When it comes to price, the Apple Watch is not a watch.

AppleWatch

 

I’ve had an interesting point come up in a couple conversations after Apple announced their new Watch today. $350 is not a lot of money for a nice watch. People spend much, much more on watches that do a lot less. The difference, though, is a nice watch will remain relevant and perfectly functional for as long as you take good care of it. The Apple Watch will remain relevant for 2 to 5 years, while it’s function may slightly exceed that. How many times have you pulled an old cellphone out of a drawer to find that it won’t charge anymore? How long will it be before Apple drops this first-generation device off of its support list for connecting to future devices?

I don’t mean to say that the Apple Watch won’t be worth its price-tag. For many people (maybe including myself) I’m sure it will be. What I am saying, though, is that we shouldn’t let the form fool us into seeing it in the wrong context. This is not a long-term investment in a luxury watch. I think it should be framed as the same investment we make in any other electronic device, for better or worse.

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iTunes 9 Mini Player is a Swipe Away

iTunes 9 Mini Player

iTunes has two modes, the full window mode where you get full functionality, and a “Mini Player” mode that shrinks the program down into a small rectangle that still serves basic controls. On the Mac, switching between these two modes was accomplished with the green (unless you use the graphite color scheme in OS X) + button next to close and minimize. For any other window in the system though, this button toggles the size of the window to go full or fit content. iTunes broke the UI conventions, but it was serving a pretty nice purpose so most everyone forgave it. Hitting the + button to toggle between the full and mini players certainly became second nature to me.

Installing iTunes 9 brought along a nasty surprise. Apple had changed the behavior of a standard click on the + button to resize the window, just like every other application window. Getting to the mini player required holding down the Option key while clicking the + button. Not a huge deal, but it certainly interrupted the established behaviors of users.

Multiclutch Preferences Pane

With the loss of a single click for the mini player, we gained a new shortcut combination: Command Shift M. (Thanks for the heads up @cesart) With the discovery of a shortcut I did what I do with any other shortcut I use frequently. I threw it into Multiclutch. I assigned Command Shift M to the up and down three-finger swipe gesture for iTunes. Now I can switch between full and mini player modes in iTunes with a quick swipe on the trackpad. It’s actually even better than clicking on the + button like we had to do before iTunes 9. This doesn’t help desktop users any, though, and I’m hoping a simple utility or command line hack will pop up letting users switch the + button’s behavior back to toggling the mini player.

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Macbook Pro Setup

New Workstation Setup

I really enjoy documenting my computer setups, I imagine much like people enjoy taking pictures of their family as they grow and age. Seriously though, it’s just such a big part of my every day life, I think it’s interesting to be able to review the way that the tools that enable my workflow change over time.

For as long as I’ve owned a computer, I’ve always had a desktop as my primary machine. At times, I’d augment this with a secondary desktop (I kept a Windows desktop in my design studio for a couple years) and my 12″ Powerbook which served as a mobile workstation for web/communication/photography duties. I experimented with several tools such as Continue Reading

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iPhone OS 3.0 Event: March 17th

iPhone OS 3.0Engadget is reporting that Apple will be unveiling details about the next major release of the iPhone/Touch operating system, iPhone OS 3.0 on March 17th at 10am PST (1pm EST). The presentation will surely be targeted at developers in an effort to guide them in updating current and future applications for the new OS.

Personally, I’m fairly impressed with the speed at which Apple is releasing major updates to thier new mobile platform. The iPhone and Touch aren’t even 2 years old yet, and we’re looking at version 3 of the operating system coming out soon.

It will be interesting to see what major changes make their way into version 3.0 of the system firmware. I expect/hope we’ll see the ability to run applications in the background, as rumored in the past. If we don’t see features like copy/paste and MMS support… well I just don’t like to think about it, even though I’m expecting we’ll be disappointed again. (Apple, just look at hClipboard. It’s already been done for you!) My own feature-wish-list contains a few more things, like standard Bluetooth profiles for file transfer, keyboards, proximity detection, and stereo audio.

I wonder if we’ll see any features that will hint at new hardware. I’d love to see real-time video chat and the forward facing camera it’d require. Also, it seems reasonable that iPhone OS 3.0 may be set up for a new Netbook/Tablet device, so I wonder if we’ll see any features related to UI scaling.

Amazon Kindle iPhone Application

When Amazon announced the Kindle 2, they showed off a new synchronization feature that would sync your position in all of your books between Kindle devices. At the time, “Kindle devices” meant the first and second generation Kindles. The intent was clear though, and Amazon soon elaborated that they were going to be bringing Kindle content to mobile devices. What an exciting idea, but I never expected it to happen so quickly.

Kindle iPhone IndexKindle for iPhone [iTunes link] (The name bugs me, as it works fine on an iPod Touch) is an app from Amazon that lets you retrieve your Kindle purchases from Amazon’s servers and load them onto your device. Along with the content comes your bookmarks and notes generated on the Kindle. Unfortunately,  you can’t create notes on the mobile device. Other things you can’t do: search, look up word definitions, highlight, and text to speech. Of course Amazon wants to keep the Kindle at the forefront of the Kindle experience. If the iPhone app performed every function the Kindle performed (short of the e-ink display obviously) then I think people would have a much more difficult time justifying the purchase of a nearly $400 Kindle reader. Continue Reading