Things Companies Do

Apple and the FBI are in a legal dustup which, at its core, is the pin code lock on an iPhone. The FBI wants Apple to help them circumvent it. Apple refuses, on Bill of Rights grounds. We’ll find out what actions people actually take over the next few months after the lawyers are done wrangling.

In the meantime… What did Amazon just do? Why they just pushed an over the air update to all Kindles which turned off my Kindle’s pin code completely.


Apple is actively resisting cracking a single phone’s pin code.

Amazon just turned them off, for everyone.

Gee. Thanks Amazon. Glad you have my back.

Apple Watch

A few snap impressions:

  1. It’s both more and less than what I expected. It just screams (un)realized potentially.

  2. Apple packaging is quickly becoming a parody of itself. 

  3. There’s a sync process really early on which is crazy slow and prevents one from using you device. Man does that need to get kicked to the curb at the soonest possible opportunity.

Apple Design In One Sentence…

Everything you need to know about Apple product design in one sentence:

Apple isn’t going to dent [a] superlative feature unless it’s under duress from an alien invasion. — Andy Ihnatko

LOL! So true…

The list of what are the superlative features of an given Apple product are the foundation on which everything else is built. Many Apple watchers & commentators simply don’t understand that, so they get everything else wrong.

Revenge of the -Ly Song

The App Store is killing me right now.

Apple and Google both stopped accepting “Flappy” apps, because it was getting ridiculous. (And for Google to do that – you know that means truly insane.)

The response?

To the Thesarusomobile!

Splashy! Trashy! OMG – LOOK AT ALL OF THE WORDS THAT END IN -LY! Three words is completely different than two! They can’t ban us now!

There’s even a song!



They’re going to need to ban just about every adjective in the English language by the time they’re done…

Apple's Jonathan Ive gets obsessive about design

OBJECTIFIED from applechronicles on Vimeo.

I remember the first time I saw an Apple product. I remember it so clearly, because it was the first time I realized that I when I saw this product, I got a very clear sense of the people who designed it and made it.

A big definition of who you are as a designer, it’s the way that you look at the world. I guess it’s one of the sort of curses of what you do. Is that you’re constantly looking at something and thinking why… Why… WHY is it like that? What… Why is like that and not like this? In that sense you are constantly designing.

When we’re designing a product, we have to look to different attributes of the product. Some of those attributes will be the materials that it’s made from and the form of those materials. So for example, the first iMac that we made, the primary component of that was the CRT which was spherical. We would have an entirely different approach to designing something like than the current iMac which is a flat display. Other issues would be just physically how do you connect to the product. So for example, the iPhone everything defers to the display.

A lot of what we seem to be doing (in a product like that) is getting design out of the way. I think when forms develop with that sort of reason, and they’re not just arbitrary shapes, it feels almost inevitable. It feels almost undesigned. It feels almost like of course it’s that way, why wouldn’t it be any other way?

There is a remarkable efficiency and beauty to just how much a single part can do. One of the things we push and push ourselves on is trying to figure out can we do the job of those six parts with just one. The design of this, in many ways, wasn’t the design of a physical thing. It was figuring out process.

It’s really important in a product to have a sense of the hierarchy of what’s important and what’s not important, by removing those things which are all vying for your attention. An indicator has a value when it’s indicating something, but if it’s not indicating something, it shouldn’t be there. It’s one of those funny things. You spend so much time to make it less conspicuous and less obvious.

If you think about it, so many of the products we’re surrounded by, they want you to be aware of how clever the solution was.

When the indicator comes on, I wouldn’t expect anyone to point to that as a feature. But at, on some level I think you’re aware of a calm and considered solution. That therefore speaks about how you’re going to use it, and not the terrible struggles we as designed and engineers had in trying to solve some of the problems.

That’s quite obsessive, isn’t it?

Thinking Fast & Slow – Priming….

“In the 1980s, psychologists discovered that exposure to a word causes immediate and measurable changes in the ease with which many related words can be evoked.”

“Furthermore, the primed ideas have some ability to prime other ideas, although more weakly.”

Excerpt From: Kahneman, Daniel. “Thinking, Fast and Slow.” Macmillan, 2011.

Long story short, maybe Scott Adams’ metaphor as humans as meat robots is apt.

The fact that Steve Jobs wore the same clothes to work everyday, as a uniform, is an oft told story. The moral rationalizes why you should minimize decisions, because they come from the same reservoir as willpower. Replete with a tut-tut.

And now for the rest of the story…

What if he was also priming himself? He was diligent about his clothing selection. There was nothing haphazard about it. They clearly represented his ideal and ideals.

Wouldn’t wearing the same thing every day “prime” him to be consistent with his prior choices and constant in his performance?

One other thought, AFAIK, he didn’t do this until after he returned to Apple via Next. One great mystery is how did he go from the genius, but haphazard and destructive, behavior as the founder of Apple to the (more) even-keeled leader who willed both Pixar and iOS into being.

(With Pixar it was knowing when to leave well enough along. With Apple, the opposite)