Penned. Again.

Here’s what I wrote about the iPad supporting a stylus back on September 6th, 2011.

If You See a Stylus, They Blew It. is a common refrain at Daring Fireball. And it’s true that Jobs did say exactly that, but that’s not important right now. I’ll go out on limb and bet that an iOS device will support some sort of stylus input within three to five years.

Ribbing John aside I stand by what I said back then. I think these devices will eventually support a more refined interaction via an optional stylus.

I’m eager to see what actually gets released.

“We Don’t Need”

Marco Arment writes:

We don’t need major OS releases every year. We don’t need each OS release to have a huge list of new features. We need our computers, phones, and tablets to work well first so we can enjoy new features released at a healthy, gradual, sustainable pace.

You won’t have missed this piece. It’s been linked to widely. Rightfully so. It captures the zeitgeist of a lot of iOS and even Mac developers.

What I’d like to call out is this particular paragraph I’ve quoted. We don’t. We don’t. We need.

Marco may be passed off as a developer here and dismissed as expressing developer thoughts. The truth is, at least the truth I’ve known from supporting and dealing with people who aren’t technical who use these devices every single day — “we don’t” isn’t about developers.

Sure, it’s a pain in the ass for us at times. But “we don’t” is starting to echo through the people for whom iOS devices were a revelation. These devices made people believe in the magic of technology again. Now? I hear a lot about planned obsolescence and buggy software.

“No! I know these people and I swear that’s not at all their intent!”

That really only goes so far.

The worst thing is that it’s seldom anything big, onerous or serious. It’s just weird little things that don’t work that add up to create the impression that “computers” are incomprehensible.

Nobody ever gave up their evenings and weekends to achieve that outcome.

Marco is right but perhaps his framing is too narrow. This simply isn’t an issue that developers grouse about and move on from. This is something that, at least in my experience, has been affecting customers who have otherwise loved their Apple devices.

The problem seems to be quite simple: they’re doing too much, with unrealistic deadlines.

I agree. Gruber and I talked about this on The Talk Show in early October. I stick by what we said on that episode.

I also really hope that priorities can be examined and release dates changed in order to support the best possible software releases rather than the most systemic.

Debug in 2014

It has been a pretty good year for Debug. We kicked things off in January with an interview with Evan Doll of Flipboard fame. Then we ran the table with a long string of amazing guests throughout the rest of the year.

I really enjoy Debug for a few reasons. Primarily I think it’s a worthwhile endeavour that captures stories that would have other wise have been missed. I know there are people in Apple who listen to the show and learn some of the history from the stories our guests have told. That’s amazing to me. For whatever reason our guests are universally open, honest and forthright. Our guests seem to trust us and I’m really proud of what we’ve managed to achieve.

Which brings me to the second reason I enjoy doing Debug. I love having conversations with these people. I’m always excited and sometimes I’m even nervous. Every interview I’ve done has found me five minutes in and me wondering how the hell I can fill an hour. That’s when the interview stops and the conversation starts. Three hours later we have a show in the can.

We’ve had some terrific conversations this year. On episode 40 we had Jessie Char, Serenity Caldwell, Brianna Wu and Georgia Dow run the show and the result was one of the things I’m most proud and happy to have had a part in creating. We had a brief series about alternative languages and their ecosystems. We had Nitin Ganatra. We had a lot of Nitin. Too much Nitin. Nobody likes that guy. And nobody likes Don Melton, our other repeat offender. They even teamed up for a couple of shows. Jerks.

Thank you all for listening. Our audience is far beyond what I’d have anticipated. We peaked at over one hundred thousand and our average listeners are well up there. I’m so sorry for all the pauses. I swear I’m thinking and not just wasting your time.

We’ll continue to have incredible guests. If anything the reason I feel comfortable saying nice things about a project of mine is that, really, the show is about the guests. We’ll keep having in depth discussions and fleshing out the historical record.

It has been a thrill. Thanks for coming along for the ride so far.