How iFixit Became the World’s Best iPhone Teardown Team

Motherboard: Every year there’s a race to become the first to tear down the phone, with teams from around the world flying to Australia—where it’s first released—to compete to be the first to look inside the world’s most coveted new phone. Motherboard embedded with iFixit, a California-based company whose primary mission is to make it easier for the average person to disassemble and repair their electronics, for its iPhone X teardown.

We went inside iFixit’s office, the “headquarters of the global repair movement, which features a tool laboratory and a parts library with thousands of electronics parts and disassembly tools. Then we went to Sydney, Australia, as iFixit tried to become the first team to tear down the iPhone X.

iFixit iPhone X teardown

“Historically the only things that were close to the precision of what you see in an iPhone was in something like a Swiss watch.”

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App Review Guidelines -- The Comic Book

App Review Guidelines: The Comic Book

[PDF on the developer site]

(via The Loop)

I’m really not sure what the point of this is. The art is excellent, but it’s making zero use of the comic medium to make the guidelines any more accessible. It’s the exact same legalese, with pictures.

Compare/contrast with Scott McCloud’s excellent comic book introduction to the new Google Chrome browser:

The Chrome comic explains why the engineers made certain choices, how these benefit users, and demonstrates important concepts visually. While the Apple comic has a very different subject matter, it still completely fails to use the medium to show rather than tell.

Update: I mentioned this on Twitter, and Scott McCloud himself responded…

I remember hearing about that project, but it had slipped my mind.

iTunes Terms and Conditions: The Graphic Novel

The complete, unabridged legal agreement, as drawn by R. Sikoryak.

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Shape of things to come

iOS App Review Guidelines: The Comic Book!

Using sequential art to make complex legal terms and conditions more accessible… or not.

Use your words

A detailed look at Apple’s new San Fransisco typeface

Nick Keppol has written two fabulously detailed posts for The Syndicate with a focus on Apple’s new typeface.

San Francisco

  1. Why San Francisco? — a primer in typography, legibility and screen rendering explains why Apple made a new typeface.
  2. Arriving at San Francisco — an examination of the features of San Francisco… and its failings.

So is San Francisco really the perfect system font for Apple’s products? It’s complicated.

Many critics have compared it to Helvetica and DIN. When viewed under this simplified stylistic lens, they aren’t exactly wrong. There are a lot of similarities. If we put San Francisco under the microscope, we’ll see that the visual similarities are just a small piece of this type system. It’s a typeface designed for the digital age and it excels in this medium in ways that Helvetica, DIN, or Lucida Grande ever could.

Letters and numbers with similar forms get misread. For example, it’s easy to confuse a capital B and an 8. A capital A and a 4; or a capital G and a 6. This is partly why non-lining old-style numerals exist. To solve for this legibility challenge, and add a bit more style to the typeface, San Francisco has alternates for the 4, 6, and 9 for both proportional and tabular figures.

These things take time though and I doubt the type design team at Apple is very large. I’m not proposing a font designed for ultra low resolution like Verdana or Input — rather something more subtle and on brand. If Apple were to exaggerate the changes they made to the text sized glyphs vs the display cuts—opening the apertures and counters a bit more; and adjusted the spacing metrics…and maybe the weights, I think we could have a really nice looking, legible version of SF UI for low-resolution displays without any real impact to style. Would it be obsolete in 5-7 years? Yes, probably—but if everyone using a 1x display could have a better experience until everything is retina, isn’t it worth it?

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Grovemade produce gorgeous handcrafted accessories for your technology.

Grovemade walnut desk

The keyboard tray is particularly clever. (There’s a Magic Trackpad version too.)

The iPhone dock is another of my favourites. I personally don’t like cases that cover the screen, but this one with the leather flap looks very smart.

I’m not a huge fan of the watch either, but it does look lovely. I wonder if they’ll make anything for the Apple Watch?

This sleeve design however is just incredible. There are versions for the iPad Air, Mini and for the 13 inch MacBook Air. Like everything, it’s available in maple and walnut.

Grovemade iPad

They have loads more lovely product shots and behind-the-scenes photographs on Instagram too.

(via Bless This Stuff)

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Craft and creativity

Grovemade make gorgeous handcrafted tech accessories

Based in Portland, Oregon (where else?) Grovemade produce gorgeous tech accessories that I really, really want. Seriously! I mean, this isn’t a paid ad guys but if you want to send me a maple monitor stand you can consider me paid!

Casey Neistat has a somewhat, erm, guerrilla approach to technology. So far he’s adapted two Apple Watches to suit his personal tastes. Look away Apple fans!

Louis Vuitton Apple Watch

Plus how (not) to etch your name into your expensive new Apple gadget.

How to Turn Your Apple Watch Gold

A bit of spray paint turns a $399 apple watch into a $12,000 ‘edition’!

The Making of a Viral Video

Casey explains how and why he made his ‘How to Turn Your Apple Watch Gold’ video.

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Craft and creativity

Watch Casey Neistat customise / vandalise the Apple Watch

How to turn your Apple Watch gold and how about a fancy Louis Vuitton strap too? Look away Apple fans!

Wired has some gorgeous UI graphics in its feature on the Apple Watch

In a sense the first true Apple Watch prototype was, like 10,000 Kickstarter projects, just a weird iPhone case with a strange accessory sticking out of it.

On such a small display, small things assume outsize importance, and the human interface team designed some novel ways of interacting with the device. There’s the digital crown, of course, and also the so-called Force Touch that lets you press a little harder on the screen to access hidden menus. They also designed an entirely new typeface, called San Francisco, which is more readable on a small display than Apple’s standard Helvetica. The letters are more square, Dye says, “but with gentle, curved corners,” mimicking the Watch’s case. It’s wide and legible at small sizes, but when it gets larger the letters tighten up a little more.

Options were central to the plan from the beginning: two sizes, three tiers, easily interchangeable straps, and tons of watch faces and so-called complications, digital add-ons that show relevant information like the weather and your activity level, to make your Watch uniquely yours. (The term complication is a nod to high-end watchmaking and refers to a function a watch performs beyond telling the hour and minute.)

Personal note →

Shape of things to come

A close look at the interface design of the Apple Watch

“Questions started coalescing around the idea of a watch: What could it add to people’s lives? What new things could you do with a device that you wear? Around this time, Ive began a deep investigation of horology, studying how reading the position of the sun evolved into clocks, which evolved into watches. Horology became an obsession. That obsession became a product.” –Wired

I don’t know why I find these kinds of workspace photographs so appealing.

I know they reek of pretentiousness and elitism and just plain showing-off (either “look at what expensive toys and good taste I have” or “look how well I’ve got my life organised”), but I still aspire.

Of all these workplaces, the Ugmonk studio has to be one of my favourites.

I’m also endlessly fascinated by these workbag displays. So many things I need to buy to make my life complete.

Craft and creativity

Apple porn

I know it’s not strictly an ‘Apple’ thing – I’ve seen plenty of people showing off PC workstations and ultra-nerdy open source setups too – but let’s be honest, Mac geeks in particular love to show off.

Shape of things to come

Apple’s “1997” concept video from 1987

Wired: Watch Apple’s Awkwardly Wrong Prediction of the Future From 1987

In 1987, two years after founder Steve Jobs was run out of the company, Apple produced a video that predicted a phantasmagorically glorious future for the maker of the Macintosh. It may be the oddest, most brilliant, and horribly wrong prediction anyone has ever made.

Saga 1 cover by Fiona Staples
Shape of things to come

Apple bans Saga issue from iOS

Update: A statement from David Steinberger, the CEO of
comiXology, has revealed that in fact Apple did not ban the comic. “As a partner of Apple, we have an obligation to respect its policies for apps and the books offered in apps. Based on our understanding of those policies, we believed that Saga #12 could not be made available in our app, and so we did not release it today.” Though I’m still curious to know exactly what happened. I’ve also read elsewhere that Saga has included a hetero-blowjob before (I’m behind in my reading – I like the graphic novels) which contrary to my view below does seem to make this a hypocritical decision – whoever made it.

There’s a lot I like about Apple products, but I utterly resent that they keep pulling this censorship crap.

As has hopefully been clear from the first page of our first issue, SAGA is a series for the proverbial “mature reader.” Unfortunately, because of two postage stamp-sized images of gay sex, Apple is banning tomorrow’s SAGA #12 from being sold through any iOS apps. This is a drag, especially because our book has featured what I would consider much more graphic imagery in the past, but there you go. Fiona and I could always edit the images in question, but everything we put into the book is there to advance our story, not (just) to shock or titillate, so we’re not changing shit.
Brian K. Vaughan’s statement on Apple’s Banning of Saga

People have been quick to cry ‘homophobia’, but I’m not convinced that is the case here. The image is explicit even by Saga’s standards, and it wouldn’t be any less so if a woman featured. Say what you will about Apple, but they’ve been pretty vocal supporters of equality.

See one of these ‘postage stamp-sized’ images →