Archive for June 2016

The Locked-Out Edition Thursday, June 30, 2016

Elizabeth Warren Says Apple, Amazon And Google Are Trying To ‘Lock Out’ The Competition, by Peter Kafka, Recode

Warren had different beefs with Google, Apple and Amazon, but the common thread was that she accused each one of using its powerful platforms to “lock out smaller guys and newer guys,” including some that compete with Google, Apple and Amazon.

Google, she said, uses “its dominant search engine to harm rivals of its Google Plus user review feature;” Apple “has placed conditions on its rivals that make it difficult for them to offer competitive streaming services” that compete with Apple Music; and Amazon “uses its position as the dominant bookseller to steer consumers to books published by Amazon to the detriment of other publishers.”

Music To My Ears

Cirrus Logic Unveils Apple-authorized Lightning Headphone Development Kit, by Mike Wuerthele, AppleInsider

With rumors strongly suggesting Apple's next-generation iPhone will lack a traditional headphone jack, supplier Cirrus Logic this week announced the release of a new development kit that will enable companies to make Made for iPhone-certified Lightning headphones.

iPad Draw

Adonit Pixel Stylus Review: A Sketchy Pencil For The iPad Pro-less, by Gerald Lynch, Gizmodo

It feels really nice in the hand, works with a wide range of tablets and, when paired with a device that can keep up, allows for reasonably precise doodling.

Drawing App 'Procreate Pocket' Available For Free Through Apple Store App, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Procreate Pocket has a wide range of painting, sketching, and drawing tools for making art on the iPhone.

Media Empires

How Apple Obsessive John Gruber Built Daring Fireball, The World’s Most Powerful One-man Media Company, by Eric Johnson, Recode

"There are times where — I don’t feel lonely, but I get jealous of the camaraderie of a small team, to have colleagues who you actually like," he said. "But I think ultimately, my personality is such that I’m particularly suited to working in the ‘monastic style.’"

Facebook Adjusts News Feed To Favor Friends And Family Over Publishers, by Casey Newton, The Verge

Facebook is adjusting the algorithm that runs the News Feed to promote posts from friends and family members over posts from publishers, the company said today. This marks the second time in recent years that Facebook has committed publicly to tilting the feed to posts from people you know in real life.

Facebook’s Unsettling Referendum On News, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

You can call this unsettling if you want. I’d call it unsurprising.


Many Apple Watch Bands And Bundles Currently Listed As 'Sold Out', by Mitchel Broussard, MacRumors

While Apple has made it clear that its first foray into fashion accessories will follow a "seasonal" cycle, with certain styles leaving its store forever once sold out, the array of bands unavailable on the store paints an erratic picture of shortages from all three of the Apple Watch's seasonal collections: Spring 2015, Fall 2015, and Spring 2016.

Note-Taking App 'Google Keep' Gains Intelligent Organization Feature, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

The app can now intelligently categorize users' notes by topic, such as food, books, and travel, and entries can be searched by keyword using topic shortcuts which appear in the search bar.

VMware Fusion 8 (For Mac), by Edward Mendelson, PC Magazine

Fusion lacks Parallels' speed, some of its fancy trappings, and its appeal to less technical users, but it surpasses Parallels in its overall solidity.


As iAd Shuts Down, Apple May Be About To Get A Shot Of Advertising Redemption, by AdWeek

"There is potential for Apple's search ads to perform better than those advertisers can place across the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. because the intent to search for, buy and download within the app store is much higher in this kind of environment," said Valerie Davis, svp of paid digital media at PMX Agency.

And thanks to the huge popularity of the iPhone, the Apple Store seems to be one of the best places to run such ads. Downloading apps, after all, is why folks are in the store.


10 Years On, Apple's Risky Move To Intel Macs Is One Of Its Biggest Successes, by Christina Warren, Mashable

Windows still far outsells the Mac — Chromebooks now outsell Macs too — but the Mac has made a remarkable comeback. And for Apple, Mac users tend to be loyal to the whole ecosystem. They buy iPadtablets and iPhone devices. They buy the Apple Watch.

And none of that would have happened without the transition to Intel x86. The hardware wouldn’t have been able to keep up – but more importantly, having that ability to run Windows — just in case — helped give consumers and business users the reassurance that worst case, they could still run Microsoft stuff, too.

I Spent A Month Replying To All Of My PR Emails With "I Love You", by Ralph Jones, Hexjam

For an entire month, I decided, I would reply to every single one of my PR emails with the phrase "I love you."

In 95% of cases I used this declaration as a sign-off, but occasionally a PR would be lucky enough to receive the three words in the body of an email.

Here's how shit went down.

Eating Desk

Why Do We Eat Lunch At Our Desks? Because Capitalism, by Arwa Mahdawi, The Guardian

All of these lunch-based innovations lead me to the rather terrifying conclusion that we may now be living in the golden age of office lunches. In the 1980s, lunch, like sleep, was “for wimps”. However, as technology has changed the way we work and the sort of work we value, there has been a renewed focus on both sleep and proper nutrition as essential tools for productivity. Meanwhile, tech giants such as Google and Facebook have made a free lunch an expectation for many workers. Lunch is no longer for wimps – it’s good business andgood for business.

Here’s How Sad You Look When You Eat Lunch At Your Desk, by Laura Mallonee, Wired

Finke insists he isn’t passing judgement, but he doesn’t have to. The images do so on their own.

Recipe Of The Day

Ice Cubes, by Brighton Y.,

On a hot day, why drink water, when you can let ice cold water melt in your mouth?

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I have imposed a rule for myself: I should see the sky during my lunch hour. And it doesn't matter if it is sunny or raining outside. I think this helps in making me just a little happier.


Thanks for reading.

The Financing-Plans Edition Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Apple Simplifies 'Trade Up With Installments' iPhone Program By Relying On Carrier Financing Plans, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Previously, Apple's Trade Up program relied on a 24-month installment loan from Apple partner Citizens Bank, but Apple is simplifying the service and instead relying on financing plans handled by carriers. Trading in a device at the Apple Store will now allow the value of the device to be applied to the purchase of a new iPhone from a carrier. Credits can be used to lower the cost of an outright purchase or to reduce monthly payments.

Walgreens Now Lets You Digitally Clip Coupons From iOS, Redeem In-store Through Apple Pay, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

Walgreens has officially supported Apple Pay since day one and was one of the first retailers to accept loyalty cards over Apple Pay, and now the retailer is expanding support for digital coupon clipping which can be redeemed through Apple Pay.

Stop At Two

Evernote Raises Prices Of Its Paid Plans, Limits Device Sharing On Free Tier, by Dan Seifert, The Verge

The biggest change, which will affect the most users, is coming to the Basic plan. Evernote Basic remains a free-to-use service, but it is now limited to two devices per account.

Evernote Is No Longer The Best Note-taking App For Most iPhone Users, by Steve Kovach, TechInsider

I began to ask myself why I was paying so much money for an app that was full of features I never used. All I needed was something simple that'd let me jump in and jot down a few notes that would always sync across all my devices.

It turns out the best app for what I needed was there the whole time: Apple Notes.

Evernote, Google Keep, OneNote – Which Note Taking App Is The Best?, by Gary Cutlack, Gizmodo

Evernote's still comprehensive and nicely designed and very well supported by its maker, but that's only if you're happy to pay to have it... work properly. Google Keep's free, unintrusive, fairly minimal, and works without fuss on most devices with a display. If you're in a sulk with Evernote, the lightweight Keep's probably the best alternative; although Simplenote's looking like being a keeper too, thanks to its nice minimalist approach.

Gamification Of Me

'It’s The Age Of The Self': How Kim Kardashian Gamified Her Life And Made $100 Million Doing It, by Kwame Opam, The Verge

"I view this game as the first transmedia entertainment property where you can effectively follow Kim on your own schedule," says de Masi. "You don’t have to wait until a TV show on Sunday. You can follow her on social media, you can follow her in print, you can follow her on TV, but the game allows you to effectively interact with her world whenever you want for as long as you want."

Fans of Kardashian West already do this. Her followers experience tweets and snaps like she’s a close friend of theirs. Her life is an open book, and the draw from the beginning has been to turn her every move into content that feels both aspirational and relatable. She’s taken what’s essentially lifestyle blogging to a whole new level. At first that meant having a presence on other people’s platforms, whether it was Instagram or E! WithHollywood. Now she’s created a platform of her own where her fans can feel like they're involved in her life.

Ahoy, Everything!

Shout At The Devil: The Confusing World Of Talking To Computers, by James Vincent, The Verge

In the last six months, every major tech company has unveiled its vision for the future of computing. And funnily enough, they’re all saying the same thing: in the future, we’re going to talk to our computers — and they’re going to answer back.


10 Free (Or Cheap) Travel Apps Worth Downloading, by Lucas Peterson, New York Times

After a week of downloading and trying out various travel and navigation apps, I reached an unfortunate conclusion: Most of them are worthless — clunky, buggy, seemingly desultory efforts by developers rushing a poor product to market. There are a few, though, that provide elegant solutions to some of travel’s more common complications, doing what a good app should do: make life easier. Here are seven free travel apps that are worth your time, and three that are worth your money.

Pennies Review: Spend Wisely, by Jake Underwood, MacStories

Instead of inputting every bit of money you earn and spend, Pennies is meant to keep tabs on specific spending habits, like video game purchases. Through the user setting an allowance and logging your purchases, Pennies can set you on a course toward responsible spending.

BusyCal, The Calendar For Busy People, Is Finally On iOS, by Christine Chan, AppAdvice

If you live a hectic life and want a calendar app that can keep up with you, then it could be worth your time to check out BusyCal, now on the iPhone and iPad.


Apple Doubles Down On Photography With New Shot On iPhone Campaign, by Haje Jan Kamps, TechCrunch

The new featured images are focusing on the bright, vibrant colors you’ll find in the world around you, and the campaign is focusing on highlighting photography local to where the billboards are going up.

The Doing-Business Edition Tuesday, June 28, 2016

ZFS: The Other New Apple File System That Almost Was—until It Wasn’t, by Adam H. Leventhal, Ars Technica

The excruciatingly, debilitatingly slow acquisition of Sun finally closed. The Apple-ZFS deal was brought for Larry Ellison's approval, the first-born child of the conquered land brought to be blessed by the new king. "I'll tell you about doing business with my best friend Steve Jobs," he apparently said, "I don't do business with my best friend Steve Jobs."

And that was the end.

Locks And Keys

Does Apple's Ecosystem Lock In Users?, by Jim Lynch, CIO

So it’s quite possible to use Apple’s devices, along with certain services, but not to be “locked in” to everything Apple offers. There are plenty of alternative services that work very well on macOS and iOS, so nobody is really forced to use Apple’s services if they prefer not to do so.

And if a day ever comes when I really want to leave Apple's ecosystem, I know that I can do that with some reasonable planning (in terms of applications and services on the new platform), and movement of data from my Apple devices and iCloud to the new ecosystem.

Advertise Different

Flipboard CEO Says ‘Class Not Mass’ Advertising Is The Key To Making Money, by Lara O'Reilly, Business Insider

Like many other web companies, Flipboard makes its money by selling ads. But unlike other platforms, which allow marketers to buy ads using automated tools — known as “programmatic” advertising — the curation app is also careful to also curate its advertisers.

Coming Soon

iOS 10 Allows Prioritized App Downloads, Making It Less Painful To Restore From iCloud Backup, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

Reddit user nite_ noticed that iOS 10 solves that pain-point by allowing you to prioritize downloads of particular apps. However, you will need a device that supports 3D Touch, as that’s how the feature is accessed.

Swift 3, by Ole Begemann

From an app developer’s perspective, however, the biggest changes are how Swift imports Objective-C code (including Apple’s Cocoa frameworks) and the fantastic improvements Apple has made to Foundation and other frameworks to make using them in Swift feel more natural.


China Tightens Rules For Mobile App Developers, by Adam Jourdan, Reuters

China has tightened rules for mobile app developers including requiring real-name registration and preserving users' activity logs, the country's internet regulator said on Tuesday, as Beijing looks to strengthen oversight of the growing app market.

Microsoft’s Open Source .NET Core And ASP.NET Core Hit 1.0, by Frederic Lardinois, TechCrunch

It’s been over a year and a half since Microsoft first announced the open source .NET Core project, which aims to bring the core parts of Microsoft’s .NET framework (and its cousin, the web-focused ASP.NET Core) to Linux, OS X and other operating systems that the company didn’t previously support. As Microsoft announced today, .NET Core and ASP.NET Core have now hit 1.0.


People Can’t Tell What Apps Use Encryption, And Don’t Really Care, Study Finds, by Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai, Motherboard

Even though people have more choices than ever when using mobile messaging apps billed as secure and private, and surveillance and encryption have been steadily in the news for the last few years, some consumers don’t seem to really grasp what an encrypted app actually is, and they might not really care that much, according to a new study.

The Lost Verses Of Sitcom Theme Songs, From Fresh Prince To Cheers, by Eric Grundhauser, Atlas Obscura

Thanks to the song that plays in the opening credits, it's easy to find out the basics of how the Fresh Prince got from Philadelphia to Bel-Air. But what was the in-flight beverage service like? And what did Will say to the cab driver who dropped him off at Uncle Phil's house?

The Next-Big-Thing Edition Monday, June 27, 2016

Apple And Microsoft Are Fighting A Secret War For The Future Of Technology, by Matt Weinberger, Yahoo!

Now a computer can look like literally anything and go anywhere. It's only the beginning.

For Microsoft and Apple, the two companies synonymous with the PC, this transition presents something of a crisis point. They've spent the last several decades carefully cultivating communities of developers writing the software that makes the world hum. Now the rug hasn't quite been pulled out from under them, but the potential is there.

Against this backdrop, the two long-time frenemies are each preparing their master plans to make sure they each come out on top of computing's huge shift — no matter which gadget turns out to be the next big thing.

Security Matters

So Hey You Should Stop Using Texts For Two-Factor Authentication, by Andy Greenberg, Wired

The last few months have demonstrated that SMS text messages are often the weakest link in two-step logins: Attacks on political activists in Iran, Russia, and even here in the US have shown that determined hackers can sometimes hijack the SMS messages meant to keep you safe. Whenever possible, it’s worth taking a minute to switch to a better system, like an authentication smartphone app or a physical token that generates one-time codes. And for services like Twitter that only offer text messages as a second factor, it’s time to wake up, smell the targeted attacks, and give users better options.

Coming Soon

Accessibility Was All Around This Year’s WWDC, by Steven Aquino, TechCrunch

From this year’s WWDC keynote, there was one overarching theme that emerged — from watchOS 3’s conceptual simplification, to Siri coming to the Mac, to the “app store” in Messages, it became clear that Apple is focused on making its software more accessible than ever before.

These features, among others, were built with the intent of giving users — and especially developers — greater access to Apple’s platforms and the apps users love. This underscores the idea that accessibility, conceptually, is much more than just the discrete “accessibility options for people with disabilities”. At its heart, accessibility is about just that: access. You don’t need to have a disability to benefit from it.

A ZFS Developer’s Analysis Of The Good And Bad In Apple’s New APFS File System, by Adam H. Leventhal, Ars Technica

APFS will be an improvement at stability for Apple users of all kinds, on every device. There are some clear wins and some missed opportunities. Now that APFS has been shared with the world, the development team is probably listening. While Apple is clearly years past the decision to build from scratch rather than adopting existing modern technology, there's time to raise the priority of data integrity and openness. I'm impressed by Apple's goal of using APFS by default within 18 months. Regardless of how it goes, it will be an exciting transition.


Discover The Neighborhood Around You With The History Here App, by Jen Leo, Los Angeles Times

Put down that heavy history book or travel guide; here’s an app that locates points of interest across the country — or in your neighborhood.


Will The Rich Get Richer With Apple’s New App Store Ads, by Oren Kaniel, TechCrunch

So for developers, the only sensible reaction to Apple’s new ads is optimism and intent to buy in. Google Play added search ads in 2015with no major fallout; in the more lucrative App Store, most developers should be able to find a way to test, measure and ultimately benefit from the new ads. And the increased attention from Apple into its store will be good for all parties, users included.

Server-side Developers Take A Shine To Swift, by Paul Krill, InfoWorld

Apple's Swift language -- the company's heir to Objective-C for iOS and MacOS development -- is beginning to present opportunities on the server side of the IT equation. Companies ranging from startup PerfectlySoft to stalwart IBM are seizing on Swift's potential to bring speed, safety, and ease to web application developers.


Apple Once Again Joins In San Francisco Pride Parade, Gifts Limited-edition Apple Watch Band To Employees, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

Apple is once again celebrating the LGBT Pride parade in San Francisco with employees (including Apple CEO Tim Cook) joining the march earlier today, showing support of human equality and diversity across ethnicities and sexual orientation.

For the first time, Apple is gifting limited edition Pride Apple Watch bands to employees who take party, with rainbow colored nylon strap and red lugs.

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Every web browser I've used and loved started out lean and fast, and ended up getting slower and slower.


Thanks for reading.

The Values-Of-Creators Edition Sunday, June 26, 2016

Artificial Intelligence’s White Guy Problem, by Kate Crawford, New York Times

We need to be vigilant about how we design and train these machine-learning systems, or we will see ingrained forms of bias built into the artificial intelligence of the future.

Like all technologies before it, artificial intelligence will reflect the values of its creators. So inclusivity matters — from who designs it to who sits on the company boards and which ethical perspectives are included. Otherwise, we risk constructing machine intelligence that mirrors a narrow and privileged vision of society, with its old, familiar biases and stereotypes.

Commander One File Manager For Mac App Review: Best Alternative To Finder?, by Amit Rahi, PC Tablet

Commander One is a dual pane file manager app which makes it easy to manage files more efficiently.

The Primary OS, by Ben Brooks, The Brooks Review

Either way, I had solved the problem on my iPad Pro before my Mac was even back up and running.

But then I sat there and cleared dozens of notifications on macOS, closed applications which start up with the system for seemingly no reason. Updated apps. And a bunch of other shit.

10 Years Ago

Fact-checking The 'Get A Mac' Ads, by Harry McCracken, PC World

Whatever your stance on the great PC vs. Mac question, one thing is beyond debate: Macs have always had better commercials.

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Just ten years ago, Microsoft was still trying to beat Palm in the PDA market, and Zune was making its debut as yet another strategy to beat Apple in the MP3 market. Turns out, Microsoft was fighting all the wrong battles.


Thanks for reading.

The Opt-In Edition Saturday, June 25, 2016

Apple Won’t Collect Your Data For Its AI Services Unless You Let It, by Ina Fried, Recode

The decision to allow Apple use of data will be up to the user and require their opt-in consent.

Apple says it is not using iOS users’ cloud-stored photos to power the image recognition features in iOS 10, instead relying on other data sets to train its algorithms. (Apple hasn’t said what data it is using for that, other than to make clear it is not using its users photos.)

What Apple’s Forthcoming APFS File System Means To You, by Michael E. Cohen, TidBITS

Changing the default file system for an operating system is a big deal, since the file system is responsible for keeping track of all of the data on the device. But what does such a change mean for users?


Hands On: Mac Backup Guru 6.0 (OS X), by William Gallagher, MacNN

Mac Backup Guru 6.0 is a way to make a complete copy ("clone") of your whole hard disk, a backup of important documents, and a regular copy of either. It does what it says it will, and where it's noteworthy is in how easily it does all this.

Father Creates App That Notifies Parents If They Lock Their Child In The Car, by Charlie Nash, Breitbart

The app uses a pressure sensor device that parents can attach to a child’s car seat, sending an alarm sound to the parent’s phone should they lock and leave the car with their child still in the seat. A temperature monitor is also included in the device to notify parents if the car is too hot for a child.


Someone At Apple Thinks That This Type Of Display Is Readable, by Kirk McElhearn

Someone at Apple thought it would be a good idea, a few years ago, to have iTunes display content in certain views using colors extracted from album artwork. Sometimes this is quite attractive. But sometimes, this borders on torture.

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Things that make me nervous: 1) that cup of water sitting on the same table as my laptop; 2) using those buttons and ports on my iPhone, where past experience indicate that they are all going to fail someday; 3) humans.


Thanks for reading.

The Display-Business Edition Friday, June 24, 2016

Start Your Speculation Engines, Apple Is Discontinuing Its Thunderbolt Display, by Matthew Panzarino, TechCrunch

Apple today announced that it is discontinuing its Thunderbolt Display, the large external display many use to connect to MacBooks or other Macs for extra screen real estate. This is very likely to fuel speculation (which has been ongoing) that Apple will soon launch a 4K or 5K version of the display.

Apple Discontinues Thunderbolt Display, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

It may also be true that Apple’s just out of the standalone display business.

Coming Soon

iOS 10 And macOS Sierra: Networking For The Modern Internet, by Iljitsch van Beijnum, Ars Technica

During a session named Networking for the Modern Internet, Apple Distinguished Engineer, Scientist, and Technologist Stuart Cheshire took the stage to explain new networking features in iOS 10 and macOS Sierra. Soon the engineer revealed what developers can do to take full advantage of ECN, IPv6, international text in networking, cellular versus Wi-Fi, and network quality of service.


Streaks: A Hands-on Review Of The Apple Design Award-winning App, by Steven Sande, Apple World Today

One of the winners of an Apple Design Award at last week's WWDC event was Streaks, and for good reason. The app does one job very well -- it tracks up to six tasks that you want to accomplish, gently nudges you to complete them, and then shows you how you've done each day.

Tweetbot 4.4 Brings Timeline Filters, by Federico Viticci, MacStories

With an update launching today on the App Store, Tweetbot is adding the ability to filter timelines – any timeline within the app – by specific types of content.

SanDisk Made An iPhone Case With Built-in Storage, by Micah Singleton, The Verge

Since Apple insists on continuing to sell a 16GB iPhone in 2016 like its totally okay, mobile storage will continue to be an issue for millions of people for some time. SanDisk is trying to alleviate that problem with itsiXpand Memory Case, an iPhone case with flash storage built in that connects via the Lightning port, which will allow you to dramatically increase your storage capacity without having to buy a new phone or carry around an extra dongle.


Apple Features 'Lifeline' In Latest Developer Insights Series, by AppleInsider

The latest Developer Insights spotlight takes a closer look at the developers behind the hit iOS series Lifeline, an interactive game that puts players in real-time communication with a fictional character. Unlike other titles, Lifeline goes beyond traditional app-based gameplay by integrating iOS and Apple Watch notifications.

Objective-C Can Fly The COOP, Say Subversives At Microsoft Research, by Richard Chirgwin, The Register

Objective-C programmers should use message authentication codes to protect sensitive objects and data structures, according to research presented to this week's Usenix Annual Technical Conference (ATC).

Working with Microsoft Research, software researchers from America and Germany focussed on a technique called counterfeit object-oriented programming (COOP), which has already been demonstrated as a way to attack C++ programs but not Objective-C.

Why Does Software Rot?, by Robin Hanson, Overcoming Bias

When an architecture is well enough matched to a stable problem, systems build on it can last long, and grow large, because it is too much trouble to start a competing system from scratch. But when different approaches or environments need different architectures, then after a system grows large enough, one is mostly forced to start over from scratch to use a different enough approach, or to function in a different enough environment.


Buybacks By Companies Like Apple May Signal Danger, Not Growth, by Jeff Sommer, New York Times

This is a bit of a puzzle because many studies have shown that using cash for buybacks generally doesn’t improve a company’s operations or add to its intrinsic value. But spending money on buybacks is much better than wasting it on money-losing projects, when corporations don’t have other good uses for the cash. And by reducing the number of shares on the market, buybacks make earnings per share look better. That helps executives to big paydays as they more easily reach their compensation targets, and it often nudges up short-term share prices, returning money to rank-and-file shareholders.

AI, Apple And Google, by Benedict Evans

So we have excitement and bullshit, skepticism and vision, and a bunch of amazing companies being created. Some of this stuff will be in everything and you won't even notice it, and some of it will be the next Amazon.

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If I have to guess, Apple is getting out of the monitor business. The number of Mac computers that require a standalone monitor is dwindling now that Apple has successfully transitioned iMac from a consumer desktop machine to one that can satisfy a much wider range of audience.

I will not be surprised to see Apple getting out of the Mac Pro's business too. Either that, or the next Mac Pro will come with its own monitor, perhaps looking just like an iMac.


Thanks for reading.

The Webcam-Covers Edition Thursday, June 23, 2016

Mark Zuckerberg Covers His Webcam With Tape. But He Shouldn't Have To., by Will Oremus, Slate

When you think about it, the surprise here is not that Zuckerberg, or anyone else, would want to cover their webcam when it isn’t in use. It’s that he has to use a piece of tape to do it. As privacy expert Adam Harvey points out, in an era when we’re increasingly aware of all the threats to our personal security, it would make a lot of sense for Apple and other computer makers to simply build webcam covers into their machines.

Coming To An OS Near You

Apple Confirms iOS Kernel Code Left Unencrypted Intentionally, by Kate Conger, TechCrunch

When Apple released a preview version of iOS 10 at its annual developers conference last week, the company slipped in a surprise for security researchers — it left the core of its operating system, the kernel, unencrypted.

“The kernel cache doesn’t contain any user info, and by unencrypting it we’re able to optimize the operating system’s performance without compromising security,” an Apple spokesperson told TechCrunch.

Forget The Stickers: iOS 10 Turned iMessage Into A Platform, And That's More Important, by Caitlin McGarry, Macworld

But the biggest change to Messages is more behind the scenes. Facebook Messenger and WeChat are taking over the world, but Apple’s decision to open up iMessage to developers makes it clear that the company isn’t yielding to the dominant messaging apps—in fact, it has an advantage.

Hands On With macOS Sierra, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

The X is dead—long live macOS. With this fall’s release of macOS Sierra, Apple is bringing some familiar iOS features to the Mac, along with interesting interactions with iOS hardware, a dramatic expansion of iCloud, a major update to Photos, and a lot more. I’ve spent the past few days using an early beta, and here are some first thoughts about where Apple is taking the Mac in 2016.

Apple In The Enterprise

Apple And IBM's Enterprise Alliance Just Scored A Major Retail Win, by Steve Ranger, ZDNet

UK pharmacy and beauty chain Boots is the first company to roll out a new retail app developed as part of IBM and Apple's enterprise deal.

IBM's 'Sales Assist' app allows iPad-touting sales staff to show product information and reviews to shoppers, to find out whether a particular item is available in store or at a nearby branch, and to order items for next day delivery. The retailer is running the app on 3,700 iPads across its stores.


Dropbox For iOS Gains Document Scanner, Other Productivity Improvements, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

New to Dropbox's mobile apps, including Dropbox for iOS, is a built-in document scanner that uses an iPhone or iPad's camera to capture photos of whiteboards, notes, receipts, sketches, and more, converting them into documents that can be stored in Dropbox.

Simple Habit Aims To De-stress You With 5-minute Meditations, by Devindra Hardawar, Engadget

Standouts In Mobile Gaming, by Kit Eaton, New York Times

I recently looked through some app stores to find games that are innovative, beautiful and meaningful.


Why These People Are Upset About Apple’s Latest Updates, by John Patrick Pullen, Time

While app developers’ revenue depends on App Store access, some are left upset when Apple includes a feature similar to their own idea in a new product update.


Giving In And Not Giving In, by And Now It's All This

The longer you use computers, the more set you become in the ways you use them and the more certain you are that your ways are the right ways. There are, of course, people who disagree with you. Normally, these disagreements result in nothing more serious than a good-natured flame war, and you can continue to use your computers the way you want. But sometimes the disagreement is with the people who make the hardware and software you use, and that’s when things get tricky.

I Use My iPhone To Hide That I’m Homeless, by Jenny Powers, New York Post

Robert has been homeless since December.

And he’s part of a growing community of homeless New Yorkers using the internet as a means of survival. According to the Coalition for the Homeless, the problem is at its highest level now since the Great Depression: In April 2016 there were 60,060 homeless people sleeping in New York City shelters each night. But some displaced New Yorkers are able to avoid the system thanks to cellphone savvy.

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If you think that getting rid of the headphone jacks to go wireless (or Ligthning audio) does not bring a single ounce of benefits, you are not thinking hard enough.

The question is always about priorities and tradeoffs.


Thanks for reading.

The Children-Of-Tomorrow Edition Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Hands Off My Smiley Face: Emoji Become Corporate Tools, by Amanda Hess, New York Times

But Apple’s new emoji feature seems more likely to impede a different kind of skill: creating surprising, figurative and subversive forms of individual expression out of the digital ephemera that populate our devices. In a rush to harness the power of the web’s most evocative cultural units — emoji and their hyperactive cousins, GIFs — tech companies, corporate brands and entrepreneurial social media stars could risk inadvertently flattening the creative world that’s sprung up around them.

iOS: The Runtime System For Innovation, by Ben Bajarin, Recode

Which is why Apple’s slow walk to open up more parts of the platform — thus giving developers/third parties new levels of opportunity to add value to core experiences once controlled by Apple — is so interesting. It speaks to a level of maturity in the market to be open to such new potential, but also for third parties to now also create fundamentally new experiences in brand-new ways. Which is why the moves made by Apple convince me that iOS is the primary platform where software and services innovation is going to happen.

Headphone Jacks Are The New Floppy Drives, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

“No one” asked for the iMac to remove the floppy drive or switch from ADB ports to USB (at a time when PCs weren’t shipping with USB either, which meant few — I mean really few — existing USB peripherals on the market). There was a huge outcry when the iPhone 5 dumped the proprietary-but-ubiquitous 30-pin port for the proprietary-and-all-new Lightning port. MacBook Air fans are still complaining about the new MacBook’s solitary USB-C port.

This is how it goes. If it weren’t for Apple we’d probably still be using computers with VGA and serial ports. The essence of Apple is that they make design decisions “no one asked for”.


'I Worried People Would Forget About Me': Can Teenagers Survive Without Social Media?, by Rosie Ifould, The Guardian

“It concerns me when you hear people in government or education throwing that term around,” says Emma Cooper, of digital media agency Rocket and The Children’s Media Conference. “There’s an implication that they have an inherent understanding of technology. But while they might understand what buttons to press, that doesn’t mean they’re ready to use it. My nine-year-old has hacked our Netflix account, but that doesn’t mean he’s emotionally ready to watch something that’s certified 12.”

“Children should be considered children until they reach the age of maturity, not until someone puts a smartphone in their hand,” says Beeban Kidron, director of the 2013 documentary InRealLife, which looked at the way the internet affects the lives of British teenagers, from the ready availability of hardcore pornography to online bullying.

How An Archive Of The Internet Could Change History, by Jenna Wortham, New York Times

Building an archive has always required asking a couple of simple but thorny questions: What will we save and how? Whose stories are the most important and why? In theory, the internet already functions as a kind of archive: Any document, video or photo can in principle remain there indefinitely, available to be viewed by anyone with a connection. But in reality, things disappear constantly. Search engines like Google continually trawl for pages to organize and index for retrieval, but they can’t catch everything. And as the web evolves, it becomes harder to preserve.

Champions Of A Monster Polaroid Yield To The Digital World, by Randy Kennedy, New York Times

“I’ve been doing this for 40 years now, and I understand the importance of the history maybe better than anyone else,” said Mr. Reuter, who is also a photographer and filmmaker. “But there is a time when things have to come to an end. These are not materials that were designed to last indefinitely, and the investment to keep making them would be huge, multimillions.”

News of the wind down has been spreading for several months through the art world, where it has been met more often with disbelief than disappointment.


Eye-Opening Apps For Blind And Visually Impaired, by Jon Meyer, WNEP

Just pointing an iPad or iPhone and tapping on the screen can tell someone who's blind or visually impaired what's in front of them. That's just one app children in the Insight Kids Club of NEPA are learning.

NASA Launches Official Apple TV App Featuring Real-Time View Of Earth, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

The Apple TV app lets users watch high-definition live streams from NASA TV, and allows them to enjoy a real-time view of the Earth from the International Space Station.

Sonos Controller For iOS Gains Lock Screen Control Access, New 3D Touch + Split View Features, More, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

Because Sonos speakers stream music from services including Apple Music directly over the Internet and your iPhone or iPad is only used to tell it what to play, the lock screen has lacked playback controls; today’s update works around that on iOS 8 and later.


How To Pick Your Battles On A Software Team, by Jeanette Head, Atomic Object

Creating software is an emotional process for the team members who all want to see it succeed, and this can create tension. The phrase “you have to pick and choose your battles” is commonly used. But, how do you make those decisions?

Apple Finally Realized That Creators Need Control, by Ed Laczynski, Recode

Regardless of whether it’s software, content or services, there’s no simple path to helping an ecosystem grow. But denying creators the ability to experiment is surely a path to stagnation and irrelevance. One size doesn’t fit all, so we should applaud Apple for giving creators and developers the opportunity to craft their own bespoke solutions around their audiences.


Judge Rules In Apple's Favor, Dismisses 'Error 53' Lawsuit, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple's fight against an ongoing "error 53" lawsuit came to an end today when a U.S. district court judge dismissed the case and declared that the plaintiffs "lack standing to pursue injunctive relief" and have not been able to prove permanent data loss.

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I can't wait for an Apple wireless EarPod that will work full-day from a single charge. And if it can charge quickly and easily, just like how you can charge an Apple Pencil from an iPad Pro, so much the better.


Thanks for reading.

The AirPort-Update Edition Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Apple Releases Firmware Update For AirPort Base Stations, by Dennis Sellers, Apple World Today

Apple has released firmware updates for its wireless AirPort Base Stations. According to release notes it fixes a vulnerability in which a remote attacker may be able to cause arbitrary code execution.

Got Kids Aged 8-12? Apple Camp Enrollment Opens Today, Sessions On Coding, Movie-making, Story-telling, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

If you’re looking for something to entertain kids aged 8-12 over the summer, and the chance for them to learn some useful tech skills into the bargain, you may want to register them for this year’s Apple Camp. Apple holds annual workshops at its retail stores intended to help kids make creative use of technology. This year’s workshops are focused on coding & robotics, movie-making and story-telling.

Apple Customers To Receive $400M iBooks Settlement Payments On Tuesday, by AppleInsider

Customers impacted by Apple's alleged iBooks price fixing scheme will this week receive settlement payments in the form of store credit or checks for up to $6.83 per e-book, the law firm representing plaintiffs in the case announced on Monday.

Snap Snap

This Mac App Brings One Of The Best Windows Features To Your Mac Computer, by Antonio Villas-Boas, TechInsider

Boring details as to why aside, Split View basically isn't as easy or simple to use as Windows' Snap, where all you need to do is click and drag your apps to the side of the screen you want. And when you're done, you just click and drag the apps a little bit to return them to their original sizes. It's just not that easy or intuitive with Apple's Split View.

Fed up with Split View, I searched for an alternative, and I discovered Cinch in the Mac App Store for $7 that works just like Snap.

Coming Soon

Behind Apple’s Advanced Computer Vision For Photos App, by Kay Yin, Medium

Photos app recognises and distinguishes the following 7 facial expressions. Expressions are distinguished after forming a “faceprint”. These distinction are used for searching. They are also rated and indexed for generation Memories and montages.

Greedy, Disgust, Neutral, Scream, Smiling, Surprise, Suspicious

Idiot Developer

Refugee Rescue App Pulled From App Store After It Is Outed As Fake, by Alex Hern, The Guardian

An app which purported to offer aid to refugees lost in the Mediterranean has been pulled from Apple’s App Store after it was revealed as a fake. [...]

While it is common, particularly among advertising and public relations agencies, to demonstrate proof-of-concept creations that are several steps away from actually working, it is rare to present them as though they are finished and functional.

Political Apple

Why Apple Can Take A Bigger Stand Against Trump Than Its Rivals, by Hayley Tsukayama, Washington Post

Apple, which declined to comment on the reports, is arguably in a unique position among tech companies to take big political stands. Not only does its size insulate it against some backlash, but it is also protected because expressing political opinions does little damage to the reputation of its products.

Apple's Cook To Host Paul Ryan Fundraiser Amid Trump Woes, by Tony Romm, Politico

Apple CEO Tim Cook will host a fundraiser with House Speaker Paul Ryan next week as the iPhone maker tries to strengthen its relationships with key Republicans — despite its decision to pull support for the GOP convention because of its distaste for Donald Trump.


Apple Pulls Legacy non-Retina MacBook Pro From Retail Store Displays, by Roger Fingas, AppleInsider

A clerk at an Austin location notably said that their store had pulled non-Retina units from the showfloor just last week, and that other stores were doing the same.

Adobe Creative Cloud Update Brings Content-Aware Crop To Photoshop, New VR Features, More, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

Content-Aware Crop in Photoshop “automatically fills in the gaps when you rotate or expand a canvas beyond the original image size” so you can create crops that your shot might not even accommodate without this feature.

How To Make Mobile Apps With FileMaker 15, by Mary Branscombe, CIO

The business world is full of inventories, catalogs and other lists that sit in spreadsheets or databases that would be more useful if you could take them out of the office. With FileMaker Go and FileMaker WebDirect, you can.

Microsoft Launches 'Flow' Workflow Service Management App For iOS, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

With the launch of the iOS app, Flow now supports workflow options for more services, but keeps the focus on integrations with Microsoft's own business tools, such as Office 365, Dynamics CRM, PowerApps, and Yammer. Automation for business-related services like MailChip, GitHub, Salesforce, and Slack are also supported.

Modern Atlas Is A Fresh New Take On Travel Guides, by Christine Chan, AppAdvice

If you love to travel, or even just explore the world and take time to plan your dream vacation, then this app is a must-have on your iOS device.


Four Common Mistakes In Audio Development, by Michael Tyson

As audio developers we have a responsibility to our users to, basically, not embarrass them in public. A DJ whose equipment emits an ear-piercing crunch mid set will not thank us (well, it depends on the club. Maybe they will?). Nor will a performer whose backing drum machine clicks and crunches distractingly, throwing the performance. Same goes for in private — if the user just nailed a take, only to discover that there’s a giant click in the middle of the recording, they’re going to be cursing our name.

Here's Why Emoji Can Break Apps, by Yael Grauer, Motherboard

Late last month, Laurie Stark, a growth editor at Upworthy, changed the nickname associated with her savings account to one that included an emoji. Her bank informed her that this broke their entire system. “They just called to let me know that they had to change my account name because it broke,” Stark said on Twitter. (She declined to reveal the bank.)


The Inventors Of The Internet Are Trying To Build A Truly Permanent Web, by Klint Finley, Wired

What would you do right now if you wanted to read something stored on a floppy disk? On a Zip drive? In the same way, the web browsers of the future might not be able to open today’s webpages and images–if future historians are lucky enough to have copies of today’s websites at all. Says Cerf, “I’m concerned about a coming digital dark ages.”

That’s why he and some of his fellow inventors of the Internet are joining with a new generation of hackers, archivists, and activists to radically reinvent core technologies that underpin the web. Yes, they want to make the web more secure. They want to make it less vulnerable to censorship. But they also want to make it more resilient to the sands of time.

End Of The Road For MacNN: 21 Years Of Changes For Apple, And For Us, by Charles Martin, MacNN

We've joked before that Apple becoming a huge mainstream company is the worst thing that ever happened to us, but it's true: there's less need for an Apple-specific news site when news about Apple is plastered everywhere, on every site, all the time. This is not the sole reason why we're having to give up our comfy home (and just after repainting it, too!), but it's part of the reality we've been working in.

A Brief History Of Children Sent Through The Mail, by Danny Lewis, Smithsonian Magazine

One of the most overlooked, yet most significant innovations of the early 20th century might be the Post Office’s decision to start shipping large parcels and packages through the mail. While private delivery companies flourished during the 19th century, the Parcel Post dramatically expanded the reach of mail-order companies to America’s many rural communities, as well as the demand for their products. When the Post Office’s Parcel Post officially began on January 1, 1913, the new service suddenly allowed millions of Americans great access to all kinds of goods and services. But almost immediately, it had some unintended consequences as some parents tried to send their children through the mail.

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Goodbye, MacNN.

(I wonder when I will shut all these down too.)


Thanks for reading.

The ... Edition Monday, June 20, 2016

Boxee Founder Avner Ronen Launches Public, An App To Broadcast Text Chats, by Janko Roettgers, Variety

For eight long years, Avner Ronen tried to reinvent television with his consumer electronics startup Boxee. Now, Ronen is back with Public, a messaging startup that aims to rethink broadcasting itself as a text medium, complete with Gifs and emoji to boot.

“I believe messaging could be a third medium for broadcasting conversations,” Ronen told Variety during an interview this week. “It’s been around for decades on audio (radio and now podcasts) and video (TV and now YouTube). I believe messaging could be a third platform for conversations.”

Blue Dot

The Geek Behind Google's Map Quest, by Linda Kinstler, Fast Company

Ed Parsons, Google's geographer-in-chief, is leaning over an 18th century woodcut map from the Chonhado, the Korean atlas of the world. Here, on thin parchment, the earth is a wobbly blue watercolor dot centered around the sacred Mount Meru, close to a large red circle representing Beijing. China and Korea make up the large part of the map, while the foreign lands beyond their borders are like afterthoughts, represented only by a thin peripheral strip of land.

Ed’s friend Tom Harper, the soft spoken maps curator at the British Library, explains the strange cartography. "The rest of the world wasn’t necessary to this insular culture at this time, so it just doesn’t appear," he notes.

Because of this obvious disregard for Western imperial standards of empiricism and accuracy, the Chonhado was derided for decades by cartographers and historians. And yet its premise—putting yourself at the center of the world—isn’t far from that of the digital maps being ferociously assembled today by Google and other modern-day mapping giants. In this vision of the world, we are the tiny blue dots at the center of the map, like billions of miniaturized Chonhados.


Review: Airmail, An E-mail Client That I Don’t Hate, by Chris Lee, Ars Technica

Airmail's not perfect, but it’s far better than all the others I've tried. It fits my workflow, doesn't crash, and doesn't silently stop receiving new e-mail (thanks Mail). With stronger integration with a contacts application or a better built-in contacts application, I'd be totally satisfied.

Data Backup Pro Is Like Apple’s Time Machine On Steroids, by Dennis Sellers, Apple World Today

Data Backup Pro (DB Pro) is an intelligent backup utility for Macs that makes copies of your files, folders, volumes, drives, or RAIDS. It’s targeted to the in-home or single Mac user, not businesses or enterprises.

Bank Of America Now Rolling Out Support For ATM Withdrawals Using Apple Pay, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

When the smartphone is tapped on the NFC logo, users are prompted to enter their PIN number and are then taken to a screen that’s familiar to anyone that has ever used an ATM before.


India Unveils Broad Foreign Investment Reforms After Central Bank Chief's Exit, by Manoj Kumar and Rajesh Kumar Singh, Reuters

India announced on Monday sweeping reforms to rules on foreign direct investment, opening up its defence and civil aviation sectors to complete outside ownership and clearing the way for Apple to open stores in the country. [...]

"We will inform Apple to indicate whether they would like to avail new provisions," Rajesh Abhishek, secretary of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, told a news conference.

March … I Mean April… I Mean May 2016 Is The 6th … I Mean 7th… I Mean 8th Temperature Record-Breaking Month In A Row, by Phil Plait, Slate

N.B. If this article sounds familiar, it should. This has been happening so frequently I just copied the post for March April and updated it.

This Timelapse Of Singapore Growing Out Of Nothing Is So Unbelievable People Think It’s CGI, by Isaac Taylor, M2

A video released last week by Keith Loutit, an Australian filmmaker based in Singapore, has received accolades from all quarters. To an average internet denizen a timelapse is fairly passé. “Oh wow, a video that took over a year to create and contains thousands of still images taken at large increments of time, yawn. Next.”

However this new video by Loutit is turning heads, and even making industry veterans ask whether he used CGI to morph some of the images and buildings together. But it’s all entirely legitimate.

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I am amazed that I have survived thirty-odd years of not having a computer in my pocket.

(There was a rather brief period when I had a Handspring phone / PDA in my pocket. That was a wonderful time too, except that I've had to keep buying stylus that I lost.)

(Of course, on the other hand, since the iPod days, I've lost count of how many earphones I've purchased.)

Anyway, back to my amazement. I am amazed.


Thanks for reading.

The Skipped-Graduation Edition Sunday, June 19, 2016

Why This High School Girl Skipped Graduation To Attend Apple's Developer Conference, by Daniel Howley, Yahoo

“My brother, when he was little … had to go through a bone marrow transplant," explained Khan. “After the transplant his entire immune system was shutdown and because of that he had to take a lot of medications.

“And because of the fact that he had so many medications and he was so young, my mom didn’t really let him leave the house without having a list of medications that he had to take. So I feel like if he had this app growing up he would have felt a lot better about what he was putting in his body,” she said.

Not Supporting

Apple Won't Aid GOP Convention Over Trump, by Tony Romm, Politico

Apple has told Republican leaders it will not provide funding or other support for the party’s 2016 presidential convention, as it's done in the past, citing Donald Trump’s controversial comments about women, immigrants and minorities.

Unlike Facebook, Google and Microsoft, which have all said they will provide some support to the GOP event in Cleveland next month, Apple decided against donating technology or cash to the effort, according to two sources familiar with the iPhone maker’s plans.

Coming Soon

Our Full Transcript Of The Talk Show At WWDC 2016 With Phil Schiller And Craig Federighi, by Serenity Caldwell and Mikah Sargent, iMore

The day after the keynote, Daring Fireball's John Gruber took the stage at Mezzanine in San Francisco with not one, but two special guests from Apple: SVP Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller, and SVP Software Engineering Craig Federighi.

macOS Sierra Beta Lets Mac Users Rearrange Third-party Menu Bar Extras, by Jeff Benjamin, 9to5Mac

To move a menu bar extra, simply hold down the Command (⌘) button while dragging any icon (outside of Notification Center) that you wish to move.

Apple Doesn’t Understand Photography, by Boris Veldhuijzen Van Zanten, The Next Web

I don’t need a photo album to bore my friends with when they come over for dinner. I need to find a solution to clean up the chaos that’s my photo library.


The Elements Of Stickers, by Connie Chan, Andreessen Horowitz

Stickers aren’t just frivolous little punctuation marks to be inserted in text messages. They can be replacements for entire sentences, and help create a new medium for communicating and storytelling.

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I am a tad disappointed to find that there aren't any Apple stickers inside the box of a pair of brand new EarPods.


Thanks for reading.

The New-Candidates Edition Saturday, June 18, 2016

Thanks To Apple’s Influence, You’re Not Getting A Rifle Emoji, by Charlie Warzel, BuzzFeed

Unicode, the technical organization in charge of selecting and overseeing emojis, debated and ultimately decided to remove a rifle from its list of new emoji candidates in 2016, according to multiple persons who attended its quarterly meeting last May. The decision was led and championed by one of tech’s biggest companies: Apple.

Coming Soon

Inside iOS 10: 'Raise To Wake' For iPhone Requires M9 Co-processor Or Better, by Roger Fingas, AppleInsider

At the moment, that means the feature will only work on Apple's most recent iPhones, namely the iPhone 6s, 6s Plus, and SE. The M9 can also be found in iPad Pros, but Raise to Wake doesn't appear to be supported on those devices as of the first beta.

With Sierra, Apple Lets The Mac Be The Mac, by Dan Moren, Macworld

The big message to take away from Monday’s presentation is that Apple is all too happy for the Mac to share features and technologies where it makes sense, but to still let it stand on its own two legs and be the best version of itself.


Bing For iPhone Now Helps You Search For Music And Compare Prices, by John Callaham, iMore

Among other things it has added new music search features, along with a way to compare prices at shopping websites.


Apple Releases New iTunes Connect Features Including Updated iOS App, Says App Review Times Way Down, by Jordan Kahn, 9to5Mac

An updated iOS iTunes Connect app released today during Apple’s presentation adds access to new stats for sales and proceeds. From within the Trends tab of the app, developers can now tap the small green and red icons to move between figures for units, sales, and proceeds.

Apple Is Saving The App Economy, But Not By “Fixing” The AppStore, by Mateusz Stawecki, Medium

This is exciting. It’s up to developers now to leverage all the new ways your app can seep throughout iOS, even when it’s not installed yet. Opportunities in iOS10 are really exciting and new AppStore features will be helpful as well.

The Deprecation Of iCloud Core Data, by Michael Tsai

When installing the Xcode 8 beta, I noticed that all of the symbols related to iCloud Core Data were marked as deprecated in macOS 10.12 and iOS 10, with the comment “Please see the release notes and Core Data documentation.” Strangely, the Core Data release notes and What’s New in macOS 10.12 documents make no mention of this.


Apple Announces It Raised $8 Million With World Wildlife Fund Global Apps For Earth Campaign, by Jordan Kahn, 9to5Mac

Apple and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) today announced that their recent Apps for Earth campaign raised $8 million in proceeds for the organization.

The Forrest Gump Of The Internet, by Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic

While other CEOs in his early-web cohort have left the industry, or have become writers or consultants, Williams has stuck around, leading companies. His startups have nearly all specialized in the same abstract medium: text boxes. He has dotted the web with these text boxes, and people have poured their souls into them, have argued and wept and whispered into them. Millions of people have had their worldview shaped by these text boxes, and the boxes themselves have, in turn, changed the Internet. They have also made Williams rich. Though few of his businesses have turned a profit, he is a billionaire. [...]

Williams looks the tech-CEO part. He is tall, soft-spoken, with a constant air of chilled-out concern. His gray hoodie and black t-shirt are woven from some athleisure Star Fleet-issue textile, and he wears broad, squarish white glasses that I internally dub the Warby Mugatu. Within minutes of arriving, he has launched back into his endless theme, which he expands on across multiple meetings, on two different coasts, across three months: “The open web,” he says, “is pretty broken.” But don’t worry—he has a plan to save it, or, at least, sort of save it. And it involves text boxes.

How Are So Many Baseball Fans Catching Foul Balls While Holding Babies?, by Ryan Bort, Newsweek

Catching a foul ball at a baseball game is difficult. Catching one with your bare hands is harder still. Catching one with a single bare hand while holding a baby in the other is not only hard to even imagine executing, it's flat-out bizarre.

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Once upon a time, Apple has to delay one OS update just to get another OS's update out of the door.

And at an even earlier time, Apple didn't even manage to get an OS update out of the door, and had to purchase another OS just to get some updates.

This week, Apple confidently announced four new OS. While secretly working on at least one more.



Thanks for reading.

The Small-Frustrations Edition Friday, June 17, 2016

Apple’s Big Security Upgrades Will Save You From Yourself, by Brian Barrett, Wired

While Apple appears to have delayed some of its bigger security projects—most notably, encrypting iCloud backups so that not even Apple can access them—it’s still showing serious ambition, sometimes in surprising places. The result will be an iOS and macOS experience that trades convenience for protection in a few key ways. Apple will introduce small frustrations now, to prevent large, even unfixable, frustrations down the road.

iOS 10 Adds AirPrint Bluetooth Beacon, ‘Create PDF’, Multi-user & Password-only Printing, by Jordan Kahn, 9to5Mac

New in iOS 10 and macOS Sierra, Apple’s AirPrint is getting some welcomed improvements including ‘AirPrint Bluetooth Beacon’, the ability to create PDFs from the print panel in iOS, and support for multi-user and password-only printing.


Apple Drops Free AppleCare, Lowers Discount On Macs For U.K. Students, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

As of this week, Apple's online higher education store in the U.K. now offers up to 10 percent off Macs and other qualifying purchases, whereas the discount was previously up to 15 percent off. [...] Apple also no longer includes three years of complimentary AppleCarewith Macs, with one year of phone support, and instead offers students 50 percent off the protection plan.

FamilyTime Premium (For iPhone), by Neil J. Rubenking, PC Magazine

In order to do its job, a parental control utility needs to have low-level access to network and operating system functions. Apple's tight control over what iOS apps can do makes life tough for parental control vendors. FamilyTime Premium (for iPhone) is one of several recent releases that have managed to find ways to exert the necessary control. It does quite a bit, but many of its features aren't yet implemented.


TestFlight Updated With Support For Testing Apps In iOS 10, watchOS And tvOS Betas, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple has also updated its App Analytics feature with data on App Store Impressions, allowing developers to tell how many times an app’s icon has been viewed in App Store search results, the Featured section of the App Store, the Top Charts, and the App Store product page.

Simple Doesn’t Mean Easy, by Corbett Barr

We often mix up those concepts, simple and easy. They’re two different things. You hear this confusion sometimes after a successful strategy is revealed to be incredibly simple, when people respond by saying, “it can’t be that easy.” It’s not easy, it’s simple.


Apple iPhones Found To Have Violated Chinese Rival’s Patent, by David Ramli, Bloomberg

Apple Inc. violated the design patents of a Chinese device maker and may have to halt sales of its latest iPhones in Beijing, the city’s intellectual property authority ruled, handing the U.S. company its latest setback in a pivotal market.

The Truth About Working For Deliveroo, Uber And The On-demand Economy, by Homa Khaleeli, The Guardian

Supporters argue that this “on demand” economy offers those who choose to work for them the independence and flexibility to fit their work to their lifestyle, or supplement their income from another job. Uber’s UK chief, Jo Bertram, points out: “Over two-thirds of new people signing up to drive with Uber have been referred by an existing partner-driver because they love the freedom and flexibility.” While Deliveroo say they have more than 3,000 riders in the UK – a number that is rising weekly.

But maybe it’s not as simple as it seems: strikes and class actions by workers in the on-demand economy, along with government restrictions, seem to be popping up as quickly as new apps. So what is it really like working in the on-demand world? We asked four people about their experience.

8 Gadgets Devoted Solely To Spreading Butter On Stuff, by Mary Beth Quirk, Consumerist

You know what would make that bread better, that corn on the cob more delectable, that muffing more muffin-y? Butter. Yet apparently so many people have difficulty spreading butter evenly that multiple companies have come up with supposed solutions to this age-old problem.

Are these gadgets any better than heating a traditional knife under hot water and going at it? Is spreading butter so difficult that the average consumer must arm themselves with a drawer full of dedicated devices? We don’t know — all we know is that they exist — and here are a bunch of them.

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Seems like any company doing business in China should simply treat any profits as bonus, and should have an expectation that, at any moment, the business can be wiped out.


Thanks for reading.

The Burning-Man Edition Thursday, June 16, 2016

Why Apple’s Global Flagship Store Features Burning Man-inspired Art, by Kif Leswing, Business Insider

Since then, she’s done several commissions for large words sculptures — but the new rainbow-colored Love at Union Square is arguably the most high-profile yet.

“Big words are everywhere now, it’s so funny and I’ve been doing it for ten years. I’ve never seen it in a gallery situation, but big words are in every place on TV,” Kimpton said.

Coming Soon

New For Accessibility In iOS 10, macOS, Apple TV & Apple Watch: Magnifier, Dwell Control, Taptic Time & More, by Jordan Kahn, 9to5Mac

Apple briefly mentioned some accessibility enhancements during its press event this week — watchOS 3 is adding wheelchair specific optimizations to Apple Watch — but iOS 10, macOS Sierra, tvOS 10 and watchOS 3 also have many other improvements to assist users with motor, vision, hearing, and learning impairments.

Photo Problems

Apple's New Facial Recognition Feature Could Spur Legal Issues, by Russell Brandom, The Verge

Both Google and Facebook are currently facing lawsuits over their facial recognition systems, which plaintiffs claim violate Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act. Recognizing a person’s face requires building a faceprint to compare it to, akin to collecting a person’s fingerprint for future reference. According to plaintiffs, that counts as collecting biometric information, which requires more notice and consent than either company is providing.

Why Apple’s Photos Announcement Should Offend You, by Steven Max Patterson, NetworkWorld

Apple boosts its R&D with free research, saving millions of dollars. But it should pay for it by contributing its research back to the community, not just for the good of the community but for the good of Apple.


Hands On: Textkraft Professional 4.1 (iOS), by William Gallagher, MacNN

Textkraft Professional comes with a strong set of tools. If it has one distinguishing feature, then it's that the regular onscreen keyboard comes topped with myriad extra options that give you fine and fast movement around the document.


How Yahoo Derailed Tumblr, by Seth Fiegerman, Mashable

But the team behind Tumblr was derailed for a year by mass staff departures, internal politics with its parent company, Mayer's questionable executive appointments and a flawed attempt to integrate Tumblr's ad sales team with Yahoo’s, according to interviews with a dozen current and former employees from Tumblr and Yahoo as well as conversations with media buyers, analysts and peers in the industry, many of whom requested anonymity citing sensitive personal relationships with the company.

How A GPS Glitch Can Change The Taste Of Your Salad, by Geoff Manaugh, The Atlantic

In other words, even before news breaks that GLONASS is down, or that there has been a regional GPS interruption, the wobbly machines shivering out of line across a family’s beet field will betray evidence of malfunctions in the sky.

Google Workers Manipulated Into Taking More Brussels Sprouts, Fewer M&Ms, by Ethan Baron, Siliconbeat

“In one high-traffic café where Googlers eat free meals, we promoted an unpopular vegetable (beets, parsnips, squash, Brussels sprouts or cauliflower) as the ‘Vegetable of the Day!’ with displays of colorful photos and trivia facts next to a dish containing that vegetable as its main ingredient,” the Google and Yale researchers said. “By placing the campaign posters at the Moment of Truth, right next to the dish — rather than, say, emailing an article about the health benefits of vegetables — we increased the number of employees trying the featured dish by 74 percent and increased the average amount each person served themselves by 64 percent.”

It should be noted that the cafeteria results far surpass the success of Google’s AdWords, which have a click rate of only about 2 percent.

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After hearing so many stories about Apple stores in all parts of the world, I can't wait to see what Apple brings to Singapore when it opens its first Singapore store later this year. Please, Apple, don't disappoint me with a standard-issue mall-based Apple Store. :-)


Thanks for reading.

The Statistical-Techniques Edition Wednesday, June 15, 2016

What Is Differential Privacy?, by Matthew Green

To make a long story short, it sounds like Apple is going to be collecting a lot more data from your phone. They're mainly doing this to make their services better, not to collect individual users' usage habits. To guarantee this, Apple intends to apply sophisticated statistical techniques to ensure that this aggregate data -- the statistical functions it computes over all your information -- don't leak your individual contributions. In principle this sounds pretty good. But of course, the devil is always in the details.

While we don't have those details, this seems like a good time to at least talk a bit about what Differential Privacy is, how it can be achieved, and what it could mean for Apple -- and for your iPhone.

Apple's Brain Trust -- Iovine, Reznor, Cue And Kondrk -- On Streaming's New World Order And Why 'We All Should Be' Worried, by Shirley Halperin, Billboard

The next priorities for the platform, according to demos provided at the conference, are an increased emphasis on the service's popular curated playlists, more intuitive discovery, and video. Apple has hired in the “hundreds,” according to Cue, to see this vision through. Of course, plenty of hurdles remain, not the least of which is appeasing an anxious music industry as it watches revenues from downloads tumble.

To hear the Apple Music brain trust tell it, foremost on their collective mind is the artist, who, they point out, is seeing full rates from their paid service. Still, Reznor notes, he fears for musicians' future.

Coming Soon

How Siri Works In iOS 10 For Third-party Apps: Rich Integration With Six Kinds Of Application, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

The way Siri works in iOS 10 separates developers from the core problems of voice. Apple handles the voice recognition and interpretation of queries. Siri determines user intent and decides if a particular voice query should be handled by itself or shuttled off to a third party app. This provides a consistent voice dictation interface for users as well as a strong privacy policy; Apple is always the gatekeeper of what you say.

The information the third-party app receives is limited to just the data it needs to actually do what the user wants. Siri will extract the relevant components from a query and handle just those bits (as a structured object) to the application. The app then uses various SiriKit APIs to build a response which is then displayed onscreen.

macOS Sierra Beefs Up Gatekeeper Protection With Two Changes, One Visible, One Not, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

Although unsigned apps will still appear to be stored in the Applications folder, macOS 10.12 actually stores them in a randomized location on your drive. This prevents repackaging attacks, where one app pretends to be another one, because the rogue app won’t be able to access the resources belonging to the real one.

Inside iOS 10: Apple Maps Will Remember Where You Parked Your Car, by Neil Hughes, AppleInsider

Using Apple Maps for directions in the upcoming iOS 10, a user's iPhone will remember a vehicle's location at the end of of a trip. This is done automatically for a trip that does not end at the user's home address.

Inside iOS 10: Mail & Notes Switch To Triple-pane Interfaces On 12.9-inch iPad Pro, by Roger Fingas, AppleInsider

In Mail, the 12.9-inch Pro will show top-level mailboxes, their contents, and selected message bodies all at the same time. On smaller iPads, users can see either the top-level view or mailbox contents, but not both.

How 'Deleting' Built-in Apple Apps Works In iOS 10, by Rene Ritchie, iMore

The difference is, when you delete a built-in app, you don't really delete it. You do remove the icon from the Home screen, the user data is flushed, and the hooks into the system for things like default links and Siri handling are remove. But, it doesn't delete the actual app binary.


Sling Brings Its Cable-free Live Television To The Apple TV, by Joseph Keller, iMore

The service allows people to watch live TV on several channels over the Internet, without the need for a cable subscription.


The Abilities And Limitations Of SiriKit, Siri’s Olive Branch To Other Apps, by Andrew Cunningham, Ars Technica

Based on the developer documentation that Apple has published so far, here are the kinds of things that third-party apps are going to be able to do with Siri in iOS 10 and what developers have to do behind the scenes to make it work.

Apple Releases New App Store Review Guidelines, Doesn’t Yet Clarify Rules Around Subscriptions, by Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

Notably, too, Apple has consolidated the iOS and Mac App Store guidelines into a single document.

This latter change represents an overall strategy of treating Apple’s platforms – iOS, macOS, tvOS and watchOS – as being under the same umbrella, instead of having so many unique peculiarities that they require separate documentation. It also makes sense to combine the previous Mac App Store Guidelines with the App Store Guidelines as there was a lot of overlap among the rules.

Apple Will Require HTTPS Connections For iOS Apps By The End Of 2016, by Kate Conger, TechCrunch

App Transport Security, or ATS, is a feature that Apple debuted in iOS 9. When ATS is enabled, it forces an app to connect to web services over an HTTPS connection rather than HTTP, which keeps user data secure while in transit by encrypting it.


Resources Found In macOS Sierra Hint At Upcoming OLED Touch Bar, Touch ID Support, More, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

On Apple’s API differences webpage, you can see several new resources that hint at potential features that could be coming with future Macs, including that OLED touch bar and Touch ID support.

The Services Versus Privacy Question, by David Sparks, MacSparky

I don’t think [Apple's] solution will match what Google is doing right now but as microprocessors continue to march forward, I think doing these tasks “on the silicon” is a real option. Right now all we have is words and we’ll need to see if Apple can actually cash the check they wrote yesterday morning but if they do, I’d be satisfied.

Bottom of the Page

Happy coding, and thanks for reading.

The Siri-Everywhere Edition Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Siri: Once A Flake, Now Key To Apple’s Future, by Geoffery A. Fowler, Wall Street Journal

“I think we’re going to see [Siri] become more important over time as people go from using Lyft a couple times per week to a couple times per day,” Lyft CTO Chris Lambert told me after Apple’s keynote. The ride-hailing company’s app is one of the first to tap into Siri. When iOS 10 arrives this fall, you’ll be able to say to your iPhone, “Order me a Lyft,” and a ride will just show up, no buttons required.

[...] When iOS 10 comes out, MapMyRun users will be able to just ask Siri to start, pause, resume or end a session. “When you are working out, having to interact with your phone is a barrier,” he said. Trying to tap on a phone while running can make you dizzy—and puts you at risk of running into things.

Apple Opens Up Siri To App Developers, by Ben Popper, The Verge

Apple announced today that it will be opening up Siri to third-party developers through an API, giving outside apps the ability to activate from Siri's voice commands, and potentially endowing Siri with a wide range of new skills and datasets.

Siri Is Coming To The Mac, by Russell Brandom, The Verge

The new desktop version of Siri is stored in the dock alongside the finder and other core Mac apps. From there, Siri is able to search through files on the computer, play locally stored playlists, and perform all the web-based tasks it can on mobile.

iMessage, Now With Drawers

Apple Is Making Messages A Lot More Fun, by Caroline O'Donovan and Alex Kantrowitz, BuzzFeed

The company is giving Messages a complete overhaul, opening it up to app developers who will bring everything from stickers and food ordering to its service. It has also enhanced usability by adding rich links and the capability to play videos from the web right within the app. And it’s bringing a number of fun elements to the app, including full screen effects, handwritten messages, and a feature that will highlight “emojifyable” words and allow you to replace them with emoji.

Apple Launches iMessage Apps So Third-party Devs Can Join Your Convos, by Jordan Crook, TechCrunch

With iMessage Apps, users can simply open up an app drawer from right within the Messages app to interact with others (and apps) at the same time.

This ranges from silly sticker apps like Mickey Mouse gifs to more sophisticated integrations, like paying friends through Messages with Square Pay or collaboratively ordering food from DoorDash.

Apple Pay, On The Web

Apple Pay Is Coming To Websites And It's A Really Big Deal, by Jason Del Rey, Recode

People shopping on a website on a Mac computer who want to use Apple Pay will get a notification on their iPhone to confirm the transaction. Pressing their finger to the phone’s fingerprint sensor will authenticate the transaction on the computer.

Apple Pay To Launch In France, Switzerland And Hong Kong And Head To The Web, by Rian Boden, NFCWorld

Apple Pay is expanding to Switzerland, France and Hong Kong in the “next few months”

Music, Rearranged

Apple Music Gets 'Redesigned From The Ground Up', by Nick Statt, The Verge

The tabs on the bottom of the app are largely the same, but Apple has redesigned each tab interface to make it easier to use. The service now also includes lyrics and a daily curated playlist in the "For You" tab. The social network-style Connect feature appears to be greatly diminished as well.

Hands-on: The All-new Music App In iOS 10, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

The first thing you’ll notice when you open the new Music app is that you’re taken immediately to the “Library” tab of the app, which shows a breakdown of all the music you’ve most recently added and options to view either by playlist, artist, album, song, or downloaded. The edit button next to the very bold “Library” heading allows you filter which category options appear.

Photos Intelligence

Apple Brings Google-style Machine Learning To ‘Photos’, by Bryan Clark, The Next Web

The new algorithm uses advanced computer vision, a group of deep learning techniques that brings facial recognition to the iPhone. Now, you can find all of the most important people, places and things in your life in with automatically sorted albums. It’s essentially facial recognition that works on places and objects as well.

Apple iOS 10 “Memories” Turns Old Photos Into Editable Mini-movies, by Josh Constine, TechCrunch

Using local, on-device facial recognition and AI detection of what’s in your images, it can combine photos and videos into themed mini-movies complete with transitions and a soundtrack.

Apple’s ‘Differential Privacy’ Is About Collecting Your Data—But Not ​Your Data, by Andy Greenberg, Wired

Federighi’s emphasis on differential privacy likely means Apple is actually sending more of your data than ever off of your device to its servers for analysis, just as Google and Facebook and every other data-hungry tech firm does. But Federighi implies that Apple is only transmitting that data in a transformed, differentially private form. In fact, Federighi named three of those transformations: Hashing, a cryptographic function that irreversibly turns data into a unique string of random-looking characters; subsampling, or taking only a portion of the data; and noise injection, adding random data that obscures the real, sensitive personal information.

​Shutterbugs, Rejoice: Apple's iOS 10 Will Shoot Raw Photos, by Stephen Shankland, CNET

Apple's next-gen iOS 10 software adds a new programming interface that will let camera apps retrieve unprocessed raw photo data from the camera hardware, according to Apple developer documentation.

File System For Siracusa

Digging Into The Dev Documentation For APFS, Apple’s New File System, by Lee Hutchinson, Ars Technica

For one, APFS supports encryption natively instead of through File Vault. There are three modes of operation: no encryption, single-key encryption, and multi-key encryption with per-key files and another key for sensitive metadata. Both AES-XTS and AES-CBC cypher variants are supported, "depending on hardware." This lets you apply an adaptable amount of encryption depending on what your security needs might be—from "I don’t care" to "I don’t want anyone swiping the disk out of my computer" up to "NO ONE ELSE MUST KNOW MY SECRETS."

macOS, No Ex

Apple Reveals macOS Sierra With Siri, Apple Pay, And Other New Features, by Roman Loyola, Macworld

Don’t call it OS X anymore, and if you do, Siri will probably correct you. Apple unveiled on Monday at its 2016 Worldwide Developers Conference that the Mac operating system is now called macOS, and the next version will feature the Siri vocal interface and digital assistant.

PSA: macOS Sierra Drops Support For Many Macs From 2007, 2008, And 2009, by Andrew Cunningham, Ars Technica

Older Macs, mostly models from 2007, 2008, and 2009, won't run this fall's new macOS Sierra.

iOS Redesigns

Apple Overhauls iOS Maps With A New Design, by Jacob Kastrenakes, The Verge

You'll now see much more of the map when you open up the app, being presented with little more than a squat search box to get started. The turn-by-turn navigation view has also been pared down, and Apple is now allowing users to swipe to move the view around while navigation is ongoing.

Apple News Gets Redesign With Simpler Interface, Subscriptions And More, by Husain Sumra, MacRumors

The new Apple News includes a simpler, bolder interface similar to the Apple Music redesign. It also includes new features like subscriptions, breaking news alerts and more.

Apple Announces Home App For iOS 10, by Jacob Kastrenakes, The Verge

Apple has announced an app called Home for iOS 10 that'll be a single destination for controlling smart home products. Home is meant for controlling HomeKit products, which have been rolling out over the past couple years.

iOS 10 Will Let You Uninstall The Apple Apps You Never Use, by Chris Welch, The Verge

User data gets removed along with the apps. (Don't worry: your contacts remain in the Phone app.) If you remove weather, for example, the weather will no longer appear in Notification Center or on your Apple Watch. If you remove Music, you'll lose it inside CarPlay.

watchOS Redo

watchOS 3.0 Promises Faster App Loads, Better Navigation, And More, by Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica

Watch apps now launch instantly instead of taking a few seconds to load. Overall, watchOS 3 is about seven times faster than watchOS 2, which should make all activity on the watch more seamless. The OS update will also allow background app updates, which adds to increased speed and efficiency of the entire system.

Why watchOS 3 Will Be Nimble And Nifty, by Tonya Engst, TidBITS

watchOS 3 will get faster by keeping your favorite apps in memory, and keeping their data refreshed.

Apple Announces 'Breathe' Mindfulness App For Apple Watch, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

Breathe is designed to help users alleviate everyday stresses by coaching them through timed breathing sessions.

tvOS Continued

Apple Announces tvOS Improvements Including Dark Mode, Live Tune In, More, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Single Sign-On is a new feature that allows users to sign-in once and have access to all of their network apps.

In New tvOS, Apple Allows Game Developers To Require MFi Controllers, by Alex Guyot, MacStories

This line does need to be taken with a grain of salt since these are the preliminary release notes for the just-released beta, and therefore the rules could be changed at any time between now and the Fall. But with that said, it is striking that the line would make its way back into the documentation if it weren't going to be there to stay.

Apple Shows Off All-new Apple TV Remote App For iOS, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

The Remote app on iOS is being updated with all of the features from the Siri Remote for the fourth-gen Apple TV.

XCode, For New And Old Developers

Apple Releases Xcode 8 For iOS 10, macOS Sierra And More, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

The new IDE features extensions to customize the coding experience as well as runtime alerts, new Memory Debugger and accelerated Interface Builder.

Apple Brings Coding To The iPad With Swift Playground, by AppleInsider

Introduced as a new way for children to learn how to code, Apple will bring its Swift programming language to iPad with Swift Playground, a touch-friendly way for beginners to grasp the basics.

Here Are The iOS & Mac Apps That Won This Year’s Apple Design Awards, by Greg Barbosa, 9to5Mac

Every year Apple celebrates developers and the work they’ve accomplished across the various software platforms at its Apple Design Awards. This year’s 2016 Apple Design Awards showcased apps for iOS, OS X, watchOS, and tvOS. The award ceremony made sure to highlight apps that were localized in multiple languages, and had been built with accessibility in mind.

The Watch-The-Stream Edition Monday, June 13, 2016

Where To Watch The Live Stream For Today’s Apple WWDC Keynote, by Romain Dillet,TechCrunch

Apple is likely to announce iOS 10 and macOS 12, as well as a brand new Siri with third-party integrations at the conference. It’s going to be a packed one.

How Your Apple Rumor Sausage Gets Made, by Alyssa Bereznak, The Ringer

How does a piece of information from one of the world’s most secretive companies materialize online? It’s a much more opaque process than you might expect. A nugget of information about an unreleased Apple product usually originates in one of four places: an analyst theorizing about what’s next, a discovery within the latest beta operating system’s code, an inside source from the company or a supplier, or a leaked photo from the floor of the Taiwanese Foxconn factory, Apple’s main iPhone manufacturer.

Apple's Newest Innovatoin: Wastewater Treatment To Cool Prineville Data Centers, by Mike Rogoway, The Oregonian

The company confirmed last week that it has agreed to pay for a treatment facility to re-use water for evaporative cooling in its Prineville data centers. By recycling water for Apple instead of taking it straight from the tap, the city says its new facility will save nearly 5 million gallons a year.


Moldiv Photo-editing App Turns Vacation Pics Into Magazine Layouts, by Jen Leo, Los Angeles Times

It’s a photo-editing app that can do everything from polishing the look of your selfies to turning your vacation pics into glossy layouts worthy of a travel magazine.


Apple UI Design Has Jumped The Shark, by Rondam Ramblings

At the risk of stating what ought to be painfully obvious, computers are primarily meant to be useful things, not objects d'art.

Microsoft Buys Professional Social Networking Service LinkedIn For $26.2B, by AppleInsider

Microsoft on Monday announced it will acquire LinkedIn in an all-cash transaction worth $26.2 billion, bringing more than 433 million members of the social networking site under the Redmond, Wash., company's banner.

Bottom of the Page

The NeXT purchase was, in comparison, cheap. Of course, the tradeoff being that (almost) everyone who has a part in the decision to purchase NeXT were gone from the company soon after.


Thanks for reading.

The Young-Developers Edition Sunday, June 12, 2016

This Nine-Year-Old Little Girl Is WWDC's Youngest Attendee, by Leena Rao, Fortune

Seven-year-old Anvitha Vijay had a dream of building a mobile app. With only $130 in her piggy bank (which took her entire lifetime to collect), she realized that she didn’t have enough money to pay a developer to build the app for her. So she spent a year watching free coding tutorials on YouTube and the web, and learned how to program. [...]

This year, Vijay, who lives in Australia is fulfilling another dream of hers. She is the youngest attendee at WWDC, Apple’s annual developer conference. Like many of her fellow attendees, Vijay has created a handful of apps for Apple’s iPhone and iPad. But the biggest difference between her and the thousands of other developers who will flock San Francisco’s Moscone Center on Monday is that Vijay is now only nine years-old.

From Struggles To Scholarship: All In An App, by Troy Wolverton, San Jose Mercury News

Most kids who are struggling in math might study harder or find a tutor. Some give up.

Amit Kalra had a different idea -- he decided to make an app. But first he had to teach himself how to code.

Apple Starts To Woo Its App Developers, by Vindu Goel and Katie Benner, New York Times

Developers say they still hope Apple will make more improvements. They want the company to continue to improve search in the App Store and let developers respond to user comments. They also say that communication with Apple is still largely one-way.

“You can’t fix overnight all of the grievances that piled up,” Mr. Ryu said.

Speak To Me

Siri And Context, by And Now It's All This

It’s failure to handle my request had nothing to do with big data or privacy concerns—things that are often cited as reasons Apple can’t compete with the data-hoovering Google. Siri knew everything it needed to know to answer my question. It just wasn’t smart enough to put it all together.

Siri Spilled The Beans, Siri Is Coming To MacOS X!, by Brian Roemmele, Medium

Today (June 10th, 2016) Siri has been responding to basic OS X top of navigation questions with answers like “I need Finder to do that” or “I can’t find the Finder App”.

How Apple Taught The World To Smartphone, by David Pierce, Wired

Yes, iOS, like the hardware on which it runs, has changed a lot. But far more interesting is what hasn’t changed. The most impressive thing about iOS is how much Apple got right on its very first try.

Natural Ventilation

Spaceship Apple, by Xavier Harding, Popular Science

Campus 2 will run entirely on clean energy, powered by renewable sources. But what’s really grabbed our attention are the thousands of panels of curved window panes—the largest pieces of structural glass ever made—that will encase Apple’s mothership. Equally cool are the 60,000 pounds of hollow concrete slabs that allow the building to “breathe,” bolstering its eco-friendly qualities. With so many futuristic features, we wanted to get a closer look. Here’s what we found.


LiveRotate Brings Rotation To Live Photos, by John Voorhees, MacStories

LiveRotate is a terrific iPhone photo utility from Becky Hansmeyer for rotating Live Photos without eliminating the 'live' aspect of the photo. Becky created LiveRotate out of frustration with the limitations of Apple's Photos app.

Review: Philips Hue White Ambiance Kit Delivers Bang For The Buck In HomeKit Lighting, by Roger Fingas, AppleInsider

Philips' latest entry into the Hue smartbulb line should strike a good balance between cost and features for most people, even if there are some rough edges the company could stand to polish.


Multichannel Text Processing, by iA

In the classic era of word processing, text was born between MS Word, and a printer. Today, it is written and edited on multiple devices and apps, then mailed, printed, copied, pasted, annotated, published, RSSed, shared and re-shared, using all kinds of tools and platforms. Stubborn proprietary file formats fail in this frantic new environment. Plain text does better, but lacks Rich Text’s formatting. Markdown could be our golden gun. If only it looked a little shinier!


Why Planning Ahead Is Dead, by Jon Gorey, Boston Globe

An expanding collection of apps and services will get you what you need right now.

The Cat Guardians Of Singapore, by Anna Jones, BBC

Every city has its strays, but here in Singapore, they are little different. Not scrawny and vaguely whiffy, but glossy and groomed and known affectionately as "community cats".

Bottom of the Page

iMessage in, wireless earpod, and Xcode on iPad. These are a few of my favorite (yet to be invented) things.


Thanks for reading.

The App-Store Edition Saturday, June 11, 2016

How The Apple App Store Went From ‘Impossible Thought’ To Job Creator, by Nicholas Deleon, Motherboard

“I remember Steve [Jobs] saying to us, ‘Do you think we can get 50—literally 50—apps to start with when we launch?’” Apple VP of product marketing Greg Joswiak told Motherboard in an interview last week at the company’s Cupertino, Calif. headquarters. The fact that the App Store ended up launching in July 2008 with more than 10 times that number, Joswiak said, “was probably an omen, if you will, that we had tapped into something pretty big.” [...]

To better understand the worldwide phenomenon—and to find out why the average person should care in the first place—Motherboard spent the past few days, in the lead up to the beginning of Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference on June 13, interviewing a number of software developers from all over the world, from a Bay Area team that’s hoping to transform the way women buy bras (ThirdLove) to a Swedish group that’s marrying health and fitness tracking and motivation with attractive design (Lifesum). And while these developers may be located on opposite sides of the planet, a common thread emerged in our conversations: If it weren’t for the rise of digital distribution, putting them on more of an even playing field with software giants like Facebook, Google, and Microsoft, they wouldn’t have managed to get off the ground in the first place.

Young Brains

Smartphones Won’t Make Your Kids Dumb. We Think, by Olivia Solon, Quartz

It’s been six years since the launch of the iPad and, with it, the rebirth of tablet computers. The academic research simply hasn’t been able to catch up, which means it’s hard to know the long-term impact on young brains of being exposed to tablets and smartphones.

The concern among some experts is that these devices, if used in particular ways, could be changing children’s brains for the worse–potentially affecting their attention, motor control, language skills and eyesight, especially in under-fives, for whom so much brain development is taking place.

Technology companies and app developers are throwing their marketing prowess at the problem, slapping words like “educational” and “e-learning” on their products, often without any scientific basis. So what are parents to do?

Brisbane School Told Girl, 5, ‘You’re Out If You Don’t Have iPad’, by Natasha Bita, The Australian

A public school that is forcing ­parents to buy iPads for kindergarten kids next year is facing a backlash from families.


Paragon Hard Disk Manager For Mac Offers Recovery, Secure Erase, More, by MacNN

Hard Disk Manager enables highly flexible drive portioning, redistribution of free space as well as system backup and migration that offers a wealth of options not offered in Apple's heavily revised Disk Utility.

Goodbye, Old-School Yahoo Messenger App, by David Murphy, PC Magazine

If you're still using Yahoo's ancient Messenger application—you know, the one you can't even download from Yahoo anymore, but might still be clinging to because you have a fondness for purple user interfaces—then you might want to start finding some alternatives.


What Happens When Anyone Can Code? We’re About To Find Out, by Douglas Rushkoff, Yahoo

I’ve started playing with an iPad app called Ready that lets kids build little games, simple apps, and creative digital projects. It uses a simple drag-and-drop interface to create objects, change their properties, and make them interact with each other or a user. [...]

What WYSIWYG did for document creation, Ready can do for programming. But the effects could go much deeper than saving time.


The Amazing iPhone-sniffing Prison Dogs, by Maurice Chammah, The Marshall Project

The pervasiveness of illegal cell phones in American prisons is consistently described by officials as a security threat, allowing gangs to organize across the walls and prisoners to harass their victims. But some inmates have described the prevalence of cell phones inside as a product of their desperation to maintain contact with family and friends on the outside, since sanctioned phone calls are notoriously expensive.

The dogs can do this because cell phones have a smell. The psychologist Stanley Coren once wrote that he left a collection of cell phone parts in boxes for ten days and opened them to find “a sweet metallic smell that I might fantasize that a newly built robot would have, with perhaps a faint ozone-like overtone.”

Milky Way No Longer Visible To One Third Of Humanity, Light Pollution Atlas Shows, by Nicola Davis, The Guardian

It has inspired astronomers, artists, musicians and poets but the Milky Way could become a distant memory for much of humanity, a new global atlas of light pollution suggests.

The study reveals that 60% of Europeans and almost 80% of North Americans cannot see the glowing band of our galaxy because of the effects of artificial lighting, while it is imperceptible to the entire populations of Singapore, Kuwait and Malta.

The Grand Canyon: Meet The Newest Dark Sky Park, by Sarah Lewin, Space

The glittering night skies above the Grand Canyon will soon gain extra protection from encroaching light — the national park has been designated a provisional International Dark Sky Park by the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) and the National Park Service.

Bottom of the Page

I haven't seen any stars -- except one -- for years, I think.


Thanks for reading.

The Performance-Improvements Edition Friday, June 10, 2016

Apple Updates Logic Pro X With 3 New Chinese Instrument Patches And Over 300 Chinese Loops, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

The update also has a focus on Chinese instruments much likerecent GarageBand updates. Retina display users will appreciate hi-res support for seven more plug-ins, and the update delivers the usual performance improvements as well.

Apple Has Just Become An Energy Company, Looks To Sell Excess Electricity Into The Grid And Maybe More, by Seth Weintraub, 9to5Mac

The company was seemingly formed to allow it to sell excess electricity generated by its solar farms in Cupertino and Nevada, with plans to sell electricity across the whole of the US.

Catawba County Approves Lease For Apple’s Renewable Energy Center, by Kevin Griffin, Hickory Daily Record

A new lease agreement between Catawba County and Apple will allow for the construction of a renewable energy facility that harnesses landfill gas.

Apple Releases Special ‘Shot On iPhone’ Commercial For European Football Championship, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

Apple has released a special ‘Shot on iPhone’ TV commercial for European markets called ‘The beautiful game’. It features iPhone photography of football stadiums, goalposts and players.

The New Business Model

Glenn Fleishman: ‘App Store Subscriptions Don’t Solve Problems For Most Developers’, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

What I was told from people at Apple today is that “Content” and “Service” are merely examples of the type of apps that qualify for subscription pricing, and they are willing to accept “all categories and apps that make sense as subscriptions”.

Also from John Gruber: I confirmed with Apple today that free trials are definitely an option for any app that is approved for subscription pricing.

App Subscriptions Were Always Inevitable, by Vlad Savov, The Verge

For a long time, iOS developers could rely on the booming growth of iPhone sales to secure their future revenues. Sure, you might be giving older customers free upgrades, but you were still very much enticed to improve your software in order to capture the flood of potential new users streaming in. Such a pyramid scheme of constantly recruiting new users in order to support the old ones could only work so long as Apple kept bringing in masses of iOS neophytes. But that growth has slowed markedly this year, as both the iPhone and smartphones in general approach their global saturation point, and the problem of reconciling one-off purchases with an ongoing support service is growing into a starker issue.

On Subscription Fatigue, by David Sparks, MacSparky

I think, in general, it's easier to pay $12 once then the thought of paying one dollar every month going forward. Now multiply that times the 20 or 30 apps that you really love and things just get crazy.

Spotify On Apple App Store Changes: That's Nice, But It's Not Enough, by Laruen Goode, The Verge

"Unless Apple changes its rules, price flexibility is prohibited, which is why we can never provide special offers or discounts, and means we won't have the ability to share any savings with our customers," Prince continued. "Apple still insists on inserting itself between developers and their customers, which means developers will continue to lack visibility into why customers churn — or who even qualifies as a long-term subscriber."

Going Places

Winnie Helps Parents Find Family-friendly Places, Share Their Experiences, by Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

A new mobile app called Winnie is launching today to make parents’ lives a little easier, by offering information about nearby kid-friendly places, as well as detailing what sort of facilities for families a location may have – like stroller access, quiet areas to nurse, changing tables, restrooms, and more. The idea is to make going out with your little ones less stressful, whether you’re just running errands around town or traveling to a new city.

Golf Legend Annika Sorenstam Launches App In Seattle That Helps You Find Fun Events And Activities, by Taylor Soper, Geekwire

Arguably the greatest women’s golfer in history, Sorenstam was already an active entrepreneur off the course during the latter stage of her illustrious 16-year career. After she retired in 2008, the Sweden-native spent even more time with her business endeavors — a clothing line, a cookbook, a wine collection, multiple golf course design projects, the ANNIKA Foundation, and more.

Now, Sorenstam is dipping her toes in the technology world. She’s the founder of a new iPhone app called Fundu, which recommends nearby events and activities catered to your individual tastes.


Workflow Adds IFTTT Integration, by Federico Viticci, MacStories

Their latest integration is aimed at extending Workflow to any web service – even if it doesn't offer an iOS app or a native web action in Workflow. Today, Workflow is launching a new IFTTT integration to trigger web recipes.

BitCam, by Federico Viticci, MacStories

The Iconfactory has launched BitCam, a new iPhone app inspired by old Macintosh apps. BitCam lets you take pictures and apply retro filters such as dithering.


My Two Years As An Anthropologist On The Photoshop Team, by Charles Pearson, Medium

Almost two years ago, the Photoshop team pivoted to focus its energies and resources on design features and workflows. To be successful, the team needed to understand trends in design and tools, as well as develop connections and empathy to design and designers. Worth noting, the pivot happened not long after Adobe moved to a subscription service and away from big box releases every 1–2 years. The subscription model provided an opportunity for development to be more iterative, but so much had to be re-thought, including research and customer feedback loops. This was the task then: build deeper knowledge and empathy around UI design, as well as develop feedback loops suited to new development cycles. As an anthropologist and ethnographer (the first ever at Adobe!), I was hired as a consultant to help address those gaps.


The All-American iPhone, by Konstantin Kakaes, MIT Technology Review

As Steve Jobs once told President Obama when he asked why Apple didn’t make phones in its home country, the company didn’t hire manufacturers in China only because labor is cheaper there. China also offered a skilled workforce and flexible factories and parts suppliers that can, Apple believes, retool more quickly than their American counterparts.

But set that aside for now, and imagine that Apple persuaded one of its Chinese manufacturers to open factories in the United States or did that itself. Could it work? Apple could profitably produce iPhones in America, as some high-end Mac computers are produced, without making them much more expensive. There’s a catch, though, that undermines Trump’s and Sanders’s arguments. This becomes clear if you carry our thought experiment to its most extreme conclusion.

What It Was Like To Write Speeches For Apple Executives, by Bourree Lam, The Atlantic

Jayne Benjulian became Apple’s first chief speechwriter in the 1980s. Benjulian spent six years at Apple, and she’s since become involved in various forms of writing. She’s now a poet, and her new book, Five Sextillon Atoms, contains poems that tie together American history and her own family’s. I talked with Benjulian about her job at Apple, what makes a great speech, and her transition to poetry.

The Evolution Of Cloud Computing, by Bob O'Donnell, Recode

Some of the more interesting developments in server design are coming from the addition of new chips that serve as accelerators for specific kinds of workloads. Much as a GPU inside a PC works alongside the CPU and powers certain types of software, new chips are being added to traditional servers in order to enhance their capabilities.

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If your app is not using iCloud or Dropbox or OneDrive but rather your own servers to sync data, and you are charging me a subscription price, you better have a damn good reason or two.

(Just for the record, the two apps that I do subscribe today are Evernote and Todoist.)


Thanks for reading.

The In-Advance-Of-WWDC Edition Thursday, June 9, 2016

The New App Store: Subscription Pricing, Faster Approvals, And Search Ads, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

Until now, subscription pricing was reserved for apps that served media content: streaming audio and video, news, etc. Apple is now opening it to apps from any category, which effectively solves the problems of recurring revenue and free trials. Even better, Apple is changing the revenue split for all subscriptions: for the first year of any subscription, the revenue split remains 70/30; after the first year, the revenue split changes to 85/15.

In Schiller’s words, this is “in recognition that the developer is doing most of the work” with any app that is so good that the user remains a paid subscriber for over a year. This change is effective starting this Monday — any app that already has subscribers will start splitting revenue with Apple 85/15 on subscriptions that are at least a year old.

Phil Schiller: Apple Making Major Changes To The App Store, by Jim Dalrymple, The Loop

“We’re never going to get rid of that [app review] because it matters,” said Schiller.

He said that Apple does about 100,000 app reviews per week and that they’ve developed new processes to make reviews faster, while maintaining the quality that Apple, and its customers, expect.

The end result is that Apple has a sustained rate of reviewing 50% of apps in 24 hours and 90% in 48 hours.

The App Store Changed The Way We Buy Software. Can Apple Do It Again?, by Lauren Goode, The Verge

Apple is also going to start showing search ads for apps in its iOS App Store search results for the first time, something the company had previously resisted. "We’ve thought about how to carefully do it in a way that, first and foremost, customers will be happy with," Schiller says, adding that he believes the ad auction system in App Store search will be "fair to developers, and fair for indie developers, too."

Selling Apps

Apps As Services, by Federico Viticci, MacStories

The problem, as I see it today, is that Apple is being (intentionally?) vague about which kinds of apps will be able to adopt this new pricing model. On their new Subscriptions webpage, Apple refers to "successful auto-renewable subscription apps" as the ones that offer content or "services". They also mention that apps will soon be "eligible" for subscriptions – a wording that might suggest increased scrutiny on Apple's part to see whether an app can implement a subscription or not.

Seeking Clarification, by Brent Simmons, Inessential

What does “not appropriate” mean? Does that mean rejection? Or is that just a warning that it’s maybe not the best fit, but it’s okay to try it anyway?

App Store Subscription Uncertainty, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

The letter of the rules Apple has posted creates counterintuitive incentives for developers. An app with its own proprietary sync service can use the subscription model, but a competing app that provides the same features using CloudKit cannot. But Apple wants developers to use iCloud.

Selling Apps, So Far

How We Made An App Store Subscription Success, by Adrian Hon, Medium

As the co-creator of Zombies, Run!, a fitness app that transitioned to a subscription model just over one year ago, I couldn’t be more delighted. 🍾 + 🎉 all round, folks.

Before all that 🍾 + 🎉 though, I want to share the lessons we learned in the past year — a terrifying, exciting, and ultimately very successful year.

Welcome To The App-athy Economy, by Alyssa Bereznak, The Ringer

Google an app’s name alongside the word “cancel” and you’re likely to find a rage-filled message board of people describing their long and agonizing journeys to freedom before you find a path to dumping the service.

More On The New App Stores

Apple’s New App Store Rules A Big Boon For Netflix, Hulu & Co., by Janko Roettgers, Variety

Media services who have to balance subscription income with licensing fees have been struggling with this in particular for some time.

App Store Changes, by Russell Ivanovic, Rusty Rants

This is a massive win for developers. I’m willing to ignore the fact that we took 8 years to get to this point just because it makes me so happy to see Apple publicly saying that these review times are here to stay.

Apple’s Big Changes To The App Store May Be Too Little, Too Late, by Mat Weinberger, Business Insider

These changes are great and all, but it doesn’t solve the so-called “discoverability” problem. Without tackling that, the new subscription model is likely to ensure that the rich will only get richer.

Apple Just Put Amazon’s Jeff Bezos In A Tricky Position, by Kif Leswing, Business Insider

Well, Apple just changed its business terms — now it’s up to Amazon to decide if they’re “acceptable.”

Google Will Offer App Developers The Same Revenue Sharing Terms Apple Just Announced — With One Big Advantage, by Mark Bergen, Recode

Now Google plans to up the ante at its app store: It will also move from a 70/30 split to 85/15 for subscriptions — but instead of requiring developers to hook a subscriber for 12 months before offering the better split, it will make it available right away.

Sources said Google has already been testing the new split with some entertainment companies (so has Apple, to some extent). ​Google started running the new model over a year ago with video services as a way to get Play subscriptions to work with its TV streaming offerings like the Cast dongle.

That's What You Are Going To Call It?

Apple Again References 'MacOS', This Time On Developer Website, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

In a section on when the new revenue split goes into effect, Apple references the types of apps that are eligible, listing iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS.


When Android Meets iCloud, by J. D. Biersdorfer, New York Times

When you have Chrome open on the Android tablet, tap the More menu, which appears as three dots in the upper-right corner, and select “Request Desktop Site.”

Heart Rate Monitoring App Cardiogram Goes Native With watchOS 2 Update, by Mikey Campbell, AppleInsider

With today's release Cardiogram hits version 1.0, one of many milestones developers Brandon Ballinger and Johnson Hsieh have reached as they work to refine an algorithm that may one day save lives. In collaboration with the UCSF Health eHeart study, the team at Cardiogram is investigating methods of detecting abnormal heart rhythms using off-the-shelf consumer smartwatches with heart rate sensors, like Apple Watch.

Getting Over Stage Fright With The Help Of Your Smartphone, by Kit Eaton, New York Times

For some people, public speaking comes naturally. But if you are like me, you may um and ah too much, spurred by the worry that nerves may get the best of you, that you might speak too fast or mess up in some way. So I have been practicing my public speaking with the help of some apps.


Apple Details How App Store Search Ads Will Work, by Joseph Keller, iMore

The company has published a new section on its App Store developer page detailing how Search Ads will work. [...] The beta for Search Ads will begin on Monday, June 13. Search Ads will launch fully this fall, alongside other changes to the App Store.

How We Lost 47% Of Our Users After A Redesign, by Icons8

The Internet is full of success stories. To balance things out I’ll share the story of one of our colossal fails. Here’s how we redesigned one of our services and lost 47% of its users in the process.


No One Wants To Be Apple, by Neil Cybart, Above Avalon

Slowing smartphone sales and theongoing tablet market implosion have resulted in mobile hardware having a much less rosy outlook. Apple peers are now becoming much more vocal that it is time we move beyond hardware and focus on the services and networks running on hardware. No one wants anything to do with Apple's hardware business.

Microsoft Finds Cancer Clues In Search Queries, by John Markoff, New York Times

Microsoft scientists have demonstrated that by analyzing large samples of search engine queries they may in some cases be able to identify internet users who are suffering from pancreatic cancer, even before they have received a diagnosis of the disease.

Get In The Picture: My Adventures In Correcting Yellowface, by Home Made Mimi

A few weeks ago, in a fit of frustration over the history of Hollywood whitewashing, I felt an urge to do something. I started taking pictures of myself. Not just random pictures. I took pictures of myself as Asian characters who were played by white women in film. And it felt sooooo good.

24 Things Women Over 30 Should Wear, by Warning: Curves Ahead

Whatever the fuck they want.

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Because of Twitter's API limitation, I am guessing all the good twitter clients will be shifting to subscription business model soon...

... which means that I am finally leaving Twitter soon.

I am going to have so much free time. :-)


Thanks for reading.

The Keynote-Streaming Edition Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Apple To Live Stream June 13 WWDC Keynote, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

The keynote event, which will take place at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, will be available on Macs and iOS devices through an event stream on and on the Apple TV through an events app.

Getting Ready

Five Reasons You'll Want Lightning Headphones For Your iPhone 7, by Vlad Savov, The Verge

I have been listening to Audeze's Titanium EL-8 and Sine headphones for the past few months, both in the conventional way and through the iPhone's Lightning port. These audiophile cans sound dramatically better when exploiting the all-digital connection with their so-called Cipher Lightning cable, which houses its own digital signal processor, digital-to-analog converter (DAC), and headphone amplifier. If all future Lightning headphones are designed as thoughtfully and in the same integrated manner as Audeze's, then we'll have nothing to fear from the future. These Lightning headphones are the real deal: good enough to make me forget all about the 3.5mm jack.

Art In Phone

Vagina Video Game Devs: Apple Asked Us To Change Everything For App Store, by Patricia Hernandez, Kotaku

“Right now there is almost exclusively two powers in play, Apple and Google. Two American profit oriented commercial businesses that stand as gatekeepers of our new media culture. This is problematic for multiple reasons, first, why have we given so much power to these capitalist enterprises to be able to censor art and culture, and secondly, what ethics and morals should they, if any, try to enforce upon the whole world? Right now it is (seen from our perspective) typical American viewpoints that are being enforced in each country, where ‘cutesy’ games about killing and bombing Palestinians is accepted, while being able to address sex is a no-go.”

Don't Buy It? When Tech Firms Get It Wrong, That's Not Enough, by Cory Doctorow, The Guardian

When people raised a stink about Apple’s poor editorial judgment, the company reversed its position, which proves my point. If you like the iPhone, but you don’t like Apple’s conduct, then complaining is a valid strategy to get the phone you want without the objectionable conduct.

Spending money is not your only power as a citizen; you are more than just a wallet. . Even in the most orthodox form of market economics, you have a role to play apart from spending or not spending. Complaining effectively makes a difference – sometimes.


iTunes U For iOS Can Now Add Materials From iCloud, Google Drive, Dropbox, & More, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

The latest version of iTunes U adds a document picker that supports cloud services like iCloud Drive as well as others including Dropbox, Google Drive, and Box.

iTunes 12.4 Annoyances And How To Get Around Them, by Kirk McElhearn, Intego

Some iTunes users have found that a feature they depended on is missing, or has been moved; others find that the new "simplified" navigation isn't as simple as they would like. Here's a look at some of the annoyances in iTunes 12.4, and how to get around them.

Best App For Using An iPad As An External Display, by Bradley Chambers, The Sweet Setup

It’s certainly not practical to travel with an external monitor, but Duet Display offers the best way to turn your iPad into an incredibly slim and portable second monitor for your Apple laptop of choice.

Annotable Is A Must-have App For iPad Pro, Apple Pencil Owners, by James A. Martin, CIO

If you want an app that's dedicated to quickly marking up photos, with lots of options for sharing, Annotable is worth a download.

Google Debuts 'Motion Stills' App For Creating GIFs And Movies From Live Photos, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Google today announced the launch of a new app called Motion Stills, which is designed to create unique GIFs from Live Photo images captured with the iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, and iPhone SE.

Metapho 2.0 Add New Photo Metadata Editing Tools, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Metapho is an iOS photo utility for accessing, editing, and removing photo metadata. Whether you want to share a photo without the metadata associated with it for privacy reasons, make edits to that metadata, or add metadata such as a location to photos that have none, Metapho has you covered.

MenuMate For OS X Puts An App's Menu Bar In Easy Reach, by Dennis Sellers, Apple World Today

The software serves up a copy of an app's menu bar items right next to the cursor.


Sketch Will Begin Charging Users A Subscription Fee For Its OS X Design App, by Abhimanyu Ghoshal, The Next Web

Bohemian Coding noted in a blog post that it wasn’t fair that some users got more free updates than others, depending on how close to the original release date they purchased the $99 design tool.


On Reading Issues Of Wired From 1993 To 1995, by Anna Wiener, New Yorker

One thing I’ve noticed since moving to San Francisco is that my cohort in the tech world doesn’t talk that much about the industry’s past. This is understandable: it’s easy to forget that tech has a history. Just as old hardware is regularly tossed and replaced, the Web washes itself clean. But a few months ago, while researching early hacker webzines, I found myself in the backwaters of Wired’s online archive, reading technological forecasts from 1993. A few moments later, I was on eBay, where I started to bid on strangers’ dusty collections of early issues of Wired, all from the years 1993 to 1995. Since then, I’ve been reading the magazines constantly—on muni, at bars, in bed in my apartment in Haight-Ashbury. After several years of working in Silicon Valley, I’m burrowing deeper into the culture than I ever intended. Still, I can’t give them up.

Google And Amazon Are Slowly Killing The Gadget As We Know It, by Matt Weinberger, Business Insider

What's happening is pretty simple. The hardware and the software running on any device itself have become way less interesting than the web apps and services, like the ones that Google and Amazon have made the core of their business.

Why buy a $700 iPhone when a $200 Android phone can access the same YouTube or Amazon Music as everyone else? All you need to do to get new Facebook features is refresh your browser or update your app. You don't need a high-performance device to participate in the 21st century.

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Once upon a time, I've bought magazines not just to read the articles, but also to browse the advertisement. Once upon a time, i've bought magazines not just to read the articles, but also to find out what's on TV. Once upon a time, I've bought magazines not just to read the articles, but to get a bunch of trial versions of software and computer games.

Good times.


Thanks for reading.

The Freezing-Retina Edition Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Apple Acknowledges 13-Inch Retina MacBook Pro Freezing Issue, Recommends Updating OS X And Flash, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Luckily, Apple's solution is a simple one, instructing customers to update to the latest version of OS X and upgrade to the latest version of the Adobe Flash Player web plug-in.

Simplicity, Followed-Up

Has Apple Lost Its Simplicity?, by Ken Segall

Last week, I wrote an article for The Guardian with the above title. It was a question, not a conclusion, and I tried to offer a thoughtful opinion. Sadly, The Guardian chose to give it a bait-click headline that contradicted my point of view. So, for the record, here is the complete article as originally intended.

Headlines Matter, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

I don’t do much writing for other publications these days, but at this point I would insist on approval over the headline.

New Ads

Apple Debuts New Apple Music Ads Featuring DJ Khaled, Naomi Campbell And Ray Liotta, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

DJ Khaled first began partnering up with Apple in February, when he launched his We the Best Radio Show on Beats 1 Music.

Apple Shares Eight New 'Shot On iPhone' Videos, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Video content ranges from a rain storm in Los Angeles to penguins in Antarctica to a hippopotamus in Botswana.


Remind Me Makes Quick Work Of Reminders Task Entry, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Reminders can be tedious and frustrating when you want to enter a reminder with a due date. Remind Me is a handy lightweight iPhone utility dedicated to fast Reminders task entry.

LiquidText 2.0 Brings Support For Multiple Documents, by Federico Viticci, MacStories

The app lets you read and annotate PDF documents, but it looks nothing like a traditional PDF editor. Text can be highlighted and pulled aside with a delightful tap & hold interaction; multiple excerpts can be grouped together in a cluster of bits of text, and you can also add your own notes to the mix.

Improve Your Speeches With Ummo, by Jake Underwood, MacStories

For the majority of people, giving a speech isn’t a regular experience. When it’s needed, however, a tool to help to make the process as easy as possible is greatly appreciated. With Ummo, you’re getting an easy-to-use app that remains impartial, instead giving the most useful data in simple ways.

You Can Now Post To Instagram Directly From Photos And Other iOS Apps, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

Instagram version 8.2 includes an iOS extension that lets you share both photos and videos from Photos and other iOS apps directly to Instagram. The feature also lets you write a caption to accompany the photo or video, but filters and other editing features will still require launching the full app.

Message Your Journal Using Ipsum, by Jake Underwood, MacStories

Instead of fiddling with titles, formatting, and tags, you'll simply type – like you would in iMessage – and Ipsum will log what you write.


Microsoft Updates Windows Bridge For iOS That Helps Bring iPhone Apps On Windows, by Bogdan Popa, Softpedia

Microsoft announced a series of updates for the Windows Bridge for iOS that’s supposed to enhance the process of porting apps to Windows 10 and empowering developers to do more when coding for the platform.


Traffic-weary Homeowners And Waze Are At War, Again. Guess Who’s Winning?, by Steve Hendrix, Washington Post

And so Connor borrowed a tactic he read about from the car wars of Southern California and other traffic-weary regions: He became a Waze impostor. Every rush hour, he went on the Google-owned social-media app and posted false reports of a wreck, speed trap or other blockage on his street, hoping to deflect some of the flow.

He continued his guerrilla counterattack for two weeks before the app booted him off, apparently detecting a saboteur in its ranks. That made Connor a casualty in the social-media skirmishes erupting across the country as neighborhoods try to contend with suddenly savvy drivers finding their way on routes that were once all but secret.

How To Get Bums On Seats At London's First Naked Restaurant, by Alexi Duggins, The Guardian

This week sees the opening of The Bunyadi, the city’s first “naked restaurant”, which promises an experience that is “free from the trappings of modern life”. With that in mind, there are no clothes, no mobile phones and no food preparation that requires electrical appliances (all cooking is done with fire), while the food is free of modern preservatives and the furniture is hand-carved. The staff will be (mainly) clothes-free, and guests can dine nude (they will change into a gown and can then disrobe if they wish). So, how do you run a place with a naked clientele? We asked its founder.

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Don't worry, Microsoft. Apple has confident in your Windows OS. In fact, Apple is committed to updating iTunes program on Windows platform at least until the year 2150.

Just make sure iTunes is the default MP3 player on Windows.


Thanks for reading.

The You-And-Me-Are-French Edition Monday, June 6, 2016

How Your iPhone Knows More About Your Vagina Than You, by Vicky Spratt, The Debrief

You can now use your smartphone to keep track of your period’s flow in order to predict what kind of tampons you’ll need. You can use it to work out when you’re ovulating and whether or not that’s why you’re experiencing a headache, back pain or feeling hot.

Jennifer Tye from Glow tells me that they described themselves as a ‘data driven company’ who’s aim is to provide women with ‘information about their health so that they can make informed decisions.’ Glow now had more than 4 million users across all of the apps they provide. Eve is their cycle-tracker and sexual health tracker. ‘What Glow is doing fits with where technology sits today and what it has enabled – both in terms of being able to handle vast quantities of data to a degree that has never been possible before. These days I think it would be fair to say that people share more information with their smartphones than they do in their ten-minute appointment with their doctor.’

The Female Orgasm Simulation Game That's Too Hot For Apple To Touch, by Jordan Erica Webber, The Guardian

“I was talking to the guy from Apple on the phone, actually, which is cool, they take the time out to talk to you,” says Jarnfelt. “He told me, ‘Yeah, you and me are French. We understand these things.’ But they have to reach a broad market, and America, and they have to be family-friendly, so they have just not accepted anything like this. And they put their own kind of threshold on what is crude and not crude, and you cannot even discuss it.”

Unfortunately, Apple’s refusal to discuss this female stimulation simulation is representative of a wider issue. Jarnfelt says women have told him that they didn’t talk about things such as masturbation and female pleasure until they were well into their 20s. One of the motivations behind La Petite Mort was to help to normalise that kind of discussion.

Long Game

Apple Watch: Why Let Facts Cloud The Debate?, by Jean-Louis Gassée, Monday Note

I think Apple is playing its usual long game. Interpreting any short phase doesn’t give a reliable view of the future.


17 Great Apps That'll Make Your Life Easier, by Sean Kim, The Muse

These tools have shaved off dozens of hours every month, and hopefully they’re just as helpful for you.

Dokonoko, A Pet App From EarthBound Creator Shigesato Itoi, by Kevin McMinn, Nintendo News

Dokonoko (ドコノコ in Japanese), released on June 5 for iOS users, may not be the RPG experience Itoi is known for, but cats and dogs everywhere are sure to lap it up.


How This Founder Saved Her Startup By Convincing A Random Guy In A Coffee Shop To Invest $28,000, by Julie Bort, Business Insider

Revel turns an iPad into a cash register for restaurants, retail shops and other small business. Today there are 20,000 Revel iPad systems out there and the company is growing quickly, she says.

And the story of how she got here is remarkable.


With iPhones And Computer Models, Do We Still Need Weather Forecasters?, by Eric Berger, Ars Technica

Two technologies have converged to rapidly displace the primary function of meteorologists. First are computers that are generally better forecasters than humans. For most types of weather, numerical weather prediction has superseded human forecast methods. And secondly, thanks to the Internet and increasingly ubiquitous weather apps on mobile devices, people have continuous, immediate access to 5-day, 7-day or 10-day forecasts. As technology drives automation and machines take job after job once performed by humans, are meteorologists next in line?

Why The Economic Payoff From Technology Is So Elusive, by Steve Lohr, New York Times

One place to look at this disconnect is in the doctor’s office. Dr. Peter Sutherland, a family physician in Tennessee, made the shift to computerized patient records from paper in the last few years. There are benefits to using electronic health records, Dr. Sutherland says, but grappling with the software and new reporting requirements has slowed him down. He sees fewer patients, and his income has slipped.

“I’m working harder and getting a little less,” he said.

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Am I going crazy? Am I going senile? This morning, I looked at my "Project" folder and remembered that, over the weekend, I've started yet another project... in Swift... v2... one week before WWDC.


Thanks for reading.

The Tree-Planting Edition Sunday, June 5, 2016

A Look At Apple’s Insanely Ambitious Tree-planting Plans For Its New Spaceship Campus, by Chris O'Brien, Venturebeat

In a cluster of East Bay nurseries, Apple has been growing more than 4,600 trees, which are nestled in large, wooden boxes. Some time later this year, Apple’s team of arborists will start shipping these trees two or three at time to Cupertino, where they will be painstakingly planted as part of the broader landscaping plan.

The investment in these trees represents the kind of attention to detail, quality, and finish that is classic Apple. Rather than just planting seedlings and watching them develop slowly over 20 years, as many developers do, Apple is hoping to come as close as possible to creating the sensation of a thick, forest-like wonderland right from the start.

iPad Art

Stunning iPad Art Shows Hull As You've Never Seen It Before, by Amy Nicholson, Hull Daily Mail

The digital genius behind this collection is East Yorkshire man Iain Musgrave who is the ultimate modern day artist – the "iPad artist". He creates his artwork using an app called Procreate which allows him to upload a picture and sketch directly on top of it. [...]

"The iPad gives you great flexibility. This is the great thing about digital art, you can mix many different types of techniques together, even photographs and textures you find around the city."


This iPhone App Blocks Behavior-Tracking Ads And Evades Blocker-Blockers, by Joshua Kopstein, Motherboard

Amid the ongoing chaos of the ad-blocking wars, a two-person team of privacy activists have launched Better, a new content-blocking app for iOS with a slightly different approach that seems to evade the blocker-detection schemes of several major sites.

Try These Smartphone Apps To Hold A Virtual Garage Sale, by Max Faulkner, Star-Telegram

So next time you want to get rid of some stuff, see what your smartphone can do for you.


Is The Era Of Free Streaming Music Coming To An End?, by Mar Hogan, Pitchfork

For all the debates about the paucity of payouts to music makers, with ad-supported streaming—unlike with piracy—at least those payouts exist. But now, the industry may be rewriting its compact with free streamers. Streaming services appear to be approaching a point of rebalancing as they try to maximize advertising revenues from the many who don't pony up for monthly subscriptions while at the same time finding new reasons for potential customers to pull out their credit cards.

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After so many months, I still start typing "iPhoto" into Spotlight when I actually meant to launch the Photos app.

Why hasn't Spotlight learnt and adjusted to my habit?


Thanks for reading.

The Museum-Experience Edition Saturday, June 4, 2016

A Is For App: Rodin, Art Museum Changing Visitor Experience With Tech, by Alison Burdo, Philadelphia Business Journal

Inspired by the popular book "A is for Art Museum" by Katy Friedland and Marla K. Shoemaker, the app was first introduced to a select audience last summer through the museum's family-friendly Art Splash summer program. Some private tour groups also got to experience the new tech over the past year.

The children's book, first published in 2008, connects the museum and pieces in its collection with a letter in the alphabet.

Using a similar model, visitors can use the free app as both a guide and a game. Stick to the alphabet's order and the iPad will pull up a map of the museum, directing you from a painting to a sculpture to an installation.

Retro Apple Fan Makes 3D Miniatures Of Classic Macs, by David Pierini, Cult Of Mac

Self-taught hardware hacker and 3D printer artist Charles Mangin happily tries to satisfy those vintage tech longings by recreating pieces of Apple’s past in miniature. He even brings the screens to life — sort of.

When It Just Didn't Work

Apple Needs A Report Button For When iCloud Music Library Plays The Wrong Version, by Kirk McElhearn, Macworld

Apple needs to include a way to flag incorrect tracks. Because this is more than just annoying; it’s unfair. You may really want to hear that live album, or you may not like live albums at all. And if you bought a song with explicit lyrics, you don’t want to hear the bowdlerized version. You have the right to hear what you want.


Taking OS X Security Seriously, by J. D. Biersdorfer, New York Times

In addition to offering its own suggestions for safer computing to Mac users, Apple promotes the security features it builds into OS X, including malware detection and the ability to encrypt data with the FileVault tool. To avoid malware, the company also advises users to install software from the Mac App Store or other trusted sources only.


Apple Updates WWDC App With Dark Theme, First Apple TV Version Ahead Of June 13th Conference, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

Apple has updated its WWDC app for iPhone and iPad with a new look and feel ahead of the annual conference later this month. The updated version of the app also includes tvOS support for the first time. This means video content and session information can be accessed from the fourth generation Apple TV.

The Clean Screen Habit, by Brent Simmons, Inessential

Having these two panes clear tells me that the baseline health of the project is good. And it ensures that when something does appear, it’s an extraordinary event that I can’t miss — and can’t miss dealing with.


How Mark Zuckerberg Led Facebook’s War To Crush Google Plus, by Antonio García Martínez, Vanity Fair

The contest for users, he told us, would now be direct and zero-sum. Google had launched a competing product; whatever was gained by one side would be lost by the other. It was up to all of us to up our game while the world conducted live tests of Facebook versus Google’s version of Facebook and decided which it liked more. He hinted vaguely at product changes we would consider in light of this new competitor. The real point, however, was to have everyone aspire to a higher bar of reliability, user experience, and site performance.

In a company whose overarching mantras were DONE IS BETTER THAN PERFECT and PERFECT IS THE ENEMY OF THE GOOD, this represented a course correction, a shift to the concern for quality that typically lost out to the drive to ship. It was the sort of nagging paternal reminder to keep your room clean that Zuck occasionally dished out after Facebook had suffered some embarrassing bug or outage.

Eerily Empty Louvre: What It’s Like When Floods Keep Tourists Away, by Lilia Blaise, New York Times

The square at the center of the Louvre, dominated by I.M. Pei’s glass pyramid, was desolate early Friday morning, save for a few tourists taking selfies.

The museum was closed to visitors, as Paris experienced its worst flooding since 1982 — but inside, staff members and volunteers had worked around the clock to remove artworks from the threat of the rising waters of the Seine River.

Punctual Time Travel Depends On How Fast The Earth Spins, by Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica

Want to set your time machine to catch a solar eclipse with a group of curious Mesopotamians in the year 700 BCE? It's not as simple as you think. You need to adjust for the subtle slowing of Earth’s rotation over time and know the history of sea level change—and even those bits of knowledge might not be able to get you there on time. That's the conclusion that a team led by Harvard’s Carling Hay reached when they looked at what the ancient astronomical record tells us about our planet's timekeeping.

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Good night, and thanks for reading.

The Free-Beats Edition Friday, June 3, 2016

Apple Beefs Up 2016 Back To School Sale, Offers Free Beats With Mac, iPhone Or iPad Purchase, by AppleInsider

Apple's 2016 Back to School sale is an improvement from last year, offering a better model of Beats headphones with the purchase of an eligible Mac, and also expanding the promotion to include free headphones with the purchase of an iPad Pro or newer iPhone.

Best Standard Size

The 9.7" iPad Pro Review, by Brandon Chester, Anandtech

In the end, the 9.7” iPad Pro is clearly the best standard-sized tablet on the market. If iOS isn’t something you can manage with then you’ll obviously have to shop elsewhere, but at this point the hardware and software gaps are so incredibly large that you really need to be sure that you can’t use iOS, because you’ll be missing out on a ton of apps and really great hardware. Unlike the larger iPad Pro, I don’t think it’s a tablet that can actually stay performant for five years. It may be kept alive for that long much like the iPad 2 has been, but that’s more like being kept on life support than truly living. It’s unfortunate that right now you can’t buy an iPad with all of Apple’s best specs, with the smaller iPad Pro boasting a better display and camera, and the larger one having a better GPU and more RAM. I think we’ll eventually reach a point where we see parity between the two, although I wouldn’t be surprised if the $200 price gap begins to shrink at the same time. As it stands, the 9.7” iPad Pro is as good as it gets for tablets of this size, and the only thing you can really hold against it is the concern that it may not be as quick as it is now in the future.

Buggy Updates

Apple Issues New iOS 9.3.2 Update To Address Update Errors On 9.7" iPad Pro, by AppleInsider

The new iOS 9.3.2 is now available to download via software update through the iOS Settings application, or with iTunes on a Mac or PC. Builds are available for both the Wi-Fi-only 9.7-inch iPad Pro, and the LTE-capable model.

Apple Releases iTunes 12.4.1, Replacing Things Forgotten In iTunes 12.4, by Kirk McElhearn

Apple has released iTunes 12.4.1, with some bug fixes, but notably restoring a few features that were “missing” from iTunes 12.4.

Simplicity And Magic

How Apple Lost Its Way: Steve Jobs’ Love Of Simplicity Is Gone, by Ken Segall, The Guardian

I have zero doubt that Apple believes deeply in the power of simplicity. Simplicity is at the heart of the company’s products and the foundation of its vision for the future.

But simplicity is a matter of perception, and it’s hard to ignore the fact that Apple is struggling to present a simple image to its customers.


The Secret Of Apple's Success: Simplicity, by Ken Segall, The Guardian

How Steve Jobs' Love Of Simplicity Fueled A Design Revolution, by Walter Isaacson, Simithsonian Magazine

The End Of All Things Considered, by Steve Lickteig, Slate

Here’s what I think the future sounds like: You will get in your car and say, “Play my news briefing, plus all of last night’s baseball scores, including highlights from the Yankees game. Oh, and give me last week’s Vows column from the New York Times.” Then, like magic, your audio system will assemble this playlist. That news briefing you asked for? It will come from sources you pre-selected, places like NPR and news organizations yet to be created. If you don’t know what you feel like hearing, you’ll ask your system to surprise you. If you don’t like what you hear, you’ll tell it to skip to something else.


'1Password For Teams' Introduces Secure Password Sharing For Teams At Work, by Mitchel Broussard, MacRumors

AgileBits recently announced that its long-in-beta product "1Password for Teams" has officially launched, bringing an enterprise-focused version of the company's popular password management app to iOS, Mac, and Android. 1Password for Teams will let users in a designated team share secure passwords, documents, and other data through AgileBits' heavily encrypted infrastructure.

With CopyLess For OS X, You May Not Copy Less -- But You'll Be Less Frustrated While You Do, by Dennis Sellers, Apple World Today

Unlike the Mac OS X system clipboard, the utility lets you store and access up to 100 items. It can manage almost all data formats supported by the Mac OS X clipboard.


Apple Withdraws Swift 3.0 Preview 1, by Erica Sadun

According to Rene Ritchie, yesterday’s preview is apparently withdrawn and is no longer available from

The Google/Oracle Decision Was Bad For Copyright And Bad For Software, by Peter Bright

With the law as it stands, though, copyright is the best tool we have. In this particular field, it's already far weaker than it should be—it offers borderline irrelevant protection (even as it lasts far too long) that fails to reflect the things that make software a creative, challenging, expressive endeavor.

Calling Google's behavior with the Java APIs "fair use" makes things worse, not better.

Making A Case For Playgrounds On The iPad, by Mayur Dhaka, NSShadowcat

If you ask me, the prospect of learning and experimenting with Swift on my iPad is simply marvellous!


Apple's Enterprise Partnerships, Big And Small, Start To Pay Off, by Matt Kapko, CIO

Apple has been the target of recent criticism for its current pace of innovation. However, though the company's slow-and-steady approach to the enterprise may not be winning over financial analysts, it is proving to be an effective strategy for expansion into the business market. Apple set the stage for a formal courtship of the enterprise nearly two years ago, when it inked an alliance with IBM. Since then, the company has struck deals with Cisco and SAP to tap the strengths of these stalwarts in enterprise services and mobility, in additional to a number of smaller players.

No One Will Save You From Cellphone Tracking, by Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic

This location data—officially called “cell-site location information,” or CSLI—has been the topic of legal controversy lately. Because your cell provider ultimately creates this information, it is subject to the “third-party doctrine,” a piece of legal precedent created by the Supreme Court in the 1970s. The third-party doctrine allows for the government to access information shared with a third party (like a bank or a phone company) without a warrant.

In other words, a police department or law enforcement agency can back-request historical CSLI whenever they want—and they don’t need a warrant to do so. This ease of access makes CSLI one of the most common forms of government surveillance: In 2015, AT&T alonereceived almost 60,000 requests for historical CSLI. (In order to track a cellphone in real time, police still need a warrant.)

Photographing The Streets Named For Martin Luther King Jr., by Eillie Anzilotti, The Atlantic

Across the United States, more than 900 streets bear the name Martin Luther King Jr. The photographer Susan Berger didn’t visit them all, but her series, “Martin Luther King Dr.,” captures an essential truth about these streets—their diversity.

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I wonder if Apple is going to put in a new iTunes Visualizer this WWDC. :-)


Thanks for reading.

The Next-Press-Event Edition Thursday, June 2, 2016

Apple Sends Out Press Invites For June 13 Event At 10 AM, by Romain Dillet, TechCrunch

Apple has just issued invites for its next press event at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. Like in previous years, the event is going to happen on June 13 at 10 AM PT on the first day of WWDC. As always, it’s unclear what the company is going to announce.

Photo Chaos

Zen And The Art Of Managing Smartphone Photos, by Brian X. Chen, New York Times

I spent days experimenting with neurotic tagging systems, tedious backup processes and album management, and finally turned to Brian Christian, a computer scientist and philosopher, for advice.

The healthiest approach to managing photos, it turns out, is a Zen one: to not deal with them much at all.

How To Exclude Your iCloud Photo Library From An iTunes Backup, by Glenn Fleishman, Macworld

A few readers find even with iCloud Photo Library enabled, an iTunes backup of an iPhone or iPad still includes all locally stored photos.

Other People's Store

Bezos Says Amazon Video On Apple TV Awaits “Acceptable Business Terms”, by Dan Moren, Six Colors

This whole situation strikes me as a “bargaining chip” scenario—something for Amazon to leverage if and when it wants something from Apple.

Amazon Isn't About To Go To War With Apple Over Video, Right?, by Bryan M. Wolfe, AppAdvice

The sticking point probably has little to do with the 30 percent. Instead, Apple is likely saying no to any app that would offer film rentals and purchases. Because of this stance, Amazon has refused even to allow its Prime offerings on the entertainment box.

Working Outside Nine To Five

Bloomberg Just Hired 22-year-old Apple Scoop Machine Mark Gurman, by Noah Kulwin, Recode

Gurman has broken stories on the iPad, Siri and almost every other device in the Apple catalogue. Tech Insider reported earlier today that Gurman was leaving his perch at 9to5Mac. According to a memo sent to Bloomberg staff from editor Brad Stone, he will be joining Bloomberg to cover consumer products, including those made by Apple rivals like Google and Amazon.

Bloomberg Hires Mark Gurman, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

Gurman’s story is remarkable. As a high school and later a college student, he proved himself to be the most reliable source for information about Apple products long before they were set to be introduced. His sources are solid. He did some great work for 9to5Mac, but it’s been clear for a while now that he could write his own ticket.


An App A Day Keeps The Doctor Away, by Stacy M. Brown, The Pocono Record

With doctors still relying heavily on the use of pagers and that electronic medical records having yet to universally replace paper records, medicine needs an infusion of innovative technology, at least according to two physicians who advocate the use of certain mobile phone apps to help make keeping track of a patient’s health a lot easier.

Games Put Auto Racing Action In The Palm Of Your Hand, by Kit Eaton, New York Times

The 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 culminated with a thrilling victory for the rookie driver Alexander Rossi on Sunday. While most of us will never get to actually drive a racecar in real life, we can experience some of the drama through racing apps on our phones or tablets.


Apple Releases Swift 3.0 Preview 1 Ahead Of WWDC 2016, by Greg Barbosa, 9to5Mac

According to the Swift-Evolution GitHub page, the primary goal of Swift 3.0 is to “solidify and mature the Swift language and development experience.” As it turns out, this also means that there will be source breaking changes this time around, but Swift 3.x and 4+ are said to hopefully remain as source compatible as possible.

The Race To Cover Your World In Really Useful Buttons, by David Pierce, Wired

Instead of asking developers to build apps, Migicovsky wants them “to expose one key action. The one thing their app was meant to do” and let people do it with the click of a button without navigating lists of menus. He rattles off ideas: Call an Uber. Send a text. Check the weather. Check the traffic. Book a flight. Turn off that light.


Early Days, But Apple Pay Struggles Outside U.S., by Matt Siegel, Jeremy Wagstaff, and Eric Auchard, Reuters

More than 18 months after Apple Pay took the United States by storm, the smartphone giant has made only a small dent in the global payments market, snagged by technical challenges, low consumer take-up and resistance from banks. [...]

Anecdotal evidence from Britain, China and Australia suggests Apple Pay is popular with core Apple followers, but the quality of service, and interest in it, varies significantly.

All Anyone Really Wants In Life Is An App That Reaffirms Their Existence, by Lily Hay Newman, Slate

"Beeps" is an app that periodically sends a notification to make your phone beep or vibrate. When you look at your phone, Beeps tells you "Good job." That's it. You don't know when the beeps are going to come. "It could be once a month, it could be six or seven times a day. It's not based on anything!" the promo video explains.

I Used To Work As A Zookeeper. Here’s What We’re Missing About The Death Of Harambe., by Amanda O'Donoughue, Slate

I have watched the video of Harambe and the little boy over and over again. The silverback's posturing and tight lips are a sign of agitation—a signal that the animal was stressed. Like humans, great apes have many different facial expressions that reveal what they are feeling. When a gorilla stands tense on his knuckles with shoulders high and lips tucked in tight, he is ready to intimidate whatever is threatening him.

Gorillas can be kind, curious, and sometimes silly, but they are also very large, very strong animals. I always brought my OCD to work with me, checking and rechecking locks to make sure my animals and I remained separated before entering.

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Mac vs PC? Mac.
Emacs vs vi? vi.
Spaces vs tab? Tab.


Thanks for reading.

The Music-Discovery Edition Wednesday, June 1, 2016

I Made You A Mixtape, by Federico Viticci, MacStories

The 'For You' section – the feature I was hoping would reinvent music discovery with a mix of algorithms and human curation – turned out to be uninspired at best. No matter how much I tuned it to my preferences, the section consistently served up the same menu of albums I already knew, 'Intro To' playlists filled with hits I had listened to hundreds of times, and artists I had known for years. The same curated sections popped up weekly without changes.

I wasn't discovering anything new on Apple Music. There was no obscure indie artist I had never heard about and no curveball thrown at me. There was no sass.


Dear Apple, Please Make The iPhone Smarter, by Joanna Stern

My iPhone is still reaping the benefits of the expanding smart tech universe, but it isn’t because of services made in Cupertino.

Worthy Arts

The First Great Works Of Digital Literature Are Already Being Written, by Naomi Alderman, The Guardian

The problem is that people who like science and technology, and people who like storytelling and the arts have typically been placed in different buildings since about the age of 16. We haven’t been taught how to admire each others’ work, to recognise excellence, or even to know that there is excellence in “the other culture”. There’s a kind of sullen arrogance on both sides, with some people in both camps simply denying that the other knows anything worth listening to. There is a kind of “worthy” arts professional who thinks that knowing nothing about games – like saying “I don’t even own a television!” – is a marker of intellectual superiority.


Thunderbolt Display Stock Limited At Apple Stores Ahead Of WWDC, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Thunderbolt Display stock is limited or unavailable at several Apple Stores in North America, Europe, Australia, and other regions ahead of new product announcements expected at WWDC 2016 in two weeks.

What Do Normal And Abnormal Heart Rhythms Look Like On Apple Watch?, by Brandon Ballinger, Cardiogram

Almost every month, a news story pops up about somebody whose life was saved by their Apple Watch. As part of the mRhythm Study, we’re analyzing a lot of heart rate data, and decided to write a brief primer what both normal and abnormal heart rhythms look like when measured on an Apple Watch.

Mophie Launches New iPhone Juice Pack Battery Cases With Wireless Charging, by Jordan Kahn, 9to5Mac

To accomplish the wireless charging, you’ll get a wireless charging base bundled with the new wireless Juice Packs. But you can also use other charging stations, asMophie notes the new cases support “virtually all wireless charging standards, phones and accessories, including Qi.”

Hands On: Workflow 1.5 (iOS), by William Gallagher, MacNN

Workflow is an automation app for iOS that ties together various functions of the iPhone, or various other apps you may own, in order to make certain tasks quicker and easier.

Adobe Photoshop Sketch For iOS Gains Layer Support, New 3D Touch Features, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

Sketch 3.4 adds layer support for stacking illustrations — this makes virtual tracing as easy as the real thing.

Solar Walk 2 (For iPad), by Tony Hoffman, PC Magazine

Like the original, Solar Walk 2 provides beautiful 3D representations of the Sun, Moon, and planets. It adds some cool, new features, but much of the new content—including a number of comets, asteroids, and dwarf planets—is only available through an in-app purchase. Unfortunately, 10 objects that were free in the original Solar Walk are now only available if you spring for premium access. But even without that purchase, Solar Walk 2 is worth it, and among the better solar system apps we have seen.


Disruption Is Not A Strategy, by Jerry Neumann, Reaction Wheel

There are better ways than disruption to think about whether you can succeed at building a business with a new technology. In fact, there are few worse ways.


Apple TV App Store Top Charts Algorithm Now Hides Apps That You Already Have Installed, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

For the Top Charts (Top Paid, Top Free, Top Grossing), the Apple TV App Store will now hide listings for apps that the user has already downloaded, so the charts update dynamically per user. This means users can only browse for apps they don’t already own, removing some clutter and allowing less popular apps more opportunity to be seen.

Here's Why Amazon Isn't Selling Apple TV And Google Chromecast Streaming Products, by Mark Bergen, Recode

[Jeff Bezos said:] "You can always get the player on the device. The question is, can you get it on there with acceptable business terms?"

Things I Learned Doing Stock Photography Modeling, by Andrew Kimler, Medium

It was never a passion; I never had false illusions about becoming a model or walking down a runway or anything. I was an actor and I did it for a buck when I desperately needed a buck fifty. I would shoot, collect my money and be on my way. And most of the time those photos never saw the light of day. This all happened many years ago. But time, just like a well placed stock photo, makes fools of us all. Here’s a handful of gems I learned as a Stock Photography Model.

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First, there was only the iPod app. And I listened to all my songs, all my podcasts, and all my audiobooks on the same app. I wrote AppleScripts to manipulate so that I get to listen to all my favorite songs as well as least-played songs in my playlists. I also wrote AppleaScripts to sequence my podcasts so that I get to hear the more news-y podcasts first before the other podcasts that can wait.

Then after one fine update, the iPod app (together with the iTunes app on the Mac) started losing the location of where i last stopped in my audiobook. So I looked around and found that Audible has its own app. So now, I have two apps just to listen to audio.

Then, on another fine day, Apple pushed out the Podcast app, and I took a look and hated it. Reports of the app eating up cellular data like mad also didn't help my first impression. So, I purchased a real podcast app, and removed all my podcasts and playlists and Applescripts.

And that is the sad story of how I ended up with three different apps just to listen to some digital music files.


Thanks for reading.