where that dependency feels unseemly in the context of independent adult life, it feels appropriate if the user’s position remains childlike, and the childlikeness makes sense when you consider that Yelp depends on us to write reviews, and therefore must, like a fun mom, make chores feel fun too.

Bottom of the Page

In a world of online documentation and, can one still do programming without the internet?


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