The Black-Dot Edition Wednesday, May 9, 2018

'Black Dot Of Death' Unicode Bug Crashes iOS Messages App, by Luke Dormehl, Cult of Mac

The bug affects iOS 11.3 and the current iOS 11.4 beta seeds. A similar message recently did the rounds on Android. As of yet, Apple has yet to release a fix.

How To Fix The 'Black Dot' Unicode Bug On iPhone Or iPad, by Rene Ritchie, iMore

While new crash-inducing Unicode strings are discovered regularly, the fix typically remains the same: You need to delete the conversation with the "Black Dot" string in it.

Talk to Me, Talk For Me

We Asked Google Assistant, Amazon's Alexa And Apple's Siri 150 Questions. Here's Who Won., by Jefferson Graham, USA Today

But seriously, it's Apple that has its work cut out for it, not Google. And we'd like to offer a simple suggestion. Stop having Siri direct us "to the Web," and instead announce actual answers, just like Google Home and Alexa.

Siri's super low 55% response rate on our survey is due to the fact that it keeps offering non hands free, "Here's what I found on the Web," links, when its rivals offer true audio replies. For many of the questions, Apple is competitive. even when it's system clearly had the answers.

Google’s Latest Assault On Apple Proves How Far Behind Siri Really Is, by Jack Morse, Mashable

As the day-one Google I/O keynote came to a close Tuesday in Mountain View, California, it was clear that the tech giant had left the right impression on the developers in attendance: Specifically, one of awe. Of particular note was the wide range of tasks handled by Google Assistant — tasks that, at present, Apple's Siri could only dream of (could Siri dream).

No I/O For You

iOS 11.4 Disables Lightning Connector After 7 Days, Limiting Law Enforcement Access, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

In developer documentation, Apple says the new mode is meant to bolster security on the iPhone and iPad: "To improve security, for a locked iOS device to communicate with USB accessories you must connect an accessory via Lightning connector to the device while unlocked - or enter your device passcode while connected - at least once a week."


Agenda Offers A New Take On Note-Taking And Task Management, by Jeff Porten, TidBITS

Agenda lends itself to a narrative organizational style: a long list of self-documentation in chronological order. With Agenda, all of your notes are in one place, and you don’t need to go hunting for individual files where you might otherwise keep such notes.

Best Apps For Making Mother's Day Awesome!, by Lori Gil, iMore

Mother's Day is just around the corner, and if you're still brainstorming what to do for your mom to show just how much she means to you, we have a list of apps that will facilitate the best day of recognition she's ever had.


Apple Cracking Down On Applications That Send Location Data To Third-parties, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Over the last few days, Apple has seemingly started cracking down on applications that share location data with third-parties. In such cases, Apple has been removing the application in question and informing developers that their app violates two parts of the App Store Review Guidelines.

Apple Opens Developer Center In World’s Fourth Most Populous Country, by Luke Dormehl, Cult of Mac

Opening the developer center was a trade on Apple’s part for permission to sell its devices in Indonesia, which is Southeast Asia’s largest smartphone market. It is also the world’s fourth most populous country — after China, India and the U.S.


What Use Is Apple’s Mac Mini, Anyway?, by Jonny Evans, Computerworld

With that storyline now pretty much managed, the iMac Pro in the here and now and a Mac Pro promise next year, will Apple now improve Mac mini or quietly put the product out of its misery?

Important is an adjective, not a noun — and all Apple products are important until the company decides to delete them. Even the iPod HiFi enjoyed the Californian sunshine once upon a time.

Apple Hiring Activity Shows A Clear Mission To Get Deeper Into Editorial Publishing, by Joshua Fruhlinger, Thinknum Media

Apple's listing for a "Politics Editor", for instance, has remained on Apple's job site since November, 2017 when the hiring spree began. And Apple's not looking for just any editor - it's looking for someone with at leasst seven years experience and a "strong understanding of high-quality journalism". Around that same date, Apple was hiring a TV & Movies Editor, an Editorial Director, a News Desk Editor, a Culture Editor, and a Business Editor. More recent job listings include editorial Art Directors and Production Designers, as seen in the table above.

Sounds like a real news room to us.

Bottom of the Page

I am guessing many 'regular' people only use the lightning connector to do the two most common things: charging and earphone. I am guessing if Apple restrict the lightning port to just these two activities, and that any other data trasnfer requires the phone to be unlocked first, not many people will mind.

Forget about the one-week limit. Secure the box all the time.


When I launch your app, it is typically because I want to do something now. And now is not the right time to pop up a dialog box to tell me that a new version of your app is now avaiable, and would I be willing to not do that something now and instead download and install the new version of your app, and that I have no idea how long the downloading and installing is going to take, and that I have no idea if after installing that new version will something break and I cannot do the thing I want to do now then.

Please invest in a little revamp of the UI so that I am aware of a new update but that I don't have to stop everything and do that upgrade. Think like iOS's little red dot, but maybe not so red and alert-y.

Thank you.


Speaking as someone who had to do tech support for many people who complain to me that the text files I sent over to them 'looked funny': Microsoft, what took you so long?


Thanks for reading.