But Apple’s new emoji feature seems more likely to impede a different kind of skill: creating surprising, figurative and subversive forms of individual expression out of the digital ephemera that populate our devices. In a rush to harness the power of the web’s most evocative cultural units — emoji and their hyperactive cousins, GIFs — tech companies, corporate brands and entrepreneurial social media stars could risk inadvertently flattening the creative world that’s sprung up around them.
Which is why Apple’s slow walk to open up more parts of the platform — thus giving developers/third parties new levels of opportunity to add value to core experiences once controlled by Apple — is so interesting. It speaks to a level of maturity in the market to be open to such new potential, but also for third parties to now also create fundamentally new experiences in brand-new ways. Which is why the moves made by Apple convince me that iOS is the primary platform where software and services innovation is going to happen.
“No one” asked for the iMac to remove the floppy drive or switch from ADB ports to USB (at a time when PCs weren’t shipping with USB either, which meant few — I mean really few — existing USB peripherals on the market). There was a huge outcry when the iPhone 5 dumped the proprietary-but-ubiquitous 30-pin port for the proprietary-and-all-new Lightning port. MacBook Air fans are still complaining about the new MacBook’s solitary USB-C port.
This is how it goes. If it weren’t for Apple we’d probably still be using computers with VGA and serial ports. The essence of Apple is that they make design decisions “no one asked for”.
“It concerns me when you hear people in government or education throwing that term around,” says Emma Cooper, of digital media agency Rocket and The Children’s Media Conference. “There’s an implication that they have an inherent understanding of technology. But while they might understand what buttons to press, that doesn’t mean they’re ready to use it. My nine-year-old has hacked our Netflix account, but that doesn’t mean he’s emotionally ready to watch something that’s certified 12.”
“Children should be considered children until they reach the age of maturity, not until someone puts a smartphone in their hand,” says Beeban Kidron, director of the 2013 documentary InRealLife, which looked at the way the internet affects the lives of British teenagers, from the ready availability of hardcore pornography to online bullying.
Building an archive has always required asking a couple of simple but thorny questions: What will we save and how? Whose stories are the most important and why? In theory, the internet already functions as a kind of archive: Any document, video or photo can in principle remain there indefinitely, available to be viewed by anyone with a connection. But in reality, things disappear constantly. Search engines like Google continually trawl for pages to organize and index for retrieval, but they can’t catch everything. And as the web evolves, it becomes harder to preserve.
“I’ve been doing this for 40 years now, and I understand the importance of the history maybe better than anyone else,” said Mr. Reuter, who is also a photographer and filmmaker. “But there is a time when things have to come to an end. These are not materials that were designed to last indefinitely, and the investment to keep making them would be huge, multimillions.”
News of the wind down has been spreading for several months through the art world, where it has been met more often with disbelief than disappointment.
Just pointing an iPad or iPhone and tapping on the screen can tell someone who's blind or visually impaired what's in front of them. That's just one app children in the Insight Kids Club of NEPA are learning.
The Apple TV app lets users watch high-definition live streams from NASA TV, and allows them to enjoy a real-time view of the Earth from the International Space Station.
Because Sonos speakers stream music from services including Apple Music directly over the Internet and your iPhone or iPad is only used to tell it what to play, the lock screen has lacked playback controls; today’s update works around that on iOS 8 and later.
Creating software is an emotional process for the team members who all want to see it succeed, and this can create tension. The phrase “you have to pick and choose your battles” is commonly used. But, how do you make those decisions?
Regardless of whether it’s software, content or services, there’s no simple path to helping an ecosystem grow. But denying creators the ability to experiment is surely a path to stagnation and irrelevance. One size doesn’t fit all, so we should applaud Apple for giving creators and developers the opportunity to craft their own bespoke solutions around their audiences.
Apple's fight against an ongoing "error 53" lawsuit came to an end today when a U.S. district court judge dismissed the case and declared that the plaintiffs "lack standing to pursue injunctive relief" and have not been able to prove permanent data loss.
I can't wait for an Apple wireless EarPod that will work full-day from a single charge. And if it can charge quickly and easily, just like how you can charge an Apple Pencil from an iPad Pro, so much the better.
Thanks for reading.