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Not Good: Just 45,000 iPhone X Units Available at Launch?
it's rumored the problem pertains to the front-facing camera's dot projector
apple  mobile  rumor 
18 hours ago by jasonsamuels
The scale of tech winners • Benedict Evans
On the fact that the big tech companies nowadays are a lot bigger than the past ones (specifically, Microsoft + Intel):
<p>Scale means these companies can do a lot more. They can make smart speakers and watches and VR and glasses, they can commission their own microchips, and they can think about upending the $1.2tr car industry. They can pay more than many established players for content - in the past, tech companies always talked about buying premium TV shows but didn’t actually have the cash, but now it’s part of the marketing budget. Some of these things are a lot cheaper to do than in the past (smart speakers, for example, are just commodity smartphone components), but not all of them are, and the ability to do so many large experimental projects, as side-projects, without betting the company, is a consequence of this scale, and headcount.

On the other hand, that the market is big enough for four tech giants, not just one (Wintel) partnership, means we have four companies aggressively competing and cooperating with each other, and driving each other on, and each trying somehow to commoditise the others’ businesses. None of them quite pose a threat to the others’ core - Apple won’t do better search than Google and Amazon won’t do better operating systems than Apple. But the adjacencies and the new endpoints that they create do overlap, even if these companies get to them from different directions, and as consumers we all benefit. If I want a smart speaker, I can choose from two with huge, credible platforms behind them today, and probably four in six months, each making them for different reasons with different philosophies. No-one applied that kind of pressure to Microsoft.

How do the mice do when there are four elephants fighting it out? As we saw with first GoPro and now perhaps Sonos, if you’re riding the smartphone supply chain cornucopia but can’t construct a story further up the stack, around cloud, software, ecosystem or network effects, you’re just another commodity widget maker. And the aggressive competition in advertising products from Google, Facebook and now to some extent Amazon has taken a lot of the oxygen away from anyone else.</p>
apple  google  amazon  facebook 
19 hours ago by charlesarthur
While Apple is taking away buttons, we found a way to add one • Astro HQ
Savannah Reising on the company's search for a new UI element for its iPad app:
<p>We set out to find an alternative to the Astropad ring. The obvious first option was to make a new gesture, but we realized pretty quickly that there was limited room for this. Every edge of the iPad is already occupied with an existing gesture: swipe up for your dock, left to search, and down for notifications. We really needed something novel to work with.

Our Astro HQ cofounder Giovanni Donelli said that the idea to turn the camera into a button came like lightning, “I had been staring at a white bezel iPad for so long, and I kept wishing there was another home button we could use. My eyes kept falling on the camera, and I really wanted to touch it!” Giovanni built an initial prototype of the Camera Button within an hour.

<img src="*py8y178x_6Fb0HQZ04enTg.gif" width="100%" />

Turning the camera into a reliably functioning button didn’t come without challenges. In total, we spent four months of continuous engineering efforts to get past these hurdles…</p>

Once you see it, it's completely obvious - like all the great ideas. Though this does remind me of the Camera+ hack, which years ago found a way to make the camera fire by pressing the volume button. Apple then blocked it. Then, uh, stole it: you can now take pictures on iPhones by pressing the volume button. Not sure if Astro is going to go through the same. Hope not.
ipad  ui  apple 
19 hours ago by charlesarthur
Computing pioneer Alan Kay calls Apple's iPad user interface 'poor'
Kay's harsh words weren't reserved just for Apple. The computing pioneer took issue with the larger computing industry in general, in particular the ways computers are integrated into education.

"The education establishment in the U.S. has generally treated the computer as sort of like a typewriter," Kay said. "I've used the analogy of what would happen if you put a piano in every classroom. If there is no other context, you will get a "chopsticks" culture, and maybe even pop culture... 'the music is not in the piano.'"
apple  design 
19 hours ago by jomc

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