The Bright Future of AppleOS and Multi-Touch Universal Computing

Steve Jobs once noted that Apple's extensive user testing studies didn't favor using multi-touch on a Mac screen.

But that was a long time ago during a Mac special event in October 2010 where he introduced iOS features to its Mac counterpart.

A long time ago, at least, in computing years.

What Jobs rightfully pointed out back then was that hardware was one reason that multi-touch didn't work in a vertical desktop computing environment. Touch wanted to be horizontal and vertically oriented touch was "ergonomically terrible." Additionally, there was an internal architecture issue with the hardware. Apple's touch-based devices operated on a different chipset than its desktop counterparts.

Things continue to change on all these fronts.

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Phil Schiller's All-New App Store

No, I'm not talking about that one...entirely.

I thought it would be worth pointing out—and thanking—Phil Schiller for the changes since he's taken over the App Store back at the end of 2015. Plus, he also went to Boston College. People who went there are pretty smart I've heard.

With that, here's a list starting from June 2016 through June 2017. Not mentioned in the formal announcements are the much faster review times, letting developers use the same Apple ID across iTunes Connect organizations, and giving developers more control over resetting reviews. The breakdown includes commentary on what we especially liked and what we hope to see continue to improve.

All in all, these are amazing updates in a relatively short period of time. Congrats to Phil and the entire, hard-working App Store team!

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The Right Way to Use Slack

You might have guessed that I’m not breaking up with Slack. We’ve been using Slack and other tools like it since the early days of Savvy Apps back in 2009. Through the years, we’ve continued to both try new tools and end of life others. Whether it was Unfuddle and Campfire in the older days or Trello and Slack in 2016, we’ve constantly looked at each tool in terms of what we want them to do for us. We’ve had regular conversations with our team about how—and how not—we should use each of these tools. The reason? We never want any of them to run our day.

Being Unproductive is Not Slack’s Fault

Whether it’s Slack, HipChat, Trello, JIRA, Dropbox, GitHub, email, or any number of other tools, most people and organizations let the tools they use dictate how they’re supposed to work. They haven’t taken the time to think how best to use these tools or how they fit into their workflow. As a team, they then don’t have a shared perspective on what these tools are for and how they should be used. With each person then using these tools how they want, the results are frustration, distraction, becoming unproductive, and yes, even people blaming and quitting these tools.

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Goals versus Systems

I'm a big proponent on focusing on doing good work and letting the rest fall into place. That doesn't mean that I never plan, I just often focus more on executing at my standard of quality versus the end result. James Clear takes that a step further in his Forget About Setting Goals. Focus on This Instead,

What I’m starting to realize, however, is that when it comes to actually getting things done and making progress in the areas that are important to you, there is a much better way to do things.

It all comes down to the difference between goals and systems.

He provides some compelling arguments for why goals can actually be counter-productive to success, outlining the strengths of focusing on systems. It's a worthwhile read.

Everyday Convenience

Benedict Evan’s “Cloudy” take on WWDC has dovetailed with a number of thoughts I’ve had over the last few months:

I’ve described this before by saying that Apple is moving innovation down the stack into hardware/software integration, where it’s hard for Google to follow, and Google is moving innovation up the stack into cloud-based AI & machine learning services, where it’s hard for Apple to follow. This isn’t a tactical ‘this’ll screw those guys’ approach – it reflects the fundamental characters of the two companies. Google thinks about improving UX by reducing page load times, Apple thinks about UX by making it easier to scroll that page.

In particular, this excerpt reminded me of Fred Wilson’s recent comments about Apple not being a “top three” technology company by 2020 because they don’t get the cloud. Over the last couple of years, it has been arguable that Google is getting better at what Apple does faster than Apple is with Google’s core competencies. Whether it’s user experience, design, or even a more platform-centric approach, Google has advanced those fairly quickly compared to Apple’s mastering of the cloud.

So, yes it was a year of Apple having the cloud—including what Benedict calls the “personal cloud”—underpin a number of their key initiatives. But with Google getting better at some of Apple’s strengths, will Apple’s “dumb cloud” approach be able to compete with the likes of Google Now?

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