During Apple’s “underwhelming” event yesterday, I couldn’t help but think of these words from Ecclesiastes 1:8:
All things are wearisome;
Man is not able to tell it.
The eye is not satisfied with seeing,
Nor is the ear filled with hearing.
Apple’s greatest gift to us may end up being the clear demonstration that the most beautiful gadgets in the world simply cannot satisfy our unquenchable thirst for more.
There has been lots of speculation that the iPhone 5 was Steve Jobs’ last major project at Apple. That has always felt pretty shallow. The iPhone 5 was a significant redesign, but certainly not the groundbreaking kind of release that would consume a visionary’s thoughts.
This answer on Quora has me wondering if it was actually Touch ID. He certainly had to be aware of the project if it was in-progress while he was at Apple. The vision necessary to see something like that as far back as 2008 is very much in the realm of Steve.
Apple has taken a very slow and methodical approach with the release of Touch ID. We can see that there was a tremendous amount of amazing work that has gone into this project. All of this convergence took over seven years of very hard work. It includes many patent applications, the acquisition of AuthenTec, the selection of the A7 processor and the integration of the TrustZone suite all baked together into what we now know as Touch ID.
Sounds about like Steve to me.
Via Daring Fireball
Last Thursday, Apple’s developer site (ADC) abruptly went into maintenance mode. It’s not uncommon for the site to be put into maintenance while Apple pushes new tools and evaluation software out to developers. The maintenance window became uncommon when it lingered into Friday. As early as Friday afternoon, the tone from developers was turning from curiosity to speculation, with hints of anger and demands for updates from Apple.
What’s interesting to note at this juncture is that one of the most common topics amongst iOS and Mac developers lately is that of App Store economics and user entitlement. Experienced developers have all encountered users who believe the exchange of mere pennies initiates a contract where developers are beholden for lifetime updates and improvements.
Astonishingly, many of Saturday and Sunday’s posts about the outage on ADN and Twitter were from developers who seemed to believe Apple owed them an explanation. Developers who will casually complain about entitled users began hypocritically demanding answers from Apple about why the portal was down. Finally, Apple sent an email to members of their development programs Sunday afternoon, explaining the site had been taken down Thursday after attempts to gain access to developer data were detected. Here’s the first paragraph, as available Sunday evening:
Last Thursday, an intruder attempted to secure personal information of our registered developers from our developer website. Sensitive personal information was encrypted and cannot be accessed, however, we have not been able to rule out the possibility that some developers’ names, mailing addresses, and/or email addresses may have been accessed. In the spirit of transparency, we want to inform you of the issue. We took the site down immediately on Thursday and have been working around the clock since then.
Somehow this explanation wasn’t enough for some. The company whose shoulders thousands of individuals and businesses have built their own fortunes on is inexplicably required to provide details and disclosure of system attacks while mediation and triage are under way.
It has become obvious which of the talking heads have been in a war room situation where a large system is under attack and those who have really only deployed PHP to servers in their basement. The $99 that developers pay doesn’t entitle anybody to realtime feedback on the health and status of any of Apple’s systems. Compared to the cost of operating those systems, developing the devices and software that make them important, and after-hours time that was put in this weekend, that measly hundred bucks is pretty insignificant. Distribute it across the full year, and $0.27 a day is significantly less than the anecdotal cup of coffee many developers compare their software to when arguing about the price of building apps.