‘Everybody Loves Bob’

Confirming the assumptions from my last post, John Gruber reports that Bob Mansfield is indeed staying in the company, and that his move from an executive position to a more mysterious role is highly likely of his own choice.

After asking around, word on the Cupertino street is that there’s nothing to read between the lines regarding Bob Mansfield no longer being on Apple’s executive team. Apple’s statement means exactly what it says — Mansfield is well-liked at all levels within the company and truly is working on special projects (read: new products).


After talking to a few more people, the impression I’m left with is that Mansfield has been so successful and remains so popular, he can write his own ticket. And this is the ticket he’s written.

Basically, Mansfield does what he wants, and right now he wants to work on "special projects." Maybe that's the iWatch, maybe it's the fabled Apple Television, or maybe it's something else. Whatever it is, Mansfield lending the project his expertise can be nothing but good for consumers.

Apple VP Bob Mansfield reportedly leaves executive team to work on 'special projects'

Jeff Blagdon, for The Verge:

According to early reports, Mansfield is no longer on the company’s executive team, but will remain at Apple to work on special projects, reporting directly to CEO Tim Cook.


As for which projects Mansfield might be tackling in his more hands-on role at the company, the New York Times recently wrote that he was "engrossed" with wearable technologies like the Nike FuelBand and Jawbone Up in the context of reporting on Apple's long-rumored smart watch plans.

If Mansfield's "special project" really is working on the so-called "iWatch," then that seems like pretty strong evidence that Apple hopes this to truly be a breakthrough product, not just another "hobby" like the Apple TV. A senior executive doesn't willingly relinquish his position without good reason. (I think we can be pretty confident this change is willing. Mansfield was retiring last year when Apple pulled him back. If they tried to do anything hostile to his position he would simply retire again, for good this time.)

With Mansfield now joining Paul Deneve, this "special projects" team is really looking like a group that could show us something amazing. I can't wait to see how Apple's finished iWatch turns out.

An Unofficial, Makeshift "Sponsorship"

As far as I know, The Axx remains far too small a publication to garner any possibilities of paid weekly sponsorships at this point (although if anyone were interested, I'm certainly not opposed to them). I'm not worried about this at all, I love writing for The Axx and don't need any payment for it at all, nor do I think it's anywhere near large enough to suggest such a thing. That said, I don't see why I shouldn't share an opportunity for mutual benefit with my readers.

I'm sure many of you read Daring Fireball, and you may remember late last year when the site was sponsored by a clothing company called Frank and Oak. I discovered and signed up for the service through that sponsorship, and in the ensuing months I have fallen in love with the company. The clothing sold by F&O is of amazing quality, yet at far lower prices than the large stores which sell similar products, such as J Crew or other stores selling higher end clothing. I own a few shirts from J Crew as well, and I find that my Frank and Oak shirts are far and above my favorites, yet were only about half the price of the J Crew shirts. The fit, for a tall and thin individual like myself, is stellar. (I'm sure their larger sizes fit bigger body types as well, but I can confirm the excellent fit for tall and thin people.)

Ending today at Frank and Oak, is a massive summer sale. Dozens of their fantastic collared shirts are on sale for $30 or less, as well as pants for $35 or less, tees for $25 or less, and ties for under $20. Here's the best part, though: if you sign up for Frank and Oak through this link, you'll receive a $25 store credit, completely free! That could be a free tee or tie, or a dirt cheap shirt or pair of pants of F&O's amazing quality. That's a deal that would be foolish to miss out on. Even if you just want to try the service out, there's no better chance to do so than now, as it will literally be free of charge for you.

What's in it for me? Well with the first purchase each one of you makes, even if the total price of that purchase is covered by your free credit, I will be sent $25 in credit for the site myself, since you signed up via my link. Even if you're not necessarily interested in the service, I purchase the majority of my clothes from F&O, and if you'd like to support The Axx you could do so free of charge, and even get a free tie in the process! Not to mention that I would greatly appreciate it, seeing as how I'm about to become a poor college student along with the rest of them.

I hope you all don't mind this makeshift, self-made "sponsorship." I simply figured that if my readers like nice devices then they probably like nice clothes too, so I might as well share this opportunity for mutual benefit with them.

Here's the Link, once again.

Siri Should Be Able To Handle A Stutter

In fact, Apple touts using Dictation and Siri to get things done by just asking.

In theory, that sounds wonderful, and the perfect solution to my problem. In my case, however, the issue with using my voice to do things on my devices is the fact that I stutter. My speech impediment, yet another side effect of my cerebral palsy, makes it difficult for iOS to accurately parse my requests. I often am frustrated by the errors that come back (e.g., in Siri’s case: “I didn’t get that”), so I figure it’s easier (and ironically, faster) for me to type instead of hampering an already-limited speech-recognition system with a limitation of my own.

I know that speech-to-text is an extremely challenging area, and that Siri is already leaps and bounds ahead of anything the public has ever before had such easy access to, but despite all that, it remains a fact that Siri, and the whole dictation system in iOS, is just not good enough. It's certainly a useful feature, but for Apple to have proclaimed Siri as one of the flagship features of the iPhone 4S when it was released in 2011 was ridiculous.

Siri should be able to handle a stutter. Maybe not a bad stutter, but as Steven says further on in his article (which you should go read all of, by the way), his stutter is only mild. Mild enough that no one ever has trouble understanding him, and most people aren't bothered by it at all. If Apple wants Siri to be deserving of all the attention they've given it, it should be able to understand any speech that is easily understood by any given human. Even pulling back from actual speech impediments, Siri should be able to understand even simple mistakes in ordinary dictation. If I make an error in my dictation and immediately correct myself, in a way that any human would understand and not be confused by at all, Siri should be able to understand the correction, and should make the appropriate changes to the text output without me having to completely repeat the message or manually change the text. At the very least there should be a way to make corrections through dictation to the red underlined words which Siri already believes may be errors and has alternate suggestions prepared for.

Siri and iOS dictation should have the ability to handle things like obvious corrections in dictation or minor stutters, yet at this point even talking in certain accents can confuse the system. It is obviously not an easy task to accomplish, but with the power and wealth of Apple behind the effort, breakthroughs to allow such powerful dictation could really be made. Then, finally, Siri could become something that Apple could truly brag about. A feature that would really draw people to the iPhone, and something that would keep them there because it was so incredibly useful. Until people can truly talk to their iPhones with complete confidence that they aren't wasting their breath, Siri will, for the majority of iPhone users, remain a side feature.

Apple Acquires Locationary

Some old news that was missed here a week and a half or so ago, but which I'm excited for, as it bodes well for the future of Apple Maps.

John Paczkowski at All Things D:

Locationary is a sort of Wikipedia for local business listings. It uses crowdsourcing and a federated data exchange platform called Saturn to collect, merge and continuously verify a massive database of information on local businesses and points of interest around the world, solving one of location’s biggest problems: Out-of-date information.

If Apple could implement this smartly, it could be huge for Apple Maps. Ever since they started, Apple has been doing nothing but playing catch up, but if they could use crowdsourced information from all Apple Maps users in an intelligent manner, and truly keep their service up to date with the movements of local businesses, Apple could finally get a leg up on Google, who's service also struggles with out of date information. In the best case scenario, Apple would even start being able to really keep up with the constant fluctuations of unpredictable impediments such as construction sites, large car accidents, traffic jams, etc. If Apple Maps could reroute you in real time to avoid things like this, it would be incredible. If Siri could say something like "Here's the most direct route, Alex, but perhaps you might want to go this way instead in order to avoid the construction area", it would be incredible. No one knows how long it will take Apple to actually implement this new service, or how successful and effective it will really be, but the possibilities of eliminating outdated information and using crowdsourcing to get real time updates are endless. If Apple managed to implement something like I stated above, the first real smart mapping service would finally exist, and Google would finally become the one scrambling to catch up.

Back On The Grid

I apologize for the two week break which was supposed to have only been a one week break. Returning from my trip I had much to catch up on and haven't had any extra time to post. Anyways, here's a belated thank you to Steven Aquino for his much appreciated work writing for The Axx while I was away. I hope you all enjoyed his insights, and if you wish to keep enjoying them, start following Steven's Blog on Twitter or check out the site itself. Thanks Steven!

I should be back for good now, so expect more frequent posts from myself once again. In the next post or two I'm going to be posting links to some news Steven missed during his week which I thought was pretty interesting, but after that things will be back to normal.

Thanks for Having Me!

With Alex due back, I wanted to say thanks for letting me play housekeeper.

Despite being insanely busy in my personal and professional life this past week — I have a couple great articles coming soon — I’ve thoroughly enjoyed guest-posting on The Axx. It was fun sharing my take on things in the tech/design worlds, and I’ve even enjoyed getting to know Squarespace’s backend CMS. (I see why podcasters love them so much.)

I do apologize for the absence of any long-form pieces over the course of the week, but time wasn’t my friend with everything happening in my life. However, with the link list items I did post, I tried to make my commentary somewhat longer (and hopefully more thoughtful) in order to make up for the lack of an essay. I thought my linked list comments came out great, and I hope you liked them as well.

So, thanks again for having me this week. It was truly an honor, and with any luck Alex will once again have me back.

Take care and see you later!


Weather Apps Are the New UI Design Playground

Steven Huey for the Art & Logic blog, on the bevy of iOS weather apps:

Many designers and developers of mobile apps have since turned their attention to weather apps. App stores are overflowing with different takes on answering the timeless question of “what’s the weather like today?” and just as with Twitter clients, you can easily hop between them either simply by entering your ZIP code or letting the app use your current location.


These apps showcase some great visual and interaction design and offer some really interesting takes on the mundane weather report.

While the system Weather app in iOS (currently) is pretty nice, being the geek that I am, I’ve always enjoyed checking out third-party alternatives. It’s really interesting to see how developers differentiate themselves in presenting the same basic information, more or less. Huey’s analogy to the Twitter UI playground is right on, as the parallels are uncannily similar in terms of the variety in design and personality.

My favorite third-party weather app right now is Yahoo’s[1] because it so closely resembles iOS 7’s Weather app. (Once iOS 7 ships, I’ll probably stick with the system Weather app; it seems really cool.) Other good apps I’ve tried are David Smith’s Check The Weather and Today Weather from Savvy Apps. Both apps have the added bonus of being universal, so they’ll work on the iPad too.

(via John Gruber)

  1. I will never use the exclamation point in the name. Ever.  ↩

On Making Choices in Design

Matt Gemmell, in a great piece on the “cancer of the compromise”:

The most egregious example of a terminal constraint is the constraint of choice, and we see it in every electronics store. Devices littered with ports, switches and throwaway features. PC-Card slots, VGA connectors and modem ports can actually still be found. Internal optical drives, banks of USB ports, and ethernet jacks. Kickstands, and even a stylus. They look like choices for the user, but they’re actually choices that weren’t made by the designers.

The result is products that are riddled with cancer of the compromise. Yet our industry lionises the accompanying spec-sheets. Look at all these failures of imagination and commitment and judiciousness!

Gemmell illustrates beautifully why choice is great until you have to choose.

I’d rather use opinionated hardware and software (i.e., Apple products) crafted from carefully-conceived design decisions than use hardware and software that includes everything but the kitchen sink (i.e., Android and Windows products) because the designers think it’s important to account for every single use case in the known universe. Then it’s just a ill-conceived, choiceless free-for-all.

But, you know, not everyone likes someone else being the final arbiter.

'Apple's Answer to Upgrade Pricing'

Underscore David Smith, on Logic Pro X’s same-as-it-ever-was $199 price:

Logic Pro X is a Major (with a capital M) update to their professional audio editing suite. It appears to represent a significant investment in both time and resources. So how is it being sold, especially to people who already paid $200 for the previous version (Logic Pro 9)? It is a separate app download with a full cost purchase. No upgrades, no introductory pricing, just straight forward sale.

I’d say that this is the best indication of Apple’s intentions and expectations for the App Stores going forward. I wouldn’t expect anything like upgrade pricing to appear in the Stores. It seems like the message is to either give your upgrades to your customers as free updates or to launch a new app and charge everyone again. Neither approach is perfect but I am now very confident that this is going to be the situation for the foreseeable future.

Good thoughts here by Smith.

While I’d never balk at an opportunity to upgrade to a new version of an app at a discount or even for free, I’m more than willing to pay money for great apps. Should Tapbots make Tweetbot 2.0 for iOS a standalone app and charge $3 for it, I’ll pay for it. I adore Tweetbot, and I don’t feel any twinges of free upgrade entitlement because I paid $3 for 1.0. Besides, the altruist in me likes knowing that I’m supporting developers in making great things.

That said, I can see the pitfalls here: not everyone feels as altruistically as I do, and money doesn’t grow on trees. It sucks as a developer, but from a user perspective, I’d rather pay a bit for something I really love than have it simply be given to me on the proverbial silver platter. But, again, that’s just me.

(via Daring Fireball)


“Dermdaly”, writing for the Tapadoos blog

I predict the iOS 7 effect will be worse. Within a week of running full time, those apps which haven’t been modernised to look like an iOS 7 app will look very old. They too will become insta-deletes.

If you have an app in the store, We’d highly recommend looking at modernising them pretty quick.

Of the apps I use most often, I’m very curious to see what Tapbots does with Tweetbot. I’ve seen several reports on Twitter that Tweetbot looks horribly out of place on the iOS 7 beta. Conversely, Day One and Twitterrific would seem to feel right at home within the new design.

(via The Loop)

On a Retina Display iPad Mini

Evan Niu, writing for The Motley Fool:

A fresh report from China’s Economic Daily News believes that Apple has indeed delayed the Retina iPad Mini’s launch until early 2014 because of the troubles it’s having.

Apple can’t afford to wait that long.

Rivals are expected to beef up their displays even further with their 2013 models, up to approximately 1920 x 1200, in which case even Apple’s strong iOS ecosystem may not be enough to defend against rivals. A Retina display is expected to use the same approach of doubling pixel dimensions, which would put it at 2048 x 1536. Apple is also unlikely to just ship a different display inside as a temporary solution, since there are negative consequences to its platform in the form of hardware fragmentation and app compatibility.

I think “can’t afford to wait that long” is a little dire. I don’t think most people care that the iPad Mini is non-Retina at this point. That said, however, I do think that a Retina iPad Mini would be close to being the perfect tablet. You’d hit the trifecta then: ideal weight, size, and screen.

Personally, it’s Retina or bust for me — which is precisely why I passed on the first iPad Mini.


I'm truly honored that Alex has given me the keys to The Axx for the week.

For those of you who don't know me, my name is Steven Aquino. I'm a 31-year-old freelance technology writer based out of the East Bay Area. As Alex mentioned in his post last night, I'm a contributor to The Magazine, but I've also had articles appear in Macworld, TidBITS, Tech.pinions, and The Loop Magazine. I also write my own site, Steven's Blog, which I've run independently since February 2010. On my blog, I write mostly on Apple and other technology, but also on other topics of interests such as food, sports, and politics.

Before jumping into the world of freelance writing, I spent 11 years working for my local school district, where I worked with special needs preschoolers. My freelance work thus far has mostly been targeted at iOS and accessibility, as I used iPads frequently with my former students, and am myself disabled. In addition, I'm fluent in American Sign Language, as my parents were deaf. Hence, I believe my background suits me well to discuss accessibility as it pertain to iOS.

As for my week on The Axx, I'm shooting for one or two posts a day, time permitting. Alex and I have similar interests regarding technology and design, so I'll be linking to various news stories and events as they happen throughout the week.

If you want to say hello, follow me on Twitter and/or App.net.

Steven Aquino To Guest Post On The Axx This Week

Exciting news for everyone. I'll be gone this week on a church retreat in the mountains in California. There's no service there (at least not for AT&T), nor is there wifi (at least not that we are given access to), but the incredibly talented Steven Aquino has been gracious enough to offer to guest post for me. You may recognize Steven from the article he wrote in The Magazine, from his blog, or from many other places where he has freelance written. Steven tells me he has some nice long form posts in store for you, as well as keeping up with any news or events that occur during the week. I'm very excited to see what he cooks up, and I will be trying by any means possible to finagle some sort of internet access so that I can at least read his posts each day. I'll be back again next week, I hope Steven's fantastic writing doesn't completely steal all of you readers from me!

If you haven't subscribed to The Axx via RSS, you will probably want to follow Steven on Twitter or App.net to make sure you are keeping up with his posts. If I do manage to find a connection, I will post links to his pieces through my usual outlets on Twitter and App.net, but those likely won't happen until the next morning after each post, if at all, so don't count on them.

Thanks all, and have a great week.

Now You Can Add The Axx To Your Home Screen Without Throwing Up

A few days ago I finally got around to implementing a home screen icon for The Axx. Sorry it has taken me this long to do so, but I only recently got around to taking my mock up for a logo, drawn a few months back on my iPad, and making it not suck. Now I've got a beautiful vector image, originally mocked up using the amazing Paper for iPad, and recently finalized using the powerful vector graphics tools in Pixelmator for Mac.

If you're reading this on your iOS device, I encourage you to add the site to your homescreen now and check out the icon. I think it looks really good, even better than I had hoped. I hope you'll enjoy it as well.

A Typo in the Batch Import actions

Accept my deepest apologies for anyone who downloaded my Batch Import Actions in the last two days and found them non-functional. As it turns out, there was a type in the batchImport2 action which caused it to import the wrong set of lines and therefore screw up the whole sequence.

I have fixed the typo, so any downloads of the actions from here on out should work properly.

If you have already downloaded them, you can get it working by simply deleting your batchImport2 action and importing the fixed version through this import link.

If this is the first you're hearing of them, the original post (at the link at the top) described a new action sequence to make sharing and importing multiple actions at once far easier. By allowing users to open a clearly laid out, unencoded list of action titles and action URLs, then batch import all of them automatically, the once painful process of sharing groups of actions with others is now quick and easy. It also makes it far easier for those new to the field to learn how URLs work, since they can now see them laid out clearly in front of them before importing.

Drafts 3.0.6 and Batch Import Action Groups

A few days ago, Drafts 3.0.6 hit the App Store. It's a fantastic update, and it introduces some incredibly powerful new features. Mainly, Drafts now supports [[line|n]] variables, where "n" is replaced by the actual line number you wish to reference. This means that we are finally no longer limited to a paltry 3 variable maximum in each action.

A quick recap before I launch into a new idea which I'm hoping could be of great interest to many of you. In Drafts 2.5, when custom URL actions first became available, the only variables that could be used in actions which would draw directly from your draft were [[draft]], [[title]] and [[body]]. When [[draft]] was used in an action, it was replaced by the entire contents of your draft. [[title]] was replaced with the first line of your draft, and [[body]] was replaced with every line after the first. This was great for simple tasks, but advanced methods such as batch importing actions from a list in a draft was impossible.

With Drafts 3.0, the [[clipboard]] variable was introduced. This allowed a max of three completely different variables to be called in one action (the [[draft]] variable draws a combination of the [[title]] and [[body]] variables, so I don't count it as an extra variable to be used, since it can carry no more information than the other two). I was able to get a batch import action working with that version of Drafts by using what was basically a hack to "chop" the first line out of the draft and into the clipboard so it was isolated and could be imported as an action. However, the biggest downfall to this strategy was that it required the entire contents of the list of actions to be URL encoded. This not only made it extremely difficult to read and edit each action before importing, but also made creating and sharing lists of actions extremely difficult and time consuming, as each line had to be properly encoded while leaving an unencoded space in between so Drafts could differentiate them. Overall, I was glad the process was at least possible, but disappointed that it was so complex that no average Drafts user would be able to make use of it.

Now, however, with the introduction of [[line|n]] variables in Drafts 3.0.6, the process is finally possible in the form I've always hoped it to be in. With my new Batch Import (and the subsequent batchImport2 and batchImport3) actions, it's possible to open a list of actions in Drafts in the format of two-line groups, the first line of each being the unencoded action name and the second line being the unencoded action itself. Between each two line grouping is a fully blank line, to make reading the list easier and less cluttered. With the properly formatted list, run the Batch Import action and watch as each action in the list is quickly and effortlessly imported into your actions list.

A few reasons why this is an awesome achievement: actions such as the built in Twitter actions have completely different titles for every user, because each action title is in the form of "Tweet: USERNAME". In order to call one of these actions in a custom URL action, I personally type "Tweet: the_axx". However, if, for example, Greg Pierce (the developer behind Drafts and a few other great apps) were to run the same action, he would have to change the code for the action to say "Tweet: agiletortoise" in order for Drafts to run the correct action. This makes sharing even simple actions like my Cross Post action annoyingly complex, because once imported, users have to go into the settings for the action and change the code to match their Twitter username. This is an even bigger problem for batch importing actions, because users don't necessarily remember which actions require changes and which don't. Sorting through to try to identify that is a horrible process. However, if you can look at all of the actions laid out in a list before they are imported, it is far easier to find the places where changes need to be made, then you can import them correctly and never have to mess around in the settings panels.

Another reason I'm excited for this is that it can make sharing large amounts of actions between Drafts fans much, much easier. Before the Batch Import action was possible in such a simple and intuitive form, sharing actions has been a bit of a nightmare. For people getting into Drafts for the first time, who haven't been importing each new action that myself and many others have been coming up with as they are released, it would take a crazily long amount of time to go through each webpage and individually import each action. Now they can simply import the actions necessary to Batch Import, and then be able to open long lists of actions that people build and import them all at once.

This is the initiative I'm hoping I may be able to start among those of us who are skilled in creating URL actions. I'm calling them Action Groups, and they're quite simply a list of actions that are in some way related which interested users can import all at once. My first, The Essentials Action Group, is a small list of 6 essential actions which I think every Drafts user should have access to. These are some of the actions which I use on a daily basis, and are essential to my own personal workflow as well. For new users, they will be able to open this list in Drafts with one tap on a link, and then batch import them all at once. Not only is this simple and easy, and allows even those who are new to URL actions to get quick access to a variety of useful new functions, but the fact that each action is laid out clearly and in an unencoded form in front of them could even help them learn how to make actions of their own far faster than scrubbing through the tiny action URL viewer with the iOS magnifying glass in Drafts' settings.

I encourage anyone who is interested to feel free to borrow my Batch Import actions and post them on their own site with any lists of their own essential actions or other groupings. I'd love to see this take off as a way to finally be able to easily share our action lists with all Drafts users.

So without any further blathering, lets get to the actions themselves. Direct import links for the Batch Import actions:

Batch Import




For anyone interested in testing them out, or who wants some of the actions listed, here are a few action groups I've created. Just don't forget that you must have the above four actions installed for the import process to work, although you only need to run the actual Batch Import action to start the process. Click on the links below on an iOS device with Drafts installed to be launched into a properly formatted draft ready to be Batch Imported.

The Essentials Action Group

Includes Cross Post, Triple Cross Post, Cross Post Later, Add to Fantastical, and a customizable one called Chopper which allows you to perform a specified action on each line in a list of items. (Same concept as the batch import, but compressed into a single action because it only runs on one line at a time.)

Necessary changes:

  • Change "YOUR USERNAME HERE" in the Cross Post action to whatever your Twitter username is before importing.

  • Change "YOUR ACTION HERE" in the Chopper action to whichever action you want to use for it. (It will perform the action on each item in a list one by one, so choose one you may find useful for the purpose.)

  • If you wish to change the name of Chopper, make sure you change it not only in the title line, but also in the final word of the action itself (also the final word of the whole draft, so it should be easy to find), otherwise it will fail to call itself and repeat on each subsequent list item.

The Freedom Action Group

Includes four different actions which all allow for customizable action combinations on the go. Since you can't always tell beforehand which combinations of actions you are going to want in order to meet the needs of every situation, you can now type the title of one action into line 2 after your text, and the title of a second action into line 3. Running Choose Actions will take the text from line 1 and run the action from line 2 on it, then call back and run the action from line three on it. Just make sure that at least the action from line 2 supports the x-success parameter, otherwise Drafts won't know how to call back and run the second action.

If your actions require 2 lines of text to function, you can use one of the last three actions, based on your needs. Running Choose Actions (2line) will run actions typed into lines 3 and 4 on text typed into lines 1 and 2. Running Choose Actions (1/2lines) will run the action in line 3 on the text in line 1, then the action in line 2 on the text in lines 1 and 2. Finally, running Choose Actions (2/1line) will run the action in line 3 on the text in lines 1 and 2, and the action in line 4 on the text in only line 2.

Choose Actions made its debut a couple weeks ago, so for more information you can check out its original post here.

The Time-Delay Action Group

Includes a variety of actions to time-delay sending out text through various mediums until a date or time better suited for the sending. These actions all require the use of Due, and you can find them in far greater detail at their original page.

Marco Arment on the Google Reader shutdown

Marco Arment:

The bigger problem is that they’ve abandoned interoperability. RSS, semantic markup, microformats, and open APIs all enable interoperability, but the big players don’t want that — they want to lock you in, shut out competitors, and make a service so proprietary that even if you could get your data out, it would be either useless (no alternatives to import into) or cripplingly lonely (empty social networks).

iOS 7’s Coalesced Updates

Dave Hamilton on The Mac Observer:

iOS has always operated under the least effecient method here, at least until iOS 7 – and apps designed for it – come out. As it stands now when one app needs to get on the network, it simply gets on the network. If it finishes and then two minutes later another app needs to get on the network, that app does so, and so on and so forth.

The problem is that waking up an app and getting on the network is an energy-expensive process. Once you've got a network connection open, you want to use it as much as you need to, and then shut it (and, if possible, the apps using it) down. This is exactly what iOS 7's coalesced updates allows.

With a simple analogy, Hamilton does an excellent job of making iOS 7's coalesced updates easy to understand. Particularly in how they actually save battery life on your iPhone rather than using more of it, as seems more likely when you first hear of the feature.

I'm extremely excited to get access to this feature. No longer having to wait for apps like Felix, Tweetbot, Instagram and Facebook to load each time I open them will magnify Apple's goal of putting "greater focus on what matters most: your content."