The Like-This Edition Saturday, February 16, 2019

My 2018 Apple Report Card, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

I heard a story years ago about Steve Jobs after the release of the original iPad. Jobs had been on medical leave in 2009 and when he returned to Apple, he was focused almost entirely on the iPad. In 2010, after the iPad was introduced, he had a meeting scheduled with engineers on the MacBook team. The meeting was big picture — What’s the future of the MacBook?, that sort of thing. These engineers had prepared a ton of material to present to Jobs. Jobs comes into the meeting carrying an iPad. He goes to a then-shipping MacBook on a table and wakes it up. It takes a few seconds. He says something like “Look at how long this takes.” He puts it to sleep, he wakes it up. It takes a few moments each time. Then he puts the iPad on the table and hits the power button. On. Off. On. Off. Instantly. Jobs said something like “I want you to make this” — and he pointed to the MacBook — “like this” — and he pointed to the iPad. And then he walked out of the room and that was that.

Is this story true? I don’t know. But it sounds true — and MacBooks do wake up a lot faster than they used to. I’d like someone at Apple to go to the MacBook team with a Magic Keyboard and do the same thing. “I want you to take this keyboard and put it in these MacBooks.”

Classical Music On Apple Music: What's Wrong And How Apple Can Fix It, by Mitchel Broussard, MacRumors

Frustrations with classical music streaming are nothing new, but as Charles tells us, this is a problem that affects nearly every streaming music service, including Apple Music rival Spotify. In an effort to find out exactly what's wrong with classical music on Apple Music -- and what steps could be taken to address these problems -- we asked Charles and Rumiz to detail the biggest issues with classical music on Apple Music.

Apple Customer Service Has Jumped The Shark, by Patrick J. Bradley, Medium

My recent set of experiences attempting to have an iPhone repaired was awful. I believe that the days of great customer service from Apple are now a thing of the past. There could be a lot of explanations or theories as to why but I believe it’s probably just the natural progression for a large corporation. There is a period of innovation, a period of huge profits and the eventual commoditization of their products. At the commoditization stage a company needs to focus on cutting costs. Tightening up the Apple Repair policies is one way to reduce costs. I believe the customer service decline could be a result of too many stores, too many employees and lower quality control with training and hiring.


Comical iPhone XR Ad Shows Off Portrait Mode Depth Control: 'Did You Bokeh My Child?', by Peter Cao, 9to5Mac

Apple has today rolled out a new ad titled “Bokeh’d” focused on the computational bokeh effect found on iPhone 7 Plus and later. With newer iPhone generations, users can adjust the amount of bokeh.

Apple Music Users Able To Gift A Month Subscription To A Friend, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple is today sending out notifications to Apple Music subscribers that, when tapped, allows them to send a referral to friend to sign up for a free one-month subscription to Apple Music.


Don't Get Clever With Login Forms, by Brad Frost

As time goes on I find myself increasingly annoyed with login forms. As password managers like 1Password (which is what I use) and Chrome’s password manager (which I also sorta use) become more popular, it’s important for websites to be aware of how users go about logging into their sites.

Let’s walk through some login patterns and why I think they’re not ideal. And then let’s look at some better ways of tackling login. TL;DR; create login forms that are simple, linkable, predictable, and play nicely with password managers.

No, You Can't Ignore Email. It's Rude., by Adam Grant, New York Times

“I’m too busy to answer your email” really means “Your email is not a priority for me right now.” That’s a popular justification for neglecting your inbox: It’s full of other people’s priorities. But there’s a growing body of evidence that if you care about being good at your job, your inbox should be a priority.


The Phone Trend You Least Expect Makes You Crave Your Phone More, by Jessica Dolcourt, CNET

The color of your phone should be the last thing on your mind. It's the camera quality, battery and screen size that pull you toward the upcoming Galaxy S10, iPhone XS or Google Pixel 3 when you're ready to buy. But flashy colors and finishes are more important than you think.

The Soothing Promise Of Our Own Artisanal Internet, by Nitasha Tiku, Wired

To put our toxic relationship with Big Tech into perspective, critics have compared social media to a lot of bad things. Tobacco. Crystal meth. Pollution. Cars before seat belts. Chemicals before Superfund sites. But the most enduring metaphor is junk food: convenient but empty; engineered to be addictive; makes humans unhealthy and corporations rich.

At first, consumers were told to change their diet and #DeleteFacebook to avoid the side effects. But now, two years into the tech backlash, we know that cutting the tech giants out of our lives is impossible. So among some early adopters, the posture is shifting from revolt to retreat.

In The Future We Will Own Everything And Nothing, by Chenoe Hart, Real Life Magazine

The automation of physical space may take away the consistent reassurances which our belongings have traditionally given us, just as many of our hours may seem to have already been “lost” while staring at illuminated rectangles. Life within a world of constantly circulating goods could make their physical presence more closely resemble the persistence of the refreshing screen. But that change may only make the kinds of hands-on experiences which we tend to already seek and share on social media seem even more reassuring. The experience of watching a plant grow or a candle burn down with the passage of time might leave a more vivid memory than we can now possibly imagine, if our things themselves begin to seem less real in a world where they no longer collect any dust.