Fall in Love with a Problem, Not a Product

Excellent advice for software developers, even if you're not looking to lure investors:

...it all comes down to motivation. What investors want is someone whose animating purpose is to solve a particular problem (especially one that people don’t realize yet that they even have!) or fix something they think is broken. The product is just a means to that end, not an end in itself. To put it another way, you want someone who is more in love with fixing a problem than with the product itself.

Music Memos

Fun new app from Apple:

Music Memos automatically analyzes the basic arrangement and suggests chords you played for each track. Then you can hear how your music sounds with a realistic virtual drummer and bass player jamming along. If your performance speeds up or slows down, so does the band. You can even tweak the energy and performance of the drums or bass with a few simple controls.

I played around with my guitar and Music Memos a bit today at lunch and it's a blast. I only wish that there was some kind of a visual onscreen metronome to help keep me from rushing or dragging.

Are the Top Apps Using Swift?

Interesting, if not unsurprising analysis of the top 100 free apps in the iOS App Store. Apparently only 11% of them include any Swift code:

I once again downloaded the top 100 free apps and wrote some scripts to analyze the .ipa files. It surprised me to find that the vast majority of the apps in the top 100 are still building without any Swift.

Most of the top apps in the App Store have been the top apps in the App Store for a long time now, and there's very little incentive for them to start developing with a new language. Not to mention the large amount of games in the top 100 that are likely written in a game development framework like Cocos2d instead of in straight Objective-C.

I'm of the opinion that it's kinda silly to start a new project in anything other than Swift, and I'd be willing to bet that most iOS developers would agree with me.

2016 Chevy Malibu

This is the first car commercial I've seen that advertises Car Play. I've long said that the first car manufacturer to really embrace Car Play (and Android Auto) is going to have a huge advantage over their competitors. I'm looking forward to seeing how these things sell.

Also, that "radio won't turn play when the seatbelts are buckled" feature seems pretty fantastic. Now we just need a way of keeping kids (and adults!) from texting and driving. Hopefully by the time my son is old enough to drive a car, they all just drive themselves and we don't have to worry about his driving habits.

10 Cloverfield Lane Trailer

Trailer released Jan 15th, will be in theaters March 11th, and we know pretty much nothing about the plot. My excitement levels are through the roof.

iAd App Network will be Discontinued

It's been a cutthroat start to the year for Apple:

The iAd App Network will be discontinued as of June 30, 2016. Although we are no longer accepting new apps into the network, advertising campaigns may continue to run and you can still earn advertising revenue until June 30. If you’d like to continue promoting your apps through iAd until then, you can create a campaign using iAd Workbench. 

I've got a new app ready to be released that has iAds in it, but now I'm going to be switching to a different ad network before release. It sucks, but I'm glad that this has been announced before I've published rather than after.

Apple Ending Ad-Supported iTunes Radio Stations at End of January

Via Macrumors:

Apple today sent out a notice to customers who listen to its radio service letting them know the radio feature is being discontinued at the end of January. 

In the email, Apple says that Beats 1 radio will be the only free listening option available to those who do not subscribe to the Apple Music service.

Makes sense I guess, but this is a bummer for me since I regularly listen to iTunes radio stations on my Apple TV. Hopefully a Spotify app for Apple TV is coming soon.

Steph Curry Signs Endorsement Deal with Brita

"Drinking water is essential to a healthy lifestyle," Mr. Curry said in the statement. "Water is my drink. I like that Brita makes tap water taste good, so you don't need to spend money or waste plastic with bottled water."

Good on him. Steph Curry is the best basketball player on the planet right now, and I'm sure he's leaving money on the table by signing this endorsement deal with Brita instead of Coke or Pepsi. It's stupid for athletes to promote sodas anyway - I can think of few things more antithetical to being healthy and athletic than drinking that garbage.