Apple exec jony ive

If you follow Apple, this is pretty big news. Jonathan Ive, formerly Senior Vice President of Design, is being promoted to Chief Design Officer, overseeing the hardware and user interface design groups. The news was broken in an entertaining, wide-ranging essay by Stephen Fry. Ive was already doing that in his previous role, but this move looks like he won’t have to deal with as much of the management involved. Essentially, he’s going to spend more time designing stuff, which ranges from Apple’s products to the new Apple Campus 2 and even the chairs and tables that employees sit in at the company cafeteria.

But what does it mean?? This is exactly the sort of thing Apple pundits and analysts and armchair quarterbacks love to see, because of course we don’t know the implications. Is Ive working on something even more top secret than the Apple Watch? (I doubt it.) Is this the first step out the door, enabling him to spend part of his time in his native England where he’s expressed a desire to raise his kids? (Likely.)

Ben Thompson has a great morning analysis of the move that sets out these options in his always clearheaded way: Jony Ive “Promoted”, the Implications of Not Managing, What about Apple?.

[Updated: Also read Seth Weintraub’s article at 9to5 Mac.]

My quick take is that Ive is probably transitioning to a new, less stressful role at Apple. He can’t leave the company outright, not yet, and he’s no doubt being paid more than handsomely to stay. (One bit of speculation is that by putting Ive in a chief role, Apple doesn’t have to legally disclose what he’s getting paid. Maybe that’s a side effect of the change, but I doubt it’s the driving factor. I doubt anyone would be surprised if Ive makes more money than anyone at the company, given his essential contributions over the last two decades.)

This new title gives him the freedom to pursue all sorts of design and—most important—keep him interested. Interviews in the lead up to the Apple Watch have indicated that he’s exhausted and burned out. For someone who cares about design at such the level that he does, that’s worse than issues of compensation or hierarchy.

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In my latest column for the Seattle Times, I relay a truth about computer users that many of us in the tech field overlook: the desire to reduce complication.

My mother-in-law’s aging iMac died, and we almost just paid to repair it instead of getting a replacement. I explain why in the column, and add in a dash of troubleshooting advice, too: When it comes to computers most of us want to keep it simple.

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Density: Redwoods Panorama

One of the things that’s hard to wrap your mind around in the Redwoods, especially on a first visit, is just how dense these massive forests are. This is a panorama stitched from 13 photos, shot at Stout Grove near Jededih Smith Redwood State Park Campground.

Be sure to view this one larger at Flickr to absorb all the detail!

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Dropbox is now as much a part of my work experience as my Mac, so naturally it would be great to put a Photos for OS X library into a Dropbox folder to create an off-site backup that I wouldn’t have to think about.

However, that’s a bad idea. Brian Webster at Fat Cat Software (who created iPhoto Library Manager and the new PowerPhotos applications) wrote a blog post about exactly why it’s a bad idea (spoiler: Dropbox syncs files and Photos tracks everything in SQLite databases, leading to corruption). Read the details here: Don’t store your photo library on Dropbox.

Clouds edit photos mac2

While I was away on my photo workshop, I put the last touches on an article that’s now at TidBITS, Photos Everywhere with Lightroom CC and Photos for OS X (which enabled me to include some photos on location, like the Yoda statue at Lucasfilm headquarters).

After writing the review of Lightroom CC for Macworld and an overview of what’s new in Lightroom for Lynda.com, I wanted to take a different approach to Adobe’s new software for TidBITS. In this article, I look at how Lightroom and Photos for OS X handle the issue of making photos available on Macs and mobile devices.

Apple’s approach puts your entire library on all devices using iCloud Photo Library, while Adobe turns to its own nimbus, Creative Cloud, to sync selected images between Lightroom and Lightroom mobile on iOS and Android phones and tablets. Read on to learn how the advantages and disadvantages of each approach at TidBITS.com.

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Rotunda at the Palace of Fine Arts

I’m in Northern California to co-lead a photo workshop with my friend Mason Marsh for the next 12 days. The actual workshop starts tonight, but last night we met up in the Presidio with a fun group of photographers who participate in The Arcanum, where Mason is a Master. After shooting the beach at Crissy Field, we ended up at the Palace of Fine Arts, where the cloudy skies worked wonderfully against the lighting of the rotunda.

I’m looking forward to this trip, which is going to be a lot of work but also rewarding (and maybe a little exhausting).

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Apple Watch Inception

My review of the Apple Watch appears in today’s Seattle Times: Apple Watch impresses, amuses even though it’s the 1.0 version.

My editor wanted a tight review in 700 words, which was hard to do because there’s so much to say about the Apple Watch and because writing shorter is always more difficult than writing longer.

The Apple Watch experience, more than that of any other Apple product, is defined by details. Some are amazing and genuinely delightful, while others remind you that Apple’s foray into a new category of computing is still a first-generation product.

Speaking of which, I’m hard at work on the expanded version of my book Apple Watch: A Take Control Crash Course. It’s currently 50% off at $5, and will return to its normal $10 price as soon as the update is ready; if you buy the book now, you get the full version for free when it’s released!

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My latest column for the Seattle Times delves into Apple’s Photos for OS X application, looking at how some aspects will change customers’ behaviors. I also throw in a handful of tips based on questions and feedback from readers.

Read it here: Exploring Apple’s new Photos app for OS X.

LightroomCC 01 top

It’s been a busy week! After reviewing Lightroom CC for Macworld, I turned around and wrote a general what’s new article for the great folks at Lynda.com: What’s New in Lightroom CC and Lightroom 6?

Right now I’m working on another related article for TidBITS while seated at my dining room table, listening for the rumble of the UPS truck that will bring my new Apple Watch. And drinking lots of coffee.

(I love my job.)

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Apple’s Family Sharing feature, new in iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, shows a lot of promise for handling Apple media and software purchases among several people. In an article supporting my book The Connected Apple Family, I write about 10 things you should keep in mind before turning the feature on. Go read it at Peachpit.com: 10 Things to Know Before Enabling Apple’s Family Sharing.

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