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Posts tagged with "interview"

2021 Apple Design Award Winners: The AppStories Interviews

Federico and I had the pleasure of interviewing four of the twelve 2021 Apple Design Award winners for AppStories. The awards, which were announced by Apple last Thursday, recognized an app and a game in each of the following categories for their outstanding designs: Inclusivity, Delight and Fun, Interaction, Social Impact, Visuals and Graphics, and Innovation.

For today’s special episode, which is the official kick-off of our Summer OS Preview Series of stories and AppStories episodes, we spoke with the following ADA winners:

  • Winston Chen, the developer of Voice Dream Reader, which won an ADA in the Inclusivity category
  • Esther Huybreghts, Mathijs Demaeght, and Melissa Cash from Pok Pok, the developers of Pok Pok Playroom, which won an ADA in the Delight and Fun category, and we covered when it launched
  • Brian Mueller, the developer of CARROT Weather, which won an ADA in the Interaction category and has been covered often on MacStories
  • Maria Sayans and David Fernandez Huerta from ustwo games, the creators of Alba: A Wildlife Adventure, which won an ADA in the Social Impact category

All four interviews are fantastic conversations that reveal common threads of thoughtful design, innovative approaches that feature the latest Apple technology, and a deep understanding of their users.

Thank you to everyone for taking the time for the interviews, Apple for helping arrange them, and as always, thank you for listening to AppStories. We hope you enjoy the episode.

Sponsored by:

Concepts: Sketch, Note, Draw


T3 Interviews Phil Schiller About Face ID, AirPods, HomePod, and More

UK lifestyle site T3 has an in-depth interview with Phil Schiller, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing. The interview covers a wide range of topics including the iPhone X, Face ID, AirPods, ARKit, HomeKit, the Apple Pencil, the iMac Pro, and the HomePod.

Schiller credits Apple’s tight integration of software and hardware and cross-team collaboration with the success of Face ID:

Other companies certainly have had the vision of ‘can you unlock something with someone’s face?’ but no one [has] actually delivered technology as advanced and capable and ubiquitous and consumer friendly as Face ID. And that is the direct result of this collaboration, and how these teams work for years together on a simple powerful idea with all that technology.

He also uses the AirPods as an example of the extent of the engineering that goes into making a product as seemingly simple as the AirPods:

So frequently, I talk to customers who say, ‘My favourite product Apple has ever made are AirPods.’ And that’s just a really nice thing to hear. I love when customers respond that one of their favourite product is something this simple, and yet so much work went into it.

At the surface level, it’s an incredibly simple product. But the reality is it’s actually an incredibly complex product to make. Each AirPod really is its own computer, running software and hardware. And those two computers need to deliver this very clear experience that you want, and they have to work together, because we’re very attuned to synchronisation in audio as a species. And so it has to work the way you want.

One of our favourite features is just the idea that you take it out and the music stops – you put it back in and it keeps going again. “Again, that’s a simple idea, but took a lot of engineering to make it work quickly, reliably, for all of us in all different ear sizes and different situations. And they have to work with this iPhone that may be in your pocket or your bag, across your body. And as you know, our bodies are big bags of water, which are really bad for radio signals to get through.

Phil Schiller has an impressive knack for explaining Apple’s vision for its products, which makes this interview worth reading in its entirety.


AppStories, Episode 13 – Interview: Rehearsal Pro with David H. Lawrence XVII

On this week’s episode of AppStories, we chat with actor David H. Lawrence XVII about his app Rehearsal Pro, which helps actors rehearse for parts, the intersection of the performing arts and apps, how David’s experience as an actor has helped his app find a large following among other professional actors, and how some of the app’s more famous users have become its best marketing.

Sponsored by:

  • Trails - Your outdoor GPS tracker and logbook for iPhone and Apple Watch.
    • Set up a free Trails account and email Trails support with the subject ‘AppStories’ for a free month of Trails Pro service.
  • Big Keys - Finally, an iOS keyboard and emoji you can see.
    • On sale for $0.99 for this week only.

Tim Cook Speaks With Businessweek In A Wide-Ranging Interview

Tim Cook Speaks With Businessweek In A Wide-Ranging Interview

Josh Tyrangiel of Bloomberg’s Businessweek has a terrific and in-depth interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook. In it, Cook is asked a whole swathe of questions from transparency, to the recent executive changes, Apple’s competition, US manufacturing and a lot more. The whole article is available online and in the latest edition of Businessweek. NBC will also air an interview with Tim Cook today on it’s Rock Center program at 10pm/9c in the US.

Talking of Apple Maps, Cook is asked whether Apple took on an approach of doing something for strategic company purposes, rather than something that would make the product better. Cook rebuffs this suggestion and suggests that they wanted to enable certain features such as directions and voice integration and set upon accomplishing them.

 We set on a course some years ago and began to do that. So it wasn’t a matter of saying, “Strategically it’s important that we not work with company X.” We set out to give the customer something to provide a better experience. And the truth is it didn’t live up to our expectations. We screwed up.

Asked about manufacturing and whether Apple might bring back some manufacturing efforts back to the US, Cook responds that they will begin to do so in 2013 for certain Mac products. It lines up with recent reports of the new iMacs arriving with “Assembled in USA” engravings. You can also see an excerpt of the Rock Center interview here in which he discusses this transition back to the US.

And next year we are going to bring some production to the U.S. on the Mac. We’ve been working on this for a long time, and we were getting closer to it. It will happen in 2013. We’re really proud of it. We could have quickly maybe done just assembly, but it’s broader because we wanted to do something more substantial. So we’ll literally invest over $100 million. This doesn’t mean that Apple will do it ourselves, but we’ll be working with people, and we’ll be investing our money

These are just a few snippets of the interview, be sure to read the entire interview over at Bloomberg Businessweek, it’s a must read.


Behind The App: MoneyWiz

Early this year, I set out to find an iPad app that I could enjoy using to manage my finances. After a couple of days of looking, I settled upon MoneyWiz from the developer SilverWiz. Its developers describe it as “beautiful, powerful and easy to use”, and having stuck with the app since late January I’m inclined to agree. In my reviews of the iPad and Mac versions my overall take was mostly positive (there is also an iPhone version, but that I have yet to use).

After exchanging a few emails with Iliya Yordanov, the founder of SilverWiz, I thought it would be interesting to have a Q&A with him and learn a bit more about the app, similar to what we’ve done in previous interviews here on MacStories, but this time, I decided to change things up a bit. For this interview I’ve assembled all the various stories about MoneyWiz and the SilverWiz company that Iliya shared with me into a single story that (hopefully) gives you a fascinating and unique look behind the app and company.

Disclaimer: At the time of publication SilverWiz is one of the advertisers on MacStories; however, this article was in the works before the campaign began. Advertising on MacStories is not handled by editors but by BackBeatMedia, and has no relation to editorial content whatsoever.

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Disney Won’t Be Part Of iCloud Launch

Amidst the rumors leading up to Apple’s iCloud and iOS 5 announcements scheduled for Monday, June 6, at the WWDC keynote, Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger said in an interview at All Things Digital’s D9 conference that the company won’t be part of Apple’s iCloud “launch” next week. Whilst it’s still unclear whether iCloud will be publicly available on Monday, or be announced as a closed beta for developers, Iger showed his appreciation for “digital lockers in the sky” that will allow users to store content in one place and access it anywhere at any time.

Kara: Are you part of the Apple iCloud launch next Monday?

Iger: No. But on lockers and clouds in general:

Ability to have your content online, accessible all in one place, that’s a better user experience. Believe that impediments to people buying things include storage: You don’t have room on your hard drive to store all this stuff, and you don’t want to throw it out.

(From Wired’s Steven Levy): Cloud makes more sense if you can move your stuff to different platforms, and different devices. Are you demanding that?

A: We haven’t made any deals yet. But we’re definitely focused on interoperability. We need to demand that.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs is the largest shareholder in Walt Disney, and the company was among the first ones to support the iPod video when it first came out. iCloud was rumored to include movies and TV shows alongside songs from iTunes by the official launch, though recent rumors and reports have focused on the music aspect of the service, failing to provide additional details on video and other media content Apple will distribute on its new platform.

Video interview is available here.

Fast Company: Our Interview With Dieter Rams, The Greatest Designer Alive

Fast Company: Our Interview With Dieter Rams, The Greatest Designer Alive

Here, Rams talks about being bum-rushed at a party by Philippe Starck, who exclaimed, “Apple is stealing from you!” But when it comes to Ive and Apple, Rams subscribes to the adage “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.”

Dieter Rams, perhaps the most inspiring creative mind of the pre-Jobs generation, makes a guest appearance in a fantastic series of video interviews via Fast Company. His designs, elegant and leaving only what’s necessary, have clearly been an inspiration in Apple’s products. If you’re at all interested in the creative genius of Dieter Rams, and his current thoughts on a variety of topics from sustainability to startups, the interview is a must read and watch.


Steve Jobs Discusses Location Tracking, Privacy

Steve Jobs Discusses Location Tracking, Privacy

Ina Fried at Mobilized reports some excerpts from a phone interview with Steve Jobs about the location tracking issues also addressed by Apple this morning:

The files they found on these phones, as we explained, it turned out were basically files we have built through anonymous, crowdsourced information that we collect from the tens of millions of iPhones out there.

He said Apple looks forward to testifying before Congress and other regulatory bodies and said the company will do what it can to clarify things further. “I think Apple will be testifying,” Jobs said. “They have asked us to come and we will honor their request of course.

Steve Jobs also reiterated the statements from today’s Q&A, saying much of the speculation last week arose from “wrong conclusions” – generated by the fact that Apple, and the tech industry overall, failed at educating users about several aspects of location data, anonymous tracking and privacy:

As new technology comes into the society there is a period of adjustment and education,” Jobs said. “We haven’t as an industry done a very good job educating people I think, as to some of the more subtle things going on here. As such (people) jumped to a lot of wrong conclusions in the last week.

Update: Mobilized has updated their original post with an edited transcript of the interview with Jobs, Schiller, and Forstall. Other interesting tidbits:

Is there anything that you guys have learned over the last week or so and take away from this?

Forstall: One thing I think we have learned is that, the cache we had on the system, the point of that cache, is we do all the location calculations on the phone itself so no location calculations are done separately. You can imagine in ideal world the entire crowdsourced database is on the phone and it just never has to talk to a server to do these calculations (or) to even get the cache.

What we do is we cache a subset of that. We picked a size, around 2MB, which is less than half a song. It turns out it was fairly large and could hold items for a long time.

We had that protected on the system. It had root protection and was sandboxed from any other application. But if someone hacks their phone and jailbreaks it, they can get to this and misunderstand the point of that.

It’s all anonymous and cannot be traced back to any individual phone or person. But we need to be even more careful about what files are on the phone, even if they are protected.

Schiller: Sometimes it helps people to understand an analogy that describes what these things are like because they are so new. I would think an analogy of a crowdsourced database is every time you walk into a retail store, many retailers have a clicker that counts how many people come in and out of the store. Nobody really cares about that because it is completely anonymous. It is not personal data. It is not anything to worry about. It’s not something that people feel is private because it is really not about them. It’s a coagulated total of all traffic. These crowdsourced databases are sort of like that.

Things like that aren’t so scary when you think about them in everyday terms.