The Wires-Do-Have-An-Impact Edition Friday, December 16, 2016

Apple Will Offer AirPod Replacements For $69 If You Lose One, & Battery Replacements For A Fee, by Jordan Kahn, 9to5Mac

Apple has published detailed warranty information for its new AirPods that went on sale this week, including pricing for a replacement if you happen to lose one of the cord-free wireless earbuds. [...] Apple is also charging $69 to replace a single AirPod if you happen to lose one, and the same price for a lost charging case.

AirPods To Be Available In Apple Retail Stores Starting Monday Morning, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple will begin selling AirPods in its retail stores starting on Monday, December 19, according to a retail source that shared the news with MacRumors. Apple is currently informing stores about the imminent launch and shipping product to retail locations.

AirPods: Your Burning Questions, Answered, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

The big difference is in the lack of wires coming out of the bottom of the stems. You may not notice the force that wires exert, constantly pulling against your ears and trying to coax those earbuds out of position, but compare the feeling of wearing EarPods to AirPods and you will realize that those wires really do have an impact.

Security Matters

macOS FileVault2 Password Retrieval, by Ulf Frisk

The memory contents, including the password, is still there though. There is a time window of a few seconds before the memory containing the password is overwritten with new content.

Figuring Time

Explaining The Battery Life Problems With The New MacBook Pros, by Andrew Cunningham, Ars Technica

How is Apple arriving at its battery life figures, and why might yours be falling short? If you’re coming from an older MacBook Pro, why might you be seeing lower battery life than before? But most importantly, what—if anything—can you try to do to fix it?

Small Universe

Super Mario Run Debuts At No. 1 As Nintendo Embraces Smartphones, by Yuji Nakamura, Bloomberg

The release is the first full test of what the Japanese game maker can achieve after years of eschewing the thriving mobile-app market. While Nintendo gave a hint of its potential with the success of Pokemon Go earlier this year, that title was only partly its own creation. Super Mario Run was developed mainly by Nintendo, with some assistance from partner DeNA Co.

Super Mario Run Review: Feel The Thumb-tapping Beat, by Kyle Orland, Ars Technica

After playing the first few levels of Super Mario Run at an Apple Store last week, I worried that the game took too many liberties with a series that I'd loved as a certified, website-creating megafan for decades. After spending the better part of a day playing the game in the comfort of my own home, I feel like I've been able to enjoy Super Mario Run more on its own terms, even if I feel it's missing a lot of what makes other Mario games (and even other mobile games) special. [...]

The real problem with Super Mario Run is that it wears out its content, and its welcome, remarkably quickly. Even with the extra collectibles, unlockable characters, and secondary modes, and even considering the $10 price, the selection of just 24 short levels feels pretty limited.

Super Mario Run Review, by Michael McWhertor, Polygon

Going after the bonus coins is where I found the most fun with Super Mario Run's platforming and became more impressed with its level design.

Super Mario Run Review: A Fun But Compromised Mario On iPhone, by Andrew Webster, The Verge

At its best, the game evokes feel of 2D Mario games, but it is not one of those games. It’s a one-button mobile game, an inescapable fact in the boss fights that are more tedious than fun, burdened by such limited controls. Meanwhile, tweaks like Mario’s automatic vaulting over enemies will take a lot of getting used to for Mario veterans. I still haven’t.

What The 'Super Mario Run' In-app Purchase Gets You For $9.99, by Mike Wuerthele, AppleInsider

In initial interviews with Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto, the designer said that a single purchase would unlock the entire game. That's true, to a certain extent.

The in-app purchase does not supply an unlimited amount of in-game currency. What it does provide is full access to all six worlds in the game through a gifted question-mark block —which is what the "complete unlock" entails. It also provides 20 Toad Rally tickets, and 3,000 coins.

You Can't Give The New 'Super Mario' Game For iPhone As A Holiday Gift Even If You Wanted To, by Matt Weinberger, Business Insider

Since Apple's App Store currently has no way to give in-app purchases as gifts, it might ruin your plan to play Santa for the Nintendo fan in your life.

Nintendo Loses First Round Of Super Mario iPhone Launch, by Jacky Wong, Wall Street Journal

[I]nvestors sent shares of Nintendo, the creator of the Italian plumber, down the drain Friday, falling more than 4%. [...] The payment model for “Super Mario Run,” on the other hand, caps the upside potential. Players only need to pay once. Getting $2 billion in revenue would require 200 million paying users, which seems high.

On The Move

Apple Airs Two More 'Go' Mini-ads For Apple Watch Series 2, by Roger Fingas, AppleInsider

Apple on Thursday released two new ads in its short, first-person "Go" series for the Apple Watch Series 2, continuing a holiday campaign for the wearable.

Japanese iPhone 7 Plus Ad ‘Race’ Shows Off Newly Launched Apple Pay Feature, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

The new 30-second spot features the Jet Black iPhone 7 Plus and a very fast-paced run between two men through a busy part of town. The ad concludes with the iPhone-equipped man winning the so-called race by using Apple Pay to quickly board a train.


Evernote Will Not Implement Controversial New Privacy Policy, by Husain Sumra, MacRumors

Evernote tonight announced that it no longer plans to implement a controversial new privacy policy that caused some Evernote users to threaten to stop using the service. The policy was scheduled to go into effect on January 23, 2017 and allowed Evernote employees to read users' notes.

Timepage For iPhone Adds Better Syncing, New Theme Colors, More In Version 2.0, by Jake Underwood, MacStories

The update features a slew of performance updates, which the developers attribute to a "whole new code foundation that makes it faster to use and optimizes how your calendars are synced." Also aiding in the fluidity are new animations throughout the app.

Desk 3.0 Now Available In Mac App Store, Latest Iteration Of Simple Text Editor, by Steven Sande, Apple World Today

The app provides a truly minimal interface that doesn't get between a writer and a blank piece of virtual paper, and for WordPress bloggers it's one of the easiest ways to write and publish posts. Desk 3.0 is now available, designed especially for macOS Sierra with better tools for managing stories.

Google’s Motion Stills iOS App Now Lets You Make Cinemagraphs And Add Text To Clips, by Jordan Novet, VentureBeat

Now it’s possible to create cinemagraphs that freeze the areas of an image that aren’t moving while allowing for the movement of the key action.


The Inside Story Of Apple's $14 Billion Tax Bill, by Gaspard Sebag, Dara Doyle, and Alex Webb, Bloomberg

In the coming weeks, the EU is expected to publish details of the Maxforce investigation. At about the same time, Apple will likely lodge its own appeal in the EU court. Though Apple will have to pay its tax bill within weeks, the money will be held in escrow, and the issue will probably take years to be resolved.

This story is based on interviews with dozens of officials from the EU, Ireland, and Apple, though most didn't want to speak on the record discussing sensitive tax matters. A Maxforce representative declined to make Lienemeyer available for an interview. Ireland's Office of Revenue Commissioners (the equivalent of the American Internal Revenue Service) says it can’t comment on specific companies.

The Businesses Apple Has Left Behind, by Stephen Hackett, MacStories

This year, Apple has exited the external display business and is rumored to be discontinuing its AirPort wireless routers. These developments have left a bad taste in many users' mouths, but 2016 isn't the first time Apple has shuttered an entire product line.

By my count, there are five major categories of products or devices that Apple has abandoned over the years.

Apple Can Sell iPhone 7s In Indonesia After R&D Investment Commitment, by Cindy Silviana, Reuters

Indonesia, a promising smartphone market where Apple has trailed some rivals, has stipulated that starting from January 2017, all 4G handsets sold there must have a local content of at least 30 percent. That rule can be met in terms of hardware, software or an investment commitment.

Bottom of the Page

My initial impression of Super Mario Run: this is not a game for me. Mostly, I see myself doing a lot of restart within each level, since the little Mario can only run forward, and not go back to get that special coin.


Thanks for reading.