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My Own Claim Chowder

Posted by Matt Birchler
— 5 min read

John Gruber’s “claim chowder” is one of my favorite running gags in the Apple blogging world, and I thought I’d take tonight, the night before we see a bunch of new iPhones and Apple Watches, to look back on some claims and positions I’ve taken over the past few years and see how they stack up today. Yes, even the times I said the Galaxy brand was dead.

My Last Day at Target - June 19, 2015

My new gig will cause a massive change in all aspects of my life. I’m going to be doing completely different work, and I could not be more excited! My wife and I are also going to be able to move to the area we’ve been trying to get into for a while. Finally, this new job gets me into the tech/web world in a big way, which will be the start of a brave new direction in my career.

Today I’m heading up UI and UX design at a large payment gateway, so yeah, totally new direction and I’m grateful for every moment.

Safari is the New IE…or it Isn’t…Ummm - July 1, 2015

I do think that calling Safari “the new IE” is quite hyperpolic. Internet Explorer was bad for the web because it made proprietary features that simply could not work in other browswers. Safari’s only sin is being slower to adopt niche APIs as fast as other browswers.

I do agree that it’s a bit hyperbolic, but as I work with web developers everyday, Safari and IE are the only browsers we routinely have problems with. Sometimes, yes it’s just them being slow to adopt new features, but other times it’s actually Safari having odd behavior that is reported but simply never gets fixed. Safari is not as bad as IE ever was, but it’s definitely the “odd duck” in the browser world today.

iOS is 90% There, but That Last 10% Hurts - July 7, 2015

The file is in my Dropbox at least so I can access it. I can listen to the file from but you can't. I don't have a way to download that file to my phone, and even if I did I don't have a way to upload that file to my web page because the media browser on iOS 8 only shows you your photos and videos from Photos.

I was right this was a problem in the pre-Files days on iOS 8, but FIles made this better, and iOS 13’s download manager in Safari makes it basically a non-issue for me.

10 Impressions After Almost 3 Months with Apple Watch - July 10, 2015

  1. I’ve worn it everyday
  2. I don’t regret my purchase at all

Most of these turned out to remain true for the past 4 years, but apps are much, much faster than they were back then.

The Official Twitter App is Better Than You Think - July 20, 2015

I’ve been using the official Twitter apps on and off for the past month, and finally started using them full time about a week ago. Here’s what I like and what I miss.

I still use the official app and it’s really quite a good experience. The third party alternatives never feel right to me anymore, even though I know some people swear by them.

3D Touch is the biggest UI change to iOS since multitasking - September 12, 2015

Previously, I think iOS 4’s introduction of multitasking and iOS 8’s extendsion platform have been the biggest, and most important changes to iOS’s user interface. I think 3D Touch has the potential to be just as important an advance.

Swing and a miss here! I stand by 3D Touch being a good feature for me, and I genuinely miss it when I use a phone without it, but it’s clear it has not caught on and rumor has it the new iPhones will lose this feature.

Data is Square (or Why Round Smart Watches are Just a Fad) - September 30, 2015

Even if Square is better than Round in every way, smart watches are fashion pieces, and if people really want round then round could win this race. But I think that Round’s days are numbered. We underestimate people’s ability to get used to new things, to new paradigms. I think the experience of using a more squared watch will make more sense to people when they use both, and they will come around.

Hmm, this one’s hard to call. The Apple Watch is still square, but it’s the only real smartwatch that does that, most everyone else has stayed round. That said, Apple and Fitbit are the two companies putting out square smart watches and they also happen to have over half the current market share.

Shipping Lightning Headphones with the iPhone Would Confirm Apple Skeptics’ Worst Assumptions - September 4, 2016

But while Apple may be thinking that Bluetooth (or wireless of some other sort) is the future of headphones, shipping Lightning headphones in the box with the phone all but nullifies that position. Defaults matter, as many Apple fans will tell you, and what Apple ships in the box is what 90% of iPhone users will use as their headphones. They can say “wireless is the future” on stage all they want, but if they don’t ship wireless earbuds in the box, only a small number of users will actually use them that way.

Well, I was way off here. They did ship Lightning headphones in the box, but what I didn’t account for were AirPods, wireless headphones so good that they would take the world by storm.

The Last Mac I Will Ever Own - October 10, 2016

Apple’s lowest end computer in 2012 still works in 2016, but it’s not exactly what one would consider a grade A Mac experience.


The Mac will be with us for a long time, but I think that I’m done. This MacBook Pro is more than capable for what I need, and iOS seems just 1 or 2 major OS upgrades from being all I need to do my work, even web and app development.

Well, in 2019 that aged Mac Mini is my only personal Mac, the MacBook Pro lasted 2 years before I sold it and replaced it with an iPad Pro. It took 2 iOS updates to get the iPad where I needed it. I may still buy another Mac one day, but I don’t have any pressing need, besides the fact I like having a desktop around and that Mac Mini will stop getting updates in 2020.

The Apple Watch Needs Cellular - also on October 10, 2016

Having the ability to use your smart watch totally independent from the phone fundamentally changes the usability of the watch. GPS is a good step towards this, but native watch apps combined with a persistent data connection is so powerful.

The Apple Watch got a cellular option the next year and I bought it and loved it. watchOS 6 is enabling native watch apps to do more as well, including being downloaded over cellular without an iPhone in sight.

The Galaxy Brand is Dead - October 18, 2016

I’m positive the Note brand is dead. If Samsung has the gal to bring out a Note 8 next year, the tagline has to be “it won’t explode, we promise…again…seriously this time.” That’s not a great pitch.

I was dead wrong about both the Note and Galaxy brands, as they both obviously survived and thrived.

For the Record: Things Donald Trump was Elected to Do - November 13, 2016

Donald Trump is about to be our 45th President, and I think the American people have made a terrible mistake.

I stand by this more than maybe anything else I have written.

Inoreader: My New Favorite RSS Service - February 19, 2018

I don’t know if Inoreader is for everyone, but it works great for me…Until someone else has a similar capability with this much flexibility, I don’t see my eye wandering that far away from Inoreader.

I still use Inoreader and it is one of my most essential software subscriptions.