The Preorder-Update Edition Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Apple Homepage Gets iPhone X Makeover Ahead Of Friday Preorders, by AppleInsider

Apple on Tuesday updated its homepage with dynamic graphics and links touting various iPhone X features, like the TrueDepth camera and Face ID, in an effort to advertise the handset ahead of a start to preorders this week.

Inside Apple’s Struggle To Get The iPhone X To Market On Time, by Alex Webb and Sam King, Bloomberg

As of early fall, it was clearer than ever that production problems meant Apple Inc. wouldn’t have enough iPhone Xs in time for the holidays. The challenge was how to make the sophisticated phone—with advanced features such as facial recognition—in large enough numbers.

As Wall Street analysts and fan blogs watched for signs that the company would stumble, Apple came up with a solution: It quietly told suppliers they could reduce the accuracy of the face-recognition technology to make it easier to manufacture, according to people familiar with the situation.

Bloomberg Makes A Serious Charge That Apple Is Comprising Face ID To Keep iPhone X Production On Schedule, by Jack Purcher, Patently Apple

The Bloomberg report via their secret sources is all but saying that Apple will weaken one the key features of iPhone X, Face ID, in order to get production back on cue. That's a claim that Apple will either ignore being made public or go on the offensive to make it known that no such compromise was ever made. This is a very serious charge and with sources being anonymous as usual, it's difficult to know if Bloomberg's sources are engineers, brokerage analysts that are pro Android or people directly involved at Foxconn or in Apple's suppl chain. This isn't just a bad rumor, this is a hit job that says that Apple will compromise iPhone X and deliver a diluted or outright fake feature.

Stagnant iBooks

iBooks Author Conference Highlights Worries About iBooks Ecosystem, by Josh Centers, TidBITS

It’s no secret that Apple doesn’t pay much attention to iBooks Author. All you have to do is look at Apple’s own page for it, which brags that it “has been beautifully redesigned for OS X Yosemite.” Welcome to 2014! iBooks and the iBooks Store haven’t fared any better.

So iBooks Author falls into a strange hole where it’s a powerful, unique tool, but its creator seems to have no interest in its survival. How did we get here, and why hasn’t Apple just pulled the plug?

Fix It

How Hard Is It To Upgrade The RAM In A New iMac? An Investigation By A Noob, by Jason Koebler, Motherboard

You are unlikely to seriously fuck anything up if you are careful. Taking the screen off isn't the most pleasant thing I've ever done, but I never seriously felt like I was going to actually break anything, and I would much rather give $300 to a small computer company than $900 extra to Apple. Because this took me several hours and there are MANY steps, it is very clear to me that Apple does not want you to do this yourself. Which is exactly why you should.

Why We Must Fight For The Right To Repair Our Electronics, by Kyle Wiens and Gay Gordon-Byrne, IEEE Spectrum

All computerized equipment comes with embedded software—code that tells the machine what to do and how its components should function together. Without that code, our coffee doesn’t brew, our cars don’t shift gears, and our sewing machines can’t stitch.

When you buy such a machine, the hardware becomes yours. But if you ask manufacturers, they’ll say that the software inside still belongs to them. It’s copyrighted, and most manufacturers don’t want you to touch it, even if the thing is broken. And thanks to a controversial U.S. law called the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) [PDF], manufacturers are allowed to put digital locks on the code to stop people from meddling with (or even looking at) it. The European Union’s Copyright Directive has similar provisions. Originally, these sorts of laws were designed to prevent pirates from copying movies and music. But, increasingly, manufacturers use them to maintain control of the products they sell to you.

Investing In Innovations Everywhere

Apple Buys NZ's PowerbyProxi, by Ellen Read, Stuff

Auckland entrepreneur Fady Mishriki set up PowerbyProxi in 2007, as a spin-out from and University of Auckland, to develop technology to let people charge everyday devices like mobile phones without having to plug them in.

Why Samsung Doesn’t Beat Apple Where It Matters, by Guy Hirsch, TechCrunch

This culture and strategy difference also is manifested in the innovation happening within the brand’s sales and marketing departments. It starts with customer data. You can’t use the iPhone without having an account with Apple, which means that Apple knows a lot about you. In Samsung’s case, it has yielded the customer data benefit to Google, though the benefits of that decision probably outweigh the detriments.


Apple proved that in order to be the leader in this premium category, a brand must be investing and committing to providing the best shopping and service experience possible.

Succession Preparation

Apple CEO Tim Cook Says He Plans To Groom As Many Successors As Possible, by Anita Balakrishnan, CNBC

"I see my role as CEO to prepare as many people as I can to be CEO, and that's what I'm doing. And then the board makes a decision at that point in time," Cook said.

Cook, along with Apple retail boss Angela Ahrendts, spoke to BuzzFeed News from Chicago in an interview published on Oct. 24. While there's no sign that Cook is planning to bow out anytime soon, Ahrendts' management background has long colored her a contender.


Can The Apple TV 4K Be A Cord-cutter's Only Streaming Device?, by Stan Horaczek, Popular Science

When I first started writing this review, the most obvious comparison was to the Roku Ultra, which is so much cheaper that it seemed unfair. But, using the Apple TV 4K more made me realize that the two are very different in reality. While the Roku’s compatibility with different services is superior, it lacks access to the iTunes store, which is actually the best place to get 4K HDR new releases, at least for the moment. The Apple TV 4K also has access to a wide breadth of apps from the App Store, so it offers entertainment beyond things you can watch.