‘Apple Is Grinding Small Developers Underfoot’

Adam Engst for TidBITS, “iOS 8 App Development Becomes a “Bring Me a Rock” Game”:

Apple is in essence telling developers, “Bring me a rock.” When the developer returns with an app that seems to meet the published guidelines and Apple rejects it, the company is saying, “No, not that rock. Bring me a different rock.” Repeat the game until the developer gives up in frustration. This isn’t speculation — Launcher developer Greg Gardner wrote:

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Twitter Apps in 2014

Federico Viticci wrote an epic piece for MacStories examining iOS Twitter apps:

For the past six months, I’ve been reevaluating my entire Twitter experience based on the apps I use to read tweets and interact with people. The idea made a lot more sense once I stepped out of my preconceptions: I wanted to understand what 2014 Twitter was like and if that meant sacrificing my nerd cred and use a Muggle’s Twitter app, so be it. But at the same time, I’ve gone back and forth between Twitter and third-party clients, primarily out of habit, but also because they still offer powerful features and design details that I appreciate.

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On Orion’s Test Flight

NASA, “NASA’s Journey to Mars”:

In the not-too-distant future, astronauts destined to be the first people to walk on Mars will leave Earth aboard an Orion spacecraft. Carried aloft by the tremendous power of a Space Launch System rocket, our explorers will begin their Journey to Mars from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, carrying the spirit of humanity with them to the Red Planet.

The first future human mission to Mars and those that follow will require the ingenuity and dedication of an entire generation. It’s a journey worth the risks. We take the next step on that journey this Thursday, Dec. 4, with the uncrewed, first flight test of Orion. (Follow along on the Orion Blog, or see the full schedule of events and launch viewing opportunities).

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On Jeff Bezos’s Heir Apparent

Jason Del Rey reports for Recode that Amazon’s chief exec knows his successor:

At 50 years old, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said he’s having so much fun that he still dances into the office each morning. But for perhaps the first time publicly, Bezos acknowledged today that he has chosen a successor to take over when he leaves the top job.

“There is a succession plan,” Bezos said in an onstage interview on Tuesday with Henry Blodget, CEO of Business Insider, in which Bezos is an investor. “There is someone who would take over.”

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Intel Chips to Power Next-Gen Google Glass

Alistair Barr and Don Clark, reporting for the WSJ:

Intel Corp. will supply the electronic brains for a new version of Google Inc. ’s Glass device expected next year, people familiar with the matter said, part of a push by the semiconductor giant into wearable technology.

An Intel chip will replace a processor from Texas Instruments Inc. included in the first version of Glass, the people said.

Intel plans to promote Glass to companies such as hospital networks and manufacturers, while developing new workplace uses for the device, according to one of the people.

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Crossy Road

Jason Snell writes about a new-to-me game for iOS, Crossy Road:

Crossy Road is a free iOS game that’s inspired by Frogger. You’re a creature (many are available, some for free, some via in-app purchase, though so far as I can tell none of the creatures actually affects gameplay) jumping across lanes of traffic, railroad tracks, treacherous waters, and the like. Eventually you get run over. Your point total is the number of spaces forward that you’ve advanced.

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‘Of Course It Won’t’

Marco Arment, commenting on the news that Twitter’s new search API will be off-limits to third-party clients:

This is just the next step in killing third-party apps. Twitter doesn’t have the guts to just end them outright, so they’re just gradually inflicting passive-aggressive wounds over time to quietly shove them into the sunset.

We’re all just one compelling feature away from leaving our third-party apps on our own. For some of us, this full-archive search will be that feature. What’s next remains to be seen — I suspect direct-message enhancements may be — but I bet third-party clients will lose half of their users within two years without Twitter ever having to explicitly kill them.

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On Apple’s Manufacturing Scale

Ben Einstein, “No, You Can’t Manufacture That Like Apple Does”:

What happened when Apple wanted to CNC machine a million MacBook bodies a year? They bought 10k CNC machines to do it. How about when they wanted to laser drill holes in MacBook Pros for the sleep light but only one company made a machine that could drill those 20 µm holes in aluminum? It bought the company that made the machines and took all the inventory. And that time when they needed batteries to fit into a tiny machined housing but no manufacturer was willing to make batteries so thin? Apple made their own battery cells. From scratch.

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Jason Snell’s iPad Air 2 Review

As usual with all of his reviews, Jason offers an excellent take:

[W]hen I look at the power that Apple’s dropped into the iPad Air 2, I’m convinced that the use of iPads as everyday tools will just keep on growing. These devices are in their infancy; the iPad has existed for less than five years, and is now on its sixth generation. They’ve come a long way, and in some ways the software hasn’t really kept up with the hardware.

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More on Native Versus Web

MG Siegler chimes in with his thoughts on the “Web is dead” meme:

Anyway, the web isn’t dead, it continues to flourish with millons of new wonders sprouting up each day. What’s odd is that we’re perhaps no longer using a web browser as much to view these contents. And that’s because we’re increasingly mobile, and native apps provide a better experience and more functionality.

Also, I think the concept of “browsing” the web is different than it used to be. Again, apps have altered this. Content is now just as often pushed to us rather than us pulling it from the web. This isn’t better or worse, it’s just different. A mobile-focused experience for a mobile computing time.