The Someone-Is-Working-Through-Christmas Edition Saturday, December 24, 2016

Phil Schiller Says Apple Is Working With Consumer Reports In Wake Of MacBook Pro Battery Issues, by Brian Heater, TechCrunch

SVP Phil Schiller took to social media for a late Friday tweet to address concerns, noting that the company’s own internal testing doesn’t square with Consumer Reports’ rating.


AirPods Kick Off Apple's Battle For Our Ears, by Neil Cybart, Above Avalon

Over time, Apple will expand AirPod functionality to include additional voice capabilities such as translation, various types of audio curation and delivery, biometrics monitoring, and augmented reality. The greater the number of AirPods that are out in the wild, the more valuable these additional capabilities will become.

As the smartphone battle quiets down, the battles for our wrist and ears are only beginning. Welcome to the wearables era.

How Apple Built Accessibility Features Into The Middle Of The iPhone, iPad And Macs, by Andrew Griffin, Independent

“Accessibility is a forever iterative process," says Ms Herrlinger. "You’re never really done. There are constantly new ways of supporting other individuals.”

The mission sounds a lot like those espoused by other Apple executives: constant refinement, a suspicion of being finished and a commitment to broadening their appeal and use in every possible way. And that's not even slightly a coincidence – Apple says that part of its success in accessibility is because it views it as a central part of the design process from the beginning, done with a commitment to the same ultimate goal.


Scrivener For iOS Update Delivers Small But Strong Improvements, by Mike Wuerthele, AppleInsider

The latest solid version of Scrivener, recently refined with an update , shows the writing app has aged well through years of development on multiple platforms.

Sickweather App Aims To Track Sickness Like Weather, by Max Gorden, TWC News

The Sickweather app uses an interactive map to show illness hotspots. It pulls information from social media to provide a real-time picture of where people are sick, and what symptoms they have.


Ireland’s Love Affair With Apple Triggers Hate At Home, by Chris Spillane, Politico

Though Apple employs more than 4,000 people in a city of 125,000, many locals are appalled that the company hasn’t contributed more to the local economy through taxes. Apple paid an effective corporate tax rate of 1 percent on its European profits in 2003. That slid to 0.005 percent in 2014, vastly lower than Ireland’s corporate tax rate of 12.5 percent, according to the European Commission.

“Any company that takes that sort of money has taken from hospitals and schools,” said James Hallinan, who works at a Starbucks in Cork.

At Least Encryption Had A Good Year, by Brian Barrett, Wired

End-to-end encryption, which ensures that the only people who can see your communications are you and the person on the receiving end, certainly isn’t new. But in 2016, encryption went mainstream, reaching billions of people all over the world. Even more significantly, it overcame its most aggressive legal challenge yet, in a prolonged standoff between Apple and the FBI. And just this week, a Congressional committee affirmed the importance of encryption, giving hope that future laws around the topic will include at least a modicum of sanity.

There’s still a long way to go, and any gains that were made could potentially be rolled back, but for now it’s worth taking a step back to appreciate just how far encryption came this year. As far as silver linings go, you could do a lot worse.

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Here's wishing you a safe and warm Christmas.

May the force be with you.


Thanks for reading.