A-Players: Week of September 20th

Hello again all,

September is already winding down, and along with it so is most of the major Apple news cycle for the season.

This was the third week in what you can basically call "iPhone month" every year. Reviews of the iPhone 6s & 6s Plus dropped this past Tuesday, since then there have been multitudes of follow up pieces detailing some of the best things about the new phones, and this all lead up to yesterday's official launch - with regulars like me getting real hands-on time with the new tech.

I've been keeping busy between this week's veritable-feast of iPhone content to read, full days of school, several evenings spent manning the counter at the coffee shop, and trying to stay active and exercise on top of it all.

There's never enough time in the day, and they keep flying by at a pace where I barely notice until I sit down one week later to write out another A-Players post that time has passed at all. It's a time of the year where everything's a blur, but getting to sit down and enjoy a well-written piece or try to pen a piece of my own is always a little breath of fresh air.

I hope you guys have just as good a time reading through this week's links as I did over the last seven days. And I hope you all have really great days between now and the next time I write to you.

Now on to the links.


  • Apple News and Curation - The Newsprint - It's always great seeing another post from Josh in my RSS feeds, and aside from being yet another gorgeously-shot piece, Josh's writing on Apple News ended up surprising me. Rather than focus on some of the app itself's technical issues, Josh focuses on describing how he thinks that Apple News can be great for general news sites and larger publications that you might not want dominating your RSS or Twitter feeds. Before Josh wrote about it, I'd never thought about consuming content that way - especially not after the past couple months where I've cut out all larger publishers from my daily RSS. Josh makes a really good point about Apple News being a place where this more general-but-sometimes-more-immersive content can live, and I've already tried it out for myself and enjoyed a couple articles. Thumbs up Josh, this was a great idea - and I'm really glad you wrote about it.

  • Ye Olde Content Blocking — The Brooks Review - After last week's flurry of drama and "war" over ad & content blocking, I made it a point to try and avoid reading anything about the whole controversy this week. Anything that is - besides Ben Brooks take on it. Ben's been in the web-publishing game for awhile, and offered up a conclusive look this week at the best content-blockers, how much faster they load pages, how much data they save you, how they work in general, and the ethics behind the practice of ad-blocking. This is the 4th and final piece in Ben's take on the matter, and I think this piece best sums up the entire issue - from what it is, to how content blockers work, and how Ben feels about them. Ben's take is one of the more level headed and well-explained that I've read over the past week, and his writing is what I'd recommend to someone who wanted to find out what the hell is going on here. Someone needed to put together a comprehensive take on this, and Ben did.

  • Daring Fireball: The iPhones 6S - Maybe it's just because he comes from the circle that I follow, but from the myriad of iPhone 6s reviews that I read this week the only one that really left me feeling like it presented original thought was Gruber's take. Maybe John Gruber just writes from a similar point of view and so he includes the sort of details that I'm looking for, but either way I found his review the best to read. Go to the Verge for the sexy video, but come to Gruber for the real substantial thoughts.

  • Drawing Icons and Emoticons for Screens of All Sizes - Bloomberg Business - A neat little feature from Bloomberg Business highlighting some of the recent triumphs in icon, emoji, and software design - with an emphasis on the art form's bright future. Looking at some of the examples of the art makes me wish I had this talent myself, even if I'd probably only end up using it to put together an awesome-looking makeover of this site. It'd still be worth it though ;)

  • Test drive of a petrol car - Tesla Club Sweden - An amusing and borderline-snarky narration of some Tesla owners' test drive of a petrol (read:regular) car. A funny little read, but it did strike me how many things about the car and commuting industries already seem a bit crazy in the modern day. Just imagine how ridiculous it'll seem in another 10 or 20 years - crazy.

  • That Time I Drove a Ferrari — Liss is More - A great little story told from the viewpoint of a 16-year old Casey Liss. A semi-shady-but-nice neighbor, going over the speed limit, (in what seems to be a trend for Casey 😉) and a bright red car. Pretty much every piece Casey puts out is full of care and finesse to make the writing a little extra-special, and this is time is no different. Casey's writing seems underrated to me, and I really enjoyed this little teenage jaunt.

With that, I'll leave you all to your new iPhones and the upcoming week's worth of content covering them. September's not over yet, and I bet we'll get a couple more good Apple-related pieces of writing before the month truly comes to a close.

Cheers,

~Mike