The More-Expensive Edition Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Apple Is Planning A New Low-Cost MacBook, Pro-Focused Mac Mini, by Mark Gurman and Debby Wu, Bloomberg

The new laptop will look similar to the current MacBook Air, but will include thinner bezels around the screen. The display, which will remain about 13-inches, will be a higher-resolution "Retina" version that Apple uses on other products, the people said. [...] The new MacBook Air will be geared toward consumers looking for a cheaper Apple computer, but also schools that often buy laptops in bulk.


Apple is also planning the first upgrade to the Mac mini in about four years. [...] For this year’s model, Apple is focusing primarily on these pro users, and new storage and processor options are likely to make it more expensive than previous versions, the people said.

Netflix Tests A Bypass Of iTunes Billing In 33 Markets, by Ingrid Lunden, TechCrunch

Changing the billing to a direct format means that Netflix bypasses giving Google and Apple a cut on those subscriptions. Currently, Apple takes a 30 percent cut on the first year of a subscription, which goes down to 15 percent for subsequent years.

Apple has something of the upper hand especially when it comes to newer apps or those still building up their user bases: it controls the App Store on iOS devices, and with active billing details for a large number of these users, Apple greatly reduces friction for enticing users to sign up and subscribe to a service (the same goes for in-app purchases, too, although that is less relevant to Netflix).

FiftyThree, Maker Of Popular Paper And Paste Apps, Gets Acquired, by Lauren Goode, Wired

Today FiftyThree announced it has been acquired by WeTransfer, a cloud-based file transfer company with headquarters in Amsterdam and Los Angeles. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but WeTransfer said it had acquired the company’s entire patent portfolio and all assets for its apps. FiftyThree’s executive team will stay on board for now. As for the future of FiftyThree’s suite of apps, including Paper, which has 25 million users, the company says the apps will live on with “increased investment and support.”

WIRED spoke to FiftyThree cofounder and CEO Georg Petschnigg about why he sold FiftyThree, the biggest changes he’s observed in the app economy over the past several years, and why he and his team ignored the words of Steve Jobs and made a stylus anyway.

How Accurate Are Step Counters, Anyway?, by Carolyn de Lorenzo, Bustle

But, at the end of the day, it's important to remember why fitness trackers are useful in the first place. While taking 10,000 steps per day is a great number to shoot for, USA Today notes that the point of setting that goal is to simply sit less and exercise more, in order to improve your health outcomes long term, per the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Obsessing over the literal amount of steps you take per day doesn't give you that much useful information about your health, except for the fact that you walked this much; the more useful fact is that you walked that much, at all.


How To Curate Your Own Reading List With The Instapaper And Pocket Apps, by William Gallagher, AppleInsider

We are all swamped with information, yet we also can't help ourselves looking out more for both work and pleasure. When you need to collate articles or you just want a good read, use Pocket or Instapaper.

Dark Sky Overhaul Brings New Design And Simplified Forecast View, by Bradley Chambers, 9to5Mac

The new version combines the current weather and forecast screen into one tab, which I love. These are the most used sections of the app for me, so it makes it even easier to use now.

Hello Weather Is My Favorite Weather App On iPhone And iPad, by Charlie Sorrel, Cult of Mac

It’s super-simple, bold and friendly, making it easy to see what you want to see with just a glance. And if you want more detail, it’s there.

Parallels Desktop 14 Released With Support For macOS Mojave, Storage Savings, by AppleInsider

Highlighting Parallels Desktop 14 for Mac are enhanced storage optimization tools that, depending on a user's virtual machine configuration, can save as much as 20 gigabytes of disk space.


Vacation Days Piling Up? Here's How To Get The Most Out Of A Short Vacation, by Allison Aubrey, NPR

The good news is that even short vacations can help reduce stress, at least according to small studies.

"Some of the benefit of a short vacation depends on what you actually do when you're away," says Susan Krauss Whitbourne, a Professor Emerita of Psychology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She writes about the emotional benefits of vacation.

So, if you're vacation-deprived this summer, it may not be too late. Consider a short trip. Here are some tips for getting the most out of your getaway, from people who study — or practice — the art of vacation.


Nelson Woman Delighted After Apple Unlocks iPhone Of Late Husband, Giving Access To Precious Family Memories, by Anna Burns-Francis, TVNZ

Apple asked for documents certifying Steve's ownership of the phone, and proof of his death but then also required a will, probate and more legal paperwork that would have cost Haley in excess of $1000.

"They keep putting me from person to person," she said.

After Haley came to Fair Go [television programme], Apple assigned an employee to Haley's case and now the phone has been unlocked – along with the precious photos, videos and memories of Steve.

Bottom of the Page

Mac mini was positioned as a low-cost computer for switchers from Windows' world. That computer has now been replaced by the low-cost iMac and even-lower-cost iPad. I suspect low-cost will not be an attribute of the new Mac mini.


Thanks for reading.