Sunday, January 24

Long Live Touch

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?

Monday, July 27

Power for iOS: iPhone Battery Indicator for Apple Watch

In my five or so weeks with Apple Watch, the quote-unquote obvious feature that I most frequently pine for is a simple iPhone battery indicator, either as a glance or, most usefully as a complication for one of the compatible watch faces. Apple’s argument against such a feature is indirectly reflected in one of their most consistent talking points – iPhone hardware and software is designed to get you through the day, so why do you need this?

Apple’s scores of iPhone users undoubtedly have varying definitions of “all-day”, and who knows how many different ways you can define typical usage. Enter Power for iOS. Power is an iOS/Watch app that brings at-a-glance battery information to your Apple Watch. A simple problem and an even simpler solution. Sometimes that’s all you need for something great. And now, with Power 1.1, just released today, you can receive notifications when your battery reaches certain thresholds as it drains or charges. On paper that doesn’t seem like much, but in practice this is great for those “watched pot never boils” moments when you’re waiting for your iPhone to charge before leaving the house for a run or an errand; or if you’re super neurotic about charge percentages like I am.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple eventually implements a native version of this, but in the meantime we have Power for iOS to bridge the gap until then. I hope the developers of Power are already looking into the third-party complications capabilities of watchOS 2. I guess we’ll find out this fall.

Tuesday, March 03

MacRumors: Google Reportedly Preparing Android Wear for iPhone and iPad

Bravo, Google. I didn’t expect it, but I’m also not surprised by it. They’ve always been more open to cross-platform compatibility, a position enabled by their ad-revenue based business model. It will be interesting to see if this strategy works against the expected luxury pricing of the Apple Watch.