The Demo-Veteran Edition Monday, September 18, 2017

iPhone X: The Demo Gods Are Cheeky, by Jean-Louis Gassée, Monday Note

As a veteran of product demos — I gave my first one 49 years ago this very month — I feel for Federighi and admire his composure. As I quickly learned, something almost always goes wrong. Sometimes it’s the demonstrator. For the first demo of the HP 9100A I was to give at the Orly Hilton in September 1968, I forgot to bring the Samsonite suitcase containing the magical machine.

More often, though, it’s the product that behaves erratically or, like a stubborn mule, altogether refuses to work when rebooted. That’s why you always have one or more spares. Or, in the case of delicate prototypes that travel poorly, one brings along a medic. When we flew around the country during the Be, Inc IPO Road Show, one of our engineers who had also studied dentistry came along to revive our Internet Appliance’s delicate hardware whenever it was manhandled too vigorously as it entered and exited the cargo hold.

Inside Apple's Products

The New Watch 3 And iPhone X Interfaces Are Examples Of A Classic Steve Jobs Insight, by Dave Edwards, Quartz

I’ve always thought of Jobs’ UI design as following a simple rule: create products that work for the user, don’t make the user work for the product.


The moment that became clear for me was when Apple introduced the new Watch 3. In the demo, Apple’s Deidre Caldbeck talked on a phone call through her Apple Watch while paddling a standup paddle board. The audio was excellent. She didn’t need to speak differently, the Watch just heard her. The watch captured her audio seamlessly and evenly without her holding her wrist near her face. The watch was working for her, not the other way around. (You can see that demo around 32 minutes into the keynote video, or 15:30 in the keynote video excerpt below.)

Dive Into The Details Of iOS 11: Is Apple Still Detail-oriented?, by Ryan Lau, Medium

The unfinished feeling in iOS 11 mostly comes from UI and animation. UI elements in iOS are quite inconsistent, mixing a variety of UI elements, which might look quite similar but introduce a disconnected feeling for UX. The inconsistency of those elements majorly stems from those UI element updated in iOS 11, such as Large Title and new Search Bar. In my opinion, those newly introduced elements, which might be unfamiliar and new even to Apple engineers, have caused many inconsistent UI experience in iOS 11.

A Different Economy

Thanks To China, Apple Has Updated Its App Store Policy To Allow Tipping, by Josh Horwitz, Quartz

A recent update to the company’s global App Store Guidelines shows that Apple now permits users to send monetary tips to one another—a practice which, while widespread in China, the company had previously shown ambivalence towards. The revision shows that Apple is now accommodating China’s vast tip economy, and also highlights the power that Chinese social media giant Tencent has over China’s internet culture, as well as the foreign companies that operate in the country.

Now Apple Needs To Reinvent The Digital Economy, by John Thornhill, Financial Times

What would catalyse a true transition is if a leading tech company were to help redesign the digital economy by enabling users to control their own data. What is needed is another revolutionary product that could change everything. Apple, which uses the data it amasses to build better products rather than to sell on to advertisers, seems most attuned to this philosophy. Over to you, Cupertino?


Hands On: Mellel 4 Targets Mac And iPad Microsoft Word Users With Indexing And Outlining, by Mike Wuerthele and William Gallagher, AppleInsider

Mellel is a word processor for academics, people writing long documents and multi-lingual writers. It's also very much aimed at being for people who don't want to use Microsoft Word. Consequently this new Mellel 4 for Mac update has targeted Word's weak spots like indexing and outlining.

Drag And Drop Streamlines Editing Images In Annotable, by Jake Underwood, MacStories

Annotable serves as an interim stop for importing images and then exporting annotated versions to another app. With an iOS 11 update, images can now be dragged into and out of Annotable, making the annotation process simpler than ever before.

Springbrook Man Develops App To Help Kids Learn To Read, by Sheldon Spackman, RDNewsNow

Nish says he soon found the project to be helpful for his kids, so he approached his daughter’s teacher and she too liked the idea of an app with sight words to help children read. Then Nish thought to himself “What if I developed it in such a way that all of the words could be in there in the various lists of grade levels, which they are and then you could actually pick and choose your words? You can drag your own lists in it with also an option to create your own list from scratch.”

There's Now An App That Helps You Read Food Labels, by Rachael Kane,

And in the process of her own personal bid to figure out food labels, she hit on an idea that looks set to make things a lot simpler for those with allergies, intolerances or special dietary requirements.

The free Whatsinit App allows users to choose from pre-set diets ranging from a nut allergy to lactose intolerance, and also provides valuable information about nutrients in food and their side effects, meaning you won’t need a degree to decipher what’s in a packet of biscuits!


Join Our Startup, We’ll Cut Your Pay By 40%!, by Itamar Turner-Trauring, Code Without Rules

So here’s my advice to all you junior engineers out there: avoid companies that want you to work crazy hours.

Bottom of the Page

Once upon a time, I thought I will be able to just do my own programming projects when I retire. I will be working on something I enjoy working on full-time, without too much worry about income and time.

Now, I realize I do have one worry, that I cannot afford to retire if I still want to buy an iMac and an iPhone X every few years.

Time to think of retirement hobbies that can generate income.


This morning, I stared at my phone, with my full attention, with my eyes opened as wide as possible, and nothing happened.


Thanks for reading.