Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Scott Forstall interview to be live streamed tonight →

UPDATE Direct Link to stream provided above.

Computer History Museum’s account just tweeted the following regarding tonight’s interview with Scott Forstall and some of the original iPhone Engineers.

It would have been nice for them to use something other than Facebook, but here’s their page.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

June 20: Scott Forstall, original iPhone engineers to discuss iPhone’s genesis →

Everyone’s a-buzz about the iPhones tenth anniversary, and rightfully so. The Computer History Museum in Mountain View announced they will be hosting a conversation, ‘Putting Your Finger On It: Creating the iPhone’ on June 20. Guests include original iPhone Engineers Nitin Ganatra, Scott Herz, Hugo Fiennes, as well as original iPhone Software Team Leader Scott Forstall in conversation with John Markoff, Museum Historian.

How did iPhone come to be? On June 20, four members of the original development team will discuss the secret Apple project, which in the past decade has remade the computer industry, changed the business landscape, and become a tool in the hands of more than a billion people around the world.

This announcement comes after the now-refuted words of Brian Merchant’s book, ‘The One Device: The Secret History of the iPhone’, set to arrive on June 20 as well. If you haven’t read the excerpt, it’s quite interesting. Just take anything written about Apple with a grain of salt, as evidenced.

6/15/17 at 7:44am Pacific

In a special episode of the Vergecast, Brian Merchant says:

“So I wasn’t in the room at Apple 10, 15 years ago when this would have happened,” says Merchant, who has the exchange on tape. “But this is a quote verbatim as Tony Fadell who was in the room told it to me. He told me this quote in such detail and he gave such a vivid account, and I had no reason to believe it was untrue.”

Scott Forstall faded into the crowd after his departure from Apple. The last we heard, he was producing Broadway musicals (‘Fun Home’ and ‘Eclipse’, to note). He even won a Tony for ‘Fun Home’.

There’s no doubt how integral Scott was to the creation of the iPhone’s software, but his leave from Apple was less than amicable. This should be a really interesting interview from his perspective, as well as the engineers.

Apple plots medical record integration with iPhone →

Christina Farr for CNBC:

CNBC has learned that a secretive team within Apple’s growing health unit has been in talks with developers, hospitals and other industry groups about bringing clinical data, such as detailed lab results and allergy lists, to the iPhone, according to a half-dozen people familiar with the team. And from there, users could choose to share it with third parties, like hospitals and health developers.

This definitely has to be a long-term goal for Apple, because dealing with the healthcare industry is basically dealing with government (speaking from experience). There’s a ton of compliancy concerns, like HIPAA1, not to mention many healthcare systems are technically-inept and slow to change. Dealing with EMR2 systems can also be a programming nightmare. As a whole, healthcare systems are extremely vulnerable to attack simply because of their data. The WannaCry ransomware outbreak is just the most recent example.

That said, I’m sure Apple will do this one day. It will just take time and partnership with healthcare titans who are ahead of the curve, technology-wise, and share in this vision of increased pervasiveness of medical data.

People themselves are becoming more open and accepting to sharing their medical data if the benefits outweigh the perceived risk. Tim Cook frequently says ‘only Apple can do this’, which is sometimes viewed as hyperbole, but this mantra will be so true in this space. Their stock as the ‘privacy and security’ company is going to pay off in this arena one day—and it will be natural. Nobody will question giving their data to Apple, because of the strong grounding they’ve laid with respects to consumer data across the board.

  1. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. United States legislation that provides data privacy and security provisions for safeguarding medical information. 
  2. Electronic Medical Records. Popular developers include Cerner, Epic, and Allscripts. 

Friday, May 12, 2017

Apple publishes how-to videos for shooting on iPhone →

Apple has published 16 video guides on shooting pictures and video on iPhone. Some of the sixteen guides were posted on YouTube, with the rest on a dedicated Apple page. With the exception of Portrait Mode only being available on iPhone 7 Plus, a majority of these tips can benefit any iPhone user. Videos include topics from shooting a great selfie, to capturing a unique angle. I’m glad to see Apple doing more of this kind of thing, as interactions with the iPhone’s interface become a little less obvious over time with new mechanisms like 3D Touch.