The Without-Further-Checks Edition Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Apple Clarifies That All iPhone 6 And Later Devices Are Eligible For $29 Battery Replacements, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

Apple has clarified its policy on battery replacements. As long as the owner of the iPhone 6 (or later) handset is willing to pay the $29 fee, and the device is not otherwise damaged, Apple will process the repair without requiring further checks of condition.

Augmented Reality On The Rise In Silicon Valley, by Seung Lee, Santa Cruz Sentinel

Yet in the increasingly crowded race to build the first popular AR headset, Apple is best positioned for two reasons, said Bajarin: Its enormous developer community gives Apple an edge in producing apps and content for its developing headset, and it has a track record of making sophisticated technology — like wearables — commercially attractive.


“We don’t give a rat’s about being first, we want to be the best, and give people a great experience,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said about AR glasses in an October interview with British newspaper The Independent. “But now anything you would see on the market any time soon would not be something any of us would be satisfied with.”

What Apple’s New Office Chairs Reveal About Work In 2018, by Cliff Kuang, Fast Company

Barber and Osgerby first began thinking about a chair such as the Pacific while designing interiors for the first Ace Hotel in London, which opened in 2013. “In America, people were already starting to work everywhere with their laptops and coffee,” recalls Ed Barber. “But in Britain, it was alien to be designing this lobby for people to work in even if they weren’t staying the hotel.” Moreover, the offices at companies such as Uber and Airbnb were far more similar to the Ace Hotel than they were to the Seagram Building. So when Vitra came asking for ideas about the future of work, Barber and Osgerby argued that if work spaces were coming to resemble living rooms, then work furniture had to take on an entirely new look. “To get the best people you have to have an environment with less formality,” says Osgerby.


The Appy Wanderer: Smartphone Walking In Our Cities' Green Spaces, by Alan Franks, The Guardian

The business of social walking is setting off into a largely unexplored area of navigation. A community-based group in the wooded hinterlands of south-east London has developed a system in which the conventional map of coloured lines and contour patterns has been replaced by photographs of the way ahead.

An app created for the purpose leads walkers from starting point to finish by means of a chain of photos, each image taking over from where the previous one leaves off. This means that in a stroll of, say, two hours, there will be between 20 and 40 guiding pictures. The group is called Go Jauntly and it is run by Hana Sutch and Steve Johnson, both of whom have careers in interactive design; more importantly, both have young children, whose energy and curiosity they wanted to channel into an exploration of the outdoor world.

7-minute Workout Apps: I Tried 30, Here Are The Best, by Jennifer Jolly, USA Today

The best 7-minute workouts on the planet are the ones you’ll actually do. This is what I know for sure after testing out more than 30 of them over the past few months. That and yes, they really do work. Adding in short blasts of high intensity interval (HIIT) training consisting of various strength, cardio, core, and flexibility exercises whenever I have a spare seven minutes in my day, have helped me get stronger, leaner, faster, and to feel better overall.

My favorites are all free, though you can subscribe for more features to most of them as well. But free works just fine. They’re all available on iOS and Android (except for one). They’re all built around the science-based concept of high-intensity circuit training using body weight, so you don’t need any fancy equipment. I’ve done these in hotel rooms, my office, parks, and even in a quiet corner at the airport waiting to get on a plane.

Bottom of the Page

Should I just do a battery replacement for my brand new iPhone X before the end of 2018, just for the heck of it?


I was thinking I do not need an Apple Watch when it was announced. I do already trimmed a lot of notifications out of my iPhone, and I didn't think I need a watch to read the remaining few notifications. I also did not need to transmit my heartbeats to anybody.

Then, Apple moved into the health and medical space, and kept on improving these aspects of the Apple Watch. As I am getting older (and nearer to events that can lead to my death), suddenly the Apple Watch starts to look like something I do need.

Today, I am thinking I do not need the HomePod.

Most of the audio programmes that I do listen are spoken words: podcasts, audiobooks, and BBC Radio 4. And these programmes do sound perfectly fine to my old ears when played on my iPhone's speakers at my desk. I do not need a speaker that promises great audio, because I don't listen to programmes that need great audio.

(I do listen to Apple Music and BBC Radio 3 occasionally, though.)

The Siri aspect of HomePod doesn't sound appealing to me too. Of course, I am basing this opinion partly on the performance of Siri on my iPhone, which isn't great. Also, many of the apps that I do use -- Audible, Downcast, BBC iPlayer -- are not supported in Siri-land. How much better can Siri in HomePod be than in iPhone?

I do wonder: what can Apple do to evolve the HomePod in the future?

A better Siri is the obvious route. But I have my doubts. (The few years of evolution of Siri on iPhone didn't do much for me.) Maybe Apple will hit a point where Siri turned useful for me. Or maybe a talking-and-listening personal assistance is never going to be compatible with how I use computers?


Thanks for reading.