The Remove-Levers Edition Thursday, August 23, 2018

Apple Pencil Note-Taking: Why You Should Use Apple Notes, Actually., by Kenneth Reitz

Apple Notes is hands-down the most well–designed, thought–through note taking app available for the iPad Pro. It is exceptionally well designed, and if you leave your preconceptions about what a note–taking app should do, I think you'll find yourself agreeing with me, once you give it a real try/chance.


Notice that there's no settings for the pen — no adjustments can be made. A strong design lesson that was instilled upon me at my tenure at Heroku was "Remove levers, even if it's very expensive to do so". In Apple Notes, there are no levers. This is not a testament to laziness — in fact, it is quite the opposite. Extraordinary efforts were put forth to ensure that no configuration is needed in the first place.

Let’s Really Think About This ‘New Low-Cost Laptop To Succeed MacBook Air’ Thing, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

But the more I think about it, the more I think that something along the lines of the “just put a retina display in the MacBook Air” scenario seems the most likely. Nomenclaturally it makes no sense. The computer named just-plain “MacBook” should logically be the one that is the baseline best-selling model for the masses. The one named “Air” should be the one that is as thin and lightweight as is feasible. But today we’re three years into the era when the just-plain MacBook is the radically thin and light model, and the Air is the best-selling baseline model that isn’t really any thinner or lighter than the Pro models. Well, so what?

Those Airy MacBooks, by M.G. Siegler, 500ish Words

It would seem to be a good time for Apple to whittle the laptop line back to two: the MacBook and the MacBook Pro. And I think it’s fine to have a lower-cost (read: $999) MacBook while also offering a more full-featured model (think: two — yes, two! — ports) at a higher price point.

Sources: Apple Reaches Deal With Simply Mac To Offer Official iPhone Screen Repairs In ~30 Stores Across The US, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

The terms of the new agreement appear to be that official machines, like the Touch ID / Face ID calibration units, will be rolled out in 30 stores over the coming months, and Apple will foot the bill for the setup. Simply Mac has agreed to stop any third-party screen services (apart from honoring its existing customer 90-day warranties). The cost of the new repairs will be the same as what the Apple Store charges, according to our information.

Meet The People Helping Tim Cook Run Apple, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

If Cook were to leave his post in the near term, potential successors would include Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams, whose profile has risen steadily inside and outside Apple, and marketing boss Phil Schiller.

Other skilled leaders include services head Eddy Cue, software leader Craig Federighi, top chip engineer Johny Srouji, hardware leader Dan Riccio, semi-retired car project chief Bob Mansfield and, of course, Ive. Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri, retail head Angela Ahrendts and General Counsel Kate Adams, a relative newcomer, all brought leadership experience from other companies.

Beneath them are dozens of vice presidents, and Bloomberg picked 15 who are crucial to the Apple of today and the company of tomorrow. Apple declined to comment.


Next Apple Watch Activity Challenge Set For September 1, Celebrates Redwood National Park’s 50th Anniversary, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

The rules for the challenge are simple: complete any walk, run, or wheelchair exercise that lasts 50 minutes or longer and unlock the achievement.

Apple Accepting Mercy Corps Donations To Help People Affected By Flooding In Kerala, India, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple today added banners to the App Store and iTunes Store on Mac and iOS devices as well as its homepage allowing customers to donate to Mercy Corps to support those who have been affected by massive flooding in Kerala, India.

RoWrite Smart Writing Pad: Old-Fashioned Writing Wrapped In Technology, by Skip Owens, GeekDad

Writing and drawing has changed drastically over the last several years with rise of the digital tablet. But as with most technology you often lose something while gaining new capability. With the RoWrite Smart Writing Pad you get the best of analog writing/drawing while still taking advantage of digital technology.

The Best Alarm Clock Apps For iOS, by Brent Dicks, AppAdvice

While beauty and simplicity can often be overrated, they are important features for an app that is going to be used by the bedside because you're going to be dealing with it after a tiring day or when you're being kicked out of bed sweet bed in the morning.

Facebook To Remove Data-Security App From Apple Store, by Deepa Seetharaman, Wall Street Journal

Apple’s decision widens the schism between the two tech giants over privacy and is a blow to Facebook, which has used data gathered through the app to track rivals and scope out new product categories. The app, called Onavo Protect, has been available free download through Apple’s app store for years, with updates regularly approved by Apple’s app-review board.


Apple Rolls Out App Store Search Ads To New Countries Across North America, Europe & Asia, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

The company confirmed the availability of Search Ads around the globe in a blog post today.

Need More Self-Control? Try A Simple Ritual, by Francesca Gino, Scientific American

Following a series of steps over and over again, which happens when we use rituals, requires some good self-discipline. So, we reasoned, when we see ourselves engaging in a ritual, we code that behavior as a sign that we are people with self-control. And thanks to that self-control, we choose the apple (or carrot) over the chocolate and thus reduce our caloric intake.


Interim Heritage Protection Order Could Stall Apple’s Controversial Federation Square Store, by Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac

Earlier this month, Heritage Victoria announced that it had accepted a nomination for Federation Square to be listed on the Victorian Heritage Register. The nomination was fast-tracked due to concerns about Apple’s plans to significantly alter the public space. Today’s interim order reinforced the nomination’s legitimacy and is designed to freeze any changes made to the site until the nomination can be reviewed by the community and governing bodies.

The History Of Aperture, by Stephen Hackett, MacStories

It was clear to photographers that Lightroom was a focus for Adobe, while Aperture was a side project at best for Apple, and at worst, a distraction.

Thanks to all of these factors, users found it difficult to fully trust Aperture in their professional workflows. As that was the whole point of the program, it was probably doomed to fail.

Bottom of the Page

I don't see Apple doing anything other than USB-C ports on the rumored upcoming lower-end laptops, not if the higher-end laptops have already eliminated all the other ports. Maybe the transition progress to USB-C hasn't been as fast as Apple has expected, but there is no where else Apple can retreat back to.

So, I am predicting the new MacBook Air replacement will look more like the current MacBook than Air.


Another prediction: The current MacBook, with a fresh paint of color, and a lowering of prices to hit that magical $999 figure, and renamed MacBook SE.

I wonder if there's an iPad SE to replace the iPad mini. Surely there must be a reason that Apple is reluctant to abandon that form factor?


Had a frustrating day at work today -- but thankfully, I've just reached episode 100 of How I Met Your Mother on Netflix, and had just watched Mr Neil Patrick Harris sing and dance, and I'm happy.


Thanks for reading.