The User-Voice Edition Tuesday, August 16, 2016

What I Learned Working With Jony Ive's Team On The Apple Watch, by Mark Sullivan, Fast Company

One great example is [when] I went to a meeting and said I’m going to put sensors in the watch but I’m going to put them down here (he points to the underside of the Apple Watch band he’s wearing) because I can get a more accurate reading on the bottom of the wrist than I can get on the top of the wrist. They (the Industrial Design group) said very quickly that "that’s not the design trend; that’s not the fashion trend. We want to have interchangeable bands so we don’t want to have any sensors in the band."

Then at the next meeting I would go "we can do it here (on top of the wrist) but it’s going to have to be kind of a tight band because we want really good contact between the sensors and the skin." The answer from the design studio would be "No, that’s not how people wear watches; they wear them like really floppy on their wrist." That creates a set of requirements that drives you toward new engineering solutions.

That’s kind of what we had to do. We had to listen to them. They are the voice of the user. There’s the whole field of Industrial Design that focuses on the use case, the user experience.

Podcast Manager

Castro 2 Review, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Podcast management is hard if you listen to a lot of shows. Castro's episode-focused approach works especially well if you find yourself not wanting to, or without the time to, listen to every episode of each show. By adding some shows to the top or bottom of your queue automatically and moving others there manually, it is possible to strike a nice balance between automation and curation that fits most listening styles without maintaining multiple playlists based on complex rules.

Talking Pair

Knock Knock, Who's There? Google Duo Voice Calling, by Edward C. Baig, USA Today

Duo is indeed simple to use but it’s also bare-boned—for example, it is not tied to an instant messenger app in which you can also text. Instead it’s all about letting you make or receive a video call from your Android or iOS phone with the added ability to make such calls across the rival platforms.

Google Launches Duo Video Calling App, A Dull cross-OS FaceTime Rival, by Josh Constine, TechCrunch

Duo looks a bit bland, though, since it can’t do group calling, video effects, or any text chat. If you want to video call someone without Duo, you’ll have to invite them over SMS with an app download link. Starting from zero users with that uncertainty might push people to go with a competitor their contacts are likely to already have. That’s a big disadvantage versus the ubiquitous Facebook Messenger and Skype’s video call features.

Talking Apps

How Disaster Apps Work—And Don't, by Nicholas Kman, Fast Company

But as the failure of the French app during the Nice attack illustrates, communication is almost always a problem during disasters—no matter what kind of problem it is: weather-related, an attack of some kind, or even just a power outage. Effective communication, such as an evacuation alert as a hurricane approaches, can save lives. Unfortunately, as we saw during Hurricane Katrina, disasters can themselves cause damage resulting in communications breakdowns. This problem is best solved by emergency planners using the same strategy individuals figured out for themselves in Nice: create multiple independent systems to ensure connectivity.

Cross-Platform Pictures

Get Out Of Gun Control, Apple, by Jonathan Zittrain, New York Times

Apple, Microsoft, Google and other “big tech” companies should not be placed in a position, which they themselves do not want, of having to decide which words or emojis do and don’t represent their brand. Apple should be no more responsible if someone uses a gun image in the abstract than if someone happens to type the word “gun.”


A New Version Of Dragon Speech Recognition Roars Onto The Mac, by Dennis Sellers, Apple World Today

Nuance Communications has announced its new suite of Dragon professional productivity solutions for Mac OS X and Windows that leverage Nuance Deep Learning technology to deliver upwards of 24% greater accuracy.

Creative Apps For iPad, by Liyo Kikon, Eastern Mirror

One of the best uses for the iPad are the creative apps and you can definitely do a lot on it thanks to the large screen size and the app store, which is full of really cool creative apps for artists, musicians, designers, writers, videographers and all kinds of art form. Here are a few apps I highly recommend you to try out on your iPad.


Wikipedia Is Not Therapy!, by Andrew McMillen, Backchannel

After driving for a while, he parked outside a local school and switched off the engine. He pulled out his iPhone and started typing a lengthy email. Titled “The End” and sent to a public Wikipedia mailing list watched by thousands of people around the world, late on the evening of Tuesday, May 17, Elliott’s email begins, “I’ve just been blocked forever. I’ve been bullied, and I’m having suicidal thoughts.”

More than 2,000 words later, after recounting the events surrounding his ban in the exhaustive manner of a man well-versed in defending his position to nitpicking online strangers, he wrote, “I know I’m not well. I have fought this feeling for a decade.” Elliott ended with this: “I sit here in my car and contemplate suicide. My despair is total. There is not a kind one amongst you. You have taken my right of appeal, my ability to protest and my dignity. You have let others mock me, and I have failed to contribute to Wikipedia’s great mission — one I feel so keenly. I failed. I’m not sure what I’m going to do next. I will drive, I don’t know where. I pray my family forgives me.”

The Wall Street Journal Is Changing Up Its Paywall, Offering Guest Passes And Expanded Link-sharing On Social, by Shan Wang, Nieman Lab

Now the Journal is trying to make its paywall neither stricter nor leakier, but bendier. It’s now testing 24-hour guest passes for non-subscribers, an offer that pops up when readers access a story shared by a subscriber or a Journal staffer. (If you don’t enter your email address, you just get to read the one story.) Down the line, the Journal may also be testing other time increments for the guest passes.

Bottom of the Page

Nothing saps energy from me more than having a meeting at work, except multiple back-to-back meetings. I am dead tired right now. All I can think of is how tired I am.

I think I am going to bed early tonight. I just wish I don't wake up in the middle of the night and cannot get back to sleep.


Thanks for reading, and good night.