Marco Arment:

To most people, the iPad Mini will be a no-brainer over the iPad “4”. It’s much smaller and lighter, which we almost always want from our portable devices, it’s much cheaper, and it runs all of the same apps.

Agreed. The iPad mini is thinner, lighter, smaller, and cheaper. Price aside, I have no doubt most people will prefer its form factor to that of the full-sized iPad.

In his review, David Pogue writes:

Over all, the Mini gives you all the iPad goodness in a more manageable size, and it’s awesome. You could argue that the iPad Mini is what the iPad always wanted to be.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Just because I didn’t order one doesn’t mean I don’t like it or that I don’t think it’s going to sell like gangbusters and become the new flagship iPad. I’m just an old fogey who doesn’t like change.

The iPad Air

Jim Dalrymple:

I was really surprised with how much I used the iPad mini in my daily routine — more than the 10-inch iPad.

I use my 3rd-gen iPad a lot. Around the house and during my work day I do a lot of reading in Instapaper, Reeder, Safari, and Mail. And when I travel, I usually take just the iPad — it’s my laptop replacement.

The iPad mini is the first iOS device (iPod touch not included) that I haven’t pre-ordered or waited in line for. Partly because I’m prejudice against that non-Retina display, but also because I just don’t see the iPad mini being worth it for me. As an additional device to use for reading and Web browsing around the house it seems like a superfluous expense, and as a full-on replacement for my current iPad it seems like it would be a downgrade as my laptop replacement.

Jim Dalrymple’s Review of the iPad mini

Great review:

It’s really light and easy to hold one-handed. The hardware design — chamfered edges, less tapered back, metal rather than plastic buttons — strikes me as better, more elegant, than that of the full-size iPad 3/4. But it’s disappointing to go non-retina after using the retina iPad for the last seven months. All of the accolades and advantages of retina displays work in reverse. I adore the size and form factor of the iPad Mini, but I also adore the retina display on my full-size iPad. My ideal iPad would be a Mini with a retina display.

That is pretty much exactly what I expected to read in all the reviews — the iPad mini is awesome, but if only it had a Retina display. However, Gruber surprised me in his concluding section.

And, as an aside, despite the style used by Apple, John insists on capitalizing “Mini”, just like he has when writing “Mac Mini”.

John Gruber’s Review of the iPad Mini

Gratitude and Excitement

Yesterday evening my wife and I were at a wedding. In between the dinner buffet and the cutting of the cake, I pulled out my iPhone to check Twitter as I do. And that’s where I was when I first heard about the massive news of Scott Forstall’s departure from Apple and the distribution of his responsibilities to his former executive peers.

I was shocked. What a massive announcement. What a massive shift within Apple’s leadership.

Leaning over to Anna, I say: “Scott Forstall just got fired from Apple.”

“Who’s that?” She asks.

“The guy in charge of iPhone software.”

“Oh, wow. Was it because of Maps?”

It just so happened that our table had been having an on-and-off conversation about the sometimes-maddening state of Maps on iOS. Of the 4 couples at our table, 3 of them (including Anna and myself) had been burned by Maps on the way to the wedding. Some of us had arrived late due to bad directions leading while one of the couples had missed the ceremony altogether.

* * *

John Gruber wrote an excellent analysis, connecting many of the dots from what we do know and reading in to Apple’s press release from yesterday:

Thinking about it some more, though, and considering what I know about Forstall’s reputation within the company, I think that headline, euphemistic though it is, tells the plain truth: Forstall was an obstacle to collaboration within the company. Now he’s gone, and his responsibilities are being divided between four men who foster collaboration: Ive, Mansfield, Cue, and Federighi.

And Matt Drance wrote one of the best articles I’ve read yet:

Not only is this a profound increase in responsibility for all three of these top executives, it’s a profound change in Apple’s organization going as far back as I can remember. There’s a long-standing pattern of separating watershed products important to the company’s future. The Mac and Apple teams. Mac OS X and Classic. The iPod division. iOS and Mac OS X. Suddenly, Tim Cook has pulled the reins in. Federighi owns software. Ive owns design. Cue owns services. Period.

In a time when their product lineup is growing, the executive team driving those products is shrinking. This is huge.

As Apple stated in their press release and as Gruber reiterated, this was a move to increase collaboration within the company. But would the decision to fire Forstall have come even at the cost of future products? I doubt it. The executive team believes that with Forstall now out of the picture, their day-to-day lives will have less drama, and the end result will be better products.

As I’ve been thinking on this news for nearly 24 hours I keep coming back to 2 sentiments I think a lot of us may share: (a) gratitude for the massive role that Forstall has played in making iOS the world-class operating system it is today; and (b) excitement for what’s in store now that Ive, Federighi, and Cue are collaborating on it.

Gratitude and Excitement

My thanks to Tyler Hall for sponsoring the RSS feed this week to promote VirtualHostX. Tyler was a sponsor last year which is when I first learned about VirtualHostX, and in the process I became quite impressed. This week it’s on sale: $15 off for readers.

* * *

VirtualHostX 3.0 is the easiest way to host multiple websites on your Mac. It’s the perfect solution for web designers working on more than one project at a time. (Aren’t we all?) No more nesting folders or asking the programmer across the cubicle for help. With VirtualHostX you can easily create and manage Apache virtual hosts with just a few clicks.

Sponsor: VirtualHostX

Hardware-wise the Nexus 4 sounds very impressive, with a screen that rivals the iPhone 5 and a very cool idea for the back:

Oh, and the back is made of glass — etched, layered glass that sparkles with a strange, almost holographic depth.

However, the Nexus 4 doesn’t have LTE and the phone will only be available direct from Google or through T-Mobile:

Google has decided to forgo stricter carrier partnerships in the US, which for now means that the company will only offer the device as an unlocked HSPA+ phone. That’s a bit of a crushing blow to many, who expected Google’s next flagship phone to go toe-to-toe with the iPhone 5 and the latest crop of Windows Phone devices.

Joshua Topolsky’s Preview of the Nexus 4

If you go to the front page of right now, you’ll see a feature chart comparing the iPad mini to the Kindle Fire HD (via DF). It reminds me of last year when Amazon search results for “iPad” gave you to promotional page comparing the Kindle Fire to the iPad 2.

Daniel Jalkut wrote a smart piece on why Amazon has to take the role of attacking the iPad:

I see this as a rare example of concession on Amazon’s part. Traditionally when the company discovers they are not the best in a market they wish to dominate, they acquire the stunning leader and integrate the advantages. Here they are going up against Apple, which happens to be both the largest company in the world and also the most inimitable hardware designer. Amazon can’t buy it, and Amazon can’t copy it.

As for Amazon’s comparison chart itself, what strikes me is that it’s conveying some information which is misrepresented and could be interpreted as false:

  • To say that the iPad mini has “No HD movies or TV” makes it sound as if the iPad mini does not have access to that content. The truth is that 1080p and 720p video is scaled down. And though the Kindle Fire HD can play 720p video at native resolution, it has to scale down 1080p video.

  • Leaving a blank space where Wi-Fi is makes it seem as if the iPad mini doesn’t have Wi-Fi at all. That’s not true.

Be sure to check out Rene Ritchie’s updated version of Amazon’s chart.

Amazon’s Chart: Kindle Fire HD vs. iPad mini

Empty Buildings in New York

As New York prepares for Hurricane Sandy, the New York Stock Exchange, Grand Central Terminal, and Times Square are all clear.

The New York Stock Exchange
New York Stock Exchange

Grand Central Terminal
Grand Central Station

Times Square Subway Station
Times Square Subway Station

And, though it’s not in New York, one place which is not cleared out is Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. The Tomb Guards are standing their posts at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Update: NPR has a few great photos of the guards.

Update 2: One of the photos NPR posted is actually from earlier this year. The Tomb Guard has a Facebook album with actual images from today.

Empty Buildings in New York

Mike Heller designed a 3D-printed Elevation Dock Lighting Adapter. I ordered one from Shapeways about 2 weeks ago, it came today and it works. (Thanks, Duncan!)

But it’s totally a DIY hack. Here are the cons:

  • You’ll have to bend the end of your Lightning cable in a way most nerds would be highly uncomfortable with.
  • Using the stock Lighting connector means you won’t have the pizzazz of what made the Elevation Dock so attractive. Your iPhone 5 won’t lift right out of the Dock without a care in the world because the Apple’s Lightning connector clicks in to the iPhone.
  • If you haven’t already, you’ll probably want to buy another Lightning cable from Apple since the one you’re going to use with your Elevation Dock won’t be easily removable for when you go on trips, etc.
  • If you ordered an Elevation Dock with the audio line out, you won’t be able to use that feature any more because installing this printed adapter requires removing the internal circuitry of the the Elevation Dock (which is easily done, by the way).
  • Elevation Labs is right now in production of their own Lightning adapter mount that will surely be much more elegant. I don’t know how much they’ll charge for their cable mount, but they say it will be available in about a week, and you might want their version instead of this one.

But so what, right? It works, it looks good, it’s very inexpensive, and the phone sits securely. Assuming you don’t have your own 3D printer, you can sign up for a Shapeways account and place an order for Mike’s design which is already on file. I’m glad I ordered one.

3D Printed Lightning Adapter for the Elevation Dock

For the Sake of Creating

When I say successful artist, what first comes to your mind?

The first thing that comes to my mind is financial success. I tend to think of a successful artist as someone who has been fortunate in business with their creative endeavors.

But when it comes to creative work, finances measure only one definition of success. Is there such a thing as a successful designer who makes a below-average wage? Or can a writer who makes no money at all still be successful? Of course.

There is another definition of success: sustained pride in the quality of our work.

If, in our creative endeavors, we continually do work we are proud of, then that my friends is also success. We don’t make to get rich, we make to make. We build for the sake of building, create for the sake of creating. We do it because we have to.

“We don’t make movies to make money. We make money to make more movies.” — Walt Disney

Of course it’s wonderful when wealth and riches are a byproduct of our work. But for many of us finding a way to make it profitable is secondary.

For the Sake of Creating