The Cannot-Be-Misheard Edition Thursday, February 1, 2018

iPad Diaries: ‘Type To Siri’ As A Smart Command Line, by Federico Viticci, MacStories

Despite my annoyance with Apple's decision to make Type to Siri a simple on/off switch, I decided to give it a try on my iPad Pro last summer and, to my surprise, I've left it enabled for months now. Even with its current limitations – both in terms of the feature itself and Siri's overall intelligence – Type to Siri has proven to be a useful addition to my average work day on the iPad Pro. In fact, I'd even argue that getting used to Type to Siri on my iPad has been a gateway to more frequent conversations with Siri on the iPhone and Apple Watch as well.


The beauty of Type to Siri lies in the fact that it's regular Siri, wrapped in a silent interaction method that leaves no room for misinterpretation. For the tasks Siri is good at, there's a chance Type to Siri will perform better than its voice-based counterpart because typed sentences can't be misheard.

Apple Was Right To Throttle iPhones, But Some Things Still Need To Change, by Samuel Axon, Ars Technica

It’s easy to poke holes in the theory that Apple implemented throttling to drive quicker adoption of new phones [...]. Whether most users should have been given the choice is debatable. But Apple definitely should have been more transparent.

All that said, Apple's decision to throttle performance was the right one. But while many of the conspiracy theories are baseless, the controversy nevertheless exposed some of deepest weaknesses endemic in Apple's design philosophy and in its public relations and marketing strategy.

Is It The End Of The Line For The ‘I’ At Apple? Analyzing Apple’s Naming Scheme, by Jason Snell, Macworld

Let’s be realistic. It is highly unlikely that Apple is renaming iBooks to Books just because it wants to use the iBook trademark on a third product (after the pre-Intel Mac consumer laptop of yore, of course). Occam’s Razor tells us that the simplest explanation—this is part of a larger trend toward Apple simplifying the names of its apps into nouns—is probably the correct one.

And yet... if Apple did make such a product, it would be a pretty good name. Enough for me to question whether the conventional wisdom that Apple will never make another “i” product is really true.

The Mac, The Myth, The Legend: How Snow Leopard Became Synonymous With Reliability, by Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac

The myth of Snow Leopard is bigger than life, a cultural reference rooted in nostalgia.


Reduce Backup Frequency With TimeMachineEditor, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

[TimeMachineEditor] turns off Time Machine’s automatic scheduling and instead provides its own scheduling system that kicks off a normal Time Machine backup when appropriate. It’s a very simple tool, with three modes of operation: back up when inactive, back up on a regular timed interval, or back up at various times you define. There’s also an override to block out time when backups should never be done.

Nintendo Officially Announces New Mario Kart Game Coming To iOS, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

After years of requests from users, Nintendo today officially announced that a mobile version of Mario Kart is under development. While specifics remain unclear, the company says the game will be released sometime in the next 13 months.

Telegram Apps Fall Foul Of iOS App Store Content Rules, by Natasha Lomas, TechCrunch

It’s not entirely clear what the problem is. But, responding to a Twitter user’s question about why both its iOS apps are AWOL, Telegram founder Pavel Durov tweeted that it relates to “inappropriate content”.

“We were alerted by Apple that inappropriate content was made available to our users and both apps were taken off the App Store. Once we have protections in place we expect the apps to be back on the App Store,” he wrote.


A Eulogy For The Headphone Jack, by Charlie Hoey, Medium

I don’t know exactly how losing direct access to our signals will harm us, but doesn’t it feel like it’s going to somehow? Like we may get so far removed from how our devices work, by licenses and DRM, dongles and adapters that we no longer even want to understand them? There’s beauty in the transformation of sound waves to electricity through a microphone, and then from electricity back to sound again through a speaker coil. It is pleasant to understand. Compare that to understanding, say, the latest BlueTooth API. One’s an arbitrary and fleeting manmade abstraction, the other a mysterious and dazzlingly convenient property of the natural world.

Bottom of the Page

Oh dear. Another visit to Kindle's Book Deals, just to take a peek. And now there is one more book in my going-to-read queue.


Apple's iBook Store is still not available in Singaore.

Amazon's Kindle hardware is still not available in Singapore.

It's true, after all. Singapore is not a book-loving nation.


So, I've more-or-less migrated to digital for my book-reading entertainment. E-books and audiobooks fill my days and nights.

Except for comics, I guess.

So, I've (finally) bought two books that I've heard so many good things about: The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye, and Watchmen.

These... er... things do not have pinch-to-zoom. I hope my tired eyes don't fail me in the coming days and nights.


Thanks for reading.