The Holding-a-Bomb Edition Tuesday, July 31, 2018

The Explosive Race To Totally Reinvent The Smartphone Battery, by Amit Katwala, Wired

If you’re reading this on your smartphone, you’re holding a bomb. Beneath a protective screen, lithium – a metal so volatile that it can ignite on contact with water – is being taken apart and reassembled in the intense chemical reaction that powers much of the modern world.

Lithium is in our phones and tablets, our laptops and smartwatches. It’s in our e-cigarettes and our electric cars. It is light, soft and energy dense, which makes it perfect for portable electronics. But, as consumer technology has grown more powerful, lithium-ion batteries have struggled to keep up. And now, just as the world has been gripped by its addiction to lithium, researchers around the world are scrambling to reinvent the batteries powering our world.

Hands On: Setapp's Continuing Attempt To Change The Way We All Pay For Mac Apps, by William Gallagher, AppleInsider

The collection is like any bundle, albeit a large one. There are headline apps that make you want to subscribe immediately. There are others that you hadn't heard of but turn out to be really useful.

Then there are others that are good but you know they're not best-in-class. There's a To Do app called 2Do, for instance, which is good but it isn't Things or OmniFocus.

WhatsApp For iOS Gains Group Calling For Voice And Video, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

WhatsApp users can make group calls with up to four people total by starting a one-on-one voice or video call and then tapping the "add participant" button in the top right corner of the app to add another contact to the call.

First Swift Certification Program With Apple's Blessing To Launch In The Fall, by Stephen Silver, AppleInsider

Two years after it brought Swift to students for the first time with Everyone Can Code, Apple has teamed up with IT certification firm Certiport to launch App Development with Swift, a new certification program for the secondary and collegiate market. Apple engineers and educators created the program in collaboration with Certiport.

Apple Sends Letter To Cupertino Council On Eve Of Employer Tax Vote, by Wendy Lee, San Francisco Chronicle

On Monday, the council received a letter from Apple vice president Kristina Raspe touting the company’s investments in the city, including sidewalk and crosswalk improvements, and a commitment that Apple would continue to work with Cupertino and other regional partners to improve transportation. The letter came on the eve of a council vote on whether to put on the ballot a measure that would tax large employers based on their number of employees. The money would go toward efforts such as reducing traffic congestion.