“iPhone Only” apps on the iPad

For now, the change from 3:2 ratio apps to 16:9 ratio is a big win for developers and will avoid a lot of design problems. I can only hope that later Xcode builds will finally allow an option for truly “iPhone Only” builds.

Source: “iPhone Only” apps on the iPad

It’s the little things in life. I had to deal with this last year and was wondering / hoping if and when this would change. I have a nard time seeing this being dropped during beta.

Swift Community  |  TensorFlow

Swift for TensorFlow is a result of first-principles thinking applied to machine learning frameworks, and works quite differently than existing TensorFlow language bindings. Whereas prior solutions are designed within the constraints of what can be achieved by a (typically Python or Lua) library, Swift for TensorFlow is based on the belief that machine learning is important enough to deserve first-class language and compiler support.

Source: Swift Community  |  TensorFlow

What languages a developer needs to learn in order to traverse all the different domains that come together to deliver “full stack” applications is something I revisit every year in order to keep my skills and knowledge up-to-date. Always happy to have options that fold into my core skills 🙂

Quick Thought: The Apple HomePod

So my wife and I will hold off on a new TV sound system until these puppies hit the market at the end of the year. We weren’t in a rush anyways 🙂

What I find the most interesting is that the Siri and HomeKit functions of the new HomePod are marketed at the very bottom of the on Apple’s web page for the product. It speaks volumes to me with how Apple is marketing HomeKit and its approach to home automation.

Continue reading “Quick Thought: The Apple HomePod”

HomeKit is where the dearth is – no one wants Apple’s IoT tech

In reference to Ecobee’s latest product release, the Ecobee Lite, I came across this little snippet regarding Apple’s HomeKit:

But nowhere in its marketing materials is Apple’s HomeKit mentioned, despite the extra effort and cost the company has to go to in order to work with the system.Source: HomeKit is where the dearth is – no one wants Apple’s IoT tech • The Register

It would take far too much time and effort to try and counterpoint what I’m seeing as a trend of articles dismissing Apple’s HomeKit platform. That is not a battle I want to get into at the moment, but in seeing the line I quoted above, I decided to go take a look on Ecobee’s website to see about a lack of HomeKit branding:

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Honeywell Expands Lyric™ Family of Smart Thermostats in Time for Home Heating Season

Like the Lyric Round™ Wi-Fi Thermostat, the Lyric T Series is Apple® HomeKit™ compatible, which allows homeowners to set up special actions and even access other HomeKit-enabled devices around the home safely and securely. With Siri, users can change the temperature of their home without lifting a finger. And the Lyric T5 can use voice control with Amazon Alexa-enabled devices, such as the Echo, and will soon be available on Amazon’s latest service Tap.
Source: Honeywell Expands Lyric™ Family of Smart Thermostats in Time for Home Heating Season

Since I am an iOS developer, I’m keeping a close eye on Apple HomeKit enabled devices as they come out, with a particular interest in what other IoT platforms these devices work with. This one is the latest from Honeywell.

In my day job at Tack Mobile, I’m currently working on an app for a client’s legacy connected device that will be using HomeKit in their next hardware release, so want stay on top of what other connected device vendors are doing with their HomeKit enabled products and apps.

iOS 10: How to control HomeKit devices with the Home app – 9to5Mac

Resident Apple HomeKit enthusiast, Zac Hall, already wrote a thorough walkthrough of the new Home app during the initial iOS 10 beta period, but now that iOS 10 and watchOS 3 are shipping, it’s only right to give it another in-depth visit with a corresponding walkthrough.Source: iOS 10: How to control HomeKit devices with the Home app – 9to5Mac

Very thorough video walkthrough of Apple’s freshly released Home app and setting up your HomeKit-enabled connected devices. There is also a link to written walkthrough. I can’t say that I am actually a fan of Apple’s Home app itself from a user experience perspective, but it is a solid start. The app is also a good exposure to the concept of configuring and controlling the automation of a mix of connected home products in conjunction with other products and product types.


Found my Apple HomeKit Litmus Test: iDevices

This is exactly the type of IoT product company I’ve been looking for. One of their focuses appears to be building their products, and in turn, part of their business plan, on the Apple HomeKit platform. I am sure that they will continue to expand their product’s platform compatibility (looks like their products work with Alexa too), but to have a company that we can watch as it evolves its platform and business model along with the IoT marketplace is a pretty valuable litmus test for HomeKit.

My main interest is iDevices integration of HomeKit and how their systems grow to incorporate other IoT platforms as they evolve. Google’s Weave more specifically, if and when it is fully released. I’m just starting my homework on them, but you can expect to hear more about them when I get a chance to do a deeper dive.

Thoughts on Amazon’s investment in Ecobee

Amazon is making its largest investment yet through its Alexa Fund into internet-connected thermostat-maker Ecobee. Announced on Thursday, Amazon is joining a $35 million round into the Toronto, Canada-based hardware startup. Other investors include Thomvest and Relay Ventures. Ecobee wouldn’t clarify who led the round. The $100 million Alexa Fund is named after Amazon’s intelligent […]
Source: Amazon’s Alexa Fund Makes Its Biggest Investment Yet In $35 Million Round Into Nest Competitor Ecobee

I missed this article from last month, but to me, Amazon investing in Ecobee is something to keep and eye on with regards to gaining some insight into the strategy for the future of their consumer IoT efforts.

Continue reading “Thoughts on Amazon’s investment in Ecobee”

Speeding up the learning process, one video at a time

Nerd tip: Want to watch all those <developer conference of your choice> videos but don’t have 45 minutes or an hour at a time to spend on one of them, let alone dozens of them? Read on…

There are dozens of videos I always want to watch from Apple’s WWDC each year, but depending on the presenter, they can be painful to sit through. Lynda.com has a customized video player in their website that has ability to speed up the video while you are watching is without distorting the presenter’s voice too much, so I was hoping that I could find a way to watch Apple’s videos in the same manner.

If the videos you want to watch are available to download, (i.e. WWDC 2015 videos are as HD or SD .mp4’s) pull them down locally and play them in the QuickTime Player app. Once they start playing, hold down the option key (on a Mac anyways) and tap the fast forward button. It will speed up the video in increments of .1, all the way up to 2.0. The cool part is that it maintains the pitch of the audio, so you aren’t listening to chipmunks.

Screenshot 2016-01-07 22.01.05

I find my ability to absorb what they are saying is pretty stable at 1.7. If they get into new material that requires some deep listening and processing, I’ll kick it back down to 1.4.

You’ll cover a lot more videos this way. Enjoy!