Recent 2.0 updates to two apps, Sleep++ and HeartWatch, are bright spots on a presently dim Apple Watch app horizon.
I don’t currently have a strong interest in sleep tracking, so I can’t verify the strong reviews the Sleep++ is getting. HeartWatch, however, is an app I have been using ever since I first heard about it over on MacStories. The 2.0 release is a huge update that not only improves heart rate tracking but also provides a substantial upgrade in the visual representation of your heart data. I love going into the app every day to see how I’m doing in the three basic heart rate zones.
The Apple Watch is not yet a mainstream must have, but it is shaping up to be a compelling health tracking platform and these are just two apps that can give you a peek into a healthier lifestyle.
I like Google’s “Be Together, Not the Same” spots, but I’m not convinced they’re unrivaled.
Brad Frost very succinctly distills the importance of the distinction of front end design:
A frontend designer (who may also go by UI developer, client-side developer, UI engineer, design engineer, frontend architect, designer/developer, prototyper, unicorn, or Bo Jackson) lives in a sort of purgatory between worlds:
- They understand UX principles and best practices, but may not spend their time conducting research, creating flows, and planning scenarios
- They have a keen eye for aesthetics, but may not spend their time pouring over font pairings, comparing color palettes, or creating illustrations and icons.
- They understand the importance of backend development, but may not spend their time writing backend logic, spinning up servers, load testing, etc.
Of course this varies from person to person. Sometimes one person handles frontend design in addition to their other roles. They may primary be a developer (making them a “full-stack developer” as the kids say) or they may be a designer (making them a “full-stack designer” I guess?). Sometimes – especially as organizations get larger – frontend design is handled by people who often find themselves awkwardly siloed in one department or another.
This dichotomy is especially challenging in an organization that expects application developers with little to no front end design experience to handle the heavy lifting of developing robust and secure applications along with delivering a pleasant and manageable user interaction experience. It’s a tough job that only the most uniquely qualified individual or team can handle. Organizations who wish to succeed in delivering great applications should seriously consider the importance of the right skill mix when building their development teams.
At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last week, Samsung unveiled their latest flagship phones, the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge. Gone are the days of design cues brazenly borrowed from Apple; enter the era of admirable fit and finish and improved attention to detail.
While Samsung has started to walk its own design path, I’m not sure I can say quite the same for Xiaomi. The just-announced Mi 5, seemingly kicks its predecessor’s iPhone influence to the curb in favor its more closely related OS cousin, the Galaxy S7. If you can get past the unoriginality and the limited availability, the Mi 5 is an incredible deal for a small package that packs a powerful punch.
Android manufacturers are known for the tech spec arms race and these new phones do not disappoint. Reportedly top-notch camera results, high-powered processors, and long lasting battery are great selling points in the ever demanding market for smartphones. I’m still personally well-entrenched in the iOS/Apple camp, but for those of you who are happy jumping back and forth or identify as Android 4-eva, it’s a great time to be alive.
Dave Wiskus, announcing the release of his band’s new EP and … book?
“Amsterdam” is available on iTunes and Spotify and Amazon. We’re also trying a new medium: iBooks.
The book contains the same four studio tracks as the EP, but a new format allows us to go further; every song is a chapter, with the music, lyrics sheet, original demo, and stories that inspired the song.
“While it’s certainly possible that the great days of iPhone sales growth are over, I wouldn’t make that prediction just yet. ”
In a report outlining recent rumors of an upcoming iPhone 5se, The Verge celebrates Apple’s original innovation with the touch interface by understating the significance of its newest innovation.
It’s really easy to imagine how Apple could make Live Photos work without 3D Touch — just use a long press — but it also kinda sorta speaks to the shortcomings of 3D Touch: that it often feels like a long press could accomplish all the same things.
I agree that a long press can accomplish most or all of the actions introduced by 3D Touch, but that misses the point. It’s not that 3D Touch is the only way; it is a better way. Peek & Pop is a shortcut that would cease to be shorter if initiated by a long press. Plus, how do you “pop” – press longer?
Katie Roof, reporting for TechCrunch:
iTunes Radio will no longer be free, as of January 28. In an email to customers, Apple said that the Pandora-like service will only be available for Apple Music subscribers, which costs $9.99 per month.
Most of the Apple TV users I know own the 3rd generation Apple TV, listen to iTunes radio a lot, and do not subscribe to Apple Music. I’m not an alarmist when Apple drops outdated ports or features, but if this move is intended to increase subscriber numbers for Apple Music, it’s misguided. Hopefully this means that an update is coming for the older Apple TV that will finally add a Pandora app.