The Designed-for-Concentration Edition Friday, November 2, 2018

I Ditched The Mac For The iPad, And I’ll Never Go Back, by Jesus Diaz, Fast Company

Because the iPad Pro gets the best of the classic computer–its raw power and capacity to create content–but escapes the complications of the desktop metaphor. The apps take over the screen to transform it into dedicated devices specifically tailored to do the specific tasks I need to do, focusing exclusively on them, without a million open windows.

And instead of having to worry about organizing my work in folders and files, my word processor, painting app, or photo apps take care of my files on their own. Everything is contained within its own space. I don’t worry about files. And when I need to find something, I just use the search box.

That’s why I love the user experience. From the lack of clutter to the modal nature of apps, it feels like it was designed for concentration. I’m more efficient on the iPad.

Jony Ive Reveals How He Created The New iPad, by David Phelan, The Independent

Ive picks up on the neatness of this: “I think the way it just snaps onto the side, well, that’s a nice example of a sort of that magical feeling. It’s unexpected, we don’t quite understand how it’s working and even more incomprehensible is the fact that it’s also charging. You can see how that’s aligned with this idea that you can just pick the product up and use it without thought.

"Actually, you’re using it with tremendous thought, but it’s based on what you want to be doing rather than wondering if you’re holding the tablet the right way up.”

Quarterly Results

Apple Q4 2018 Results: $53.3 Billion Revenue, 41.3 Million iPhones, 11.6 Million iPads Sold, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Apple has just published its financial results for Q4 2018. The company posted revenue of $53.3 billion. Apple sold 11.6 million iPads, 41.3 million iPhones, and 3.7 million Macs during the quarter.

Apple’s Latest Record Quarter: Why Apple Loves China But Hates Sales Figures, by Jason Snell, Macworld

The cloud hanging over all discussions of China is the possibility that an escalating exchange of tariffs and other aspects of a trade war might hurt Apple, which assembles many of its devices in China as well as selling many products there. Analyst Katy Huberty asked Cook if he had any plans to diversity Apple’s supply chain, presumably to provide the company with a hedge on production in case U.S.-China relations deteriorated to the point that they might have an impact on Apple’s ability to produce and ship products.

Cook would have none of it. First, he rejected the premise of the question, pointing out that Apple products are “really manufactured everywhere,” with contributions from the U.S., Japan, Korea, and China.

He went on to explain why this is the best approach. “I think that basic model, where you look around the world and find the best in different areas, I don’t expect that model to go out of style,” he said. “I think there’s a reason why things have developed in that way, and I think it’s great for all countries and citizens of countries that are involved in that.

Apple Raises Prices, And Profits Keep Booming, by Jack Nicas, New York Times

Timothy D. Cook, Apple’s chief executive, explained the rationale with an analogy: “If you go to the market and you push your cart up to the cashier — and she says or he says, ‘How many units do you have in there?’ — it doesn’t matter a lot how many units there are in there in terms of the overall value of what’s in the cart.”

Toni Sacconaghi, an analyst at Bernstein, said Apple was trying to shift investors’ attention away from the number of devices it sold. “Companies always try to put their best foot forward,” he said. “Their best foot doesn’t appear to be iPhone unit growth.”

This Is Tim: A Transcript Of The Apple Q4 2018 Analyst Call, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

"First, education. More than 5,000 schools, community colleges, and technical colleges worldwide are now using Everyone Can Code, our free coding curriculum. Ideas, creativity, and passion for technology’s potential aren’t limited by zip code or country. And we don’t think opportunities should be either. We’re also excited that educators in more than 350 schools around the world have started working with Everyone can Create, the free collection of tools and project guides we introduced this spring, designed to help unleash kids’ creativity throughout the school day with the help of iPad."

"Next is the environment. This was a milestone year for Apple’s commitment to our planet. In April we announced that 100 percent of our global operations are powered by renewable energy. We also made progress in doing the same in our supply chain. And just this week we announced that the enclosures of new products like MacBook Air and iPad Pro will be made from one hundred percent recycled aluminum, a strong, durable, and beautiful new alloy designed by Apple. This is a great example of how a commitment to do right on the issues that matter can drive once unimaginable innovation, new ways of approaching old problems, and beautiful solutions that set us apart."


Apple Launches Vintage Repair Pilot Program To Fix Aging iPhones, MacBooks And More, by Jordan Kahn, 9to5Mac

Apple is introducing a new “Repair Vintage Apple Products Pilot” program that will extend the period of time customers can receive repairs for older devices, according to sources familiar with the initiative. The new program at first will include the iPhone 5 and other Apple products that are about to become obsolete, and in the coming weeks will add more products to the list for devices that previously lost repair support.

Of note, the list also includes the 5+ year old Mid-2012 MacBook Air models following the introduction of an updated MacBook Air at the company’s event earlier this week.

Apple News Will Launch A Real-time Election Results Hub On November 6, by Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

Apple is preparing to launch a new way for its customers to track election results. The company, on 8 PM ET on November 6, will swap out the existing Midterm Elections section in the Apple News app, and replace it with a new Election Night section instead. This section will also replace Apple News’ Digest tab at the bottom-center of the app, in order to lead users directly to the special section where they’ll be able to track the live results, updates on key races, latest developments and more.

The company is partnering with the Associated Press for its real-time election results, as do many news organizations thanks to AP’s history and experience with verifying results.

HomeRun: Quickly Trigger HomeKit Scenes On Your Apple Watch, by John Voorhees, MacStories

HomeRun succeeds by not trying to do too much, and through a thoughtful design that allows users to handle scenes quickly and efficiently with minimal interaction. If you are using HomeKit devices and have an Apple Watch, try HomeRun; it’s become one of my favorite ways to trigger scenes.

Mophie Launches Juice Pack Air Battery Case For iPhone X At $99.95, by Mitchel Broussard, MacRumors

Juice Pack Air is a Qi case for iPhone X, and can store battery to recharge the smartphone while on the go. There's a built-in 1,720 mAh battery that Mophie says extends the life of iPhone X to a total of 30 hours. With Qi support, you can place the Juice Pack Air on any Qi-compatible mat to refuel the accessory as well as the iPhone X.


Apple Censors Sensitive Names And Phrases From Gadget Engraving Offer On Hong Kong And China Websites, by Kris Cheng, Hong Kong Free Press

The names of some Chinese state leaders and activists have been deemed “inappropriate words” and censored from the latest versions of the iPad, iPod Touch and Apple Pencil’s engraving tool, HKFP has found.

When customers go to Apple’s website to purchase one of the three gadgets, they are invited to suggest a free engraving. However, certain names typed in Chinese characters are banned from the website’s Chinese-language Hong Kong and mainland China stores.

The Quest To Build The Impossible Laptop, by Alex Cranz and Matthew Reyes, Gizmodo

Creating the perfect “2-in-1" device seems to defy engineering. The processor has to be fast enough to handle demanding multitasking while low-power enough to fit in a thin chassis. The device has to work perfectly both with your fingers on the display and your fingers on a touchpad and keyboard. And the hinge, the critical mechanism that allows the device to transition from laptop to tablet and back, needs to be just right.

Study Of Cellphone Risks Finds ‘Some Evidence’ Of Link To Cancer, At Least In Male Rats, by William J. Broad, New York Times

The experiment, by the National Toxicology Program, found positive but relatively modest evidence that radio waves from some types of cellphones could raise the risk that male rats develop brain cancer.

“We believe that the link between radio-frequency radiation and tumors in male rats is real,” John Bucher, a senior scientist at the National Toxicology Program, said in a statement.

But he cautioned that the exposure levels and durations were far greater than what people typically encounter, and thus cannot “be compared directly to the exposure that humans experience.” Moreover, the rat study examined the effects of a radio frequency associated with an early generation of cellphone technology, one that fell out of routine use years ago. Any concerns arising from the study thus would seem to apply mainly to early adopters who used those bygone devices, not to users of current models.