The Faster-and-More-Efficient Edition Thursday, October 11, 2018

Apple Is Paying $300M In Cash To Buy A Part Of Dialog Semiconductor And Expand Its Chipmaking In Europe, by Ingrid Lunden, TechCrunch

Apple has quietly been putting considerable effort into building faster and more efficient chips that can help differentiate its hardware from the rest of the consumer electronics pack, and today it’s taking its next (and possibly biggest) step in that strategy: the company is paying $300 million in cash to purchase a portion of Dialog Semiconductor, a chipmaker based out of Europe that it has been working with since the first iPhone. On top of the cash purchase, Apple is also committing $300 million in further purchases from the remaining part of Dialog’s business.

How To Create Mojave’s True Dynamic Desktops With GraphicConverter, by Kobu Agency, TidBITS

When I pointed out that the Dynamic Desktop feature seemed to be a relatively simple collection of images, Thorsten promised to look into it more. A beta of GraphicConverter arrived soon after, and we went back and forth a few times before he figured out both the image requirements and the necessary metadata to make it all work. GraphicConverter 10.6.5 is now available with this feature when running in Mojave.

Cracking Television

Apple Plans To Give Away Original Content For Free To Device Owners As Part Of New Digital TV Strategy, by Alex Sherman, CNBC

Apple is preparing a new digital video service that will marry original content and subscription services from legacy media companies, according to people familiar with the matter. Owners of Apple devices, such as the iPhone, iPad and Apple TV will find the still-in-the-works service in the pre-installed "TV" application, said the people, who asked not to be named because the details of the project are private.

The product will include Apple-owned content, which will be free to Apple device owners, and subscription "channels," which will allow customers to sign up for online-only services, such as those from HBO and Starz.

Netflix Isn't Invincible, by Neil Cybart, Above Avalon

Given how Netflix is viewed by many as unstoppable, it probably shouldn’t come as a surprise that consensus expectations remain muted for Disney and Apple in the paid video streaming space. This will likely end up being a mistake. Various publications have been solely focused on casting doubt on Apple’s video efforts instead of highlighting how the paid video streaming market remains attractive for a company like Apple. The cynicism surrounding Apple Video brings back memories of the doubt facing Apple Music in the early years.

Tim Cook and Eddy Cue are reportedly taking a very hands-on approach with Apple’s video initiative, highlighting the service’s importance to Apple. Video will end up being a key ingredient of an Apple entertainment bundle containing various services. The company ends up building not just a video streaming service, but a Hollywood arm. Meanwhile, Disney has the strongest intellectual property out of any video player. The company’s problem up to now has been found with distribution. Those problems are now being addressed.


The Apple Watch Is The Best Smartwatch For iPhone Owners, by Nick Guy and Dan Frakes, Wirecutter

After our tests of every version of the Apple Watch since the original, the Apple Watch Series 4 is the easiest smartwatch recommendation we’ve made. It’s the best option for iPhone owners who want to keep their phone in their pocket while keeping up with notifications, tracking their fitness, getting directions, and using apps. And the Series 4’s new, larger screen makes it worth splurging on.

Lina Display Turns Your iPad Into A Second Mac Display, Now Available After Kickstarter Campaign, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

After a highly successful Kickstarter campaign, Astro HQ has now made its Luna Display that transforms iPads into a second display for your Mac available to all consumers.

Sonos Mac App Upgraded – But Mostly Downgraded – As Company Prioritizes iOS App, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

Sonos directs owners to use the iOS or Android app instead for all set up and configuration tasks.


Apple Revamps Affiliate Program For Apple Books, Offering Increased Rates For Authors & More, by Peter Cao, 9to5Mac

Apple is updating its affiliate program today for the rebranded Apple Books. And with that, Apple is making some changes for authors and publishers that will make it easier to distribute on the platform.

How And When Do I Carve Out Time To Read Distraction Free?, by Shawn Blanc

Well, the way to make time for reading is the same way you make time for anything else. You pick a time (schedule it) and then you show up.


Hundreds Of Chinese iPhone Users Are Believed To Have Had Their Apple IDs Compromised, by Christopher Udemans, Technode

Over 700 Chinese iPhone users have inexplicably had money deducted from their Apple ID-bound payment channels, with the highest being RMB 10,000 ($1,440), according to local media.

Alibaba-owned Alipay, whose users were also affected, said that some Apple IDs were stolen, resulting in financial losses. The company reached out to Apple to find out the reasons for the theft, with Apple responding saying that it is addressing the situation.

Tim Cook Says Apple Will Donate To Hurricane Michael Recovery & Relief Efforts, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

In a series of tweets this evening, Tim Cook revealed that Apple will make a donation to hurricane relief efforts in the Gulf Coast region. Cook’s announcement comes as Hurricane Michael moves through the southeastern portion of the United States.

Amid Trade War And Spying Claims, Apple CEO Turns On The Charm In China, by Anna Fifield, Washington Post

“I’m incredibly impressed by the talent and passion of your students, teachers and staff,” the Apple chief executive wrote in a post in Chinese and English on Weibo, the local answer to Twitter.

His note gushed about being at a “truly a model school” that used a curriculum promoted by Apple. Local media reports noted that Cook seemed “in a very good mood” — perhaps with some surprise.

After all, these are very trying times to be an American company operating in China, let alone an American tech giant that counts on China for both contract manufacturing and sales.

The Battle For The Home, by Ben Thompson, Stratechery

There is one final question that overshadows all-of-this: while the home may be the current battleground in consumer technology, is it actually a distinct product area — a new epoch if you will? When it came to mobile, it didn’t matter who had won in PCs; Microsoft ended up being an also-ran.

The fortunes of Apple, in particular, depend on whether or not this is the case. If it is a truly new paradigm, than it is hard to see Apple succeeding. It has a very nice speaker, but everything else about its product is worse. On the other hand, the HomePod’s close connection to the iPhone and Apple’s overall ecosystem may be its saving grace: perhaps the smartphone is still what matters.

Why You Can’t Stop Looking At Other People’s Screens, by John Herrman, New York Times

You’re not a creep, though you are a thief. You’re also a human.

Other people’s screens are everywhere, once you start to notice them. They’re collectively most obvious at night, as they bob through the city, creating a new, hand-height layer to the ambient lights, or when held up at concerts, like lighters. During the day, other people’s screens hover around us as we wait in line for coffee, or as we sit and drink our coffee, or as we take our coffee on the bus or train.

Bottom of the Page

Will Apple invite antitrust investigation if it is bundling television programs with its devices?


Thanks for reading.