The Of-Course-It-Would-Be-Open Edition Monday, January 9, 2017

Apple Commemorates 10 Year iPhone Anniversary, Tim Cook Says ‘The Best Is Yet To Come’, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

CEO Tim Cook remarks in the press release that the more than ever, the iPhone is redefining how consumers live, work, communicate, and entertain. In typical Cook language, he also teased that “the best is yet to come” for iPhone.

Phil Schiller On iPhone’s Launch, How It Changed Apple, And Why It Will Keep Going For 50 Years, by Steven Levy, BackChannel

Schiller also cast light on why the iPhone shipped as a closed system. During the gestation period of the iPhone, Apple hosted a spirited internal debate. Some advocated that the device be an open system, like the Macintosh, and others advised a more closed system, like the iPod. The argument was put on hold when the engineers realized that even if the open-system adherents won the debate, it would be impossible to implement in time for the launch. Steve Jobs shut down the discussion, Schiller recalls. “He said ‘We don’t have to keep debating this because we can’t have [an open system] right now. Maybe we’ll change our mind afterwards, or maybe we won’t, but for now there isn’t one so let’s envision this world where we solve the problem with great built-in apps and a way for developers to make web apps.”


Indeed, says Schiller, the success of the iPhone—propelled by the few apps included on the first model, like Mail and Safari and YouTube—led to the open-or-closed issue becoming a non-debate. Inside Apple the answer was suddenly clear: of course it would be open. (And the security fears that Jobs cited to me on day one mysteriously vanished.) All those critics, including me, who kept urging Apple to make the iPhone open were irrelevant. Not long after launch, Apple began implementing a system that opened the iPhone to a wide range of creators who would make countless apps. Apps that would amplify the iPhone’s impact.

The Most Important iPhone Feature Steve Jobs Didn’t Predict 10 Years Ago Today, by Chris O'Brien, VentureBeat

“Three things: A widescreen iPod with touch controls. A revolutionary mobile phone. And a breakthrough internet communications device. An iPod… a phone… and an internet communicator… An iPod, a phone… are you getting it? These are not three separate devices. This is one device! And we are calling it iPhone.”

Yes, okay. But…what he didn’t emphasize at the time is the feature that has arguably become the iPhone’s most transformative: the camera.

Apple's iPhone Turns 10: Here's How The Device Impacted Business, Work, by Larry Dignan, ZDNet

What the iPhone ultimately did was reinvent how corporations looked at mobility. Suddenly, the promise of handheld data and employee engagement was possible beyond email and push notifications popularized by RIM at the time.

Something Positive, Something Not So

Mac: When Things Go Well, by Jean-Louis Gassée, Monday Note

Happily recuperating from three weeks in France, and with my own MacBook telling me it has more than 8 hours of battery charge left, I decided to write something positive about the Mac. [...]

From my limited perspective, today's Mac picture isn’t bad at all. With this rosy attitude, one wonders, again, about Apple’s recent loss of control over its own story. But that’s for another, more critical, Monday Note.

Apple’s AirPods Are Junk, And It’s All Siri’s Fault, by Owen Williams, Medium

I quickly realized that the free headphones in the box could do more, simply because they have a bunch of buttons on them. With AirPods, you’re stuck saying actions out loud over and over before giving up and ripping your phone out of your pocket.

And that’s the point Apple’s missed: AirPods are pretty amazing hardware, but because they’re so intimate and Siri is right inside your ear where you need it to work reliably constantly… it just becomes frustrating quickly. Apple’s offloaded the most basic of tasks to a voice assistant where it isn’t even capable of performing them reliably, and it shows.


Five Health And Fitness Apps To Kick Off Your 2017, by Gillian Shaw, Vancouver Sun

How to avoid the February fall-off?

A study by the American Psychological Association has found that monitoring your progress and sharing it with others means you’re more likely to succeed.

Here are five apps and fitness tools to help you reach your goals.

Get Traveling — And Moving — With The Outbound App, by Jen Leo, Los Angeles Times

Here’s a helpful app that combines travel with moving your body.

Airmail For iOS Gains Workflow And Bear App Integrations With 1.5 Update, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

New with version 1.5 is support for third-party automation tool Workflow, enabling users to incorporate email and inbox actions into their custom Workflow creations.


How Do Individual Contributors Get Stuck? A Primer, by Camille Fournier, Elided Branches

Everyone has at least one area that they tend to get stuck on. An activity that serves as an attractive sidetrack. A task they will do anything to avoid. With a bit of observation, you can start to see the places that your colleagues get stuck. This is a super power for many reasons, but at a baseline, it is great for when you need to write a review and want to provide useful constructive feedback.


Why Apple’s Critics Are Right This Time, by Christopher Mims, Wall Street Journal

Apple’s leaders must devote their attention to disrupting their own company. That doesn’t mean releasing bigger iPads, but exploring how Apple’s core products can be central to the always-on, voice-activated, artificially intelligent computing interfaces here now.

Like all giants at the apex of their power, it isn’t clear Apple is sufficiently paranoid about what might come next.

Santa Delivered The Drone. But Not The Safety And Skill To Fly Them., by Carol Pogash, New York Times

If this Christmas was the season of the drone, it was also a time of crashes, losses and tweeted laments. Social media is rich with commentary about fathers (major targets) crashing drones, girlfriends with tiny blades enmeshed in their hair (mothers removed them) and crying children whose favorite present went poof in the sky.

Bottom of the Page

I was raised to not waste food. It is rare that I will not finish what I have on my plate. My grandmother, if I recall correctly, threatened me that boys who left rice unfinished on their plates will grow up to marry wives with pimples all over their faces.

This morning, however, I did not finish the cup of coffee I bought. I'll probably also start to not finish all the rice or potato or sweet-and-sour-pork on my plates during meals. I just had a painful episode of gout on my right foot, and the doctor advised me to eat less.

So, there you go.

(I was not raised this way, but I grew into someone who can't really talk to strangers, or in large group of people.)


Thanks for reading.