Here's how notifications work on the Apple Watch: When a new one comes in, the "taptic engine" — a linear actuator — literally taps you on the wrist to let you know about it. There's no loud buzzing to draw anyone else's attention, just a subtle but recognizable tap, designed for you and you alone. Meanwhile, the "short look" for the notification provides a minimum of information. Nothing that anyone could oversee — just the icon for the app and a brief bit of context as to who or why.
If you lower your wrist, it goes away. Keep your wrist raised or tap the notification, and it expands into a "long look" to give you more details. It's the kind of staging that respects that with greater intimacy comes greater responsibility. And I hope it's a sign of more features to come.
The stability of Apple's platforms has been the subject of a lot of debate recently. Whether you agree with it or not, there's a growing sentiment that the quality of Apple's software has gone downhill in recent years, and that some form of "Snow Leopard moment" is needed to get it back on track.
There's no such thing as perfection. We strive for it. We seek it. But we can never find it. Because everything has its advantages and disadvantages, its good points and bad. Everything is a compromise. Knowing that, understanding that, the trick becomes finding the best compromise. For me, for a few years, that's been a 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro at home, and a 13-inch MacBook Air for travel. But now that's changed. Now I'm typing this on an airplane, on a 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro. So, why?
I watch a lot of movies and TV shows. Not all of them are good. Not all of them have the most captivating actors, the most polished scripts, the most engaging direction, or the highest production values. Some of them are, to put it kindly, silly, awkward, rough around the edges, and in one way or another complete and utter rubbish. Yet, I love them. Likewise, there's are some beautiful, brilliant, magnificent works of art that I just don't like. Not one bit. Why is that?
You can pay with money. You can pay with time. You can pay with attention. You can pay with data. Depending on what you have the most of, and what holds the greatest value to you, there exists options to meet your price. Apple and Amazon want your money. Open source wants your time. Facebook and Google want your attention and your data. Sometimes this results in discord. Sometimes in harmony. I'd argue that, with the iPhone, they exist in harmony. Apple charges a premium price for it and, because people willing to pay that price are highly valuable, everyone include Amazon and Facebook and Google want their attention-grabbing services front and center so they can collect as much data as possible. That makes the iPhone not only the only Apple phone on the market, but one of the best phones for Amazon and Facebook and Google customers as well. Hell, throw Microsoft on that pile too.
See that picture up top? That's me trying to figure out a) which flight I'm about to miss, b) which event is next, and c) how I got stuck in the Matrix. And why's that? Because this week marks the first in what will no doubt be several crazy summer weeks in mobile and at Mobile Nations. For my part, I leave for Orlando today to join Kevin Michaluk and what feels like most of the CrackBerry nation for BlackBerry Live 2013. I'll be there in my Mobile Nations producer capacity to help broadcast and record not only CrackBerry Live TV -- we'll be streaming straight from the show floor! -- but also to continue working on #TM13...
I'm sitting at San Francisco airport, staring out over runways and mountains untouched by the cold or snow that await me at home, remembering with fondness the sights and sounds, products and people of Macworld|iWorld 2013, and already looking forward to next year. We shot a ton of video, and you'll be seeing it go up all this week. Enjoy it, because Paul Kent and crew once again proved it's the people that make all the difference.
It's a public holiday in Montreal and the rest of Quebec -- St. John the Baptiste day or National Day, which is basically a provincial version of Canada Day or Independence Day. As with any summer holiday, I care only so much as it means barbecue and beverages, and I have an excuse to keep tonight's column brief. Ish.