Posted tagged ‘WWDC’

Apple Watch Upgrade Path?

June 3, 2015

I had the bright idea to stand in line to get the first gen iPhone. That device was magical (sort of) in an initial sort of way. Pull that phone out now and hold it up to an iPhone 6. The magic is gone pretty much upon startup.

But, I’ve since bought just about every version of the iPhone up to the 4S which is where I stopped being so eager to lap up everything. The pace of annual updates had picked up. I soured on spending so much on two year contracts and being bound to a specific carrier and their particular stupidity. So, I have a 4 and 4S on pay-as-you-go plans with a carrier that has really reliable service in my home town. I was content until last night.

The Apple Watch has me wanting to re-up. (And there’s the key for Apple.) It would be a pricey step up to say the least. I’d not only have to abandon my 4S, but I’d nearly have to commit to a 6 or 6+ (unlocked, off contract) and buy a Watch.

And for what?

Do I really want to send little drawings to anyone? No. My heartbeat? Nope. Are there any “can’t live without apps yet?” Um, no. Then why on earth would I want to just chuck all that dough out the window for a gen 1 product? Again!

I don’t have a good answer.

That’s about the most ridiculous thing I could have said. But, it’s precisely the answer. I’m not even interested in the Sports version. I’m more interested in the experience. I liken it to my going to the top of the World Trade Center in 1981. I was there. It was there. We hooked up and I had a great view for an afternoon.

Is this what Apple has become? Less a device maker. More of a desire maker? An experience.

The Swatch watch I have is about the size and heft of an Apple Watch. It has a good number of complications, a swanky faux leather wristband and a kick ass dial. I love that watch. Guess what? I don’t wear it except when I’m “going out”. I don’t wear it at work. I do wear it to work, though. I don’t wear it around the house. It’s a true accessory.

However, I can tell you I’m tired of my phone being such a large (physically and metaphorically) distraction. I do like the promise of being able to trim down the distractions of the day. Can a first gen product deliver on that?

Upgrades Concern Me

Like I said, I’ve bought a lot of Apple iPhones and iPads. AAPL likes that. AAPL thrives on precisely that.

But, I don’t want to buy a Watch 2s or a Watch 6s years down the line any more than I want to replace my Swatch.

So, what is the upgrade path? Is it like Tesla’s sedans and it’s going to be on the software updates for a good long period? The upgradeable car has a nice allure to it. That doesn’t jibe with the APPL year-over-year need for predictably innovative/lucrative product cycles, though.

How does this Apple Watch thing play out as a product line over the years? Because I don’t really want to buy this one and then find out next year they’ve added iSight and FaceTime hardware or Thuderbolt or some sort of wet neural networking that gen one can’t get. But, you know what? I don’t think most people think that way. It’s priced low enough (as Apple’s Items of Desire go) that things will turn out okay for Apple.

I suppose WWDC will be particularly interesting this year. Still, I wrestle with the whole first gen commitment and how long the danged thing will be relevant. What’s it’s lifespan? When does Apple stop supporting Gen One? These are the things blocking me… a (weary) early adopter.

An Open Letter to Tim Cook

March 9, 2009

I’ve been an Apple Developer since 1991 when I was an Apple Systems Engineer. I developed for HyperCard, AppleScript, OpenDoc, Newton, LOTS of HTML and most recently the iPhone. I never did anything big, splashy or noteworthy and may not, at least by my own hand. I have seen some detrimental Apple policy though toward their Developers. And, it is because of that I hope to persuade a change in Cupertino to allow us ADC Select and Premiere members to exchange methods, opinions and findings in a year-round, sanctioned way OUTSIDE of WWDC. What follows is a transcript of a handwritten letter I’m mailing to Tim Cook today. My hope is, if you’re in support of this, you will weigh in via the comments (with YOUR real name in plain sight please).

Mr. Cook –

As an Apple Developer in good standing for several years I have hoped for an online venue whereby we select & premiere ADC members could freely exchange methods, best practices and work arounds.

But that hasn’t happened.

We’re expected to abide by our NDAs. Which means innovating for things like Snow Leopard either happens at WWDC or have to wait until after launch.

Isn’t there a sanctioned way to do this?!

I don’t mind trying to learn & innovate while under observation. The give and take can only HELP solidify developers’ affinity to Apple. As is a lot of this is happening outside of view of Apple and at the cost of the platform.

Gerald Buckley
(918) 813-9745

An ideal outcome IMHO would be a type arena where Select and Premier ADC members could freely exchange ‘how to’ type info. Frankly, getting the web services up and functional in early versions of 10.5 Leopard were insanely hard. That is until a little more documentation came around. But, testing that stuff was central to what I wanted to contribute and, frankly, what the developer notes were asking for. Now, you tell me, how can I pitch in (while still honoring my NDA to Apple Developer Connection)? There is a LOT more good that could come out of a new, sanctioned “portal”/”exchange”/”marketplace” than any bad. Heck, I don’t mind paying a bit more for it. There are a ton of us who just can’t or won’t make it to WWDC regularly. And, it’s a shame the innovations that could be brought to market closer to the each launch of a new Apple OS have to lag for lack of a sanctioned/moderated place for Apple’s developers.

So, if you would please raise your voice in support of something like this I’d like to think we could usher in some fresh positive policy at Apple with regard to Developers. Or, at least let them know, we’re not above doing it ourselves in plain sight and in the pirate tradition of Cupertino. (There’s a warning shot across the bow sure to draw a cease and desist)

REVIEW: “XCode 3 Unleashed” by Fritz Anderson

July 23, 2008

It was a good week for interviews and reviews. This book by Fritz Anderson is something I’ve been waiting to come along. As a publisher in the science, technical and medical space… I want to first say a big “Thank you” to Mr. Anderson. Anyone who undertakes the mountainous task of publishing a book, a REALLY GOOD book has my immediate respect and in a case such as this my deep appreciation. Fritz, I’m looking forward to interviewing you and picking your noggin.

On to the book. Application development is an arcane art to me. Some people LOVE great food. I LOVE great software. There are some apps I just can’t get enough of. As with some people who love food… they naturally turn to perfecting the art of preparing what they love. I’ve tried that (over and over) with NewtonScript, AppleScript, Automator, XCode, the iPhone SDK. I suck. I suck BAD at development. Worse than I suck at Calculus and we know how THAT story ended (hint: change of college plans and an entire career dream abandoned). It is better for all of you out there to not have had to suffer my applications (and for those of you who did… ehem, Adam Engst, ehem… I’m eternally grateful you let me believe my shoddy efforts to port TidBits to the Newton all those many months were anything but).

As with a lot of people these days… I have a renewed interest in developing in Cocoa and WebObjects. iPhone is driving a lot of that interest and so when the opportunity came to review this book I jumped on it like a rat on a cheeto. I’m dying for a good XCode 3 primer. Something that will take me from tooth to tail on building an app I can appreciate for all that it is.

So, over the course of the next several days, weeks, months (however long it takes) I’ll be perpetually reviewing this book and I’ll be taking you along with me. Hope it’s as beneficial to you as I’m hoping it will be for me.

FYI, anyone can be an Apple Developer free of charge. Simply go to and download XCode 3 (which only runs on Leopard). There are tiers of Apple Developer and I happen to be a Select member which means we have access to early release versions of this and that as it comes along. Select was $499 I think. And, Premier is a bit more expensive and comes with WWDC ticket(s) and some access to a few more trouble tickets. If you’re hardcore Premier is probably the way to go. I will be eventually…


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