MyAppleMenu - Sep 2015

Wed, Sep 30, 2015The Neat-Tricks Edition

OS X 10.11 El Capitan: The Ars Technica Review, by Andrew Cunningham and Lee Hutchinson, Ars Technica

The subtle difference in El Capitan is that we’re actually seeing new features come to both iOS and OS X at the same time rather than existing on iOS first and then trickling down to the Mac later. Many of the biggest, most noticeable changes here are the same ones you saw in iOS 9 two weeks ago. The new Split Screen multitasking mode, tweaks to multitouch gestures, changes to services like Spotlight , and overhauled apps like Notes all fall into this category. Others, like System Integrity Protection, are merely iOS-inspired.

Really, this is the first time in several years that iOS and OS X have felt like they’ve gotten (and needed) the same amount of attention from Apple—both get to spend a release in the slow lane as Apple puts its marketing muscle behind newer platforms like the Apple Watch and the new Apple TV. Like iOS 9 (and Mountain Lion, and Snow Leopard), El Capitan is about refinement. Yosemite’s big statement was “This is what OS X looks like now.” El Capitan’s is a relatively meek “Hey, I have a couple neat tricks to show you.”

Some of the things I learnt from reading this review: the spinning pizza of death is now flat (Thin Crust!), mDNSResponder is present and discoveryd has not made a return, and the menu bar -- one of consistent things since the original Mac System Software 1.0 -- can now be hidden all the time.

El Capitan Is The Future Of Your Mac—And Your iPhone, David Pierce, Wired

In a broader, more hold-hands-and-think-about-the-world sort of way, though, El Capitan is important. It’s a big step toward an inevitable unification, when OS X and iOS combine their powers to become the Captain Planet of mobile operating systems.

This isn’t going to happen the way we think, at least not anytime soon. There’s probably not going to be an iOS-powered MacBook in the next couple of years, and the iPad Pro 2 won’t be running OS X. Neither of those devices will obviate the other, either. What’s going to happen instead—in fact, what’s already happening—is that everything will just blur together. Names won’t matter, really; all your stuff will exist everywhere, and you’ll interact with it in whatever way feels comfortable.

Mac OS X, iOS, watchOS and tvOS may all (perhaps, one day) share many of the same internals that we may thus not be willing to call them different operating systems. They may all work well together, but individually, the user-interaction will remain different and the branding will remain separate.

OS X El Capitan Review: Mac Upgrade That's As Solid As A Rock, by Jason Snell, Macworld

There was a time, only a few years ago, when OS X updates were fraught with should-I-or-shouldn’t-I peril, along with a real price tag. Those days are long gone. Should you update to El Capitan? Unreservedly yes—I’ve found it to be stable, it’s free, it’ll download and install itself on your Mac with nearly no intervention, and it’ll bring with it improved security, speed, and functionality.

Apple Formally Announces OS X El Capitan Release For September 30, by Joseph Keller, iMore

Getting Serious With Apple Music

Zane Lowe In Conversation With Ben Cooper, by Dave Roberts, MusicWeek

"What I mean is, we’re working this out. Time will tell. We’ve been going three months. For me to sit here and go, Here are 10 reasons why Apple needs Beats 1 would be to suggest that we have the answers. I don’t have the answers. We’re making it up as we’re going along. I hope there’s a place for it, I feel right now there is, it’s absolutely working right now, but this is a work in progress and overtime we’ll find out why Apple Music needs Beats 1. From my point of view, if you ask me what I want to achieve and why I’m director of Beats 1 and what I’m trying to achieve in tandem with Apple Music, it’s for the good of music. It’s to focus entirely on music, about trying to get great music out there to an audience that is hungry for it."

How To Stop Your Apple Music Automatic Subscription, by BBC

Whether you're loving the service or not, there's good chance you may have forgotten that you entered your bank details when you signed up, ready for the paid subscription to start of 30 September.

Here's how to stop the automatic monthly payments. Only if you want to of course.

The Business Of Being Apple

Tim Cook, Apple’s Chief, Speaks On Civic Duty, by Katie Benner, New York Times

On Tuesday, Mr. Cook reiterated that equality was something that Apple would “continue to evangelize” when he spoke at BoxWorks.

Mr. Cook said Apple was also focused on finding ways to improve the public education system and protect the environment. He told the crowd that businesses should work to help the environment and said Apple’s data centers in the United States are 100 percent powered by renewable energy. Outside the country, it’s about 90 percent.

Apple CEO Cook Makes Another Enterprise Play, by Jon Swartz, USA Today

"If you look at the last 12 months, (enterprise sales for Apple were) $25 billion," Cook said in a one-on-one interview conducted by Box CEO Aaron Levie on Tuesday here. "This is not a hobby. This is a real business." (That $25 billion is about 14% of Apple's revenue over the last year.)

Apple CEO Cook Shuts The Door On iOS, Mac OS X Merging -- Again, by Shara Tibken, CNET

"We don't believe in having one operating system for PC and mobile," Cook said Tuesday during a fireside chat with Aaron Levie, CEO of Box, a company that provides cloud storage for businesses. Box is hosting its BoxWorks conference this week in downtown San Francisco. "We think it subtracts from both, and you don't get the best experience from either. We're very much focused on two."

Tim Cook Offers Microsoft An Olive Branch At Box Enterprise Event, by Alex Wilhelm, TechCrunch

“Apple and Microsoft can partner on more things than we can compete on, and that is what the customer wants…Office on the Mac is a force,” Cook told the audience. “Partnering with Microsoft is great for our customers and that’s why we do it.”

Cook’s comments underscore how much Apple has changed over the years that he has been leading it, and also how the company is playing by a different rulebook when it comes to enterprise.

Box CEO Aaron Levie Credits iPhone, iPad For Breaking Down Corporate Technology Walls, by Ina Fried, Re/code

“It was really the iPad and the iPhone that dismantled the traditional IT infrastructure,” Levie told Re/code. Before that, businesses had locked-down corporate infrastructures limited largely to Windows PCs. Without smartphones and tablets, cloud services are a lot less of a big deal.

“If you don’t have mobility, the cloud is really just an efficiency play,” Levie said.


Microsoft Office 2016 For Mac Appears To Be Having Some Trouble With El Capitan, by Rich Edmonds, iMore

The Office 2016 suite of apps appear to have some issues with El Capitan that causes them to crash at random times. What's worse is there does't appear to be a workaround to achieve a stable experience, essentially rendering the suite (and your Mac should you rely on it for productivity tools) useless.

SPARE App Aims To End Hunger Gap In NYC, by Meredith Deliso, AM New York

The new smartphone application SPARE makes all those Seamless orders, bar tabs and brunches go to a good cause by rounding up your dine-out bills to the nearest dollar to support local hunger relief efforts.

Skeptical Science, by Tony Hoffman, PC Magazine

The free app explores the scientific merits of numerous arguments that have been put forth against the idea of global warming. It examines evidence that has led an overwhelming majority of climate scientists to conclude that the Earth's mean temperature is rising over time, and that it's largely due to human activities. Structured as a series of arguments and discussions or rebuttals, the Skeptical Science references numerous studies and presents wide-ranging evidence to support this conclusion.

Want A Jane Austen Quote Delivered To You Every Day? There's An App For That, by Marta Bausells, The Guardian

“I do not want people to be very agreeable, as it saves me the trouble of liking them a great deal.” Good advice for a bad day at the office, perhaps? Jane Austen’s tetchy words to her sister Cassandra are among many quotable lines that seem just as applicable to the modern world as to the society Austen inhabited more than two hundred years ago.

Google Maps For iOS Gains Apple Watch App, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Sonos Trueplay App Lets Users Tune Their Home Speakers With An iPhone, by Mark Langshaw, Digital Spy


Use Safari’s Responsive Design Mode In El Capitan, by Kirk McElhearn

iTunes Connect Update Adds Push Notifications For App Review And Other Important Status Changes, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac


Apple Music, iTunes Movies, And iBooks Now Available In China, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple Under Fire After Removing Drone-Strikes Information App From Its Store, by Stuart Dredge, The Guardian

Tracking the number of deaths caused by US drone strikes in countries like Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia? There’s an app for that. Or rather, there was – until Apple removed it from its app store.

We Want Apple In Icelandic!, by Iceland Monitor

A petition has been set up urging technology giant Apple to make their iOS and Mac OS X operating systems available in Icelandic.

“Getting an Icelandic translation of iOS and Mac OS X would be an important first step in making Icelandic a more workable language for talking about technology,” explains the driving force behind the petition, Max Naylor, in a recent Facebook post.

Parting Words

TIL the apple developer portal doesn’t work with ghostery turned on. It relies on Adobe analytics to work correctly.

— p in love (@patr1ck) September 30, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Tue, Sep 29, 2015The Inform-And-Educate Edition

Apple Blows Up The Concept Of A Privacy Policy, by Matthew Panzarino, TechCrunch

Apple is blowing that up a bit today by expanding on its privacy page and presenting its policies in clear language, with extensive supporting data. Whether it’s government information requests (94% of that is trying to find stolen iPhones, and only 6% is law enforcement seeking personal information) or how consumer-facing features like iMessage, Apple Pay, Health and HomeKit are set up to protect user information; the sense is one of confidence in its stance.


This is the template for all other tech companies when it comes to informing users about their privacy. Not a page of dense jargon, and not a page of cutesy simplified language that doesn’t actually communicate the nuance of the thing. Instead, it’s a true product. A product whose aims are to inform and educate, just as Apple says its other products do.

The Business Of Stealing Attention

Reform Advertising… Before It Is Too Late, by Jeff Javis, Medium

It may be heretical (but it wouldn’t be my first heresy) to suggest that we in journalism schools should be the ones to start this process of fixing advertising. And no, I don’t mean we do that by teaching integrated mass marketing communications and other such abominations of the craft and the language — not advertising as story-telling, certainly not fucking “brand journalism.”

No, I mean that we in journalism schools should be the ones to stand up for quality and to convene the discussion of setting standards for what it means to truly serve our communities, not merely feed them messages, ours or advertisers’. It is our job to reconsider and reinvent the very business model of journalism and its support. For who else will do it? Advertisers and their agencies will not. Desperate-unto-dying media companies will not. Technology companies could — but beware, for then we’d only be ceding more of what we used to do to them.

No, if journalists are not going to stand up for serving the public with honest and quality, who will?

Beyond Ad Blocking — The Biggest Boycott In Human History, by Doc Searls


Cellular Usage Through The Roof Since Installing iOS 9? Wi-Fi Assist May Be To Blame, by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, ZDNet

Wi-Fi Assist switches your iPhone to using your cellular data plan if you happen to be in a spot where Wi-Fi coverage is poor. This sounds great in theory, but if you're not on an unlimited data plan then all this extra pressure on your metered data plan could result in a nasty shock when you get your next bill.

First thing I turned off after I installed iOS 9.

Bartender 2 Will Keep Your Mac's Menu Bar Tidy, by Joseph Keller, iMore

As with the original app, Bartender 2 allows you to hide menu bar items in a small drawer, letting you easily access them while reducing clutter at the top of your Mac. But Bartender 2 has also features some new capabilities.

FolderGlance Still A Great Mac OS X Utility After All These Years, by Dennis Sellers, Apple World Today

FolderGlance lets you preview files directly from the contextual menus, as well as move, copy and make aliases of selected files at locations you browse to.

Stop Searching, Pick A Channel And Watch Videos With Huge, by Sandy Stachowiak, AppAdvice

Recent News: A Smart, Fast News-Reader For Your iOS Device, by Joe White, AppAdvice


Apple Releases Xcode Update With Fixes For App Thinning Bugs, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple today released a 7.0.1 update for Xcode, and according to the release notes, the new version of the software include fixes for bugs related to App Thinning.

XcodeGhost: Was Apple Negligent?, by Kenneth van Wyk, Computerworld

In practice, this means that if your app opens and writes to a file, Apple will ensure that you’re using a published API to do that. It will make sure that your app behaves as expected with regards to that file. But if you choose to put client information into that file without encrypting it, that’s really not Apple’s concern — nor should it be, if you ask me. That is business-level security and must be applied by the developer.

So from Apple’s perspective, the XcodeGhost malware was simply a deliberate feature of the infected apps. They’d been signed by their developers, so they contained that tamper-evident seal. The apps behaved as documented.

The Jocks Of Computer Code Do It For The Job Offers, by Ashlee Vance, Bloomberg

It would be nice to tell you that sport coding is riveting to watch. And it would be equally nice to dish on the charms of the sport’s current superstar programming god. The reality of the situation, however, is that sport coding does not offer much in the way of high drama or charismatic personalities. Still, sport coding has gone relatively unnoticed for too long. It’s a form of competition that rewards natural talent, perseverance, and teamwork. And, even more crucial for life in 2015, being a good sport coder is a surefire way for an 18-year-old to get noticed by the thousands of companies looking to rain money down on talented software developers.


L.A. Unified To Get $6.4 Million In Settlement Over iPad Software, by Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times

Under that contract, Apple agreed to provide iPads to L.A. Unified while Pearson provided curriculum on the devices as a subcontractor. As a result, the settlement was with Apple, even though the dispute concerned the Pearson product. Under the agreement, Apple will pay the district $4.2 million.

Apple’s “Hella Ugly” New Font Backlash: From Cool Standard To The New Comic Sans In One iOS Update, by Scott Timberg, Salon

Sure, Apple is a scary, world-dominating corporation that cruised on its reputation for cool until it had pulled us all under its spell and established sweatshops all over the world. But this font is harmless. Compared to, say, Papyrus or Brush Script, San Francisco is really fine.

The Ultimate iPhone Camera Comparison: How Does The iPhone 6s Camera Compare To Every Other iPhone Generation?, by Lisa Bettany, SnapSnapSnap

I present a 9 iPhone comparison from all iPhone versions taken with Camera+ including: the original iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3Gs, iPhone 4, iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, and the new iPhone 6s, in a variety of real-life situations to test each iPhone camera’s capabilities.

A Little Easier

More of this everywhere please.

— Marc Clancy (@clangaz) September 28, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Mon, Sep 28, 2015The Still-Felt-Like-iPhone Edition

Apple Sells 13 Million iPhones In Opening Weekend, Or 3,000 iPhones Per Minute, by Romain Dillet, TechCrunch

Apple just announced that it has sold 13 million iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus devices over its first weekend. It’s a new record for the company as it sold 10 million units last year, and 9 million units in 2013.

What If You Used iOS 9's Low Power Mode All The Time?, by Matt Birchler

Sure, your screen is a little dimmer, the CPU is cranked down a bit, and your apps don’t update as regularly in the background, but I didn’t mind these things at all. It still felt like an iPhone, and I was just as able to get work done quickly in this mode.

I do wonder how much I can approximate a constant turning on of Low Power Mode just by silencing notifications, disabling background refreshes, and turning off animations. Seems like the only thing missing at that point is the throttling of the CPU.

These Pictures Of You, by M.G. Sigler, 500ish Words

Apple, once again, has taken a fairly straightforward technology and created something so much better than what others have done before with the same technology. It’s not just the bits, it’s how you use them. And, more importantly, how you present them.


iA Writer 3.0.1 Review: Mac App Gets Back To Basics For Focused Writing, by Kirk McElhearn, Macworld

If you appreciate its attention to typographic detail, and if you want a text editor that gets out of the way, then it might be for you.

Social Dark, by Matt Gemmell

I use a free and open-source utility called Self Control to block access to social media, shopping sites, news and RSS feeds for appropriate amounts of time, and my productivity skyrockets. I’d advise setting it for two hours, and seeing what you can accomplish.


Reported iOS 9 Compass/gyroscope Bug Affects iPhone 6s Augmented Reality Apps, by Mikey Campbell, AppleInsider

A potential bug discovered in Apple's latest iOS 9 release appears to be impacting certain apps running on iPhone 6s that tap into compass and gyroscope data, in some cases affecting key assets that render some features unusable.


In The Future, How Will We Talk To Our Technology?, by David Pierce, Wired

Their goal, they said, was to use sub-vocal communication “in spacesuits, in noisy places like airport towers to capture air-traffic controller commands, or even in traditional voice-recognition programs to increase accuracy.” Maybe talking to your computer eventually won’t involve talking out loud at all.

Parting Words

Genuinely stunned France has adopted the word "wifi" rather than "le signal librement accessible sans l'utilisation de fils" or some shit.

— The Web of Evil (@webofevil) September 27, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Sun, Sep 27, 2015The Narnia-Wardrobe Edition

Motherhood, Screened Off, by Susan Dominus, New York Times

I have started to narrate my use of the phone when I am around my kids. “I’m emailing your teacher back,” I tell them, or, “I’m now sending that text you asked me to send about that sleepover,” in the hopes that I can defang the device’s bad reputation, its inherent whiff of self-absorption.

My husband thinks no amount of narration will change the way our kids feel about the phone. The problem, he says, is that whenever I grab it, they know that I am also holding a portal, as magical as the one in Narnia’s wardrobe and with the same potential to transport me to another world or to infinite worlds. I am always milliseconds away from news of a horrific mass stampede near Mecca or images of great medieval art or a Twitter dissection of the pope’s visit. How far am I going, they might reasonably worry, and how soon will I be back? Perhaps they sense how vast the reach of the device is and how little they know of what that vastness contains; at any moment, the size of the gap between them and me is unknowable.

How Long Before Samsung Touch?

3D Touch Is Apple’s New Secret Weapon, by John Biggs, TechCrunch

With 3D Touch, The Apple devices ask us to touch them with a little more intent, to move past the glass and into something deeper behind the surface. This is an important change in how we use our phones and one sure to be successful. Of all of the other improvements in these new phones, 3D Touch is the most compelling and it is the one so subtle that Apple itself didn’t really talk it up during the keynote or briefings. “By the way,” they seemed to say. “You can now stick your finger through the phone. No big deal.”


iPhone 6s Has A Hidden 3D Touch Feature: Zoom, by Jeremy Horwitz, 9to5Mac

When you press hard on the Zoom Controller, you’ll notice that the entire screen zooms in, then zooms out when you release pressure. A setting called Zoom Region can restrict the zoomed-in area to a small, movable window if you prefer.

iPhone 6S Has Twice As Much RAM As iPhone 6, Teardown Confirms, by Dante D'Orazio, The Verge

Switching between apps and tabs is now noticeably faster than before. Even better, web pages won't have to reload nearly every time you switch tabs because the 6S has enough memory to keep tabs ready and waiting for you.

Apple Music For Android Beta Invites Spotted In The Wild, by Justin Jelinek, Techaeris


Apple Expansion In North San Jose Could Mean 18,000 Jobs, by George Avalos, San Jose Mercury News

Apple could potentially employ 18,000 workers in North San Jose after its purchase of the Charcot Avenue land and a previous purchase of 40 acres of land that is approved for 2.8 million square feet of offices, enough room for 14,000 employees. The Charcot site contains a building and vacant land on a parcel that eventually could be built out to 965,000 square feet, or enough space for 4,000 employees.

Complex Car Software Becomes The Weak Spot Under The Hood, by David Gelles, Hiroko Tabuchi And Matthew Dolan, New York Times

New high-end cars are among the most sophisticated machines on the planet, containing 100 million or more lines of code. Compare that with about 60 million lines of code in all of Facebook or 50 million in the Large Hadron Collider.

The sophistication of new cars brings numerous benefits — forward-collision warning systems and automatic emergency braking that keep drivers safer are just two examples. But with new technology comes new risks — and new opportunities for malevolence.

Smaller, Faster, Cheaper, Over: The Future Of Computer Chips, by John Markoff, New York Times

Technologists now believe that new generations of chips will come more slowly, perhaps every two and a half to three years. And by the middle of the next decade, they fear, there could be a reckoning, when the laws of physics dictate that transistors, by then composed of just a handful of molecules, will not function reliably. Then Moore’s Law will come to an end, unless a new technological breakthrough occurs.

We Spent 24 Hours On The Bacon Dating App Sizzl. This Is What Happened., by Jenn Harris, Los Angeles Times

The meat company is using a dater's preference for bacon to measure compatibility. And that's it. There are no questions about politics, if or when you want kids, or how you feel about the institution of marriage. Instead, you let other daters on the app know if you like turkey or pork bacon, how crispy you like your bacon, and if you're a bacon splitter, taker or giver.


What is the worst Apple app? No, not iTunes. Not even iTunes for Windows. Not even QuickTime for Windows.

My nomination for the worst Apple app is the Mac App Store. This app is almost always unresponsive and slow, the user-interface is non-standard and non-Mac-like, progress bars are either inaccurate or simply refuse to show up, and I dread using this app everytime I update Xcode.

Smile Different

"This object has been temporarily removed."

— Steven Lubar (@lubar) September 26, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Sat, Sep 26, 2015The People-Want-Things Edition

Want, by Andy Ihnatko

Speaking solely for myself: I don’t want to just make people want things. My covering New iPhone Day as a cultural event would be a step away from my goals.

iPhone Upgrade Program Causing Headaches For Some Launch Day Customers, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

It is possible that iPhone Upgrade Program approvals have been experiencing problems due to the high volume of traffic today in Apple Stores, but in the meantime some customers with good credit may be forced to pay upfront or walk away empty handed.

Think You Know How To Wait In Line For An iPhone? Meet The Pros, by Molly Mchugh, Wired

Now, if you absolutely must have a new iPhone 6 S the moment it hits stores today but can’t stomach the thought of actually waiting in line for it, there is no shortage of services that can help out. You can hire a TaskRabbit. You can try that new service Enjoy if you have AT&T and live in the Bay Area or New York. And you can always find someone on Craigslist do your dirty work.

These tactics are strictly for small-timers. Kevin, a wily sort from Tacoma, is not a small-timer.


Stupid Apps And Changing The World, by Sam Altman

There are two time-tested strategies to change the world with technology. One is to build something that some people love but most people think is a toy; the other is to be hyperambitious and start an electric car company or a rocket company.


We Asked A Cultural Historian: Are Apple Stores The New Temples?, by Sarah Laskow, Atlas Obscura

These days, technology is more often talked about as a way to create personalized, individual experiences, but Robles-Anderson thinks that’s only part of the story. Communal ritual is always a part of technology: Early computers came into group spaces, like families and offices. (Mad Men understood this dynamic: the computer as an event weathered together.) Powerpoint presentations gather people to look at giant screens. Even using an iPhone to tune out the human beings around you requires being part of a larger group.

And Apple, more than any other technology company, has been able to access both these experiences, the individual and the collective. “They feel iconic, like an emblem of the personal,” says Robles-Anderson. “And yet it's a cult. Right? It's so obviously a cult.”

Too Many Apps

As God is my witness, this will be my last day having 18 pages of old apps I never use.

— Merlin Mann (@hotdogsladies) September 26, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Fri, Sep 25, 2015The Waiting-To-Thin-Apps Edition

Apple's Space-Saving App Thinning Feature Delayed Due To iCloud Issue, by AppleInsider

Users looking to take advantage of iOS 9 App Thinning, a suite of optimization technologies created to reduce the size of app installs, will have to wait, as Apple announced unavailability of a key component due to an iCloud bug.

Fun With iPad Backup And Restore, by Dan Moren, Six Colors

Sandboxing To The Rescue

XcodeGhost: App Store Malware Shows The Weakest Links And Apple’s Advantage, by Glenn Fleishman, Macworld

The inserted code could have been far worse but still highly limited, due to how Apple sandboxes each app and the restrictions on information access.

iPhone Adventures

What Are Those Kids Doing With That Enormous Gun?, by Will McGrath, The Atlantic

But the phone stayed off for the next two weeks. She gave up hope of recovering it and switched to an old flip phone for a while. Soon afterwards, she moved to Canada, got another smartphone, and started a new job. The whole matter drifted almost entirely from her mind.

Then, in August, she got another email. Find My iPhone had located the device again: It was in Sana’a, Yemen. That’s when the pictures began appearing in her iCloud account.


Adobe Releases Photoshop And Premiere Elements 14 For Mac With New Tools, by AppleInsider

With Photoshop Elements 14, Adobe introduces tools for removing camera shake and haze from still images. Like other Elements features, fine adjustments are possible for a custom look.

Microsoft's New Invite App Makes Scheduling Meetings On iPhone A Breeze, by Blair Hanley Frank, IDG News Service

It's a product of the company's Garage idea incubator, and focused on helping people coordinate meetings on the go. Users sign up with their Office 365 or other email account, and can then set up an event invitation with a few taps that includes information about the meeting along with some suggested times that invitees can get together. Invite can then reserve all of the possible event times on an organizer's schedule, to help prevent double booking.

Hipstamatic Camera App Is Available For Free With New iPhone 6S Features, by Sam Byford, The Verge

The interface also supports 3D touch — for example you can press lightly on a thumbnail to "peek" at the image, or press harder to "pop" into the editing mode. There are also various shortcuts accessible from the home screen icon.

Netflix Adds In-App Subscriptions For iPhone And iPad, by Rich McCormick, The Verge

The company has added in-app purchases to its iOS apps that allow you to subscribe directly from the Netflix app on your iPhone or iPad, taking after other streaming services such as HBO Now, Spotify, and Hulu, all of which already supported in-app subscription.

Google Keep Brings Its Note-Taking Prowess To The iPhone And iPad, by Dan Thorp-Lancaster, iMore

BookPress For iPad Lets You Create Your Book On The Go, by Istvan Fekete, Tech Co

Adblock Fast: A Free And Open Source Ad Blocker For iOS 9, by Jim Lynch, CIO


Apple Redesigns iTunes Connect, Updates Apple Store App For iPhone 6s, by AppleInsider

Perhaps the biggest functional feature addition is an automatic release feature that lets developers specify a date and time they want their app to be published to the App Store after it passes review. Pricing and availability options are also enhanced with easier control over promotional price and regional rollout settings.

Apple Updates TestFlight App With Support For tvOS Internal Testing, by Mike Beasley, 9to5Mac


Apple Propels An Ad-Blocking Cottage Industry, by Jack Marshall, Wall Street Journal

There is money to be made blocking ads and, as it turns out, allowing ads to evade ad blockers.

Eyeo GmbH, the company behind popular desktop ad-blocking tool Adblock Plus, now accepts payment from around 70 companies in exchange for letting their ads through its filter. Eyeo stipulates that they must comply with its “acceptable ads” policy, meaning their ads aren’t too disruptive or intrusive to users. In total, ads from some 700 companies meet the acceptable ads policy, an Eyeo spokesman said.

Obama Administration Explored Ways To Bypass Smartphone Encryption, by Andrea Peterson and Ellen Nakashima, Washington Post

An Obama administration working group has explored four possible approaches tech companies might use that would allow law enforcement to unlock encrypted communications — access that some tech firms say their systems are not set up to provide.

The group concluded that the solutions were “technically feasible,” but all had drawbacks as well.

Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!

I told the EMT I was attempting autoerotic asphyxiation because it was less embarrassing than telling him I was 46 & couldn't tie a necktie.

— Uncle Duke (@UncleDuke1969) September 23, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Thu, Sep 24, 2015The First-Update Edition

Apple Releases iOS 9.0.1 With Fix For Stuck Setup Assistant And More, by Jared Dipane, iMore

Apple has released its first update to iOS 9, which brings along with it a number of fixes for various issues.

iOS 9 Security Flaw Grants Unrestricted Access To Photos And Contacts, by AppleInsider

Apple has yet to address the bypass, though tests showed today's iOS 9.0.1 update and iOS 9.1 beta versions do not contain a fix.

Glass Keyboards

Super-Smart Apps Are Invading Our Keyboards, by David Pierce, Wired

The keyboard app market is booming, with new ideas about text input popping up everywhere. Most are attempting to solve the typing experience, like Swype, or make predictive and corrective text better, like SwiftKey. A few let you speak in Lil’ Wayne lyrics or flirt in pre-populated pickup lines. Some exist only to make your keyboard look like a rainbow’s vomit. But a few are trying to take the three rows we’ve been using since time immemorial, and make something more of them.


Want To Use Office On Your New iPad Pro? Then You’ll Need An Office 365 Subscription, by Peter Bright, Ars Technica

That's because Microsoft defines a 10.1 inch cutoff. Anything below 10.1 inches is a "true mobile device" and as such qualifies for free access to the core editing capabilities. But above that threshold and it's not a "true mobile device" any longer, it's something else entirely, and it will need an Office 365 subscription as a result.

Microsoft Shortchanges Office For Mac Customers On Support, by Gregg Keizer, Computerworld

Microsoft will support all Windows versions of Office 2016, even those that explicitly target consumers, for 10 years, or twice as long as it will Office 2016 for Mac.


Just Press Record Is A Simple Voice Recorder For watchOS 2 And iOS 9, by Federico Viticci, MacStories

Just Press Record has a minimal interface with a big red microphone button in the middle of the screen. Tap it to record, tap it again when you're done.

Bring Your Stories To Life With Animations In Plotagon, by Sandy Stachowiak, AppAdvice

The interface for creating the plots and characters is easy to use. And, testing out all of the sound and music effects is cool because they really can add a lot to your story. The voices do sound a little robotic, but it is still a terrific app for opening that door in your mind that is full of ideas.

Star Walk 2 For IOS 9 Now Available, by MacTech

The app provides a journey through thousands of stars, comets, and constellations.

Socialtext Founders Launch Pingpad, A Single App For Chatting And Collaborating, by Ken Yeung, Venture Beat

Simply put, it’s a tool that offers real-time messaging and chatting through the use of a Wiki-like product.


Do It Right: Writing About Apple, by Brett Terpstra

If you write technical documentation for or blog about Apple products, you’ve probably pondered phrasing, capitalization, etc.. If you’re not familiar with it already, Apple publishes and updates a style guide that’s complete and useful for any kind of Apple-related writing. I’ve broken plenty of rules over my career, but I’ve been internalizing as many of these as I can, especially for software documentation.

Volkswagen And The Era Of Cheating Software, by Zeynep Tufekci, New York Times

It’s a pity that casinos have better scrutiny of their software than the code running our voting machines, cars and many other vital objects, including medical devices and even our infrastructure. As computation spreads in society, our regulatory systems need to be funded appropriately and updated in their methods so that keeping our air clean and our elections honest is not a worse gamble than a slot machine.

Modern Typefaces

I suddenly realise that how I evaluate typefaces is completely wrong for the modern age “@kupfers: @NickSherman

— Sophie Sampson (@UltraCobalt) September 23, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Wed, Sep 23, 2015The Human-Experts Edition

The Hit Charade, by Will Knight, MIT Technology Review

Bringing in human experts is a clever way for Apple to differentiate itself. Despite having pioneered the digital distribution and storage of music, it now finds itself lagging behind streaming services such as Pandora, Spotify, Rdio, and Tidal. None of these emphasize curation by human experts as much as Apple Music does. And while the algorithms that all these companies use for recommending songs have improved greatly in recent years, there’s no real musical understanding or appreciation going on. It shows. The algorithms employ statistical techniques to parse listener data, making an educated guess as to what you might like. There is still no algorithm that can account for human taste.

Apple, Your Anti-Choice Tendencies Are Showing In Your App Store, by Jess Zimmerman, The Guardian

Let me repeat: an app that accurately states politicians’ publicly held positions on reproductive rights and sex education is considered “mean-spirited” and “defamatory”.

Ghost Busting

XcodeGhost Apps Haunting iOS App Store More Numerous Than First Reported, by Dan Goodin, Ars Technica

Security researchers have both good and bad news about the recently reported outbreak of XcodeGhost apps infecting Apple's App Store. The bad: The infection was bigger than previously reported and dates back to April. The good: Affected apps are more akin to adware than security-invading malware.

Apple Taking Steps To Prevent Another Large-Scale App Store Breach, by Daniel Van Boom, CNET

"In the US it only needs 25 minutes to download," Schiller told Sina, admitting that in China getting Xcode "may take three times as long." He told the Chinese publication that, to quell this problem, Apple would be providing an official source for developers in the People's Republic to download Xcode domestically.

Apple Urges App Store Developers To Validate Their Xcode Version Following Hacks, by Mark Gurman, 9to5Mac

Apple has provided developers with a command line tool for validating that their version of Xcode is not infected. Apple also has recommended that developers install a clean copy of Xcode downloaded directly from Apple’s Developer Portal (via the Mac App Store) before submitting a new app or app update to the App Store.

More iPhone Reviews

The iPhones 6S, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

New-number iPhones (4, 5, 6) are about showing off Apple’s design prowess. The S models are about showing off Apple’s engineering prowess. Storage capacities and battery life are unchanged from last year’s iPhones. Everything else — the materials it’s made from, the performance of its custom CPU/GPU, the quality of the cameras, the smoothness of the user interface — is noticeably, tangibly improved.

Testing iPhone 6s’s 3D Touch And Live Photos Features, by Brian X. Chen, New York Times

You might wonder, why not just shoot a video? The short answer is that there will be tiny moments in life where you would never have guessed you wanted to shoot a video, and now Live Photos has a chance to capture them.


There is a short learning curve for Live Photos. If you move your camera immediately before or after taking the photo, the movement will show up in the animated photo. Several of my Live Photos were ruined because I put the phone down too quickly after taking the picture. Apple said it planned to modify the feature in a software update so that it did not capture those quick movements.

Books, Digital And Analog

The Plot Twist: E-Book Sales Slip, And Print Is Far From Dead, by Alexandra Alter, New York Times

Now, there are signs that some e-book adopters are returning to print, or becoming hybrid readers, who juggle devices and paper. E-book sales fell by 10 percent in the first five months of this year, according to the Association of American Publishers, which collects data from nearly 1,200 publishers. Digital books accounted last year for around 20 percent of the market, roughly the same as they did a few years ago.

Google’s Grab Of Oyster Suggests Ebooks, Like News, Are Becoming “Content” Read On Big Platforms, by Laura Hazard Owen, Nieman Lab


Apple Notifying iPhone 6s Pre-Order Customers About Shipping Delays Ahead Of Pope Visit, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple has started sending emails to customers who may be affected by shipping delays caused by Pope Francis' visit to the United States, letting them know that they may not be able to receive their iPhone 6s and 6s pre-orders on launch day.

Pixelmator Updated With iOS 9 Support, iPad Multitasking, by Federico Viticci, MacStories

Boom 2 Review, by Hollin Jones, MacLife

A good way to boost and fine-tune your Mac’s audio output for music and movies.

Basil 3 Is Now On iPhone And Will Spruce Up Your Cooking, by Christine Chan, AppAdvice


What Apple’s Ad Blocking Fight Is Really About, by Larry Downes, Washington Post

Apple, of course, makes its money not from ads but rather from hardware and paid content. But even if Apple’s motives are more self-interested than simply helping its fan base enjoy commercial-free content, the company is tapping into a deep vein of buyer’s remorse we consumers share over a Faustian bargain made long ago with ad-supported media.

IPhone 6s’s Hands-Free Siri Is An Omen Of The Future, by Farhad Manjoo, New York Times

The ubiquity of voice-controlled assistants changes the way we interact with them. When Siri and other voice systems were new, they seemed gimmicky. Nobody quite knew what to do with them, and interactions veered toward the awkward. But the more assistants there are, and the more you use them, the more natural they feel — and that means the more you’ll use them, feeding the cycle.

Singapore’s Funky Apartments Are Like Candy For The Eyes, by Zachary Slobig, Wired

Peter Steinhauer has spent more than two decades in Asia, photographing everything from Hong Kong’s brightly shrouded skyscrapers to bustling markets in Indonesia and beyond. But when he and his family moved to Singapore a few years ago, he was stumped by what to shoot—until he saw the massive, candy-colored apartment buildings.


I've just deleted all my music from iTunes library, so that Apple Music doesn't match them onto my iCloud's music library, so that Apple Music will not be so buggy.

And it seems to work: so far, adding music and playlists to My Music works, and Apple Music is a much more pleasant experience for me. I now listen only to music from Apple's catalog, and I don't listen to my purchased music anymore.

And I realized this experience is so complete-opposite from Steve Jobs' iPod days.

Good Job

The perverse joy of Apple Watch telling me I filled the Activity ring while I'm eating ice cream on the couch.

— Jeff Carlson (@jeffcarlson) September 23, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Tue, Sep 22, 2015The S-Models Edition

iPhone 6s Review: A Slightly Better iPhone 6, by Joanna Stern, Wall Street Journal

The story of the iPhone 6s is the same as the 5s, or the 4s before it. It is a slightly better iPhone—that must be what the S stands for. And like its “S” predecessors, it doesn’t address all complaints. That’s what the iPhone 7 is for—right, Apple?

Review: iPhone 6s And iPhone 6s Plus, by Jim Dalrymple, The Loop

I expected the new iPhones to deliver faster components—the “s” models usually do. What I didn’t expect was the depth of everything else the iPhone delivered.

Quick Actions, 3D Touch, faster Touch ID, 4K video, better photos, Live Photos—these are all things that are going to make the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus even better for me as a user.

The iPhone 6S Keeps Apple On Top In The Smartphone Race, by Walt Mossberg, The Verge

The new iPhone 6S, which goes on sale Friday with its larger cousin, the 6S Plus, doesn’t have scores of big changes when compared to last year’s iPhone 6 series. In fact, the new model looks just like its predecessor, as is typical for iPhones in their every-other-year “S” model cycle.

But it does have a small set of new capabilities that I consider fundamental, core improvements. These are things that improve the quality of the phone while generally making a fluid, powerful product even better, and faster and easier to navigate and use.

The New Watch OS Is Out

Apple Releases WatchOS 2 With Native App Support, New Watch Faces, Nightstand Mode, And More, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

The update requires iOS 9 and can be downloaded over-the-air through the Apple Watch app on the iPhone by going to General --> Software Update.

watchOS 2 Review, by Rene Ritchie, iMore

Almost everything that's new has been hinted at before, including photo and time-lapse clock faces, glimpsing backwards and forwards in time, responding to mail, adding more friends, and locking down activation. The rest has felt inevitable, like direct networking, workouts on lock screen, moving third-party app logic from the phone and onto the watch, and allowing them to present custom complications all their own.

Review: watchOS 2&utm_content=FeedBurner), by Jim Dalrymple, The Loop

I picked up my Apple Watch with watchOS 2 from Apple in the days following the September 9 keynote presentation in San Francisco. I hadn’t installed any of the watch betas, so I was really looking forward to giving the new operating system a try.

In case you’re wondering why I hadn’t installed any of the watch beta updates, it’s because the watch is too important to me—I didn’t want to take a chance of not being able to track my fitness goals. With that said, let’s start with what’s new in health and fitness in watchOS 2.

Here's What The Apple Watch Can Do Without An iPhone, by Serenity Caldwell, iMore

The Apple Watch and the iPhone may be two devices that go better together, but Apple's wearable is still powerful in its own right. If you leave your iPhone at home, here's what the Watch can do on its own.

Never Gonna Give You Up

Apple Subtly Rickrolled Everyone And It’s Hilarious, by Owen Williams, The Next Web

Buried on the Apple support site, there’s a page walking new Apple Watch owners through the social features of the wearable.

Until today, nobody noticed a tiny little joke buried on the friend screen demonstration: a rick roll.


How To Search On Special Characters In Pages 5, by Glenn Fleishman, Macworld

It’s often useful to be able to search against hidden characters in documents you receive from elsewhere, where you need to remove extra line returns, tabs, spaces, or other oddities that would be time-consuming to hunt and fix by hand.

However, there is a non-obvious workaround in Pages 5 to find those critters, and a second alternative if it’s really bothering you.

Office 2016 Arrives With Features Meant To Take On Google (And Everyone Else), by Dana Wollman, Engadget

Though the new release looks generally the same as the last version, it's designed for sharing and collaboration in a way that Office 2013 really wasn't. In particular, Office 2016 introduces real-time co-authoring (a feature already available in the web version of Office), along with the ability to attach OneDrive files to emails in Outlook.


Massive View Controllers, by Marcus Zarra

It came as quite a surprise to me that view controllers are considered bad by many developers and that they have been coming up with some rather intersting solutions to make them more “manageable”.

To me, this is an indication that many developers have lost the perspective on what should and what should not be in a view controller. For some reason there is a misconception going around that everything belongs in the view controller.


Familiar Spell Checking, by Daniel Jalkut


The Fundamental “Why” Of Music Discovery, by Cortney Harding, Medium

So is music discovery the future and driving force behind so many music startups for any real reason, or is it just an organizing principle everyone seems to agree on? “Serving you stuff you already know and like” doesn’t sound all that great, and certainly sounds like a downer in future focused startup circles. But if “discovery,” which so many people have sunk so many resources into mastering, isn’t the future…what is?

Ads Are Dead, Long Live Ads!, by Marko Savic, Medium

So let’s stop complaining and build the future we want to live in. Or go through this again in ten years with the next-generation of shitty web ads.

Oyster Is Shutting Down Operations, by Clavin Reid, Publishers Weekly

After two years of operation, Oyster, the e-book subscription venture offering unlimited access to a million titles for $9.95 a month, is shutting down operations and most of its staff is leaving to join Google. The company will wind down operations over the next few months.

Password 101

What could go wrong? @SwiftOnSecurity

— Nick Kocharhook (@k9) September 22, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Mon, Sep 21, 2015The Fake-Developer-Code Edition

Apple Confirms Discovery Of Malicious Code In Some App Store Products, by Katie Benner, New York Times

Apple confirmed on Sunday that a tool used by software developers for the company’s devices was copied and modified by hackers to put bad code into apps available on the App Store.

The fake developer code “was posted by untrusted sources,” said Christine Monaghan, an Apple spokeswoman. “To protect our customers, we’ve removed the apps from the App Store that we know have been created with this counterfeit software.”

China’s Awful Internet Speed Has Spread Malware To Millions Of Smartphones, by Josh Horwitz, Quartz

That means that China’s internet speed, and access to foreign websites, is so slow that developers at some of the wealthiest internet companies are resorting to sketchy, unverified channels in order to download XCode quickly and do their jobs.

What You Need To Know About iOS Malware XcodeGhost, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

No Turning Back

The iPad And Your kid—Digital Daycare, Empowering Educator, Or Something Bad?, by Johanna Lee, Ars Technica

Whether you like it or not and whether science can catch up, we have entered the touchscreen era and there’s no turning back. “It is impractical to never expose kids to screens. To discourage all screen use is almost a way of ‘parent shaming,’” Kirkorian says. “It’s much more empowering to give parents information on what sorts of screen media are most valuable and let parents decide for themselves, instead of just saying, ‘Don’t use it at all.’”

“The first advice I give parents is, ‘Don’t feel guilty,’” Kirkorian says. “Do your best to choose something that seems age-appropriate, well-designed, and educationally valuable. As long as it is used in moderation, you’re fine.”

Never Trust A Maître D’ With An iPad, by Rachel Cooke, The Guardian

No doubt some of you are about to write in and tell me how much technology can help with the running of a restaurant. Well, save your fingers. I’m sure it is very useful in the matter of internet reservations and table turning (they spin so fast these days, it’s a wonder any chef still bothers to make a pudding). But it really shouldn’t be allowed to interfere with that moment when, queasy with excitement and longing and the slight fear that a mistake has been made, you give a maître d’ your name, and he smiles in recognition, and in an instant all is well.


Apple Says Response To iPhone 6s Has Been “Incredibly Positive”, iOS 9 Already On 50% Of Devices, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

Apple has confirmed launch details for the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus — unsurprisingly the new phones go on sale Friday at 8 AM. Apple says that customer response to the iPhone 6s has been “incredibly positive” although the company is yet to release concrete preorder figures.

Apple also announced that iOS 9 has the fastest rate of adoption of any previous iOS release, with 50% of devices already using iOS 9, which was released last Wednesday.

Nisus Software Releases Nisus Writer Express 3.5, by MacTech

It has also been updated with iCloud support, OS X document Auto Save and Versions, and is now 64 bit and sandboxed.

Sidewire Is Your Hotline To Political Insight, by Christine Magee, TechCrunch

Aiming to help people cut through all of the political noise, Sidewire, a political news analysis platform, is launching today on iOS, just in time for tonight’s second Republican presidential debate.


More Ticks, by Dr. Drang, And Now It's All This

Vogue Snaps 12MP Images, 4K Video At New York Fashion Week Using Apple's New iPhone 6S Plus, by Daniel Eran Dilger, AppleInsider

When Journalism, Virtual Reality, And Unclear App Store Guidelines Collide, by Dan Archer, Ars Technica

We as designers and journalists appreciate the need to pivot and iterate (to borrow much-abused Silicon Valley terms) when it comes to producing, evaluating, and presenting stories to the public, but the key factor that ensures they are edited in the right way is transparency. If they are to stay true to their encouraging statement about wanting to “show [users] their world in innovative ways, and let them interact with it like never before,” then they need to clarify what the constraints around that innovation are. If that means adding a new clause that apps cannot be produced about a single story, then let that be included in the guidelines and prompt a spirited debate about exactly why that has to be the case.

A New Front: Can The Pentagon Do Business With Silicon Valley?, by E.B. Boyd, The California Sunday Magazine

As much as Defense Department officials say they want better access to commercial technology, the way the Pentagon functions often makes this impossible. The military has spent decades configuring itself to work with defense contractors to build complicated systems that take years to produce, like fighter jets and aircraft carriers. With its cumbersome rules and processes, the Department of Defense is not set up to race alongside small, agile companies.

The Pentagon is beginning to realize it must operate differently. Some of the most advanced work in computing, big data, cybersecurity, energy, robotics, and space — all areas the military draws on — is being done by tech companies, not traditional defense contractors. Last year, the Pentagon kicked off a large-scale effort called the Defense Innovation Initiative. In April, Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter traveled to Palo Alto to announce that the department was establishing an office in Silicon Valley.

Desperate Elephants Shot With Poison Arrows Travel To Humans For Help, by Ameena Schelling, The Dodo

Though the wild elephant had never been a resident at DSWT, he knew elephants who had. He had mated with two former orphans who were raised at DSWT's Ithumba Reintegration Centre, who now lead their own wild herd. In 2011, he fathered babies with them, whom DSWT named Mwende and Yetu.

And DSWT is certain he knew this group of humans meant help.


Personally, I love the new San Francisco system font in iOS9, and I don’t see what anyone is complaining about.

— Tophr 3.0 (@mugwumpian) September 19, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Sun, Sep 20, 2015The Sleeker-Modern-Look Edition

Inside Apple's Redesigned Campus Store In Cupertino, by Karissa Bell, Mashable

While the old store — filled with T-shirt racks, shelves of souvenirs and primary colors at every turn — looked like a gift shop, the new store sports a sleeker, more modern look that feels much more like Apple's other retail stores. Carefully arranged displays of Beats headphones, iPhone cases and Apple Watch bands line the walls while the center of the store is dedicated to display cases of the Apple Watch.

The souvenirs have changed too. While previously you could buy everything from keychains to baby onesies to baseball caps to rain jackets, the store now features only a handful of items: a few T-shirts, ceramic mugs, reusable water bottles, notebooks and blank cards.

Gone are the brightly colored tchotchkes, keychains and many shirts with cheeky sayings (e.g "I visited the Apple Campus. But that's all I'm allowed to say.")

Apple's Store At Home, by Michelle Quinn, San Jose Mercury News

But Apple resisted that powerful pull from the past and filled the store instead with what it is today -- a media and technology powerhouse that also knows how to roll out the welcome mat to guests.

Find My Watch

The Case Of The Missing Apple Watch Sport, by Roman Loyola, Macworld

I walked through my house again, but this time, I took out my iPhone, opened the Watch app, and continuously adjusted the Alert Volume to create an audible “alert ping” from the Watch. And after a few steps in my garage, I heard it and saw it laying next the compost bin.

I found my Apple Watch. Whew.


iPad Mini 4 Review: A Lighter, Faster Tablet With A Better Screen, by Andrew Cunningham, Ars Technica

Extra RAM and a better color gamut help make up for year-old guts.

Comparing iCloud's New Lower Prices To The Competition, by Glenn Fleishman, Macworld

Hands On With Apple's 'Move To iOS' Android App, by Derek Walter, Macworld

With photos, you’ll need to browse through your new camera roll to see if everything came over. That’s because Google Photos, Carousel from Dropbox, or other cloud-enabled photo apps will sometimes delete pictures from your device in order to save space.


Apple Opens Redesigned Brussels Apple Store, Featuring Indoor Trees And New Touch-Sensitive Tables, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

Ticked, by Dr. Drang, And Now It's All This

I doubt this ambiguity in quotation marks will cause the wailing and gnashing of teeth that the iOS 7 & 8 Shift key did, because few people bother with the quote mark popups, but it’s a similar issue. Because the iOS keyboard relies on visual cues, those cues must be strong enough to be seen at a glance. I like the look of San Francisco’s opening and closing quotation marks, but they don’t provide strong cues.

How Google Now, Siri & Cortana Predict What You Want, by Danny Sullivan, Search Engine Land

Google, Apple and Microsoft all have agents that want to be your personal assistant. But how well Google Now, Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana can predict your needs depends on how much you want to share, how wedded to particular platforms you want to be and, in some cases, how much you actively want to help make those predictions happen.

The Parable Of The Tablet And The Calculator, by Brian Barrett, Wired

Casio released a calculator and Amazon released a tablet within 24 hours of each other this week. That alone is unremarkable. One costs $220, the other costs $50. That, too, wouldn’t raise many eyebrows, until you realize which is which.

I'm Listening

@DanFrakes ha

— Nick Turner (@SFNick) September 19, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Sat, Sep 19, 2015The Ideal-News-App Edition

Apple News Could Be Great, by Will Oremus, Slate

As much as we clamor for a calmer, sleeker news reading experience, it’s not clear that's what most people really want. That is, they may actually prefer to get their news sprinkled across a social feed, so that it comes packaged with entertainment, interaction, and a soupcon of persona drama. It’s easy to forget that print newspapers, stodgy as their reputation has become, were pioneers in this regard, nestling their investigative journalism alongside gossip columns and funny pages. If Apple news fails to reshape the industry, as similar apps have failed before it, it might not be a failure of execution. It might be that the concept of the ideal news app is fundamentally flawed.

Apple News To Offer Exclusive Early Access To Select Content, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

In addition to several high-profile publications that have signed on for the service, [...] at least one has decided to offer exclusive early access to select content through the app.

Launch Party

Apple’s New Company Store To Sell Devices For The First Time, New Collection Of Apple Branded Merchandise, by Jordan Kahn, 9to5Mac

Among the changes, the new Apple company store will for the first time sell Apple devices including the iPhone, iPad, Macs, and Apple Watch. The store is also re-opening with a new collection of Apple-branded merchandise including clothing, mugs, and other collectibles that are only available at the company store.

Apple's Redesigned Campus Store (Pictures), by CNET

On Friday, Apple gave its employees a sneak preview of the newly redesigned company store at its headquarters in Cupertino, California. The store opens to the public on Saturday.

The Making Of FiftyThree's Beloved Paper App For The iPhone, by John Paul Titlow, Fast Company

FiftyThree could have launched its new iPhone app three years ago and quickly amassed millions of users. But the New York-based company decided to take the scenic, more thoughtful route. Instead of shrinking down Paper—the sketching app chosen by Apple as its iPad App of the Year in 2012—and cramming it onto the iPhone, they reinvented it entirely. That process, as you might imagine, posed no shortage of challenges amidst what CEO and cofounder Georg Petschnigg says were the "thousands of decisions" that needed to be made. No wonder it took so damn long.

The Chinese Market

Hack Brief: Malware Sneaks Into The Chinese iOS App Store, by Joseph Cox, Wired

Nearly two dozen malicious pieces of software managed to get hosted on the App Store, and subsequently downloaded by Chinese users. This is because attackers found an unorthodox route to exploit: they targeted some versions of the software used by developers to makes apps for iOS and OS X in the first place.

Apple Pay Begins Entry Into Chinese Market, by Yang Jie, Wall Street Journal

Apple Pay, Apple Inc.’s mobile-payment service, has taken an important step into the Chinese market, according to official media and people familiar with the matter, by registering an entity in the Shanghai free-trade zone.


iOS 9 In Review: Low Power Mode And Lowering Battery Anxiety, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

I don’t know if I recommend that you live a Low Power Mode life, but turning it on early on a day when I knew my battery would be pushed to the limit made me feel more comfortable. And yes, the phone lasted all day with juice to spare.

Color Uncovered (For iPad), by Tony Hoffman, PC Magazine

Color Uncovered is a free interactive iPad app that explores phenomena related to color and our perception of it. Its content includes both essays and multimedia exercises. It's both fun and informative, and is likely to reveal some surprising characteristics of color.

Block Advertisements And More In iOS 9 With Silentium, by Jeff Bymes, AppAdvice

Discover New Apps The Social Way With Picker, by Sandy Stachowiak, AppAdvice


Who Needs An Interface Anyway?, by Joshua Brustein, Bloomberg

Startups are piggybacking on text messaging to launch services.


Apple Pledges Relief To European Refugee Crisis, by Julia Love, Reuters

Cook wrote in a message on the company's intranet site that the Macbook and iPhone maker will make a "substantial donation" to relief agencies supporting the migrants and will match employee donations to the cause by 2-to-1.

The Cupertino, California-based company is also offering customers the option to donate to the Red Cross through its App Store and iTunes Store.

Masters Of The Small Canvas, by John Pavlus, Bloomberg

Ever since Susan Kare’s 8-bit designs graced the first Macintosh screens in 1984, icon design, like digital typography, has been an important if unglamorous niche in the software business. The 2008 debut of Apple’s App Store created “a sea change in our industry,” says Gedeon Maheux, co-founder of Iconfactory, a large design studio in Greensboro, N.C., that does work for big brands such as Windows and Twitter. “It gave us job security.”

De Facto Veto Power, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

The real web is not that which is defined by the W3C as a standard, but that which is implemented in a consistent manner across WebKit, Blink, Trident, and Gecko. The secret to the web’s wonderful success is that it’s a (nearly) universal meta-platform; that which is not implemented on a major platform, like, say, iOS, is by definition not universal.

Peace App Creator Pulls Top Ad Blocker Because Its Success 'Doesn't Feel Good', by Dominic Rushe, The Guardian

And after witnessing the success of the app Arment concluded that the damage to ad-supported content that would have been affected by the ad blocker was too much.

Not Sure I Need An Apple Watch

2009: I'm not sure I need an iPhone. I have a laptop. 2015: I'm not sure I need a laptop. I have an iPhone.

— Neil Cybart (@neilcybart) September 18, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Fri, Sep 18, 2015The Autonomous-Vehicle-Regulation Edition

Apple Meets California Officials To Discuss Self-Driving Car, by Mark Harris, The Guardian

Apple executives have discussed their plans for an “autonomous vehicle” with officials at California’s department of motor vehicles (DMV), the Guardian has learnt.

According to documents obtained by the Guardian, Mike Maletic, a senior legal counsel at Apple, had an hour-long meeting on 17 August with the department’s self-driving car experts Bernard Soriano, DMV deputy director, and Stephanie Dougherty, chief of strategic planning, who are co-sponsors of California’s autonomous vehicle regulation project, and Brian Soublet, the department’s deputy director and chief counsel.

It’s Time To Free The Smartphone, by Walt Mossberg, Re/code

So why should the owners and sellers of the networks even have vast chains of stores? Why should they sell phones and tablets and subtly or otherwise steer customers to certain models? Why should they be able to dictate certain hardware and software features (like bloatware apps for carrier services) to weaker or more pliable manufacturers (pretty much every manufacturer not named Apple)?

Why, in an era when networks are well understood and most components standardized, should handset makers be required to undergo onerous “certification” processes that allow carriers to demand changes to the design of their devices if they want to use them on the network? One small-company American tech CEO told me the other day that it will cost him more to clear “certification” processes at the four big U.S. carriers than to build and sell the first major production run of a new handset he’s planning to launch.

With Virtual Machines, Getting Hacked Doesn’t Have To Be That Bad, by Micah Lee, The Intercept

Using virtualization software, the same technology that powers much of so-called “cloud computing,” it’s possible for you to protect your system even as you open attachments that might be sketchy, visit websites that you’re not too sure about — porn sites, torrent sites, pirated TV and sports sites — or test out software downloaded from random websites. You can also use this technology to ensure that your anonymous online activity remains anonymous, safeguarding the privacy protections offered by Tor by ensuring that absolutely all internet traffic gets routed through it — even if your software, like Tor Browser or Pidgin, gets hacked specifically to bypass Tor.

Back To The Courts

Apple Will Ask Supreme Court To Hear Its Ebooks Price-Fixing Case, by Roger Parloff, Fortune

“This case . . . presents issues of surpassing importance to the United States economy,” the company argues in papers filed with the high court Wednesday. “Dynamic, disruptive entry into new or stagnant markets—the lifeblood of American economic growth—often requires the very type of” conduct that Apple engaged in, the company argues, and which U.S. District Judge Denise Cote of Manhattan found to be illegal in July 2013.

Apple Wins Patent Ruling Against Samsung In U.S. Appeals Court, by Andrew Chung, Reuters

A U.S. appeals court on Thursday said Apple should have been awarded an injunction barring Samsung from selling products that infringe its patents, handing Apple another victory in its ongoing smartphone fight with its biggest rival. [...] The case was sent back to a federal district court in San Jose, California, to reconsider the injunction.


Apple’s iOS 9 News App Review: Broken News, by Graham Spencer, MacStories

News attempts to do too much, in areas of historical weakness for Apple, and as a result the end product just doesn't come close to the standard we expect from the company. That's a pity because there are a little gems hidden in News, buried by mediocrity, that deserve attention. Apple News Format in particular makes articles an absolute pleasure to read thanks to their rapid loading times and gorgeous designs. News is salvageable, and I hope we see either big improvements to the algorithms or a change in focus. But as it stands today, News is yet another built-in app that many millions will hide in a nondescript folder tucked away on one of their several Home screens.

Get The Most Out Of iOS 9's 'Low Power Mode', by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, ZDNet

How much of a performance hit can you expect when you enable Low Power Mode? According to Geekbench 3 tests I've done, about 40 percent. This means that the iPhone 6's A8 processor runs at a speed that's something between that of the iPhone 5's A6 chip and A7 chip that was found in the iPhone 5s.

In real terms this performance drop is not as noticeable as you might think. Sure, the more performance intensive the task you're doing, the bigger the hit will be, but for general stuff such as messaging, browsing the web, calling people and such, the effect is minimal.

iOS 9 Goes To School, by Fraser Speirs, MacStories

I have often said that the iPad hardware matters only insofar as it enables you to have an excellent experience of software. Tablets and smartphones are as close as we can practically get to a pure software experience. This is one of the reasons why iPhone and iPad hardware is firstly so minimalist and secondly hasn't changed much in all the years they have been sold. What matters about the iPad is that it makes the software fast, smooth, and powerful.

We have seen many more changes in iPad software than we have in the hardware. We started with iOS 3.2 – a version before even multitasking arrived on iOS – and we are now looking at iOS 9. So what does iOS 9 bring for education?

iFixit’s iPad Mini 4 Teardown Shows Smaller Battery, Heavy Similarities To iPad Air 2, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Ask The iTunes Guy: Managing iTunes Libraries, And The Case Of The Haywire Music Volume, by Kirk McElhearn, Macworld

Apple Music Festival Channel Will Bring Every Performance To Your Apple TV, by John Callaham, iMore


And So It Begins, by Dave Mark, The Loop

With a content blocker enabled, I followed a link to a story on Here’s what I saw.

Brussels Apple Store Offers Glimpse At Radical Design Changes, by Roger Fingas, Apple Insider

Although the company's signature display tables are in place, the shop also has wooden product shelves that more closely resemble a fashion outlet or bookstore, photos obtained by AppleInsider show. Beats headphones, for example, are hung on wooden knobs.

Apple And Google Create A Buzz At Frankfurt Motor Show, by Jack Ewing, New York Times

The mere knowledge that Apple has a team of several hundred people working on car designs changed the conversation this week at the Frankfurt International Motor Show. Along with Google, Apple has focused the minds of auto executives on the challenge posed by new technologies that have the potential to disrupt traditional auto industry hierarchies.

This year, “connectivity” has supplanted “horsepower” or “torque” as the prevailing buzzword in Frankfurt. The talk is of self-driving cars, battery-powered cars and information technology designed to link cars with data networks to make driving safer and more efficient.

How Save And Restore Classic Videogames, by Tom Bennet, Rock Paper Shotgun

Preservation of old games involves more than just an extra patch. The journey from dusty unplayable relic to polished, cross-platform installer is a minefield of technical and legal obstacles. The team at Good Old Games remain the industry leaders in the restoration of classic PC games, tasked with reverse engineering code written more than 20 years ago, unraveling knotty licensing issues left behind by defunct development studios, and battling lethargy on the part of skeptical publishers. It’s a thrilling and, at times, gruelling process, but – as the GOG team will testify – it never fails to surprise.

2015 Ig Nobel Prizes: Dinosaur-Like Chickens And Bee-Stings To The Penis, by Alan Yuhas, The Guardian

A man stung dozens of times by bees, mathematicians who wanted to know whether a man could physically be able to sire 600 sons, and chemists who unboiled an egg were honoured on Thursday night with one of science’s most storied awards, the Ig Nobel prize.

The Best Time For A Break Might Be The Mid-Morning, Not The Afternoon, by Patrick Allan, Lifehacker

Essentially, you’re filling up your gas tank before the “E” light comes on. You’ll still probably encounter a bit of an afternoon slump, but it may not be nearly as debilitating.

Way Below The Fold

Apple iOS Ad-Blocking Explained

— Felix Salmon (@felixsalmon) September 17, 2015

LMAO is Nilay serious with this? Let the whole screenshot sink in.

— Nate Boateng (@nateboateng) September 17, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Thu, Sep 17, 2015The Handing-Over-The-Keys Edition

Apple’s News, Which Launches Today, Is The Latest In A Trend Toward Distributed Content, by Benjamin Mullin, Poynter

Although there has been much public fretting about tech companies supplanting newspapers, TV networks and websites as the primary distributer of news content, those worries ignore the reality that news organizations simply can’t keep pace with Silicon Valley in terms of technological innovation, said Simon Owens, a content and social media marketing consultant.

“Think of it this way: If The New York Times struck a deal with CVS to have its print edition sold at CVS, you wouldn’t see a bunch of hand-wringing about how its handing over the keys to CVS,” Owens said in a message. “So why are there so many dire warnings about it handing over the keys to Facebook, especially when there are dozens of other major distribution channels — like Flipboard and now this Apple News app?”

And always remember to put one version on the open Web.

Apple Has Baked The Domain Into iOS 9, by Alex Kehr,

This is some absolutely phenomenal exposure for the .NEWS domain extension. Every article shared from Apple News, no matter what publication it comes from, will be delivered with a .NEWS domain attached to it.

Apple Mitigates But Doesn’t Fully Fix Critical iOS Airdrop Vulnerability, by Dan Goodin, Ars Technica

Mark Dowd, the security researcher who discovered the bug and privately reported it to Apple, told Ars that the vulnerability has been mitigated in iOS 9, which Apple released Wednesday. But he went on to say that the underlying bug still hasn't been fixed. As he demonstrated in the following video, the bug allows attackers who briefly have physical access to a vulnerable iPhone or who are within Bluetooth range of it, to install an app that the device will trust without prompting the user with a warning dialog.

More iOS 9 Stuff

iOS 9 In Review: iPad Productivity, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

Most iOS updates have been focused primarily on features that work on the iPhone, or equally across the iPhone and iPad. It only makes sense: The iPhone is vastly more popular than the iPad.

But a side-effect of this reasonable business decision is the sense that the iPad has stagnated. After an initial burst of enthusiasm by both iPad buyers and iOS developers, the iPad has just sort of… sat there.

With iPad sales flagging, Apple has finally brought a bunch of iPad-only features to iOS 9, focusing mostly on accessing multiple apps and making better use of keyboards (of both the off-screen and on-screen variety.)

iOS 9: The MacStories Review, Created On iPad, by Federico Viticci, MacStories

After two years of visual and functional changes, is iOS 9 a calm moment of introspection or a hazardous leap toward new technologies?

Can it be both?

iOS 9 Review, by Rene Ritchie, iMore

Absent the radical and the revolutionary, then, iOS 9 has to deliver on the promise not of more but of better. After the giant leaps, it has to stick the landing. So, does it?

Apple Updates iMovie With Support For 4K Video, 3D Touch And More, by AppleInsider

Peace Will Help You Block Ads And Trackers On Your iPhone And iPad With iOS 9, by Dan Thorp-Lancaster, iMore

To block ads and trackers more effectively, Peace relies on a database maintained by Ghostery, which already maintains a successful ad blocker for Safari on Mac. According to developer Marco Arment, this allows Peace to block more trackers and experience fewer compatibility issues thanks to "a reasonably sized blacklist of about 2,000 entries."

Microsoft Releases Office For iPad Updates To Support Multitasking, by Rich Edmonds, iMore

1Password 6.0 For iOS 9 Adds iPad Multitasking, Spotlight Search, by Federico Viticci, MacStories

Pinterest For iPhone And iPad Updated With iOS 9 Spotlight Support And More, by John Callaham, iMore

BBC iPlayer Latest App To Support New Picture In Picture Feature In iOS 9, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

Strangers In Strange Lands

Apple's 'Move To iOS' App Is Now Available On Android, by Chris Welch, The Verge

Rather than sync everything over the cloud, Apple uses a pretty clever strategy to transfer everything from your Android phone to iPhone. The iPhone will automatically set up a private Wi-Fi network, request a security code from the user, and then migrate all the data and "put it in the right places."

Apple’s First Android App, by Russell Ivanovic, Rusty Rants

Yeah. It’s a poor attempt at making an Android app look like an iOS app. If you’re being generous, you might think Apple did this to make you more comfortable about moving to iOS. You might even say they wanted it to look bad, because they want the amazing experience to be on iOS, not Android. Maybe. It’s certainly one way to look at it.

In the grand tradition of QuickTime for Windows and iTunes for Windows.

Apple's 'Move To iOS' App Bombed With One-Star Reviews, by Geekscribe

'Move to iOS', which first appeared on the store on September 16 to coincide with the launch of iOS9, appears to have become a battleground for fanboys of both persuasions, with most of the hundreds of comments on the app completely off topic.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella Just Used An iPhone To Demo Outlook, by Eugene Kim, Business Insider

“I’m going to first start on this iPhone, and it’s not my phone, but it is an iPhone,” said Nadella, smiling, as he walked to the podium to show Microsoft’s email app Outlook on mobile.

“It’s a pretty unique iPhone. In fact, I’d like to call it the ‘iPhone Pro,’ because it’s got all of the Microsoft software and applications on it,” he quipped, apparently referencing Apple’s introduction of the iPad Pro last week.


Most iPhone Screen Protectors Will Continue To Work With iPhone 6s 3D Touch, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

3DTechtronics asked Apple SVP Phil Schiller about this issue in an email. Schiller responded and says it’s not a problem: “screen overlays that follow our guidelines will continue to work with 3D Touch”.

iTunes 12.3 Arrives With Two-Factor Authentication Support, Bug Fixes, And More, by Mike Beasley, 9to5Mac


Apple Will Not Release watchOS 2 Today Due To Significant Bug, by Eric Slivka, MacRumors

The Web Without HTML, by Manton Reece

The web will always be playing catch-up with native apps for user experience, but the web will always be ahead as a distributed, open publishing platform. And that is such an important feature, it should be available on as many devices as possible.


The Stealthy Humanism Of Stephen Colbert, by Megan Garber, The Atlantic

Cook’s interview was, say what else you will about it, not fluff. It was funny, at points, but it was, more than anything else, serious. It had a distinct whiff of humanism in it—one that has been showing up in other Colbert interviews, as well. Which might indicate, just a little bit, what The Late Show is going to become as it settles into itself. Because when you hear a guest uttering the phrase “human rights”—multiple times!—on a late-night comedy show, that says as much about the show as it does about the guest.

Barbie Wants To Get To Know Your Child, by James Vlahos, New York Times

With such technology widely available, it was inevitable that artificial intelligence for children would arrive, too, and it is doing so most prominently in the pink, perky form of Mattel’s Hello Barbie. Produced in collaboration with ToyTalk, a San Francisco-based company specializing in artificial intelligence, the doll is scheduled to be released in November with the intention of hitting the lucrative $6 billion holiday toy market.

For adults, this new wave of everyday A.I. is nowhere near sophisticated enough to fool us into seeing machines as fully alive. That is, they do not come close to passing the ‘‘Turing test,’’ the threshold proposed in 1950 by the British computer scientist Alan Turing, who pointed out that imitating human intelligence well enough to fool a human interlocutor was as good a definition of ‘‘intelligence’’ as any. But things are different with children, because children are different. Especially with the very young, ‘‘it is very hard for them to distinguish what is real from what is not real,’’ says Doris Bergen, a professor of educational psychology at Miami University in Ohio who studies play.

How Much RAM To Allocate To Microsoft Word?

it took me a while, but I finally installed #iOS9. Looks pretty promising, I think

— blue trashcurl [22] (@_Ninji) September 16, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Wed, Sep 16, 2015The Extra-Battery-Life Edition

The Five Biggest Changes Coming To Your iPhone In Today’s iOS 9 Update, by Dan Frommer, Quartz

Apple is scheduled to release iOS 9, its latest operating system for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch today. It is a free update, and anyone with an iPhone 4S or newer will be able to upgrade.

What’s different?

iOS 9, Thoroughly Reviewed, by Andrew Cunningham, Ars Technica

iOS 7 and 8 made big changes, and those changes could make the early releases of those operating systems frustrating to use. iOS 7 didn't settle down until version 7.1, and iOS 8 didn't feel quite right until 8.3. iOS 9 doesn't feel like it needs a major bugfix release before we can recommend it without hesitation for every device that supports it (and we should know, we tested it on most of them).

The worst thing we can say about the new release is that its biggest, best new contributions—the things that make the iPad feel more like its own device and less like a big iPad—are only available to a sliver of existing devices. Slide Over and Picture-in-Picture need an iPad from 2013 or later, and the truly transformative Split View mode needs a cutting-edge model. The rest of the operating system is about spit-and-polish, taking existing features (Siri, Spotlight, Maps) and extending them in logical ways.

iOS 9 Review: An Upgrade That Will Save You Time And Battery, by Joanna Stern, Wall Street Journal

Apple promises an extra hour of battery life after the update. In our grueling, far-from-typical battery test, which cycles through a series of websites with brightness set to 65%, the iPhone 6 with iOS 9 lasted 40 extra minutes. Those savings come from tweaks Apple has made to better manage the power efficiency of its own apps, including Safari.

Additional savings are promised for when you aren’t using the phone nonstop. Now, when the iPhone is face down on the table (or even in your pocket), the screen won’t illuminate when notifications arrive.

Hands-On With The New, Proactive Spotlight In iOS 9, by Glenn Fleishman, Macworld

iOS 9 takes it a step further, integrating suggestions from Siri and opening up to third-party developers including their results. It makes for a much richer experience, and more is to come as apps are updated.

Get Started With The New Notes App On iOS 9, by Jason Cipriani, CNET

One of Apple's headlining features in iOS 9 is the brand-new Notes app. Instead of offering a straightforward, no-frills note-taking experience where only text entry is allowed, as has long been the case, iOS 9's Notes app is capable of storing nearly any type of content.

Hands On With Three iOS 9 Content Blockers: 1Blocker, Blockr And Crystal, by Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

While many consumers will likely gravitate toward AdBlock Plus because of their familiarity with the brand’s name and reputation, there will be a good handful of new apps on the horizon as well, which are also worth a look. Here are a few we’ve tried.

Game TV

Apple Reverses Stance, Says That All Apple TV Games Must Be Compatible With Siri Remote, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

This change of heart can be found in the App Programming Guide for tvOS. In the guide, Apple notes that while users can connect game controllers to their Apple TV, all games must also support the included Siri Remote.

Why Requiring Games To Support The Apple TV Remote Is The Right Decision, by Jeff Benjamin, iDownloadBlog

True, there’s not a lot of usable physical buttons on the Apple TV remote, and game controllers just work better for certain games and genres, but developers only need to support the remote.

On Demand Resources And Games, by David Owens II

Now, this probably works better of iOS devices because those are mostly single-user devices. However, the TV is centralized and consumed by multiple individuals.

It’s decisions like this and the game controller decision (which is a fascinating case of stealth documentation changes) that tell me Apple just doesn’t care to really enable high-quality gaming on tvOS.

Tim Cook In New York

Apple CEO Tim Cook On ‘The Late Show With Stephen Colbert’, by Dawn Chmielewski, Re/code

“I have to admit, I feel little naked,” Cook confessed, as he stared at a huge projection on the ceiling, made to look like a stained glass dome decorated with pictures of Colbert’s face.

“You’re supposed to think of the audience as naked,” Colbert retorted. “Check your settings.”

20 Minutes With Tim Cook, by John Paczkowski, BuzzFeed

“I think that some people will never buy a computer,” Cook says. “Because I think now we’re at the point where the iPad does what some people want to do with their PCs.” Cook is quick to point out, however, that this doesn’t foreshadow the end of the Mac. “I think there are other people — like myself — that will continue to buy a Mac and that it will continue to be a part of the digital solution for us,” he adds. “I see the Mac being a key part of Apple for the long term and I see growth in the Mac for the long term.”

Now at the Upper East Side #applestore I think this guy is following me.

— Eddy Cue (@cue) September 15, 2015


How To Get Rid Of Your Old Laptop, by Anna Attkisson, Laptop

I was tasked with getting rid of two reasonably capable laptops, though now starting to show their age: the Dell XPS 13 (non-touch version), sporting the capable but soon-to-be-replaced Windows 8.1, and the original MacBook Air. For both, the process was surprisingly easy — provided you follow a few simple steps.

How To Remove Bullet Points In The Mail App For OS X, by Glenn Fleishman, Macworld

Fixing Garbled Fonts On Apple Support Pages, by Adam C. Engst, TidBITS

The tip Michael found pointed out that the problem could be eliminated in Safari with a particular setting. Just open Safari > Preferences > Advanced and deselect “Never use font sizes smaller than.” It’s quite striking — just toggling that checkbox while that page is open reformats it completely.

'Launch Center Pro' Gains Notification Center Widget, Support For New Apps, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

With the new Notification Center widget, it's possible to add twelve of your favorite Launch Center Pro actions for quick and easy access. You can do things like call a specific person, add an event to a favorite calendar app, get directions home, scan a QR code, send a group text, and more directly from the Notification Center.

PCalc 3.5 Arrives With Native Apple Watch App, Support For Split-Screen Multitasking In iOS 9, by Dan Thorp-Lancaster, iMore

PrintLife 3 For OS X Has A Ton Of Additions And Improvements, by John Callaham, iMore

Triber: A Smart Social App For Connecting With Friends And Colleagues, by Joe White, AppAdvice


‘Stop Pushing The Web Forward’, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

“Simplicity, URLs, and reach” — those are exactly the things the web community should focus on. Native apps can’t out-web the web, and web apps should embrace that.

Apple Creating New Software Platform To Unify Its Cloud Services, Based Off Siri’s Open-Source Backend, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

Apple has started a new big project in its web services division, according to The Information. The report claims Apple has decided to rewrite its cloud services to all fall under one single technology stack using open-source technologies. This will combine Apple’s services like iCloud, Siri, iTunes and more into a unified backend platform.

Things I Was Unprepared For As A Lead Developer, by Pascal de Vink, Dev-Human

I've been a lead developer for 2 years. It has been quite a ride and there were a lot of things I was unprepared for. I've always been a software engineer, mostly involved with the actual code. People tell me I have a very natural way of leading, which is probably why I was asked for the job. However, I never before considered what it takes to lead an entire team of engineers. I wish I had more preparation beforehand. So to give you, the reader, a head start, these are the topics I was unprepared for, so you can hopefully be a better leader than I was. Mind you, I didn't fail on all aspects, but most caught up with in me at one point in time.


Can Rice Actually Save Your Wet Phone?, by Michael Zelenko, The Verge

That Monday I strutted into the Verge office with my resuscitated phone like a modern-day Dr. Frankenstein, parading my very own freak of science. A whole day! At the bottom of a lake! My colleagues asked the inevitable question: Did you put it in rice? I did, I said. Of course, they said, that’s the trick, works every time.

But two weeks later, my phone became sluggish, unresponsive. Then, one evening, it stopped receiving a signal entirely, the word "Searching…" permanently tattooed in the upper left corner of the screen. I brought it to my carrier, where a lady tried this and that, starting and restarting the device ad infinitum. After 45 minutes, she turned to me, visibly frustrated. "Sir," she asked me, with a streak of suspicion in her voice, "did you get this phone wet?"

Why The Internet Won’t Be The Next TV For Advertising, by Miriam Gottfried, Wall Street Journal

Best Song Ever

Siri is on a bad-relationship kick.

— Dan Frakes (@DanFrakes) September 16, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Tue, Sep 15, 2015The Infinite-Loop-Store Edition

Apple's Company Store At Infinite Loop Reopens On September 19, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Apple has announced the grand reopening of its Company Store at its One Infinite Loop headquarters in Cupertino, California will take place on Saturday, September 19 at 10 AM Pacific. The store has been closed for renovations since June 15.


Stop Photos From Launching When You Plug Your iPhone Into Your Mac, by Glenn Fleishman, Macworld

Where do you find the find the photo-app launching preference? Not in Photos or iPhoto, as you’d expect! Instead, launch Applications > Image Capture, a very useful utility that can work with iOS devices, inserted SD cards, attached cameras, and networked scanners.

Apple Discontinues AppleCare+ Bundles For The iPhone And Apple Watch, by Joseph Keller, iMore

Apple's 3D Touch Displays Make iPhone 6s, 6s Plus Almost 11% Heavier Than Previous Models, by AppleInsider

Luxury Fashion Retailer Burberry Launches Curated Apple Music Channel, by Dan Thorp-Lancaster, iMore

Sofa: Discover New Movies From Curated Collections, by Graham Spencer, MacStories

Sofa does two things: it helps you discover new movies to watch, and it lets you keep a list of movies you want to watch. Despite its rather sparse feature list, Sofa is well worth your time. One of the reasons why is because Sofa's discover section is populated by hand-curated collections of movies. But Sofa also looks great and, because it isn't burdened with dozens of features, the app is simple and delightful to use.


Are Bosses Necessary?, by Jerry Useem, The Atlantic

However fraught it may be, Zappos’s experiment with holacracy is just the latest sign that information technology is allowing the emergence of a new form of organization.


Apple Makes Its Biggest Push To Date Into The Enterprise, by Sean Ginevan, Re/code

But if you look carefully at the series of announcements that Apple has made over the last four months, it’s clear that Apple aims to become the de-facto standard within corporate IT. This more clearly articulated focus on the enterprise started with investor calls in April, grew with the news at WWDC back in June, and increased momentum, most recently, with the “Hey Siri” event in August. When you connect all the dots, you see a clear and present focus on business.

Siri Dictation Changes, by Dr. Drang, And Now It's All This

Siri’s previous behavior trained me to dictate my notes in a certain way, and now I have to ditch those habits and retrain myself for absolutely no reason.

The Pitfalls Of The Microsoft And Apple ‘Frenemy’ Pact, by Andrew Hill, Financial Times

Plenty of companies are just happy to collaborate with Apple — as providers of apps, for instance — and compete with each other. It is in Apple’s interests to cultivate this network just as an old-style manufacturer would its competing suppliers. But Apple and Microsoft’s banter could look like a snub to companies that do not just want a seat at the same table but aim to throw their own, better party. Their enemy’s frenemy is almost certainly not their friend.

Spotify CEO: Company Has Seen Faster Growth Since Apple Music Debut, by Bredan Klinkenberg, BuzzFeed

Parting Words

non-autumn seasons are design flaws

— Ethan Marcotte (@beep) September 14, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Mon, Sep 14, 2015The First-Weekend-Record Edition

Apple: We Are On Pace To Beat Last Year's iPhone First-Weekend Record, by CNBC

"Customer response to iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus has been extremely positive and preorders this weekend were very strong around the world," the company said in a statement. "We are on pace to beat last year's 10 million unit first-weekend record when the new iPhones go on sale Sept. 25."

TV Bundles Challenge Apple To Make A Deal, by Katie Benner, New York Times

The price tag that Apple would have to pay at this point would be high, because the TV world that Apple is dealing with now is stronger than the music industry was when Apple needed songs for iTunes and the iPod.

“The record companies were facing what was obviously a mortal threat with illegal file sharing,” Mr. Wieser said. “You could argue that Steve Jobs didn’t let a good crisis go to waste and he cut some very good deals.”

By contrast, Mr. Wieser says that viewers in about three million of the country’s 110 million homes watch television shows via broadband only. “At that pace you can understand why there’s no sense of urgency” to work with Apple, he said.

Xcode Confirms 2GB Of RAM In iPhone 6s And 6s Plus, 4GB Of RAM In iPad Pro, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Apple development tool Xcode seemingly confirms the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus each have 2GB of RAM, while the iPad Pro has 4GB of RAM, as discovered by iOS developer Hamza Sood.


Dark Corners Of Unicode, by Fuzzy Notepad

I’m assuming, if you are on the Internet and reading kind of a nerdy blog, that you know what Unicode is. At the very least, you have a very general understanding of it — maybe “it’s what gives us emoji”.

That’s about as far as most people’s understanding extends, in my experience, even among programmers. And that’s a tragedy, because Unicode has a lot of… ah, depth to it. Not to say that Unicode is a terrible disaster — more that human language is a terrible disaster, and anything with the lofty goals of representing all of it is going to have some wrinkles.

So here is a collection of curiosities I’ve encountered in dealing with Unicode that you generally only find out about through experience. Enjoy.


Apple’s 3D Touch — Evolutionary Perspective, by Srikanth Thunga, Medium

The reason why creation wasn’t a major thing on iPads until now was not just because of lack of apps but because of lack of underlying sensors which didn’t have accuracy.

On The iPad Pro And The Constraints Of iOS, by Justin Wiliiams, Carpeaqua

The iPad Pro is a device that is begging for great third-party software from both large companies like Adobe and Apple, as well as the smaller guys like Gus at Flying Meat. A larger screen, keyboard case, and a Pencil aren’t going to solve those problems. You can’t have a Pro tablet without pro apps to go with it. There are a few great iPad apps out there, but most of them feel like minimum viable products at best.

Guitar Solo Faces

Guitar solo faces make so much more sense when the guitars are replaced with slugs...

— Matt Bloom (@MattBloomFilms) September 13, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Sun, Sep 13, 2015The Never-Walk-Alone Edition

Companion App Promises You’ll Never Walk Home Alone Again, by Samantha Rhodes, USA Today

It’s 11:30 p.m. and you’re walking home alone from the library. You’ve heard that some areas are unsafe. You think about texting a roommate to let her know that you’re on your way back, but decide not to because it really isn’t that far of a walk. Besides, this wouldn’t exactly be of help if you ran into trouble. Instead, you just hope that no one will bother you.

Now however, Companion, a free app developed by five University of Michigan students, gives that friend you reached out to the ability to actively participate in ensuring your safety.


Subscription iPhones, by Benedict Evans

Meanwhile, this means Apple will be selling both refurbished models from one and two years ago and also (as it does today) newly manufactured instances of those older models. How will that work? How will the margins compare? Will it cost $260 to make an iPhone 6S in a year (maybe)? Then, how and where will Apple sell these? One obvious answer is that they'll go to emerging markets - to India, Latin America and, yes China. But how big will this be - how many people will take it up? How will Apple explain the difference?

Scientists Have Discovered Why Running Makes You Happy, by Ariana Eunjung Cha, Washington Post

When you're in motion, your leptin levels may fall, and the researchers said this could "send a hunger signal to the brain's pleasure center to generate the rewarding effects of running."

Closing Doors

I'll take "elegant metaphors for death" for $500, Alex.

— Kashana (@kashanacauley) September 12, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Sat, Sep 12, 2015The Sending-Information-To-Apple Edition

Apple Addresses Privacy Questions About ‘Hey Siri’ And Live Photo Features, by Matthew Panzarino, TechCrunch

“In no case is the device recording what the user says or sending that information to Apple before the feature is triggered,” says Apple.

Instead, audio from the microphone is continuously compared against the model, or pattern, of your personal way of saying ‘Hey Siri’ that you recorded during setup of the feature. Hey Siri requires a match to both the ‘general’ Hey Siri model (how your iPhone thinks the words sound) and the ‘personalized’ model of how you say it. This is to prevent other people’s voices from triggering your phone’s Hey Siri feature by accident.

Apple's 'Hey Siri' Feature In iOS 9 Uses Individualized Voice Recognition, by Mitchel Broussard, MacRumors

Similar in vein to the way Apple aimed its Touch ID feature to work better and better the more you unlocked an iPhone using the fingerprint scanning sensor, it seems the set-up process will guide users into stating words or phrases to better acclimate Siri with each iPhone owner.

Swapping Old And Clunky Out

Table For Two, With An iPad? How Tablets And Mobile Apps Are Transforming The Restaurant Business, by Christina Pellegrini, Financial Post

More restaurant owners are starting to swap old, clunky and often costly IT systems — and the waiter’s pencil and notepad — for iPads and mobile apps to save money in the long run and differentiate themselves in the short. But, if these shiny gadgets don’t have a smooth runway to connect them all together, the pursuit of simplicity through digitization and automation can turn out to be rife with complexity.

Mickalow confesses he’s no tech whiz. So, for the second Test Kitchen, which opened in mid-August, he hired MacMedics, a Toronto consultancy, to steer data traffic on separate and predictable routes, reduce the frequency of congestion, and prioritize money-making meal orders on the network above all else. So far, it has worked.

Apple’s iPhone Upgrade Program Is A Brilliant Strategy To Turn Carriers Into “Dumb Pipes”, by Dan Frommer, Quartz

Apple’s program isn’t as cheap as similar offers from some carriers (it also includes Apple’s extended warranty plan and phones are sold unlocked). But it does something more important: It converts its users from “carrier customers” to “Apple customers.”

The Cable Industry Faces The Perfect Storm: Apps, App Stores And Apple, by Flurry Mobile

After putting the desktop web in their rear view mirror, apps now reign supreme as the top media channel in the United States, even without the help of the mobile browser. For the first time ever, time spent inside mobile applications by the average US consumer has exceeded that of TV.


Apple TV Drops Optical Audio-Out: How To Pump Up The Volume Again, by Glenn Fleishman, Macworld

If you’re using the audio port now to stream sound and want to do so in the future with a new Apple TV, what choices do you have? It turns out, quite a few.

This Hidden iPhone Feature Could Save Your Life, by

Embedded in your phone’s Health app, the feature called Medical ID, allows you to store medical information such as your blood type, allergies and any medication you may be on.

In addition to your medical info, you can also store emergency contact numbers, which can be accessed and contacted from your phone even when it’s locked.

Hands On: Apple's Latest iPhone 6s And 6s Plus With Live Photos And 3D Touch, by Daniel Eran Dilger, AppleInsider

iA Writer Adds New Previews On Mac, Customisable Keyboard On iOS, by Thorin Klosowski, Lifehacker

Say It With A Song, Send Music Messages With MSTY, by Sandy Stachowiak, AppAdvice


As Apple Plans Major AirPlay Overhaul For iOS 9 & New Apple TV, Mirroring Apps Must Implement Workarounds, by Jordan Kahn, 9to5Mac

While Apple hasn’t detailed the changes publicly, the company is planning what appears to be a major, undocumented overhaul of its AirPlay protocol with iOS 9 that should make the framework for streaming video and audio content between devices a much smoother experience for both users and developers. It is, however, breaking many screen mirroring apps in the process and forcing developers to scramble to implement workarounds ahead of the launch of iOS 9 on Wednesday and the new Apple TV in the coming weeks.

Apple Now Allowing Developers To Submit iOS 9, OS X El Capitan And Native Watch Apps To The App Store, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac


Initial Thoughts On iPad Pro, by Fraser Speirs

The iPad Pro isn't so much about the iPad Pro today as it is about what it and iOS will become by 2020: Apple's vision for the future of personal computing.

Apple Busted For Not Paying China Taxes, by David Goldman, CNN

"During an audit of our 2013 operations, a difference in interpretation of a tax rule resulted in a balance due, which we paid with interest," said Josh Rosenstock, a spokesman for Apple. "We pay all the taxes we owe wherever we do business and we will continue working closely with the Ministry of Finance."

'Smile' Tool Draws Criticism At Apple Launch, by BBC

Carolyn Leighton, Founder and CEO of Women in Technology International, told BBC Trending that although it was unlikely that anything malicious was intended, the photo subject was "a poor choice."

"It just triggers this feeling that so many people have," says Leighton. "It's just like when these companies put men in front of the camera instead of women. People are out of touch with the fact that women are equal partners in the field."

Cook On Colbert

"Siri, put Apple CEO Tim Cook on my calendar for Tuesday, Sept. 15. Oh, and come up with some questions to ask him."

— Stephen Colbert (@StephenAtHome) September 12, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Fri, Sep 11, 2015The Middle-Finger-Extended Edition

Finally, by Paul Kafasis

It appears that when Apple ships iOS 9.1, iPhone users will have access to a key symbol of human communication. In a beta posted yesterday, Apple greatly expanded the number of supported emoji, including multiple new hand gestures. Of course, there’s one gesture that all have been waiting for, and it looks like we’ll be getting it at long last.

Apple’s New Middle-Finger Emoji Is Anatomically Inaccurate, by L.V. Anderson, Slate

Most people find it quite easy to fully extend their thumbs and index fingers while the rest of their fingers remain curled in—that’s why the thumb’s up and pointing emoji don’t strike me as unrealistic. But try independently extending your middle finger as far out as your pointer finger can go—chances are you can’t do it.


Hands-On With The iPad Pro's Smart Keyboard, by Jason Snell, Macworld

The keyboard itself feels pretty good, given how thin it is and how little movement there is when you press a key. I was able to type a few sample paragraphs without much trouble.

Don’t Make Decisions On Your Own, Get Help From Flotsm, by Sandy Stachowiak, AppAdvice

You can ask your friends and family for advice, but for an unbiased opinion from someone outside of your circle, try asking on Flotsm instead. This new app lets you get answers to the difficult questions as well as the lighthearted ones, anonymously.


Apple's Live Photos Take Up About 2x Space Of Normal Images, by Arnold Kim, MacRumors

Why You Don’t Want The New Apple TV If You Just Want To Stream Audio, by Kirk McElhearn

From Products To Platforms, by Ben Thompson, Stratechery

Over the last several years both Microsoft and Adobe have altered their business models away from packaged software towards subscription pricing; while their users may have grumbled, they also had no choice given their dependence on the two software giants’ products. And, it’s that new model that justifies the expense of developing iPad apps and explains why it is Apple’s old nemeses who are doing by far the most interesting work on the iPad. Unfortunately, this isn’t a model that is readily replicable for the sort of development shops that Apple needs to invest significant time and resources in creating must-have iPad apps: what customer is going to sign up for a recurring payment for an app that doesn’t even have a service component and that the customer hasn’t even tried?

Who Is The iPad Pro For?, by Jacob Kastrenakes, The Verge

Right now, it'll probably take someone who's a bit more committed to going all in — iOS has its limitations, and you'll want to know how to get around them — but Apple seems to be setting the iPad Pro up as a tablet that could one day replace your laptop (yes, that's the Surface's slogan). My guess is that day isn't here yet for most people, but Apple just took its first real step toward it.

How Apple Is Escalating The Wireless Wars, by Miriam Gottfried, Wall Street Journal

For years, U.S. wireless carriers have been trying to exit the business of subsidizing phones. Now Apple’s latest move may be too much of a good thing—and could force carriers to lower plan prices even further.

The Web Browser Saved Apple, But Apple Is Over The Web Browser, by Matthew Yglesias, Vox

The lack of a browser on the Apple Watch and Apple TV isn't exactly shocking — neither the wrist nor the television screen provides an ideal browsing environment — but the failure to include them is a bit remarkable nonetheless.

16GB Is A Bad User Experience, by David Smith

This near term benefit will surely help their balance sheet in their next earnings call but comes at the cost of the day-to-day experience of some of their customers.

Do Babies Know When They're Skyping?, by Adrienne Lafrance, The Atlantic

Scientists at several universities told me they now have evidence, to the likely delight of far-flung grandparents everywhere, that infants can also tell the difference between, say, a broadcast of Mister Rogers and a video call with their actual grandfather. The ability to discern between video broadcast and video-based chat from infancy, which researchers have only recently confirmed, could have a profound effect on our understanding of how the human brain develops—and specifically, how technologies can play a role in shaping abstract concepts early on.

Parting Words

When do we get Xcode for iPad Pro?

— John Gruber (@gruber) September 10, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Thu, Sep 10, 2015The Peek-And-Pop Edition

Brief Thoughts And Observations Regarding Today’s ‘Hey Siri’ Apple Event, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

The taptic feedback feels great. Apple calls the two levels “peek” and “pop”. They definitely feel different. Peek is like the half-press on a camera shutter to auto-focus, and pop is the full-press to take a picture. Pop feels stronger. And, for 3D touch UI elements that only have one level, you feel the pop right away, giving you haptic feedback that you need not try pressing harder, because you’re already all the way in. The taptic engine also serves as the vibrator for notifications, and I suspect that’s going to be a big improvement over the rinky-dink vibrator in every iPhone since the iPhone 4.

Developing For Apple TV: First Thoughts, by Erica Sadun

Get ready to master iCloud. There is no persistent local storage for apps on Apple TV. This means that every app developed for the new Apple TV must be able to store data in iCloud and retrieve it in a way that provides a great customer experience. Plan your app’s full lifetime from launch, to pause, to resume, to shut-down.

Apple Implemented Our Concept Of ‘Live Photos’ And Did A Much Better Job., by Kristof Houben, Medium

You must be wondering how it feels to see a concept you worked so very hard on end up as a native feature in an Apple product. Honestly, it doesn’t feel that bad, besides from not being a part of the actual implementation, we really feel that capturing a memory like this feels very natural and that’s what matters most.


Eight Years After The First iPhone, Apple Keeps Going Its Own Way, by Farhad Manjoo, New York Times

What’s driving the iPhone’s escape from the trap of commodity hardware is that it is more than a hardware device. Instead, an iPhone is a tightly integrated mix of hardware, great software, and several pretty good services rolled into a single gadget.

Popular Drawing Application Paper By FiftyThree Now Available On iPhone, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Paper for iPhone includes nearly all of the features that users have come to appreciate from the iPad version. Images, text notes, lists, and sketches are all combined into the same space, which means you can quickly capture any idea that may come into your mind. There are a variety of photo features in the app, as well, including the ability to take, annotate, and spotlight images.


Apple Increases AppleCare+ Prices And Service Fees For iPhone 6s And 6s Plus, by Husain Sumra, MacRumors

How The Apple Watch Saved Garry Barker's Life by Jeff Glorfeld, Sydney Morning Herald

Aware now that something wasn't right, he tapped the watch and swiped to bring up the Heart Rate Glance app. It showed 50 beats a minute. He tapped it again – 150 beats a minute! Not good. He opened Cardio, the heart rate app on his iPhone, and got the same result. Then to the Health app on the iPhone, where the health and fitness data from the watch is displayed on a dashboard. It showed irregularity, with spiking of between 120 and 150 beats a minute.

Why High-End Game Consoles Have Little To Fear From The New Apple TV, by Kyle Orland, Ars Technica

The Washington Post Has Begun Blocking The Ad Blockers, by Matthew Zeitlin, BuzzFeed

Disingenuous Movie Reviews, by Paul Kafasis

Here’s Why Parents Are Angry At Nest, by John Patrick Pullen, Time

Great Day

It was a great day- thanks @OneRepublic, our employees & our many customers around the world who watched.

— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) September 10, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Wed, Sep 9, 2015The September-Event-2015 Edition

"Hey Siri, Anything Interesting Happen Today?", by Apple

iPad Pro

Apple’s iPad Pro Challenges Laptops With Keyboard…and ‘Pencil’, by Nathan Olivarez-Giles, Wall Street Journal

After months of speculation, the iPad Pro is finally real. And it’s big. The iPad Pro has a 12.9-inch display with a 2732×2048-pixel resolution. That’s 5.6 million pixels across the massive screen, and even more than a 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display has. But the display isn’t the only makes the iPad Pro like a laptop. It’ll have a keyboard and stylus, too.

Hands-On With The Huge New Apple iPad Pro And Pencil Stylus, by David Pierce, Wired

And the crazy thing is, it sort of works. This 1.57-pound, 6.9mm-thick device is a little clunky, sure, but it’s entirely possible to hold in one hand. It’s sturdy and handsome, with speakers on all four corners and the same rounded-rectangle feel as its smaller brethren. It’s just enormous. I can’t say that enough.

Hands-On With Apple's New iPad Pro, by Lauren Goode, The Verge

This $99, all-white stylus felt light in the hand when I used it to scribble in Notes and draw on a picture in Apple's native Mail app. It also felt fast, unlike some styluses that suffer from latency issues. But again, I didn't use it for an extended period of time.

iPad Mini 4 Specs, by John Callaham, iMore

Apple TV

Apple Announces New Apple TV With Siri, App Store, New User Interface And Remote, by Husain Sumra, MacRumors

The new Apple TV was constructed on a foundation encompassing powerful hardware, a modern operating system, a new user experience with deep Siri integration, tools for developers, and most importantly, an App Store.

Hands-On With The New Apple TV, by Nilay Patel, The Verge

As for performance, it's unsurprisingly great in the limited demos running here. The App Store isn't live yet and is showing a dummy screen, but the games are running fast and smooth, and video apps are of course streaming flawlessly.

Siri On Apple TV Will Be Restricted To Just 8 Of 80 Launch Countries, Apps Limited To 200MB, by Sam Oliver, AppleInsider

Only consumers in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Spain, the UK and the U.S. will receive the Siri Remote.

Apple TV Apps Limited To 200 MB In Size, Any Additional Assets Must Be Downloaded On Demand, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

Developers Can Register Now To Apply For A New Apple TV Hardware Ahead Of General Release, Supplies Limited, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

New iPhones

Apple Unveils New iPhone 6S, by Katie Benner, New York Times

Apple executives demonstrated most of the anticipated new features of the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, including an upgraded, 12-megapixel camera and a new capability called 3D Touch. It can sense how hard a user is pressing a button, allowing for easier access to different menus and information. It also gives users “tactile feedback” when they touch their screens. Pressure-sensitive touch screens are already available on the Apple Watch and the new MacBook.

How Apple Built 3D Touch, by Josh Tyrangiel, Bloomberg

Ive is proud of 3D Touch because it improves the experience of owning an iPhone, but he’s also proud of what it says about Apple. He can’t think of another company that would have put so many resources into such a seemingly subtle, yet potentially profound, change.

“Why would we spend this many years working on 3D Touch when you can do some of these things with a button? Well it’s, it’s just such a fluid connection with your content,” says Ive, a little dreamily. “And not everything is binary, is it?”

Apple's New Upgrade Program Makes It Easy To Buy An iPhone Every Year, by Chris Welch, The Verge

Apple today announced the iPhone Upgrade Program, a new initiative that will let consumers buy new, unlocked iPhones from the company and move up to the new flagship model every year.

The iPhone 6s On Sprint And Verizon Will Be Different Models, by Jared Dipane, iMore

Apple Drops Prices On The iPhone 5s, 6 And 6 Plus, by Jon Fingas, Engadget

iOS 9 Rolls Out On September 16, by Dan Thorp-Lancaster, iMore

And More

Apple Announces September 30 Release Date For OS X 10.11, by Lee Hutchinson, Ars Technica

As has been the case with new versions of OS X for several years now, El Capitan will be a free upgrade for existing Mac OS users.

iCloud Pricing Lowered, With 1TB Of Storage Available For $9.99 A Month, by John Callaham, iMore

Apple Watch Sport Collection Adds Yellow And Rose Gold-Anodized Models, New Sport And Leather Bands, More, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

Follow-Up Spying

Apple’s iMessage Defense Against Spying Has One Flaw, by Joseph Cox, Wired

Apple said that wasn’t possible, because its iMessage service was encrypted.

But, the thing is, there is actually a very high likelihood that, technologically, iMessage could be wiretapped, because it does not allow users to verify encryption keys when writing or receiving messages.

EFF Applauds Apple’s Refusal Of Government Demand For iMessage Backdoor, by Bill Budington, Nate Cardozo and Andrew Crocker, Electronic Frontier Foundation

These questions should be discussed in a public forum with public participation before any such system is built out, and not as a result of secret court decisions and under a gag order. We applaud Apple’s resolve in standing firm, and we strongly urge the government to bring this debate out in the open where it belongs.

The Mugs

Mac User Groups Fade In Number And Influence, But Devotees Press On, by Katie Benner, New York Times

The continued existence of Mac user groups is an anachronism in a world where Apple customers today can almost instantaneously get tech support online and at Apple Stores. Only a few hundred user groups remain, down from several thousand at their peak in the early to mid-1990s. But they continue as a testament to loyalty and fellowship, qualities that seem quaint in a fast-moving world that sometimes favors online interaction over face-to-face encounters.


The Apple ISA, by Adrian Sampson

It is surprising that one last gap remains in the middle of this stack of system exclusivity: Apple licenses the instruction set architecture for its mobile devices from ARM.

How 15 Seconds Of An Apple Ad Changed Blick Bassy's Life, by Sophie Eastaugh, CNN

It's only 15 seconds of music, featuring a delicate jingle of banjo and guitar topped with a honeyed song in the dialect of Bassa. Yet it's 15 seconds that changed everything for Blick Bassy, the Cameroonian musician whose song "Kiki" was chosen for Apple's iPhone 6 advertising campaign, airing globally in June.

Close At Hand: A Pocket History Of Technology, by Diana Kimball, Medium

Pockets matter because they’re personal. What we wear at our waists is at least as intimate as what we wear on our wrists, and what we’ve worn there over the centuries tells us a lot about who we are, how we’ve changed, and how we’ve stayed the same. We’re greedy; we’re vain; we’re hungry; we’re late. We want to start fires and listen to a thousand songs.

Parting Words

When you act like you belong so everybody just goes with it

— Mark Agee (@MarkAgee) September 8, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Tue, Sep 8, 2015The Could-Not-Comply Edition

Apple And Other Tech Companies Tangle With U.S. Over Data Access, by Matt Apuzzo, David E. Sanger And Michael S. Schmidt, New York Times

In an investigation involving guns and drugs, the Justice Department obtained a court order this summer demanding that Apple turn over, in real time, text messages between suspects using iPhones.

Apple’s response: Its iMessage system was encrypted and the company could not comply.

Government officials had warned for months that this type of standoff was inevitable as technology companies like Apple and Google embraced tougher encryption. The case, coming after several others in which similar requests were rebuffed, prompted some senior Justice Department and F.B.I. officials to advocate taking Apple to court, several current and former law enforcement officials said.


How To Breathe Life Into An Old Mac, by Christopher Phin, Macworld

What follows is tried-and-tested pragmatic advice to keep your Mac happily and gainfully employed for many years to come.

Hider 2 Lets You Easily Hide Your Mac Data From Prying Eyes, by Dennis Sellers, Apple World Today

Hider 2 doesn’t just make your files invisible, but actually copies them to its your vault and deletes them as if you'd performed an "Empty Trash" action. When you toggle an item’s switch to Visible, the MacPaw app copies the item back to its original location. That's an innovative idea, but it does mean that hiding-encrypting/unhiding-uncrypting large files can take some time.

Local Nurse Designs Arrhythmia App, by Paul Deaton, Iowa City Press-Citizen

“I just really fell in love with programming, the whole creative process,” he said. “I had to design the whole app, I worked really hard on getting the look of it to be professional and simple in operation. Being on the edge of technology is the place to be.


Decoding Steve Jobs, In Life And On Film, by Andrew Ross Sorkin, New York Times

But all these efforts to paint Jobs as a hero or a villain miss a larger truth: He can be both and still be worthy of acclaim... You don’t have to be an “Apploonian” to appreciate that he has an authentic claim on changing the world during this last generation.

Humanizing Technology: A History Of Human-Computer Interaction, by Steve Lohr, New York Times

“I think human-computer interaction designs have had as much impact as Moore’s Law in bringing the web and mobile devices to the world,” said Ben Shneiderman, a professor at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Parting Words

Conference idea: TEDIUM. It features some of the most boring Medium contributors delivering TED-style talks. About algorithms and big data.

— Evgeny Morozov (@evgenymorozov) September 7, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Mon, Sep 7, 2015The Fell-Short-In-Flexibility Edition

Scientists Tested 30 Apple iPhone Fitness Apps For The Quality Of Their Workouts. Guess How Many Passed?, by Ariana Eunjung Cha, Washington Post

More than half the apps met some of the criteria for aerobic exercise, 90 percent for some strength/resistance, but many fell short in flexibility. In all, two-thirds did not meet any flexibility criteria, the researchers wrote in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.

The final result, when the scientists combined those three scores to come up with a total quality score: Only one app -- the Sworkit Lite Personal Workout Trainer -- met more than half the criteria from the guidelines.


SF summer gradient

— Burrito Justice (@burritojustice) September 7, 2015


SiriScript, by Daniel Jalkut

Siri is more limiting than AppleScript, because it can only carry out tasks that Apple’s engineers have predicted that I will want to perform. But it’s also much easier than opening up Script Editor, scrutinizing a scripting dictionary, spending 10 years learning AppleScript, and then writing and running a script.

What To Do If Your Hard Drive Is Filling Up Rapidly And You Use Apple Music, by Kirk McElhearn

"The Watch Face Wars", by Abdel Ibrahim, WatchAware

Sure, round is a tad nicer looking when compared to square and we all know that if Apple built a round smartwatch it would be beautiful, but the problem is about information and glanceable data. In 5-10 years, are we really going to be using watches to tell time? Will that be even 1/4 of the reason we wear them? It’s hard to say, but again, I look at the iPhone and ask myself “How often do I make phone calls?”

Parting Words

"I find penguins at present the only comfort in life… one can’t be angry when one looks at a penguin" - John Ruskin

— Marcus Chown (@marcuschown) September 7, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Sun, Sep 6, 2015The Huge-Apple-Logo Edition

Large Apple Logo Goes Up At Bill Graham Auditorium Ahead Of iPhone Event, by Mikey Campbell, AppleInsider

Apple is indeed installing huge 15-foot Apple logos in the auditorium's ornate window arches.

This will be an exciting week as Apple introduces new everything.


Removing Mental Overhead On Your iPhone, by Ben Brooks

I wish Apple allowed unlimited apps in a folder, and I wish Apple showed badged apps in Notification Center — having said that, this is clearly a much cleaner, prettier, and faster way to organize and access apps on your iPhone.

A Sharing Economy Where Teachers Win, by Natasha Singer, New York Times

Teachers often spend hours preparing classroom lesson plans to reinforce the material students are required to learn, and many share their best materials with colleagues. Founded in 2006, TeachersPayTeachers speeds up this lesson-plan prep work by monetizing exchanges between teachers and enabling them to make faster connections with farther-flung colleagues.

Twitter Clutters Up iOS And Android Timelines With 'Who To Follow', by Roberto Baldwin, Engadget

Parting Words

Hitting rock bottom, Kodak style.

— Vlad Savov (@vladsavov) September 5, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Sat, Sep 5, 2015The Most-Hallowed-Of-Days Edition

International Bacon Day Is Saturday. Here Are 18 Ways To Celebrate, by Noelle Carter, Los Angeles Times

In observance of this most hallowed of days, we've compiled 18 of our favorite recipes. From breakfast to dessert, main courses to sides, you can celebrate. All. Day. Long.

16 Deliciously Porky Ways To Celebrate International Bacon Day, by Sophie Quick, The Telegraph

For International Bacon Day, we bring you the best ways to celebrate - from bacon-flavoured toothpaste to bacon desserts

Make Perfect, Crispy Bacon Every Time, by Dan Benjamin, Bacon Method

It's easy. Here's how.

The Upgrade Cycle

Why You Should Upgrade (On Your Own Terms), by Adam C. Engst, TidBITS

In fact, apart from certain security-related updates that would be good to get sooner rather than later, I think waiting a decent amount of time before upgrading makes a ton of sense. Immediate upgrades are for those of us whose business revolves around the latest details — we’re the penguins diving off the ice floe first so the rest of you can jump in without worrying about leopard seals. Wait a bit after a major upgrade, and for a minor update or two to address bugs that became obvious only after widespread public release.

App Release Notes Are Getting Stupid, by Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

Mobile app publishers have begun to play fast and loose with their release notes, which is the area where they’re supposed to communicate the changes shipping with the most recent app update to the end users. This inattention to detail is a disservice to users, who no longer have the benefit of understanding what the updated app will now do — or not do — as the case may be.

Without details, users can’t make an informed decision about whether they want to install that update at all.

Follow Up Droid

The Physics Of How That Star Wars BB-8 Toy Works, by Rhett Allain, Wired

First, let’s look at the bottom of BB-8. It’s a sphere that can roll. So, how do you make a sphere roll without pushing it? This one isn’t so difficult. All you need is a moveable mass inside the sphere.

Want To See Sphero's BB-8 Tackle Sand, Cats, And Dogs? Check Out Our Review, by Serenity Caldwell, iMore

Yep, his little robotic head may connect to his body with magnets, but it also uses little wheels to move around his body—wheels that very, very quickly get clogged up with dirt, hair, and all sorts of unpleasantness.

Follow-Up Movie

ReThink Review -- Steve Jobs: The Man In The Machine -- An Apple Hater's Manifesto, by Jonathan Kim, Huffington Post

That's why it really bums me out that The Man In the Machine makes little attempt to portray someone who was, by most accounts, a complex, iconic, but all-too-flawed man who, over the course of his career, could be both inventor and thief, monk and businessman, brat and sage, tyrant and beloved leader, and managed to use those conflicting traits to both change the world and create the most valuable, influential, and admired company on the planet. Instead, The Man In the Machine is focused largely on the thesis that Jobs was always and only a jerk, that people who enjoy Apple products and admire Jobs are idiots and cult members, and that the computer revolution that was born of Jobs' vision must inevitably contain the same ugly darkness Gibney feels is Jobs' defining trait, despite any evidence to the contrary.


Apple CarPlay Review, by Dan Selfert, The Verge

But for all of the complaints, CarPlay is still miles better than the interface on many cars, including the one on this otherwise very cool Corvette Stingray. It provides a simpler and safer way to access the services you want from your phone while driving, and you don’t have to learn a completely new interface just to do that.

Worms 4 Blasts Its Way Onto The iPhone And iPad, by Joseph Keller, iMore

Architecture Of Radio: An iPad App Shows Invisible Signals, by Parvinder Marwaha, I Am Expat

Dutch artist Richard Vijgen designed Architecture of Radio, an iPad app that lets users explore the "infosphere" - a term used to describe an environment that is populated by informational entities like wireless and wired networks, as well as other electronic signals.


The Watch Face Wars, by John Moltz, A Very Nice Web Site

Samsung made a nice looking watch. But the reason it looks nice to us is the same reason cars that looked like horse-drawn coaches probably looked nice to people in the late 1800s. It’s just what we’re used to. It’s time to rethink that.

Take Better Selfies., by Aanand Prasad, Medium

Do you ever hate how you look in photos taken by other people? That’s because other people have no clue how to make you look good. But you can very easily learn how.

I Met My First Girlfriend Through Windows 95: An Internet Love Story, by Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica

Parting Words

YouTube should put the ad inside the "skip this ad in 'x' seconds" box because that's the only thing I'm paying attention to.

— SeoulBrother (@SeoulBrother) September 4, 2015

Thanks for reading. And have a wonderful International Bacon Day.

Fri, Sep 4, 2015The Extremely-Daunting Edition

The Growing iOS SDK, by David Smith

There was a time when I felt like I knew my way around pretty much every non-game SDK available on iOS. Now I often find myself stumbling across frameworks that are completely foreign to me, which is both kind of exciting but also extremely daunting.

Don’t Build A Billion-Dollar Business. Really., by Gleb Budman, BackBlaze

Start a business because it addresses the problem you want to solve and produces the product you want to build. Figure out how you’ll make your first dollar. Then determine how to make the first million. Eventually, you may grow to a billion-dollar company, but it’s OK if you end up as one of the 99.995 percent. There is a whole lot of room for success between a billion and dead.

About Steve, Again

'Steve Jobs: The Man In The Machine' Documentary Debuts Today In Theaters And On VOD, by Mitchel Broussard, MacRumors

The film first debuted at SXSW in March and met a bit of controversy thanks to its depiction of Jobs as a merciless force, with less time spent on his greater contributions to Apple and his impact on the world. Subsequently, Apple senior executive Eddie Cue called the film "an inaccurate and mean-spirited view of my friend" and "not a reflection of the Steve I knew."

Review: Different Thinking About Steve Jobs, The Man Behind Apple, by Nicholas Rapold, New York Times

The transformative impact Steve Jobs has had on culture and society has become an article of faith since his much-mourned death in 2011. The secular canonization of Mr. Jobs, the mastermind behind Apple, is the starting point for “Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine,” Alex Gibney’s trenchant new documentary, which asks with sincere curiosity: What’s the fuss about? And more to the point: What’s wrong with this picture?


Improving Music

Glenn Gould’s Complete Recordings Are On Apple Music, But How Do You Listen To Them?, by Kirk McElhearn

It’s great that a set like this is available digitally, both for download (it’s a lot easier than ripping 81 CDs), and for streaming. However, both Apple and other streaming services need to think of a better way to offer these sets for streaming.

Apple Admits It Has 'Homework To Do' To Improve Apple Music, by Stuart Dredge, The Guardian

“There’s a lot of work going into making the product better. Our focus is on editorial and playlists, and obviously we have teams all around the world working on that, but we’re also adding features and cleaning up certain things,” Oliver Schusser, vice president, iTunes International, told the Guardian.

Ask The iTunes Guy: Will Apple Music Disappear, Audiobook Dates, Spending Limits, And More, by Kirk McElhearn, Macworld

In this week’s column, I look at a grab bag of questions. Readers have asked how to check or uncheck all the songs in their iTunes library. Will Apple Music music ever disappear? Why can’t they enter a year for their audiobooks in iTunes? And how can they keep their daughter from spending too much money on the iTunes Store?

Droid. Not Android.

Sphero's BB-8 Droid From Star Wars Rolls Into Apple Stores On Friday, by AppleInsider

At $150, the miniature BB-8, complete with magnetically-attached head and gyroscopic drive system, is one of the most expensive products to launch as part of today's massive Star Wars merchandising blitz dubbed "Force Friday." However, in marketing the "toy" as a premium device with iPhone and iPad control capabilities, Sphero nabbed coveted Apple Store shelf space.

People Are Really Freaking Out About This Awesome Star Wars Droid Toy, by Lily Hay Newman, Slate



NetNewsWire Returns To Both Mac And iPhone With Sync, Bookmarking, And More, by Joseph Keller, iMore

NetNewsWire, once the RSS reader of choice for many a Mac user, has made its return with NetNewsWire 4. It includes a new interface for OS X Yosemite, bookmarking for articles, and critically missing from previous versions, its own sync service. There's also a version of NetNewsWire 4 for iPhone now as well.

Android Wear On iOS: A Hobbled, Google-Centric Smartwatch Experience, by Andrew Cunningham, Ars Technica

The ability to pair an Android watch with an Apple phone is conceptually interesting but functionally, it's a lose-lose proposition. Android Wear watches can't do most of the things they can do when paired with Android phones, and your iPhone can't be extended through an Android watch the way it can with the Apple Watch. It's an experiment that may yield results one day, but that day isn't today.

Disk Management App 'DaisyDisk' Gets Major Overhaul With Faster Scanning Speeds, New Look, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Google Introduces New Street View App To Let You Tour And Capture Locations In 360-Degrees, by Jared Dipane, iMore


Apple Officially Confirms First Apple Store In Belgium Opens In Brussels On 19th September, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

Apple Finally Has A Gaming Twitter Feed. But Why Now?, by Matt Peckham, Wired

I’m not convinced launching a Twitter account signals a sea change, but Apple just added an official App Store feed aimed at “the future of gaming, straight from [its] Games Editors.”

Spotify Updates Privacy Policy With Clearer Language After Backlash, by Jacob Kastrenakes, The Verge

E-Book Sales Fall After New Amazon Contracts, by Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg, Wall Street Journal

When the world’s largest publishers struck e-book distribution deals with Inc. over the past several months, they seemed to get what they wanted: the right to set the prices of their titles and avoid the steep discounts the online retail giant often applies.

But in the early going, that strategy doesn’t appear to be paying off. Three big publishers that signed new pacts with Amazon— Lagardere SCA’s Hachette Book Group, News Corp’s HarperCollins Publishers and CBS Corp.’s Simon & Schuster—reported declining e-book revenue in their latest reporting periods.

The Steepest Streets In San Francisco, by Zachary Crockett, Priceonomics

The city’s copious slopes are no mystery, but where do the steepest of them lie? Let’s take a look.

Parting Words

When optimistic jr devs realize computers are awful and no programming language is best

— Oscar Godson (@oscargodson) September 3, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Thu, Sep 3, 2015The Headphone-Port-Sensor Edition

The Headphone Port: The Mac’s Achilles Heel, by Josh Centers, TidBITS

So please Apple, I’m begging you: give us a way to switch between internal speakers and headphones in OS X. Pretty please? It’s a simple option that could be added to the Sound preference pane; it can’t be that difficult. Slip it into the next beta for OS X 10.11 El Capitan, put it in a point release, or at least expose the API to developers so they can fix it.

Alternatively, let’s say for argument’s sake that there is no way OS X could override the headphone port sensor switch. In that case, Apple, I beg you again: get rid of that stupid switch in future Macs. Make it a software function. On my last non-Mac computer, a home-built Windows PC, I could swap between headphones and speakers in the sound card settings. Come on, Apple, Microsoft Windows and a guy who built a cheap computer on a kitchen table has you beat here! That should be sufficiently embarrassing.

The Gadgets Already Solved It: Simple Solutions To High-Tech Problems, by Jason Snell, Macworld

The point is, I’ve always enjoyed technology. You name it: it’s a joy to solve a problem with software or scripting or a web service or a cleverly applied bit of hardware. But in the past few months I’ve been reminded that sometimes it’s a good idea to realize that just because you can use clever new technology to solve a problem, it may not be the best solution available.

Apple Adds More Publishers For Its News App, Which Will Launch Soon, by Peter Kafka, Re/code

“The business model is good,” said Conde Nast president Bob Sauerberg, whose company will offer up six titles when News launches: Vanity Fair, Wired, GQ, Epicurious, Teen Vogue and Conde Nast Traveler. Sauerberg says he has signed up four advertisers — Burberry, Ford, Campbell Soup and Reynolds — for the launch, via a sponsorship model — that is, they’ll pay Conde a flat fee, regardless of how many people view their stuff on the app.


Excel 2016 For Mac Review: Spreadsheet App Can Do The Job—as Long As You Don’t Rely On Macros, by Rob Griffiths, Macworld

If you’re an Excel user who doesn’t rely on macros, and doesn’t need to customize your menus and commands, Excel 2016 has a lot going for it. The new interface is pleasant, the cross-platform features are a welcome addition, the performance is very good, and the Mac-specific features make Excel feel as native as any other Mac app.

Review: Parallels Desktop 11 Brings Windows 10, OS X El Capitan To Life, by Steven Sande, Apple World Today

I’ve been very happy with Parallels Desktop 11 since installing it on my iMac, and still find it to be the best virtual machine environment for me. It’s fast, it’s not a resource hog (at least on my iMac), and it’s actually quite inexpensive considering what it does.

Hands On: Griffin Powermate Bluetooth, by William Gallagher, MacNN

Okay, if you do any audio or video editing, this is clearly for you. Tell your boss, your accountant or just yourself that you're going to do lots and lots of video editing.

Pokémon Shuffle Is The First Nintendo Game For Smartphones, by Xavier Harding, Popular Science


Inside Apple's Odd, Yet Effective, Social Media Strategy, by Matt Kapko, CIO

While Apple generally distances itself from social media on a corporate level, the company's CEO Tim Cook and many of its flagship services, including the App Store, Apple Music and Beats1, take a more active and meaningful approach to the medium. The pervasive strength of Apple's brand means it can break rules other marketers must follow on Twitter, Facebook and other networks without consequence.

Malware Targets Jailbroken iPhones, Steals Some 225,000 Apple Accounts, by Dawn Chmielewski, Re/code

Here’s another reason not to jailbreak your iPhone.

U.S. Judge Approves $415 Mln Settlement In Tech Worker Lawsuit, by Dan Levine, Reuters

A U.S. judge on Wednesday granted final approval to a $415 million settlement that ends a high profile lawsuit in which workers accused Apple, Google and two other Silicon Valley companies of conspiring to hold down salaries.

Safe From What?, by Colin Percival

And if you're writing headlines, please stop using vague terms like "safe" or "secure". The role of a headline isn't, no matter what tabloids might suggest, to convince people to read an article; the role of a headline is to help readers decide if they want to read the article, and imprecision serves no purpose there.

Your Smartphone Can Tell If You’re Bored, by Rachel Metz, Technology Review

Add “boredom detector” to the seemingly endless list of things your smartphone can do. A group of researchers say they’ve developed an algorithm that can suss this out by looking at your mobile activity, considering factors like the time since you last had a call or text, the time of day, and how intensely you’re using the phone.

Parting Words

we get it, you smoke weed

— fiona (@fioroco) September 2, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Wed, Sep 2, 2015The Never-Have-To-See-A-Human Edition

New San Francisco Restaurant Replaces Humans With iPads, by Joseph Mayton, The Guardian

Customers at Eatsa in the Financial District will order from an iPad, sending the order to the kitchen. When the meal is ready, it appears in a small glass compartment. The food is prepared by real people, but the patrons never have to see them.

iPads Replace Cashiers At SF's Quinoa Restaurant, by Heather Kelly, CNN

The restaurant is the first project of Keenwawa, a new venture-backed Silicon Valley startup that wants to disrupt fast food by making it healthy, affordable and accessible. Cofounded by Tim Young, Scott Drummond and David Freedburg, the key to Keenwawa's big dreams is quinoa.

Health Benefits Of... Quinoa, by Jo Lewin, BBC

Quinoa, pronounced ‘keen-wa’ is a great wheat-free alternative to starchy grains. There are two types: red and creamy white. Both types are slightly bitter when cooked and open up to release little white curls (like a tail) as they soften.

Grown in South America (Peru, Chile and Bolivia) for thousands of years, quinoa formed the staple diet of the Incas and their descendants. In recent years, foodies in the UK and the US have heralded it as a superior alternative to bulgur wheat, couscous and rice. Though it often occupies a similar role to these grains in dishes, quinoa is actually in the same family as beets, chard and spinach.

Let Me Click For You

Sneaky Adware Caught Accessing Users’ Mac Keychain Without Permission, by Dan Goodin, Ars Technica

Genieo acquires this access by very briefly displaying a message asking for permission to open the Safari extensions and then automatically clicking the accompanying OK button before a user has time to respond or possibly even notice what's taking place. With that, Genieo installs an extension known as Leperdvil.

Follow-Up Game

Why Apple Banned Chart-Topping Game Monster Strike From The App Store, by Christian Nutt, Gamasutra

Its publisher, Mixi, appears to have run afoul of the fact that it distributes items to users outside of Apple's ecosystem via special codes which users can input into the game. These items are thus outside of Apple's ability to collect profits on them.


This App For Kids Makes iPhone App Programming As Easy As Lego, by Fast Company

Tinybop founder Raul Gutierrez was frustrated. Compared to the Apple II computers he grew up programming on, the iPhones in his kids' hands were unknowable black boxes: silicon sandwiches of wafer-thin components that may as well work by magic, for all a kid can play with them.

Tinybop's latest app, The Everything Machine, aims to change all that. The second part in their Diguital Toys series of apps, The Everything Machine turns all the components and sensors in an iPhone or iPad into Lego-like bricks of programming logic, allowing kids to program anything they can imagine: from a simple flash light app to a face-detecting fart machine.

Android Wear For iPhone Won’t Work With Apple’s HealthKit, by Stephanie M. Lee, BuzzFeed

An Apple spokeswoman confirmed to BuzzFeed News that Android Wear won’t integrate with HealthKit, Apple’s platform for developers of health and fitness apps. She also said that decision was entirely Google’s.

Google also confirmed that Android Wear–gathered fitness data would bypass HealthKit. “That said, Android Wear on iOS absolutely supports the mass majority of Wear features we see our Android users using and loving,” a company spokeswoman said in an email.

Amazon Lets Apple, Android Users Download Prime Videos, by Peter Kafka, Re/code

Now Amazon gets to boast that it has something Netflix doesn’t have: The ability to let users download some TV shows and movies to their phones and tablets so they can watch them later, without an Internet connection.

Amazon has already offered that feature for a couple of years, but only for its own Fire tablets. Now it’s making a big leap forward by offering the capability for iPhones, iPads and Android devices.


The Blandification Of Scalable Logos, by Glenn Fleishman

At first glance, it seemed exceedingly bland to me; the longer I look at it and a new font that's related, the more I think they made a series of good choices. It's still bland, but it's a well-thought-out bland that makes sense for their company.

To Stop Procrastinating, Start By Understanding The Emotions Involved, by Shirley S. Wang, The Guardian

Putting off a work or school assignment in order to play videogames or water the plants might seem like nothing more serious than poor time-management.

But researchers say chronic procrastination is an emotional strategy for dealing with stress, and it can lead to significant issues in relationships, jobs, finances and health.

I Remember The Dots

Parting Words

I wonder what people who type "ur" and "ppl" do with all the time they save.

— BangsRBetterThnBotox (@Taryn_) September 2, 2015

Thanks for reading.

Tue, Sep 1, 2015The Wear-For-iOS Edition

Google's Android Wear Gains Compatibility With Apple's iPhone, by Neil Hughes, AppleInsider

Android Wear for iOS is not as tightly integrated with the platform as Apple's own watch, but its functionality, including notification support, is comparable to the capabilities of existing popular iOS-connected wearable devices, such as the Pebble Time, Fitbit Surge and Meta M1.

Android Wear Now Works With The iPhone, But Just Barely, by Nathan Olivarez-Giles, Wall Street Journal

There’s little interaction with the notifications, too. They can be viewed and dismissed, but you can’t, say, get an alert for a tweet and respond using the watch. Instead, you’d have to pull out your iPhone for that.

How Android Wear Works With iOS: What You Need To Know (FAQ), by Lexy Savvides, CNET

You're unable to reply to an iMessage from the watch itself… For Hangouts, you can see messages that you have received right on the Android Wear watch face but you can't reply… You are able to answer or ignore the [phone] call from the watch, but you will need to use the handset itself to talk.

Take More Photos

The One Thing Apple Understands Is Photography, by Allen Murabayashi, Peta Pixel

The most important camera company of any era is the one that entices the average consumer to take more photos. Leica might have “invented” the 35mm camera, but their audience was and is niche. The digital camera might have been an unavoidable technological shift, but the real explosion in the number of photos taken is almost certainly attributable to the iPhone and the apps that it supports.

How To Make Your iPhone Camera Good Enough For A Pro, by Geoffrey A. Fowler, Wall Street Journal

The ambitious new DxO One takes stunning 20.2-megapixel pictures from a device that’s half the size of a deck of cards. The secret: It’s a pro-level image sensor and bright lens that plugs onto the base of an iPhone, which serves as the viewfinder and central command.

Want To Make 'Living Photos' With The Mac? Cinemagraph Pro Is For You, by Dennis Sellers, Apple World Today

Cinemagraph is a hybrid media form that combines the quality of a photograph with moving video. It has elements that don't move (the photograph) and elements that do move (the video).


Apple Eyes Move Into Original Programming, by Andrew Wallenstein, Variety

Sources indicate the Cupertino, Calif., colossus has held preliminary conversations in recent weeks with executives in Hollywood to suss out their interest in spearheading efforts to produce entertainment content.


Apple Continues Enterprise Push With New Cisco Partnership, Will Optimize Networks For iOS, by Sam Oliver, AppleInsider

The two Silicon Valley stalwarts will work together to ensure that iOS devices work more efficiently on Cisco-powered networks, including deeper integration with Cisco's industry standard voice and video communications products. Corporate users might be able to use their iPhone or the Cisco handset on their desk interchangeably, for example.

Smartphone Addiction Is Not A Real Diagnosis., by Melissa Jayne Kinsey, Slate

Admittedly, mobile devices tempt us to rack up more screen time than a slots player with an oxygen tank and a Bally’s card. But in calling this bad habit an addiction, we are both exaggerating the problem and trivializing the burden of substance abuse.


Death is very much on my mind these days. Two person whose work I admire has just died. I'm reading (or, if you insist, listening to the audiobook) 100 Days of Happiness by Fausto Brizzi. And I've just listened to RadioLab's interview with Dr Oliver Sacks.

Parting Words

Real world Monument Valley.

— martinpi (@martinpi) September 1, 2015

Thanks for reading.