Good Reads for July, 2015

Every month, we’ll be bringing you a selection of the best, if slightly longer, reads from around the web about the wonderful world of Apple. Sometimes we’ll feature think pieces on how Apple is (or isn’t) doomed, other times it will be some good old fashioned analysis of Apple’s latest product, strategy, or service. Bring your own Instapaper account, because this is Good Reads.

  • Neil Cybart of Above Avalon took one look at Apple’s latest financials and came to one conclusion: the iPhone is taking over Apple. July marked the eighth anniversary of Apple’s revolutionary mobile phone, widescreen iPod with touch controls, and a breakthrough internet communications device, and with over 726 million iPhones sold, the iPhone-train doesn’t look like its slowing down anytime soon.

From a financial and business perspective, the iPhone is the only product that matters. The iPhone is amassing so much power at Apple, it is difficult to imagine any product being able to dramatically surpass the iPhone in terms of importance over the next five years. Apple will be the iPhone company for the foreseeable future, and that classification introduces opportunities and risks that Apple will need to navigate over the coming years.

  • Over at iMore, Rene Ritchie’s iOS 9 preview gives us a look at next-generation mobile OS that we’ll be using for the next year or so. Ritchie covers the headlining features, looking at both how they work and how they’re going to make a difference, in the grand scheme of things — if we’re lucky we’ll get the final version of iOS 9 this month, but in the meantime, there’s always the iOS 9 public beta for those wanting to live on the cutting edge.

It’s not the radical redesign of iOS 7 or the functional revolution of iOS 8, but iOS 9 has the performance and polish that makes everything that came before better, and sets the iPhone and iPad up for everything that comes next.

  • Matthieu Aussaguel has an interview Jurre Houtkamp, and the result is the article about what happens when a self-confessed Apple guy explores Material Design, the design language currently being used by Google in Android. There’s not much in terms of the comparison with the look of iOS 7, 8, and 9, but it’s still a decent read about how shapes, shadows, and colours are used to put together icons and, well, mostly icons, look great.

What makes Material Design so incredibly attractive is how smooth and straightforward it is to get started and explore possibilities it has to offer with app, animations and even site design. The pace at which the Material Design trend is growing is a tribute to that, and pretty soon we’ll start seeing bigger companies turn to Material Design.

  • To answer the question of whether the Apple Watch is really worth your time, you kind of have to ask more than one person, given that everyone will have their own preferences and ideal usage scenarios. That’s what Medium has done, with 25 writers contributing to one “review” of the Apple Watch.

[…] some of the Backchannel team here at Medium decided to create the Apple Watch Project collection, inviting the writers to pool their work in a quasi-anthology, with the idea that we would eventually skim the cream to make one master review, straight from the Mediumsphere. Our review would read as if a single person wrote it, but it would actually be a product of the collective intelligence of our network.

  • Last but not least this morning, I’m pointing to a piece published on this day in 1996, the anti-Mac interface. It’s a fairly lengthy article that doesn’t just investigate what made the original Macintosh such a standout, but the design principles that went into the interface and user interactions to build the foundation we have today.

The Anti-Mac interface is not intended to be hostile to the Macintosh, only different. In fact, human interface designers at Apple and elsewhere have already incorporated some of the Anti-Mac features into the Macintosh desktop and applications. The Macintosh was designed to be “the computer for the rest of us” and succeeded well enough that it became, as Alan Kay once said, “the first personal computer good enough to be criticized.” This article should be taken in the same spirit.

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