The Hear-Me-Just-Fine Edition Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Review: Apple Watch Series 3 With Cellular, by Jim Dalrymple, The Loop

I had the watch about chest high when I was speaking, but he said he could hear me “clear as day.” I could also hear him clearly from the Apple Watch speaker.

Next, I dropped my arm and started walking, but continued my conversation with him. He said he could still hear me just fine, even though my arm was down by my side and I was walking at a normal pace. To be honest, I wanted to see what I could do so that he couldn’t hear me, but he kept saying it sounded fine.

Apple Watch Series 3, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

Battery life has been fine. “All day” is about right — charging at night, using it all day, and I’ve had plenty left in the tank when I went to bed again. That said, I’ve been testing a 42mm watch. I can’t speak to the battery life of the 38mm models. This is what I expected, but it’s kind of exciting when you think about it. Apple turned Apple Watch into a goddamn cell phone, without making the device thicker or heavier, and it still lasts all day.

Apple Watch Series 3 With LTE Review: Missed Connections, by Lauren Goode, The Verge

On more than one occasion, I detached myself from the phone, traveled blocks away from my home or office, and watched the Watch struggle to connect to LTE. It would appear to pick up a single bar of some random Wi-Fi signal, and hang on that, rather than switching to LTE.


The day before publication of this review, Apple sent a statement about this, saying that the company discovered “that when Apple Watch Series 3 joins unauthenticated Wi-Fi networks without connectivity, it may at times prevent the watch from using cellular. We are investigating a fix for a future software release.”


It’s worth noting, though, that Apple’s aggressive estimates for Series 3 battery life are based on 30-minute workouts while connected to LTE. So long-distance runners or hikers may find themselves sorely disappointed by the battery life if you go out for a multi-hour workout while the Watch is connected to both GPS and LTE. In fact, you’d probably want to go into the Watch’s settings and turn off cellular data until you need it, which in some ways defeats the purpose of having an LTE-connected watch.

Apple Launches watchOS 4 For Apple Watch With Improved Activity & Workout Tracking, Revamped Music App, Siri Watch Face, by Neil Hughes, AppleInsider

The Apple Watch interface has been refined and improved with Tuesday's launch of watchOS 4, including a new vertically scrolling app dock, the ability to view installed apps in a list view instead of grid, and new watch faces including a Siri smart assistant and characters from the iconic "Toy Story" films.

Forget The Swiss, It's Fossil That Apple Is Threatening, by Joe Thompson, Hodinkee

Then along came Apple. Suddenly, Fossil was competing with a monster 67 times bigger than it was (measured by revenues). “Prior to that, we were clearly positioned as the competitively advantaged leader in a growing category,” Fossil CEO Kosta Kartsotis told financial analysts in February. “However, with the introduction of technology into wrist devices, traditional watches came under pressure and we were disadvantaged. We didn’t have the technology capabilities to compete with smartwatches, leading to a decline in our market.”

iOS 11

Apple Posts How-To Videos Featuring Third-Party Apps, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Like the videos posted by Apple in August, these spots strike a good balance between being informative and humorous. I’m glad to see Apple calling out third-party apps too because the ‘Pro’ in iPad Pro is as much about the third-party tools that are available as it is about the device’s hardware features.

iOS 11: The MacStories Review, by Federico Viticci, MacStories

With iOS 11, Apple’s iPad vision feels resolute again. Multitasking is blending with multitouch, giving drag and drop a new purpose; the Mac’s best features – from file management to the dock – have been rethought, simplified, and extended specifically for iOS. The iPad’s mission is to reimagine the very concept of a portable computer by empowering a new generation of users to do their best work wherever they are, whenever they want.

If anything, iOS 9 was merely the iPad’s overture.

iOS 11: How Control Center Works, by Jason Snell, Macworld

When I first saw the new Control Center, I was frustrated with the demotion of audio controls—which I use all the time—from a full page to a single icon. But Apple’s design is excellent: You can tap on the play/pause, next, and previous buttons within the audio control. There’s also a speaker icon in the upper-right corner of the audio control, and if you tap you can quickly choose your audio output device.

Similarly, the wireless control block is more sophisticated than it can appear. From the main Control Center screen, you can toggle Airplane Mode, Cellular Data, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth. But if you 3D Touch (or tap and hold on non-3D Touch devices), you’ll get extra options to control AirDrop and Personal Hotspot.

iOS 11’s New Control Center Will Freak You Out, But Give It A Chance, by Tom Warren, The Verge

Overall, the new Control Center is an improvement that you’ll ultimately get used to. It feels a little unfinished, though. It took weeks after my initial shock to get accustomed to iOS 11’s Control Center. It’s not perfect, and could do with a better design and some usability changes, but it’s like taking the trash out: it looks a little nasty but you get over it and deal with it.

Apple's HEIF Vs JPEG: Here's What Advantages And Disadvantages There Currently Are To Apple's New Image File Format, by PhoneArena

The real benefits of HEIF will shine when computational photography becomes commonplace—or at least more so than now—and the format becomes more widely adopted, but this is still quite a way off. For now, and as far as us regular users are concerned, the new format will indeed save storage, but it will also cause headaches for many due to compatibility issues.

Apple Sets New 150MB Ceiling For Over The Air App Store Downloads, by Mikey Campbell, AppleInsider

"We've increased the cellular download limit from 100 MB to 150 MB, letting customers download more apps from the App Store over their cellular network," Apple said.

Ikea’s ARKit Furniture App ‘Place’ Is Now Available On The App Store, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Place hit the App Store this evening touting the ability to position furniture wherever you want in your home using augmented reality. Designed for both iPhone and iPad, Ikea Place uses ARKit as its foundation and features a catalog of thousands of Ikea products, whether it be a sofa, bed, or any other piece of furniture. Everything is true-to-scale, meaning how it looks in the app is how it will look in your home.

And TV Too

tvOS 11 Update For Apple TV Is Now Available, Here’s Everything New, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

tvOS 11 brings automatic dark mode switching, Home Screen Sync, proper AirPods support, and more to the Apple TV.

Apple's Directions

Apple Becomes A Chipmaker To One-Up Smartphone Foes, by Tom Simonite, Wired

The new chip’s prominence reflects Apple’s deepening investment in chip design. Last week the company also revealed it had built new custom chips or chip components for artificial intelligence, graphics, and video. And Apple highlighted two new chips in its refreshed smartwatch, suggesting they helped the company add a cellular connection to the device without hurting its battery life.

Computer and gadget makers have traditionally outsourced the work of designing and making the processors at the heart of their products. In the PC era, Apple followed this path as well: The processors in its Macintosh computers were initially built by Motorola, and later by Intel. In smartphones, however, industry watchers say Apple’s strategy of designing chips itself has given it a big advantage—and arguably made its mobile chips the best on the planet.

Apple’s Lisa Jackson Says The EPA Hasn’t Changed, Leadership Has Changed, by Romain Dillet, TechCrunch

“Every EPA administrator has committed to regulate transparently. We don’t have that commitment anymore. It’s not the EPA, it’s that the leadership has decided to move away from the transparency that assures people that their health and their community come first rather than somebody else’s bottom line.”

Jackson then talked about Apple more specifically. Many people think you have to choose between repairing and replacing a device. “I don’t think you can say repairability equals longevity,” she said. Instead, she thinks Apple should focus on building durable products. By focusing on durability, you can minimize both repairs and replacements.


Apple Updates Pages, Numbers, And Keynote With New iOS 11 Features, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Following the release of iOS 11 to the general public earlier today, Apple is now rolling out updated versions of Numbers, Pages, and Keynote for iOS. The updates bring support for new iOS 11 features, performance improvements, and more.

Hands On: OmniFocus Update Exploits Powerful New Features In iOS 11, by Mike Wuerthele and Malcolm Owen, AppleInsider

The OmniFocus 2.21 To Do app for iPad and iPhone has been updated to make excellent use of new features in iOS 11. You can now add To Do tasks directly through Siri and by dragging and dropping from other apps. Once you've got a task in OmniFocus, that same dragging and dropping is also used superbly well for manipulating and organizing your work.

Procreate 4 Delivers Drag And Drop, Files App Support, Other iOS 11 Enhancements, by AppleInsider

Backing up the UI is a new painting engine called Silica M. Built entirely on Apple's Metal 2 API, with help from Swift 4 and Accelerate, Silica M draws on iPad's raw processing power to deliver a fluid and accurate painting experience.

The engine powers a new smudge tool that lets users mix and smudge paint with fast and accurate results. According to the developers, smudge is now 250 times more accurate than previous Procreate builds.

Apple, Microsoft Working To Fix iOS 11 Mail App Issues With, Office 365 & Exchange Accounts, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

Apple says it is working closely with Microsoft to fix an issue that prevents, Office 365, and Exchange 2016 account holders from sending or replying to emails using Apple's native Mail app in iOS 11.


Apple Releases Xcode 9 With Swift 4 And iOS 11, watchOS 4, tvOS 11, And macOS High Sierra SDKs, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Xcode 9 introduces Swift 4 and all of the SDKs necessary to develop apps for iOS 11, watchOS 4, tvOS 11, and macOS High Sierra, including the new Core ML framework for machine learning and ARKit for augmented reality.

Xcode 9 includes a new structure-based editor with native Markdown support and faster navigation through code, plus it includes built-in refactoring that works across Swift, Objective-C, C, C++, Interface Builder, and more.

Apple Updates TestFlight & Swift Playgrounds For iOS 11's New Tech, by Roger Fingas, AppleInsider

In conjunction with the release of iOS 11, Apple has also released new versions of TestFlight and Swift Playgrounds, redesigning the former's interface and adding an things like an Augmented Reality challenge to the latter.

Bottom of the Page

Got to go. It's time to configure my Control Center...


Thanks for reading.