The High-Level-Meet Edition Friday, May 6, 2016

Apple's Tim Cook To Visit China For Government Meetings - Source, by Matthew Miller, Reuters

Apple Inc Chief Executive Tim Cook plans to visit Beijing later this month to meet high-level government officials, at a time when it is facing some setbacks in its most important overseas market, a source familiar with the matter said.

[...] From weakening smartphone sales to the loss of an iPhone trademark dispute and the suspension of some of its online entertainment services, the U.S. technology giant has been facing a flurry of problems in recent weeks in its second-largest market after the United States.

Disney Chairman Bob Iger Meets Chinese President Xi Jingping Ahead Of Shanghai Theme Park Opening, by Patrick Brzeski, Hollywood Reporter

Xi comments about the importance of bilateral cooperation come amid a backdrop of growing tension between China and western media and entertainment interests. Over the past few months, Xi has given a succession of speeches to China's tech and media giants, emphasizing — or ordering — strict adherence to the Communist Party line, while also arguing for the elevation of "China's core socialist values" over Western cultural interference.

Music When Studying

Apple Music’s New Student Membership Option Discounts The Service By 50%, by Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

Apple today launched a new plan to boost subscribers to its streaming music service and competitor to Spotify, SoundCloud, Tidal and others. It’s introducing an Apple Music student plan which will discount the service by 50 percent for those who are enrolled in an eligible college or university.

5 Music Genres You Didn’t Know You Could Study To, by Hunter Frederick, Stony Brook Independent

To paraphrase a popular show, finals are coming, and oh boy, are they coming fast. People are divided on whether or not studying to music is efficient or helpful, but I personally find that the right stuff puts me on track to have a productive night of diving nose-first into a textbook. Here are some genre gems I found that I’m willing to bet you may not have considered studying to.

Widgets For Today

With Launcher 2.0, I’m Rethinking My Notification Center Widgets, by Federico Viticci, MacStories

But at version 2.0, I have to recognize that developer Greg Gardner has grown Launcher in intelligent ways, avoiding the nitty gritty of URL schemes while augmenting the classic launcher idea with options such as multiple widgets, support for custom icons, iCloud backup and restore, or location and time triggers. Launcher has found its raison d'être as a widget, and if you're willing to take the time to set it up, it's now one of the apps that can save you a lot of time automating common tasks on iOS.

Missing Tunes

No, Apple Music Is Not Deleting Tracks Off Your Hard Drive — Unless You Tell It To, by Serenity Caldwell, iMore

Whatever the case, Apple Music was never designed to delete Pinkstone's source library, and it won't delete yours. That's simply not how the service works on your primary Mac. But if you're not aware of how iCloud Music Library stores copies of tracks, you may delete your local copies to save space, thinking you can get them back — and get screwed as a result.

Apple Music Is Probably Not Deleting Your Music By Itself, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

While there might be a bug at work that actively deletes files, my guess is that this is more of a case where a user moves his or her files to the Trash without actually realizing it. And my prime suspect is this dialog box.

Car Talk

Apple Hired A Google Inventor Who Had Been Working On Electric-vehicle Charging, by Elijah Nouvelage, Reuters

Adelberger has had quite the career: Having trained as an astrophysicist at Harvey Mudd College and the California Institute of Technology, his 194 published research papers have been cited over 2,000 times. He’s most recently been working on energy storage and reducing the costs of charging electric vehicles, according to his LinkedIn page.

Real Estate For Autonomous Car Facilities Gains Movement In Silicon Valley, by Eliot Brown, Wall Street Journal

Apple Inc., Google parent Alphabet Inc. and several car makers are seeking large expanses of real estate in the San Francisco Bay Area for their autonomous-car operations, a top landlord in the area said Thursday, illustrating Silicon Valley’s growing importance in the auto industry.


Annotable Is The Most Versatile Image Annotation Tool For iOS Yet, by Federico Viticci, MacStories

Annotable is the result of focused execution, and it shows in the attention placed in the available options and smaller details. In terms of sheer quantity, Annotable offers common tools such as shapes, arrows, lines, and text comments, but it also adds freehand drawing to the mix.

Hands On: Microsoft Word Flow Keyboard (iOS), by William Gallagher, MacNN

Rather than tapping on one letter then tapping on the next, you tap on the first and just swipe across to roughly the next letter, the swipe down, back, up, left, right, all over the place. Make sure your finger vaguely crosses all the letters, and the Flow keyboard will work it out. When it works, it is borderline telepathy. When it doesn't, it is exasperating, because correcting mistakes is a chore.

Netflix Launches 'Cellular Data Controls' To Adjust Video Quality On Data-Capped Smartphones, Mitchel Broussard, MacRumors

Streaming company Netflix today introduced a new set of "cellular data controls" that will give its customers control over the quality of video streaming on cellular networks so as to avoid overcharge fees with data-capped plans.


The Golden Age Of Reading The News, by Adrienne Lafrance, The Atlantic

People used to say no one would ever actually read anything substantial on their cellphones. Back when it seemed normal to hold up an awkwardly large, inky sheet of paper in front of your face, the screens on mobile devices appeared tiny and, frankly, kind of absurd.

My, how the tables have turned.

Apple Announces New Enterprise-focused SAP Partnership To Boost iPhone & iPad Usage For Work, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

The Apple and SAP partnership follows an ongoing effort betweenApple and IBM to create specific iOS apps for various industries and deploy iOS technology in the field. Apple’s latest effort will include an SDK, or software developer kit, in partnership with SAP that will let developers create business-specific apps plus offer resources for learning how to utilize iOS technology.

The Subtle Design Features That Make Cities Feel More Hostile, by Ella Morton, Atlas Obscura

Hostile architecture, also known as defensive architecture, exists on a spectrum. At one end are the overt design features that are obvious to anyone walking by—like spikes and fences. At the other end, says Petty, are the design elements in which “the hostile function is often embedded under a socially palatable function.”

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Singapore does have a lot of hostile architecture, too.


Thanks for reading.