The Dorkus-Malorkus Edition Saturday, April 29, 2017

Why Do I Hate Talking To My Phone?, by Jake Swearingen, New York Magazine

There’s a social cost in the form of feeling like a dorkus malorkus when you use your phone’s voice assistant in public, and right now, those assistants can’t do enough useful things reliably and consistently to make it worth paying that cost. And because our phones offer another way to do those useful things without speaking — check train times, look up a recipe, caption and share a photo on Instagram — there may never be any inflection point in the future where we start talking to our phones as a primary or even secondary way to do most tasks. [...]

The smartphone suddenly gave you the digital world in your pocket, available at the tap of a finger. The AI home speaker suddenly opened the possibility of talking to your home in a way that felt both futuristic and familiar. But maybe we’re content with just sticking to tapping away on our phones in public, and only speaking to our gadgets in private.

Apple, Tesla Ask California To Change Proposed Self-driving Car Test Policy, by David Shepardson, Reuters

Apple Inc urged California to toughen up its proposed policy on testing self-driving cars, a move that would result in more public data that could help Apple catch up to rivals in the self-driving space by giving it a better window into their strengths and weaknesses.

In a letter made public on Friday, Apple suggested a series of changes to the draft policy that is under development and said it looks forward to working with California and others "so that rapid technology development may be realized while ensuring the safety of the traveling public."


Uber Adds Privacy Info And Easy Account Deletion, by Kate Conger, TechCrunch

Now, the company will let users delete their accounts from within the app, without contacting support. The process is known internally as “Dear John,” and Uber employees said it has taken over a year to design. Once a user opts to delete their account, Uber will retain the data for 30 days. If the user doesn’t change their mind and return to the service, the data is gone for good.

Game Day: Invert, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Puzzle games fit so naturally with mobile devices that it’s no wonder we’ve seen so much innovation in the genre recently. Despite the lack of sync, Invert is one of my favorite puzzle games to debut this year, and another excellent example of a simple and familiar concept expanded in a way that makes it feel fresh and fun. If you’re a puzzle game fan, Invert is a game you shouldn’t miss.


Twitterrific Update Rejected For Alternative User-Selectable Icons, by Nick Heer, Pixel Envy

I’m glad to hear that this has been resolved in favour of the Iconfactory, but developers shouldn’t need to deal with the confusion and ambiguity that comes from a situation like this. Rules should be clear and applied consistently to all developers regardless of size.


Apple Confirms It Won't Make Royalty Payments To Qualcomm Until Dispute Settled, Ina Fried, Axios

"We've been trying to reach a licensing agreement with Qualcomm for more than five years but they have refused to negotiate fair terms," Apple told Axios in a statement. "Without an agreed-upon rate to determine how much is owed, we have suspended payments until the correct amount can be determined by the court. As we've said before, Qualcomm's demands are unreasonable and they have been charging higher rates based on our innovation, not their own."

Apple Proves That This Is The Single Greatest Source Of Innovation, by Thomas Koulopoulos, Inc.

While we most often talk about Apple products as the innovation, the real innovation in this case is the one to which most retailers and consumer facing companies pay little attention, the experience. And it's where Apple has always played to its strengths by creating an experience of community, relationships, human-centered design, and the projection of a higher purpose that includes much more than just technology.

The fact is that experience is always the greatest and easiest source of potential innovation--it's the one place where you can deliver near infinite variety; and it's also where you have the opportunity to build the strongest bonds with your customers.

"Sheeple" Is Now In The Dictionary, And Apple Users Are Its Example, by Nick Statt, The Verge

This morning, Merriam-Webster gleefully tweeted a new addition to its online dictionary: “sheeple,” or “people who are docile, compliant, or easily influenced.” You might not immediately draw a connection to one particular proclivity over another, but Merriam-Webster takes the liberty of quoting CNN technology columnist Doug Criss.

“Apple's debuted a battery case for the juice-sucking iPhone — an ungainly lumpy case the sheeple will happily shell out $99 for,” the example reads. It’s from a 2015 news roundup Criss published on CNN’s website, which Merriam-Webster seems to point to as a prime example of the popular modern-day use of the term. Sheeple dates back to 1945, according to the dictionary entry, most likely as a derogatory term for helpless followers of consumer trends of the time. Nowadays, however, it’s more likely to poke fun at blind followers of the iPhone maker.

Bottom of the Page

Why can't I take notes on my iPhone at the locked screen?

Sure you can. Just tell Siri.

I don't want to use my voice. I want to type my notes.

You know, when you are driving, you really shouldn't be doing any typing.

I am not driving. I'm in the bus, or in the train. I don't want to talk (loudly) in a public place. That's rude. Or I may be in the lift talking to my boss, and my boss just asked me to do something, and I really want to jot that down real quick before I forget.


For a company that emphasis so much about inclusivity, I find it strange that the only way to communicate to Siri remains using your voice for so long.


Thanks for reading.