Every Chinese New Year, Apple commissions a short film.
This year it’s about the mythical Nian. Wikipedia explains:
Once every year at the beginning of Chinese New Year, the nian comes out of its hiding place to feed, mostly on men and animals. During winter, since food is sparse, he would go to the village. He would eat the crops and sometimes the villagers, mostly children. […] The weaknesses of the nian are purported to be a sensitivity to loud noises, fire, and a fear of the color red.
Hence the fireworks, noises and the red color everywhere. I remember riding my bike through Shanghai on Chinese New Year with things exploding left and right. It felt like crossing a battlefield.
Here’s the making-of video to the short film with director Lulu Wang and colleagues touting the iPhone 12 Pro Max as a cinema camera:
Former Apple engineer David Shayer explains on TidBITS why he trusts Apple’s new exposure notification. He touches the internal processes that prevent excessive user tracking:
Once I had recorded how many times the Weather and Stocks apps were launched, I set up Apple’s internal framework for reporting data back to the company. My first revelation was that the framework strongly encouraged you to transmit back numbers, not strings (words). By not reporting strings, your code can’t inadvertently record the user’s name or email address. You’re specifically warned not to record file paths, which can include the user’s name (such as
/Users/David/Documents/MySpreadsheet.numbers). You also aren’t allowed to play tricks like encoding letters as numbers to send back strings (like A=65, B=66, etc.)
Next, I learned I couldn’t check my code into Apple’s source control system until the privacy review committee had inspected and approved it. This wasn’t as daunting as it sounds. A few senior engineers wanted a written justification for the data I was recording and for the business purpose. They also reviewed my code to make sure I wasn’t accidentally recording more than intended.
Read the whole thing. It’s fascinating.
Follow hitmaking, Grammy-nominated songwriter and music producer Oak Felder as he creates a new song. Along the way, he speaks about music production, creating his own unique sound, working with the world’s top artists, and what it means for young artists to have access to powerful technology.
Apple prototype collector Giulio Zompetti describes what he thinks might be the company’s development and prototyping process.
Also check out the behind the scenes video:
Storehouse co-founder and ex-Apple designer Mark Kawano:
I think the biggest misconception is this belief that the reason Apple products turn out to be designed better, and have a better user experience, or are sexier, or whatever . . . is that they have the best design team in the world, or the best process in the world […]
It’s actually the engineering culture, and the way the organization is structured to appreciate and support design. Everybody there is thinking about UX and design, not just the designers. And that’s what makes everything about the product so much better . . . much more than any individual designer or design team.
He shares some more insight into the design process at Apple.
Apple’s approach to developing hardware from the home is yet another indicator of the company’s integrated hardware and software philosophy. Like with iTunes arriving before the iPod and the Health app arriving on iOS before the iWatch, Apple is creating a Smart Home ecosystem via its software and planting its feet in the category before introducing actual hardware.
It’s similar to the way they launched iBeacon. At first they made sure that every device is equiped with Bluetooth Low Energy. When they released iOS 7 there were already hundreds of millions of capable devices out in the wild.
Here’s a quick look at the visual design changes in Yosemite and my impressions of them.
I like the new look but Min Ming also points out some glitches that should be fixed before the release.