Glenn Fleishman Now Editor of The Magazine

Marco Arment:

"Two weeks ago, I hired Glenn Fleishman as Executive Editor to help considerably with the editing duties. He knows the business much better than I do, and will help sort through submissions, edit, and work with authors to develop articles."

It's been a huge year for Glenn. He is one of the smartest folks in the business, and I'm sure he'll do great things at The Magazine.

What other publication has a Jeopardy champ at the helm?

Microsoft's Bizarro World

Marco Arment, creator of Instapaper, visited a Microsoft Store to check out the Surface tablet. He wrote a blog post about it, which is both hilarious and insightful.

"The Surface is partially for Microsoft’s world of denial: the world in which this store contains no elephants and Microsoft invented the silver store with the glass front and the glowing logo and blue shirts and white lanyards and these table layouts and the modern tablet and its magnetic power cable. In that world, this is a groundbreaking new tablet that you can finally use at work and leave your big creaky plastic Dell laptop behind when you go to the conference room to have a conference call on the starfish phone with all of the wires and dysfunctional communication."

It's sad how desperately Microsoft tries to copy Apple.

Apple’s products say, “You can’t do that because we think it would suck.” Microsoft’s products say, “We’ll let you try to do anything on anything if you really want to, even if it sucks.”

I think that sums up the difference in Apple's and Microsoft's philosophies.

Mosspuppet has a hilarious response to Marco:

"And because Marco Arment is John Gruber's right ass-cheek, he decided to be clever. Because on the Windows Surface launch day, on a day when even rabidly anti-PC folks like Cult of Mac are giving Microsoft props for creating interest in their product and posting long lines of people eager to buy Microsoft's new tablet, he describes a very sad looking setup in front of the store, along with a huge number of MS employees, who outnumbered the customers by a wide margin.

Get it, you guys? It's so sad, because even on launch day for a major new initiative, Microsoft can't drum up a crowd! What goddamn suckers!

Marco then points out, hey, it's nearly 4pm.

You go into an Apple store on a product launch day, that near to the end of the launch day, you won't see lines. Idiot. Because by that point all of the people in those lines have already bought the device they were waiting for, and have gone home to use it. Nice try, though, Arment. Nice try."

Instapaper Founder Launches "The Magazine"

Marco Arment:

There’s room for another category between individuals and major publishers, and that’s where The Magazine sits. It’s a multi-author, truly modern digital magazine that can appeal to an audience bigger than a niche but smaller than the readership of The New York Times. This is what a modern magazine can be, not a 300 MB stack of static page images laid out manually by 100 people.

Marco had been talking about a mysterious new app for weeks, but I never would have guessed this was it. In retrospect, it was obvious.

I like what I see so far. It's clean, modern, and isn't weighed down by the cruft of most print magazines translated to app form. And at $1.99 a month, it's very reasonable.

If you have an iPad or iPhone with iOS 6, check it out. There's a 7-day free trial.

The most fascinating part of the app, to me, is that you can send articles to Instapaper from iOS's built-in share sheet. In the past, the built-in sharing functionality was restricted only to Apple apps or Apple-blessed services like Twitter. Is it now open for all developers?

Something is Rotten at Apple

Lots of folks are pissed at Apple this week.

Brian X. Chen of The New York Times:

My MacBook Air's Calendar app completely wiped out all my entries, including those saved in iCloud.

Glenn Fleishman of Macworld:

The Podcasts app is broken.

David Pogue, The New York Times:

In short, Maps is an appalling first release. It may be the most embarrassing, least usable piece of software Apple has ever unleashed.

Marco Arment, creator of Instapaper and co-host of Build and Analyze:

The other day, my grandfather asked me if he could get rid of the who-knows-what PC for good, but he wanted to make sure that he could transfer his stuff to a new iPad in the future if this one ever broke…I told him to bring it to the nearby Apple Store and have them set up “ICLOUD BACKUP” for him…But instead of doing what I assumed would be a non-destructive update, the Genius did a restore…And while Apple Stores have a reputation for great service, there are enough counterexamples happening every day that I’m not sure how much longer that reputation will last.

John Gruber, Daring Fireball:

Now that iCloud is up and running and seemingly holding up under demand, Apple needs to start offering more than 5 GB of storage at the free level. That’s not even enough to back up two iOS devices...

And of course, yours truly:

After a lengthy back and forth with Byword support, they suggested terminal commands to reset iCloud on my Mac. I tried it this weekend, and not only did that not fix the problem, it wiped all of my iCloud documents, including those on my iPad…There is something clearly wrong with how Apple is communicating iCloud to developers.

There's a common thread to all of these quotes: Apple's online services suck.

These are Apple's friends, the "fanboys." If they're pissed, Apple has much bigger problems in store.

Apparently Apple is taking unusual steps to recruit iCloud engineers, but I don't find that reassuring. Shouldn't they have done that over a year ago?