The Steve-Jobs-Legacy Edition Sunday, September 16, 2018

An Oral History Of Apple's Infinite Loop, by Steven Levy, Wired

Twenty-five years ago, the computer revolution’s marquee company was in decline. Back then, it was just settling into shiny new headquarters, a campus of six buildings that formed a different kind of ring. Called Infinite Loop, the name is a reference to a well-known programming error—code that gets stuck in an endless repetition—though no one seems to know who applied it. Infinite Loop was the place where Apple’s leaders and engineers pulled off a historic turnaround, and it will always be the source of stories and legends—many of them untold. Until now.

Though Apple is keeping the complex, the move this year to the grounded UFO known as Apple Park seems to mark an end to the era when Steve Jobs, every inch the hero in a Joseph Campbell narrative, rescued a company that no one wanted to die. In 1997, a young WIRED magazine, founded in the same year that Infinite Loop opened, ran a cover with the Apple logo and a one-word caption: Pray. Our prayers were answered—and it happened at Infinite Loop.

For more than a year I’ve been interviewing Apple employees, past and present, about their recollections of Infinite Loop. In their own words, edited for clarity and concision, here is the story of a plot of land in Cupertino, California, that brought us the Mac revival, the iPod, iTunes, the iPhone, and the Steve Jobs legacy.

With Its New iPhones, Apple Shows Slowness Has Become A Strength, by Jeremy White, Wired

Taking on the high-value-low-cost manufacturers at their own game, timely rollout of tech, calling the most important data issue of our time before anyone else and iPhones for markets where it needs to combat on Android dominance - it's all quite impressive. Despite being the world's first trillion dollar company, Tim Cook certainly isn't taking his foot off the gas. Apple means business.

iPhone XS' Industry-first A12 Chip Gives Apple Big Advantage Over Rivals, by Stephen Shankland, CNET

"Apple wants it clear that they have early access to the latest process," said Tirias Research analyst Kevin Krewell. The years-long shift to 7nm manufacturing has been difficult, but Apple has the money and clout to claim a lot of the first chips rolling out of the fabs.

Though Apple designs its own chips, it relies on Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp. (TSMC) to build them right now. Qualcomm's next-gen Snapdragon prototype chips are built by TSMC, too, but it's Apple's phones that'll be shipping by the millions this month.

Making Shortcuts

PCalc 3.8 Adds Support For iOS 12’s Siri Shortcuts, Including Powerful Clipboard Commands, by Federico Viticci, MacStories

With PCalc 3.8 and the Shortcuts app, you can assemble a custom workflow that uses multiple app shortcuts and the clipboard to perform several calculations in a row, presenting a collection of results in a single response.

Pandora Music Adds Support For iOS 12, Siri Shortcuts, And More, by AllThingsHow

You’ll now get suggestions from Siri based on your activity within the app. If your iPhone supports iOS 12’s Siri Shortcuts feature, you can set Pandora Music app to play music from your stations, albums, or playlists through only one command to Siri.

Even With My Bad Luck

No, Apple Didn't Delete That Guy's Movies. Here's What Really Happened, by Sean Hollister, CNET

More likely, the phrase "if the version you purchased isn't also available" speaks volumes about what actually happened here. Few films have a single version sold throughout the world. For a variety of reasons, a movie may get trimmed in one country to get a more approachable rating (say, PG-13 in the US), or to cut politically or culturally sensitive content. And that's not even counting directors' cuts, in which multiple versions of the same film may be sold in the same region.

The other issue is that "region hopping," a common tactic among film lovers worldwide to get earlier or different versions of movies, is becoming harder and harder. So, even when someone has legitimately moved from one region to another, as Dr. da Silva has, he may be penalized by the digital walls that sellers like Apple, Amazon are continuing to raise to close cross-region loopholes. (Amazon, Vudu and any other retailers of digital content have the same sort of contracts with the studios that Apple does.)

Indeed, those movies may still be stored in da Silva's Australian account -- but he can't easily switch back to the Australian region to download them again.

My Experience With Apple As A Photographer And Creative Pro: In Short, Not Good, by Pye Jirsa, PetaPixel

Before I get started, let me say that I feel like the most unlucky person when it comes to electronics and major purchases. But, even with my bad luck, perhaps you will find this experience odd and worth sharing.

What you are about to read is not doctored or manipulated to get more views — it’s simply my experience this past year with Apple products.

A New CSS-based Web Attack Will Crash And Restart Your iPhone, by Zack Whittaker, TechCrunch

Sabri Haddouche tweeted a proof-of-concept webpage with just 15 lines of code which, if visited, will crash and restart an iPhone or iPad. Those on macOS may also see Safari freeze.


The good news is that as annoying as this attack is, it can’t be used to run malicious code, he said, meaning malware can’t run and data can’t be stolen using this attack. But there’s no easy way to prevent the attack from working.


Why I Left Dropbox For iCloud Drive And Never Looked Back, by Bradley Chambers, 9to5Mac

I love the fact that my macOS desktop syncs to iCloud. In fact, this might be my favorite feature. Often, I’ll get attachments at night or on the weekend that I need to deal with the next day. From my iPhone, I’ll save the file to iCloud Drive’s desktop folder. When I open my Mac the next day, that file is waiting on me as a reminder to deal with it. It’s such a simple workflow, but it makes all the difference for me. I don’t forget about the file because it’s sitting on my desktop, but I can empty my email inbox.

A Productivity App With A New Twist: Threats, by Corinne Purtill, Quartz

I can’t stop typing.

Quite literally. The app I’m currently using on my Mac laptop is a program called The Most Dangerous Writing App. If I stop to think, or to get up to use the restroom, or to reach for my phone to see what that beep was about, this is all gone. The app will erase everything I’ve written, and I will have to start over. (I get five seconds, apparently, so sneezes and maybe a sip of the coffee I made sure was sitting by my laptop when I started was allowed.)


Apple’s New iPhone Names Are Bad, So It’s Hard To See Where It Goes From Here, by Shannon Liao, The Verge

Setting aside this year’s naming horrors, Apple pretty much has a clean slate for next year. It could keep counting forever or drop numbers completely. Now that we’ve arrived at 10, where does Apple go from here?

How To Easily Locate The Accelerometer In An iPhone, by Rhett Allain, Wired

So, we know there is a sensor in the phone—but where is it located? I'm not going to take apart my phone; everyone knows I'll never get it back together after that. Instead, I will find out the location by moving the phone in a circular path. Yes, moving in a circle is a type of acceleration.

Bottom of the Page

I don't see any problems with naming iPhones next year: the two phones will be called iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Max, I predict.

I can also see the case for iPhone XR not being updated next year. It may stay on another year without any updates while Apple transits from LCD to OLED displays. When the price of OLED displays drops low enough, the iPhone XR will be taken off the market quietly, just like what happend to the iPhone SE this year.


Thanks for reading.