The Undo-and-Redo Edition Thursday, December 6, 2018

Apple Watch Electrocardiogram And Irregular Heart Rate Features Are Available Today, by Dieter Bohn, The Verge

Today, with an update to watchOS, Apple is making its electrocardiogram reading feature available to Apple Watch Series 4 owners. It’s also releasing an irregular rate notification feature that will be available on Apple Watches going back to Series 1. Both are a part of watchOS 5.1.2.

The Apple Watch EKG Detected Something Strange About My Heart Rhythm, by Vanessa Hand Orellana, CNET

"This would be really useful to screen for this or to have the first understanding that you have these early heart beats," said Dr. Marcus. "What's missing in the single lead Apple Watch is the information that tells us more specifically where exactly this is coming from."

Apple Puts Third-party Screen Time Apps On Notice, by Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

Though not all apps were getting the boot, it seemed, Apple did seem to have a problem with screen time apps that took advantage of mobile device management (MDM) and/or VPNs to operate.


But sources familiar with Apple’s thinking dismissed this as being some sort of targeted crackdown against third-party screen time apps. Rather, the pushback developers received was part of Apple’s ongoing app review process, they said, and noted that the rules these apps violate have been in place for years.

Proof That iOS Still Hasn’t Gotten Undo Right, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

The whole story is only seven paragraphs long, and one of them is devoted to explaining how to invoke Undo and Redo. This is — inadvertently on the part of the App Store editorial team — a scathing indictment of the state of iOS’s user interface standards.


Personally, if I were designing an iOS drawing app I’d probably go the first route, and follow Apple Notes’s lead with “↺” and “↻” buttons. But to Procreate’s credit, they clearly know these multi-finger tap gestures are both unusual, not intuitive, and utterly non-discoverable, because the very first thing they do when you first launch the app is teach you about them. Think about that: iOS user interface conventions are so shallow, so widely and wildly inconsistent, that an app proclaimed by Apple as the very best of the year has to start, as the very first thing you see when you launch it, by teaching you how to use Undo. That’s a sad state of affairs.


You Can Now Once Again Flip The Camera During FaceTime Calls With Just One Tap, by Greg Kumparak, TechCrunch

As of iOS 12.1.1, released today, the camera swap button is returning to the main call screen. Basically every FaceTime call I’ve had since this change was made has started with someone asking “Wait, how do I flip the screen. What the hell, where’d that button go?” so changing this back is the only right call.

Apple Begins Selling A Clear Case For The iPhone XR And 18W iPad Pro Charger, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Apple describes the case as ‘thin, light and easy to grip.’ The company also says that the case includes a scratch-resistant coating inside and out and works with wireless Qi chargers.

Apple News Is Secretly Really Great, by Ben Brooks, The Brooks Review

What I have come to realize is that you can only check Apple News once per day. I know that seems counterintuitive, so allow me to explain why.

Pixelmator Pro Update For macOS Adds Redesigned Color Balance Tool, by Andrew O'Hara, AppleInsider

The newly updated adjustment was inspired by professional video editors color grading tools, allowing users to more easily add incredible details to your photos.

Duet Display For iPad Adopts Hardware Acceleration, Now Recognized As A True External Display By macOS, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Duet Display has been a good option for users looking to leverage their iPad as a second screen with macOS. However, some users have experienced latency issues. Now, with a free software update and the latest macOS version, Duet Display says it is able to use hardware acceleration for a smooth and fast experience and is now seen as a true external display in macOS.

Belkin Launches Wireless Charging Dock For iPhone And Apple Watch, USB-C To HDMI Adapter For Mac And iPad Pro, by Federico Viticci, MacStories

The Boost Up is Belkin's latest take on an integrated charging dock that allows users to simultaneously charge an iPhone and Apple Watch on a single charging station. Unlike the old Belkin Valet dock, which was based on Lightning, the Boost Up is entirely designed around wireless charging and supports the Qi charging technology with up to 7.5W of power delivery – what Apple refers to as fast wireless charging for iPhones.


Safari Tests USB Security Key Support To Help Fix Our Password Problems, by Stephen Shankland, CNET

The company on Wednesday released Safari Technology Preview version 71 with support for the Web Authentication (WebAuthn) technology, which lets websites authenticate your identity when you insert a hardware security key into your computer's USB port. Those security keys are typically paired with another authentication factor, most often a password, but they can work with biometric factors like fingerprints and with time-based codes from mobile apps like Authy.


Apple Squid Emoji Error Has Monterey Aquarium Up In Tentacles, by Bonnie Burton, CNET

On Wednesday, Monterey Bay Aquarium tweeted a few pun-filled comments to draw attention to the fact that Apple's squid emoji has its siphon in the wrong place.

Apple Receives FCC Approval For ‘Sleep Monitor’ That Looks Like Acquired Beddit Product, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

Apple has received FCC approval for a new ‘sleep monitor’ product today, but it’s likely not an Apple Watch-based solution. Instead, the product description suggests the Apple sleep monitor is either an existing version of the Beddit sleep monitor product acquired by Apple or a new version of the same product.

WALL·E, by Dave Addey, Typeset In The Future

From a trash-filled Earth to the futuristic Axiom and back again, WALL·E is a finely crafted balance between consumerist dystopia and sixties space-race optimism. Please join me, then, for a detailed dive into the uniquely robotic future of a remarkably human film, as seen through the eyes of its eponymous hero, WALL·E.

Before we get started, there is an important detail we must clear up. Our hero’s name is not, as you might think, WALL-E. Moreover, it definitely isn’t WALL•E. His name is WALL·E, and that dot is an interpunct, not a hyphen or a bullet.