The Keep-In-Touch Edition Wednesday, May 23, 2018

You Can Now Download A Copy Of Everything Apple Knows About You, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

Apple has today launched its new Data and Privacy website, allowing Apple users to download everything that Apple personally associates with your account, from Apple ID info, App Store activity, AppleCare history to data stored in iCloud like photos and documents. It appears this is currently only available for European Union accounts, to comply with GDPR, and will roll out worldwide in the coming months.

The Apple Watch Has Found A Surprisingly Useful Home, by Mike Murphy, Quartz

You might’ve noticed that the person who took your order at the bar, brought you the shoes you wanted to try on, or perhaps even patted you down at the airport security line, is sporting an Apple Watch, which starts at $329 for the newest Series 3 watch. And there’s a pretty simple explanation: Many service-industry jobs where employees have to be on their feet all day don’t allow workers to check their phones while they’re on the clock. But that rule doesn’t necessarily apply to a piece of unobtrusive jewelry that happens to let you text your friends and check the weather.

Quartz spoke with airline attendants, bartenders, waiters, baristas, shop owners, and (very politely) TSA employees who all said the same thing: The Apple Watch keeps them in touch when they can’t be on their phones at work. Apple has increasingly been pushing the watch as a health device, and seems to have moved away from marketing it as one that offers more basic utility, as Apple continues do with the iPhone. But given that roughly 23% of the US labor force works in wholesale or retail operations, perhaps it’s a market Apple should reconsider.

Craig Federighi Says Apple Intends To Address APFS Support For Fusion Drives 'Very Soon', by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple is planning to share news on APFS support for Fusion Drives "very soon," Apple software engineering chief Craig Federighi told MacRumors reader Jonathan in an email this afternoon.

In Which Apple Destroys My Daughter’s iPad Forever, by Erica Sadun

The other day, Apple locked her out of her iCloud account and her iPad. We don’t know why. The Apple support people don’t know why. I think it may have to do with when I modernized my AppleID to use an email address, which is what the iTunes account on the iPad is registered to.

UCLA Smartphone App Translates Meanings Of Your Baby’s Cries, by Rich Haridy, New Atlas

The app is called Chatterbaby and is initially being directed at assisting deaf parents in identifying when their baby is crying, as opposed to simply making loud noises. Remote noise monitors, while helpful for hearing-impaired parents, cannot distinguish between a cry of distress and a loudly talkative baby.

The second function of Chatterbaby is where things begin to get really interesting. The team at UCLA set out to create an algorithm than can place different cries into three categories: pain, hunger and fussiness.


A Redesigned 1Password 7 For Mac Enhances Watchtower And Adds Flexibility To Vaults, App Login Support, And More, by John Voorhees, MacStories

1Password 7 is a comprehensive update that touches every corner of the app. The app will still be familiar to long-time users, but features like Watchtower and Vaults have been extended with new capabilities that are worth exploring if you haven’t in a while. 1Password also works better than ever with app logins.

Spark 2 Hands-On: Email For Teams With App Integrations, by Federico Viticci, MacStories

Spark 2 is all about teams and reimagining email as a shared, collaborative space akin to Google Docs or Dropbox Paper. Again, Readdle isn't first to the market with this type of product, but I think Spark is the first modern email client that has been able to blend business-y features such as message sharing and real-time drafts with a native iOS experience that doesn't feel like a cheap web app.

Notability For iOS Adds Handwriting Search & Conversion, Side-by-side View, More, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

The update brings the app to version 8.0 and includes handwriting recognition and conversion, a new Multi-Note feature, and much more.


How To Become A Part-time Programmer: An Interview With An Expert, by Itamar Turner-Trauring, Code Without Rules

"For me it was putting a premium on my time, and wanting to have that time to do other things. I’ve got hobbies, always had hobbies, different sports over the years which takes time. But even just stuff like having time to work on your own programming project, which I think is really valuable. Valuable enough to me that I’ll actually pay money for it in the form of taking less salary."


Illustration In The App Store, by Khoi Vinh, Subtraction

We don’t see this particular flavor of artistic ambition from many companies today, especially tech companies. The predominant mode of product design almost exclusively favors templates and automation, what can be done without human intervention. The very idea of asking living, breathing art directors who need to be paid real salaries to hire living, breathing illustrators who also need to be paid a living wage in order to create so-called works of art that have no demonstrably reproducible effect on actual profits is outlandish, absurd even. The mere suggestion would get you laughed off of most design teams in Silicon Valley. Design in this century has little use for anything that can’t be quantified.

And yet, here is Apple’s App Store, presenting new, original illustrations several times a week. Of course, not everything shown is bespoke. For some recurring editorial features they use wallpaper-like designs made from app icons; other stories borrow graphics right from the apps themselves; and sometimes the art directors will sneak in a graphic that they might have used in the past.

Yammering On One More Time Regarding Google’s Duplex Recordings, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

The job of journalists is to verify these things, not just to take a company’s word for it.

Batteries Still Suck, But Researchers Are Working On It, by Lauren Goode, Wired

Better batteries mean better products. They give us longer-lasting smartphones, anxiety-free electric transport, and potentially, more efficient energy storage for large-scale buildings like data centers. But battery tech is frustratingly slow to advance, due to both the chemical processes involved and the challenges that exist around commercializing new battery designs. It remains incredibly tough for even the most promising battery experiments to find their way out of research labs and into the devices we carry.

That hasn't stopped people from trying. In recent years researchers and technologists have presented a variety of ways in which the materials in rechargeable lithium batteries—the kind in your phone right now—can be tweaked to improve battery density and, more importantly, battery safety. These technologies aren't going to make it to market in time for the Next Big Product Launch, but as we watch our phones slurp up the last dribble of power at the end of a long day, we can dream about the future.

Bottom of the Page

Is Apple re-looking the whole app notification system over all the Apple platforms? I have never use Android, but many reviewers seem to agree that the notification system is better on Android than iOS. If this is indeed true, and that Apple is playing catch-up, I do hope that Apple is also figuring out how the Apple Watch fits into all these, to give the Watch more purposes besides physical health.


Is the share-my-heartbeat still a thing on the watchOS?


Thanks for reading.