Low Hanging Fruits: Apple in 2016 and Beyond

Between the Apple Watch, the iPhone 6S, the new Apple TV, and Apple Music, by all accounts 2015 was a banner year for Apple Inc.

Apple is a company of patterns and progression. As a former retail employee we often knew what was coming next, not due to any insider knowledge, but just due to patterns and understanding how Apple works.

Of course we’ll also get new iPads (spring), iPhones (fall), and Macs (throughout) at some point but I figured those are foregone conclusions.  Sometimes the company will throw a throw a curveball, but based on the way things are going currently here are some things I expect to see from Apple in 2016 and beyond.

Beats by Apple

The first product Beats launched after the Apple purchase was the Beats Solo 2 Wireless, but they were clearly well into development before the purchase took place. Shortly after that Apple began launching new colors of everything to match their iOS devices.

The Beats Pill+ however is different, it seems it’s the first true hardware child of this merger. It still has the look of the Beats brand, but taken to another level of polish that looks to be quite Apple-like. This should be unsurprising since Apple ended the company’s relationship with Ammunition, the design agency responsible for their headphones and the original Beats Pill. There should be little doubt that this product was industrially designed in house by Apple’s teams. Right down to the Lighting port. Little surprise that it’s only available in black and white (for now.)

Expect this trend to continue with new headphone designs in 2016.

Lightning Everywhere

Lighting ports are not just for iOS devices anymore. Almost as an afterthought Apple launched new peripherals before the end of the year. The Magic Mouse 2, Magic Trackpad 2 and Magic Keyboard. Each of these devices is equipped with an internal rechargeable battery and charges via USB via Lightning cables.  However these were not the first new devices to pull this trick. The new Beats Pill+ speaker launched quietly a few weeks earlier with this feature already in place.

Expect this to continue throughout Apple’s product lines and pop up in some surprising places we haven’t though of yet, like new Beats headphones.  Most of their products today include Micro-USB charging, no doubt Apple will do everything it can to phase that out over the next year.

Refined Apple Watch

To some this may be a foregone conclusion, but there are those who have their doubts. While how much of a success the Apple Watch has been is up for debate, make no mistake, this is no iPod Hi-Fi.  Apple is committed to the Apple Watch and by association the fashion world.

Apple Watch users tend to tell people how much they love theirs (myself included) however many of us like it for different reasons. When people ask about why we love the Watch it’s hard to point to one thing. It’s a platform without a killer app, which makes it hard to sell. Expect Apple work on to changing that both through marketing and through iteration.

I anticipate that by the roll out spring fashion lines Apple will announce a revised Apple Watch. It won’t be radically different, but it will be noticeably more responsive for third party apps and will likely contain new sensors to track health and fitness.

Smarter Maps

Apple took a beating when it launched new Maps in iOS 6 without transit directions. Now Apple has a lot of trust to regain in this field. If the company wishes to succeed in this area it needs to iterate rapidly. The company’s health and fitness focus will likely help it here as well as its ‘proactive’ initiatives. Something we could see is more accurate time estimations on walks from place to place based on our own pacing.

Another area of focus could include bike directions in Apple Maps, which will be especially handy for Apple Watch users who will be able to accurately navigate to their destination via haptics alone without looking at their screen.

New Transit Innovations

Apple wants to be much more involved in how you get from place to place. Sure we’ve all heard rumors about a car, but if that is coming, it’s not going to be in the short term.

The expansion of ApplePay, and with it NFC chips, raises some interesting possibilities about how you get around town. Chicago, Tokyo, London and other cities already use some form of radio frequencies for mass transit payment systems and the movement is towards NFC. New York City is planning to switch to a similar system as well. This is good news for all involved.

Expect Apple to start making deals, especially if it designs its own radio chips, that allows the company to make future iPhones and Apple Watches that work as your monthly transit pass. Coming that much closer to fulfilling the digital wallet ideal.

I can’t say I expect all of these things to happen in 2016 but I do believe they’re all inevitable. I look forward to what the future has in store.

New RSS Feed / Removing Google

In an effort to gradually remove Google from my life entirely I’ll be making some changes to the setup here at Subism.com.

I recently removed Google Analytics from the site and today I’m removing Feedburner.

Even before I lost faith in Google, Feedburner had been long abandoned. I’m amazed it still exists in any form today to be honest.

Anyway, new posts coming soon but if you’re subscribed to this feed you won’t find them here, so make sure you subscribe to the new feed.

Check back at subism.com/RSS for more soon!


The Impossible Year: Exhibition

From January 1, 2012 to January 1, 2014 I took a single photograph a day every day with a Polaroid camera and Impossible Project instant film. I spent time documenting my friends, family and the day to day bullshit of life, from the mundane to the extraordinary. For the first — and possibly only — time, the complete collection of photographs from the project will be on display at my studio space here in Chicago.

The opening reception is Friday, March 20, at 7:00 p.m.

Complementary refreshments will be provided and my wonderful cellist friend Leyla I. Royale will provide background music for the evening.

The show opens Friday March 20 at 7:00 p.m. at 2000 W Carroll Ave, Unit 302B Chicago, IL 60612. After the reception, the exhibition will be available until March 28 by appointment only.

Appointments to view the exhibition can be scheduled by calling me at (773) 916 7660 or contacting me via email.

I’ve worked really hard on this and I can’t wait to share it with you all.

You can find more info on the Facebook event page.

Big Week

When I worked for Apple we had these little ‘credo cards’ with a sort of retail division manifesto inside.

One of the lines included was:

“At Apple, our most important resource, our soul, is our people.”

Outside of Apple this is something that has stuck with me. I think it’s a really great perspective to have honestly. I value people over things. I say it often, but not everyone understand it about me: the most important thing in my life is my friends.

I truly believe that if you go through life with this perspective it’ll come back to you in spades and you’ll make the world a little bit better for everyone.

I’m very fortunate to have amazing and talented friends in my life. I’m really proud of them.

This week my good friend Zoran left Chicago behind to pursue his filmmaking career our in Los Angeles. I’m extremely sad to see him go but I’m really excited at what lies ahead. I know he needs to do this for himself and I have no doubt he’s going to do big things out there.

Zoran’s final project in Chicago was a music video for our friends’ band: Common Shiner.

The project has been going on for months and included just about everyone I know who logically could be included, actors, musicians, photographers… you name it. The final project is a true labor of love under Zoran’s direction that I’m incredibly proud to have been a part of.

The video will debut on Wednesday night here in Chicago at Mayne Stage.

You can get the details here.

Incredibly, that’s not all going on this week or even that night. At the same night, at the very same show, my very good friend Jeff Brown will be releasing his new EP. While I didn’t have a hand in Jeff’s EP, I know this has been a long process for him as well and I’m excited to have the chance to be there.

As if that wasn’t enough, we’ll be saying another goodbye on Thursday night as well. My friends Charles and Emily, better known as Duck and Goose, will be releasing their long awaited album. The duo funded the project through Kickstarter and spent countless hours in the studio working with some amazing people to release an album, that if it’s 1/10th as beautiful as their live shows, will leave people in awe. Unfortunately this will be Duck and Goose’s final show as Emily will be leaving Chicago soon to pursue her education further in Seattle.

Finally, the incomparable Xoë Wise will be opening for Duck and Goose. As far as I know Xoë doesn’t have anything special going on for this show but she’s a wonderful human being and a heck of a musician.

Details here for Duck and Goose with Xoë Wise and others.

August was really hard last year and this year seems to be shaping up to be pretty tough as well. I’m really proud and really excited for all of my friends and I’m extremely grateful to have such amazing people in my life.

Johalla Projects Presents POCKET CHANGE


I’m usually not one to blog about other people’s events but I really believe that my friend Anna and Johalla Projects are up to good things here.

POCKET CHANGE is a collaboration art/music series with The Empty Bottle. The events intent to raise money to fund public arts projects throughout Chicago.

This Thursday Feb 20, 2014 at 9pm POCKET CHANGE will feature the work of  Ryan Duggan entitled ‘LAST CALL O-MATIC.’ Ryan will install a modified vending machine that will dispense “last call” pick up lines and fake phone numbers. I’m not personally familiar with Ryan’s work but I’m interested by this for sure.

Additionally the event will feature a DJ set by Heather Gabel. Heather is a fantastic artist in her own right probably best known for her work with Alkaline Trio.

Admission is $5 and includes a complementary PBR.

The last of these events was in October and featured the work of Heather Gabel and Matt Skiba at which I shot this image as part of my Impossible Year project:

Heather Gabel, Anna Cerniglia, and Matt Skiba at the Empty Bottle

Enjoy great art, listen to great music, and help make Chicago more interesting. All while enjoying everyone’s favorite low-brow brew. What’s not to like?

I’ll be there for sure. Hope to see you!

Check out the event on Facebook