For the first time since I started doing these reviews with iOS 9 in 2015, I didn’t use a mind map.
Instead, the entire review was researched, written, edited, and compiled for two different platforms (web and EPUB) using Obsidian.
This year I didn’t split my research and note-taking workflow between multiple apps.
This year, I studied my approach to WWDC notes and Obsidian beforehand,
so that when the conference started, I knew how I was going to structure my research.
notes and chapters would be stored in separate folders in Obsidian;
and would be connected by backlinks
I created a ‘Developer Frameworks and Sessions’ note in Obsidian.
In this note, I started dropping all sorts of random technical details I discovered on Twitter and Apple’s developer website.
For each of these sessions, I copied the title and pasted it as
[[title]]in Obsidian so that, when clicked, the app would create a separate, but backlinked, note for each session.
this year I didn’t dwell on the technical nitty gritty of iOS and iPadOS too much,
because I wanted the story to be more approachable by more people with a more conversational style.
how I “tricked” my brain into considering technical notes research material instead of core writing material:
for each session, I created a standalone note and,
at the top of it, added an internal link to the related chapter of the review.
an important shift in my approach to writing the review:
rather than feeling the pressure to rewrite, in slightly more accessible prose, every technical bit of iOS and iPadOS,
I could refer to those notes on the side as background information that would inform a different style of writing.
There are plenty of tidbits I discover from Twitter, Reddit, Apple’s documentation, and other places online
I created a unified dashboard note for the review that acted as an inbox for my thoughts and interesting details.
three main sections of the note called Tidbits Discovered, Tweets, and New Thoughts
The macro allowed me to quickly paste a copied link or write a quick note, which I could then choose to append to a specific section of the dashboard for future processing.
Initially, I was saving all these notes with native Files actions by appending all of them to the bottom of my dashboard.
After I discovered QuickAdd, however, I was able to build a visual menu that let me insert notes into specific sections of the note,
which made it easier for me to see everything at a glance later.
the iOS review dashboard also contained a selection of ‘quick links’ at the top to easily navigate to different areas of the review.
sections of chapters were also standalone Markdown files. At a glance, it may look like a giant mess of text files:
this year I was able to link to specific pages and sections of the review from other pages and sections.
I regularly backed up individual chapters as well as the main ‘compiled’ copy of the review to a private repo in GitHub via Working Copy, which is something I always do for all my stories.
And, every few days, I also manually backed up my entire Obsidian folder to iCloud Drive as a .zip file.
Apple claimed its TV+ service had less than 20 million subscribers in the U.S. and Canada as of July,
allowing it to pay behind-the-scenes production crew lower rates than streamers with more subscriptions
according to the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees,
a union that represents TV and movie workers who perform jobs like operating cameras and building sets.
Apple has never revealed subscriber numbers for its Apple TV+ streaming service
Analysts are reluctant to offer estimates, but many say that its scale pales in comparison to services like
Netflix, which claimed 209 million subscribers as of Q2, and
Disney+, which claimed 116 million.
Under the current contract, high-budget productions intended for streaming can offer lower rates to workers
if the streaming service has less than 20 million subscribers
in the U.S. and Canada,
which is determined on July 1 every year.
productions made for streaming services are governed under less strict labor terms than traditional TV shows or movies
because streaming profitability is “presently uncertain” and productions needed greater flexibility
But union leaders argue that streaming is no longer a particularly new form of media,
and companies that bankroll streaming productions should pay rates closer to traditional media productions.
Apple has reportedly spent up to $15 million per episode of shows like “The Morning Show” to try and bulk up its service with premium content.
Apple sold an estimated 206 million iPhones globally in 2020, which would amount to a lot of free trials.
Defending his company from charges that it harms users’ mental health, the head of Facebook-owned Instagram last week raised eyebrows by comparing social media to cars.
Critics were quick to point out that the automobile industry is heavily regulated for safety, precisely because its products are understood to be dangerous.
This wasn’t the first time Facebook executives have compared their products to seemingly un-Facebook-like things.
these sorts of comparisons can also be revealing in ways that the people drawing them don’t necessarily intend.
Facebook’s comparison of its products to inventions of yore is “ironic, because these people are often trying to fight off regulation”
But the reality is that one of the reasons so many technologies around us have become acceptable is because we’ve regulated them.
Facebook isn’t the only Internet company to seek shelter from controversy in likening itself to more established institutions.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has explicitly compared his platform to a public square.
Apple compared its App Store to a department store. (The judge didn’t buy it.)
In Facebook’s 2012 filing to go public, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the social network was inspired by technologies such as the printing press and television
But the IPO was a flop, and later that year the company reached for humbler reference points:
Its first-ever TV ad compared the social network to chairs.
The ad also compared Facebook to doorbells, airplanes, bridges and dance floors
The spot, called “Chairs Are Like Facebook,” was roundly mocked.
But the marketing line was clear:
Facebook was something simple, humble and trustworthy
that deserved a place in every home —
not something complex, troubling or creepy that merited skepticism.
In 2013, a time when frustrated users increasingly found their feeds overrun by clickbait and Zynga notifications,
Zuckerberg touted a redesign that he said would make the platform feel like “the best personalized newspaper,”
By 2017, Facebook had achieved ubiquity,
but a backlash over its role in elections and social movements
had it rethinking its mission of making the world more open and connected.
[Zuckerburg] compared Facebook’s role in society to that of churches and Little League teams.
More recently, Facebook has turned to analogies that acknowledge its downsides while reframing them as trade-offs for a greater good.
The appeal of such historical reference points for the creators of controversial new products.
an online compendium of old articles lamenting how technologies such as electricity and bicycles would be the ruin of society
common flaws in such comparisons,
focusing only on the historical technologies that later achieved acceptance is a form of cherry-picking.
Even with the innovations that proved wildly successful, skipping ahead from the initial backlash to widespread acceptance misses crucial steps in the process
the similarities between new and old technologies can be instructive.
But they also risk obscuring the vast differences.
There is often this temptation for these very, very complex technological systems to try to compare themselves to significantly simpler technologies,
to make it seem like they are more easy to understand and less threatening
interesting about the evolution of Facebook’s analogies is how the company seems to be lowering the bar for itself over time.
While cars and Facebook may seem inevitable
there are many critics of automobile culture
who are arguing today for a shift away from car ownership and car-oriented infrastructure.