The Week in Links

After a brief break last week, I was on a mini-holiday, The Week in links is back with it’s 26th edition. This weeks take a look at how we work and think, how the design of the web is pushed a bit more. And then some furter thoughts on Apple Watch, headphones, cameras, and the often speculated Apple Car.

Life After Cancer: How the iPhone Helped Me Achieve a Healthier Lifestyle ➔

I’ve had this article from Federico Viticci in my Instapaper queue for along time and finally got a chance to read it over the weekend. Despite it’s age I wanted to share it just in case anyone else is like me and has had it saved to read for a long time.

First up, kudos to Frederico for making the changes to his life he has and not slipping back into old habits. Second, the idea of using my iPhone to track elements of my life has always connected with me (I like stats!). Several times I’ve tried it with MyFitnessPal and Sleep Cycle but they’ve never stuck for some reason, but seeing the motivation behind Frederico’s methods has struck a chord with me. I’m not recovering from a severe physical illness but I am recovering from a mental one and there’s definitely a connection between my mental well being and how I feel in my body. Positive attitudes in one area of my life filter through into other areas and it’s with this in mind that I’ve decided to have another go at putting that Health app to good use. My thanks to Frederico for highlighting some apps I’d never come across that are much more pleasant to use than ones I’ve tried previously.

Here’s to another attempt at tracking some stats about my life and to living more healthily.

How to Properly Use “Likes” in Apple Music ➔

First, let me tell you one of my big problems, or sources of confusion, with likes on streaming services. Let’s say I’m listening to a Metal station and a great song comes on, but I consider it to be Rock. Do I like it? I enjoy the song, but I’m afraid if I like it, more Rock songs will come on the Metal station, diluting it.

If, like me, you’ve been trying to suss out what the heart does in the new Apple Music, this piece from Jim Dalrymple might just help. Although I still can’t suss why the heart doesn’t change state when a new song comes on when listening to Beats1.

The Week in Links

This weeks edition of The Week in Links covers a rande of topics. There’s the usual dose of Apple things, some thoughts from Shawn Blanc on focus and creativity, an obituary to one of the greatest type designers of all time, a moving video from Israel and a moving story from the Welsh valleys.

With the edition also falling on Father’s Day it would be remiss not to mention my Dad. So just a quick note to him to say thanks for being my Dad, you support me, you help me and you guide me and as well as being my Dad you’re also a great friend. Have a beer on me tonight!

The Week in Links

This weeks edition of The Week in Links is an eclectic mix. The history of Japanese business culture, workspaces, Ethiopia, Apple Watch and a look into designing a typeface to represent a nation to the world.

iPad Mini: Good Things Come in Small Packages ➔

The iPad mini doesn’t add anything to the iOS experience feature-wise, but it does make using iPad apps out in the real world far more likely. I never felt comfortable using my iPad outside the office or house, but I think I’ll be taking this smaller, lighter iPad with me more often.

I had a brief play with an iPad mini at the weekend. Unlike with the iPhone or the original iPad, I didn’t get a big wow moment, instead a more relaxed and confirming this feels right. Seems to be the general theme from the reviews I’m reading online.

iOS 6 and Every-Day Life by Shawn Blanc ➔

Today, right now, we’re using the same mobile operating system with the same apps as the guys in Cupertino who dream this stuff up and make it happen.

And it seems to me that there are several things in iOS 6 which reveal just that. This version of iOS is not full of any one amazing new jaw-dropping feature that will have our minds spinning. Instead it’s filled with dozens of little things that will get used by real people ever day. And it will make our lives a little bit nicer and a little bit easier.

This is exactly how iOS 6 feels to me, a steady refinement, sanding off the rough edges and the bits of friction. It’s smoother, a little bit snappier on my iPhone 4 (except for the app store) and just a nice incremental progression.

The iPhone 5 on Daring Fireball ➔

iPhone 5 in my hand, this talk of micron-precision, fine watch craftsmanship, and the computerized selection of best-match inlays sounds not the least bit bullshitty or blustery. It simply sounds like an explanation of the level of obsession that it takes to create a mass-produced device that feels this, well, nice.

Of course it’s a disappointment the iPhone 5. Sure sounds like one.

The Faces You Never See: Apple Flies Sir Jony Ive and Entire Design Team to London for D&AD

Sir Jonathan, who for all the acclaim bestowed upon him rarely makes public appearances, collected Apple’s awards for best brand and best design studio at D&AD’s 50th anniversary celebration in Battersea Park.

But rather than let one man take the plaudits, Apple took the unusual step of flying its entire design team over from San Francisco to celebrate the achievement as a group — a notable event given that Apple has seemingly never attended an awards bash before.

A lovely touch from Apple to ensure everyone who played their part in Apple’s design success gets the recognition they deserve as part of the best design team in the world. Congratulations guys.

One Year Later, the iPad Is Still My Favorite Computer ➔

Up until a few weeks ago I’ve often found myself asking the question below:

Why won’t you admit that you can only use the iPad for real work because you’re a writer?

Perhaps one could be justified in asking it. A lot of the people demonstrating the iPad is good for working on tend to be writers, people who just require a text editor and a keyboard to produce something. Of course each time I come across answers similar to this:

I didn’t expect this self-interview to get so combative. But if you’re so sure that the iPad can’t be used for other creative expression, you might want to take it up with people like Cynthia Wick and Glen Mulcahy.

A couple of weeks ago I experienced this first hand. Each summer I do a beach mission in North Wales, every year we end up making things at the last minute to suit the needs which no amount of planning could foresee. This year what was the device I used to do the work? My iPad. My MacBook Pro sat upstairs in it’s case for pretty much the entire time. I wrote talks on my iPad, I made presentations and I planned sessions. My friend, he drew pictures to tell bible stories. Not once did we require a Mac or PC to do it. It was a real eye opener to the power of the iPad as a computer that can be used for work.

So will I leave my MacBook Pro at home next summer? As a freelance designer the only thing that stops me doing this, and perhaps my biggest disappointment with the iPad at the moment, is that there is no software akin to InDesign or Illustrator that would let me. Yet…

A Week With iOS Six ➔

Of all the announcements Apple made at WWDC last week, iOS 6 is the one which excites me the most. Well, to be more accurate, Siri excites me the most. Chuck Skoda gives an interesting view of one week with iOS 6, further enticing me to upgrade (if I can) when the new iPhone arrives.

Are We Using Geofencing Wrong? — the Brooks Review ➔

When Apple announced their reminders app, and a new API, that allows geofencing in iOS, I was pretty pumped. To be able to schedule a task to alert you the moment you enter or leave a location seemed pretty cool. But, as with many things, the demo proved to be much cooler than the actual real world use case.

Ben’s not alone with this feeling. I was excited when Geofencing was released, I always forget stuff at the supermarket so the notion of being reminded when I arrived to buy something sounded great. In practise not so much.

Since Instapaper with background update locations launched I’ve been putting it to use on my iPhone. It’s brilliant and I already want more developers to implement something similar (hint, hint Instacast). It feels like this is such an obvious thing to do that I’m baffled no one thought of it sooner. It feels like this kind of thing is what Apple created the Geofences for.

Mountain Lion on Daring Fireball ➔

We’re starting to do some things differently,” Phil Schiller said to me.

No kidding, not only are Apple surprising us with this announcement, they’re surprising us with how they’re doing it. A one on one keynote to announce the next major version of OS X for a select number of writers. Apple really do know how to work things to give the best impact.

If Apple were trying to make Mountain Lion more like iOS we would be touching the screen of our computers to interact with out apps instead of using the keyboard and mouse.

Mountain Lion is about familiarity and integration. The new features and apps in Mountain Lion make sense for a desktop operating system.

(Via Jim Dalrymple.)