Cupertino’s Spaceship

23 04 2015

Apple’s future headquarter (called spaceship) is expected to be finished in Q4 2016. It looks like a big version of the neo-futuristic Mac Pro. Thousands of excellent engineers will have their workspace in a new inspiring environment. It’s the next architectonical level.

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The actual HQ is located in Cupertino, California, USA. With the return of Steve Jobs to Apple in 1997 changes were made to the campus. The number of buildings were increased and many activities not related to research and development were moved to the buildings on Infinite Loop 1 (hopefully not an omen for any further operating system). Tradition has it that Steve also increased the menu of the cafeteria drastically.

Steve Jobs’ dream of a futuristic new workspace will be the perfect environment to successfully keep the company as the epicenter of technology in the Silicon Valley.

It happened in 2007. The first iPhone (the collage, created with Apple’s iWork app Keynote, shows this device, the so-called iPhone 2G) was released and today it generates 56% of the company’s revenues (101,991M$ of 182,795M$ total net sales). I’m sure that we wouldn’t see the spaceship if Apple would only offer fashionable products instead of bringing consistent innovative iterations of hardware and software products as well as powerful services.

In 2016 Apple will move into the next architectonic level.
It will be exciting to see what the next level of devices and operating systems will be.

Sad to say that the unforgettable Steve Jobs will not see his spaceship.

Summary …

Readers of my blog already know that I like to summarize information by visualizing it woth a mind map. So here is the map about Apple’s spaceship.

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Feel free to download this map from my Box account.

The alternative file formats have been created with iThoughts for iOS (.ITMZ file format). Compatibility to other tools is limited. The DOCX file format is suggested for those who don’t use a mind mapping tool. The file contains the image as well as a detailed outline of all topics.

Application File format
Adobe Reader PDF
Apple iWork/Microsoft Office DOCX
iThoughts ITMZ
MindManager MMAP
XMind XMIND

Waiting for the spaceship to land.

Related links …

About the iPhone

About the iPad

About innovation

The hidden price

Thanks for dropping by.





Quality Management

16 04 2015

Have you ever heard of

Never change a running system.

The saying, it is presumed, (awkwardly) comes from German IT-experts. What they mean is:

If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it.

In my humble opinion companies or people following this belief are doomed.
Why? Because just like cars, IT systems need regular service and maintenance in order to run smoothly over a long period of time. Hardware components usually either fail right from the start or at the end of their lifecycle. Operating systems as well as apps are faced with different hard- and software configurations, and so they need updates.

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The Bathtub Curve

  • 1 decreasing failure rate
    known as early failures
  • 2 constant failure rate
    known as random failures
  • 3 increasing failure rate
    known as wear-out failures

applied to IT systems, shows us:

The older a system gets (I’m talking about my iPhone 4S), the more likely its failure becomes. In addition to that you have to take into account that over time hardware spare parts might become scarce and vendor support for software might run out.

So instead of relying on your battle-proven system running for years without incident and change, you should regularly patch and update. Of course this bares risks because there are lots of developers who do a pretty poor job when it comes to concentrate on writing fault-tolerant, robust code and intensive testing. Testing is what developers definitely don’t like. The UI should be as simple as possible but the underlying code then is most likely quite complex.

Quality Management means …

Get your enemies on board.

Their single target is always to let your developments crash.

Apple has rigorous testing policies regarding hardware products. The lab in Cupertino contains an array of different testing equipment. Apple’s head of engineering Dan Riccio said:

As we add more and more features, we have to find out a way to break them before customers do.

According to Apple, 15,000 separate tests were conducted on both the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus.

This fussy approach is what I actually miss if it comes to iOS, Apple’s mobile operating system.

It’s not as fault-tolerant as the predecessors and developers seem to have their problems with keeping their apps to run with an acceptable stability. Sometimes it’s nerve-racking.

Troubleshooting …

If your mobile device causes trouble there are just a few possibilities to fix problems: restart, restore, and recovery. There is no need to read tons of knowledge base articles, thankfully.

I don’t want to install dubious third-party apps on a computer (which I do not have because I already moved into the Post-PC era), so, dear Apple developers, I would like to see a revamped backup/restore procedure which allows the restore single apps and its data. Apple’s ecosystem is nearly perfect but it definitely lacks with the iTunes dinosaur and the atavistic backup/restore procedure.

Anyway,

at the end of the day, steady maintenance is much less of a hassle than standing next to your broke car on the highway not knowing if you will ever get it to work again.

Mobile Device Testing …

The devices are small but the effort to test them is higher than that of a grown-up computer. Smartphones and tablets have lots of micro machines on board and the operating system has to seamlessly communicate with them.

Mobile Device Testing assures the quality of mobile devices, like mobile phones, tablets, etc.

The testing will be conducted on both hardware and software. And from the view of different procedures, the testing comprises R&D testing, factory testing and certificate testing.

Mobile Device Testing involves a set of activities from monitoring and trouble shooting mobile application, content and services on real handsets. Testing includes verification and validation of hardware devices and software applications.

See the visualized summary of mobile device testing in this mind map:

2015/01/img_3788.png

Feel free to download this map from my Box account.

The alternative file formats have been created with iThoughts for iOS (.ITMZ file format). Compatibility to other tools is limited. The DOCX file format is suggested for those who don’t use a mind mapping tool. The file contains the image as well as a detailed outline of all topics.

Application File format
Adobe Reader PDF
Apple iWork/Microsoft Office DOCX
iThoughts ITMZ
MindManager MMAP
XMind XMIND

Advantage Apple …

It’s all about fragmentation.

2015/01/img_3791.png

Developing applications for the Android platform is a complicated business. You have to test with multiple operating system versions, hardware vendor interface layers, hardware configurations, and network capabilities. The testing matrix for Android-based applications can be a serious challenge, impacting your product’s quality, time-to-market, and in the end, profitability.

Related links …

About Apps

Apple Support

Troubleshooting

The Pareto Principle

Thanks for visiting iNotes4You.





Apple SWOT Analysis

31 03 2015

Here is my revamped version of Apple’s SWOT including some groundbreaking decisions and engagements of the company in 2014.

The deal with China Mobile, iOS in the car, engagement in mobile payment systems with  Pay, development of disrupting technology with wearables, and the cooperation with IBM are essential parts of the strategy powered by Tim Cook and his excellent engineers.

After Steve Jobs’ death many publishing media rumored that Apple’s power of innovation would be over. But we must not forget that it was not only Steve Jobs who did the work before 2011. Thousands of highly qualified employees went along with him and still go along with Tim Cook.

Andrew Taylor, Boston Consulting Group, wrote …

Companies that continually create value over the long term a meaning decades or more, learn how to ingrain the ability into their corporate makeup; it becomes part of their culture and DNA. They create value, jobs, and growth because of their ability to institutionalize innovation.

A SWOT analysis is used to evaluate the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats in a business venture. It’s used in any decision-making situation when a desired end-state has been defined.

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SWOTs may look completely different if created from external or involved people.

Annotations …

‘Vendor Lock-In’ is mentioned by some analysts but I have a quite different opinion. Nearly all other tech companies try to link their customers to their ecosystems as well.

And here is an interesting suggestion made by Michael Lapham in the comment section of my post on Google+:

If you are going to add Decreasing market share as a weakness then I suggest you add Customer demographic as a strength. Much of the market share decrease is from the entry level market while Apple continues to dominate where individuals have higher income and more education.

Related links …

About innovation

Tim Cook, the job after Jobs

Review of the app Inspiration

Thanks for visiting iNotes4You.





Tim Cook about privacy

26 03 2015

An open letter from Tim Cook, CEO at Apple Inc. since August 24, 2011, regarding Apple products, services and beliefs …

At Apple, your trust means everything to us. That’s why we respect your privacy and protect it with strong encryption, plus strict policies that govern how all data is handled.

Security and privacy are fundamental to the design of all our hardware, software, and services, including iCloud and new services like Apple Pay.

And we continue to make improvements. Two-step verification, which we encourage all our customers to use, in addition to protecting your Apple ID account information, now also protects all of the data you store and keep up to date with iCloud.
We believe in telling you up front exactly what’s going to happen to your personal information and asking for your permission before you share it with us. And if you change your mind later, we make it easy to stop sharing with us. Every Apple product is designed around those principles. When we do ask to use your data, it’s to provide you with a better user experience.

We’re publishing this website to explain how we handle your personal information, what we do and don’t collect, and why. We’re going to make sure you get updates here about privacy at Apple at least once a year and whenever there are significant changes to our policies.

A few years ago, users of Internet services began to realize that when an online service is free, you’re not the customer. You’re the product.

But at Apple, we believe a great customer experience shouldn’t come at the expense of your privacy. Our business model is very straightforward: We sell great products.

We don’t build a profile based on your email content or web browsing habits to sell to advertisers. We don’t “monetize” the information you store on your iPhone or in iCloud. And we don’t read your email or your messages to get information to market to you.

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Our software and services are designed to make our devices better. Plain and simple.

One very small part of our business does serve advertisers, and that’s iAd. We built an advertising network because some app developers depend on that business model, and we want to support them as well as a free iTunes Radio service. iAd sticks to the same privacy policy that applies to every other Apple product. It doesn’t get data from Health and HomeKit, Maps, Siri, iMessage, your call history, or any iCloud service like Contacts or Mail, and you can always just opt out altogether.

Finally, I want to be absolutely clear that we have never worked with any government agency from any country to create a backdoor in any of our products or services. We have also never allowed access to our servers. And we never will.

Our commitment to protecting your privacy comes from a deep respect for our customers. We know that your trust doesn’t come easy. That’s why we have and always will work as hard as we can to earn and keep it.

Tim
September 2014

Thanks for a remarkable statement.

Summary …

I cannot validate any of Tim’s statements. It needs technicians to look at the details. But what I know is that there is no evidence to not trust in Tim’s announcement.

Related links …

Tim Cook, the job after Jobs

2-Step Verification

Apple and the NSA

Thanks for dropping by.





More than dissensions

16 03 2015

If I look back on 2 years of social networking, Androids and others often attacked me without any good reason. This let me quit my job as a moderator in an Apple related community and let me stop replying to any comments made by trolls or others. If they appear in my profile stream or in the comment section of my community posts, I simply delete them and block the guys who definitely show personality traits that fall in the so-called Dark Triad.

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The worrisome result of scientific researches about fanboyism is described in an article of Chris Mooney on SLATE com. You will find the results in my blogpost Fanboyism.

Even though a G+ membership is free, you sometimes have to pay a price for holding an opinion regarding mobile devices, admiring Apple and its leaders, and publishing all this on the internet. And sometimes it’s a heavy price if you are a German and faced with more than 90 year old resentments, even if you are born after the end of the NAZI terror regime.

But …

there are no evil forces standing behind my profile picture.

It’s just me, an open-minded old man, engaged in social networking and sometimes telling others his very personal and subjective opinion.

What’s wrong with that?

With my engagement here on G+ I just want to connect to people all over the world regardless of color, religion, age, sex, and political orientation as long as etiquettes are maintained.

Related links …

More about fanboys and a disease of our times which should receive attention …

Fanboyism

I had a dream

Thanks to all of you for reading, staying cool, being open-minded, and following some principles of respectful interaction between humans.





March 9, 2015

10 03 2015

An Apple event without highlights except the re-engineered MacBook.

My summary of the event regarding the new mobile family member, aka Apple Watch:

Desperate efforts to convince people that they need a smart watch.

My daughter son (I don’t have a daughter) forgot his key, called me on my Apple Watch and I opened the garage door for him via my brand new iThing. That’s what we learned this evening. I hope that my garage door will never be opened by John Doe or Mr. A.N. Onymus. 



Maybe I’m too old to see the benefits of this or other features. The reason can be that I’m not a stressed CEO who isn’t able to personally organize the relevant daily stream of bits.

By the way, the Microsoft Band is a suitable and cheap way to prepare for the next half-marathon in Africa.

More about the watch from an Apple fan who sometimes is Thinking differently.

Note
To understand all this I recommend to have a look into the Apple Live Event Mar 9, 2015.

Thanks for now.





UI and UX

6 03 2015

Not all readers are familiar with all the abbreviations used in the IT world.

So, UI means the User Interface and describes the layout of an app seen by a user. Developers should follow some standards published by Apple in The iOS Human Interface Guidelines (see ‘Related links …’).

UX means the User Experience and describes what users feel when they use an app or a device the first time and extensively later on. The impression must be positive to keep the app on the device for further usage resp. win a loyal customer.

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Both UI and UX are in some way subjective criteria but essential for generating acceptance and loyalty.

Steve Jobs told us on the WWDC in 1997 …

You‘ve got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology – not the other way around.

Designers play an essential role in the development of successful products. It’s Sir Jonathan Ive (lead designer of MacBook Pro, iMac, MacBook Air, iPod, iPod Touch, iPhone, iPad, iPad Mini and iOS 7/8) who is responsible for design at Apple, Inc.

Sir Jonathan tells us …

Simplicity is often equated with minimalism. Yet true simplicity is so much more than just the absence of clutter or the removal of decoration. It’s about offering up the right things, in the right place, right when you need them. It’s about bringing order to complexity. And it’s about making something that always seems to “just work.” When you pick something up for the first time and already know how to do the things you want to do, that’s simplicity.

Related links …

Apple’s Human Interface Guidelines

Designed by Apple in California

Two examples for perfectness …

iThoughts (mind mapping tool)

Compass (Apple’s built-in iPhone app)

Thanks for visiting iNotes4You.








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