Apple Silicon and Machine Learning Link

Great article from Jean-Louis Gassée Let’s indulge in a bit of speculation. Tentatively dubbed Apple Neural Engine (ANE), this hypothetical chip fits well with Apple’s tradition of designing hardware for its software, following Alan Kay’s edict: “People who are really serious about software should make their own hardware.” Couple Apple’s AR and ML announcements with the putative ANE chip and we have an integrated whole that sounds very much like the Apple culture and silicon muscle we’ve already witnessed, a package that would further strengthen the company’s moat, its structural competitive advantage.

On iPhone Size and Typing Link

Eddie Smith and Yuvi echo my sentiments on phone size. I really enjoyed typing on the 6 Plus but I much prefer the 6 for everyday use. At home on the couch, I still long for the 6 Plus.

Announcing TapCellar for iOS

If you follow me on Twitter or Pinboard you may know that I’m a pretty big craft beer nerd. I have a rather large cellar of rare and varied beer and I love checking out what’s evolving in the market. I found a kindred spirit in Jeff Hunsberger and we made an app for beer nerds and we’re calling it TapCellar.1 There were a few key principles behind the design of TapCellar and I think these are what set the app apart from most other beer apps I’ve used.

Lanham Wallpapers Updated for iPhone 6

I continue to be a huge fan of David Lanham’s art. It decorates my office and my kid’s bedroom because it’s beautiful and spilling over with wonder. He’s now updated his wallpapers for the big iPhones and you can buy them all (and get free updates) at his Gumroad site.

iPhone 6 vs. 6 Plus

When I was eleven, I had a “beach cruiser.” It was a steel and chrome behemoth of a bicycle. It was two times too big for me and I’m pretty sure it weighed more than my mom’s Datsun. But, I road that behemoth five miles every day to a great fishing pond. That bike held two fishing poles, a tackle box, a lunch pail and a boombox.1 The ride up the hill was torture but the ride back home was like a two-wheel limo.

The iPhone 6 Plus

Big, awkward and beautiful. Those are three adjectives. They also happen to describe the iPhone 6 Plus perfectly. It seems very clear that our communication devices are turning into something different. I’m not happy about it but I’m also willing to accept that I may not represent the rest of the market. Against my better judgment and personal bias I purchased a 6 Plus. This is a summary of what I like and hate about the device.

Pinswift for iPhone

Every month it gets easier to be a nerd. For too long the playground for iOS development was task apps and text editors. Now I’m happy to see some creativity returning to bookmark managers, one of my favorite category of nerd tools. Pinswift is the latest iPhone app for managing Pinboard bookmarks and it brings some new tricks to a burgeoning area of apps. The Basics As with any good Pinboard manager, Pinswift is able to load my large bookmark library and still feel fast.

You're Touching it Wrong

I’ve seen and heard several reports that the Touch ID is instant. For example John Gruber: Once you’ve added a fingerprint, subsequent scans of that finger are nearly instantaneous. While that is technically correct, it’s a misrepresentation of the reality of using Touch ID. Dustin Curtis is accurate here: When the phone is locked, using Touch ID to unlock is kind of unwieldy; you have to place your finger on the home button sensor, press the button, and then release the button–while still resting your finger on top of it–before Siri activates.

Materials that Can be Found in Almost Every Household

Two contrasting perspectives here. Chaos Computer Club: “In reality, Apple’s sensor has just a higher resolution compared to the sensors so far. So we only needed to ramp up the resolution of our fake”, said the hacker with the nickname Starbug, who performed the critical experiments that led to the successful circumvention of the fingerprint locking. From Owen Wilson: For those of you following at home, taking a 2400DPI image of a fingerprint is not exactly a simple task and will require quite a bit of digital cleanup before it can be used, as per the how-to walk though.

Personal Notes on the iPhone 5s and iOS7

Finger Print Reader The fingerprint reader built in to the iPhone 5s is not as fast as I expected. It’s not instant as some have suggested but rather requires a slightly longer press than I would typically use. With the screen off, I typically give a quick press to turn it on. This is not sufficient to unlock the phone. I found that to unlock the phone I had to hold my finger on the button until the screen display became active.