The Siri-and-ML Edition Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Apple Combines Machine Learning And Siri Teams Under Giannandrea, by Matthew Panzarino, TechCrunch

Apple confirmed this morning that the combined machine learning, artificial intelligence and Siri team will be led by the recent hire, who came to Apple this year after an 8 year stint at Google where he led the Machine Intelligence, Research and Search teams. Before that he founded Metaweb Technologies and Tellme.

The internal structures of the Siri and Core ML teams will remain the same, but they will now answer to Giannandrea. Apple’s internal structure means that the teams will likely remain integrated across the org as they’re wedded to various projects including developer tools, mapping, Core OS and more. ML is everywhere, basically.

Apple Fixed Bug In iOS 11 That Crashed Devices When Users Entered The Word 'Taiwan', by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

Wardle explained that although some aspects of the bug remained unclear, his investigations found that a "null" code would prompt the crash when a "removeEmoji" operation led the system to check the device's language/region settings.

The glitch appears to be of Apple's own making, given that iOS contains code that hides the Taiwanese flag emoji on devices set to the China region. Apparently the code worked for iOS devices set to China, but caused crashes on devices set to other regions.

The Winner Of The World Cup Is Apple, by Mike Murphy, Quartz

FIFA has pretty strict rules around what it calls “ambush marketing,” where a brand pays players to wear or use its products before or during World Cup games, even though that company has not paid to be an official World Cup sponsor. It’s why any player you see wearing Beats headphones before a game, for example, has the company’s logo taped over.

But both Beats and AirPods have a distinctive look that is difficult to mask, even with the branding obscured.

Unmitigated Success

A Decade On The App Store: From Day One Through Today, by Alex Guyot, MacStories

The early days of the App Store were a journey into the unknown for Apple, third-party developers, and users alike. The economics of the store were entirely unrealized – nobody knew which app ideas would work or how much they could charge for an app. Apple's processes for approving apps were primitive, their developer documentation was fallow, and they still thought it a good idea to make developers sign a non-disclosure agreement in order to access the SDK (software development kit). For iPhone users, every new app could completely revolutionize their mobile experience, or it could be another icon they never tapped on again.

Despite this uncertainty, developers pushed forward with their ideas, Apple hustled as many apps through approval as it could, and on July 10, 2008, users exploded enthusiastically onto the scene. Within the first year of the App Store, iPhone and iPod Touch owners had already downloaded over 1.5 billion apps. From the beginning it was clear that the App Store would be an unmitigated success.

10 Years Of The App Store: The Design Evolution Of The Earliest Apps, by Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac

Few contemporary innovations have changed how we live our lives and interact with the world around us more than iPhone apps. The creators of the first 500 available at launch had the unique opportunity of shaping the design direction and interaction methods of the millions of apps created since.

To celebrate the App Store’s 10th anniversary, let’s study the visual evolution of 10 original App Store apps.


Professional Illustrator App Affinity Designer Now Available On iPad For Just $13.99, by Jeff Benjamin, 9to5Mac

Serif has taken full advantage of the iPad’s multi touch gestures in a way that allows users to pull off all sorts of quick shortcuts without delving deep into the app’s deep menu set. It’s not a mere port of the Mac version, but a feature-complete illustration app that’s built from the ground up with touch in mind.

LiquidText PDF Reader Gives Paper The Upgrade It Needs, by Luke Dormehl, Cult of Mac

“Things like organizing your thoughts, gathering knowledge spanning different documents, finding connections, taking notes without losing their context — which are all hard to do on paper — are generally all hard to do in digital as well,” Tashman said. “LiquidText makes this easy. It’s designed around the way you think, not around paper.”

LiquidText PDF Reader works beautifully, precisely because Tashman scrapped the paper concept. His powerful app lets you add in-depth annotations and edits that simply can’t be done using the regular “comment” features found on the likes of Google Docs.

Comparing The Five Major Digital Magazine Subscription Services, by Roger Fingas, AppleInsider

Unless you're militantly against Amazon, the answer is probably Kindle Unlimited. It's just impossible to ignore the extra benefits of the service — after all, why limit yourself to magazines when you could also be reading books on the subway, or listening to them while lifting weights?


Japan Watchdog: Apple May Have Breached Antitrust Rules With iPhone, by Reuters

“Obliging carriers to offer subsidies (for iPhones) could have prevented the carriers from offering lower monthly charges and restricted competition,” the FTC said in a statement.

The FTC, which began looking into Apple’s sales practices in 2016, did not punish Apple as the U.S. company had agreed to revise its contracts with the carriers, it said.

Ex-Apple Worker Charged With Stealing Self-driving Car Trade Secrets, by Stephen Nellis, Reuters

U.S. authorities charged a former Apple Inc (AAPL.O) employee with stealing trade secrets on Monday, accusing him of downloading a blueprint related to a self-driving car to a personal laptop before trying to flee the country for China, according to a criminal complaint filed in federal court.


“We’re working with authorities on this matter and will do everything possible to make sure this individual and any other individuals involved are held accountable for their actions,” Apple said in a statement.

Have The Tech Giants Grown Too Powerful? That’s An Easy One, by John Herrman, New York Times

As these companies grew, they did more than just vanquish their competition. Their growth and free-service benevolence succeeded at making the very idea of competitors’ challenging their efforts — the industry’s traditional way to solve the problems they’ve created — seem unnecessary or even counterproductive. They’ve ducked the easy questions for so long that it’s reasonable to suspect that they doubt we will like the answers.

Bottom of the Page

Every little thing -- just another option in the preference pane, just add a dialog box to give one more option, just remove a flag from the Emoji set -- adds complexity that must be countered with QAs and support resources. Do not forget this the next time you want to add just one tiny thing to your project.


Thanks for reading.