The Alexa-Play Edition Friday, November 30, 2018

Apple Music Is Coming To Amazon Echo Speakers Week Of Dec. 17, by Edward C. Baig, USA Today

The agreement between Apple and Amazon will now let you exploit Alexa with Apple Music to its fullest: “Alexa, play Bruce Springsteen,” “Alexa, play Beats 1 radio,” "Alexa, play my chill playlist," or for that matter have Alexa play any of the 50 million tracks that fill the Apple Music catalog.

“Given the size and scope of Apple Music, it’s been one of the most asked for features for the past three or four years since we’ve had Echo and Alexa out there," says Dave Limp, senior vice president for devices & services.

Apple’s senior vice president for Internet software and services, Eddy Cue, says the engineers have been at it for about six months.

Made On iPad: Creative Workflows And Insights Offered By Professionals, by Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac

From digital illustration to managing a business, the vast range of ways people are working on iPads proves there’s no one right way or wrong way to use them. Some have embraced iOS as their platform of choice for every task. Some use a Mac and an iPad in concert to create powerful workflows that highlight the capabilities of each device. Others are developing entirely new ways of working that simply couldn’t exist before.

At the center of all these workflows is a desire to push the bounds of technology and achieve a more portable, powerful, and satisfying working experience. When the tools fit the job, your mind can focus on what matters most.

How To Learn To Draw With The iPad Pro, by Charlie Sorrel, Cult of Mac

The good news is that you already know how to draw — you just need to learn how to look. The bad news is that the only way to improve is to practice. A lot. There’s no shortcut. You just have to do a lot of drawing.

How Apple Thrived In A Season Of Tech Scandals, by Farhad Manjoo, New York Times

For years, start-ups aiming for consumer audiences modeled themselves on Google and Facebook, offering innovations to the masses at rock-bottom prices, if not for free. But there are limits to the free-lunch model.

If Apple’s more deliberate business becomes the widely followed norm, we could see an industry that is more careful about tech’s dangers and excesses. It could also be one that is more exclusive, where the wealthy get the best innovations and the poor bear more of the risks.


Elvis Is In The Building For Hilarious Apple FaceTime Ad, by Ed Hardy, Cult of Mac

Apple gives us the gift we really want: more Elvis. Specifically, a collection of Elvis impersonators scattered around the world using Group FaceTime to share their love of the King of Rock and Roll.

This iPhone ad highlights the best new feature in iOS 12.1, the ability to make FaceTime video calls to multiple people simultaneously.

Apple Releases New iPhone XS Case And Apple Watch Sport Band Colors, Still No iPhone XR Cases, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

The new colors include Hibiscus, Mellow Yellow, and Pacific Green. Further, Apple has also started selling the new Nike Sport Loop colors that originally launched through Nike earlier this month.

The Best iPhone Alarms Are Hidden In The Bedtime Feature, by Kelly Conaboy, New York Magazine

The best part of Bedtime, though, is that it offers an entirely different set of alarms from the main alarms tab of the clock app. They are shockingly superior.

Nine Health And Fitness Apps To Turn Your Apple Watch Into A Personal Trainer, by David Nield, Popular Science

Besides telling time and displaying notifications, an Apple Watch functions primarily as a health and fitness tracker. Right out of the box, the Series 4 device can monitor your heart rate, count steps taken and calories burned, record physical activities from yoga to swimming, remind you to take breaks from work, and more.

And that's not all. Add in some dedicated apps, and the wearable becomes capable of boosting your health even more. We've selected some of the Apple Watch's top fitness apps—install a few and start feeling the burn.

Review: Opso Is The Only Apple Watch Charger You Need For On The Go, by Andrew O'Hara, AppleInsider

Opso is a minimalist charging dock designed for Apple Watch with an internal battery to be sure you'll never run out of juice while on the go.


Gaming The Apple Podcast Charts Is Cheaper And Easier Than You Think, by Ashley Carman, The Verge

The podcast charts still mean something, especially to smaller shows that use it to prove themselves. But it seems that pretty soon — maybe even now — they won’t matter much at all.

How Not To Be The Asshole In Your Open-Plan Office, by Tracy Moore, Mel

He can blast jam bands while you’re plugging away at a deadline. She can reheat fish for lunch. That guy can break up with his girlfriend three times a day, and that lady can force you to look at 37 photos of her pet Komodo dragon. To say nothing of the many perfectly well-meaning colleagues who tap you on the shoulder out of nowhere and just start yammering away about whatever comes to mind.

So it’s no surprise that years of research have shown us that open-office plans are the absolute worst. And in the midst of this ultra-modern bleak dilemma, some companies have reinstated a solution of sorts in the form of private phone booths, where coworkers are battling amongst themselves for territorial rights to sneak away, close a door, and get some goddamn work done. But that’s merely a blip of a trend in a sea of partition-less misery. Until your particular office wises up (unlikely!), here’s how we could all do our part to keep the open office plan from destroying what’s left of our souls.


Apple At Fed Square Pushed Back A Year, As Andrews Confirms Support, by Clay Lucas, The Age

Plans to demolish part of Federation Square to make way for a new Apple store have been pushed back a year but Premier Daniel Andrews says his re-elected government continues to support the project.

Is Our Constant Use Of Digital Technologies Affecting Our Brain Health? We Asked 11 Experts., by Brian Resnick, Julia Belluz, and Eliza Barclay, Vox

The answers, you’ll see, are far from certain or even consistent. There’s a lot not yet known about the connection between media use and brain health in adults and kids. The evidence that does exist on multitasking and memory, for instance, suggests a negative correlation, but a causal link is still elusive. Still, many of the researchers and human behavior experts we spoke with still feel an unease about where the constant use of digital technology is taking us.

“We’re all pawns in a grand experiment to be manipulated by digital stimuli to which no one has given explicit consent,” Richard Davidson, a neuroscientist at the University of Wisconsin, told us. But what are the results of the experiment?

Bottom of the Page

Yes, I am surprised to hear about the news of Apple Music in Amazon's Alexa devices.


Thanks for reading.