Archive for November 11, 2013

Monday, November 11, 2013

Setting Expectations

Jean-Louis Gassée on iWork ’13:

We’ll get into details in a moment, but a look into past events will help establish the context for what I believe to be a pattern, a cultural problem that starts at the top (and all problems of culture within a company begin at the executive level).

Readers might recall the 2008 MobileMe announcement, incautiously pitched as Exchange For The Rest of Us. When MobileMe crashed, the product team was harshly criticized by the same salesman, Steve Jobs, who touted the product in the first place.


Skipping some trivial examples, we land on the Maps embarrassment. To be sure, it was well handled… after the fact. Punishment was meted out and an honest, constructive apology made. The expression of regret was a welcome departure from Apple’s usual, pugnacious stance. But the same questions linger: What did Apple execs know and when did they know it?


First. Who knew and should have known about iWork’s bugs and undocumented idiosyncrasies? (I’ll add another: Beware the new autocorrect)

Second. Why brag instead of calmly making a case for the long game and telling loyal customers about the dents they will inevitably discover?

Instead, we are left wondering:

Were the execs who touted [these products] ignorant and therefore incompetent, or were they dishonest, knowingly misrepresenting [their] capabilities?

Usage of Apple Maps and Google Maps

Charles Arthur (via Hacker News):

ComScore’s data suggests though that comparatively few iPhone owners actually take the trouble to use Google’s maps rather than Apple’s - in part because Apple’s maps are the default for any driving directions or map-related search on iOS 6 and above.

According to ComScore, in September 2012 - just ahead of the introduction of Apple Maps - there were a total of 81.1m users of Google Maps, out of a total of 103.6m iPhones and Android phones users.

But a year later, its smartphone data says that the total number of Google Maps users is much lower, at 43% of iPhone and Android users - or 58.7m, despite the user base growing to 136.7m.

As with Web browsers in the 90s, the default choice matters a lot. And, unlike with Microsoft and Internet Explorer, Apple doesn’t even let users change the default maps app (nor Web browser). There’s a sort of strategy tax at work here. Apple has decided that it’s more important to hurt Google than to help its own customers.

Crowdfunding Campaign for MailMate 2.0

After last month’s experiment, there is now an official indiegogo campaign for MailMate 2.0.

Benny Kjær Nielsen:

Compared to the crowd funding experiment I’ve changed a few things. The goal is now to fund the time needed to finish version 2.0 of MailMate. This requires a minimum of 6 months of 2014 and therefore I’ve set the initial fixed goal to $25,000. A fixed goal means that I get nothing if the goal is not reached. Anything beyond $25,000 increases the period I am guaranteed to work full time on MailMate. The exact period depends on daily sales, but a rough estimate is an additional month for every $5,000.

Federico Viticci:

Making email clients is hard, time-consuming, and expensive. Apple’s Mail app hasn’t brought many additions for power users in the past few years, prioritizing consistency with its iOS counterparts over features like keyboard shortcuts, filters, and AppleScript. While that’s reasonable for Apple, there’s a subset of users who would like to see more productivity-driven enhancements in their email client, and I think that MailMate already makes for a great replacement to

Update (2013-11-18): Benny Kjær Nielsen:

Over the weekend the crowd funding campaign reached its primary goal of $25,000 and it has since increased to more than $27,000. Yet again, thanks to everyone who helped make this happen! Development of MailMate is now guaranteed for the first 6 months of 2014. Maybe more if regular daily sales increase. If you never read about the background for this campaign then you can see it here.