In this section, we recommend the content that we liked most this week. It may not be new, and have a range of formats, the only thing that matters is that it managed to distinguish itself from everything else we heard, read or viewed in the past week.
This week there was a lot of great stories and a handful of surprises. Intel has made a lot of headlines this week, we've covered their new Core CPU with Radeon GPU in the same SOC this week on a special episode. The iPhone X is now in the capable hands of many high profile reviewers and customers and the general consensus is very encouraging despite all the changes in design and it's high price. Microsoft launched it's powerful 4k console the Xbox One X and we couldn't be more impressed with its performance and even more so with Microsoft new policy of backward compatible and enhanced games library. No more pile of games from the last generation gathering dust in the shelves. Hope you guys enjoy this week's recommendations, as much as we enjoyed them!
Apple has been pushing very hard into more consumer markets in the last couple of years, wearables are the last incarnation of that investment. The Apple Watch is taking its place at the heart of what was before iPod territory and the iPod, in general, is fading away quickly. The biggest year for the iPod was in 2008 with 55 million units sold, and the Apple Watch is now selling 16 million and growing fast. At this rate, it might very well become one of the top 3 biggest selling Apple products. Considering the iPod supremacy in a couple years ago, this is quite the achievement. I would love to have some estimates for the AirPods. See also our podcast on the topic.
In another excellent piece, Ben Thompson delivers us an insightful perspective on the latest iPhone flagship model as a worthy representative of Apple masterfull expectation management and user experience delivery. How it constantly manages to outdo itself by being able to use the paradigm shift of "The Innovator's Solution".
As John Gruber put it:
“Surprise and delight” are intangibles. You can’t measure them with a benchmark or instrument. There are contingents of hardcore power user and open source nerd types who disdain surprise and delight as product attributes — and no surprise, those are the folks who seem to be dismissing iPhone X as a cynical cash grab.
I was skeptical to the original Kinect, and after using it, I didn't get convinced that it would be the future of gaming. Part of it was due to hardware limitations but also the lack of content that failed to made it an irresistible proposition. The Xbox One tried to make Kinect 2 an integral part of the system even promoting it as a way to interact with your TV. It wasn't a successful strategy in part because including Kinect made the platform more expensive than the PlayStation 4, who had suffered from the same problem a generation earlier by integrating a costly Blue-ray player. Fortunately, the Kinect demise isn't a goodbye to its idea or technology, since that is now getting implemented in other products like Microsoft Holo-lens and Apple FaceID.
This episode explains how an accident testing a B17 plane in the 1930s lead to the creation of the pre-flight checklist institutionalizing one of the best instruments to prevent disaster. We also see the dramatic effect the simple checklist can have in decreasing fatalities or complications in an operating room and hospital environment. At least sometimes it does, and sometimes it does not because making mistakes is human and rebelling against impositions and changing our behavior is also very characteristic. Don't despair, there's hope, but it takes a team effort and a willingness to recognize what's important.
The iPhone X marks the first time an iPhone uses an OLED display. Every year Apple launches a new iPhone or iPad and manages to improve the display of the previous generation, and for a while is considered the best display on a mobile device. So far Apple has used LCD based displays, and it made sense because the technology was still improving and OLEDs despite having some advantages also had significant downsides. When the Apple Watch launched, it was the first Apple product that used an OLED display and speculation ensued that the change would be reflected on the iPhone. With the new flagship, that is finally the case, but since it is manufactured by Samsung who is the best OLED display manufacturer and uses the technology on is own smartphones, the expectation was that they would fare very similarly. That was not the case and thanks to some effort on Apples side to custom-tailor and improve software and hardware on the iPhone X to achieve the best mobile display on the market for now.