Tag Archive for ‘Daring Fireball’

Jony Ive Is Leaving Apple ➝

John Gruber, on the news of Jony Ive’s departure from Apple:

I don’t worry that Apple is in trouble because Jony Ive is leaving; I worry that Apple is in trouble because he’s not being replaced.

There’s a never-ending supply of hot takes that have been written since the news broke yesterday, but I think John is spot-on here. The departure of Jony Ive isn’t worrisome because he’ll no longer be at the company. But it is worrisome that there is no clear indication of who will be guiding the ship from a design standpoint.

Who’s going to prevent another butterfly keyboard-like situation from happening in the future?

Medium Deprecates Custom Domains Service ➝

Medium:

As of November 2017, Medium is no longer offering new custom domains as a feature. Instead, you can create a publication on Medium that will live on a medium.com/publication-name URL.

I don’t know why anyone would invest time and energy into a publishing platform that doesn’t support custom domain names. If you want to start writing for the web, do yourself a favor and just go with WordPress. Whether it be self-hosted or through WordPress.com, there will come a time when you will greatly appreciate the flexibility and portability offered by the platform.

(Via Daring Fireball.)

The iPad Has a Focus Problem ➝

Luke Kanies, writing on Medium:

Unlike touch, keyboards are inherently targeted. While touch is powerful specifically because of your ability to directly manipulate the software you’re using, keyboards must first be pointed at a place that needs text. They need focus. And here’s where the iPad falls down.

It has no concept of focus. Or rather, it obviously does, but its designers are in denial about it. Keyboard focus is littered throughout the platform, from the presence of a cursor when inputting text, to the software keyboard auto-hiding when no text field is in use. When you’re producing text, this generally works pretty well.

But the keyboard is used for far more than typing. Whether it’s command-tabbing between applications or using shortcuts within them, the keyboard is a critical control device. And it just does not work right on the iPad.

There are two major issues here — there’s no indication of which app has keyboard focus when in Split View and there’s no way to switch that focus without touching the screen.

I don’t have a great solution for visually displaying focus. Whatever they use as an indicator, it would have to change or shift each time you alternate interactions between apps. And that would almost certainly become distracting in most situations.

But I think there’s a simple solution to the problem of switching focus from the keyboard. Apple could just reuse the ⌘+` shortcut, which is used on the Mac to switch between windows of the front-most application. Long-time Mac users wouldn’t have to retrain their muscle memory and, unlike John Gruber’s suggestion, Apple wouldn’t have to change the way ⌘+tab works and risk irritating current iPad users.

HomePod Delayed Until ‘Early 2018’ ➝

An Apple spokesperson, in a statement to John Gruber:

We can’t wait for people to experience HomePod, Apple’s breakthrough wireless speaker for the home, but we need a little more time before it’s ready for our customers. We’ll start shipping in the US, UK and Australia in early 2018.

This is awfully disappointing. Especially after the AirPods’ supply issues last year. Maybe Apple should reconsider whether they should be announcing new products so early.

The End of Flash ➝

Adobe:

Given this progress, and in collaboration with several of our technology partners – including Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Mozilla – Adobe is planning to end-of-life Flash. Specifically, we will stop updating and distributing the Flash Player at the end of 2020 and encourage content creators to migrate any existing Flash content to these new open formats.

I haven’t had the Flash plug-in installed in my primary browser since 2010. And, with my transition to iOS over the past few years, I haven’t missed it one bit. I’m glad they’re finally pulling the plug on it. Although, I think they should have done it sooner.

Perfect Ten ➝

John Gruber:

There is no way to overstate it. The iPhone was the inflection point where “personal computing” truly became personal. Apple had amazing product introductions before the iPhone, and it’s had a few good ones after. But the iPhone was the only product introduction I’ve ever experienced that felt impossible. Apple couldn’t have shrunk Mac OS X — a Unix-based workstation OS, including the Cocoa frameworks — to a point where it could run on a cell phone. Scrolling couldn’t be that smooth and fluid. A touchscreen — especially one in a phone — couldn’t be so responsive. Apple couldn’t possibly have gotten a major carrier to cede them control over every aspect of the device, both hardware and software. I can recall sitting in the hall at Moscone West, watching the keynote unfold, 90 percent excited as hell, 10 percent concerned that I was losing my goddamn mind. Literally mind-blowing.

Whenever I have casual conversations about macOS versus Windows, I always wonder how any technology enthusiast could have lived through Apple’s transition to Intel without switching to the Mac. The same could be said about the iPhone.

How could anyone live through the launch of the iPhone and not, at the very least, get excited about the device? It was such a tremendous leap forward compared to everything we had experienced prior that you couldn’t help but pay attention to it. And yet, a significant portion of the tech community just didn’t seem to understand how important this launch was. And some of them, still don’t seem to get it.

Apple and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Drop in iPhone Sales ➝

John Gruber:

In chart form, you can see what an anomaly last year was with the iPhone 6. But given that you can almost draw a straight line connecting the other four points in the chart, I’m not willing to call it a peak yet. But even if we see a return to growth, it might take several years before we see another Q2 with over 60 million units sold.

Going based on the trend line of iPhone sales from 2012-2014, I’d guess the next Q2 with over 60 million units sold will be in two or three years.

Regarding Phil Schiller and the Mac App Store ➝

John Gruber:

Putting Schiller in charge might be particularly good news for the Mac App Store. One story I’ve heard — third-hand at best, so take it with a grain of salt — is that it was Schiller who personally pushed for the creation of the Mac App Store, and that he convinced Steve Jobs to go ahead with it. (Jobs, so the story goes, thought the Mac didn’t need an App Store — that the existing means of distributing apps was good enough.) I think Schiller has a personal interest in seeing the Mac App Store succeed.

Seeing as how Schiller is often the one who announces new Macs on stage at Apple events, I’ve always thought of him as “the Mac guy” on Apple’s executive team. So, it wouldn’t surprise me if he was the one who pushed to bring the App Store to the Mac.