The Tim-Cook-Is-Committed Edition Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Apple’s Tim Cook Assures Employees That It Is Committed To The Mac And That ‘Great Desktops’ Are Coming, by Matthew Panzarino, TechCrunch

“Some folks in the media have raised the question about whether we’re committed to desktops,” Cook wrote. “If there’s any doubt about that with our teams, let me be very clear: we have great desktops in our roadmap. Nobody should worry about that.”

Tim Cook Explains To Apple Employees Why He Met With President-elect Trump, by Matthew Panzarino, TechCrunch

“Personally, I’ve never found being on the sideline a successful place to be,” writes Cook. “The way that you influence these issues is to be in the arena. So whether it’s in this country, or the European Union, or in China or South America, we engage. And we engage when we agree and we engage when we disagree. I think it’s very important to do that because you don’t change things by just yelling. You change things by showing everyone why your way is the best. In many ways, it’s a debate of ideas.”

AirPods In The Wild

Apple’s AI If By Air, by Matthew Panzarino, TechCrunch

The sound quality is very solid. Nice thumpy bass and crisp highs produce a very listenable sound, though it’s far from audiophile quality. These are very good and very loud earbuds that produce sound quality right in line with their $160 price. Because the seal (on my ear anyway) is so firm, and there are no cords to tug them around, they cancel outside noise very well (though there is no official noise cancellation functionality).

Apple AirPods Are Too Simple For Their Own Good, by Christina Warren, Gizmodo

I don’t understand why Apple couldn’t just develop gestures for basic playback controls. The sides are tap sensitive to invoke Siri, why couldn’t the company build in some additional gestures to raise or lower volume, or at least to play or pause?

Hands-on: First Impressions With Apple AirPods Sound Quality, Pairing, Auto-pause, Siri And More, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

My impression of how it feels to have two wireless earbuds in your ears is not as alien as some of the other people I’ve seen who have AirPods. To me, it’s exactly what I expected EarPods without dangling wires to feel like. I don’t want to speak for comfort, I think that will vary a lot from person to person, as I never had an issue with EarPods. There is a sensation that they are going to fall out at the slightest shake but they never do.

Apple’s AirPods Aren’t For Music, They’re For Siri, by David Pierce, Wired

Right now, you can get better-sounding wireless headphones for the same price or less. They’ll fit better, look better, work better. If you buy the AirPods you’re buying them for being really, ridiculously convenient, and not much else. And you can even get that for less, too, at least when the W1-equipped Beats X earbuds come out later this fall. (Though those are, improbably, even uglier than the AirPods.)

Christmas Wish: AirPod Double-Tap To Skip, by David Smith

This blog post is my polite request that Apple consider adding another option to this setting for “Double-Tap to Skip Forward”. This seems like a natural fit. The Double-Tap on an iPhone headset control has meant skip forward since headset controls were first introduced. The muscle memory I’ve built up over the years for it is significant.

Safe Trips

Federal Safety Board Wants Map Apps To Include Grade Crossings, by Daisuke Wakabayashi, New York Times

The accuracy of mapping data is becoming more important as driverless cars start taking to the road. It will be up to navigation apps to guide cars onto the safest routes and to warn passengers — who may not be paying attention — about potential hazards. [...]

Several months after the Oxnard crash, the railroad agency said Google had agreed to add audio and visual warnings to Google Maps, the world’s most popular mapping app, based on grade-crossing location data. But Google has not yet included that feature, even though it has updated the app more than two dozen times for the iPhone since then.

The National Transportation Safety Board said Apple and three other companies had also agreed to add crossing data, but the board was uncertain when the companies would do so.


Momento’s New App Turns Your Own Photos Into GIFs You Can Decorate And Share, by Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

One of the more clever apps to launch on the iMessage App Store is Momento, an app that automatically turns your photos into GIFs for easy sharing. Now this app is available in a standalone format to all iPhone and iPad users, outside of iMessage. It also arrives with an expanded feature set, including the ability to decorate your photos with filters, stickers, text, and other effects, as well as share them outside of your texts, to social media sites, Messenger, and elsewhere.

The Best Journaling App For iPhone, by Thorin Klosowski, Lifehacker

Day One was one of the first great journaling apps for the iPhone and over the years since its initial launch, it has remained firmly at the top. It strikes the perfect balance between features, usability, and design.

Minecraft ‘Apple TV Edition’ Now Available For tvOS With Limited Edition DLC, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Included with the paid download is a variety of limited edition DLC to customize your Minecraft experience and also includes the recent Ender Update.

LG Says Delays & No Confirmed Date For 5K UltraFine, But Most Readers Prepared To Wait, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

LG has confirmed that the 5K UltraFine monitor Apple recommends for use with the new MacBook Pro models has been delayed. A company representative told us that LG does not yet have a confirmed date for availability.


Dashboard, by Stephen Hackett, 512Pixels

Every year, I think to myself that Dashboard has reached the end of the line, but Apple keeps surprising me.

Maybe someone important on the macOS team still really love Dashboard, or maybe everyone’s forgotten it’s still in there, deep in the codebase somewhere. Whatever the reason, Dashboard lives on, for now at least.

How An Emoji Goes From Pitch To Product, by Megan Farokhmanesh, The Verge

“I find something that I am passionate about,” Hunt says on the topic of creating emoji. We spoke with designer to learn more about the emoji creation process — which he says can take as long as a year for a single icon — and introducing more diversity into Unicode.

Apple Is Discussing Manufacturing In India, Government Officials Say, by Rajesh Roy and Newley Purnell, Wall Street Journal

Apple Inc. is discussing with the Indian government the possibility of manufacturing its products in the country, according to two senior government officials, as the company seeks to grow its sales and presence in the South Asian nation.

Bottom of the Page

High-Place Phenomenon: The Urge to jump off a cliff or bridge.

High-Wire Syndrome: The urge to cut the cables off an EarPod to create AirPods.


I wonder if I do get a pair of AirPods, how long will I be worrying about losing them when out and about?


Thanks for reading.