'Becoming Steve Jobs'

A new book from Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli about Steve Jobs:

A brilliantly reported, compellingly written book that overturns the conventional view of Steve Jobs—the Jobs that is frozen forever as half genius, half jerk—Becoming Steve Jobs answers the central question about the life and career of the Apple cofounder and CEO: How did a young man so reckless and arrogant that he was exiled from the company he founded become the most effective visionary business leader of our time? Drawing on extensive interviews with Jobs’s inner circle, family members, friends, and competitors, veteran journalists Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli present a portrait of Jobs that is far more nuanced and intimate than previous biographies.

It comes out March 24th, and judging by what John Gruber had to say, it's worth a read.

You Guys Realize The Apple Watch Is Going To Flop, Right?

A senseless and uninformed article by Mark Wilson.

It's completely within your right to have an opinion, but when you write something like this, it shouldn't be taken seriously:

There’s only so much you can do with sapphire glass and power-efficient microprocessors. Current reports say the Apple Watch could burn out in times as short as 2.5 hours before needing a recharge. Best-case scenarios (you know, when you use it a lot less), might stretch its life to 19 hours. But a loyal user of the Apple Watch would be forced to take it off and recharge it four times during a workday. That’s absurd.

He clearly doesn't understand the subject matter he is writing about - or he does and is just trying to get some press.

The New York Times On The Apple Watch

Brian X. Chen on an unannounced power-saving feature of the Apple Watch:

Apple has said the watch battery is estimated to last a full day, requiring a user to charge it at night, similar to a smartphone. The company also developed a yet-to-be-announced feature called Power Reserve, a mode that will run the watch on low energy but display only the time, according to one employee.

I called this feature months ago.

Also interesting from this article is how Apple hid their test models from the public:

In an effort to maintain secrecy, engineers testing the watch outside the office even created fake casing that made the Apple device resemble a Samsung watch, one person said.

Apple Posts 'Shot On iPhone 6' Gallery

People take incredible photos and videos on iPhone 6 every day. And here are some of our favorites. Explore the gallery, learn a few tips, and see what’s possible with the world’s most popular camera.

"The best camera is the one that's with you."

It's even better when that camera also takes incredibly high-quality photographs.

☆ Turnover

It's long been my goal to become a published author - and today I'm taking the first step towards making that dream come true.

Part 1 of my multiple-part book, Turnover, is now available online for free.

Turnover is a story about an NFL player who, after unforeseen circumstances, finds himself on the forefront of a debate over a new form of alternative medicine.

I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I've enjoyed writing it.

Now back to technology.

 

The Telegraph Talks To Tim Cook About Apple Retail, Apple Watch

The Telegraph doesn't necessarily reveal any new information about the Apple Watch in this article, but I found this part involving Apple Retail to be interesting:

Staff rarely choose to leave Apple of their own volition: in many cases, they work there for years. The company enjoys extremely high levels of employee retention and loyalty - and from the scene in the Covent Garden store in London on Friday morning, the last stop on a whirlwind tour of Europe and Israel by the Apple boss, it's not difficult to see why. 

Cook and The Telegraph entered a rear entrance; nobody at the store bar the manager knew of the visit. I have witnessed many shop,office and factory visits before, with bosses being received in a variety of ways. In some cases, they were welcome but often they were met with indifference or, of course, outright hostility. 

But the reaction at the Covent Garden store was off the charts: the staff gasped, and then burst into spontaneous, loud applause as soon as they spotted Cook, who walked in behind them.

This would've been a dream come true when I worked at Apple Retail.

☆ Unanswered Questions About The Apple Watch

Up until today it was unknown whether Apple would host a second event to discuss the Apple Watch. Now that we have confirmation of a second event, let's revisit some of the biggest questions I expect to be answered on March 9th.

What will it cost?

This has probably been the most discussed aspect of the Apple Watch since it was announced. Recent speculation has suggested the Apple Watch Edition may cost up to $20,000, with the regular version fitting in somewhere around the $750 - $1,000 price point.

When and where will it be released?

Although we know the Apple Watch will be released in the US in April, the exact date is unknown, as well is the launch plans for other countries.

How will it be sold?

Recent stories have suggested Jony Ive and Angela Ahrendts are working on a redesign of the Apple Retail stores to display and sell the Apple Watch, but there's hardly a chance these changes will be ready for an April release.

How will upgrades be handled?

If the Apple Watch Edition ends up costing upwards of $10,000, will Apple offer an upgrade/trade-in program? And if so, will they announce such a program before they are available for sale?

What kind of apps will be available at launch?

I suspect Apple will invite select third-party developers on stage to showcase what they've designed for the Apple Watch. The biggest question is who?

How long will we keep it for?

Whether or not Apple will or can answer this question on March 9th is hard to say, but one has to wonder, especially when you consider the potential investment.

***

There are many other questions still in the air about the Apple Watch, but luckily we don't have to wait long for some answers.

Only 11 more days to go.



Apple Event Scheduled for March 9th

Apple just sent out invitations for a special event to be held on March 9th at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.

It's widely expected Apple will provide additional details regarding Apple Watch following the September reveal.

☆ On Apple Watch Storage Sizes

During this week's The Talk Show, the topic of Apple Watch storage sizes came up and I had a few thoughts.

We all know the Apple Watch comes in a 8GB model. The question is whether or not it will be available in larger capacities.

I can't see Apple offering different storage capacities of the Apple Watch for a couple reasons. First, it will create even more SKUs (something I discussed here). Secondly, I believe customizing the Apple Watch is more about styling it to your tastes and not adding unnecessary decisions for consumers.

The last reason may be a little off base for most people, but I'll explain. I believe Apple is ultimately heading to a future where the Apple Watch has little to no storage at all. In the beginning, the storage of the Apple Watch will be used for photos and music, both of which will soon be headed to the cloud (with iCloud Photo Library and Apple's rumored music service).

With this in mind, it makes sense that Apple would want to keep storage options simplified. Why offer a bunch of storage levels only to remove them a few years later? Not to mention, any space inside a small device like the Apple Watch not being used by the battery is always at risk of being cut out.

As a few others have said, I think we are a few years away from seeing the true product the Apple Watch was intended to be.

 

Our One Wish? Longer Battery Life

Christopher Mims of the Wall Street Journal:

Survey after survey reveals there is one thing consumers wish manufacturers would change about their gadgets. And year after year, gadget makers make only tepid gestures toward giving it to us. It’s better battery life.

I don't necessarily disagree with this statement, but I can only imagine the uproar if Apple announced a thicker iPhone - even if it had better battery life. 

Update: The battery life on my iPhone 6 Plus is still phenomenal. Just saying.

This Might Be The Worst Argument Against The Apple Car

Matthew Yglesias of Vox:

But the logic that says Apple can't have a high margin car business would also say Apple can't have a high margin smartphone business. The reality is that earning profits in competitive industries is really hard. If you are looking for a guaranteed return, you need to be in a monopolistic industry (owning telecommunications networks or copyrights to popular comic book characters) rather than making consumer products.

Making an Apple-branded car is a big risk with a high chance of failure, but it's not qualitatively different in that regard from making an MP3 player or a smartphone. If it were easy to do these things profitably, everyone would do it and the profits would be competed away. Apple's entire success over the past 15 years is built on having defied those odds before, so you can understand why the company's executives might think they can do so again.

I've been thinking a lot about this over the past week, but not enough to formulate an opinion (yet).

However, one thing I don't doubt for a second is Apple's ability to make a profitable product.

Darkroom for iOS

There's no shortage of photo-editing apps available for iOS, and with good reason. The iPhone 6 has a fantastic camera and the ability to share to wherever or to whomever you like.

Since it was released, I've been a user and promoter of VSCOcam. It offers a vast array of premium filters and solid editing features to boot. If I had one complaint of VSCOcam, it can be cumbersome. It's a pain to import pictures from your camera roll into your library for editing. Plus, it's hard enough for me to utilize Instagram, let alone upload images into VSCOcam's social network (which I find to be utterly confusing).

Enter Darkroom for iOS.

Darkroom seamlessly (and quickly) syncs with my Camera Roll and allows me to efficiently apply minor edits such as contrast and saturation levels. Plus, with an in-app purchase, I can make curve adjustments similar to Photoshop. If you're not sure what I mean by curve adjustments, watch this video.

One of my favourite features of Darkroom is in regards to sharing images. If you take a look at my Instagram profile (no pressure), you'll notice most of my images aren't in the traditional 1:1 ratio Instagram forces everyone to use. With VSCOcam, I had to use a separate app, Whitagram, which allowed me to take non-square images and convert them to a 1:1 ratio. With Darkroom, this is as simple as flicking a switch labelled 'Save as Square Photo.'

This isn't all to say I'm giving up VSCOcam. As great as Darkroom is for editing images, even it's ability to create custom filters isn't enough to replace VSCOcam. Together, both apps provide a great one-two punch for making photo edits on-the-go.

PS: if you'd like to see some images I've edited with Darkroom, check out my Instagram profile. I tag all images with the app I used for edits.