A Computer Company

Things I want a computer company to be Hardware manufacturer Operating system vendor Model for how to build the best software for their platform Good corporate citizen Inspiration Things I don’t want a computer company to be Music store Music streaming service Television studio Movie studio News aggregator Fitness studio Advertisement company Bank Credit card… Continue reading

The Title

This is something I’ve long intuited based on my own web browsing habits but never really put into words. When I stop and think about it, modern web browsers drive me crazy by limiting tabs to a maximum width because that width is almost never enough to show the full page title.

Well, except one web browser: Safari.

If Safari on macOS Monterey is heading in a similar direction where web page titles are going to be even more truncated, that’s going to make me sad. I guess we should do something about it.

Continue reading

Delight on a Grand Scale

I’m trying very hard not to fall into the trap of being yet another old man yelling at kids to get off my lawn, but I struggle to find delight on a grand scale in modern software. Every incremental step, year over year (from all companies, this isn’t just about Apple), seems to be focused on removing emotion and affection from our devices rather than finding ways to strengthen that bond.

Continue reading

The Entire Amount of Commerce

Since Apple will stand on a virtual stage tomorrow and tell us how much they love, value, and appreciate third-party developers, I want to be crystal clear about the value these apps (and many others) provide.

I could switch to Windows and Android. I wouldn’t like it, but I could make the switch. Except for all those third-party apps. I couldn’t give those up without significant effort – if it would even be possible to find replacements for each.

Third-party apps are what keep me locked into Apple’s lucrative don’t-call-it-a-walled-garden.

In any healthy software ecosystem, third-party developers and the platform vendor are a symbiotic relationship. To pretend otherwise is fanciful gaslighting.

Continue reading

Mortal Mac App Sins

Maybe I’m just an ornery old man yelling at the new kids running through my lawn. Maybe I should be content to retrain myself to hit ⌘H instead of ⌘W when I no longer want to see a non-document-based app but want to keep it running.

Maybe Apple has done the research and realized that a decade-plus of relearning computers with iOS had taught the over-60 crowd that fullscreen apps are the be-all-end-all. And Gen-Z, who grew up with touch screens, intuits that as well. Maybe there are diminishing numbers of us in the middle reluctantly dragging overlapping windows around like cave people?

Regardless, there is one specific UX sin that interrupts my workflow and annoys me more than anything else on macOS. I want to call out a few of those offending apps now before offering my dumb solution.

Continue reading

Receipts

Ten months ago I drafted a post about how incredible the Apple ecosystem is when all the pieces fit together. It was a month into the pandemic and I found myself walking through a real-life Apple commercial in the grocery store.

I was a bit stunned when I got back to my car and it sorta hit me just how well the entire end-to-end experience worked. As a lifelong adherent of the positive influence and power that well made software and hardware can have over our lives, I was taken aback.

And so while I was planning on finishing my thank-you post to Apple this weekend, that’s not going to happen.

Instead, let’s talk about receipts.

Continue reading

The Apple Hero 2020 Needs

Rakhim is the hero we need in 2020.

Please don’t let the comedic nature of the video turn you away. I’m not sure if there is a better way he could have presented this.

Stay for the entire trainwreck so you can appreciate the focus of a two-trillion dollar company that says subscription services revenue is the future.

He really does make some excellent observations about usability, attention to detail, care, and obviousness in software.

I cackled for the full 18 minutes.

Continue reading

The App That Never Was

While using one of my favorite iOS Shortcuts the other day, it occurred to me how much things have changed in six years.

I say six years ago specifically because it was in 2014 that I made an iOS app called Upshot.

Sadly, Upshot never saw the light of day because I couldn’t get it past App Review for very dumb reasons. Lucky for you though, after I show the ridiculously simple Shortcut that I now use instead, this gives me the opportunity to tell you my very favorite App Store rejection story.

Continue reading