The Truly-Portable-Computer Edition Wednesday, October 31, 2018

The New 11″ And 12.9″ iPad Pros: My First Impressions And Hands-On, by Federico Viticci, MacStories

I believe, however, that one thing is already clear: these new iPad Pros are ushering us into a new era of iPad design and functionality as a truly portable computer that can scale from couch to desk, from wireless accessories to USB-C connections, and from games and note-taking apps to Photoshop, AR, and beyond. It almost feels like Apple has taken the best aspects of the iPhone X experience and applied them to reimagine the modern portable computer in the shape of an iPad.

Apple's iPads Are Now More Interesting Than Its MacBooks, by Lauren Goode, Wired

Yesterday's event had its fair share of subtly awkward moments as Apple tried to present its two philosophies for how it believes you're supposed to use a computer. On the one hand, there was a new laptop. This clamshell design still matters, Apple was insisting. Moments later, the company was touting a tablet it clearly sees as the real future of computing, something better and more advanced than a notebook. Cook even called the iPad not only the most popular tablet, but also, "the most popular computer in the world."

"It's going to push what you can do on iPad, or on any computer, even further." Cook snuck it in there: "Or on any computer." Apple believes the iPad should be compared to any kind of computer—even the MacBook Air, though it didn't say as much. The MacBook Air, after all, is what computers have been. But it doesn't necessarily mean that's what they will be in the future.

Apple’s Ideal Display Size Is Everywhere And Everything, by Lucas Matney, TechCrunch

When Apple starts working towards something across its entire product line, individual updates almost start to feel like inevitabilities, not choices. But in pushing towards larger displays and more external display support, Apple is very much deciding that its devices should take up more of your perspective.

Brooklyn Event Impressions: The iPad Pro Is A Computer, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

Apple made a bunch of announcements about the iPad Pro that I could summarize as: “Yes, this is a computer.”

Caught Up

Apple’s New T2 Security Chip Will Prevent Hackers From Eavesdropping On Your Microphone, by Zack Whittaker, TechCrunch

According to its newest published security guide, the chip comes with a hardware microphone disconnect feature that physically cuts the device’s microphone from the rest of the hardware whenever the lid is closed.

“This disconnect is implemented in hardware alone, and therefore prevents any software, even with root or kernel privileges in macOS, and even the software on the T2 chip, from engaging the microphone when the lid is closed,” said the support guide.

Brooklyn Event Impressions: Love For The Mac, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

So the real question is, why did people keep buying the MacBook Air all this time? Was it that $999 price? Was it the design? The size? The fact that it was the last Apple laptop without the new butterfly keyboard design?


The days when the Mac mini was a bridge for switchers to use to replace their PCs seem… almost quaint now? The Mac mini serves a different purpose. In reality, it’s probably been serving that purpose for a long time. Apple has finally caught up.


iOS 12.1 Is Now Available With Group FaceTime, New Emoji, And ‘Beautygate’ Fix, by Ashley Carman, The Verge

Apple’s first update to iOS 12 is now available to download. The iOS 12.1 update comes with the much anticipated fix for the front camera bug that was overly smoothing skin on the iPhone XS and XR, as well as new emoji. (The bagel emoji!)

iOS 12.1 Adds Battery Management Features To iPhone 8 & iPhone X, by Roger Fingas, AppleInsider

Apple's latest iOS update brings battery management routines including throttling phones that have chemically depleted batteries to the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X, though the company is optimistic most people won't notice any difference.

Some Apple Watch Users Experiencing Bricked Devices After Updating To watchOS 5.1, by Peter Cao, 9to5Mac

A small number of users on Reddit, Twitter, and our own Guilherme Rambo are reporting that their Apple Watch has been bricked after updating to watchOS 5.1, getting stuck on the Apple logo. Restarting the Apple Watch and paired iPhone doesn’t seem to fix the issue and some users have been waiting several hours to no avail.


Apple has now pulled watchOS 5.1. Users who haven’t updated should refrain from doing so if it was downloaded, but not yet installed.

Shortcuts 2.1 Brings New Weather And Clock Actions, iCloud Sharing Improvements, And More, by Fedrico Viticci, MacStories

The first notable addition to Shortcuts in version 2.1 is the inclusion of three new Weather actions that let you retrieve current weather conditions, fetch hourly and daily forecasts, and extract details for specific data points such as highs, lows, humidity, precipitation chance, and more. Shortcuts' new Weather actions expose the same data available in the built-in Weather app for iPhone, but they're also available on iPad (which still doesn't have a native Weather app). Apple's Weather actions can be configured with custom parameters and Magic Variables, they're fully integrated with Shortcuts' Content Graph engine, and they're a fascinating example of how a future Shortcuts API could work for all kinds of iOS apps.

Apple Discontinues Rose Gold 12-inch MacBook, Replaces It With New Gold Shade, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Alongside its new MacBook Air in three new colors today, Apple has quietly discontinued the rose gold 12-inch MacBook. In its place, however, the 12-inch MacBook’s standard ‘gold’ color has been updated to match that of the new MacBook Air.


Apple Outlines Updated iPad Pro App Design Best Practices In New Developer Videos, by Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac

Following the announcement of the new iPad Pro at this morning’s special event in downtown Brooklyn, Apple has released two new informational videos that provide guidance for developers and designers updating their apps for the new displays and features.


Tim Cook Talking To Lana Del Rey Was The Most Human Moment At Apple’s Event, by Julia Alexander, The Verge

Fans of Del Rey’s previous work will immediately recognize the familiar dreamlike, almost apathetic tones on her new tracks. Despite the pleasant performance, which took place at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York City, the most enchanting part happened after Del Rey stopped singing. Apple CEO Tim Cook came out to give Del Rey a hug and thank her for performing, and Del Rey confessed that she’s “always so nervous” about performing.

“No, I’m the one who’s nervous,” Cook said, laughing as he walked with Del Rey.

Why Millions Of Teens Can't Finish Their Homework, by Alia Wong, The Alantic

It’s a glaring irony that’s also a major force behind class- and race-based discrepancies in academic achievement. In what’s often referred to as the “homework gap,” the unequal access to digital devices and high-speed internet prevents 17 percent of teens from completing their homework assignments, according to the new Pew analysis, which surveyed 743 students ages 13 through 17. Black teens are especially burdened by the homework gap: One in four of them at least sometimes struggle to complete assignments because of a lack of technology at home. And close to half of teenagers in the bottom income bracket have to do their homework on a cellphone occasionally or often.

Bottom of the Page

The web page for the new iPad Pro doesn’t really work on my old iPad Pro, especially towards the bottom-most / right-most portions.


Thanks for reading.