The Apple Watch from an Android User’s Perspective

I’m an Android user who tried the Apple Watch for a month — it’s now the only smartwatch I’ll recommend

And whether you’ve obstinately rooted yourself in the anti-Apple Watch camp or not, it’s impossible to deny, too, that the Apple Watch has become a real fashion statement. For better or worse, it has become a wardrobe staple of many of some of the most visible haves in our society, and that has largely mooted arguments about what a watch is “supposed to look like.”

This is undoubtedly true, and like all major fashion statements, it takes what is unusual and makes it desirable. The Apple Watch may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s absolutely an accepted, and even desired element in everyday fashion today.

What makes Apple the clear king of the smartwatch hill has been something I think long-time Android users are going to have a hard time understanding, at least in a holistic sense. There are some big things: Apple’s fitness tracking is truly excellent, for one. But there are so many other ones — haptics, performance, battery life, data visualization, touch interaction, responsive voice controls, actual 3rd party apps — that add up to a true feeling that the Apple Watch is a complete, refined product. It’s a feeling I’ve never had using a Wear watch, and it just make you realize how far Google, Samsung, and other smartwatch makers are behind Apple right now.

This is also what I found when trying to use Android and Samsung smart watches this year: Apple is so far ahead in this space it’s not even funny.

Is MVP Enough?

Why minimum viable products are no longer enough

A professional test pilot in an experimental aircraft doesn’t need a cozy place to sit, whereas a passenger on a commercial jet will expect a pillow and a soda—preferably the whole can. To make this point clearer in an MVP-ridden world of computational products that are missing creature comforts, I like to use the term “MVLP,” where the “L” stands for “lovable.”

I kinda like this idea and have been inadvertently doing something like this more and more in my role as a product designer.

As an example, my company is currently working on a replacement to an old, ugly product that has been around for a decade. There are many things we need to do to make this a better product, but this thing was built over ten years ago and looks like it; our customers have told us they don’t liketo use it since it’s customer-facing and looks old.

We have a list of functions this initial release must have, but all along the way, one of the more abstract requirements we look at at all times is whether this new experience is satisfying as fuck. Any new feature we add needs to look good and be a joy to use. If they’re using something that is a pain to use and the look and feel feels ancient, the new thing should blow them away in terms of user experience and design.

The feature set matters too, and we’ve done our best to pick the most important things to hit first, but a lot of those gaps will be forgiven if they overall experience we deliver is a delight (and if not forgiven, at least they will ask for them to be added soon rather than yell for them to be added now.

You Should Make the iPad Your New Laptop

Why You Should Ditch Your Laptop For iPad Pro – The Brooks Review

Drawing to Excel — you name it. There used to be limitations with what you could do on an iPad — but those limitations are melting away, the last vestige being iOS developers looking longingly at a better. These are the people you hear from most, because they are the most likely to write a blog about it, while the rest of the world just switches to an iPad without making a thing out of it (burn).

Ben does a great job explaining the many reasons the iPad (Pro) is a great computer.

I also really liked this part:

I look at a MacBook as Slack — sure I can have tons of different stuff open all at once, but I lack context and depth. Things are seen, but not done.

Whereas iPadOS is more like a FaceTime Audio call — clarity, depth, intention, and meaning — there is friction to engage at this level — it isn’t perfect, but it is better.

iPadOS is all about the focus of a singular call, instead of the shotgun of gifs, dopamine, and distraction, of MacBooks.

This is a little facetious, but it is something I’ve struggled to understand as well: why do I feel more productive on my Mac when I actually get more stuff done on my iPad? I genuinely think that part of the clunkiness of handling more than 2 apps at a time makes the iPad be used the way it wants to be used: one thing at a time. For things like app/web development this is a major hindrance, but for basically everything else I do it’s not a problem at all.

To that end: pick up your iPad Pro and do what you need, then put it back down and get back to life. That’s how you use an iPad.

Preach, Ben, preach.

Night Modes: Fight!

Night Sight fight expanded: The Pixel 4 is no match for the iPhone 11 in low light | Macworld

It’s subtle, but more often than not, the iPhone produced richer, more detailed shots without losing the natural darkness.

I find it really interesting how almost every iPhone-focused person thinks the iPhone 11 is better in low light and every Android-focused person thinks the Pixel 4 is better. As I said in my review of the Pixel 4, I think they’re pretty neck-and-neck, with the Pixel doing better on a tripod and the iPhone doing better handheld.

A Random Alt/Indie Playlist

This isn’t a music blog by any means, but this tweet got me thinking about my favorite indie and alternative music recently and this playlist is the result. I hope you like it!