Force Touch for iPhone →

Mark Gurman:

New to the Force Touch experience, a user can look up a point of interest in the Maps application, and then Force Touch on the destination to immediately begin turn-by-turn directions. Currently, if a user wants to start navigating to a destination, she must search for the point of interest, click the navigation logo on the map view, then click another button to actually start navigating. In this case, the Force Touch gesture will skip two steps.

In the Music application, a user can Force Touch on a listed track to be presented with some of the most commonly-used actions. For instance, if a user deep presses on the listing for a song, a menu will appear to quickly add the song to a playlist or save it for offline listening. This Force Touch gesture would act as a substitute for clicking the actions button on the right side of each track listing in the Music app.

Another feature in testing, according to one source, are shortcuts that appear after Force Touching an app icon on the Home screen. For example, if a user deep presses on the Phone app icon, he could choose to shortcut directly to the Voicemail tab. This could also apply to deep pressing the News app icon and being taken directly to either the Favorites or For You tabs.

Some of the Force Touch gestures will come from Apple’s latest MacBooks. For instance, a user can Force Touch a link in Safari to see a preview of that webpage. The gesture also works for deep pressing on an address or contact name to see a preview of a map view or contact card, respectively. Similarly, a user can Force Touch a word to look up its definition.

A very welcomed feature for iPhone to make it easier for small hands to navigate large touchscreens.

1926: Nikola Tesla Predicts the Modern Smartphone

Nikola Tesla, 1926:

When wireless is perfectly applied the whole earth will be converted into a huge brain, which in fact it is, all things being particles of a real and rhythmic whole. We shall be able to communicate with one another instantly, irrespective of distance. Not only this, but through television and telephony we shall see and hear one another as perfectly as though we were face to face, despite intervening distances of thousands of miles; and the instruments through which we shall be able to do his will be amazingly simple compared with our present telephone. A man will be able to carry one in his vest pocket.

"Boring" iOS 9 Update is a Big Deal for China →

Mark D. Mill:

First, transit. Getting transit directions in China was far more important for Apple than getting US transit directions. Consider just a few numbers:

  • The US has ten cities with a population over 1 million. China has 171.
  • The US has 34 cities with a population over 500,000. China has 450.
  • In 2014, China had 62M vehicles of all kinds registered, in a country of 1.3 billion. This is expected to reach 200M by 2020.

Most people in China get transportation by public transit. Having a mapping service in China without transit directions would be like having one in the US without driving directions. Apple hit this hard:

  • Apple developed transit directions for just 10 cities in the non-China world, but over 300 cities in China.
  • The non-China cities for which Apple has transit directions have a combined population of about 38M. Just the 9 listed cities in China have a combined population of over 130M.

Second, improved battery life & reduced OS upgrade size. These upgrades do not exclusively benefit China, but they were important upgrades in China. In the last years, as I’ve talked with non-Apple users in China, the number one reason they bought another brand was because of screen size, which Apple solved with iPhone 6/6+. The number two reason was poor battery life. Apple getting an extra hour of battery life was important; getting 3 more hours in battery savings mode is huge for the hundreds of millions of people who commute on public transportation without a power source.

Reducing the size of the OS upgrade, likewise, is important for China and the developing world, where the phone is often the only computer. When I didn’t have enough free space to upgrade, I could just upgrade via iTunes on my Mac. For many iPhone users in China for whom iPhone is their only computer, that was never an option. There are a lot of people still on iOS 7 in China as a result

Every once in a while, Apple puts out "Snow Leopard" type releases that are primarily filled with "boring" refinements. On the surface, people can look at that as a sign that Apple no longer innovates. But really, Apple uses these "boring" OS releases to add important updates that are actually huge to other specific markets.

In the past, Apple focused on features targeted at the enterprise market.

This time, with iOS 9, Apple is going all in on China.

Apple Adopts Progressive Enhancement for iOS 9 →


In order to avoid the sluggishness and bugginess that was most notably seen in iOS 7 for the iPhone 4, Apple has restructured its software engineering process to better support older hardware.

Instead of developing a feature-complete version of iOS 9 for older hardware and then removing a handful of features that do not perform well during testing, Apple is now building a core version of iOS 9 that runs efficiently on older A5 devices, then enabling each properly performing feature one-by-one. Thanks to this new approach, an entire generation (or two) of iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches will be iOS 9-compatible rather than reaching the end of the iOS line.

Great news. In addition to better performance on older devices:

  • slow iPhone/iPad upgraders will be able to run the latest versions of third-party apps
  • older iPhone/iPad users will get the latest security updates
  • app developers can spend less time/resources on supporting older iOS versions
  • third-party apps will progress faster

Apple Critics on the iPhone Announcement in 2007 →

In anticipation of the first-gen Apple Watch being released later this month, here are some comments on the original iPhone back in 2007:

the iphone is announced to appear in 2007 , the n95 from nokia which is a 2006 model cand kick iphone's arse very easily, the iphone is just some sort of eye candy, i have a 6680 and i would'n trade it for iphone:)
try comparing the iphone with the n95 on gsm arena, you will be surprised.

Apparently none of you guys realize how bad of an idea a touch-screen is on a phone. I foresee some pretty obvious and pretty major problems here.
I'll be keeping my Samsung A707, thanks. It's smaller, it's got a protected screen, and it's got proper buttons. And it's got all the same features otherwise. (Oh, but it doesn't run a bloatware OS that was never designed for a phone.)
Color me massively disappointed.

Im not impressed with the iPhone. As a PDA user and a Windows Mobile user, this thing has nothing on my phone. It sure is good at what it was designed for, a phone that entertains and talks... other than that, i dont see much potential. How the hell am I suppose to put appointments on the phone with no stylus or keyboard?! I can sync it with my computer, but when Im on the go, I cant do either!
No thanks Apple. Make a real PDA please....

lol last i checked many companies tried the tap to type and tap to dial ... IT DOESNT WORK STEVIE, people dont like non-tactile typing, its a simple fact, this isnt a phone its a mac pda wow yippie....
I mean it looks pretty but its not something i forsee being the next ipod for the phone industry...
and its funny how people are "orgasming" when you havent even seen it being used or a real presentation of it just a mockup graphic on the screen, yes its thinner than the q and the samsung, guess what those were 2006 phones, this is a 2007 apple phone, what did samsung and motorola stop developing last month or something?
It took apple how long to develop this ONE PHONE, samsung and motorola release new phones every few months lol, and constantly innovates and gets better, im sorry but if im sending text messages i'd rather have my thumb keyboard than some weird finger tapping on a screen crap.

Typical short-sighted reactions by consumers who are driven by tech specs, feature lists, "but other companies did it first," and think design is about "how it looks."

Samsung's Differentiation Has Disappeared →

Neil Cybart:

Samsung was more focused on mentioning key words such as design, hardware, camera, and mobile payments, instead of discussing why certain things were being done or removed from the phone. This lack of clarity has been Samsung's problem for years as the company has mostly relied on offering consumers choices that other smartphone makers decided not to pursue. The problem is Apple is now selling larger screen iPhones, and Xiaomi and other local Chinese smartphone vendors are selling decent hardware at lower prices. Samsung's differentiation has disappeared. Samsung may not be at the point of utter desperation, but they certainly came off as remaining quite nervous. Samsung says they want to be first in mobile, but they show great discomfort in leading.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge The Verge

Quick Thoughts on the Samsung Galaxy S6 Unveiling


  • It took 18 minutes before they said anything of substance at the announcement. The first 18 minutes was entirely fluffed with ambiguous marketing words like, "leading," "best," "innovative." Those are words that you should never say to describe yourself. Those are words should be exemplified in your work. It's like a guy trying to pick up a girl by saying, "I'm confident and attractive!"
  • Hilarious: Samsung makes big deal of Galaxy S6 "Edge" curved screen. AND THEN NEVER SAYS WHY THAT'S BETTER. (via @amir)
  • Samsung owners the last 5 years: “iPhone sucks! No removable battery or SD card and plastic is so much more durable!” The S6 —> “Um, oops”. (via @HilzFuld)
  • Their camera comparison vs. an iPhone 6 Plus was a joke. — RT @BenBajarin: Samsung clearly doesn’t know how to tap on the iPhone screen on the subjects to change the lighting.
  • Samsung's new mantra: “Design with purpose." It took them this long to realize that??
  • The bottom of the Galaxy S6 sure looks like an iPhone 6.

The Good

  • Screen looks great, as expected by the company that makes the best screens in the industry.
  • The shiny colored back screens look really, really great.
  • Fast charging is AWESOME. Charging for 10 minutes to get 4 hours of battery life is a game changer.
  • Selfie camera looks great and is something that Samsung should keep pushing. Because, let's face it, everyone loves a good selfie. The selfie camera is a very humanized technology.
  • The upgraded Gorilla Glass is an evolutionary improvement; eventually all smartphones will have it.
  • The overall hardware build quality looks FANTASTIC. No more metallic-painted plastic. For the first time, it looks like Samsung has a premium device that will actually feel like a premium device in your hand.

The Bad

  • Looks like they removed the water-resistance from Galaxy line this year. That's a shame. That was a really great feature that really should become the standard.


  • Does the curved screen make any significant improvements to the viewing experience? Do videos really look any better?
  • How long will the battery last in the real world? Samsung has been known for cheating benchmarks before.
  • How well will the battery hold charges over time? Does fast charging mean the battery will degrade faster than normal?
  • The fingerprint scanner has been redone to work more like the iPhone's because the old swipe version was shit. Will this new fingerprint scanner be as technically reliable as Touch ID?
  • Does fast charging work over wireless charging? Or is it an asterisk where the fast charging will only work when you plug it in?
  • How successful will Samsung Pay be in the U.S.? Outside the U.S? They highlighted how only 10% of retailers support Apple Pay right now, but that number will significantly improve; the U.S. is in the middle of upgrading all merchants to the more secure, encryption chip-based point-of-sale system.
  • Does Samsung get a cut or kickback of each Samsung Pay transaction?
  • How well will this resonate with existing Samsung buyers? Is there a lot of pent up demand for a new Galaxy S by customers who were unimpressed with the past two models? Will this reverse the downward trend of Samsung's mobile profits?
  • If someone was on Samsung for the big screen, and went Apple when it matched that, will they move back again because Samsung dumped plastic? (via@BenedictEvans)

The State of Smartphone Market Share in One Chart →

This is the perfect way to visualize the current smartphone landscape. While Apple has "only 20%," it completely dominates the premium end. Android dominates the rest of the current installed base (mostly the mid-range). The low-end market is all up for grabs.

Ben Bajarin brings up the important questions for Android going forward:

Google has a base of rapidly maturing customers (just over a billion of them) who will continue to expect innovation around the platform in areas they consider valuable. Areas around cloud, imaging, sensors, and so much more. Android’s current user base is increasing in their sophistication. As computing advances, so should Android for this customer set. Yet, in this next phase, Google is going to also want Android to appeal to a first time smartphone user, say a farmer in Africa, for example. So the question is, how does Google evolve Android to cater to both their most sophisticated, demanding, and profitable existing customers, and a first time customer in Africa who is absolutely not PC literate and may not be literate at all? This creates a fundamental problem at a platform level and at a business model level, for Google. This is why I say we can’t make assumptions about which platform will win with the next two billion. The user base in question is using feature phones today. They make calls and have type literacy around 10 key and or radio/TV dials. This is the extent of their technical literacy with electronics. It is in addressing this next phase of mobile where I believe the Android schism happens.

Could it be an Android fork like Cyanogen has the most potential in this next phase? Could it be Windows Phone has an opportunity? Or maybe a web platform version like FireFox OS, that simplifies everything to web apps? Or perhaps Google figures it out, or comes up with something completely different than Android to address this new set of customers. The point is, we have no idea. It is a green field. It is uncharted territory for computing.

Apple & Market Share →

John Gruber:

The conventional wisdom just two years ago was that Apple needed to create a low-priced iPhone — not just lower-priced but low-priced — to compete in “emerging markets” like China. That would be true if Apple were interested primarily in market share. But they’re not, never have been, and never will be interested primarily in unit sale market share. Far from hurting them, Apple’s commitment to the premium end of the phone market is helping them separate from the pack in China.

When talking about Apple's market share, there's a big difference between saying "only 20%" and "the top 20%."