On iOS Emojis and Diversity

Joey Parker for MTV, on how he called for greater diversity in iOS’s emoji:

I decided to go straight to the top of Apple to find out if they were planning to issue a new, more diverse, set of emojis. So who better to reach out to than Apple CEO Tim Cook? Within a day we got a response!

Good for Apple to be working on this. This reminds me of the push in preschools to incorporate more multicultural dolls like this into the classroom.

On Sparks Bay Area Sports

Along with my good friend Karen Datangel, I’ve spent the last couple months being part of an exclusive Giants Insiders group. We’re local to the Bay Area, and we all follow the San Francisco Giants.

The purpose of the Insiders program was/is to act as a private beta for the Sparks Bay Area app for iPhone, which officially launched this week on the App Store. The simplest way to describe Sparks is as a Twitter for sports, in essence. You write short, Twitter-like messages (with an image) to "spark" conversation about your team(s). As a sports fan, I was eager to be part of the beta group.

In my testing, I’ve found Sparks to be a great concept that’s well executed. It’s fun to see what others are saying, and the images really draw you in to the experience. The iOS 7 UI design is well done, and I find it easy to use. The only quibble I have is that there isn’t much Accessibility support, not even VoiceOver. The developers tell me it’s coming in a future update, however.

Overall, a fun app that’s a good 1.0. Get it.

‘The Politics Around Welfare’

Michelle Chen, writing for The Nation:

Whatever setback they’ve encountered, poor people don’t need more “incentives” to lift themselves out of poverty, they need an opportunity to not be poor.

Bingo.

‘Memories of Steve’

Don Melton wrote a splendid piece full of Steve Jobs stories from Don’s time at Apple:

[I]’d like to recount a few of my own stories about Steve here. Not only for you, but for myself. Because maybe in the process I can remember him better.

You’re nuts if you don’t take the time to read this. So great.

On Samsung

Marco Arment, writing about the Apple-Android "holy war", says this for Samsung:

Samsung is institutionally and permanently tasteless, shameless, and crass to its core. They are, and always have been, professional rip-offs. If you want to support them, that’s on you.

Tell the Internet how you really feel, Marco.

How to Run OS X Mavericks on iPad Air

Josh Centers, writing for TidBITS:

Pundits have long speculated that Apple is working on ARM-based builds of Mac OS X that would allow the company to use its proprietary A7 CPU (or successors) in Macs as well as iOS devices. This is nothing new for Apple, which secretly compiled Mac OS X for Intel-based hardware for years while Macs shipped with PowerPC CPUs.

But we hadn’t realized how far this work had come until a source inside Apple tipped us off to the fact that Apple is testing OS X 10.9 Mavericks on current iPad hardware. Not only that, but the ARM code is embedded in the shipping version of Mavericks. After months of attempts, we’ve cracked how to install and run Mavericks on the iPad Air.

As Josh mentions, this is a total hack. I’m not using my Air as a guinea pig.

Apple Announces WWDC 2014

Apple yesterday announced this year’s conference, slated for June 2-6 in San Francisco:

For five days, one thousand Apple engineers and five thousand developers will gather together. And live will be different as a result.

Write the code. Change the world.

New this year is that tickets are being sold via lottery:

The opportunity to buy tickets to this year’s conference will be offered by random selection.

Like last year, I’ll be there. Can’t wait!

Fantastical 2 for iPad Released

Flexibits announces the new app on their blog:

That’s right, Fantastical 2 for iPad, our most requested and anticipated app, is now available! And this isn’t a quick port or conversion: Fantastical 2 for iPad was designed specifically for your iPad.

We’ve put all of the power, functionality, and intuitiveness of Fantastical 2 for iPhone and designed a brand-new user interface to make it feel right at home on your iPad.

I woke up this morning to news via Twitter of Fantastical for iPad’s release, and I immediately went to the App Store to pay my $9.99 to get it. I love the iPhone version, and really happy that its on iPad now too.

Be sure to check out Federico Viticci’s review of the app for MacStories.

‘Throw Until You Die’

Tom Verducci profiles Masahiro Tanaka for SI. On pitching in Japan, Verducci writes:

By the time Tanaka put himself up for auction in Beverly Hills, he’d thrown 1,315 total innings through age 24, a workload unheard of in the majors for any young pitcher over the past 40 years. The last player to be worked that hard that young was Frank Tanana, who debuted in 1973 at age 19 and whose shoulder was shot by the time he was 25.

[...]

The Japanese pitching culture was forged by men such as Keishi Suzuki, a 5-foot-11-inch lefthander who in 1966, at age 18, debuted in NPB with 189 innings. Just two years later, Suzuki threw 359 innings in a 130-game season, the equivalent of throwing 447 innings in a 162-game MLB season. He lasted 20 seasons, pitching until he was 37, accumulating 317 wins and 4,600 1/3 innings. Afterward, he became manager of the only team he ever pitched for, Kintetsu, where he unwittingly became one of the greatest agents of change in the cross-pollination of baseball cultures.

I’ve long felt managers and pitching coaches nowadays baby pitchers’ arms. While I understand the notion to want to guard against injury, my opinion is that there’d be less of a chance for arm trouble if young pitchers were conditioned for stamina while still in the minors. It annoys me to no end that a manager will yank a pitcher in the 6th or 7th inning of a game where a pitcher is doing well just because he’s reached his pitch count or whatever. Moreover, it’s saddening to me that we’ll likely never again see a guy who makes 40 starts and throws 300+ innings a year anymore.

(via Daring Fireball)

‘Accessible’ 16: We’re Abnormal People

This episode, me and Ben talk more about iOS 7.1’s Accessibility features, my accessibility-as-innovation blog post, and the accessibility tables at Starbucks.

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