In this week’s Recode Decode podcast, Recode Executive Editor Kara Swisher had a very interesting conversation with Ron Johnson, founder and CEO of personal commerce tech product delivery company Enjoy. Johnson previously worked at Apple from 2000 onwards, running the Apple retail stores division.

As you might expect, Johnson had some interesting things to say about his time at Apple, and in particular about the late Apple co-founder and CEO, Steve Jobs.

Johnson said that he and Jobs “clicked from Day One,” and that Jobs even gave him some homework when he went to interview for a job at Apple,

“He said to me, ‘It’s Thanksgiving weekend coming up. Why don’t you write down what you would do? How would you approach retail? Tell me about it,” said Johnson. “So I went back and I wrote this 10-page thesis of why Apple should do stores, what they should be like, blah blah blah.”

“I get the call, ‘Hey, can you come back?’ I walk in, he goes, ‘Hey, thanks for coming back.’ I said, ‘So what’d you think of my thesis?’ And he goes, ‘Well, I don’t like it very much, but that’s OK. Let’s talk!’ That’s Steve. He offered me the job that day.”

Johnson also revealed that Jobs was initially very opposed to the idea of having Genius Bars in Apple retail stores.

“I remember the day I came in and told Steve about the Genius Bar idea and he says, ‘That’s so idiotic! It’ll never work!’ He said, ‘Ron, you might have the right idea, but here’s the big gap: I’ve never met someone who knows technology who knows how to connect with people. They’re all geeks! You can call it the Geek Bar.’”

But Johnson said that he convinced Jobs to agree to the Genius Bar idea by telling him, “‘Steve, kids who are in their 20s today grew up in a very different world. They all know technology, and that’s who’s going to work in the store.’”

The next day Jobs had the phrase “Genius Bar” trademarked, and the rest is history.


If you’re someone that needs a little motivation to keep up your fitness program, then Animoca’s Garfield Fit health app might just be the most fun way possible to get you moving on your iOS device or Apple Watch.

The free-to-play app features the world’s cutest lasagna-lover, Garfield the cat, as your exercise buddy.

Garfield Fit turns exercising into a game to help increase your motivation and keep you on track to meet your exercise goals. It features a sophisticated pedometer with tailored fitness programs for adults and children, and includes interaction with Garfield, Jon, Odie, and other characters from the series created by Jim Davis.

The app is really easy to use: all you have to do is launch the app then start walking or running. Garfield will respond to your activity level and track various information, including steps taken, pace, calories used, and time spent exercising. The app lets you set daily goals for you or your children, and then work to achieve them with Garfield and his friends.

The personalized coaching offered by the app is based on algorithms that adaptively adjust training schedules so that you can continue to challenge yourself. You’ll also get frequent progress reports to help you stay motivated, and you can earn coins the more you walk or run to unlock outfits for Garfield.

According to new figures from research firm IDC, via MacRumors, Apple Watch Series 1 and Series 2 are a “magnificent success” for Apple, resulting in the company recording its “best quarter ever” for the wearables market.

IDC’s figures show that Apple shipped an estimated 4.6 million Apple Watch units in the fourth quarter of 2016, an increase from an estimated 4.1 million in the year-ago quarter. This meant that Apple’s share of the wearables market, including fitness trackers, was estimated at 13.6%, a slight drop from 14.1% in the year-ago quarter.

In contrast, IDC’s figures show that wearables market leader Fitbit had one of its “largest declines ever” in the fourth quarter, shipping an estimated 6.5 million fitness trackers, down from 8.4 million in the year-ago quarter. This meant that Fitbit’s market share fell from 29% to 19.2%, according to IDC.

IDC notes that Apple’s increased focus on marketing the Apple Watch as a fitness device rather than a fashion device has greatly helped its growth in the wearables market, as has its lower entry price point and the fact that the Series 2 now has GPS.

“Apple is one of the few companies that has been able to quickly refocus its watch to gain traction in the consumer market and has also been leading the charge on introducing the smartwatch category to the commercial segment,” said IDC.

As far as Apple’s official word on this is concerned, while Apple doesn’t release Apple Watch sales figures, Tim Cook recently said that holiday demand for the Apple Watch was “so strong” that Apple “couldn’t make enough.”

Source: Apple Watch's Record-Breaking Quarter Was Opposite One of Fitbit's 'Largest Declines Ever'

Recode writes that Google has today unveiled its new YouTube TV platform, which will cost $35 per month to use and which will feature a bundle of channels from both broadcast networks and cable networks.

The new service will have its own app, which is due to launch later in the spring, and which will be separate from the YouTube Red subscription service, which has not done particularly well since it launched last year.

Google is claiming YouTube TV as a “mobile first,” with most users expected, and, in fact, encouraged, to view the service on their phones or tablets, although the service will also be available on laptops and TVs.

YouTube TV’s “skinny bundle” will include the four broadcast networks, Fox, ABC, CBS, and NBC, as well as some cable channels that are associated with the big four, such as Fox News, ESPN, and Bravo. The basic package is expected to feature approximately 36 channels.

At launch, YouTube TV will not feature any content from networks owned by exclusively pay TV networks, such as Viacom, AMC, or Time Warner, but YouTube execs says that this could change in future, especially as YouTube would like to work out a deal to show content from Time Warner’s HBO channel in particular.

Source: YouTube, the world’s biggest video site, wants to sell you TV for $35 a month

Mashable has a great story today about an 81-year-old Japanese woman, Masako Wakamiya, who has just launched her first ever iPhone app, having only started using computers when she was 60 years old. Wakamiya worked at a big Japanese bank for 43 years before retiring, but clearly she is just as busy with her new after-retirement career.

Wakamiya’s app is designed to show people how to place their traditional Japanese doll displays during Japan’s Hinamatsuri (Girl’s Day) festival. The app, Hinadin, teaches the user exactly where to place 12 dolls on a four-tiered display. When you succeed, a pop up will congratulate you.

Wakamiya has a blog that teaches people how to create Excel art, and she also vlogs about her trips to far flung locations, including the Mediterranean and New Zealand. And as if she didn’t have enough to do with all that going on, this amazing octogenarian runs an active-aging club for retirees called “Mellow Club,” and has even given a TEDx talk about active aging in the digital age, called “Now is the time to get your own wings,” which you can view below.

Source: 81-year-old woman makes iPhone app after only starting to use computers at 60

MacRumors reports that according to Rhoda Alexander, director of tablets and PCs at IHS Markit the rumoured forthcoming 10.5-inch iPad Pro will have the same pixel density as the current 9.7-inch iPad Pro, but with a higher resolution of 2,224x1,668 pixels.

Alexander told Forbes that the 10.5-inch iPad Pro would have 264 PPI at 2,224x1,668, the same PPI as the current 9.7-inch iPad Pro’s, although the latter has 2,048x1,536.

Alexander also said that the forthcoming 10.5-inch iPad Pro will have a slimmer bezel than previous iPad Pros, enabling it to have the same footprint as the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, as has been recently rumoured elsewhere. As far as a release window for the new tablets is concerned, Alexander said that the 10.5-inch iPad Pro in particular will launch in the “March-April timeframe.” This ties in with other recent rumours that have stated that Apple will be holding a special event in March to launch several new products, including the new iPad Pro range.

Regarding the rumoured 9.7-inch iPad Pro, the supposedly low-cost option, Alexander expects pricing to start at $299, which is $100 less than the iPad Air 2, and which could see the new 9.7-inch iPad Pro replacing the current iPad mini 4, which Alexander says might not be updated.

Source: 10.5-Inch iPad Pro Said to Have 2,224×1,668 Display With Same Pixel Density as 9.7-Inch Model

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