The Improve-Instead-Of-Consuming Edition Friday, December 7, 2018

The Complete History Of The iPhone—and What's Coming Next, by David Pierce and Lauren Goode, Wired

The iPhone didn’t just make Apple a metric crap-ton of money: it reoriented the entire tech landscape, helping change the way we work and play. It helped create a new class of mega-corporation, started the world thinking about how everything else might change when it, too, was connected to the internet. Next, Apple has to figure out how the iPhone can improve a user’s life instead of consuming it, all while it works on the next crazy design that’ll change everything all over again.

iPad Diaries: The Many Setups Of The 2018 iPad Pro, by Federico Viticci, MacStories

We haven't seen the full picture of built-in USB-C with the new iPad Pro: external drives still aren't supported by iOS' Files app, and other peripherals often require app developers to specifically support them. However, I believe the removal of Lightning is already enhancing the iPad's innate ability to adapt to a plurality of work setups and transform itself into a portable computer of different kinds. For the past few weeks, I've been testing this theory with Bluetooth and USB keyboards, a 4K USB-C monitor, USB-C hubs, and a handful of accessories that, once again, highlight the greater flexibility of the iPad Pro compared to traditional laptops and desktops, as well as some of its drawbacks.

A Somewhat Negative Review Of A Product I Love: The New iPad Pro, by M.G. Siegler, 500ish Words

Don’t get me wrong, it’s still great. Really great, in many ways. But if I’m being honest, I think I prefer the old design for the iPad Pro more than this updated version. Yes, even though the screen has been embiggened (and rounded) substantially. I just don’t like the way it feels in the hand as much.

At first, I was sure I would love this new design. It hearkens back to the iPhone 4 design with the flat sides. But while that made for a device that felt great to hold in your hand, such design doesn’t work as well for a larger device you grasp a portion of with one hand, or hold with two. At least not in my opinion.

Mac App Notarization And Customer Privacy, by Jeff Johnson

Mac app notarization raises privacy issues for Mojave users. On first launch of every app you download, Mojave phones home. At the very least, Apple sees your IP address, the exact app version that you downloaded, and the exact time that you first launched the app. [...] However, given all of the information that Apple already has on you, they could probably associate your IP address with your Apple ID. It's likely that Apple keeps logs of these Gatekeeper notarization checks, because if customers are launching malware, Apple would want to know how widespread the malware was.

It's important to note that no explicit consent has been given for this information to be transmitted to Apple.

I’m A Developer. I Won’t Teach My Kids To Code, And Neither Should You., by Joe Morgan, Slate

Every step—precisely measuring ingredients, gauging mixed dough for smoothness and consistency, placing precision cuts to minimize waste—taught him something about quality. It’s hard to teach the difference between merely executing steps, such as following a recipe, and doing something well. It can only be passed on through feel and experience. And every time you involve your kids when you work on something you value, you are teaching them how to do things well. You are preparing them to write code.

But you’re not only teaching them that. You’re teaching them the world is full of interesting things to discover. You’re showing them how to be passionate and look for that ephemeral sense of quality in everything they do. The best part is that even if they don’t become coders—most shouldn’t and won’t—the same skills can be used in nearly any career, in every hobby, in every life. When we force kids to learn syntax, we reinforce the idea that if something is not a blatantly employable skill, it’s not valuable. Adults can learn syntax. Only kids can learn to embrace curiosity.

Chrome Is The New IE6

Microsoft Is Rebuilding Its Edge Browser On Chrome And Bringing It To The Mac, by Tom Warren, The Verge

The software giant is beginning to rebuild Microsoft Edge to run on Chromium, the same open-source web rendering engine that powers Google’s Chrome browser. This means Edge will soon be powered by Blink and the V8 JavaScript engines. It’s a big move that means Microsoft is joining the open-source community in a much bigger way for the web.


Edge has fallen massively behind Chrome in terms of market share, and it’s getting to the point where Chrome is the new IE6. Developers are optimizing for Chrome, and Google has also been creating Chrome-only web services because it’s often the first to adopt emerging web technologies. Microsoft has struggled to keep its Edge rendering engine in stride with Chromium.

Edge Dies A Death Of A Thousand Cuts As Microsoft Switches To Chromium, by Peter Bright, Ars Technica

If every Edge user were using the very latest version of Edge, it wouldn't be so bad, but that's not the case, and that's because of how Microsoft has bundled Edge with Windows 10. Most home users will end up running the latest feature update to Windows 10 within a few months of its release. But enterprise users are more diverse.

Microsoft Retools Its Edge Browser, But Internet Explorer Is Forever, by Brian Barrett, Wired

“In many cases, because Internet Explorer was the default, it was the path of least resistance. A lot of people are just accustomed to using IE. There were some major interface changes in Edge that might have made it unattractive to some users,” says Tsai. “IT departments don’t want to have to retrain users. They don’t want to have a flood of help desk tickets asking them how to do common stuff that they used to know how to do.”


Changing Your Apple Watch Or iPhone's Region Won't Enable ECG App Outside Of United States, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Many software features on Apple devices are initially limited to the United States, but international users have often been able to simply change their iPhone or Apple Watch region to the United States to gain access.

That's not the case with the the ECG app on the Apple Watch Series 4, though, as it only functions on models purchased in the United States. Those who live in and bought an Apple Watch in Canada, the UK, or elsewhere abroad can't use the region-switching trick to enable the ECG app — it doesn't work.

The World’s Shortest Review Of Apple’s $40 iPhone XR Clear Case, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

Feel-wise it’s sort of half plastic-y, half rubbery. Plastic-y enough that it doesn’t stretch from the edges of the phone. Rubbery enough that it feels nice and grippy without being too grippy — it slides in and out of a jeans pocket easier than an Apple silicone case.


Also, Apple’s clear case has no aroma.

Hands On: Twelve South Leather Cases For iPhone XS, XS Max, And XR, by Andrew O'Hara, AppleInsider

As they do every year, Twelve South refreshed their lineup of cases —Journal, BookBook, and SurfacePad —for the latest iPhones. We tested them out on our new iPhone XS Max to see how they hold up.

Remote For Mac Turns An iPhone Or iPad Into A Remote Control For Your Mac, by Cult of Mac

It turns your iPhone or iPad into a fully loaded remote control for all kinds of functions on your Mac. It brings full trackpad and keyboard control to your phone, so you can use your Mac without leaving the couch.

Lego's Augmented Reality iOS App Is Ready For Adventure, by Joe Fingas, Engadget

Point your iPad or iPhone at a compatible Lego set (more on that in a bit) while you're using the app and you'll see bricks liven up with animations, interactive moments and full-fledged games. You'll have a strong incentive to complete a set besides the usual opportunities for imaginative play.


On Using Stock User Interface Elements On The Mac, by Brent Simmons, Inessential

Mac users love the Mac because of the user interface, not despite it. Remember this.


Google, Apple, Facebook Face World-first Encryption Laws In Australia, by Claire Reilly, CNET

Tech companies and civil liberties advocates argue that weakening encryption for one device or one case has the potential to break it for everyone, opening a door to hackers and compromising the security that underpins our modern, digital world. For the tech world, encryption is a matter of simple mathematics (even if politicians disagree).

But as a member of the Five Eyes security alliance (alongside the US, UK, Canada and New Zealand) the ramifications of the Australian laws could be felt across the world.

Apple Acquires A&R And Creative Services Company Platoon, by Music Business Worldwide

MBW understands that Apple has acquired Platoon, the London-based creative services firm founded in 2016 by music industry veteran Denzyl Feigelson and LoveFilm co-founder, Saul Klein.

Platoon has developed a raft of early-stage artists in the UK and US over the past two years who have gone on to make waves in the global business.

Bottom of the Page

I'm sad to report that both Instapaper and Pocket have bugs.

(Yes, I know that it is not news that software has bugs. I just want to get it off the chest that I've been inconvenienced.)


I so love the latest episode of The Good Place.


Thanks for reading.