Samsung won’t fold on the Fold.

The Galaxy Fold is still extremely fragile, and Samsung knows it:

The updated Samsung Galaxy Fold is finally making its way into the world after a months-long delay by Samsung to shore up its hardware when it became apparent from review units (including The Verge’s) that the foldable phone was too fragile. Unfortunately, it seems that the “fixed” version of the Fold is still extremely fragile. And based on a new video Samsung released begging owners to treat their new phones with a “special level of care,” Samsung knows it. A new durability test from popular YouTube channel JerryRigEverything proves it.

You just won’t let it go, will you, Samsung?

Admit it, you have derailed.

We’re not and have never been powerless victims to our devices.

Over at The Verge, Michael Zelenko writes about the Light Phone 2 and the high hopes of the low-tech phone:

The survey, sent out to Light backers, was focused on a straightforward question: What features would you like to see on the Light Phone 2? What they were really asking, though, was thornier: How minimalist should a minimalist phone be?

In a 2017 Wired story about the futility of minimalist devices, David Pierce identified it as the “this one thing” problem. Every customer has just “one thing” they absolutely need to have their minimalist phone do in order for it to replace their current device. But everyone’s “one thing” is different. In my 2018 review of the Light Phone 1, my “one thing” was texting. If only it texted, I said, the Light Phone would be an ideal minimalist device for me.

Some Light Phone 2 survey respondents indicated that their “one things” were basic tools like directions, maps, or a notes app. But others had maximalist requests: emojis, podcasts, encrypted messaging, additional micro SD slots, even WhatsApp and a Facebook app. The Light team had to tread a fine line.

The idea of the Light Phone is great. I love ideas, but ideas are the ‘caterpillars’ to the device ‘butterflies’ they can become and how an idea manifests itself in the real world might not work as perfectly as it did inside your brain.

In my own life I’ve tackled pocket computer addictions, distractions, and temptations from the other direction. For at least 5 years I’ve disabled notifications on all but a few of what I consider ‘essential’ apps on my iPhone: Mail and Messages. No other apps on my iPhone require notification badges, pop-ups or lock screen alerts. Not even my most used apps like Overcast, YouTube, Instagram, Slack, Safari, or Spotify. I also mute group text threads with my long-time, ball-busting friends from high school. I deleted the Facebook app years ago, and recently deleted the Twitter app. My iPhone is a fairly quiet device throughout the day.

This erroneous idea that we’re powerless victims to our devices is bullshit.

Pocket computer upgrade cycles

Americans are waiting three years to replace their phones, study finds:

A new study released by Strategy Analytics reflects the current state of the smartphone industry. Apparently, consumers in the US — Baby Boomers, in particular — are increasingly delaying their smartphone purchase for three or more years. In addition, the average iPhone now remains active for 18 months, while the average Samsung phone remains active for 16.5. The era of yearly phone upgrades is over. Smartphone shipments have been dropping around the world over the past year, and some analysts even believe the industry is bound to suffer its worst decline ever in the coming months.

I buy a new pocket computer about every 2 years. I’m currently using an iPhone X I bought in 2017. It still has solid battery life and is snappy as ever. I’m a geek and I like gadgets and I might get a new iPhone this fall, but I could easily wait until next year to upgrade.

Jony Ive

Always with the raw & fresh perspective on Apple, John Gruber gives his take on Jony Ive leaving Apple:

I think Tim Cook is a great CEO and Jeff Williams is a great COO. But who’s in charge of product design now? There is no new chief design officer, which, really, is what Steve Jobs always was. From a product standpoint, the post-Jobs era at Apple has been the Jony Ive era, not the Tim Cook era. That’s not a knock on Tim Cook. To his credit, Tim Cook has never pretended to be a product guy, which is exactly the hubris that John Sculley succumbed to back in the early ’90s, leading to the Newton being launched far before it was ready and the Macintosh platform languishing.

My gut sense for years has been that Ive without Jobs has been like McCartney without Lennon. Or Lennon without McCartney — take whichever analogical pairing you prefer. My point here is only that the fruit of their collaborations were, seemingly magically, far greater than the sums of the duos’ talents and tastes.

It’s too soon to know anything. As Gruber mentions, Apple’s product roadmap stretches at least 5 years into the future, and in that time Apple will figure out a replacement that makes sense. Or they won’t. Who knows. I don’t.

…and then I read John Siracusa’s tweet and I can’t un-see it:

Folks who wanted someone to be fired over the butterfly keyboard: happy now?

He’s 100% right. OK, at least 50% right.

Up until 2016 did you ever have reason to doubt the integrity of your MacBook’s keyboard? I’ve been buying Macs since 2000 and I never had a reason to doubt them. My current laptop is a 2015 MacBook Pro, the one with the flawless keyboard.

Steve Jobs had an ego the size of California and he could be a salty motherfucker, but he would admit to a fuck-up if he had to. He did it (begrudgingly) in 2010 in response to the antenna issues in the iPhone 4, otherwise known as “Antennagate”.

As Gruber mentions, Ive no longer has a Lennon to his McCartney, so we never got an apology.

It is interesting that the ‘solution’ to the iPhnoe 4 antenna issue was a plastic bumper to cover the edges of the device and the ‘solution’ to the MacBook Pro butterfly keyboard was a silicon membrane covering the individual key mechanisms. Covering up the problems versus fixing them.

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Product

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Samsung continues their time-honored tradition of copying Apple.

Samsung hasn’t just copied Apple’s product design once, they’ve done it repeatedly for over a decade now. At least they’re consistent. Today’s announcement of the new Galaxy Fit is no different.

A quick look at their product renderings shows they’re not only ripping off Apple’s watch face aesthetic, but the Nike+ design style too.

Apple Watch vs Galaxy Fit Apple Watch vs Galaxy Fit

Categories:

Interface, Product

“…but the deeper software integration from the foldable display just isn’t ready yet.”

Lenovo let Chaim Gartenberg at The Verge get his hands on their new foldable PC.

For me, it all boils down to this quote from Chaim:

Unfortunately there’s just not a lot we can show off here. There is a functional (!) version of Windows running on this hardware, but the deeper software integration from the foldable display just isn’t ready yet.

It’s important to experiment with new form factors for devices, but when you’re bringing a product to market, it’s much more important to have your use cases figured out and your software ready and working.

This reeks of trendy novelty and a complete lack of deep thinking. Lenovo appears to be riding the foldable wave started by Samsung back in February.

What’s the use case for a folding laptop?

Would I buy this to replace a tablet or a traditional laptop?

Where’s the benefit in saying “me first!” with a piece of shit?

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Product

There’s a first for everything.

John Gruber on the MacBook keyboards:

I consider these keyboards the worst products in Apple history. MacBooks should have the best keyboards in the industry; instead they’re the worst. They’re doing lasting harm to the reputation of the MacBook brand.

I just started a new job and normally I get excited because that means I get a brand-new MacBook Pro.

This is the first time in my 19 years as a graphic designer I’m not looking forward to getting a new machine.

And that sucks.

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Product

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Is that you, Suunto?

News came last week that Alphabet’s health division, Verily, got clearance from the FDA to test the EKG feature on their smartwatch. Remember, last year Apple introduced this feature on the Apple Watch Series 4.

Anyway, that’s not the follow-the-leader news that caught my eye. It was the watch photo featured in the Verge story. It reminded me of a watch I had seen before:

The reason I know about the Suunto Lumi is because I bought one and wrote a blog post on it in 2009.

Everything is a remix.