A-Players: Week of April 12th

This week was a little all over the place. We had WWDC's lottery open, lots of developers announce support for Apple Watch ahead of the launch this Friday, and basically just a smattering of news and first-hand impressions of the watch following last weekend's preordering and try-on blitz. I for one am really beginning to get excited. Like, kid-on-christmas-morning-giddiness kind of excited, and I really hope that I'm one of the lucky ones come this Friday when there's a chance I'll find an Apple Watch on my doorstep. Until then, cheers and I hope you enjoy this week's links.

  • Panic - Extras - The True Story of Audion - I heard about this first link while listening to the latest episode of the excellent Simple Beep podcast which most recently covered audio players in the days of classic Mac OS. In the podcast they mentioned Panic's excellent write up telling the story of their MP3 player: Audion. I gave it a read later that night, and thoroughly enjoyed it. It's a good story, it's well written, there's lots of linked tidbits that give glimpses into the software world of the past, and it was just a treat to read in general. It's long, but definitely worth the read if you're interested in software, especially software from the early 2000's Mac OS period of time.

  • Nik Fletcher on Twitter: "A quick flip through the WWDC identities all the way back to 2009" - With Apple's announcement of the dates and registration info for this years World Wide Developer's Conference, Nik Fletcher took a moment to throw together a little comparison of the past 6 years of WWDC branding (almost as long as the App Store has been around!) People have been throwing around all kinds of theories about this year's logo design and what it could hint at, but from a purely aesthetic sense I think it's one of the prettier designs out of the 6 years Nik showed, and that's all anyone would be able to tell at this point.

  • Using OmniFocus for Apple Watch - Support - The Omni Group - In the past several weeks leading up to the Apple Watch's official launch later next week we've seen plenty of developers come out and announce their support for the device and the planned functionality of their WatchKit apps. I can honestly say that I'm most excited about OmniFocus's implementation on Apple's new platform, and they also seem to have the most comprehensive overview so far of what their app will do for the end user once it's strapped to their wrist. If you're an OmniFocus user, and especially if your watch will be showing up next Friday (the 24th), then I'd say this support document is worth a read.

  • The iMac with 5K Retina Display - The Newsprint - Returning from a short hiatus to take some time to bone up on his accounting skills, Josh Ginter brings another excellent review to the table with his take on the Retina 5k iMac. Aside from the quality imagery and comprehensive writeup, I think the part that interested me the most personally is Josh's decision to switch back to his first desktop machine in years and simultaneously take his mobile setup to an iPad-only workflow. I'm noticing a trend of many people online (at least in the circle I follow) switching back to a desktop machine for the majority of their work, and simplifying their mobile setups considerably. This is almost in direct contrast what seemed to be the leading trend for the past decade or so where the focus seemed to be on trying to get as high-quality an experience in as small and portable a package as possible. I personally don't have a desktop setup to speak of, but I have recently simplified my mobile setup considerably by switching to an all-iPad workflow, and I'd say I'm far the better for it. Josh's piece is another proponent moving in that direction, and it's definitely worth your time this weekend.

  • Hypercritical: OS X Reviewed - I've only been "tuned-in" to the technology industry as a whole for small handful of years, but even I in my short time with following technology and specifically the Mac and OS X have read my fair share of John Siracusa's OS X reviews. The newer ones have been valuable resources for learning the ins and outs of the past few years updates, while the older write ups served as a bit of a time capsule for me to go back and explore what being a Mac user was like in the early days of OS X. This past Thursday, John finally hung up the hat. My thanks will most certainly mean nothing to "that guy who writes those OS X reviews," but from one of many voices that are speaking out on his behalf this week; thanks John, your work was nothing short of amazing, and it will be sorely missed.

  • Field Notes Colors: Packet of Sunshine — Three Staples - Last, but not least this week is a link from Jinnie's wonderful Three Staples blog. Spring is starting to really hit it's stride where I am and the warmer weather and budding trees seem completely appropriate to have a spring-themed Field Notes review to go with. That and the fact that I've been focusing a little more on the technology-side of things recently here on the blog are good enough to warrant adding the link. It's a delightful review with lots of little tidbits and facts about this particular COLORS edition in standard Three Staples fashion, and is sure to whet any Field Nut's appetite for their own packet of yellow books.