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Stuff I’ve found interesting this week – 31 August


Seeing Through the Illusion: Understanding Apple’s Mastery of the Media. The prodigy writes a long and very interesting look at Apple PR and the way it works. My own experience of Apple PR is more or less a decade out of date, but a lot of what Gurman says here chimes.

Apple wearable won’t ship till early 2015. As plenty of others have noted, this makes sense for two reasons: it’s a new product category, and hence preannouncing won’t mean the Osborne effect. Second, developers will need time to build support. Oh, and of course it will really hurt any other company selling wearables over Christmas.

L.A. Unified halts contract for iPads. Lots of people are going to read into this that iPad is struggling in education. However, really this is all about the tendering process the district went through, which – it’s alleged – was skewed towards the iPad rather than other options.

Lenovo N20p Chromebook review: This $329 model stands out for its 300-degree hinge. When the only original thing about a product is a hinge, you know it’s not that interesting. This is another run-of-the-mill Chromebook, but with the difference that you can fold it into a shape which makes it unusable for anything except watching video.

Two weeks later: My switch from Outlook to Gmail. David Gerwitz is surprised to find that Gmail is a better email experience than Outlook. I’m not: Gmail has been built to deal with email as it exists in 2014, not as it was in 1998. Things have moved on, and Gmail, with its tabs which hide promotional mail and updates, makes dealing with email easier.

Google release 64-bit Chrome for Mac. If this means Chrome no longer sucks quite so much battery life out of my Mac, I might even go back to using it.

Broadwell chips heading to Chromebooks. My Haswell-based Dell 11 already gets me around 11 hours of battery life, so I’m really interested to find out what a Broadwell-based device could do.

Q&A: An Apple critic with plenty to say. Lengthy and interesting interview with John Siracusa, one of the most genuinely-knowledgeable journalists writing about Apple. John doesn’t write a lot, but what he does write is vital reading.

Your iPhone & iPad are ready to get to work with new apps for Docs, Sheets, & Slides. You can now use Google’s apps on iOS to edit Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents. Not as well as Office for iPad will, of course, but for lightweight use it’s pretty good.

Dropbox increases its pro storage to 1tb for $10 a month. Not a huge surprise, given that both Google and Microsoft charge the same. I wonder if it means Apple will follow suit with iCloud?

How to email notes and ideas into Scrivener. Scrivener is an amazing application for any long-form writing, and this technique really helps to link it up to other apps.


Pinterest Adds New Analytics Dashboard to Entice Future Advertisers. Pinterest is a massive referred of traffic to a lot of websites – Buzzfeed claims it refers more than Twitter – but up till now its analytics capabilities have been pretty lacklustre.

The Times of India just instituted a bizarre Twitter and Facebook policy. Reporters have a choice: hand over control of their personal social media accounts to the publication, or never post links to their own reporting. Huh?

Why Everyone Is Obsessed With E-Mail Newsletters Right Now. Quick answer: because it’s social media that puts the user firmly in control. Also because some very smart people are writing them.

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