The Apple Worker Bee

worker bee

Business, nearly all business, is rapidly transitioning to a world of constant collaboration, robust communication — and contracting.

In the future, everyone will be employed for 15 minutes.

The remainder of the time? Freelance for life, yo!

I think that few companies are positioned to take full advantage of this than Apple, the company long locked out of the “enterprise” and “productivity” segments.

But first, caveats.

This is not about the iPad. Apple’s slow, steady copying of the Microsoft Surface form — with multitasking, dual screen, light detachable keyboard, and stylus — are all wise moves. But the iPad, any tablet, in fact, is highly limited in function. As long as Apple charges premium prices for a device that most $200 Android tablets can easily match, iPad sales will remain middling.

I also think very little of Apple’s partnership with IBM. Apple doesn’t play nice with others. Ever. They take what they can, buy what they can’t take, and run scared from all markets that look like they just might require a lot of work for little margins.

Then there’s the Apple Watch. While it’s easy for me to mock the suckers who paid top-dollar Watch 3.0 prices for a product that’s still clearly in beta, I must admit that Watch fits nicely into Apple’s overall strategy.

Which is *not* about ecosystem per se. Rather, Apple’s strategy is to have us spend every waking moment staring into a screen made by Apple.

Desktop. Laptop. Smartphone. Tablet. Car dashboard. Watch. And, yes, television.

Apple is a screen company.

And there’s where things get interesting.

Because collaboration and rich communications — presence, messaging, video chat, voice — are all optimized for screens. Better still, for Apple, is that all these work very well across Apple devices. Start a video chat (FaceTime) with a faraway staffer on your MacBook, then continue the call — without dropping it — on your iPhone.

In a world where businesses want us to bring — pay for — our own devices, yet be assured they are secure, they offer all the necessary functionality, and can be easily managed, all while not having to pay for them out of their pocket, what Apple offers is tantalizing.

There’s a catch.

Apple has poor relationships with IT managers and despite Tim Cook’s incessant talking up of iPad in 499 of the Fortune 500, or whatever he’s saying now, Apple products are damn near non-existent in large corporate and government environments.

That may soon no longer matter.

All of us are being turned into freelancers — contractors, worker bees. As such, the company we (temporarily) work for does not supply us with a computer or a phone. It’s (soon to be) a bring all your own devices to work, everywhere, all of the time.

Perhaps Apple’s marketing of their products as status symbols — proof of means in a global economy where many are living far above their means — is a sly, evil, brilliant stroke?

Yes, the BYOD movement presents a new set of problems for businesses and IT staff. But with respect to Apple products, the IT staff are likely to feel comfortable that those devices meet the necessary security requirements, they can support employee collaboration and communication, and can be locked down in accordance with security requirements. If you’re in charge of managing IT, yet everyone is bringing their own tablet, smartphone and laptop, it may make your day less stressful if the newest (temporary) employee shows up for work with all Apple products.

What do you think?

I am not discounting Microsoft or Chromebooks or Apple’s history of poor performance with the cloud. But, Apple products are most favored amongst consumers and, well, everyone’s a consumer. And when we consumers go to work, “work” will no longer give us a phone or laptop, but simply demand/assume we have our own.

Over the course of many years, more and more Apple products will invade the enterprise.

Boogie Wonderland

I feel as if we (as a society) aren’t giving Earth, Wind & Fire their due.


Those horns, those dancers, those outfits! The songs, the voices, the good times.

Reviews are broken


Apple blogger Marco Arment on the new Mac:

The MacBook’s keyboard is not good.

The Force Touch trackpad is really cool. It is also not good.

The keyboard is worse than the trackpad to me, but not by much. Both are major compromises in the name of thinness, and both are significantly worse than their (pretty great) predecessors.

This is not a fast machine.

I just hate using it.

Until now, since I started buying Macs 11 years ago, Apple had never shipped a laptop with a keyboard or trackpad that was less than great.

Apple’s priorities have changed.

Profits before products, form before function. Tim Cook’s Apple.

My lone voice now reverberates.

“There’s really only one small thing I would suggest Apple change”


Oh, fuck. You didn’t really drop nearly $1,000 on Apple Watch 1.0 did you?

Just to show everyone how special you are? How you GROK THE FUTURE!

Yeah, you got conned.

All those “critics” of Apple kept promoting Apple Watch, kept talking about THE WATCH INDUSTRY because, you know, they’ve been totally into watches for years, and suckered you into buying beta hardware at premium prices, fuck boy, you were an easy mark.

But just how bad is Apple Watch? Just how much did Apple betray its design skills to push a high-margin bricked device onto its “premium” “never at the bottom” customer base?

Here’s Gruber on the ONLY ONE SMALL THING he would **suggest** Apple change:

I realized there’s really only one small thing I would suggest Apple change.

That looks more complicated than it is. 

Here’s a better way to think about it — and without thinking about it.

It’s best to think of Apple Watch as having two modes: watch mode, and app mode.

You do not need to understand this to use the watch. Most Apple Watch owners will never really think about this.

If you think about Apple Watch as having these two modes, the role of the crown button is clear.

Consider: What happens when you press the digital crown button while in, say, the Weather app? The answer is: It depends how you got there.

This sounds confusing.

“Back” just doesn’t feel right for the digital crown button. It should simply mean go home in the current mode, or, if you’re already home, switch to the other mode.

A few special apps behave otherwise — Workout and Remote, so far — but in both of those cases that makes sense.

Another insight: the side button exists outside either mode.

A lot of people seem to have this complaint early on.

You’d find yourself scrolling when you wanted to bring up Glances and bringing up Glances when you wanted to scroll. It’d be maddening.

The Watch OS “back” shortcut — swiping from the left to go back in a view hierarchy — is an edge gesture, but that’s OK because if you miss the edge, nothing happens. 

Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln…

But iPhone Has More ENGAGEMENT!


Damn, but I do so admire Apple PR.

And, yet, strangely enough, I have no good feelings towards their many parrots.

Oh, and here’s a post from iMore:

How the Apple Watch can help battle your iPhone addiction


Find yourself “addicted” to your iPhone? Staring into its screen constantly?


I used to be a heroin addict. Now I’m a methadone addict.

No other company gets this special treatment. None. Can you imagine for even a second if Pepsi said, well, sure, Pepsi has lots of sugar. Here, have this Mountain Dew instead.

But the Apple Echo Chamber repeats this nonsense with a straight face! They honestly expect you to believe it! Fuck but the level of stupid they must think you are.

Just last year, when Android continued to garner more and more market share, Apple and its toadies were out there spinning, dancing and shouting:


It’s not about market share! It’s about ENGAGEMENT!


Usage numbers were once again front and center as well, with Chikita Insights quoted as saying the iPhone controlled 54% of U.S. smartphone web traffic and the iPad, 78% of tablet traffic. Apple, of course, pointed out that these usage numbers were far greater than the market share numbers, specifically calling how engaging and important that made them. They also singled out China specifically, saying 57% of mobile web browsing in China happened on iOS devices.


iMore, today:

I ordered an Apple Watch to help me track health and fitness data. Almost a month into using it, however, I’m finding its best feature is that it keeps me off my iPhone and iPad.

Oh, so engagement — usage — is bad? Now?

Smartphone usage has gotten completely out of hand, though I doubt that’s breaking news to anyone. Whether you’re sitting at home with your significant other or you’re out with friends, you’ll see smartphones popping up almost everywhere you look. The time we should spend talking and communicating with one another is instead spent behind glowing screens filled with Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, RSS feeds, and YouTube.

Using our “smartphone” is now bad, you say?

To my surprise, the Apple Watch has been a delightfully different experience.

Delightful? You don’t say!

It only took a few days to realize how much it was helping me stay off my iPhone.


Do these folks have no shame?


Until they do.


Until it’s not.

Whatever it takes to help the world’s richest corporation make still more money, I suppose. Though that’s not the life for me.

Worse, because, not only does this not help the reader (!), I’m not entirely convinced it helps Apple. Not long-term. I mean, is Apple Watch worth buying? If yes, why? Really why — not moving the goal posts on iPhone. If you have to concoct nonsensical reasons to buy Watch, then don’t. Tell Apple they made a bad choice. Stop. Fix it. Go into another line of business. Ecosystem bloat and lock-in always tamp down innovation over the long-term.

Helvetica Neue is Oeulde! Also shit. PS. Siri – fewer words are better.

Well this is good Apple Watch news, via Mark Gurman:

Apple is currently planning to use the new system font developed for the Apple Watch to refresh the looks of iPads, iPhones, and Macs running iOS 9 “Monarch” and OS X 10.11 “Gala,” according to sources with knowledge of the preparations. Current plans call for the Apple-designed San Francisco font to replace Helvetica Neue, which came to iOS 7 in 2013 and OS X Yosemite just last year.

Awesome. We can all agree that Helvetica Neue is shite. Sooner Apple abandons this, the better.

Next, we need to convince whoever is to blame to stop using text — lots and lots and lots of text — for when a single image is better.

For example, I don’t need my iPhone to tell me that the weather will be nice today. Give me a temperature and a sun or cloud icon, for example. Glances!

To Apple’s credit, I think the whole bit about using way too many words wasn’t a design failing, per se, but rather their (botched) attempt to make Siri seem more human, more personable — and conversational.

What’s the weather in Detroit?

48 degrees. Cloudy.

But, no. Instead we get something like: The weather in Detroit is mild.

Wasting our time and not giving us actionable knowledge. That’s not user friendly. Not at all.

I hope that the (still in beta) Apple Watch glances and notifications features kills this nonsense as much as it kills the bad iPhone font.

Of course Apple will make a television


All of Apple’s money comes from making screens that it typically sells at high-margin. Apple’s strategy, clearly, is to get us to buy a screen for our eyes for every waking moment.

Desktop. Laptop. Tablet. Smartphone. Watch. (TV box)

Never not be looking at a screen! From Apple!

The television is one more screen, yes, but a special one — it’s the one that everybody on the planet uses, loves, and spends hours each day staring into.

You really think Apple — a screen company — is going to pass this up?


So, yes, of course I think Gruber gets it wrong when he states:

Making boxes that connect to TVs — like Apple TV as it stands today — that makes sense to me. Making actual TV sets, though, I’ve long been skeptical about.

But, no big deal. I think he’s wrong. Won’t be the last time, I’m sure.

I bring this up, however, because it’s what else he says that grates on me:

Years ago, I thought, “Why should Apple settle for selling a $100 box connected to a $2000 TV instead of just selling the $2000 TV set with the box built in?” The problem, though, is that TV set prices have dropped dramatically, and people don’t replace their TV sets that frequently.

Why do the Apple faithful so tightly intertwine what they say they want with Apple’s *strategic* concerns?

So fucking what if TV prices have dropped! Aw, will Apple not be able to make a crazy-high margin? Is $200 billion stashed in foreign bank accounts not quite enough?


We all want an Apple television. Well, many of us. Let’s say this: we want a television from Apple!

But, no, the Echo Chamber insists we should only want what’s GOOD FOR APPLE! Fuck that. I want a television from Apple. Straight up. And if they can’t offer that to me at a great price, fuck em. I’ll go elsewhere. Would you insist Mercedes not make a station wagon because it can’t get the margins it wants?

Or a coupe?

No, no! Don’t want a luxury sedan from Ford because Ford can only make X profit on those and really we should want Ford to make X+Y profit.

Who the fuck thinks like this?

Yay, yay! Apple’s ASP is bigger than everyone else’s ASP! Apple makes more profit than the company you like!


I hope Apple makes a television. Soon. And if Apple can’t figure out a way to make a television that commands a very high margin — great for us! Don’t you think it would be totally awesome if Apple — already the world’s richest corporation — cut its iPhone margin in half? Think of how many more people could afford an iPhone!

Or are you less concerned with what the actual technology can do and more concerned with keeping the club limited only to certain members?

Ssshhh. Don’t tell anybody.

Features like “Continuity” and “Handoff” existed *before* Apple rolled them out.

“Can this company can up with nothing original? I’m all for competition, but Jesus, this continuous copying is getting tiresome.”

Where is Tim Cook’s Letter to Xi Jinping?


Every single one of the hundreds of millions of iPhones that Apple sells is made in China.

By companies under the very watchful eye of China’s government.

So why isn’t Apple CEO Tim Cook signing his name to a public letter to the President asking that China’s government not “deliberately weaken the security of their products”?

Cook claims he doesn’t want the US Government to have a ‘backdoor’ access to a user’s iPhone, access that may prevent a murder, limit pedophilia, even stop a terrorist attack. Yet he makes no such request of China.


What are Cook’s values? Where are his priorities?

Apple is an American company founded in America by Americans. No America, no Apple. America made Apple great.

Is making another sale in China really more important to Cook than America’s safety?

“Sexual relations outside of a traditional, heterosexual marriage are a crime. Punishments range from jail time, fines, deportation, and the death penalty.”

Does Tim Cook know this?

Sexual relations outside of a traditional, heterosexual marriage are a crime. Punishments range from jail time, fines, deportation, and the death penalty.

I ask because while he publicly admonishes Americans for exercising their right to believe as they wish, he is apparently green-lighting the biggest Apple Store in the world.

In Dubai.