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Tue, Jun 30, 2015The Damned-Impressed Edition

First Looks

First Look: Apple Music, by Jim Dalrymple, The Loop

I sat down yesterday with Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, and Beats Founder Jimmy Iovine to talk about Apple Music. I also started using the new service myself, so I wanted to give you my thoughts on what I found so far, good and bad.

[...]

I’m damned impressed. Apple Music is a quality service, with the right mix of human curation and algorithms to help users figure out exactly what they want to hear.

Apple Music First Look: Rich, Robust — But Confusing, by Walt Mossberg, Re/code

Apple has built a handsome, robust app and service that goes well beyond just offering a huge catalog of music by providing many ways to discover and group music for a very wide range of tastes and moods.

But it’s also uncharacteristically complicated by Apple standards, with everything from a global terrestrial radio station to numerous suggested playlists for different purposes in different places. And the company offers very little guidance on how to navigate its many features. It will take time to learn it. And that’s not something you’re going to want to do if all you’re looking for is to lean back and listen.

Apple Music First Look: It's All About Curation, Curation, Curation, by Christina Warren, Mashable

It's hard for me to over-stress how much I like For You. From the very beginning, the recommendations in playlists and albums that the app showed me were dead-on accurate, reflecting my various musical interests.

More On Apple Music

Apple Music Launch Departs From The Apple Playbook, by Dawn Chmielewski, Re/code

The guerrilla marketing campaign to drive awareness of Apple’s new service is a sign that a company accustomed to controlling every part of the narrative around its products is open to different thinking, said one ad industry executive who worked for years on Apple’s campaigns.

Trent Reznor: Apple Music Is Like Going To A Record Store, by Kevin O'donnell, Entertainment Weekly

Dre Debut Will Be On Apple Music, As AC/DC Head To The Streaming Platforms, by Chris Cooke, CMU

I Can't Believe It Has Been 8 Years Already

The last picture I took with my Palm Treo 650, eight years ago today. pic.twitter.com/je38pspmcs

— Chris Espinosa (@cdespinosa) June 29, 2015

Stuff.

Apple Watch & The Killer App Crisis, by Ken Segall

Well, here’s the stark reality: The Apple Watch has no killer app. And it will never have a killer app.

But anyone who hinges the success of the device on the idea of a killer app is living far, far in the past.

Seven Years On, A MacBook Pro Prepares For El Capitan, by Chip Sudderth, Six Colors

In continuing to support the MacBook Pro (Late 2008), Apple demonstrates one of the value propositions that fans clung to even during the dark times when Apple lurched toward bankruptcy and the Mac toward irrelevance: that Macs simply lasted longer than their PC cousins. You could hold onto your investment for one or two more years, upgrading not from necessity but by choice. Macs didn’t simply “just work,” they worked for much longer.

Apple Camp Offers Digital Content Workshops For Kids, Enrollments Now Live, by Harish Jonnalagadda, iMore

Pluto Safari (For iPad), by Tony Hoffman, PC Magazine

The free Pluto Safari iPad app provides a good way for anyone interested in Pluto or space travel to keep up on the latest from this mission through timely articles and news pieces filled with multimedia content. Material is presented in a lively and accessible way that should hold the interest of laymen or students.

Typinator 6.6 For Mac OS X Handles Smart Substitutions Even Smarter, by MacTech

Google Updates Hangouts For iOS With Refreshed UI, Multiple Photo Attachments, by Jordan Kahn, 9to5Mac

Develop.

UI Testing In Xcode 7, by Joe Masilotti

Apple finally decided to double down on user interface testing at WWDC this year. Let’s take a deep dive into the API and see what we find.

Notes.

Apple Schedules Q3 2015 Earnings Call Livestream For July 21, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple didn’t disclose sales for the Watch last quarter, and it seems unlikely that the company will do so this quarter either.

Apple’s IPhone 6 Ends China’s Cheap Streak, by mark Milian, Bloomberg

Beyond Apple, the numbers are important because they blow up the idea that the Chinese aren’t willing to pay a premium for what they perceive to be a superior phone.

The Higher Life, by Lizzie Widdicombe, New Yorker

Silicon Valley’s interest in meditation is, in some respects, adaptive. “We’re at the epicenter of being stimulated with digital stuff,” Mamood Hamid, a venture investor at Social Capital, told me. “Five years ago, it was just e-mail. Now if you’re not on Twitter, if you don’t know how to use social, you’re a Luddite. And then you add the Apple Watch that’s going to be giving you notifications every five minutes—text messages, e-mails. It’s going to drive you insane.” Stewart Butterfield, the C.E.O. of Slack, noted that this is a fate that awaits us all. “I feel like we’re in the early stages of a species-level change with devices,” he told me.

All of this has led to a strange but perhaps inevitable oxymoron: digital therapy. A new class of app has emerged on iPhone screens, promising to relieve the mental afflictions—stress, distraction—that have been exacerbated by its neighbors. A venture-funded company called Big Health is developing a suite of cognitive-behavioral-therapy apps. (Its first product, Sleepio, treats insomnia.) And though Hamid considers Headspace to be the best mindfulness-meditation app, in terms of its “content and sophistication,” there are many others, including buddhify, which collects data via daily “mood check-ins”; Calm, which offers meditation exercises set to soothing nature scenes; and Insight Timer, which provides Tibetan bell sounds. Huffington has an app, too, called GPS for the Soul.

Streams.

I have nothing to say. Just waiting for the sky to fall.

Parting Words

we have come full circle. it all makes sense now. pic.twitter.com/fSsVsSIALR

— Grant Blakeman (@gblakeman) June 10, 2015

Thanks for reading.