The Restoring-Humanity Edition Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Apple's Jony Ive On The Unpredictable Consequences Of Innovation, by Robbie Gonzalez, Wired

"What I'm more concerned about," said Ive, is preserving the interpersonal benefits of person-to-person interaction. "The more you remove people, the more technology can become transactional," he said. Ive says the work Apple has been doing on emoji and messaging are meant to "restore some humanity to the way we connect."

In his remarks, Ive turned again and again to the theme of human connection. It's important to Ive not just professionally (it’s central, for example, to his team's vision for the future of Apple's retail experience), but personally. "I moved to the US in 1992 for two reasons: I loved Apple and I loved the US." At the time, he said, "optimism was tangible and material"—particularly in Silicon Valley.

The connection appears to also be what will keep him at Apple. Asked whether he plans to continue designing for the foreseeable future, Ive answered in the affirmative by pointing to the collaborative environment at the company, which he characterized as more diverse than ever.

The Challenge Of Just Fine, by Chuq Von Rospach

A big part of what made Apple successful in its turnaround was a commitment to sweating the details and living or dying on “it solves your problem, and it just works”. And over the last few years, Apple’s lost that level of detail and commitment to quality. It’s all about sweating the details, and bluntly Apple’s not doing a great job of that right now.

It needs to find it again.

In macOS Mojave, Reduce Transparency Has Broken Logic And Terrible Design, by Craig Grannell, Revert to Saved

“Fine”, says Apple, grumpily, “so just turn on Reduce transparency”. Only it’s not that simple. Because when you do, Apple designers get in a strop and hurl logic out of the window. What you’d expect to happen is for macOS to remove the semi-transparent bits. So instead of Finder sidebars or the macOS app switcher showing what’s beneath them, they’d just have a neutral solid background. Nope. Instead, in its infinite wisdom, Apple’s decided those components should instead be coloured by your Desktop background.

Ruin The Market

Sneaky Subscriptions Are Plaguing The App Store, by Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

Today, most subscription-based businesses thriving on the App Store come from legitimate developers. But they know how scammers could easily ruin the market for everyone involved. If allowed to continue, these scams could lead to consumer distrust in subscriptions in general.

In a worst-case scenario, consumers may even go so far as to avoid downloading apps where subscriptions are offered as in-app purchases in order to protect themselves from scams.


Nike+ Run Club Now Optimized For Apple Watch Series 4, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

Nike+ Run Club for Apple Watch has been updated to fill the larger 40mm and 44mm displays on the new Series 4 models — 10 days after the Series 4 version of the Apple Watch Nike+ hit stores.

Overcast And Apple’s Podcasts Make The Apple Watch A Decent Podcast Player, by Julio Ojeda-Zapata, TidBITS

For standalone Apple Watch playback, meanwhile, Podcasts and Overcast are both fantastic choices. Podcasts could use a bit of interface refinement to distinguish between local and remote episodes, and Overcast would benefit from some bug fixes and performance improvements.

But, with impeccable pedigrees and interfaces that already go a long way to making the Apple Watch a kick-ass podcast player, these two apps are definitely worth a look.

iPhone XS Review: The Future, As Promised, Is Now, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

For now, though, we’ve got a camera so good that you can shoot straight into the sun and it kind of doesn’t matter, other than the risks of J.J. Abrams-style lens flare. A lesson anyone using a camera learns early on is that you don’t want to shoot backlit subjects, because the light from behind them will wash out the rest of the picture, and you’ll be left with silhouettes or a completely useless, blown-out image.

Using the iPhone XS camera has required me to retrain myself. You’re always going to be better off not shooting directly into the sun, but it matters a lot less when every shot you take is actually a combination of multiple shots and exposures capturing different portions of the image at different light levels, and sticking them all together on the fly into a single image that can show the sun, the sky, and the faces of the people who are feeling that sun on their backs. This is a technique Apple calls Smart HDR, and it is a remarkable step toward making iPhone photos match what your eye actually sees.

Running A Mac From An iPad Or iPhone With Remote Control For Mac, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Remote works via a companion menu bar app that you install on your Mac, which allows your iOS device to send system events and other actions to your Mac while both are on the same network. Once the menu bar app is installed and running, everything else happens in Remote’s iOS app, which is divided into five tabs: Media, Input, Apps, Menu, and System.


Remote Control for Mac is another excellent example of an iOS utility that Siri shortcuts makes more useful. Instead of grabbing my iPhone, finding the app, and hunting for the command I want, I can take care of waking my Mac and turning on the lights with one Siri command. Remote also shows the power that is possible when iOS and macOS are used together, which is something I hope is part of Apple’s plans to bring iOS apps to the Mac.

Hands On With AirPlay 2 On The Libratone Zipp And Zipp Mini, by Andrew O'Hara, AppleInsider

What sets the Libratone Zipp and Zipp Mini apart from other speakers is their versatility. They work with AirPlay 2 and Bluetooth in a variety of different scenarios. You can be at home, use them on Wi-Fi while plugged in, and also be used while on the go using Bluetooth and the built-in battery. So far, these are also the only battery-powered, portable AirPlay 2 speakers.

Apple Watch Used For Major Clinical Study Of Knee And Joint Replacement Patients, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

MyMobility from musculoskeletal healthcare firm Zimmer Biomet “uses Apple Watch to facilitate a new level of connection between patients and their surgical care teams, which can immediately impact the journey patients experience when they undergo these procedures,” the company announced today.


Apple Apologizes For Hacked Apple IDs In China, Says Account Details Were Phished, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

Apple has apologized for a recent spate of account hacks in China, which it says affected a ‘small number’ of user accounts.

Although details on exactly what happened have not been disclosed, Apple said that the affected accounts were not secured with two-factor authentication. This allowed criminals to phish for account credentials and then extract money using apps like Alipay.

Adobe MAX 2018: Phil Schiller Discusses Photoshop For iPad, AR, Collaboration With Adobe, by Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac

Attesting to the close collaboration required to bring Photoshop from the desktop to a multi-touch device like the iPad, Schiller noted that Apple and Adobe’s relationship goes back decades. As the iPad becomes more powerful, it is increasingly important to creative workflows. Apple’s A-Series chips, recent GPUs, and innovations like the ProMotion Retina display were noted as critical features for pros. “Adobe has understood the potential of the iPad from the beginning,” Schiller said.

Apple Fixes Bagel Emoji, by Jeremy Burge, Emojipedia

Apple has released a new version of its forthcoming bagel emoji. Now including cream-cheese, this aims to address concerns raised about the previous design.

No, Apple Didn’t Acquire Music Analytics Startup Asaii, It Hired The Founders To Work On Apple Music, by Ingrid Lunden, TechCrunch

What it has done is hire a few employees of the company — specifically the three founders, Sony Theakanath, Austin Chen and Chris Zhang — who are all now working at Apple at Apple Music. (Apple has done this before: for example, it hired a team from the mapping app PinDrop in the UK; at the time it was also misreported as an acquisition.)

It’s not clear if the three will be working on similar technology, or other kinds of tools to affect how music is discovered on Apple Music. Apple has already launched a beta of its own analytics service called Apple Music for Artists.

Bottom of the Page

Will 2019 be the year when Apple revamps the iPhone's home screen and lock screen? I hope we'll have custom clock faces with custom complications on the lock screen; why let Apple Watch has all the fun? And I wish for multiple home screens, maybe one during working hours and one during leisure hours.


Thanks for reading.