» Overcast

Get your “Where’s the Android version?” jokes ready because Marco Arment has shipped Overcast, his podcast listening app. Free to download and use, with a $4.99 in-app purchase to unlock the more advanced features.

» ‘Apple and IBM Team Up to Push iOS in the Enterprise’

Arik Hesseldahl for Re/code details a pretty historic partnership that could be big for Apple:

“We’re good at building a simple experience and in building devices,” Cook said. “The kind of deep industry expertise you would need to really transform the enterprise isn’t in our DNA. But it is in IBM’s.”

» All the iWatches

Morgan Stanley’s Katy Huberty says Apple could sell 30 to 60 million iWatches in the first year.

Now, it might seem ridiculous to try to predict how many of a thing we know nothing about will sell, but it’s simple, really. You just take the total number of watches ever sold ever, take the cosine (always take the cosine… take it AND RUN AND NEVER STOP RUNNING), adjust for inflation, apply the least squares method (because only squares wear smartwatches) and then — and this is the part people always forget — take back  one kadam to honor the Hebrew God, whose iWatch this is.

Something, something, digging in the wrong place, something, something, bad dates and, yeah, you get numbers somewhere between zero million and 1,000 million. So she’s in the ballpark.

» ‘Microsoft’s New CEO Needs An Editor’

Jean-Louise Gassée gets to my real complaint about Satya Nadella’s message last week:

Satya Nadella is an unusually intelligent man, a Mensa-caliber intellect, well-read, he quotes Nietzsche, Oscar Wilde, and Rainer Maria Rilke. Why, then, does he repeatedly break basic storytelling rules?

Two possible explanations come to mind.

First, because he’s intelligent and literate, he forgot to use an unforgiving editor. …

Second, and more likely, Nadella speaks in code.

Ben Thompson, on the other hand, had a more positive view of the email. My problem with Thompson’s defense is that almost all his high points come from reading between the lines, not things that Nadella said directly. Maybe the message resonated with Microsoft employees (and past employees like Thompson), but it didn’t work at all outside that group. That being the case, it shouldn’t have been publicly released. Maybe they figured it would have gotten out anyway and wanted to get ahead of it, but as a grand strategy statement it’s in dire need of an editor.

» Sponsor: Photo Book Flip for iPad

My thanks to Photo Book Flip for iPad for sponsoring the Very Nice Web Site RSS feed this week. Photo Book Flip is delightful and easy to use. What a great way to show your photos. Easily worth your 99 cents. Here’s developer Justin Lee to tell you about it:

Six months ago I was reading Kinfolk, a culture and lifestyle magazine with lots of beautiful photos. Flipping through it was a really delightful experience. Then it came to me, what if I could flip through my own photos as if they were a beautiful photo magazine, say on my iPad? And even better, what if I didn’t have to organize and layout the photos?

And that was the beginning of Photo Book Flip. After five months of design and development, the app has finally come to life. Photo Book Flip instantly turns the photos on your iPad into a beautiful digital photo book with a single tap. Inspired by photo-centric magazines like Kinfolk and beautiful cookbooks like Mast Brothers Chocolate and Blue Bottle Craft of Coffee, the page layout features a minimalist design to spotlight your moments. And just like the iBooks app, as you flip each page, you’ll also see what’s behind the page as if it was a real book.

We think Photo Book Flip lets you experience your photos in a delightful and different way. Like what physical photo albums do, we created this app to celebrate the wonderful memories and moments in everyone’s life.

Find it on the App Store at a limited-time introductory price of $0.99 and learn more on our website. We think you’re going to like it. Please check it out, and let us know how we can make it better.

Sponsored via Syndicate Ads

» ‘On Working From Home and Running a Business’

Some really solid advice from Shawn Blanc. My wife and I have been running home businesses for a couple of years now and managing cash flow is our biggest problem. Turns out it’s hard to adjust to the ebb and flow of income after having had a steady and consistently increasing one all my adult life. You have to learn to spend to the low points, not the high points.

Fortunately, I’m pretty much unemployable at this point so there’s no turning back.

» ‘Despite a Pledge by Samsung, Child Labor Proves Resilient’

Turns out the New York Times can investigate companies other than Apple. Who knew?

After work, the three teenage girls giggle and pull at one another’s hair. But when questioned, they admit their common secret: They use false papers to work illegally here at the factory that makes mobile phone components for one of the world’s biggest brands, Samsung.

» Satya Nadella’s email to employees

It’s over 3,000 words long, so buckle up. Here are some selected quotes.

The day I took on my new role I said that our industry does not respect tradition – it only respects innovation.

Good start. Then he goes on for a long time about how wicked boss technology is.

Our customers and society expect us to maximize the value of technology while also preserving the values that are timeless. We will create more natural human-computing interfaces that empower all individuals.

I have no idea what that’s supposed to mean.

At our core, Microsoft is the productivity and platform company for the mobile-first and cloud-first world.

OK, that I get. It’s a decent enough summarization of what Microsoft should be trying to do.

We help people get stuff done. Stuff like term papers, recipes and budgets. Stuff like chatting with friends and family across the world.

I know you need to justify having bought Skype, but chatting with family is not a Microsoft Project milestone.

Microsoft has a unique ability to harmonize the world’s devices, apps, docs, data and social networks in digital work and life experiences so that people are at the center and are empowered to do more and achieve more with what is becoming an increasingly scarce commodity – time!

I don’t even know what to do with that. Traditionally, Microsoft as defined “the world’s devices” as “devices that run our operating systems”. I hope that’s part of the change he’s defining because their operating systems don’t hold the weight they used to.

Microsoft will light up digital work and life experiences in the most personal, intelligent, open and empowering ways.

Is soccer still on?

While today many people define mobile by devices, Microsoft defines it by experiences.

That’s what you say when you have no mobile device sales, sure.

In order to deliver the experiences our customers need for the mobile-first and cloud-first world, we will modernize our engineering processes to be customer-obsessed, data-driven, speed-oriented and quality-focused.

As opposed to our old processes which were engineer-obsessed, haphazard, slow and crappy.

OK, that’s a joke (sort of) but that’s the danger of making these kinds of generic, feel-good statements. A great swath of this letter reads like it was written by consultants.

Each engineering group will have Data and Applied Science resources that will focus on measurable outcomes for our products and predictive analysis of market trends, which will allow us to innovate more effectively.

Larry, you’re now in charge of measurable, predictive innovation. Good luck! [Larry is eaten by hyenas.]

Culture change means we will do things differently. Often people think that means everyone other than them. In reality, it means all of us taking a new approach and working together to make Microsoft better. To this end, I’ve asked each member of the Senior Leadership Team to evaluate opportunities to advance their innovation processes and simplify their operations and how they work.

Reminder: Mark Penn is on Microsoft’s Senior Leadership Team. So, that should go super-smooth and without any back-stabbing.

We have clarity in purpose to empower every individual and organization to do more and achieve more.

If a 3,000-word buzzword-addled letter doesn’t say “clarity” then what does? Nadella used “empower” 7 times in this letter. That is exactly 7 times too many.

We must each have the courage to transform as individuals.


OK, I’m being pretty pessimistic about this letter. But I found it way too long and filled with meaningless terminology. Overall, I think Nadella was the best choice of those floated for Microsoft CEO and I’ve been a fan of many of his moves so far. I don’t, however, find this letter inspiring.

» Apple brings iTunes Extras to Apple TV


No, really.

» The Apple Clickbait Generator

You won’t be able to tell it from the real thing. The only difference, of course, is that more thought probably went into this.