The Calming-Music Edition Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Apple Begins Rolling Out “My Chill Mix” On Apple Music, by Jim Dalrymple, The Loop

Apple began rolling out a new mix on Apple Music called My Chill Mix. Apple told me today that the new mix will not be available to everyone immediately, but it will show up over time.

Designed for calming music you might want to listen to during an early Sunday morning with a coffee, My Chill Mix will choose music from the genres and songs you listen to and love in Apple Music.

As Spotify And Pandora Struggle, Apple Music Lowers Its Subscription Prices, by Seung Lee, San Jose Mercury News

Earlier this month, Apple Music unveiled a single $99 yearly subscription, tucked deep in the Music settings inside the App Store. The subscription breaks down to $8.25 a month, nearly $1.75 cheaper than the standard $9.99 monthly subscription used by Apple Music and its two main competitors, Spotify and Pandora.

Digital media analysts said the unusual move by Apple — undercutting its own pricing models — is an effort to pounce on its financially struggling competitors and lure paying customers to its service.

iPhone At 10

Inside Apple's 6-Month Race To Make The First iPhone A Reality, by Fred Vogelstein, Wired

Borchers had been one of the managers responsible for everything Apple did at Macworld, and when he wasn't spending twelve-plus hours a day at the convention center through the weekend, he was in his car driving the forty miles from San Francisco to his home in Pleasanton. He'd driven all two dozen of the demo iPhones up to the convention center in the trunk of his Acura the previous Thursday—bagged in plastic and sitting in two subdivided boxes one might use for liquor. He'd driven them all back the following Friday night. A car with a member of Apple's security team followed him up and back while he worried what would happen to his Apple career if he got pulled over or got into an accident. There were no other phones, so had his car gone into a ditch or caught fire, there would have been no iPhone to unveil. "I drove them into the basement of the Moscone Center and hand-carried them up to a special locked room we'd built where we had engineers waiting to unpack them and retest them for what felt like the sixty-fifth time that day."

In between these two incredibly tense drives, Borchers had been the conductor of how every iPhone looked and was displayed at Macworld. He'd been responsible for scheduling rehearsals, making sure the right people and equipment were always in place, and for making sure security was sufficient so that any pictures of the phone didn't leak out. He was so busy he didn't even get a chance to watch the keynote live. While Jobs was speaking, Borchers was installing iPhones in spinning Plexiglas display cases on the show floor, and making sure the demonstrators Apple had hired for the event had devices to demo.

Excerpted from Dogfight: How Apple and Google Went to War and Started a Revolution, by Fred Vogelstein.

The iPhone Has Objectified Our Faces, by Caroline Haskins, Motherboard

According to Southwestern University's Bendar, the iPhone has not only created virtual versions of ourselves, but completely changed the way we visually communicate. As time goes on, he believes that the iPhone will continue to change our visual culture in different ways.

"When [the iPhone was originally released], it was, 'Well, anyone can be a filmmaker. Anyone can be a photographer,'" Bendar told me. "Now, it's 'How do you participate in the culture that surrounds you?' To be in this culture means not only that you photograph and share, but that you've gotta perfect the photographs before you share them or you might as well not take them."


Review: Logitech Slim Combo Smart Connector Keyboard For Apple's 10.5" iPad Pro, by Neil Hughes, AppleInsider

With this year's Slim Combo keyboard, Logitech is targeting a different market: Users who want a keyboard most of the time, but would like to have the option to detach the keyboard occasionally, all while still retaining a protective case and gaining a reliable, adjustable kickstand.


APFS Native Normalization, by Michael Tsai

The iOS transition to APFS seems to have gone very smoothly except for some Unicode normalization issues. Apple never really explained to developers how they could make their code work properly, most were not aware that there were issues at all, and the necessary app modifications were difficult to develop and fully test. In my view, pushing this responsibility onto apps was a recipe for endless obscure bugs and poor performance.

At WWDC 2017, Apple essentially admitted that they had made a mistake and told us how they are going to fix it. There is a short-term fix and also a long-term fix that will require another file system conversion.


Siri Is Looking For Its Own Personal Assistant To Stay Current On Events And Culture, by Jordan Kahn, 9to5Mac

Apple is looking to hire a “Siri Event Maven” that will serve as Siri’s own personal assistant on events and pop culture happenings trending among humans.

The role will be to make sure that Siri is up to date on all the non-traditional holidays, trending cultural happenings, and events that people might ask about.

Bottom of the Page

There are so many people out there that turns on AssistiveTouch on their iPhones just so they can avoid using the 'real' home button, I wonder why Apple didn't include a virtual home button in the spanking new customizable Control Center in iOS 11.

(My theory is that people still remember how early iPhones -- I'm talking about iPhone 3G and 3GS era -- had horrible home buttons that often failed after repeated use.)


Thanks for reading.