Month: May 2012

Paul Kafasis of Rogue Amoeba:

Today, we’ve been informed that Apple has removed Airfoil Speakers Touch from the iOS App Store.1 We first heard from Apple about this decision two days ago, and we’ve been discussing the pending removal with them since then. However, we still do not yet have a clear answer on why Apple has chosen to remove Airfoil Speakers Touch. Needless to say, we’re quite disappointed with their decision, and we’re working hard to once again make the application available for you, our users.

Not good, Apple. This isn’t a good way to manage disputes, especially since the developers have no idea what the reason for its removal is. Commenters are speculating that this is due to a potential duplication of an upcoming feature, but that doesn’t always boot an app.

Federico Viticci:

Following a series of “celebrity ads” for the iPhone 4S’ voice-based assistant released last month, Apple today posted two new Siri TV commercials featuring actor John Malkovich.

Look, I like Samuel L. Jackson as much as the next guy, but these ads top his purely because of Malkovich’s attitude. The second ad, “Life”, is particularly good.

Dustin Curtis:

Yahoo has just announced Axis, a browser extension thing and mobile app that “redefines what it means to search and browse the Web [sic].”

It’s a web browser. It’s like Google Chrome in a lot of ways. It’s not very interesting, but Yahoo seems to think it’s a revolutionary, unprecedented product. It isn’t even finished.

Jonathan Ive doesn’t give interviews often, but one also doesn’t get knighted all that often, either. There are some good bits in the first part of the interview, but the second part has his philosophy in a nut:

“Simplicity is not the absence of clutter, that’s a consequence of simplicity. Simplicity is somehow essentially describing the purpose and place of an object and product. The absence of clutter is just a clutter-free product. That’s not simple.

“The quest for simplicity has to pervade every part of the process. It really is fundamental.”

How might Apple get developers on the right track to support a new aspect ratio at WWDC next month while maintaining their standard radio silence regarding as-yet-unannounced products?

Good question. Gruber, of course, has a solid answer to it. Assuming every rumour regarding an iPhone with a larger display, Apple has a hell of a trick to pull off, especially with the forthcoming iOS 6, the beta of which will probably launch at WWDC. How will they keep these cards close to their chest?

I’m sure this is going to be great—it stars DiCaprio and is directed by Luhrmann—but what the hell is the trailer doing with Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “No Church in the Wild” in its soundtrack?

9to5 Mac has a good idea of what the next iPhone will look like. The taller screen makes sense: it allows the device to stay roughly the same size while displaying more information. Most apps should be able to fit this requirement fairly easily, since most apps seem to follow the “toolbar + content” model of Safari, Mail, et. al. Games tend not to, but they should be able to run while floating in the middle of the larger display.

John Brownlee:

What everyone widely expects from Retina display Macs is an iPhone or iPad-style resolution doubling. So if the current 15-inch MacBook Pro has a 1,440 x 900 display, the Retina 15-inch MBP would have a 2,880 x 1800 display.

What the rumor mill is missing is that there’s no benefit to Apple handling a jump to Retina display Macs this way. The reason the iPad and iPhone going Retina was such a big deal was because they had really pixellated displays. Before the iPhone 4, the iPhone had a display that was only 53% close to being Retina. The iPad was slightly better, at 61%. Roughly, both the iPad and iPhone were only about halfway there, which made the easiest fix to just double the amount of pixels per inch.

But Apple doesn’t need to do this with its line of Macs. In fact, it’s likely that most “Retina Quality” Macs will have fewer pixels than your new iPad.

Smart analysis. Mac OS X scales really well, unlike iOS, so it will adapt to however many pixels Apple throws at it.

Justin Long, John Hodgman and Richard Dreyfuss present a tribute to Steve Jobs, the co-founder, chairman and CEO of Apple, Inc.

Nice tribute at the Webby awards.

For House, boring had always been life’s least tolerable state. The finale — the series’ 177th episode — served well as a reminder: “House” seldom was.

Removing House from TV Forecast is bittersweet. I’m glad that the show ran its course and didn’t get stale, but it’s hard to say goodbye to one of the best-written dramas on television. Spoiler alert.

Think Kinect, but for your computer. The section of the demo with a Google Earth window is particularly sci-fi.

Adam Haworth:

We all know Ping is kind of shit. Well, not kind of. It is shit. But I’ve been thinking recently (dangerous, I know) and I reckon there are a few ways that it can be rescued. Apple’s failed attempt at “social” is not dead yet.

First, I’m impressed that anyone has any thoughts about Ping. Second, Haworth is absolutely right. Via Jim Dalrymple.

Personal annoyance: due to Ping’s integration with the iTunes app, any push notifications from it are given unusually high priority. When someone follows me on Ping, I receive a notification which I am unable to disable, and unlocking my iPhone will send me straight into iTunes, even if the notification is hours-old.

This looks much darker, and much more plot-driven than Quantum was. There’s a nice interpolation of the Bond theme towards the end of this trailer, and some spectacular visuals. Superb.

Panic has announced the long-awaited next version of their stupid-good one-window website creation tool, Coda. They’ve also announced a companion iPad app for just ten bucks. Boy, am I thrilled.

I found the Tumblr of my best friend from elementary school, through his Facebook profile. I haven’t seen him for the better part of a decade, since he moved to Scotland, England, then New York, but I noticed he still has a pretty spectacular taste in music. I therefore issued a small challenge:

nickheer asked: If you had, say, four songs to describe fragility, which would you choose?

His choices are truly great. Four songs perfectly describing the notion of fragility.

Gabe Weatherhead:

I’ve looked over some of the speculation and personal attacks circulating about Gruber’s switch of networks and have one conclusion: There are a number of self-important dickheads with nothing important to do.

This is the precise conclusion you will also reach if you care to peruse the Reddit thread regarding the split.

Sebastiaan de With suggests a much better Bing. It’s the same amount of information with a substantially more elegant, clear presentation.

Now, Google’s starting to put on pounds. Its mandatory ‘social’ search results, page thumbnails that fly out of your cursor, integration with the not-quite-perfect Play Store (or was it Marketplace? I forget); Microsoft is in a place to innovate on the design of web search. Not by adding social sidebars to it, but by letting the content breathe. What would that look like?

9to5 Mac has an update on a bunch of new and updated Apple retail stores, but I’m linking to the one that’s personally relevant. My local Market Mall store is moving to the ex-Hilfiger store1 in front of the south entrance, which is a great location. The front looks like it has curved glass, which puts it more in-line with some of the trends shaping Apple’s recent flagship stores in Hong Kong Plaza and Nanjing. It’s too bad that this is still a mall store, though.

  1. To the best of my memory. ↥︎