How Apple Should Fix Apple TV

Three devices: A connected television device to stream and watch all your favorite content with a new touch-sensitive remote control. A living room gaming device with instant access to thousands of games made by developers all around the world, and a great new controller. An always-on home assistant and hub with access to thousands of apps and services.
A connected television device.
A living room gaming device.
An always-on home assistant.
Are you getting it? These are not three separate devices.⁵ This is one device. And we are calling it Apple TV.

All I (and many others) are getting is how Apple is not getting the potential of Apple TV.

via How Apple Should Fix Apple TV – 500ish Words

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UK Hover Train on Inside Out East

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0952dp0/inside-out-east-18092017

There is a fascinating segment about the UK Hover Train developed back in the 1970s and then frustratingly abandoned in this ‘Inside Out East’ programme on iPlayer (Hover Train features at 19m 40s in, available until 18 Oct).

I had heard about the Hover Trains existence before but this is the first film footage I have seen. Such a waste of technological development. Could have been the Concorde of the land.

At the unveiling of Apple’s new flagship smartphone yesterday, the iPhone X, CEO Tim Cook said it was something the company’s staff had been working on for a decade.

The new premium handset with its edge-to-edge display (minus one unfortunate top notch) does away with the physical home button entirely and makes greater use of gestures for controlling the UI.

The new interface for multitasking looks fluid and intuitive. But it also — if you’ve been smartphone watching for long enough — engenders a distinct feeling of déjà vu…

Specifically it looks rather like webOS running on the Palm Pre — a handset that was announced in 2009, after Jon Rubinstein, former SVP of Apple’s iPod division, had been lured out of retirement in Mexico by Palm

I had the same thought during the keynote (the dock and the swipe up bar, to rounded app cards, look very WebOS). The iOS interface has evolved and converged to look similar to WebOS (which was beautiful). I don’t believe Apple had this UI done a decade ago and in the can, it’s evolved since Jonny Ive took the reins.

But Apple going hard in the past after any competitor that emulates them won’t win them much sympathy.

via The iPhone X reveals why Tim Cook was so mad about Palm | TechCrunch

Power Cut Status Page
Power Cut Status Text Only Web Page

The local power company provides their power cut status in a table as a text only responsive web page.

We recognise that during a power cut customers won’t have access to WIFI. If you’re using 3G/4G then you may have trouble downloading images so here’s a simple list of all of the current power cuts we’re aware of in London, South and East of England. This is exactly the same information you’ll find on our interactive map.

With recent weather events I recalled this screenshot I took as a good example of knowing your users and their requirements. During a power cut those are your constraints and you are glad someone had the foresight to provide the information quickly and considerately in this way. Good customer service, in a moment of bad customer service.

Embrace AMP or AMP Wins

We need an HMTL Lite. Or HTMLite to be more slogan-y.

The web is remarkably powerful. Too powerful.

We have been hoisted by our own petard, as the saying goes.

With each powerful new innovation in web technologies we enable those bad actors among us who degrade the experience for millions. For classic textual content of the sort that we all consume in volumes, it is destructive to its own long term health. Many parties (including large players like Apple and Facebook) have introduced alternatives that circumvent the web almost entirely.

A subset of HTML and scripting. A request header passed by the browser that demands HTMLite content, with the browser and caching agents enforcing those limits on publishers (rejecting the content wholesale if it breaks the rules).

We need to embrace the theory of AMP while rejecting the centralized control and monitor that it entails.

In response to Embrace AMP or AMP Wins – Dennis Forbes.

Liking the passion, I dislike the existence of AMP too. We have been down this road before tho.

I think a subset sounds appealing but like AMP, it would be too limited and then expand scope as time went by with interested parties demands.

The knowledge of and support for Save-Data needs to increase dramatically, along with the will to spend the time and reduce page weights and put content first.

YouTube Change 2017

The change happened for me and I have to admit I am quite liking this revamped YouTube. The use of white space, but it feels things got more scannable. The profiles are laid out in a sensible way. It’s built with Polymer web components, nice to see Google ‘dog fooding’ their own framework.

I like everything except the eye-searing cherry red.

 

Cortana and Alexa Team Up

By the end of the year, you’ll be able to tell your Windows 10 PC “Hey Cortana, open Alexa” and talk to Amazon’s personal assistant. Or if your Echo is in earshot, you’ll be able to tell it “Alexa, open Cortana” to talk to Microsoft’s assistant instead. Microsoft and Amazon are working together to ensure that their voice-driven digital assistants will be able to work together in a surprising collaboration.

Both companies have reach in areas the other does not; Microsoft says that there are some 145 million monthly active Cortana users on Windows 10 PCs, while Amazon has found success selling its Echo speakers into living rooms and bedrooms. With this partnership you’ll be able to take advantage of Alexa’s easy online shopping from your PC or Cortana’s stronger calendar integration on your sofa.

I can see how the collaboration fills some gaps in the audience of each. Not so thrilled at the potential for data sharing between them which will certainly happen in future.

via Cortana and Alexa are coming together in surprising Microsoft/Amazon partnership | Ars Technica