Apple Granted Patent for dual-SIM Technology

The patent details the technology used to work with two SIM cards, and how to determine the priority between them. According to the description, the card that’s actively used for a call will have the priority over the one that’s used for data at the same time, which is perfectly normal. We don’t want our calls cut short, just so we can receive a Candy Crush invite.

Damian M. for Phonearena

The vast majority of Apple patents never see the light of day, so I’m not holding my breath for a dual SIM iPhone 8. It’s interesting nonetheless, seeing as Apple have been posturing to move away from the physical SIM chip for several years now. Also interesting to note that their patent does not require rebooting the device to use the other SIM chip and features smart switching and prioritisation.

Given, this would be a godsend for many users, I just can’t fathom Apple giving up precious physical space inside an iPhone just to make a small subset of users who would find it “convenient” happy. I mean… I’m sure there are more people would prefer a headphone jack than two SIM cards.

Never Ask Users What They Want

When you ask a person what they want, you let them think within the realm of possibility. And that makes user research harder than it should be. If you’re trying to create a new product or experience that doesn’t exist yet, you’ll want to know what’s causing people to not be able to do what they want with the tools they currently have. That way, you can design for an entirely new experience or incremental improvement that helps them get the job done.

Charles Liu, Never Ask What They Want — 3 Better Questions to Ask in User Interviews

Most users struggle, wether consciously or not, to understand themselves and the problems that affect them. Knowing this make’s it a fool’s errand to simply ask users what they want and then build it for them.

Liu outlines 3 excellent questions that every designer should be obsessed with. Perhaps what Liu doesn’t underline enough however, is the central role of empathy when seeking to understand users better. Understanding users and their mental models makes you a good designer. But seeking to empathise and identifying with the user’s context, aspirations and goals will make you a great designer.

Anil Dash wants to democratise App building

Fog Creek Software, responsible for the births of Trello and Stack Overflow, is today launching Gomix, a platform that wants to democratize app building. Gomix gives people working apps they can remix and modify, and then host and deploy for free. At a high level, Gomix is designed to make building things on the web as fun as it used to be, Anil Dash, Fog Creek Software’s newly-hired CEO told me.

Megan Rose Dickey for TechCrunch

Very exciting stuff. I love the idea of this doing to programming what WordPress has done for web development

Netflix to get previews

The previews will show up while you’re browsing through Netflix’s content, allowing you to get an idea of the flavor of the show or movie without having to hit play. Netflix says the previews aren’t trailers, but instead serve as curated experiences for “quickly highlighting the story, characters and tone of a title.”

Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge

To be honest I can’t believe it’s taken this long. The ability to preview a TV show or film before you watch seems like such a fundamental part of the experience, it’s hard to believe it wasn’t something thought of nearer to launch.

Better late than never I suppose. Let’s just hope they aren’t auto-playing previews…

How User Interface Design Will Re-Shape the World

“The example I like to give is back in the days of Roman numerals, basic multiplication was considered this incredibly technical concept that only official mathematicians could handle,” he continues. “But then once Arabic numerals came around, you could actually do arithmetic on paper, and we found that 7-year-olds can understand multiplication. It’s not that multiplication itself was difficult. It was just that the representation of numbers — the interface — was wrong.”

Bret Victor, The Utopian UI Architect

Absolutely fascinating insights from one of the world’s leading UI architects on the past, present and future of computer interfaces

Amazon GO

My life suddenly feels needlessly more difficult with the realisation that I will most likely not live right next door to an Amazon Go store anytime soon. I honestly don’t know how I will go on. But I must. After all Uber eventually made it to my doorstep and so to will the convenience of Amazon Go. Eventually.

Amazon Go is a new kind of store with no checkout required. We created the world’s most advanced shopping technology so you never have to wait in line. With our Just Walk Out Shopping experience, simply use the Amazon Go app to enter the store, take the products you want, and go! No lines, no checkout. (No, seriously.)

Dramatisation aside, I’m genuinely excited and incredibly bullish about Amazon as a company in general. As hardware and devices become indistinguishable, it is clear that the next frontier is about User Experience and more specifically, reducing user friction. Reducing friction is and always has been the best way to increase happiness. Amazon has understood this for a very long time.

Taking Uber as an apt example, their success is largely attributable to their user’s perception that the entire process is easier and more enjoyable than using a regular taxi. And why wouldn’t they feel that way? Whenever I need to go anywhere, I can simply “summon” a vehicle from my watch or phone. Depending on how light my wallet feels, I can choose a cheap ride-share or a luxurious personal chauffeur experience. My vehicle shows up in under 10 minutes, takes me to where I want to go and I simply step out of the car. I don’t need to worry about cash, tipping or finding a car for the return journey. I can share my live location and journey with anybody I chose, summon a car for anybody I like and can even create user profiles for my family, all tied to one credit card. And this year, for Christmas, Uber will even deliver me a tree. All I have to do is touch a button to ask.

Frictionless services like Uber make me reconsider the need for owning a car (and the incomprehensibly high expense and inconveniences associated with it). And Amazon Go makes me question the unbearable injustice of having to follow the rules and protocols of my current supermarket when most of the time, all I really want to do is walk-in, pick something up and just walk out.