“links” Category

Apple Exploring ARM-Powered Macs

Bloomberg reports that Apple is exploring ARM-powered Macsk:

Apple engineers have grown confident that the chip designs used for its mobile devices will one day be powerful enough to run its desktops and laptops, said three people with knowledge of the work, who asked to remain anonymous because the plans are confidential. Apple began using Intel chips for Macs in 2005.

Not exactly a surprise; it’d offer more efficient power usage, it’d provide Macs with another unique advantage over other PCs, and Apple would control another key technology.

November 5th, 2012

Q From Igloo Software [Sponsor]

Big thanks to Igloo Software for sponsoring this week’s RSS feed. They’re a big supporter of the Syndicate, great people and have a very good looking service, so if you haven’t, check them out.

Introducing Q, the latest update to Igloo’s cloud intranet platform.

Q has a smarter search: from any search bar, when you start typing you’ll instantly see content that matches your keywords, ranked by relevance.

Smart search applies to people, too. In fact, we’ve added the ability to find and @mention your colleagues anywhere inside the Igloo platform – including microblog posts, discussions and comments. (And because names are a tricky thing, we try to provide recommendations even if you spell them a bit wrong).

Q is a free update applied automatically for all existing Igloo customers. Seamless delivery of new features every quarter is one of the best reason to choose a cloud based intranet.

Try it free for 30 days.

November 5th, 2012

Evernote 5′s New iOS Interface

Evernote completely re-designed the user interface for their iOS application in the new version, and I think it looks quite good. Definitely take a look at it; it’s a unique interface design I haven’t seen before, and it looks promising.

November 3rd, 2012

Google Now Is The Future

From Matthew Panzarino’s Nexus 4 review:

Search for your favorite sports team a few times? Now will start to tell you when they’re playing and what the score is. Spend a lot of time in one place and then move a distance away quickly and Now will know you’re traveling and recommend photo opportunities nearby. It’s breathtakingly brilliant and invasive all at once. But it’s also extremely useful.

November 2nd, 2012

The Beijing Consensus At Work

The China Model continues to impress:

The owner of an Internet cafe in southwest China was given an eight-year prison term for criticizing the ruling Communist Party in online messages and for seeking to establish an opposition party, his wife said Thursday.

November 1st, 2012

Drug Abuse in Portugal Drops by Half After Decriminalization

After decriminalizing all drug use in 2001, Portugal’s drug abuse has dropped by half:

The number of addicts considered “problematic” — those who repeatedly use “hard” drugs and intravenous users — had fallen by half since the early 1990s, when the figure was estimated at around 100,000 people, Goulao said.

Infections among intravenous users and drug-related crimes have dropped significantly as well.

Portugal’s policy is to provide drug addicts with treatment rather than put them in prison. Our country would be better off with a similar policy.

November 1st, 2012

The iPod Mini Effect

Dan Frommer:

Based on early reviews, it appears the iPad mini is on the verge of becoming the “real” iPad. That is, the full-size iPad (“iPad classic”?) will still exist indefinitely, but most people will end up buying the iPad mini. It’s less expensive, easier to handle, with the main immediate tradeoff — lower display resolution — something that most people won’t hold against it, if they even notice it.

Something developers are going to have to think heavily about. The iPad Mini runs regular iPad applications fine, but it may end up being the case that it’s used in different settings and used differently than the regular iPad, which could require re-thinking certain kinds of applications.

November 1st, 2012

Jim Dalrymple’s Mini Review

Jim Dalrymple:

Anything that is simply shrunk down or scaled up feels amateurish. The iPad mini feels like an iPad, it’s something you can have fun with and accomplish tasks on.

October 30th, 2012

John Gruber’s iPad Mini Review

John Gruber:

I prefer the Mini over the full-size iPad in every single regard other than display resolution, and though I (and many of you) obsess over display resolution, it’s not an issue in the mass market.

If Gruber is representative of “power” users for the iPad, and he prefers the Mini in every way except for the lack of a retina screen, imagine what regular people will think. It’s a good bet that the iPad Mini becomes the most-bought and most-used iPad. That’s interesting.

It’s especially interesting because while the iPad Mini runs regular iPad applications without issue, Gruber says that typing on it in landscape isn’t nearly as easy as on the regular iPad, as you’d expect. That, combined with less screen space, means it won’t be quite as good a device for writing. Doing things like drawing could end up being less useful, too.

I could be wrong, of course; I’ll know more when mine arrives on Friday. But it’s certain that the iPad Mini being the dominant iPad used will change it as we know it. In many ways, that’s a good thing. The Mini is smaller and easier to hold, so people are probably going to use it more and use it in different circumstances. That’s a good thing for the platform.

October 30th, 2012

The Verge’s Google Now Profile

The Verge’s Dieter Bohn has a terrific profile of Google Now, which attempts to provide information you want before you ask for it.

Google Now is one of the things Google’s working on that has me most excited.

October 30th, 2012

A Shift in Apple’s Organizational Structure

Matt Drance:

If this was only about Forstall being a problem, though, Apple would replace him. They clearly aren’t: the same press release explicitly states a search is underway to replace Browett. Not only is this a profound increase in responsibility for all three of these top executives, it’s a profound change in Apple’s organization going as far back as I can remember. There’s a long-standing pattern of separating watershed products important to the company’s future. The Mac and Apple teams. Mac OS X and Classic. The iPod division. iOS and Mac OS X. Suddenly, Tim Cook has pulled the reins in. Federighi owns software. Ive owns design. Cue owns services. Period.

Excellent point. Something I’ve been thinking about since yesterday’s announcement, too, is that under Steve Jobs, Apple had one person tasked with making decisions on nearly every aspect of the company—Jobs. He was intimately involved with product design, negotiations and advertising. While he would listen to what others thought, he had final say—Jobs made decisions and others carried them out. Tim Cook, though, has delegated decision-making power to other people within the company, so there is no one person who makes decisions. This re-organization clarifies these roles; Ive is in charge of design, Cue Internet software and services, Federighi software, and Mansfield technologies. That’s a much clearer structure than before, where decision-making for software was broken up between Federighi and Forstall, Internet services between Cue and Forstall, and user interface design between several people, including Forstall. I wonder if, when Cook’s replaced Jobs, this split of responsibilities led to conflict.

With more clarified responsibilities for the management team, Cook’s more consensus-based approach should operate better.

October 30th, 2012

Federico Viticci On Ive’s Interface Design Role

Federico Viticci:

Jony Ive will provide “leadership” and “direction” for the Human Interface group within the company. This doesn’t mean Ive will be the one creating pixels behind the scenes. The way I see it, Ive has been chosen as someone who can guide – provide the general direction for where things should be heading. So while Ive won’t sit behind a desk merging layers in Photoshop, he will play the role of a director, instructing people on the “look and feel” of a product. And, in my opinion, that’s the most difficult role to play in a company like Apple. It means having to create both the form and the function. “How it looks” and “how it works”. It’s no easy task, but that’s why Cook picked Ive.

October 29th, 2012

That ‘High-End of the Market’ Reasoning

Here’s Phil Schiller on the “Apple targets the high-end of the market” thinking:

I noted that for years, pundits thought Apple would, or at least should, start making much cheaper Macs. I said that drumbeat seems to have come and gone, and asked Schiller if everyone finally understood that Apple was content with its strategy of sticking with the high end of the market.

“Our approach at Apple has always been to make products we’re proud to own and use ourselves,” he told me. “…We wouldn’t make something cheap or low quality. When the economy is difficult, people care a great deal about the things they spend their money on. Customers have come to understand that Apple’s products aren’t priced high — they’re priced on the value of what we build into them.”

Useful to keep that in mind when thinking about the iPad Mini.

October 29th, 2012


Languages is a new app that provides offline translation for 12 different languages, and it looks great. Only 99¢. Sold.

October 25th, 2012

Ken Segall on the iPad Mini Price

Ken Segall:

But any Apple analyst who gets upset over this should be ashamed for failing to understand one of Apple’s core philosophies. The company does not compete on price, it competes on quality. Apple does not sell to “everybody” — it sells to those who appreciate a premium product, and who are willing to pay a premium for it. Build quality aside, iPad comes with a more developed ecosystem, with a bigger choice in apps and accessories. Those who see value in this will pay for that value — as they have for every Apple product that has succeeded before.

I think Segall is assuming a philosophical reason for a higher price when there’s a very simple, pragmatic reason for it: it’s hard to make a tablet device with quality materials and build for a low price while maintaining a decent gross profit margin, and if they’re going to have to drop the price, they would be better off doing that when they know the market won’t sustain it than they would right out of the gate.

Segall is absolutely correct that Apple competes on quality and is trying to build products that fulfill their goal, but where he errs is in arguing that Apple doesn’t also want to sell to everybody. They want to sell to as many people as they possibly can while still making a good product. Their goal is not to make a premium product and sell it to people willing to pay for it; their goal is to make a great product and sell it to as many people as they possibly can.

The original iPad illustrates this. Apple sold it, out of the gate, at $499. For quite a while, this was very aggressive pricing—competitors could not make a comparable tablet, let alone one with the same build quality, at that price-point. Apple took a smaller (but still very solid!) margin in return for making the iPad a more enticing idea for people. They wanted people to think that not only is it a great device, but it’s also a very good price, too.

Apple wants the iPad to be something that nearly everyone wants and can own, but they don’t want to compromise what an “iPad” is to do it. This isn’t about being a premium product. It’s about being a great product. There is a difference.

October 25th, 2012