The Shazam-This Edition Tuesday, February 13, 2018

How To Use Shazam With Siri On HomePod Siri To Identify Songs Playing, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

Just walk over to your HomePod and say ‘Hey Siri, Shazam this’.


With a successful match, you can then say ‘Hey Siri, play it’. It will then start playing the matched track from your library or from Apple Music, assuming you are subscribed.

How To AirPlay To Multiple HomePods On Mac And PC Without Having To Wait For AirPlay 2 Support, by Lory Gil, iMore

Not only does AirFoil work with AirPlay speakers, it also works with Bluetooth. So, you can connect two HomePods in the living room, your Sonos in the kitchen, and a UE Boom in your bathroom and walk throughout your entire house, playing whatever you want from your Mac.

Collecting Money

Facebook Says It Has Solved Its Dispute With Apple And Will Roll Out A Subscription Tool For iOS, by Peter Kafka, Recode

Facebook has resolved a dispute with Apple that prevented the social network from launching a subscription tool for publishers on iOS devices.

Now Facebook says it will roll out a version of the tool, which has already been available on Android phones, on Apple phones in March.

The Platforms

Apple’s Software “Problem” And “Fixing” It, by Steven Sinofsky, Learning By Shipping

Growth hacking or “move fast break things” sounded great until it wasn’t. This especially doesn’t/never worked in enterprise. Again, adopting a methodology absent building a great product always fails. “Internet time” was kind of a bust the first time around.

So to me on Apple, even as an outsider, I feel confident saying that this isn’t reactionary/crisis or a response to externalities. Importantly it isn’t a massive pivot/“student body left”. It’s a methodical and predictable evolution of an extremely robust and proven system.

The Threat To The Mac: The Growing Popularity Of Non-Native Apps, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

The sandboxed nature of all iOS apps works because that’s how iOS was designed from the ground up. That’s why iOS is a better platform than the Mac for non-expert users in most ways. But the Mac was not designed with sandboxing in mind, and in many ways sandboxing works against what keeps the Mac relevant alongside iOS.


Apple Music Student Membership Expands To Over 80 New Markets This Month, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

New markets include Israel, Malaysia, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal and Taiwan.

Fiery Feeds 2 Review, by Federico Viticci, MacStories

The marquee addition in Fiery Feeds 2, and the reason why you should consider the app if you're an RSS power user, is a feature called Smart Views. No matter which RSS service you configure in the settings, Fiery Feeds 2 can automatically generate special folders that collect popular links, articles from websites that do not publish often, and high-frequency feeds. The processing for these folders is done entirely on-device, allowing any compatible RSS service to gain functionalities it doesn't normally offer thanks to Fiery Feeds.

Fiery Feeds 2.0 Is A Powerful RSS Reader App For iPhone And iPad, by Preshit Deorukhkar, Beautiful Pixels

It packs a rich set of features and is targeted towards users who subscribe to and consume a large number of RSS feeds and want to stay updated with a variety of topics in a single app.


Absurdist Dialogues With Siri, by Mariana Lin, The Paris Review

If the highest goal in crafting dialogue for a fictional character is to capture the character’s truth, then the highest goal in crafting dialogue for AI is to capture not just the robot’s truth but also the truth of every human conversation.

Since this is currently impossible, this is where all the unhappy paths come in. I’m in favor of them. Absurdity and non sequiturs fill our lives, and our speech. They’re multiplied when people from different backgrounds and perspectives converse. So perhaps we should reconsider the hard logic behind most machine intelligence for dialogue. There is something quintessentially human about nonsensical conversations.

Bottom of the Page

I'm not convinced that sandboxing wouldn't work in macOS.

Sure, I don't think we can simply transplant the current iOS sandbox model onto macOS and expect everything to just work. Certainly, macOS is more complicated than iOS. The user interface is the entire file system, and not a matrix of app icons. There are many different external ports and what-nots. Users also have higher expectations on what should be possible on the platform.

However, that shouldn't mean that I am okay with any web browser being able to read any of my files, or that the backup software can listen to me through the microphone, or that the text editor can secretly save my source code in some server somewhere out there.

Of course not. If you want all that, fine. Go use Windows or something else. Apple should aim higher.

Permissions to apps may be granted by user at both a more granular and broad level. I may tell macOS to allow the web browser to upload a file by asking me for a filename every single time. But I may, on the other hand, give the backup software the ability to read from the /Users folder on my internal disk as well as all external disks, forever.

Really, I can't think of a scenario where an existing macOS app simply cannot work with sandboxing. Of course, there's still more work to be done by both Apple and third-party developers, and we do need good user-interface people to come up with something that is unlike Windows Vista's problem of too-many-alerts-so-user-just-click-Allow-every-single-time.

I look forward for Apple to continue improve the sandboxing model on macOS. Please don't give up.


Apple does seem to be more accommodating -- but still careful -- in allowing alternative business models on the App Store. We now have lowered 'tax' on 2nd year of subscription, trials and pre-orders, tipping in China, and now paywall in Facebook.

This is certainly an encouraging sign, even though I still prefer pay-once-and-enjoy-the-whole-app mode of payment.


Thanks for reading.