27round

by Eric Leamen

"What do you think a watch looks like?"

On the eve of Apple’s wearable unveiling, here’s John Gruber with a little piece of wisdom from the latest episode of The Talk Show:

I don’t think Apple would do a circle… I think just having a circular screen is skeuomorphic and anchored in the world of watches. I mean that’s the story Motorola tells of how they came to a circle. They admit to doing a focus group where they asked children, What do you think a watch looks like?, and they said, A circle!, and they said Ok, we’ll make our thing a circle! And it’s like you’re asking them what it should be based on the thing you’re trying to supplant. Right? It’s like imagine if Apple had decided to start with the iPhone and asked children, Well what does a telephone look like?

Tomorrow is going to be insane.

35: There Is No 34

The Segue has returned for season two. In the first episode, Micah and I chat about the Moto 360 and our thoughts on Android Wear before diving in to iWatch and iPhone 6 rumours ahead of next week’s Apple event.

If you like our podcast, we’d really appreciate a review on iTunes, a tweet, or an Overcast recommendation.

WTF with Marc Maron Podcast: Remembering Robin Williams

This conversation with Robin Williams from Marc Maron’s WTF podcast is an absolutely incredible listen. It’s Robin Williams like I’ve never heard him; grounded, focused, and very serious. He discusses his career, life, comedy, and philosophy, with some humour thrown in - naturally. If you’re a fan, please consider giving this a listen. However be warned that it’s heavy, particularly in retrospect, as he mentions his depression, his battle with substance abuse, and thoughts of suicide.

Journalist picks up Galaxy S5, discovers it is, indeed, larger than the iPhone 5

My friend Mike Wehner published this on TUAW today, and it’s the funniest thing I’ve read online in a while.

In a shocking turn of events that is sure to send ripples through the technology world for years to come, Business Insider’s Jim Edwards has confirmed that, as has long been rumored, there are smartphones out there with displays larger than that of the iPhone 5.

The sheer level of snark in this piece is unbelievable. Brilliant, Mike.

But what about video? Can this so-called Galaxy S5 play those as well? Edwards claims it can. “On the Galaxy, video just plays.” That sounds pretty slick, especially once Edwards reminds us what video is like on the diminutive iPhone. “First you can’t see anything because the screen is small,” he once again notes, puzzled as to why Apple would even bother putting such a minuscule display on a smartphone. “Instead of just playing the video on the screen, the background goes black and then the video boots up in full-screen mode. The experience is… OK.” A shocking account.

Raised by the Internet, drafted to defend it

Micah Singleton at The Daily Dot:

I am 23. Born in 1990, I grew up in a generation unlike any before it. My generation, the millennials, and specifically those under 25, had access to more information and knowledge during our upbringing than any generation in history. We were the first generation to be raised with the Internet.

And we should be the first ones on the front lines to defend it.

Let’s go, fellow millennials!

It’s going to be a watch

For everything we think we know about Apple’s fabled iWatch, there are an equal or greater number of questions still to be answered. We’ve been hearing about the device for years now, from its apparent focus on health tracking to the all-star executive team Apple’s been assembling to develop and market the device.

Earlier today we learned that the iWatch team has grown by one, with the hiring of Patrick Pruniaux from Swiss watchmaker TAG Heuer late last month. Pruniaux was TAG Heuer’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Retail, and he’s held numerous other titles at parent company LVMH, which owns other prestigious brands like Dom Pérignon, Dior, Louis Vuitton, and Zenith. This is a man who has dedicated his entire career to marketing and selling premium goods, high end jewelry, and expensive watches.

Though we’ve already seen Apple stacking their executive team with fashion hires like new retail chief Angela Ahrendts and former Yves St. Laurent CEO Paul Deneve, Apple poaching Pruniaux from TAG Heuer to help market and sell the iWatch says a lot. So here’s what I’m thinking now:

While health features will be a big selling point, the iWatch is not going to be a screen-less, FuelBand style wearable as some (including myself) have speculated. Rather, the iWatch will be the most high-end smartwatch we’ve ever seen; a beautiful, premium device that looks and feels like an expensive watch. It will be marketed as a fashion accessory, not a fitness device.

I’d say there’s a very good chance the iWatch will feature a round display similar to the Motorola Moto 360. If Apple’s device aims to be a truly smart watch rather than a fitness band, it would stand to reason that the device look like a watch. I also expect to see a lot of leather, metal, and perhaps a sapphire crystal screen.

As iWatch speculation reaches fever pitch, I think it’s safe to say for certain that Apple’s wearable is undoubtedly going to be a watch. Not a fitness band, or a ring, or some new form of smart wristwear. A watch. It probably won’t work like a watch, and it certainly won’t resemble any of the existing “smart watches” we’re familiar with. But it’s going to be a watch. And I wager it’s going to be a very good one.

Segue Special: Google I/O 2014

Huge thanks to Dan for joining us on the show last week! One of my favourite episodes so far.

The best iPhone 6 renders yet

I’d say there’s a 90% chance the next iPhone looks just like this. We’ve seen enough leaked schematics and parts at this point to support this new design.

I’m also of the mindset that those ugly antenna lines on the back of the device - the ones we’ve seen on all those ridiculous physical dummy units - are actually “outlines” for glass strips similar to those on the 5/5s, as suggested by a recent Nikkei report.

I sincerely hope this leaked design ends up being real, because this is my dream iPhone. A larger 4.7” screen with a rounded aluminum design, coupled with the more advanced, more developer-friendly iOS 8. It’s going to be an exciting September.

The super generic, super boring Amazon Fire phone

Blah.

The Kindle Fire tablet’s primary advantage is its affordable, attractive entry-level price, which is cheap enough that many users can overlook the fact that it’s basically a glorified Amazon catalogue. The Fire phone is similarly all about throwing “Buy” buttons in your face, yet it carries an iPhone-caliber $199 contract price and $649 unlocked price. On-top of that it’s an AT&T exclusive. And perhaps worst of all, it’s running Amazon’s simplified, Google-less fork of Android.

Why even bother?