The Foundational-Tech Edition Friday, June 30, 2017

The macOS High Sierra Public Beta Is Now Available, by Paul Miller, The Verge

Some of the handful of user-facing improvements include tweaks to Safari, Photos, and Siri. But this OS is really a foundational tech release, and unless you have a serious need to test out these new technologies and APIs, you won't be missing out on much by waiting for the official launch.

macOS High Sierra’s Best Features Are The Ones You Don’t See, by Brian Heater, TechCrunch

The new operating system isn’t rife with shiny new features, but it brings enhancements under the hood designed to speed up devices. More importantly, they help future-proof Apple’s technology, from its first new file system since the early days of the Mac, to graphical and processing enhancements designed to usher in virtual reality content creation.

Like a number of the company’s recent hardware upgrades, it’s tough to do a full preview of the new OS that isn’t just a list of benchmarks — and performance upgrades are hard to qualify for most use cases. But there are some visible changes worth noting here, like new search in Safari and an overhaul for the Photos app. It’s also worth discussing what Apple’s trying to accomplish with tweaks to the Mac’s underlying technologies.

iPhone At 10

How The iPhone Won Over Japan And Gave The World Emoji, by Sam Byford, The Verge

What if Apple had entered a market with a complex, entrenched ecosystem based on advanced infrastructure and services, where devices offered an endless array of features that people actually made use of? And what if it actually succeeded in overturning this market and brought many of its advantages to the rest of the world?

That would have been even more impressive. But that’s exactly what happened in Japan.

Perfect Ten, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

The Apple I, the Apple II, the Macintosh, the iPod — yes, these were all industry-changing products. The iPhone never would have happened without each of them. But the iPhone wasn’t merely industry-changing. It wasn’t merely multi-industry-changing. It wasn’t merely many-industry-changing.

The iPhone changed the world.

The Least Important Part Of The iPhone… , by Christina Warren, Medium

In fact, when I think about the myriad of ways that the iPhone Changed Everything™, the thing it changed the least was the art of making phone calls.

Start At Zero

Apple Marketing Lead Greg Joswiak Talks ARKit In New Interview, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Enthusiasm about ARKit has been "unbelievable" says Joswiak, who went on to describe some of the things developers have built so far, including virtual tape measures that can accurately measure real-world objects. "It's absolutely incredible what people are doing in so little time," he said. Joswiak declined to speak about Apple's future AR plans, but said the company is going to "start at zero" with the iPhone and the iPad.


The New iPad Pro Before It Goes To 11, by M.G. Siegler, 500ish

Without using them side-by-side, it may be hard to tell just how much larger the screen is on the 10.5" iPad versus the 9.7". This is a testament to the work Apple has done to fit a 20% larger screen in a footprint that is very similar to the one that housed the 9.7" screen. It’s a tad wider and a little longer. But again, it’s hard to tell without doing a side-by-side comparison.

And it’s definitely one of those things where when you start to use the 10.5" and then try to go back, you cannot. The 9.7" iPad feels short and stubby in a way similar to how the 3.5" iPhone felt after using the 4" variety. The smaller one now feels like a clown iPad.

Star Walk HD — Night Sky Map A Great AR Star Gazing Guide For The iPad, by Aaron Lee, Apple World Today

Vito Technology's Star Walk HD — Night Sky Map is an augmented reality stargazing guide for spotting over 200,000 stars, planets, constellations, satellites and galaxies. Designed for the iPad, it looks fantastic on the new pro editions.


Setapp At 5 Months: 10,000 Users And Better App Discovery, by Adam C. Engst, TidBITS

I polled a few developers who are participating in Setapp, and although all of them remain optimistic about Setapp’s potential, Setapp hasn’t contributed significantly to the bottom line for any of them. Joe Japes of Econ Technologies estimated that the inclusion of Chronosync Express in Setapp had increased revenues by less than 1 percent. Jesse Grosjean of Hog Bay Software told me that putting TaskPaper in Setapp had been a “nice but relatively minor boost” that generated about 5 percent of his monthly revenue.

On the plus side, Grosjean said the income from Setapp was increasing, and Japes noted that “the key for us is Setapp’s potential.” David Sinclair of Dejal Systems said he was quite pleased with Setapp and that Setapp “accounts for a significant chunk of new Dejal Simon customers.” He also pointed out that “Simon is a premium app, at $99, so offering an inexpensive subscription option for it alone makes a lot of sense for Simon users, and they get all those other apps as a bonus.”


Apple Shares Short Film ‘Détour’ Shot Entirely On An iPhone, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

On its French YouTube channel this evening, Apple has shared a short film from French director Michel Gondry. The film, entitled “Détour,” was shot completely on an iPhone and was funded by Apple.

The Beautiful, Impossible Dream Of A Simpler Smartphone, by David Pierce, Wired

People might say they want to ditch their smartphone, but hardly anyone actually does. Billions of users now have in their pocket a device that can do everything. Are some of those things bad? Of course! But that's the tradeoff for the peace of mind and spectacular value that comes with having every capability in your pockets at all times. It's nice to imagine leaving it all behind for a little while, but you wouldn't throw it away forever. The question, then, doesn't concern whether our phones are too powerful or feature-rich. It's about how to flip the relationship between user and phone, letting you control it rather than the other way around. That's a lot harder than building a phone without Facebook.

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