The following items are in the Observation category.

The First Apple Channel

Dear Tech Media, While you’re looking for meaning in the shadows of an Apple press invite, you’re missing something important: Apple is producing content for its own distribution channel. For the month of September, Apple is letting customers view live shows through a combination of apps, the web, and Apple TV. It’s the fourth year […]

Responding to App Store Reviews

When developers talk about wanting to respond to reviews, many of them haven’t thought through the social implications of what that means. Matt Gemmell has. As Marco Arment points out, replying publicly also leaves iTunes (more) open for abuse by unscrupulous or uninformed developers. One idea I’ve had is giving developers the ability to add […]

ARC and copy

Like many of you, I’ve recently starting coming to terms with automatic reference counting (ARC) in Objective-C. For the most part, it’s gone remarkably smoothly. The only hard part is remembering to not type autorelease! ARC lets us get rid of the retain/release pairs in our code. But can you spot the bug in the […]

iTunes Manglement

I think we can all agree that iTunes is in need of a major overhaul. So why isn’t it happening? Apple has shown no fear of rethinking and innovating with the user interfaces that manage our own personal data. Both the iMovie and iPhoto apps are great examples of this: they’ve gotten much simpler to […]


A lot of people I know and respect have been commenting on problems associated with the iPhone mute switch: John Gruber – On the Behavior of the iPhone Mute Switch Andy Ihnatko – Unmuting on The Mute Question Marco Arment – Designing “Mute” Guy English – Mute This Both sides of the argument have valid […]


The bank we use for our business account recently mandated the use of a product called Trusteer Rapport while accessing our information online. Although Mac OS X doesn’t have any problems with “increasingly sophisticated malware in the online environment”, I do need to periodically check our accounts and transactions so I proceeded with the installation. […]

Great writing, terrible reading

Apple has recently released Xcode 4—a major part of this release is an overhaul of the user interface. Change in your development environment is always a bit disruptive, but overall I think the move towards a single-window environment that adapts to different working modes is a good thing. But this post is not to debate […]

Twitterrific firsts

Why are third parties important in the Twitter ecosystem? Let Twitterrific count the ways: First use of “tweet” to describe an update (see page 86 of Dom Sagolla’s book.) First use of a bird icon. First native client on Macintosh. First character counter as you type. First to support replies and conversations (in collaboration with […]

Communal computing

Dear Steve, First, let me congratulate you and everyone at Apple on the release of the iPad. From my dealings with your company, I know it wasn’t easy. Thanks to everyone for busting their asses: a lot of very complex puzzle pieces came together during those last 60 days! I recently had an encounter with […]

UDID not

Here we are on the brink of a new iPhone OS product introduction and developers are facing yet another crunch with device IDs for Ad Hoc testing. Apple currently lets each iPhone developer, whether a company or an individual account, assign 100 devices for testing purposes. A large chunk of those available devices get used […]