Case maker talks secret iPhone CAD files, Chinese intrigue [Podcast interview]

Veteran case maker Tim Hickman talks about iPhone 7 leaks out of China.
Veteran case maker Tim Hickman talks about iPhone 7 leaks out of China.
Photo illustration: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The market for iPhone cases is worth billions of dollars. The first manufacturer with a case that fits a new device — say, the iPhone 7 — can make a killing in the days following an Apple launch.

For this week’s episode of Kahney’s Korner, I talked with industry veteran Tim Hickman, CEO of Gumdrop Cases. Over the years, he’s tried all kinds of tricks and strategies in the race to be first to market with new iPhone cases — including making thousands of cases that turned out to be wrong.

This time around, Hickman has received several CAD files from mysterious sources in China that supposedly show the exact dimensions of the upcoming iPhone 7. Will he bet his company’s fortunes on these files of dubious origin? Let’s find out.

Check out these great sketchnotes from Apple’s WWDC

Apple's 2016 WWDC Keynote. Sketchnote 1 of 2
Apple's 2016 WWDC Keynote. Sketchnote 1 of 2
Photo: Andy McNally/@andymcnally

There’s nothing more cryptic than someone else’s notes. Not so Scott McNally’s.

McNally, a senior UI design consultant from Memphis, Tenn., created several great “sketchnotes” of the talks at Apple’s WWDC.

Sketchnotes are a form of visual thinking that combine notes and sketches. They’re increasingly popular, inspiring an army of aficionados and books by noted practitioners. The Core77 design site has a whole Sketchnotes section that’s worth exploring.

McNally and kindly allowed us to reprint his WWDC sketchnotes. Check them out:

Everything from WWDC 2016 worth getting excited about

There's some exciting stuff at WWDC.
There's some exciting stuff at WWDC.
Photo: Lyle Kahney/Cult of Mac

Although WWDC is a developer event, Apple’s keynote today was chockablock with features for end-users. It came thick and fast, with updates for watches, TVs, phones and computers.

There’s lots to unpack. Some of it was ho-hum. Siri on the Mac? Meh. A new app called Breathe? To do what exactly — remind you to inhale?

But there was tons of great stuff. Here are the features big and small that we’re most excited about.

Siri comes to Mac and opens up to developers

Siri is coming to the Mac, and will be opened to third-party developers on iOS.
Siri is coming to the Mac, and will be opened to third-party developers on iOS.
Photo: Apple

Big changes are coming to Siri, Apple’s intelligent voice-activated assistant. For the first time, Siri will be available on the Mac and will be opened to third-party developers on iOS.

While Siri was one of the first voice-controlled AI assistants on the market, it’s fallen behind competitors like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Now, largely because it was a closed system that worked only in Apple’s apps. Opening it to developers makes it much more functional, and presents a more serious challenge to upstarts like Viv that promise to help with a wide range of services and tasks.

Ex-Apple ad man Ken Segall talks Apple and simplicity [Podcast interview]

Author Ken Segall worked in advertising with Steve Jobs for more than a dozen years. His new book is called Think Simple.
Author Ken Segall worked in advertising with Steve Jobs for more than a dozen years. His new book is called Think Simple.
Photo: Doug Schneider Photography

Ken Segall is a former Apple ad man who worked closely with Steve Jobs for more than a dozen years. Segall is the guy who put the “i” in iMac and worked on the famous “Think Different” campaign.

The big lesson he learned from Steve Jobs was keeping things simple. But easier said than done. How exactly do you keep things simple?

Segall went out and found 40 business folks who keep things straightforward. His new book based on those interviews is called Think Simple:How Smart Leaders Defeat Complexity.

In a new podcast, Kahney’s Korner, Segall talks about some of those lessons, how Steve Jobs kept things uncomplicated and about how Apple is doing these days without him.

This episode of Kahney’s Korner is supported by TunnelBear, an award-winning service that gives you fast and private access to the internet.