Good Reads for June, 2017

Every month, we’ll be bringing you a selection of lightly laundered — if slightly longer — reads about the wonderful world of Apple. Sometimes, we’ll highlight what you can do on your iPad to make it feel like a true laptop replacement, discuss Apple’s famed culture of secrecy, or just reflect on how the original iPhone came to be. All I know is, bring your own Instapaper account, because this is Good Reads.

  • June marked the tenth anniversary of the original iPhone. While us Aussies didn’t get the original and had to wait until 2008 for the iPhone 3G to make its way to our shores, we’ve felt the iPhone’s impact just as much as anyone else has. Wired interviewed former Apple employee and “podfather” Tony Fadell, who says that for all of the advances that the iPhone has brought us, for every aspect of your life that has changed because the iPhone changed the game, it’s important to keep it all in perspective and not forget about “the analogue portion” of our lives. If you haven’t already seen it, I highly recommend watching Scott Forstall talk about how the original iPhone came to be at the Computer History Museum, too.

And, even more so, it has changed how my kids are growing up compared to how I and my wife grew up. And sometimes that’s a good thing, and sometimes that’s a bad thing – and it requires all of us to make the proper changes in our lives to make sure we don’t lose the analogue portion of our life and we don’t just stay digital and mobile all the time.

  • June was also the month of WWDC, and if you wanted a wrap up of the event and thoughts on Apple’s upcoming software releases as well as where their current focuses lie, then look no further. Steven Sinofsky was the former president of the Windows division at Microsoft, and he wrote at length about the important advances in both iOS 11, macOS High Sierra, as well as the importance that Apple placed on high-end hardware with both the announcement of the iMac Pro and upgraded iPad Pro.

What Apple showed at WWDC expands computing in new ways — new capabilities for mobile phones that can be used by a scaled ecosystem, new hardware combined with software capabilities that can (finally) change how typical business users accomplish productivity tasks, and hardware and software for consumers that bring a new take on the execution of existing by still immature categories.

  • The introduction of the new 10.5-inch iPad Pro has given a lot of people food for thought about what they want out of a computer. Some say that the iPad is not, and will never be, a true laptop replacement, arguing that it’s best suited for drawing. But for every person that’s lamenting about how they can’t get work done on an iPad, there’s someone doing great work on the iPad. Justin Searls says that everyone’s definition of productivity is different, which makes the iPad equally capable of productivity as any laptop.

This is a long post, but that’s because I’m not only using the iPad to solve a simple tooling problem, I’m using it to solve a mental one as well. I’ve found there is no way to usefully distinguish our software tools from our thought processes: each informs and influences the other. […] But I also hope that by reflecting on my broader motivations, you might question some of your own preconceptions, as well.

  • There’s something ironic about a leaked internal memo at Apple being the centrepiece of an investigation by The Outline into the world of Apple secrecy. Apple’s Global Security team works tirelessly to uphold Apple’s legendary hush surrounding upcoming products, either to keep them out of the hands of competitors, counterfeiters, or the press, but somehow, that doesn’t stop parts being smuggled out of factories in China.

According to the hour-long presentation, Apple’s Global Security team employs an undisclosed number of investigators around the world to prevent information from reaching competitors, counterfeiters, and the press, as well as hunt down the source when leaks do occur. Some of these investigators have previously worked at U.S. intelligence agencies like the National Security Agency (NSA), law enforcement agencies like the FBI and the U.S. Secret Service, and in the U.S. military.

  • As much as we all like Apple’s glamorous, futuristic spaceship campus, Wired says it’s not perfect. In fact, it kinda sucks if you care about cities. When the city of Cupertino wanted Apple to give something back and asked for free Wi-Fi, Steve Jobs said that sure, they could do free Wi-Fi if Apple got out of paying taxes, and that’s kind of what Wired are digging at here. Apple could have decided to improve any aspect of the city it resided in, but they’re building the best office space in the world.

People rightly credit Apple for defining the look and feel of the future; its computers and phones seem like science fiction. But by building a mega-headquarters straight out of the middle of the last century, Apple has exacerbated the already serious problems endemic to 21st-century suburbs like Cupertino—transportation, housing, and economics. Apple Park is an anachronism wrapped in glass, tucked into a neighborhood.

Featured image via James Bareham of The Verge.

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