The Embracing-The-Unique Edition Friday, July 27, 2018

The iPad Vs. Mac Juxtaposition, by Neil Cybart, Above Avalon

The fact that Apple gave such dramatically different Mac and iPad ad campaigns the green light provides clarity regarding management's approach to the two product categories. Apple has become comfortable in accepting, and even embracing, the awkwardness that exists between the iPad and Mac. Apple isn't trying to hide the differences that exist between the Mac and iPad as creation platforms. Instead, Apple is embracing the unique attributes found with each platform.

Apple's Newest MacBook Pro Is Fast But Flawed, by Brendan Nystedt, Wired

When you spend a ton of cold, hard, cash on something, you should get everything you need. Unfortunately, Mac users can only buy hardware from one source—Apple. Apple's made a lot of noise lately about taking the needs of pros seriously. But I’ve used this finished product for a while and have to wonder about that. Because, if you let creative professionals design the 2018 MacBook Pro, I think it'd look a whole lot different than it does right now. I think it would be more modular, have a higher-res screen, a normal keyboard without a superfluous Touch Bar, and a wider array of useful ports.

But the trackpad, that can stay. That part they got right.

Photos: Apple Celebrates Grand Opening Of Piazza Liberty Store In Milan, Italy, by Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac

Against a sparkling backdrop of soaring fountain jets, Apple today welcomed the public for the first time to its global flagship retail store and amphitheater in Milan, Italy’s Piazza Liberty. The store is Apple’s 17th in Italy, but one of the first in a series of significant next-generation retail projects around the world.

Apple Will Repair iPhones, iPads And Macs Damaged By Japanese Floods For Free, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

In a support article posted overnight, Apple announced that it will repair any iPhones, Macs, iPads and iPods that were directly damaged by the devastating heavy floods that swept through Japan this month. Apple expressed its sympathies for anyone who was affected by the flooding, which has tragically caused hundreds of deaths.


Apple Store App For iOS Gains Voice Search, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

The new version of the app features a redesigned look for the search section, with both search suggestions and support for voice-based searches.

Hands On: BBEdit 12 Is The Swiss Army Knife Of Text Editors For The Mac, by William Gallagher, AppleInsider

The more of a programmer's kind of brain that you have, the more you will get from this app but the sheer range and power of its tools is compelling.

The 5 Best Stargazing Apps For iPhone And Android, by Josie Rhodes Cook, Yahoo

Mars will be brighter in the sky than usual on Friday, brighter than it has appeared in 15 years. To see the red planet, you’ll want a stargazing app that can help you to view “Mars at opposition,” the term of what occurs when Mars and the Sun are on directly opposite sides of Earth.

Friday, July 27 also marks a full moon and a total lunar eclipse. Stargazing is great year-round, but Friday is maybe the best night of 2018 to go outside and look up.

If you don’t have a high-powered telescope, you can at least know where to look. With augmented reality technology and a smartphone — plus a few bucks for a premium app — you can get the most out of your stargazing experience.

KeyCue 9.0, by Agen Schmitz, TidBITS

The update provides a new Emoji picker for quickly selecting emoji characters and a new folder view for quick activation of items in a folder.


She Believes In Girls Who Code – So Much That She Left Apple To Come Home And Help Them, by Sherrell Dorsey, Charlotte Observer

Inside a classroom at Johnson C. Smith University on a hot July day last summer, 25 middle-school girls gathered to launch what would be their first technology product: a website, built from scratch, that would help visitors learn more about a social issue like homelessness or youth unemployment.

Over the course of a five-day camp, the aspiring technologists had huddled around computer screens learning HTML programming and mobile app development. They had shared lunch with women in tech who told tales of their academic pursuits and how they landed jobs in the field. And they had gotten a glimpse of a day in the life of a technologist as they took tours of big-brand tech companies like Microsoft and Google Fiber.

By the second day, several students approached Khalia Braswell in earnest, asking: When can we sign up for the next camp?


How Software Ate The Point Of Sale, by Alexis C. Madrigal, The Atlantic

The act of paying for stuff is undergoing a great transformation. The networks of machines and code that let you move your imaginary money from your bank account to a merchant are changing—the gadget that takes your card, the computer that tracks a restaurant or store’s inventory, the cards themselves (or their dematerialized abstractions inside your phone). But all this newness must remain compatible with systems that were designed 50 years ago, at the dawn of the credit-card age. This combination of old and new systems, janky and hacky and functional, is the standard state of affairs for technology, despite the many myths about how the world changes in vast leaps and revolutions.

If some areas of financial technology, or Fintech, promise a new elegance, the point of sale serves as a reminder of the viscosity of the everyday technologies on which most Americans rely. If you want to divine the future of transportation, you’d probably learn more thinking about the bus than the rocket. If you want to know how money is gonna change in the future, you need to look at the cash register as much as the blockchain.

“General Magic” Captures The Legendary Apple Offshoot That Foresaw The Mobile Revolution, by Mark Sullivan, Fast Company

The story of General Magic, a mobile computing company that grew out of Apple in 1990, is buried deep in Silicon Valley lore. At least it was, until some smart documentarians–Matt Maude, Sarah Kerruish, and Michael Stern—unearthed it in a new documentary called General Magic.

General Magic, the company, is remarkable, and worth remembering because back in the last decade of the 20th century its people were envisioning the major components of the mobile computing experience that we all know today.

Bottom of the Page

Who is the worse offender, Apple or Microsoft, in having a first-party app that doesn't follow the platform's user-interface guidelines?

I vote Microsoft, as I use the Office suite of products on Windows 10 every work day.

Especially Excel.


Thanks for reading.