The Central-Library Edition Saturday, May 4, 2019

Tim Cook Hopes Apple’s $30 Million Rehab Of D.C.’s Carnegie Library Will Do More Than Sell iPhones, by Jonathan O'Connell, Washington Post

As a company, Apple is less focused on selling stuff. It doesn’t sell as many iPhones as it once did and is more focused on selling subscriptions and services, none of which require a store for purchases or even consideration.

This is why it is striking that, under chief executive Tim Cook, the company has made it a priority to open a flagship store next week in Washington. Why spend two years and probably more than $30 million renovating the 116-year-old Carnegie Library into an Apple Store?

“Probably one of the least done things in an Apple Store is to buy something,” Cook said recently by phone. Instead, he said, people come to explore new products, of course, but also get training and services for iPhones or iPads they already own.

Apple’s Heavy Hand With Parental-control Apps Is About Trust, Not Anti-trust, by Michael Simon, Macworld

The Times’ point that Apple shouldn’t be “the most zealous guardian of user privacy and security” just doesn’t hold water. What if the developer of one of these parental control apps had been caught using its permissions to spy on what kids were watching and reading? That would have made much bigger headlines than a handful of disgruntled developers. Apple users take privacy seriously, and they want to know there’s a gatekeeper in place.

So while the Times certainly has a point when it says “the status quo is untenable” regarding the App Store and competition, the last thing we need is an “open” environment where anything goes.

Tim Cook Promises Expansion Of Screen Time In Interview With ABC, by Andrew O'Hara, AppleInsider

With Screen Time introduced in iOS 12, iPhones can give reports to users, or parents, how much time is being spent on a device. For Cook, it was around 200 times a day —a number that was double what he expected.

"We make money if we can convince you to buy an iPhone, but I don't want you using the product a lot." Cook said. "What we want to build are products to enrich your life, do something you couldn't do without it. That's what gets us excited."


Apple Watch Isn’t A Necessity Like A Smartphone, But It’s Handy, by Jeff Carlson, Seattle Times

The usefulness of notifications isn’t even that I think I’m so important I need to stay on top of every communication. It’s that I can flick my wrist when a new message comes in, see quickly whether it’s something I need to pay attention to and then ignore it or act on it. I don’t have to pull out the phone every time, which is far more distracting.

500 Days Of Duolingo: What You Can (And Can’t) Learn From A Language App, by Eric Ravenscraft, New York Times

Despite their differences, they have the same goal: use daily exercises on your phone to teach you an entire language. It’s an enticing promise, especially if you’re not already immersed in a culture or education system that will give you the exposure you need to pick up a second language. The question is, are they effective?

After I accumulated a Duolingo streak in excess of 500 days — a feat that, thanks to the app’s notoriously insistent reminders, has now come to define my self-worth — I found myself in a better place to judge just how much an app alone can really teach you. The short answer is that you can definitely learn some things from an app, but if you want to become fluent in a language — or even conversational — they won’t be enough.

Spotify’s Leanback Instant Listening App Stations Hits iOS, by Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

Unlike Spotify’s flagship application, the Stations app presents users with a minimalist interface where available playlists are displayed with an oversized font. You can scroll up and down between the playlists to select one, instead of typing in a search box or searching through voice commands.

When launching Stations, music begins playing automatically — a feature that had some calling it a “Pandora copycat” at the time of launch, given that instant music playback is something that Spotify’s rival Pandora already supports.

Number One, With A Bullet, by Thomas Breen, New Haven Independent

At the beginning of April, his company’s Photo Prints Now app, which allows iPhone and Android users to send photos from their phones to be printed out at CVS within the hour, reached the number-one trending spot on the Google Play app store charts. That same day, it reached the number six trending spot in the Apple app store, coming in just behind Apple and Google-designed behemoths like Instagram, Youtube, and Snapchat.

“Just dogged perseverance,” Seymour said during an interview in his second-story Elm Street office about what made a New Haven-designed app rise for a moment to the same level as those produced by international tech giants. “And just ignoring rejection, ignoring the no’s.”


How To Get Better At Coding Interviews, by AlgoDaily

First off, with the right approach-- which the rest of this article will explore, you can solve any problem.

Secondly, yes there is a chance you're asked something completely out of left field. But for the most part, interviewers really do want to see how you think. As someone who's been on the other end quite a number of times, know that we want you to do well.


The Making Of Amazon Prime, The Internet’s Most Successful And Devastating Membership Program, by Jason Del Rey, Vox

With it, Amazon single-handedly — and permanently — raised the bar for convenience in online shopping. That, in turn, forever changed the types of products shoppers were willing to buy online. Need a last-minute gift or nearing the end of a pack of diapers? Amazon was now an alternative to the immediacy of brick-and-mortar stores.

But the idea came with huge risks, and it spurred real tension inside Amazon. Some managers resented that their projects appeared to be deprioritized for a secret program they knew little about. Others feared that Amazon’s top customers were going to abuse the program and ultimately bankrupt the company with soaring shipping costs.

And if it succeeded, Amazon Prime was going to mean big, uncomfortable changes on everything from how managers were evaluated by superiors to how the company fulfilled orders and moved goods from point A to point B.

Bottom of the Page

The only show on Apple Music's Beats 1 Radio that I listen to, occasionally, is Elton John's Rocket Hour. I wish Apple can make this show a podcast, so that it will automatically download and be inside my podcast queue every week.


Thanks for reading.