Archive for January 2019

The Digital-Magic Edition Thursday, January 31, 2019

Why Won’t The New Yorker Keep You Logged In? Mystery: Solved (Kind Of), by Laura Hazard Owen, Nieman Lab

For instance, people read New Yorker articles across a wide variety of digital devices — from desktop and mobile, in The New Yorker’s app, from links within newsletters, from links on social media. “If you’re reading a newsletter article on your phone in Gmail, it’ll open a particular browser. If you’re in the iOS default mail app, it’ll open in [Safari]. And if you’re clicking within Twitter or Facebook, they have an in-app browser,” Luo said. “You’re opening each within a specific environment, and each of those environments requires you to log in, and in some cases we just can’t manage how they maintain your login information.”

But this is probably not news to many of those complaining about staying logged in on Media Twitter. It isn’t that most people expect to log in once, on one device, and then think they should never have to log in again on any other device because they are recognized by some kind of digital magic — it’s that they don’t think they should have to keep logging in to the same app. People who subscribe to The New Yorker’s email newsletters and have a paid subscription think that if they click on a link in their email, that link should open in their New Yorker app, which they’re already logged into as a paid subscriber — and that should be possible, Luo said. “That requires some work on our app end that we’d like to get done. That’s the way the Times does it.” It’s just an item on a long to-do list that hasn’t been addressed yet. The company is constantly working on upgrades and fixes, Luo said — for instance, “if we have your email address in records from when you subscribed, it should recognize you and automatically link your subscription so that you don’t have to enter an additional piece of informatio. Little things like that smooth the process, and we’ve been at work on a lot of those little things, just sort of knocking them off one by one.”

Coming Generations of iPhones

Apple Is Planning 3-D Cameras For New iPhones In AR Push, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

The rear-facing, longer-range 3-D camera is designed to scan the environment to create three-dimensional reconstructions of the real world. It will work up to about 15 feet from the device, the people said. That’s in contrast with the current iPhone 3-D camera system, which points toward users and operates at distances of 25 to 50 centimeters to power Apple’s Face ID facial-recognition feature.

Apple’s new system uses a laser scanner, rather than the existing dot-projection technology which doesn’t work as well over longer distances, according to the people, who asked not to be identified discussing unreleased features. That’s just one of many new features -- including a third, more advanced camera, enhanced photo-capture tools and a more powerful chip -- that Apple plans to include in coming generations of iPhones, the people said.

Chastening From Apple

Apple Says It’s Banning Facebook’s Research App That Collects Users’ Personal Information, by Kurt Wagner, Recode

Apple’s response, via a PR rep this morning: “We designed our Enterprise Developer Program solely for the internal distribution of apps within an organization. Facebook has been using their membership to distribute a data-collecting app to consumers, which is a clear breach of their agreement with Apple. Any developer using their enterprise certificates to distribute apps to consumers will have their certificates revoked, which is what we did in this case to protect our users and their data.”

Translation: Apple won’t let Facebook distribute the app anymore — a fact that Apple likely communicated to Facebook on Tuesday evening. Apple’s statement also mentions that Facebook’s “certificates” — plural — have been revoked. That implies Facebook cannot distribute other apps to employees through this developer program right now, not just the research app.

Maybe Only Tim Cook Can Fix Facebook’s Privacy Problem, by Kevin Roose, New York Times

It’s bizarre and somewhat troubling that Apple could unilaterally punish a competitor for its privacy sins. (Imagine if McDonald’s could shut down Burger King franchises for health code violations, with little explanation and no recourse for appeal.) But it’s hard to argue with Apple’s decision here. It made rules governing what developers for Apple products were allowed to do, Facebook broke them, and it’s now paying a price.

Apple’s defense of user privacy, while certainly self-interested, is a boon to its users and a lever for change within the tech industry. And if Mr. Cook wants to take a strong stand against app developers that routinely violate users’ trust, he could start with the biggest privacy violator of all. Facebook won’t change on its own, but a chastening from Apple might be what the company needs to get its act together.

Why Facebook's Banned 'Research' App Was So Invasive, by Louise Matsakis, Wired

First, it requires users to install what is known as a “root certificate.” This lets Facebook look at much of your browsing history and other network data, even if it’s encrypted. The certificate is like a shape-shifting passport—with it, Facebook can pretend to be almost anyone it wants. If you visit the website for a clothing retailer, for instance, Facebook can use the root certificate to pretend to be the store and see the pants you were looking to buy. “You allow Facebook to pretend to be anyone they want to be on the internet—your device will trust the certificates they generate,” says David Choffnes, a professor and mobile networking researcher at Northeastern University.


Facebook’s app also established an on-demand private network connection, meaning it routed all of the participants' traffic through its own servers before passing it along to its final destination. This is essentially what all VPNs do—they disguise traffic by rerouting it, allowing you to hide things like your location, perhaps to use Gmail in China or access streaming shows not available where you live. But VPNs typically can’t see your encrypted traffic, since they don’t have the right certificate. They can still look at your unencrypted traffic, which can be an issue, but the vast majority of internet traffic today happens over encrypted HTTPS connections. But with its root certificate installed, Facebook could decrypt the browsing history or other network traffic of the people who downloaded Research, possibly even their encrypted messages.

Google Disables App That Monitored iPhone Usage In Violation Of Apple’s Rules, by Dami Lee, The Verge

A Google spokesperson told The Verge, “The Screenwise Meter iOS app should not have operated under Apple’s developer enterprise program — this was a mistake, and we apologize. We have disabled this app on iOS devices. This app is completely voluntary and always has been. We’ve been upfront with users about the way we use their data in this app, we have no access to encrypted data in apps and on devices, and users can opt out of the program at any time.”


American Airlines Will Let You Stream Apple Music Over In-flight Wi-Fi For Free, by Noah Higgins-Dunn, CNBC

The company announced Tuesday a partnership with American Airlines that will allow Apple Music subscribers to stream songs, playlists and music videos on any domestic flight equipped with ViaSat satellite Wi-Fi for free. This makes American the first commercial airline to provide exclusive access to Apple Music through complimentary Wi-Fi.


Those who subscribe to Apple Music will be able to access the service on Apple devices equipped with the platform, including iPhones, iPads, Macs and Android phones. Those who don't have a subscription, however, could sign up for a free three-month trial once on board.

Revisiting Evernote: Checking In With The Former Note-Taking King, by Ryan Christoffel, MacStories

Though Evernote has retained a large user base all these years later, and in fact became cash flow positive nearly two years ago, there are a lot of former users who left the service long ago and haven't looked back. Personally, while I've kept an eye on Evernote over the years, I never put its recent updates to the test – until recently, that is, when I set out to revisit the popular note-taker.

As part of checking back in on Evernote, there were three core features I wanted to focus on evaluating: Templates, Context, and Dark Mode. These are some of the major developments Evernote has touted in its last few years of work, and they make for an interesting case study on the company's future direction.

GoodReader 5 Brings Split-screen Documents To iPad, by Ed Hardy, Cult of Mac

The latest version of GoodReader enables iPad users to view two documents side-by-side. It also offers a long list of improvements to its built-in PDF viewer and methods for securing files.


How To Make Your Office More Ergonomically Correct, by Melinda Wenner Moyer, New York Times

A healthy workstation is one that allows you to work in a neutral, relaxed position. That setup “requires the least force, the least strength, the least effort,” said Alan Hedge, director of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Research Group at Cornell University, “and that means you’re putting the least amount of strain on your body.”

To get there, you will want furniture that can be adjusted to your body size and shape — basically, “the more adjustability, the better,” said Justin Young, an industrial and operations engineer at Kettering University in Michigan.


If the furniture you have does not allow you to work in a neutral position, make tweaks with what you have — create lumbar support with a pillow or pad, for instance. Then ask your employer for an upgrade.

Don't Let Your Boss Use This Word To Ask More Of You, by Monica Torres, Huffington Post

Using the language of families is a common refrain within the workplace ― some employees call their co-workers “work spouses” or “work moms” ― but using that intimate language can blur professional and personal boundaries, building up false expectations of how a company will support its employees.

Family is a personal concept that varies across cultures, but, as a general rule, your membership in a good family is not conditional upon what you do. Families and employers can both give you respect and a sense of belonging, but the love and safety found in belonging to a family are different from the satisfaction of belonging to a work team. Work teams can be temporary, and they are transactional by their foundation. Families do not fire you and swap you out.


Apple Engineer Accused Of Stealing Self-Driving Car Secrets, by Michael Bott, NBC Bay Area

Apple learned Chen recently applied for a job at a China-based autonomous vehicle company that is a direct competitor of Apple’s project, according to the complaint. A photo found on Chen’s computer, which Apple provided to the FBI, showed an assembly drawing of an Apple-designed wiring harness for an autonomous vehicle.

Bottom of the Page

So, the upcoming Criterion Channel has the phrases "Available Anywhere" and "launch... in the U.S. and Canada" on the same marketing web page. :-)

Speaking of 'anywhere': why isn't Apple Book Store available all around the world (okay, maybe except China) yet? And why haven't we hear any rumors about a all-you-can-read Apple service yet?


Thanks for reading.

The Diminishing-Demand Edition Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Apple Says Profits Were Flat, Citing Slump In China, by Jack Nicas, New York Times

Apple said on Tuesday that profits in its most recent quarter were flat compared with a year earlier because of an economic slowdown in China and diminishing demand for new iPhones.


Total revenue for the quarter was $84.3 billion, a 5 percent drop from a year earlier.

Sales of iPhones, following a global trend, have been leveling off for several years. Their revenue was $51.98 billion, a 15 percent drop from a year earlier. It’s harder now to offer more specifics on iPhone sales because Apple recently stopped disclosing how many units it sells each quarter.

5 Things We Learned From Apple’s Latest Quarterly Results, by Jason Snell, Macworld

If Apple is a company that’s in dire straits, as you might read about in some media reports, its executives certainly show no sign. They seem confident that Apple will weather the storm in China and that with some adjustments to how the iPhone is sold, it can bounce back—and all the while, its other product lines (and its subscription-services business) continue to grow rapidly.

Cook and Maestri sounded apologetic about Apple missing so badly with its financial forecast for this quarter, but beyond that, they sounded much more like executives at a company that just had its second-best financial quarter ever and walked away with $84 billion in revenue and $20 billion in profit. Nobody should set up a GoFundMe for Apple any time soon.

Apple Is Getting Closer And Closer To Spelling Out Its TV Strategy, by Peter Kafka, Recode

But put it all in one place, speed it up, and what you get is: “We are going to sell a bundle of other people’s TV shows and movies, and add our own, and make sure you can watch it anywhere you want.”

What we still don’t know: When Apple is going to launch all of this (but it should be this spring), how much they’re going to charge for it, and whether it will be its own product, or designed to be part of a much bigger subscription service (maybe it will come with Apple Music! Or an Apple News service! Or something else! Etc.

Apple To Lower iPhone Prices In Some International Markets That Were Most Impacted By Currency Fluctuations, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

Cook says Apple is rethinking how it prices iPhones. It will no longer track the US dollar price exactly and instead set iPhone prices in local currency for each market.

He says the regions where iPhone sales were the weakest in their latest results were areas where currency fluctuations hit hardest. The company will be adjusting prices in some areas to bring them closer to what they were in local currency.

Buy Apple

How To Save On Your Next Apple Purchase, by Brian X. Chen, New York Times

The more I examined the pricing, though, the more evidence there was that the latest Apple products are more expensive to make. Apple also appears to be under pressure to introduce more complex innovations to compete in the brutal technology market.

Take a look at the company’s gross profit margin, or the money it makes from products after the cost to make and sell them is factored in. If Apple’s gross margins are lower today even though prices are higher, that indicates the products cost more to make.


Discounts for new Apple products are rare. But here are several methods to lower the cost of your next purchase.

Spy Craft

UAE Used Cyber Super-weapon To Spy On iPhones Of Foes, by Joel Schectman, Christopher Bing, Reuters

A team of former U.S. government intelligence operatives working for the United Arab Emirates hacked into the iPhones of activists, diplomats and rival foreign leaders with the help of a sophisticated spying tool called Karma, in a campaign that shows how potent cyber-weapons are proliferating beyond the world’s superpowers and into the hands of smaller nations.

The cyber tool allowed the small Gulf country to monitor hundreds of targets beginning in 2016, from the Emir of Qatar and a senior Turkish official to a Nobel Peace laureate human-rights activist in Yemen, according to five former operatives and program documents reviewed by Reuters. The sources interviewed by Reuters were not Emirati citizens.


Three former operatives said they understood Karma to rely, at least in part, on a flaw in Apple’s messaging system, iMessage. They said the flaw allowed for the implantation of malware on the phone through iMessage, even if the phone’s owner didn’t use the iMessage program, enabling the hackers to establish a connection with the device.

Bug Routing

How Apple Could Miss A Privacy-invading FaceTime Security Flaw, by Ashley Carman, The Verge

But calling your own phone number after starting a call with someone else is relatively rare, so it could have easily slipped through the cracks. Williams isn’t surprised a random person found it before Apple’s actual security team.


“I think what they missed here was an opportunity to train their support staff and their social media staff on fast routing of security bugs, or potential security bugs to the right team,” she says.

How A Teenage 'Fortnite' Player Found Apple's FaceTime Bug — And Why It Was So Hard To Report It, by Jason Abbruzzese and David Ingram, NBC News

For the next week, Michele Thompson, 43, tried to notify Apple of the flaw through a variety of avenues, many of which were dead ends.

"It was very frustrating getting them to respond," she said. "I get it. I'm sure they get all sorts of kooks that try to report things to them."

Apple’s Frightful FaceTime Bug Is A Reminder That We’re Never Really Safe Online, by Will Oremus, Slate

A corollary to this point is that while you may “trust” some big tech companies (say, Apple) more than others (say, Facebook), security bugs happen to everyone. Products made by companies with a track record of lax attitudes toward user security should absolutely be treated with caution. But products made by companies with a strong record on security can betray you, too. The more intimate access you grant a product, the greater that risk. Your smartphone is a security vulnerability that you carry around in your purse or pocket all day.

Lawyer Sues Apple, Claims FaceTime Bug “Allowed” Recording Of Deposition, by Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica

"Plaintiff was undergoing a private deposition with a client when this defective product breach allowed for the recording of a private deposition," he wrote.

"The Product was used for its intended purposes because Plaintiff updated their phone for the purpose of group Facetime calls but not unsolicited eavesdropping. Plaintiff suffered injuries."

New at Today at Apple

Apple Unveils New In-store Sessions Covering Photography, Garage Band, Health And More, by Megan Rose Dickey, TechCrunch

Apple is launching 58 new Today at Apple sessions to beef up its in-store education offerings for people who want to explore Apple’s products. The sessions, which cover video, photography, accessibility, coding, music, health and more, are free to attend and available at all of Apple’s retail stores across the world.

[...] Throughout the day, Apple took us through sample Today at Apple sessions across Apple’s three categories: Skills, Walks and Labs. Skills are quick, thirty-minute sessions designed to teach you new techniques, Walks are actual physical walks with certain Apple products and services and Labs are 90-minute sessions where you create a project.

Sell Your Privacy

Facebook Pays Teens To Install VPN That Spies On Them, by Josh Constine, TechCrunch

Desperate for data on its competitors, Facebook has been secretly paying people to install a “Facebook Research” VPN that lets the company suck in all of a user’s phone and web activity, similar to Facebook’s Onavo Protect app that Apple banned in June and that was removed in August. Facebook sidesteps the App Store and rewards teenagers and adults to download the Research app and give it root access in what may be a violation of Apple policy so the social network can decrypt and analyze their phone activity, a TechCrunch investigation confirms. Facebook admitted to TechCrunch it was running the Research program to gather data on usage habits.

Since 2016, Facebook has been paying users ages 13 to 35 up to $20 per month plus referral fees to sell their privacy by installing the iOS or Android “Facebook Research” app. Facebook even asked users to screenshot their Amazon order history page. The program is administered through beta testing services Applause, BetaBound and uTest to cloak Facebook’s involvement, and is referred to in some documentation as “Project Atlas” — a fitting name for Facebook’s effort to map new trends and rivals around the globe.

Facebook Will Shut Down Its Controversial Market Research App For iOS, by Casey Newton, The Verge

Facebook will end a controversial market research program that violated Apple developer guidelines in order to harvest user data from the phones of volunteers. The company said early Wednesday evening that the Facebook Research app, which offers volunteers between the ages of 13 and 35 monthly $20 gift cards in exchange for near-total access to the data on their phones, would no longer be available on iOS. It will apparently continue to be available for Android users.


Memento, The Third-Party Reminders Client, Adds Watch App, Keyboard Shortcuts, And More, by Ryan Christoffel, MacStories

As Apple's Reminders app stagnates year after year, third-party apps like Memento continue improving and offering designs that fit in well with modern iOS aesthetics. Today's improvements make Memento an even more appealing alternative for those ready to move on from Reminders, or who want the benefits of a third-party app without giving up the comfort of integration with Apple's ecosystem.


Google Takes Its First Steps Toward Killing The URL, by Lily Hay Newman, Wired

In September, members of Google's Chrome security team put forth a radical proposal: Kill off URLs as we know them. The researchers aren't actually advocating a change to the web's underlying infrastructure. They do, though, want to rework how browsers convey what website you're looking at, so that you don't have to contend with increasingly long and unintelligible URLs—and the fraud that has sprung up around them. In a talk at the Bay Area Enigma security conference on Tuesday, Chrome usable security lead Emily Stark is wading into the controversy, detailing Google's first steps toward more robust website identity.

Bottom of the Page

This is something that I've always understood to be true during the early days: that Windows computers require a keyboard and, optionally, a mouse to operate, while Macintosh computers require a mouse and, optionally, a keybaord to operate.

Then the web came along, and nobody, not Microsoft nor Blackberry, has ever built a web browser that works well with only a keyboard.

If Apple continue to insist that a touch-screen laptop doesn't make sense, and that a pointing device for iPad Pro computers doesn't make sense, maybe Apple should spend a bit more of their R&D money to figure out how to make it easier for customers to operqate an iPad Pro when used as a laptop with a keyboard.


Thanks for reading.

The Completely-Offline Edition Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Apple Says It Has Taken Group FaceTime Offline In Attempt To Resolve Calling Exploit, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Following the exposure of a major FaceTime security hole earlier today, Apple has now taken Group FaceTime completely offline. This comes after the company said a fix for the FaceTime calling bug is coming “later this week,” but failed to address specifics.


Apple updated its system status webpage this evening to confirm that Group FaceTime is currently unavailable. Despite this change, however, the FaceTime calling bug is seemingly still live for some users, as 9to5Mac continues to be able to reproduce the issue.

Major iPhone FaceTime Bug Lets You Hear The Audio Of The Person You Are Calling, Before They Pick Up, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

A significant bug has been discovered in FaceTime and is currently spreading virally over social media. The bug lets you call anyone with FaceTime, and immediately hear the audio coming from their phone — before the person on the other end has accepted or rejected the incoming call.

How To Turn Off FaceTime On Your iPhone, iPad, And Mac, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Of note, disabling FaceTime on one device does not seem to disable it on all of your devices. So, if you have an iPhone, iPad, and Mac, you’ll have to follow these steps on each device. If you do so on your iPhone, it does disable FaceTime on your Apple Watch completely.

Apple’s Own Privacy Standards Make FaceTime Bug Massively Damaging, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

Apple either needs to be able to overhaul its software development and testing regime such that it can be certain nothing of this seriousness can ever occur again, or it needs to cease throwing quite so many stones from what turns out to be a glass house.

Talk To One Another

Retail Is Broken. Angela Ahrendts Has A Plan, by Suzy Menkes, Vogue Business

At 506 stores around the world, Apple staff start their day with an app called Hello, which briefs them on the most important “need to knows” of the day, often featuring videos from Ahrendts and her team. A second app, Loop, functions as an internal social network where staff can share learnings with each other. “Someone might be selling more phones than anybody else and we ask them to share that on a 20-second video on Loop,” Ahrendts explains. “We use auto-translate and everybody in the world can see what Tom in Regent Street is doing. It’s a huge unlock, just getting all the stores to talk to one another.”


“Many retailers have become so big they’re removed from their own employees. They are lucky if they keep more than 20 per cent every year. We keep nearly 90 per cent of our full-time employees. We moved 20 per cent of the people in retail last year – they got promoted, took on new positions.”

“The tragedy in retail is that it has become about numbers,” Ahrendts continues. “It’s about cost-cutting the way to prosperity instead of investing in your people, and in that environment, big isn’t always good.”

The Service Business

Apple Plans Gaming Subscription Service: Sources, by Alex Heath, Cheddar

The service would function like Netflix for games, allowing users who pay a subscription fee to access a bundled list of titles. Apple ($AAPL) began privately discussing a subscription service with game developers in the second half of 2018, said the people, all of whom requested anonymity to discuss unannounced plans.

Apple Planning Upgraded TV App With New Service Subscription Feature For mid-April, Report Says, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Today’s report says that Apple is telling entertainment companies “whose offerings will be available through the service” to be ready for launch by mid-April.


A release around mid-April or early May for Apple’s upgraded TV app could mean that Apple is also planning to unveil its original content plans around that same time.

Wish List

Now’s The Perfect Time For Apple To Bring Messages To Android, by Michael Grothaus, Fast Company

[C]ome late 2019 or early 2020, there will be tens, maybe even hundreds of millions of WhatsApp users looking to jump ship to a new messaging app. These will be users who could stomach Facebook owning WhatsApp–but only so long as it remained as segregated as possible from Facebook’s other platforms. As that segregation will no longer exist, these people will be looking for another reliable, secure messaging service.

Wishing For A Low End Apple Watch, by David Smith

I increasingly find myself wishing that Apple made a smaller, simpler and cheaper Apple Watch. A device that would compare more closely to a FitBit or similar lightweight fitness tracker. The current direction the Apple Watch is taking seems to leave behind so many users that it seems like a big missed opportunity.


Apple Shares Behind-the-scenes Look At How ‘Made On iPad Pro’ Ads Were Created, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Today’s behind the scenes video takes a look at how Apple filmed, edited, animated, and even composed the soundtracks with iPad Pro for the “made with iPad Pro” series.

AirBuddy Brings iOS-like AirPods Integration To The Mac With Battery Widget And One-click Pairing, by Peter Cao, 9to5Mac

AirBuddy bridges the gap between iOS and macOS in terms of integrating AirPods and other W1-enabled headphones.

Aetna Debuts New 'Attain' Health Coach App In Collaboration With Apple, Available Spring 2019, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Through the use of an Apple Watch, the Attain app will provide Aetna members with personalized goals, track their daily activity levels, and recommend healthy lifestyle choices. For completing these actions, participants will earn points, which can be put towards the cost of an Apple Watch or gift cards.


Apple’s Swift 5 Language Update Will Make Many Apps Smaller On iOS 12.2, by Guilherme Rambo, 9to5Mac

With Swift 5, the language becomes binary compatible. The new version is included in iOS 12.2, tvOS 12.2, watchOS 5.2 and macOS 10.14.4, all of which are currently in developer beta. This means that, when the new versions of Apple’s operating systems become available to the general public, apps published to the App Store which use Swift 5 are going to be significantly smaller for users running the new operating systems.

Another benefit will be faster launch times, since every dynamic library that’s used by an app increases its launch time slightly, but the libraries included with the operating system are cached in memory and shared between all apps.

Apple Giving 11 Female-founded App Companies ‘Unprecedented Access’ To Labs And Experts With Entrepreneur Camp, by Peter Cao, 9to5Mac

Apple is starting its first-ever Entrepreneur Camp for app developers today, bringing in 11 female-founded app development companies and providing tools and resources to help attendees “thrive in today’s global app economy.” Apple says attendees will have “unprecedented access” to Apple’s business and marketing experts and more through Apple labs.

App Developers Have Earned $120 Billion Since App Store Launched In 2008, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

App Store developers have earned a total of $120 billion since the App Store launched back in 2008, Apple announced today. More than a quarter of that total was earned in the past year alone, according to Apple.


Apple In 2018: The Six Colors Report Card, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

It’s time for our annual look back on Apple’s performance during the past year, as seen through the eyes of writers, editors, developers, podcasters, and other people who spend an awful lot of time thinking about Apple.

Apple Spent $60 Billion With American Suppliers In 2018, by Romain Dillet, TechCrunch

According to the company, Apple is now working with 9,000 different companies in the U.S. Those companies mostly work on hardware components and chipsets for Apple’s devices.

All This Newfound Cynicism Is Going To Hamper Big Tech, by Noam Cohen, Wired

Facebook swatted down O’Neill’s conspiratorial suggestion quickly and succinctly—in a Tweet, no less: “The 10-year challenge is a user-generated meme that started on its own, without our involvement. It’s evidence of the fun people have on Facebook, and that’s it.” Conspiracy silenced. Except, politicians have a saying: “If you’re explaining, you’re losing.”

Bottom of the Page

Thanks to podcasts and YouTube and videos from Apple Events, I know how to pronounce Mojave and Azure and Gif. Growing up in a world without internet and where there are only two television channels that do programming in four different languages, there are a lot of words that I didn't know how to pronounce and didn't bother to find out because I don't use these words in regular day-to-day conversations. 'Segue' and 'generes' are 'new' words that I learnt how to pronounce only fairly recently in the past decade.

And then, there are old computer terms that I do encounter reading from time to time. For example: how does one pronounce '68030'?


Thanks for reading.

The Screws-Finding Edition Monday, January 28, 2019

A Tiny Screw Shows Why iPhones Won’t Be ‘Assembled In U.S.A.’, by Jack Nicas, New York Times

In 2012, Apple’s chief executive, Timothy D. Cook, went on prime-time television to announce that Apple would make a Mac computer in the United States. It would be the first Apple product in years to be manufactured by American workers, and the top-of-the-line Mac Pro would come with an unusual inscription: “Assembled in USA.”

But when Apple began making the $3,000 computer in Austin, Tex., it struggled to find enough screws, according to three people who worked on the project and spoke on the condition of anonymity because of confidentiality agreements.

In China, Apple relied on factories that can produce vast quantities of custom screws on short notice. In Texas, where they say everything is bigger, it turned out the screw suppliers were not.

Tech Data

Technology Vs. Law: Why Phone Tracking App Is Leaving Law In Dark Ages, by Mitch McCoy, KNWA

Even if the app determined the stolen phone's exact location, Crowson said laws today do not give officers the authority to go inside someone's home where the stolen phone is pinging.


Meeks said before he can write legislation giving officers more flexibility to use the app while obtaining a search warrant, it would have to be proven that the app finding the stolen phone's location is accurate without any reasonable doubt.

"You can get into areas where there can be conflicting interests between privacy and freedom so trying to find that balance is also a challenge," said Meeks.

GDPR Makes It Easier To Get Your Data, But That Doesn’t Mean You’ll Understand It, by Jon Porter, The Verge

Apple fared better than Google in the way it presented its data, although there were still problems. First impressions were very positive, though. The majority of the data Apple provided was in file types that were easy to read and understand like CSV, TXT, and JPG, with only a couple of JSON files to confuse things.

But once you get into these files, there’s still a lot of information that’s difficult to understand. A file titled, “Apple ID Account Information” appeared to contain 11 nearly identical records about my Apple account, all created on exactly the same date in 2014, with no explanation as to what they were. Another CSV file with the ambiguous title of “Apps and Service Analytics” appears to contain an entire list of every single one of my App Store searches, but it has so many empty cells that I only noticed it had data in it when I saw its 6.7MB file size.

Every Time Is Technology Time

Five Years In, iPads Fully Integrated In Bend-La Pine Schools, by Jackson Hogan, The Bulletin

Offenhauser and Scott McDonald, an instructional technology coach for the district, agreed that instead of having teachers designate a certain time of the day for “technology time,” the devices have become seamlessly integrated into classes.


Teachers distribute assignments, post materials and receive submitted work via the Google Classroom app. According to McDonald, the app can help also prompt discussions in class. For example, if a social studies teacher posts an open-ended question about the Revolutionary War in Google Classroom, each student would submit an answer, and then teachers could project certain answers on to a screen and have the class respond.

“It’s a way to transcend what a normal classroom discussion could look like, so some of those students that aren’t comfortable speaking can speak,” DuVal said. “It also allows students to examine other students’ thinking.”

A Man Uses Library System's Free Access Create Dyslexia App, by Heide Brandes, AP

As a software designer and a former English teacher, Liebenberg came up with an idea to create an app based on the flashcards. However, he needed to learn iOS programming and other skills in order to create the app.

"I found out I could take all the courses at the Metropolitan Library using for free," he said.

Nine months later, Liebenberg introduced Lexico, an app specifically designed to help children with dyslexia read. Since his son was diagnosed, he has doubled his reading ability and built up his confidence with words. Lexico is available for iPad, and an iPhone version is being created.

Security Matters

Two-Factor Authentication Might Not Keep You Safe, by Josephine Wolff, New York Times

The rapid rise of two-factor authentication is not a bad thing. In fact, it’s probably a good thing, but we can’t know that for sure until we learn something about how well it’s working. It makes logical sense that requiring more pieces of information to log in to an account would serve to better protect that account, but relying on common-sense justifications for computer security has misled us before. For instance, many companies require employees to change their passwords every year or every 90 days. For years, this has been commonly accepted as a best practice for security based on the idea that it makes it more difficult for hackers to use old, stolen passwords. But in fact, those mandatory password changes might sometimes do more harm than good unless the password has been compromised.

Many computer security practices are propagated through misguided notions of “best practices” that businesses decide to adopt because they see everyone around them doing something and assume it must be the right choice. But just copying what everyone else is doing and calling it best practice does not actually help strengthen the security of our accounts or data. To do that, we need to be able to measure the impact of these practices using concrete data about whether they reduce instances of account compromises or stolen funds or intellectual property theft. We need the companies that operate and implement these security practices to track those metrics and be willing to release them, even when that data may not paint them in the best — or most secure — light. Otherwise, we’re left blindly adhering to supposed best practices without knowing what really works for cybersecurity.


Luminar 3 Review: A Viable Alternative To Adobe Lightroom, by Jackie Dove, Macworld

Luminar 3 is an outstanding prosumer editing alternative for people seeking abundant automation and creative options for a wide range of photos. Despite its many professional features, Luminar is easy to learn and use and lets you create stunning photos.


Spend Exactly None Of Your Time Killing Time, by Chris Thompson, Deadspin

Here’s a good resolution, if you’re the sort of person who resolves to do good and healthy things and then maintains any hope of actually doing them: Resolve to divide your waking hours exactly and only between doing things you should be doing, and doing things you want to be doing.

When you are not doing something you should be doing—straightening up around the house, taking out the garbage, walking the dog, your job—you should always and only be doing something you actively want to be doing, like reading a book, or playing video games, or pursuing a hobby. Conversely, when you are not doing something you want to be doing, you should always and only be doing something you should be doing. This is a good resolution because it’s not aimed at some specific result that deviates a whole lot from who you are already, like overhauling your diet or your sleep regimen or whatever. No overhaul required, here. You already do plenty of what you’re supposed to do, and plenty of what you want to do. Resolve to stop doing anything else.

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On the one hand: before you become a great artist, you first have to understand the materials you are working with. And when you are in Texas, you don't work with custom screws that can only be produced in bulk halfway across the world.

On the other hand: this is not just about screws.


Thanks for reading.

The More-Fulfilling Edition Sunday, January 27, 2019

The iPhone SE Is The Best Minimalist Phone Right Now, If You Use It Right, by Nick Statt, The Verge

Granted, many of these companies are just trying to sell you a second phone to keep you away from your main phone. But the core philosophy still revolves around the same tantalizing question: Can a smaller, less capable smartphone help you live a more fulfilling life?

Probably not, but it seems worth trying.

Private Messages Are The New (Old) Social Network, by Lauren Goode, Wired

For some people, larger social networking communities are lifelines as they struggle with health, with family, with job worries, with life. But right now, “private” messages are the way to share my life with the people who matter most, an attempt to splinter off my social interactions into something more satisfying—especially when posting to Facebook has never seemed less appealing.


Apple: Trust Us, We've Patented Parts Of Swift, And Thus Chunks Of Other Programming Languages, For Your Own Good, by Thomas Claburn, The Register

In the past day or so, developers working with the language have highlighted on Swift discussion forum Cupertino's intellectual property land-grab, expressing concern that the patents – which are assigned to Apple rather than the Swift project – may expose those writing Swift applications to future legal jeopardy.


Setting aside the problems with software patents – many developers, among others, believe they should not exist – and ignoring the fact that many of the features mentioned in Apple's Swift patents (eg: options chaining) can be found in other programming languages, there's no concrete cause for alarm.


Hands On With iOS 12.2’s HomeKit Support For Smart TVs, by Federico Viticci, MacStories

In this post, I'm going to share my first impressions of HomeKit's new TV features in the iOS 12.2 beta, describe how it all works in practice, and share some suggestions for changes I'd like Apple to implement by the final release of iOS 12.2.


The setup I'm going to cover in this article requires an unofficial, third-party plugin, but the user experience is the same you'd get if you were testing an upcoming smart TV with embedded HomeKit support. From an interaction standpoint, all the changes detailed in this post are built-in features of iOS 12.2 – the only caveat is that, in order to be enabled, they require "faking" HomeKit support for a television that doesn't officially support HomeKit yet. That's precisely the beauty of homebridge and one of the benefits of software-based HomeKit authentication, which is made available by Apple for developers to tinker with. That being said, let's take a look.

Proposed Changes To Chrome Would Hamper Ad Blockers, by K.Q. Dreger, Audacious Fox

At the end of the day, this change to Chrome is only a proposal. And if we’re giving Google any kudos, it’s that they’re still conducting sensitive changes to Chromium in the open. I’m also not suggesting that Apple and Google are wholly wrong here. The pursuit of enhanced privacy while still allowing users to have some control over their browsers is a path filled with compromises. And since browser makers aren’t going to not evolve their products, I think it’s important that you understand the motives that may be driving their decisions.

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Well, we've just had Mac mini and Macbook Air 'returning' to Apple's lineup, and we've just had rumors about new versions of iPad mini and iPod touch. Surely, we're going to get the iPhone SE 2 soon, right?

Of course, the iPhone SE is the one product that Apple has removed from sale, unlike the others. Offhand, I can't really think of any products that had returned to Apple's lineup after being removed from sale. (The one product I can think of, Apple display, hasn't return yet.)

Oh, oh, I know. The new iPod Touch is actually also a phone, isn't it?



Just finished reading Becoming, by Michelle Obama. So good.


There are too many politicians in this world whose definition of success is that others must lose. Instead of working with different people who have different priorities, these politicians set out to prove that anybody that is not 'with them' is wrong and need to fail.


Thanks for reading.

The Product-Database Edition Saturday, January 26, 2019

New iPad Mini And Entry-level iPad Are Around The Corner, by Romain Dillet, TechCrunch

Apple has registered new iPad models in the Eurasian Economic Commission reference database. The Moscow-based commission keeps a product database pretty much like the FCC in the U.S. And it sounds like Apple is about to launch a new iPad mini 5 and an updated entry-level iPad.

iOS 12.2 Beta Includes References To Four New iPad Models, New iPod Touch Model, by Guilherme Rambo, 9to5Mac

The four iPad models are referenced as iPad11,1, iPad11,2, iPad11,3 and iPad11,4 and represent Wi-Fi only and Wi-Fi + Cellular variations. There’s currently no indication the new devices will include Face ID.

What’s even more interesting is a reference to a new iPod Touch model identifier, iPod9,1, which apparently does not have any sort of biometric authentication such as Face ID or Touch ID.

Images Show Apple Preparing News App In iOS 12.2 For New Magazine Subscription Service, by Guilherme Rambo, 9to5Mac

It looks like the subscription service will be called “Apple News Magazines” and it will be associated to the user’s iTunes Store account, just like Apple Music. There are many mentions of “bundle subscription” in this beta, which makes us believe this can be a part of Apple’s plan to release an all-in-one media subscription which will include Apple Music, TV shows and magazines.


Apple Revamps Documentation For App Subscriptions, Details How Billing Amounts Should Be Clearly Presented To Users, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

The revamp reorganizes existing advice into a more modern design with clearer segmentation of sections, as well as clearly detail some ground rules for the first time.

Why Are Young People Pretending To Love Work?, by Erin Griffith, New York Times

I saw the greatest minds of my generation log 18-hour days — and then boast about #hustle on Instagram. When did performative workaholism become a lifestyle?


Apple Must Give Grieving Husband Access To Cloud-stored Family Photos, Judge Rules, by Andrew Keshner, MarketWatch

The ruling in the Scandalios case showed a recurring theme of cloud storage companies not wanting to hand over access too readily, Walsh said. “They still want courts to confirm what the others have already confirmed: That you get access.”

Apple's Aussie Profits Grew But Its Tax Bill Went Down, by Patrick Hatch, The Age

Technology giant Apple's sales in Australia grew by more than $1 billion last year lifting its profits, as our commitment to its iPhone remains unshakable, but the amount of tax the multinational paid fell.

The Pros And Cons Of Placebo Buttons, by The Economist

But it turned out that even inoperative buttons serve a purpose. Pedestrians who press a button are less likely to cross before the green man appears, says Tal Oron-Gilad of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, in Israel. Having studied behaviour at crossings, she notes that people more readily obey a system which purports to heed their input.

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Apple News Magazine? Seriously? The last good software name, as far as I can remember, is Safari.

What's wrong with Texture?


Thanks for reading.

The Compensating-License Edition Friday, January 25, 2019

Apple Reverses Course, Will Now Pay The Winners Of Its ‘Shot On iPhone Challenge’, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple explains that it believes artists should be compensated for their work, thus winning photographers will receive licensing fees.

Apple News Launches In Canada, Tapping Former Rogers Executive To Lead, by Josh O’Kane, The Globe and Mail

Apple Inc. is launching its Apple News app in Canada, bringing with it both a promise to support journalism and the potential hazards that come when publishers share content with a tech giant.

An early version of the app was released on Thursday for developers and will be available to Canadian iPhone, iPad and Mac users to download for free next week. It will feature content from outlets including the Canadian Broadcasting Corp., Radio-Canada, CTV News, La Presse and the Toronto Star, with more publishers to be added over time, including The Globe and Mail.

How To Use Organization Expert Marie Kondo's Tips To Declutter Your iPhone, by Todd Haselton, CNBC

It sounds silly, and maybe I'm reading too far into Kondo's teachings. But, if it works for the home, shouldn't it work for where we focus our eyeballs all hours of the day — our phone screens? I tried it and it worked for me.

Plus, all of this shouldn't take long. Consider spending just 30 minutes over lunch to get started. You'll be surprised by how far you get. And, after I did it, I felt a lot less stressed looking down at my phone.

Here's how to de-clutter your iPhone using some of Kondo's teachings.

Up, Down, Sideways: Apple’s Personnel Changes Point To Its Priorities, by Dan Moren, Macworld

Over the last few weeks alone, for example, there have been several stories about Apple personnel changes; look closely enough and you can start to get a clearer indication of where the company’s interests lie at present.

Security Matters

Malvertisers Target Mac Uses With Stenographic Code Stashed In Images, by Dan Goodin, Ars Technica

Researchers have uncovered a recent malicious advertisement campaign that’s notable for its size, scope, and resourcefulness: a two day blitz triggered as many as 5 million times per day that used highly camouflaged JavaScript stashed in images to install a trojan on visitors' Macs.


Apple Shares Special ‘Shot On iPhone’ Short Film For Chinese New Year, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

The moving 6-minute video is directed by Jia Zhangke and tells a story about family and home visits during the Chinese New Year holiday. Entitled “The Bucket,” the short film was shot with an iPhone XS.

Microsoft Office Debuts On The Mac App Store, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Office 365, which includes the company’s flagship Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook productivity apps are free to download but require a subscription available via an In-App Purchase to create and edit documents and to send and receive email messages.

Apple Music Tablet Support On Android Exits Beta, Now Available For Everyone, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

On Android tablets, Apple Music now includes easier access to the different sections of the app. Along the bottom, there is a new navigation bar with quick access to “Library,” “For You,” “Browse,” and “Radio.”

Work On The Go: 3 Free Time Tracking Apps For Your iPhone, by Joe Mellor, The London Economic

You may use a time tracker for your iPhone not only to optimize billing, but to organize yourself as well. If you work on the go, you encounter tons of distractions with the most treacherous of them hiding inside your phone.

Facial Recognition For Dogs? App Helps Reunite Lost Pets With Owners, by Juliette Dryer , First Coast News

Facial recognition is nothing new. Facebook can recognize you in an uploaded photo and your iPhone can recognize your face to unlock the device. Now, facial recognition is being used to help reunite lost pets with their owners on the First Coast.


How To Be Successful, by Sam Altman

I’ve observed thousands of founders and thought a lot about what it takes to make a huge amount of money or to create something important. Usually, people start off wanting the former and end up wanting the latter.

Here are 13 thoughts about how to achieve such outlier success. Everything here is easier to do once you’ve already reached a baseline degree of success and want to put in the work to turn that into outlier success. But much of it applies to anyone.


iOS 12.2 Includes ‘Hey Siri’ Setup Interface For Rumored AirPods 2, by Guilherme Rambo, 9to5Mac

One of those changes, which is currently hidden from public view, is the addition of a new setup screen that’s used when configuring AirPods. This new setup screen clearly states that the user will be able to talk to Siri with AirPods or iPhone by saying “Hey, Siri”.

Passwords And Muscle Memory, by Brent Simmons, Inessential

What I realized is that — probably for many years — I didn’t actually know my password. I couldn’t have told you what it is. I just relied on my fingers to know it. And since it always worked, I never thought to question it.

And then, one day at random, my fingers failed. And the more I tried to figure it out — trying things that seemed likely — the more I worried I was fuzzing my muscle memory.

Apple Watches Are Sending Police To Your Location, by WTVF

The Emergency SOS feature on the Apple Watch automatically calls the local emergency number, but if you're not careful it can happen by mistake.

Facebook And Google Need To Start Paying Journalists What They Owe Us, by Ben Mathis-Lilley, Slate

The problem is not audience. Instead, the problem seems to be that it’s gotten harder and harder for news outlets to make money off of the readers they have because such a huge share of advertising spending is sucked up by Facebook and Google, with what’s left increasingly going to Amazon.

The Associated-Technologies Edition Thursday, January 24, 2019

Apple Just Dismissed More Than 200 Employees From Its Autonomous Vehicle Group, by Lora Kolodny, CNBC

An Apple spokesperson acknowledged the lay-offs and said the company still sees opportunity in the space:

"We have an incredibly talented team working on autonomous systems and associated technologies at Apple. As the team focuses their work on several key areas for 2019, some groups are being moved to projects in other parts of the company, where they will support machine learning and other initiatives, across all of Apple," the spokesperson said.

The Tech Revolt, by Cameron Bird, Sean Captain, Elise Craig, Haley Cohen Gilliland, and Joy Shan, The California Sunday Magazine

They Slacked. They messaged on Signal. They circulated pledges on Google Docs. They talked on the phone. They spoke quietly to one another in the cafeteria and spoke up at company-wide meetings. Whether it was protesting projects with ICE and the Chinese government or walking out to demand better treatment of women, political activism 
has entered tech with a force that the industry has never experienced.

Meet The App Creator Reducing Restaurant Food Waste While Making Dining Affordable, by Sarah Betancourt, NBC News

David Rodríguez is making waves in the tech industry with an app that lets users buy discounted, leftover food from local restaurants.

"Why can't people have quality food at a low discount, while also reducing waste?" said Rodríguez, the co-founder and CEO of Food for All.


Apple Promoting Apple Pay Cash In Messages With New ‘They Send, You Spend’ Ads, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

Apple has a new advertising campaign called ‘They send, you spend’ that highlights the newest Apple Pay features: Apple Pay Cash and Apple Pay in Messages. The campaign includes three micro-ads so far, demonstrating how fast and simple Apple Pay features can be.

Best Apple AirPods Accessories, by David Carnoy , CNET

Here's a quick look at some of our top AirPods accessory picks, based on my own hands-on experience with each product mentioned over the past few weeks and months. They're mostly cases and earbud enhancements, with a few other interesting things I've found.

A Closer Look At Darkroom For iPad, by Erin Brooks, The Sweet Setup

Overall, Darkroom is an app that is stuck in the middle: If you’re really utilizing all of the powerful controls it offers, It’s a bit too advanced for basic users. Yet because of the tools it lacks, it’s not quite advanced enough for pro users — at least not yet. It’s a great price, though, and if I didn’t have Lightroom Mobile, I’d use it along with Snapseed for final adjustments.

Microsoft Edge On Mobile Now Includes A Built-in Fake News Detector, by Taylor Hatmaker, TechCrunch

Microsoft’s Edge experiment with NewsGuard isn’t a solution to that issue, but baking some kind of news verification tool right into the browser does feel like a step in a compelling direction.


Apple Continued To Spend Near-Record Amounts Of Money Lobbying The Trump Administration In 2018, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Apple's lobbying expenses have increased significantly since the Trump administration assumed office two years ago, with the iPhone maker spending more than ever before to influence the current government on issues such as privacy, education, climate change, trade, immigration, tax reform, and patent reform.

You’re Never Going To Have A Legacy, So Give Up Trying, by Olivia Goldhill, Quartz

This is not a bad thing. It means our names and legacies are mortal, just like us. And so we are free to choose a more meaningful lodestar to guide our lives, rather than chasing the ephemeral possibility that our names will be spoken with gravitas once we’re dead.

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Every Friday afternoon, I'll go through every single task in my To-do lists, hover over the names of each of the tasks with my mouse cursor, and see if the task sparks joy in my heart. If no joy was sparked, I'll delete the task.

I wish.


Even if you are working on what you love, and loving what you are working on, there will be tasks that do not spark joy. That's why I believe; Either that, or I am doing this whole work thing wrongly.


Thanks for reading.

The Featured-on-Billboards Edition Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Apple Announces Contest To Crown 10 Best ‘Shot On iPhone’ Photos, Submissions Open Through February 7th, by Alex Allegro, 9to5Mac

Running from January 22 to February 7, Apple says its panel of eleven photography judges from around the world (including Phil Schiller), will select the ten winning photos to be featured on billboards in select cities, and Apple retail locations.

The Two Sides To The Debate On Whether Apple Should Pay For ‘Shot On iPhone’ Photos, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

Apple’s announcement yesterday of a contest to find the ten best shot on iPhone photos has provoked debate about the company’s policy of not paying for any of the photos, even when they are used in global advertising campaigns.

The argument that Apple should pay seems obvious enough, but not everyone agrees.

Security Matters

Did Australia Poke A Hole In Your Phone’s Security?, by Nellie Bowles, New York Times

A new law in Australia gives law enforcement authorities the power to compel tech-industry giants like Apple to create tools that would circumvent the encryption built into their products.

The law, the Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Act 2018, applies only to tech products used or sold in Australia. But its impact could be global: If Apple were to build a so-called back door for iPhones sold in Australia, the authorities in other countries, including the United States, could force the company to use that same tool to assist their investigations.

Retail Momentum

Apple Pay Is Coming To Target, Taco Bell, Speedway And Two Other US Chains, by Natasha Lomas, TechCrunch

A little more retail momentum for Apple Pay: Apple has announced another clutch of U.S. retailers will soon support its eponymous mobile payment tech — most notably discount retailer Target.

Apple Pay Is A Sleeper Hit, by Mike Murphy, Quartz

In the roughly four years since Apple launched its mobile payments service, Apple Pay, the company has managed to convince just about every major bank and retailer to let customers use their bank accounts to pay for things quickly through iPhones and Apple Watches.

Can't Innovate Anymore, My Ass

Have Phones Become Boring? Well, They’re About To Get Weird, by Lauren Goode, Wired

Smartphones, it seems, have gotten weird. And they’re only going to get weirder in 2019. Our glass slabs will be punctuated by pop-out cameras, foldable displays, hole-punched notches, and invisible fingerprint sensors. These features will be marketed as innovations. Some will be innovative. Some will just be weird, in the way that tech inevitably feels forced when design decisions are borne out of a need to make mature products appear exciting and new.

Just look to foldable displays. The concept isn’t new, but Chinese display maker Royale kicked off the most recent hype cycle at the end of October when it debuted a 7.8-inch flexible display named FlexPai. A week later, electronics giant Samsung showed off its own concept for a folding phone, one that “fits neatly inside your pocket” and then unfurls into a 7.3-inch display. The company declined to share a timeline for when the concept phone will be released, but Samsung’s annual flagship phone event is scheduled for next month, and it’s possible we’ll see more demos of the folding phone in addition to a new Galaxy smartphone.

Why Apple Will Be Late To Foldable Phones (And Still Win), by Jason Snell, Tom's Guide

In any event, if Apple does embrace folding-screen tech, the company will do so a little later than you'd expect. And it will do something unexpected that will make every one of its competitors wonder why it didn't think of that. I don't have any inside information to back that prediction up, but that kind of thing just keeps happening with Apple. It seems pretty likely that it'll continue happening.


Apple Releases macOS 10.14.3, iOS 12.1.3, watchOS 5.1.3, And tvOS 12.1.2, by Samuel Axon, Ars Technica

Apple pushed software updates for macOS and iOS today. They are minor releases that simply offer a few bug fixes and security updates, with no new features—and there are no new features in any of the beta releases for these versions of the operating systems either.

MacBook Pro Stage Light Fault: Apple’s Design Turns $6 Fix Into A $600 Nightmare, Says iFixit, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

Some MacBook Pro owners have complained of a ‘stage light’ effect, where they see uneven backlighting at the bottom of the display. For some, the symptom is only the first stage, with the backlight failing altogether.

Rosetta Stone For iPhone Adds AI To Identify Objects For Live Translations, by Jeremy Horwitz, VentureBeat

Historically, language translation apps were confined to whatever developers could store in their on-board databases, limitations that were surpassed with internet connections and AI-assisted text recognition tools. Today, language teaching developer Rosetta Stone is taking the next step forward by adding augmented reality and machine learning to its iPhone app, enabling users to identify and translate the names of real-world objects — the first time object recognition technology has been used in a language app in this manner.


Phased Vs Regular Update Adoption Rates, by David Smith

For several years now Apple has offered Phased Rollouts for app updates in the App Store. This lets you slow down the adoption of a new update to your users by limiting the number of users who are offered it as an automatic update each day.

This is useful for when you are releasing a ‘high risk’ update or one that will make use of a new resource and you’ll like to be able to change fix or adapt to the update in a more gradual way.


Corporate America Tallies The Mounting Costs Of Climate Change, by Christopher Flavelle, Bloomberg

More disasters will make iPhones even more vital to people’s lives, Apple predicted.

“As people begin to experience severe weather events with greater frequency, we expect an increasing need for confidence and preparedness in the arena of personal safety and the well-being of loved ones,’’ the company wrote. Its mobile devices “can serve as a flashlight or a siren; they can provide first aid instructions; they can act as a radio; and they can be charged for many days via car batteries or even hand cranks.’’

Accessing Health Records On Your iPhone Is A Dream And A Nightmare, by Nicole Wetsman, Popular Science

“It’s different now, because we have smartphones,” Dameff says. “There are mechanisms where consumers have these powerful personal devices. We’re connected. It’s trivial to have an application on your phone to facilitate this.”

Dameff and his colleagues surveyed patients using Apple Health Records in the UC San Diego health system. 132 responded, and nearly all said that connecting to the platform was simple. Just under 80 percent said that they were satisfied with the feature, and 90 percent said that using the system “improved their understanding of their own health, facilitated conversations with their clinicians, or improved sharing of personal health information with friends and family.”

“The Linux Of Social media”—How LiveJournal Pioneered (Then Lost) Blogging, by Steven T. Wright, Ars Technica

Like many eventual household names in tech, LiveJournal started as a one-man project on a lark, driven by a techy teenager with too much time on their hands. As founder Brad Fitzpatrick recalls, in 1998, after getting kicked off America Online for messing with their service too much, he managed to convince a local ISP to enable his personal website to use the Common Gateway Interface protocol. The move allowed him to write custom scripts that would produce dynamic objects on his page, such as his exact age in seconds, counting ever upward with each refresh. The novelty of these dynamic objects astounded Fitzpatrick, to the point that he eventually made a one-line textbox that floated above his desktop’s Start bar so he could type in and post to his site.

“It didn’t even have a post button,” Fitzpatrick recalls. “It was just the Enter button. My early LiveJournal posts were stuff like ‘going downstairs to get a Coke,’ or ‘I’m bored.’ It was very much like early Twitter.”

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If you think you have a winning shot, do participate in Apple's Shot on iPhone contest by emailing your photo to the supplied Apple email address. Because, how would you know that the judges get to even see your photos if you only post them on social media, what with all that hidden algorithms and machine learning that determines who will see your photos when.


Thanks for reading.

The Wimpy-Specs Edition Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Apple Mac Mini Review: Small But Mighty, by Raymond Wong, Mashable

With seemingly wimpy specs like an Intel Core i3 processor, 8GB of RAM, and Intel UHD 630 integrated graphics, I didn’t expect the Mac mini would be good for much more than browsing the web, streaming videos and music, and writing a story or two.

But the Mac Mini surprised me. Despite its less-than-perfect-on-paper specifications, the smooth space gray aluminum computer proved to be a fairly capable machine for creating content.

Nuance Has Abandoned Mac Speech Recognition. Will Apple Fill The Void?, by Adam Engst, TidBITS

TidBITS reader Todd Scheresky is a software engineer who relies on Dragon Professional Individual for his work because he’s a quadriplegic and has no use of his arms. He has suggested several ways that Apple needs to improve macOS speech recognition to make it a viable alternative to Dragon Professional Individual.

Apple’s Employee Charitable Giving Program Topped $125 Million In 2018 Donations, Apple Highlights Volunteering Efforts, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

The company announced that Apple’s Giving program has raised more than $365 million for nonprofits around the world since it began eight years ago. It also shines light on some of its volunteering initiatives, including a coding class in Ireland run by volunteers from Apple’s Cork campus.


New App Helps Families Connect With Classrooms In Greenwich, by Jo Kroeker, West Port News

“The kids love when you comment on their work or videos, and I love to see the digital devices being used as such great tools for learning and sharing,” she said. “The older they get, the more they enjoy the comments and feedback parents can leave for them as well.”

Parents get better insights into their children’s growth, McGuire said.

“It’s more meaningful than sending home a unit test or a piece of paper,” she said. “They actually see their child doing the work, and explaining it.”

New Albany-Plain Local Educators Say iPads Are Making The Grade, by Sarah Sole, ThisWeek

Jenny Shoaf, a math and pre-algebra teacher at the intermediate school, said the iPads have given students new ways to visualize and manipulate data while providing new opportunities to share their work.

"Whether they are building science or math graphs digitally, or using text-to-speech to check their writing or grammar in social studies or writing, there are so many resources that truly transform their ability to express their growth and understanding," Shoaf said.


Pixelmator Pro Update Adds Clipping Masks, Streamlined Layer Adjustments And Filtering, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

This release adds clipping masks which apply to normal layers, groups and shapes. The mask defines the visible region of everything else, enabling complex designs to be created much more quickly. To add a clipping mask, just option-click in the layers sidebar or use the Format menu.

Loopback 2 Review: Elevates The Interface For Sophisticated Sound Routing In macOS, by Glenn Fleishman, Macworld

Apple didn’t include robust audio routing and mixing controls in macOS, and it’s hard to blame the company for that, because only a small subset of Mac users need them. Loopback bridges that gap, although its $99 price tag aims the product at audio professionals, podcasters with a budget, or business users. It’s not a casual tool, but it can be vital and affordable for those for whom this review left them pumping their fists.

Concepts For iPad: An Adaptable Infinite Canvas To Suit Anyone’s Needs, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Concepts affords me an infinite canvas free of space constraints. It also offers a level of control over the tools I use that fits well with how I approach text editors.

Fuzion App For iOS Brings Effortless Double Exposures And Image Blending To iPhone Portrait Photos, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

It uses TrueDepth camera data from new iPhones to seamlessly create stunning images by automatically taking the silhouette from Portrait mode photos and removing the background. User’s can then easily blend the silhouette with another image and even add overlays.


For Women Job Seekers, Networking Like A Man Isn't Enough, by Emily Dreyfuss, Wired

Women need access to key kinds of information that men don’t. And how can they get it? From other women.


Apple Hosting Employee Activity Challenge In February With Exclusive Sport Loop As Reward, by Mitchel Broussard, MacRumors

Those who complete this challenge will receive an exclusive Black Sport Loop, which has colored details on the plastic attachments that connect to the Apple Watch case, and on the end of the velcro band. The blue, red, and green colors on the band represent the Stand, Move, and Workout Activity rings on Apple Watch.

Foxconn Looks Beyond China To India For iPhone Assembly, by Yang Jie, Yoko Kubota, Newley Purnell and Rajesh Roy, Wall Street Journal

Executives at Foxconn, a contract manufacturer that assembles a large portion of the world’s iPhones in China, are studying whether to include an India project in budget plans, one of the people said. Senior executives, possibly including Chairman Terry Gou, plan to visit India after next month’s Lunar New Year to discuss plans, the people familiar said.

Foxconn’s look at India comes as sustained friction between Washington and Beijing over trade and technology is pushing many companies to consider diversifying their supply chains away from China, a global center of assembly for smartphones, computers and other electronics.

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Do not be mistaken that the new Mac mini is a low-cost, entry-level Apple computer for the switchers. No more. That role is now been fulfilled by the regular iPad.


Thanks for reading.

The Crushing-Benchmarks Edition Monday, January 21, 2019

The Most Powerful Mac Is 6 Years Old And Not Sold By Apple, by Jason Koebler, Motherboard

There is a small but growing community of creative professionals—video editors, audio engineers, software developers, 3D modelers, and graphic artists—who are modifying their circa 2009-2012 Mac Pros to be even more powerful than the ones Apple sells today. Because those computers can use top-of-the-line graphics cards that aren't compatible with the iMac Pro or the 2013-and-onward Mac Pro, these modded computers are crushing the benchmarks of even brand new new computers.

The Mac Pro 4.1 and 5.1 are known in the community as the “cheese grater” Mac Pro towers. These are the last highly upgradeable and modifiable desktop computer that Apple sold before moving to the much-maligned “black trash can” design that is sold today and hasn’t changed significantly since 2013. Upgraded versions of the 4.1 and 5.1 are, in many cases, the fastest Apple computers you can buy today.

Researcher: As Tech Firms Grow Rapidly, Privacy Violations Must Be Intentional, by Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica

"Historically, if you wanted to govern airbags, there was a model year, you would recall a certain version, and you would hold a company liable," he said. "Software, particularly Web apps and cloud-based software, is constantly changing. It's not the same for you or [me]. You might be in a test group that I'm not in. To know this version versus that version and [how] the law should affect in this way is incredibly difficult."

It's impossible, he explained, for most people to keep track of the ins and outs of APIs and other data-sharing practices.

Good For Your Soul

It’s Time To Rethink iMessage Notifications, by Bradley Chambers, 9to5Mac

In a world where Apple is promoting screen time on iOS to help us curb technology addiction, I think rethinking iMessage notifications could help a lot.

Every Gadget And App Should Have A Dark Mode, by David Pierce, Wall Street Journal

Dark mode is good for my battery, it’s good for my eyes, and I’m convinced it’s good for my soul. I live in the dark now, and it’s awfully nice.


Apple's New iPhone Case Will Give You About An Extra Day Of Battery Life, But It's Quite Bulky, by Todd Haselton, CNBC

It's expensive for what amounts to a clunky way to extend your iPhone's battery life.

Apple Shares New ‘Shot On iPhone’ Short Film About Teenage Athlete In American Samoa, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

This time, it’s a 3-minute video that showcases American Samoa, a U.S. territory located the south pacific ocean, and specifically focuses on Eddie Siaumau, a 17-year-old athlete on the island.


Apple’s Everyone Can Create Curriculum Now Available In Four More Languages, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

Although primarily aimed at schools, the four guides are also freely available to consumers and parents.


Apple Exploits Mobile Carriers: FTC, by The Korea Herald

Apple is exploiting local telecom companies for profit by unfairly collecting advertising funds, economists representing South Korea’s antitrust watchdog said last week during a second hearing on the matter.

Shouldn’t We All Have Seamless Micropayments By Now?, by Zeynep Tufekci, Wired

That’s right: The web’s founders fully expected some form of digital payment to be integral to its functioning, just as integral as links, web pages, and passwords. After all, without a way to quickly and smoothly exchange money, how would a new economy be able to flourish online? Of course there ought to be a way to integrate digital cash into browsing and other activities. Of course.

Yet after almost three decades, that 402 error code is still “reserved for future use.” So I still have to ask: Where are my digital micropayments? Where are those frictionless, integrated ways of exchanging money online—cryptographically protected to allow commerce but not surveillance?

Bottom of the Page

A red flag always goes off in my head whenever I read or hear someone refers to an old program -- for example, a Mac game from the 1990s, or a desktop publication program from the 1980s -- as an app.

In my mind, the usage of the word 'app' to refer to an application on a computer platform has always been associated with iPhone-era smart phones. Even though, probably in all technical senses, the use of the word 'app' to describe Marathon or QuarkXpress is right, it simply doesn't gel with my idea of what an app is.

Although, if one is to use the word 'program' or 'application' to describe these apps -- will there be many people who do not understand what is being discussed here?


Thanks for reading.

The Where-The-Eyeballs-Go Edition Sunday, January 20, 2019

From WhatsApp To Alexa : Why The Ad-free Era Is Over, by Chris Stokel-Walker, The Guardian

“Consumers are very good at filtering out messages,” explains Lisa Du-Lieu, a senior lecturer in marketing at Huddersfield University. “If you don’t get their attention within the first couple of seconds, it just bounces off them.”

For that reason, brands are shifting their attention to platforms and formats that they know we are engaged with. “Advertising goes where the eyeballs go,” says James Whatley, an independent advertising expert, formerly of global advertising agency Ogilvy.

The Cab Ride That Nearly Killed Me Changed How I Think About Ride-Hailing Apps, by Yoolim Lee, Bloomberg

As we set off, I noticed he was taking an unusual route. Instead of heading for the expressway, he turned in the opposite direction and took local roads, following GPS directions shown on the Grab app on the smartphone mounted next to his steering wheel. I was going to tell him there was a better way but decided against it. I figured the app must have known something I didn’t.

The first thing I remember about the accident was the sound of thunder. The second was realizing the sound wasn’t thunder, but my head banging against the window. We’d sped through a junction where my driver was supposed to stop and had collided with a black Mercedes-Benz.

A moment later there was another loud noise—the sound of a second car, a Honda, crashing into my door. The contents of my blue purse scattered in every direction.


Apple Begins Selling iPhone SE Again On Clearance Store, Starting At $249 Brand New, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Apple is offering the iPhone SE with 32GB of storage for $249 and with 128GB of storage for $299 on its clearance store in the United States.


Apple To Streamline Team Management In Apple Developer Program And App Store Connect, by AppleInsider

Apple in February will change the way it handles development teams for organizations, unifying individual memberships into a single set of roles across the Apple Developer website and App Store Connect.


A Gardening App Born From A Software Dev's Backyard, by Dale Denwalt, NewsOK

Pairing technology with the open air of home gardening makes somewhat of an odd couple, but it's a fact not lost on Spoonemore as he attempts to bridge the two worlds.

Gardening is an opportunity to disconnect, he said, especially because he attributes part of his depression to the effects of staring at a computer screen for hours and hours at work.

Apple Ordered To Pull Part Of Press Release In Qualcomm Case, by Sonam Rai, Reuters

“The press release ... is misleading as it contains statements that are at least potentially deceptive about the availability of the goods, namely the iPhones affected by the ruling,” a three-judge panel wrote in the latest ruling.

The judges said Apple’s press release gives consumers and retailers the false impression of unlimited availability of the phones.

The Actual-Apps Edition Saturday, January 19, 2019

Apple Publishes Videos Showcasing iPad Pro Workflows, by Ryan Christoffel, MacStories

What I love about these videos, each of which are just over a minute long, is that they demonstrate the actual apps and workflows you can use to accomplish these tasks on the iPad Pro.

Privacy Campaigner Schrems Slaps Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Others With GDPR Data Access Complaints, by Natasha Lomas, TechCrunch

“Many services set up automated systems to respond to access requests, but they often don’t even remotely provide the data that every user has a right to,” said Schrems in a statement. “In most cases, users only got the raw data, but, for example, no information about who this data was shared with. This leads to structural violations of users’ rights, as these systems are built to withhold the relevant information.”


Apple Releases Final Cut Pro 10.4.5 Update With Performance And Stability Enhancements, by Jeff Benjamin, 9to5Mac

There are no exciting new changes in this update, but given how critical an app Final Cut Pro X is, stability and performance enhancements are music to my ears. Anything Apple can do to make the app more stable, I’m all for it.

Review: Apple's Beddit 3.5 Sleep Monitor Loses Features, But Gains Accuracy, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Even with the features that have been eliminated, the accuracy of the Beddit 3.5 is so much better than the prior model that I prefer it. It's not perfect because it can't always detect when I'm laying in bed trying to fall asleep, but it's almost always spot on when I'm reading, and it gives me a far better idea of the amount of sleep that I get in a night compared to the Beddit 3.


Features that were removed seemed to be based more on estimation rather than actual data, and the fact of the matter is that you're not going to get accurate sleep cycle data like light sleep or deep sleep from any over-the-counter sleep tracking device, so it's easy to understand why Apple nixed it.

The Best macOS Apps That Actually Make Good Use Of The Touch Bar, by David Nield, Gizmodo

It’s fair to say that the Touch Bar—that little display strip above the keyboard on newer MacBook Pro laptops—hasn’t been the most successful of Apple’s recent attempts at innovation. It mostly sits unloved and unneeded, sacrificing keys that were useful for not much benefit. There are apps that try to make the most of the Touch Bar though, and we’ve found them.


Giving Algorithms A Sense Of Uncertainty Could Make Them More Ethical, by Karen Hao, MIT Technology Review

“We make decisions as human beings in quite uncertain ways a lot of the time,” he says. “Our behavior as moral beings is full of uncertainty. But when we try to take that ethical behavior and apply it in AI, it tends to get concretized and made more precise.” Instead, Eckersley proposes, why not explicitly design our algorithms to be uncertain about the right thing to do?


Could You Fall In Love With A Robot?, by Alex Williams, New York Times

Self-identification is not the same as identity, and some classes of description now may be closer to metaphor. But the idea that flesh-and-blood humans may actually forge fulfilling emotional, or even sexual, relationships with digital devices is no longer confined to dystopian science fiction movies like “Ex Machina” and “Her,” stories in which lonely techies fall too hard for software-driven femme fatales.

In real life, pioneers of human-android romance now have a name, “digisexuals,” which some academics and futurists have suggested constitutes an emergent sexual identity.

Whether the notion is absurd, inevitable or offensive, it raises more than a few questions. For starters, in a world where sex toys that respond and give feedback and artificial-intelligence-powered sex robots are inching toward the mainstream, are digisexuals a fringe group, destined to remain buried in the sexual underground? Or, in a culture permeated with online pornography, sexting and Tinder swiping, isn’t everyone a closet digisexual?

Why Do We Hurt Robots?, by Jonah Engel Bromwich, New York Times

Why do people lash out at robots, particularly those that are built to resemble humans? It’s a global phenomenon. In a mall in Osaka, Japan, three boys beat a humanoid robot with all their strength. In Moscow, a man attacked a teaching robot named Alantim with a baseball bat, kicking it to the ground, while the robot pleaded for help.

Why do we act this way? Are we secretly terrified that robots will take our jobs? Upend our societies? Control our every move with their ever-expanding capabilities and air of quiet malice?

The iPad-Adoption Edition Friday, January 18, 2019

Thinking Different: Keys To Adopting An iPad-First Workflow, by Ryan Christoffel, MacStories

But moving to the iPad still involves some growing pains. The longer you've used a traditional computer, the harder an iPad transition can be. There are a few key things, however, that can help make your iPad adoption a success.

The Route Of A Text Message, by Scott B. Weingart

My leg involuntarily twitches with vibration—was it my phone, or just a phantom feeling?—and a quick inspection reveals a blinking blue notification. “I love you”, my wife texted me. I walk downstairs to wish her goodnight, because I know the difference between the message and the message, you know?


The message presumably began somewhere in my wife’s brain and somehow ended up in her thumbs, but that’s a signal for a different story. Ours begins as her thumb taps a translucent screen, one letter at a time, and ends as light strikes my retinas.


Hands On With Apple's New Smart Battery Case For iPhone XS, XS Max, And XR, by Andrew O'Hara, AppleInsider

The exterior is still made of soft silicone that is easy to grip but makes it more difficult to pull out of tight pockets and has an affinity for collecting a bit of lint. A soft microfiber lining blankets the interior to help cradle your phone. Most of the case is solid, but the top portion is flexible, just as it was before. The top bends back making it dead-simple to slip the phone in or take it out.

OmniFocus 3: What’s New And What’s Blue In Task Management, by Jeff Porten, TidBITS

The problem with OmniFocus, and task management apps in general, is that each requires you to adopt a particular way of looking at your goals, projects, tasks, and time management. Complex apps like OmniFocus give you more freedom to adapt the software to reflect your work style, while simple apps force you into a particular method that may or may not match your natural style. To demonstrate how OmniFocus presents both complexity and flexibility, I’ll start with an overview of how it works, and follow it with a discussion of what’s new in OmniFocus 3 and where it has some rough edges.


The Economics Of Streaming Is Making Songs Shorter, by Dan Kopf, Quartz

Streaming services pay music rights holders per play. Spotify doesn’t say the exact amount it pays artists for each stream, but reports suggest it is somewhere between $0.004 and $0.008. Every song gets paid the same. Kanye West’s 2010 five-minute opus “All Of the Lights” gets the same payment as West’s two-minute long 2018 hit “I Love it”.

Apple’s Inconvenient Truth: It’s Part Of The Data Surveillance Economy, by Mark Sullivan, Fast Company

Cook’s idea isn’t a bad one. And it would bring the vast spaghetti-works of data companies like Axciom out of the shadows and into the view of regulators and the public. But some aren’t sure Cook is the right guy to be spreading this message. He’s not a disinterested party suggesting a policy. Apple has a clear financial interest.

The R-Word, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

I think what has Cook spooked is not the drop in iPhone sales, but the fact that the iPhone sales drop in China might be a symptom of a bigger problem. An effect, not the cause. Apple has gotten crazily good at predicting everything about their financials. It’s almost freaky how accurate they’ve been for years. But they got something very wrong last quarter. Again, it was a slight year-over-year decline, but it was the second-best quarter in history. iPhone sales were disappointing compared to expectations, but weren’t bad in the abstract. What was bad was Apple’s guidance. A $7 billion miss is bad, but Apple not foreseeing a $7 billion miss is a red flag. I think they’re evaluating deeper plans just in case it was more than just one thing in one quarter. No one wants to say the word, but I think it’s what has Cook spooked.


Bottom of the Page

Sign. Copy-and-paste is once again broken again in Evernote. All my carriage returns are messed up.


Thanks for reading.

The Hand-in-Hand Edition Thursday, January 17, 2019

It's Time For Action On Privacy, Says Apple's CEO Time Cook, by Tim Cook, Time

This problem is solvable—it isn’t too big, too challenging or too late. Innovation, breakthrough ideas and great features can go hand in hand with user privacy—and they must. Realizing technology’s potential depends on it.

That’s why I and others are calling on the U.S. Congress to pass comprehensive federal privacy legislation—a landmark package of reforms that protect and empower the consumer.

Domino's Pizza Defeated In Court Over App, by BBC

Domino's Pizza has been told its website and app must be made fully accessible to blind people, after losing a legal case in the US.

It follows a complaint from a blind customer who said he first struggled to change toppings and then was unable to complete a pizza's purchase using the company's iPhone app.

Health Watch

Johnson & Johnson And Apple Collaborate On New Heart Health Program Aimed At Accelerating AFib Diagnosis, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Johnson & Johnson today announced that it has entered into a research study with Apple to investigate whether a new heart health program using a Johnson & Johnson app in combination with the Apple Watch's irregular rhythm notifications and ECG app can accelerate the diagnosis of atrial fibrillation.

Apple Is In Talks With Private Medicare Plans About Bringing Its Watch To At-risk Seniors, by Christina Farr, CNBC

Apple has been in talks with at least three private Medicare plans about subsidizing the Apple Watch for people over 65 to use as a health tracker, according to people familiar with the discussions.


Apple Watch might be pricier than other trackers, such as the Fitbit, but insurance executives say they'd work with Apple if the company can show that it helps its members detect potentially serious health problems before they require an expensive intervention.


Apple Pay In Australia Now Lets Users Switch Between Visa And Eftpos On Compatible Debit Cards, And Avoid Credit Card Fees, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

Apple Pay now supports dual-network debit cards in Australia. This enables users to avoid credit card fees at merchants that support eftpos (electronic funds transfer) at point of sale.

The Easy (And Free) Way To Make A Budget Spreadsheet, by J. D. Biersdorfer, New York Times

It’s January and you’ve gone and done it: You’ve resolved to keep better track of your personal finances. But deep down, you’re not sure where to start. Sure, you can buy accounting software, sign up for a service or poke around your bank’s online offerings for money management. But don’t overlook what is probably the best option of all: a simple and free spreadsheet you make yourself.

Never used spreadsheet software before and not quite sure what it does? Relax, using it to make a budget is easy, because someone has already done most of the work. Here’s how to get started.

GoodNotes 5: The MacStories Review, by John Voorhees, MacStories

With version 5, the GoodNotes team has taken my favorite iOS note-taking app and refined every aspect of the experience. The update retains the simplicity of the app's design but does a better job surfacing existing functionality and extending other features. The result is a more flexible, powerful app that plays to its existing strengths – which current users will appreciate – but should also appeal to a broader audience than ever.


“This Is Not A Product”: The Apple Developer Transition Kit, by Stephen Hackett, MacStories

In his keynote introducing the switch to Intel, Steve Jobs introduced the weirdest Mac of all time: the Apple Developer Transition Kit.

An Intel Mac inside a Power Mac G5 body, the Apple Developer Transition Kit (or DTK) was made as a way for developers to work on their x86 applications before the first Intel Mac shipped to customers.

Bottom of the Page

Perhaps there will not be an Apple Developer Transition Kit for the ARM-Mac. Maybe developers can just use their existing iPad Pro instead.


Thanks for reading.

The Battery-Bump Edition Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Apple’s Battery Cases Return For The iPhone XS And XR, by Brian Heater, TechCrunch

The familiar battery bump is back, but it now encompasses the whole of the rear, which should make holding it a little less awkward — and at the very least is a bit better looking.

This time out, the silicone covers are available in black and white and will work with Qi chargers, without having to pull the case off.

AirPower Referenced In iPhone XS Smart Battery Case Description In Malaysia, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

As discovered by MacRumors tipster Sri Ram and others on Twitter, Apple has referenced its long-awaited AirPower charging mat in the product description for its new iPhone XS Smart Battery Case in Malaysia.

Going Places

DuckDuckGo Debuts Map Search Results Using Apple Maps, by Zack Whittaker, TechCrunch

In using Apple’s mapping data, DuckDuckGo will become one of the biggest users of Apple Maps to date, six months after Apple said it would open up Apple Maps, long only available on Macs, iPhones and iPads, to the web.

Nothing Can Stop Google. DuckDuckGo Is Trying Anyway., by Drew Millard, Medium

When it comes to the internet, trust is something easily lost and difficult to regain. In a sense, every time a giant of the internet surveillance economy is revealed to have sold out its customers in some innovatively horrifying way, the ensuing chaos almost serves as free advertising for DuckDuckGo. “The world keeps going in a bad direction, and it makes people think, ‘Hey, I would like to escape some of the bad stuff on the internet and go to a safer place,’” Weinberg says. “And that’s where we see ourselves.”

Play Ball

Nike Debuts $350 iPhone-Controlled Self-Adjusting Basketball Shoes, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

The new Nike Adapt BB shoes feature an advanced power-lacing system with a custom motor that senses the tension needed by the foot and adjusts accordingly to ensure a snug fit. Using buttons on the shoe or the Nike Adapt app for smartphones, basketball players can adjust the fit on the fly during a game.

Hands-on With Nike’s Self-lacing, App-controlled Sneaker Of The Future, by Ashley Carman, The Verge

As far as fit, imagine a toy claw machine, but the claw is flipped upside down and inside your shoe, closing in on you. That’s the sensation I felt when the shoe tightened — almost like a robot was hugging me. Compared to the Jordans I wore during my Nike campus visit, though, they were comfortable and tight enough. I can’t imagine ever adjusting them on a normal day, but once you get used to tight shoes, it’s a bummer to go back to your loose-fitting ones. It is kind of a bummer to have to tie them, too.

Chips and Licenses

FTC Rests Case Against Qualcomm, Arguing It's A Monopoly In Mobile Chips, by Shara Tibken, CNET

Key to the FTC's argument is Qualcomm's so-called "no license, no chips" policy. Qualcomm sells processors that connect phones to cellular networks, but it also licenses its broad portfolio as a group. For a set fee -- based on the selling price of the end device, typically a phone -- the manufacturer gets to use all of Qualcomm's technology. It's phone makers who pay the licensing fee, not chipmakers.


And Apple, which has been fighting Qualcomm in patent and licensing lawsuits around the globe, sent two executives to testify on behalf of the FTC. Apple believes Qualcomm's fees are too high; it thinks it should pay a fee based only on the value of Qualcomm's connectivity chips, not the entire device.

German Court Throws Out Qualcomm's Latest Patent Case Against Apple, by Douglas Busvine, Reuters

A patent lawsuit filed by Qualcomm Inc against Apple Inc was thrown out by a German court on Tuesday, in a reversal for the U.S. chipmaker after it won a recent court ban on the sale of some iPhones in the country.


Rogue Amoeba Filled All My Mac Audio Needs, by Marty Edwards, Apple World Today

The group at Rogue Amoeba has some of the best apps I’ve ever used. The apps are attractive, responsive, and work perfectly. I highly recommend both apps.

What You Get When You Export Calendar And Reminders In macOS, And How To Use Those Files, by Glenn Fleishman, Macworld

Because the underlying calendar and reminders files get backed up by Time Machine and drive cloning (if not third-party cloud backup software, which can vary), there’s typically no good reason in modern times to back up the data. But it’s a useful interchange format if you’re changing calendar software (from Apple to Microsoft) or setting up a new system in some very clean way in which you don’t want to sync from an old account.


Supraventricular Tachycardia: Or, A Trip To The ER With My Apple Watch, by Tom Bridge

Sure, a lot of the time it feels like we live in a dystopian version of the future, and I’m still not sure where the flying cars are, but today I used my wrist computer — list price $399 — to take an ECG before arriving at the emergency room, where a doctor, appearing in my room via video conference, was able to read that medical diagnostic and make a snap judgment that I was probably going to be alright for now.

What Would A World Without Pushbuttons Look Like?, by Rachel Plotnick, Aeon

A world without buttons would offer no utopian antidote to the problems that often plague communication, work and play, both through and with technologies. Every interface requires users to learn about and habituate their bodies to a set of what at first seem very unnatural gestures – and every interface gets embedded and mobilised in social circumstances in ways that can support or disincentivise users’ agency. Touchscreen interfaces raise concerns about safety, as users must devote much of their attention to visually engaging with the screen rather than feeling about for a raised surface with their fingers. Facial-recognition interfaces carry with them attendant ethical questions, and some worry that tools of this kind indicate ‘another step toward the end of anonymity’, and invite greater surveillance by both corporations and government entities. Moving toward these forms of interaction merely invites new puzzles and negotiations.

Rather than eschew buttons for the next shiniest interface as though it were a panacea, the task, then, becomes to imagine a world with buttons that also prioritises authentic user-engagement, transparency and feedback – a world that is sensitised to the politics and privileges associated with pushing.

Bottom of the Page

I'm disappointed that the battery case for XS will not fit the X, which is the phone that I'm using.

Not that I'm having problems with battery life. Yet.


Thanks for reading.

The Not-Created-Equal Edition Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Screens Might Be As Bad For Mental Health As ... Potatoes, by Robbie Gonzalez, Wired

Not all screen time is created equal, but most studies to date treat it as monolithic. "That's like asking if food is good or bad for you, and in the end, questions like that will never help us," says Orben. "We need to stop the debate about the effect of generic tech-use on well-being, and open space for more and better research about the kind of technologies people are using, who's using them, and how."

Personal Health Records—More Promising In The Smartphone Era?, by Christian Dameff, Brian Clay, Christopher A. Longhurst, JAMA

Improvements in mobile hardware and sensors, digital communication standards, and accessible software have changed significantly since the initial efforts at creating personal health records. Although it remains too soon to draw firm conclusions, the continued development of patient-facing health care technologies by well-established technology companies suggests that the digital health care landscape may now be sufficiently mature to foster the broad adoption of personal health records. Whether these technological advances ultimately improve patient outcomes, lower costs, and improve quality remain the most important unanswered questions.


TD Ameritrade Taps Apple Pay For Instant Fund Transfers To Accounts, by Stephen Nellis, Reuters

Tuteja said TD Ameritrade chose Apple Pay to start with because of its ease of use, security and the fact that about three-quarters of the brokerage’s clients use the iOS operating system.

An iOS-only Video Workflow: Surprises, Challenges, And Hopes For The Future, by Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac

With another CES in the books, I can say with confidence that switching to an iOS-only video workflow for simple projects greatly improved my productivity and helped complete time-sensitive edits without a hitch. Less waiting for rendering, less fumbling with cables, and lighter gear all meant more time on the show floor. I wouldn’t return to CES without my iPad.


Apple’s FoundationDB Open Sources The Database Layer Behind CloudKit, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple originally acquired FoundationDB in 2015, and last April it announced that it was making the cloud database open source. Now, things are being taken a step further as FoundationDB has announced it is open sourcing Foundation DB Record Layer, which powers CloudKit.


On Apple’s $29 iPhone Battery Replacement Program And Its Role In Their Earnings Miss, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

During Apple’s all-hands meeting January 3, Tim Cook said Apple replaced 11 million batteries under the $29 replacement program, and they’d have only anticipated about 1-2 million battery replacements normally.

In The Shadow Of The CMS, by Kyle Chayka, The Nation

CMSs are like digital printing presses: They determine how journalism gets published online. But unlike the printing press, CMSs also increasingly influence not just how stories look but how they are produced, discovered, read, and monetized. To attempt another comparison: If an article is like a bag of chips for the consumer, then a CMS is like the vending machine. CMSs shape every media company from top to bottom, publisher to reader. They use adaptive algorithms to recommend certain stories to certain audiences, put up paywalls at particular points in articles, help control the flow of traffic, measure reader engagement through specific metrics, and regulate which ad networks the publications profit from most. When a title outsources its publishing technology to another media company, it gives up some control over how its stories are distributed—for better or worse.

With Google, Facebook, and other social-media platforms having taken over so much of digital publishing and reader consumption, the independent CMS is a matter of survival. Media companies and journalists alike are reclaiming the means of distribution and monetization from the few tech companies that dominated the space over the past decade. Thus, as readers, we also need to evaluate a publication’s CMS just as we judge the stories themselves.

The Mandarin-and-Cantonese Edition Monday, January 14, 2019

Apple HomePod Comes To China At $400 Amid iPhone Sales Woes, by Rita Liao, TechCrunch

What separates the new model is that it supports Mandarin, the official language on Mainland China and Cantonese, which is spoken in Hong Kong and China’s most populated province Guangdong.


The question is how many Chinese shoppers are willing to shell out 2799 yuan, or $414, for the Siri-controlled speaker. A host of much cheaper options from local giants are available, such as Alibaba’s Tmall Genie, Xiaomi’s Mi AI and several models from Baidu.

Apple Music No Longer Allows HomePod And iPhone To Play Different Music On Individual Accounts, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

Apple Music is no longer allowing subscribers to play different music on a HomePod and iPhone without a family account.

Liberation from Guilt

‘Inbox Infinity’: Is Ignoring All Your Emails The Secret To A Happy 2019?, by André Spicer, The Guardian

Inbox infinity seems a great way of dealing with the endless deluge of emails. It stops you wasting your time endlessly dealing with emails. It also can; a liberation from the guilt and anxiety that our inboxes often inspire. But it does not come without risks. Neglecting emails may make you seem unprofessional. Colleagues and friends may think it is a sign that you don’t care. It could even cut you out of crucial communications. But for some, it really is the only practical option. After all, how can anyone deal with 500 emails when there are only 480 minutes in the average working day?

Why I Didn't Answer Your Email, by KJ Dell'Antonia, New York Times

It is possible that I will answer your email later, in a few hours, or in a few years, maybe when I am 57, and I will be so happy to have your email. We will trade words, and those words will again seem so real to me, a whole world in my laptop, where I live, sometimes, because there is so much that is seductive in there, where time moves fast and yet never moves at all. I will take my laptop outside and I will sit among the trees, listening for the voices of children who are no longer home, and I will answer your email.

It is also possible that I will not — that I, in fact, will never answer your email. If that is the case, if the people and the places and the things around me still press upon me with more urgency than your email and so many others, I hope that you will forgive me. I have already forgiven myself.

Algorithms Should Contribute To The Happiness Of Society, by Arjan Haring, Towards Data Science

We do not believe it is necessary to measure all of the things all of the time. We must always remember that data is just there to help us answer questions. And it is up to human creativity to ask these right questions. We believe instead that sets of interesting, well-designed experiments will be able teach us more than any Orwellian state will learn.


File Transfer Apps For Mac In 2019: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly, by Nathan Alderman, iMore

Among paid apps, Transmit stands head and shoulders above the rest. If you're in a cash crunch, though, ForkLift 3 offers most of Transmit's finer points at two-thirds of its cost. And if you just need a free, simple way to move files from point A to point B, ForkLift 2 beats all contenders in its class.


Writing Things Down (How To Know What To Do Next), by Taylor Campbell, Manythingsblog

Feeling uncertain? Write down your concern. Write down the counter. Question the counter. Continue until it’s obvious what to do.

No Boss? No Thanks. Why Managers Are More Important Than Ever., by Nicolai Foss & Peter Klein, Aeon

In dynamic environments, decisions become highly time-sensitive, and ‘democratic’ decision making is inefficient when each decision affects another. Often the knowledge about who should do what to coordinate responses to changes in the environment resides within the management team – who therefore should make the decision. Indeed, it is exactly because of more dynamic environments, greater time-sensitivity, a need for expert decision making and a focus on internal alignment that we see top management teams expanding at the same time as companies have been delayering.


An Egg, Just A Regular Egg, Is Instagram’s Most-Liked Post Ever, by Daniel Victor, New York Times

Please don’t expect any of the following to make sense.

But on Sunday night, a photo of an egg, orange and lightly freckled, beat out Kylie Jenner’s birth announcement as the most-liked Instagram post ever.

When Chinese Hackers Declared War On The Rest Of Us, by James Griffiths, MIT Technology Review

GitHub and Tibetans like Lobsang Sither were among the first victims on a new front in China’s war on the internet, launched by a new breed of censor determined to go after the country’s enemies wherever they might be, using whatever means necessary.


Many thought the internet would bring democracy to China. Instead it has empowered government surveillance and control beyond Mao Zedong’s dreams. Now, the censors are turning their attention to the rest of the world.

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Little things that annoyed me:
1) The magic keyboard keeps sliding on the table when I am typing
2) Bluetooth devices -- keyboards, earphones -- that take a long time to connect
3) Software bugs
4) Life itself.


Thanks for reading.

The Looking-Great Edition Sunday, January 13, 2019

UX Rant: The Nightmare Horrorshow That Is The Apple TV Remote, by Steve Brykman, Ars Technica

These issues all lead me to one conclusion: the design priority here was to make something that would encourage sales by looking great on a screen but which isn’t that great at manipulating content on said screen. Which is unfortunate, since that’s the one thing a remote is meant to do.

The Lost Art Of Legendary Apple UX, by Marcin Krzyżanowski

It took Apple [about 10] minutes to left me very pissed, and I was not able to complete basic task.


Want To Give Blood? There’s An App For That., by Erin Blakemore, Washington Post

It helps you find places to donate and set up appointments. It also stores data about your blood donations so you can see how much you’ve donated and when it’s time to donate again. The app sends out alerts about shortages so you can give blood when it’s needed most. And it even lets you recruit new blood donors, creating a team of your friends and keeping track of your total donations.


Apple Buys 50 Business Class Seats From San Francisco To Shanghai Every Day, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple has many suppliers in China, which explains why the company sends so many employees to the Shanghai Pudong Airport.

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Personally, I don't really mind the Apple TV remote. I've purchased the (probably overpriced) Apple Loop that goes with the remote, and don't really have a problem figuring which way is up with the loop sticking out on one end. Also, because I am living in a typical Singapore apartment, it will never be so dark out here that I can't see the remote.

The problem I do have is that the same remote behave differently in different apps. Some apps do an x-second forward and rewind when I click on the sides of the trackpad, while some do not. The 'Menu' button do different things in different apps; in fact, in some apps, the 'Menu' button behave differently in different parts of the same app.

Apple will do well, I believe, to rethink the user-interface guidelines for the Apple TV. And to enforce the guidelines in a more stringent manner.


Thanks for reading.

The Endorsement-of-Protocols Edition Saturday, January 12, 2019

No, Apple's Licensing Of iTunes & AirPlay 2 Isn't A 'Strategy Reversal' In Any Way, by Daniel Eran Dilger, AppleInsider

While the Wall Street Journal is portraying Apple's new iTunes and AirPlay 2 partnerships as a white flag of defeat for Apple's own hardware, the reality is that it is actually an endorsement of Apple's protocols being important enough for major television makers to support, because far more affluent TV buyers own iPhones than Samsung Galaxy devices, and because both Samsung and the larger industry's various efforts to copy AirPlay have failed to work out.

And while Mims crowed about Apple sacrificing its hardware sales to promote the ability to sell iTunes, its quite obvious that widespread adoption of AirPlay 2 will not only boost Apple Music and iTunes, but can also only help sales of Macs and iOS devices, and will also make Apple TV, HomePod, Siri and HomeKit more attractive as well.

The End Of iTunes, by M.G. Siegler, 500ish Words

But again, I suspect the iTunes brand shifts towards the legacy stuff. I think Apple will use this opportunity to finally start obsoleting the iTunes product. Which will be music to all of our ears.

Paying for Patents

Why The FTC Thinks You Pay Too Much For Smartphones, by Klint Finley, Wired

The Federal Trade Commission thinks you're paying too much for smartphones. But it doesn’t blame handset makers like Apple and Samsung or wireless carriers. Instead, the agency blames Qualcomm, which owns key wireless-technology patents and makes chips that can be can be found in most high-end Android phones and many iPhones.

Apple Considered Samsung, MediaTek To Supply 5G Modems For 2019, by Stephen Nellis, Reuters

On the stand at a federal courthouse in San Jose, California, Blevins testified that Apple has long sought multiple suppliers for modem chips but signed an agreement with Qualcomm to exclusively supply the chips because the chip supplier offered deep rebates on patent license costs in exchange for exclusivity.

We Collectively Own

Re-decentralizing The Web, For Good This Time, by Ruben Verborgh

The concept of centralization does not pose a problem in and of itself: there are good reasons for bringing people and things together. The situation becomes problematic when we are robbed of our choice, deceived into thinking there is only one access gate to a space that, in reality, we collectively own. Some time ago, it seemed unimaginable that a fundamentally open platform like the Web would become the foundation for closed spaces, where we pay with our personal data for a fraction of the freedoms that are actually already ours. Yet a majority of Web users today find themselves confined to the boundaries of a handful of influential social networks for their daily interactions. Such networks gather opinions from all over the world, only to condense that richness into one space, where they simultaneously act as the director and judge of the resulting stream they present to us.

Because this change happened so suddenly, perhaps we need a reminder that the Web landscape looked quite different not even that long ago. In 2008, Iranian blogger Hossein Derakhshan was sentenced to 20 years of jail, primarily because of blog posts he had written. He and many others were able to state their critical opinions because they had the Web as an open platform, so they did not depend on anyone’s permission to publish their words. Crucially, the Web’s hyperlinking mechanism lets blogs point to each other, again without requiring any form of permission. This allows for a decentralized value network between equals, where readers remain in active and conscious control of their next move. When Derakhshan was eventually released in 2014, he came back to an entirely different Web: critical readers had transformed into passive viewers, as if watching television. While Web technology had of course evolved, its core foundations had not—it was the way people were using the Web that had become unrecognizable in a mere 6 years.


The Most Important Thing To Do If Your Mac Has A Fusion Drive: Back Up Your Data, by Glenn Fleishman, Macworld

Drive manufacturers that offer hybrid drives embed the SSD storage into the same package as the HDD. Apple, in contrast, puts an SSD on the computer motherboard separately from the HDD, and relies on macOS to integrate the two. Files aren’t stored separately on the two drives, but rather macOS interleaves data so that it’s effectively like one big drive.

That’s great for performance and cost, but it’s highly problematic if your HDD fails or if your Mac bites the dust.

Cheap Accessories That Make iPad Pro A Productivity Powerhouse, by Killian Bell, Cult of Mac

In this roundup, we’ve listed affordable accessories that turn iPad Pro into a productivity powerhouse.


How We Apologize Now, by Lindsey Weber, New York Times

To be famous in 2019 one must possess (in addition to talent, or at least popularity) a patina of authenticity and a willingness to admit wrongdoing. Also: an iPhone.

Bottom of the Page

I have a problem. I haven't been able to finish the last few e-books that I borrowed from my local library.

Half-way through the loan period, I will discover that I have finish less than half of the e-book, and I will be discouraged, and I will think that this is because I'm not enjoying the e-book I've borrowed, and I will then return and move on to the next e-book.


Thanks for reading.

The Open-Your-Eyes Edition Friday, January 11, 2019

I Can’t Worry About Screen Time Right Now, by Chloe Hall, Elle

To my critics, yes, I might just be one of the criminally insane characters in Bird Box urging you to open your eyes and see the (blue) light. Sure, screen time might be a concern. But I'm already buried by a to-do list that seems to grow longer and more complicated by the day. When I reach Gwyneth Paltrow levels of wellness (and wealth), I'm sure screen time will float to the top of the list right alongside what sort of jade egg I need. Until then, let me be on my phone as much as I want.

The Maturing Of The Smartphone Industry Is Cause For Celebration, by The Economist

Does that mean innovation is slowing? No. The latest phones contain amazingly clever technology, such as 3D face-scanners and cameras assisted by artificial intelligence. But as with mature technologies such as cars or washing machines, extra bells and whistles no longer make a deep impression.

More important is that smartphones support extra innovation in other areas. Deploying apps and services on an immature platform whose prospects are uncertain is risky; on a mature one it is not. Smartphones thus provide a foundation for today’s innovations, like mobile payments and video streaming, and for future ones, such as controlling “smart” home appliances or hailing robotaxis.

iPhone Prices Discounted By Up To 20% At Chinese Retailers, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

Leading resellers and Suning have cut the sales price of iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and XR this week by about 20%. Apple has not changing pricing on its website.


It is believed that the price drop was made in coordination with Apple company strategy. Apple is set to announce a significant iPhone revenue decline later this month, with macroeconomic weakness in China cited as the primary cause.


The New Rules Of Eating Al Desko, by Phil Daoust, The Guardian

As winter finally begins to bite, the idea of the al-desko lunch seems increasingly alluring. No one wants to take their sandwich to the park when it’s snowing, and even the walk to the local cafe can seem too much when it is through wind and rain.

But is there a right and a wrong way to eat at your desk? Should we be even doing it in the first place? We asked some experts and office workers.

Why I Love My Computer But Hate Technology, by Laurie Levy, Chicago Now

What I learned from the entire ordeal was that in-person human beings can fix what helplines and technology can’t.

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Things I have stopped doing: having lunch at my work desk.

Things I am still continuing doing: having coffee at my work desk.


Thanks for reading.

The About-Health Edition Thursday, January 10, 2019

Tim Cook Points At New Services And Health-tech Propelling Apple’s Future, by Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica

But Cook could be hinting at other services that haven't leaked yet. He put a big emphasis on healthcare in the interview, claiming that health will be what most remember Apple for in the long run.

"On the healthcare, in particular, and sort of your wellbeing, this is an area that I believe, if you zoom out into the future, and you look back, and you ask the question, 'What was Apple's greatest contribution to mankind?' It will be about health," Cook said. "Because our business has always been about enriching people's lives."

Apple’s 4K TV Deals Show How The Company’s Business Strategy Is Evolving, by Jason Snell, Macworld

Apple’s change in strategy has been clear, from its focus on Services revenue to its expensive TV deals, for a while now. But if you think of Apple as a company that just sells boxes for money, 2019 is only going to get more surprising from here.

Wild Goose Chase

Apple Watch Fall Feature Triggers False Emergency Calls At Ski Areas, by CBS 4

One 911 call from an Apple Watch obtained by CBS4 to the Vail Dispatch demonstrates what dispatchers are encountering. The 911 operator first hears a robot voice before the watch user gets on the call and says “he is okay.”

But many users fail to realize the call has been made. While this person continues skiing, emergency responders are on a “wild goose chase to find them.”


Tech-based Band Introduces Kids To Playing Music With iPads, by Fox 13 Tampa Bay

"At first I thought, 'Why would they have that?' People just think you are touching a button and that's not what it is. You’re actually learning the beats, the rhythms, the chords of the song," he explains.

Yale Assure SL Review, Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Embrace The Smart Lock, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

Beyond no longer worrying about if our door is locked or unlocked, the biggest change in my family’s life since the new lock was installed is the removal of our front door keys from our keychains. I used to bring a key with me when I went for a run or took the dog for a walk, but it’s not necessary anymore. If we’ve got our iPhones, the lock will sense our presence and open, and if we don’t, we can still punch in our keycodes and enter that way.


Square Takes Aim At Stripe, PayPal With New Payments Kit For Mobile Software Developers, by Tom Krazit, Geekwire

The Square In-App Payments Kit will work with iOS and Android devices as well as the Flutter cross-platform mobile development system. Developers using the new services will be able allow customers to use Apple Pay or Google Pay as well as regular old credit cards within their own mobile apps, and connect that data to purchases made in their brick-and-mortar stores or on the web.

So You Automated Your Coworkers Out Of A Job, by Brian Merchant, Gizmodo

Automation is too often presented as a faceless, monolithic phenomenon—but it’s a human finger that ultimately pulls the trigger. Someone has to initiate the process that automates a task or mechanizes a production line. To write or procure the program that makes a department or a job redundant. And that’s not always an executive, or upper-, or even middle management—in fact, it’s very often not. Sometimes it’s a junior employee, or a developer, even an intern.

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I hope Apple doesn't just get its service businesses onto big players like Samsung, Amazon and Google, but also work with smaller players and startups. One will never know what kind of wild and crazy ideas will be the next big cash cow for Apple.


Thanks for reading.

The Smart-Home-Space Edition Wednesday, January 9, 2019

HomeKit Was A Surprise Winner Of CES 2019. Now Siri Needs To Get A Whole Lot Better, by Michael Simon, Macworld

While Google Assistant and Alexa controlled their fair share of the CES spotlight, they did little to overshadow Siri. In fact, Apple’s HomeKit was one of the surprise winners of this year’s show, as Sony, LG, GE, Vizio, Belkin, Arlo, Ikea, TP-Link and several others all rolled out products and updates featuring HomeKit integration, an abrupt turnaround from previous shows that all but ignored the iPhone maker’s smart home ambitions.

It’s safe to say that Apple can officially count itself as a major player in the smart home space. When the new HomeKit-enabled products start hitting the market later this year, consumers won’t need to buy specific HomeKit-enabled hardware, an earlier requirement that inhibited Apple’s smart home growth. With a few exceptions, customers will soon have the option to use one of three AI assistants each time they make a request to control something in their home, and that means one thing: Siri needs to seriously step its game.

Apple's Wearables Revenue Is Already Exceeding Peak iPod Sales, Tim Cook Says, by Elizabeth Gurdus, CNBC

"On a trailing basis, ... the revenue for wearables is already 50 percent more than iPod was at its peak," Cook told CNBC in an interview with "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer.

He added that the Watch and the AirPods have each generated between four and six times more in sales than the iPod had generated in the same amount of time since its launch.

Tim Cook To Apple Naysayers: 'The Ecosystem Has Never Been Stronger', by Elizabeth Gurdus, CNBC

"I'm never surprised by the market, to be honest with you, because I think the market is quite emotional in the short term," Cook said when asked about Wall Street's reaction to the news. "We sort of look through all of that. We think about the long term. And so when I look at the long-term health of the company, it has never been better. The product pipeline has never been better. The ecosystem has never been stronger. The services are on a tear."

Apple Reports

AAPL Proxy Statement Tidbits: How Much Each Executive Earned In 2018, The Costs Of Flying Private, More, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple says that its median employee compensation for 2018 was $55,426. The ratio of Cook’s income to the median income is 283 to 1.

Apple To Hold Annual Shareholders Meeting On March 1st At Steve Jobs Theater, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Filed with the SEC, the document confirms that Apple will hold its annual meeting of shareholders on March 1st, 2019 at Steve Jobs Theater.


The Best App For Taking Handwritten Notes On An iPad, by Drew Coffman, The Sweet Setup

It’s clear that with the right combination of app and Pencil, the iPad is now an exceptional note-taking tool for those who prefer to write by hand. There are several apps that are more than up to the task, but we think Notability is the best possible app for most people and their workflows.

Earthquake Warning App ShakeAlertLA Debuts In Los Angeles, by Amanda Kolson Hurley, Wired

The new app depends on hundreds of sensors that collect data around geologic faults. When the sensors detect strong enough seismic activity, a notification is pushed out to users’ phones. The farther that app users are from the quake’s epicenter, the more advance warning they are likely to receive. Those very close to the epicenter may not be alerted until the shaking has already begun.


There Is A Free Lunch, After All. It’s At The Office., by Priya Krishna, New York Times

What was once an extra is now a necessity, as companies give their employees free ice cream and beer, Pop-Tarts and prime rib — often with an agenda attached.


Disruption For Thee, But Not For Me, by Cory Doctorow, Locus

Every single one of these co-ops would disrupt a digital monopolist who came to power preaching the gospel of disruption. Every single one of those digital monopolists would switch to the aggrieved bleats of a bewildered incumbent apex predator snarling and twisted impotently as its flesh was rent by a thousand tiny bites from swarms of fast-moving, highly evolved successors.

But we never get to bring those lumbering relics down, not so long as felony contempt-of-business-model is still in play in America. Until then, disruption will always be for thee and never for me.

I Gave A Bounty Hunter $300. Then He Located Our Phone, by Joseph Cox, Motherboard

Your mobile phone is constantly communicating with nearby cell phone towers, so your telecom provider knows where to route calls and texts. From this, telecom companies also work out the phone’s approximate location based on its proximity to those towers.

Although many users may be unaware of the practice, telecom companies in the United States sell access to their customers’ location data to other companies, called location aggregators, who then sell it to specific clients and industries. Last year, one location aggregator called LocationSmart faced harsh criticism for selling data that ultimately ended up in the hands of Securus, a company which provided phone tracking to low level enforcement without requiring a warrant. LocationSmart also exposed the very data it was selling through a buggy website panel, meaning anyone could geolocate nearly any phone in the United States at a click of a mouse.

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Okay, after attending an exhibition on minimalism, I find that I still don't quite enjoy this art movement.

Somehow, I'm not able to feel anything.


It might just be me, though.


Thanks for reading.

The AirPlay-to-Android Edition Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Sony Is Adding Apple’s AirPlay 2 And HomeKit To Its Android TVs, by Chris Welch, The Verge

In yet another surprise amid Apple’s sudden expansion of AirPlay 2 across popular TV brands here at CES, Sony has announced that it will add support for the feature to its own televisions. Here’s the really interesting bit: in case you’re unaware, Sony TVs run Android TV software. Hence, Android TV is soon going to be capable of playing content — music, movies, screen mirroring, and more — via AirPlay 2.

Apple’s Trillion Dollar Market Cap Was Always A False Idol, by Ron Miller, TechCrunch

Whatever the future holds for Apple and other tech stocks, we clearly like to throw around large numbers. Yet companies don’t tend to live and die by their market cap. It’s not a metric that matters all that much to anyone, except those of us who like to marvel at the size of the biggest numbers, and then click our tongues when they inevitably fall to earth.


Apple Music Lyric Availability Expands To Additional Countries, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Lyric availability has expanded to Germany, Ireland, South Africa, Spain, Mexico, New Zealand, and France, letting customers in these countries view song lyrics and search for songs using lyrics.

HomePass, The App For Managing HomeKit Setup Codes, Adds Apple Watch Support, PDF Export, More, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

HomePass is useful for keeping track of your various HomeKit setup codes, something that Apple doesn’t yet offer through its own Home app. The key change in today’s HomePass update is support for generating 100% scannable text and QR codes.


Using The iPad Pro As My Development Machine, by Fatih Arslan

First I’ll share my experiences using it as a development machine, scripts I’m using and my whole workstation setup. Afterwards I’ll share and review the various bits of using an iPad Pro (photo and file management, keyboard, pencil, apps, accessories, etc.)

Using The iPad Pro As My Main Computer, by Jon Hicks

It’s been said many times before, that the iPad Pro’s limitations are set by iOS, rather than the hardware, so it’s all fixable by Apple. In my opinion, it wouldn’t take much for the iPad to truly replace my Macbook.

It feels like we’re this close to the tipping point.


How Pizza Could Save The World, by Don Norman and Eli Spencer, Fast Company

Pizza? How is that relevant? Two ways. First, pizza can be thought of as an open-source platform. An Italian creation, it is now found all over the world, in all incarnations, tailored to local tastes and cultures, yet all recognizable as pizza. Second, it bridges the gap we were pondering, for pizza can be made by local artisans serving local customers, as well as by large, international corporations that serve mass markets. In other words, “Pizza as a Platform” provides a powerful metaphor to describe how we hope to address some of the world’s most intractable problems.

The Leading-Manufacturers Edition Monday, January 7, 2019

Apple Updates AirPlay 2 Page With Upcoming TV Features Including Siri Control, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Samsung may have been the first to announce support for AirPlay 2, but Apple's webpage indicates that the feature is coming to 'leading manufacturers,' so expect more announcements at CES and beyond. In addition to using AirPlay 2 to send video from an iOS device or Mac to a compatible TV, consumers will be able to play music on their TVs and sync it with other AirPlay 2-compatible devices in their homes.

Samsung Announces iTunes Movies And TV Shows App And AirPlay 2 Support For Its Smart TVs, by John Voorhees, MacStories

In a first among TV manufacturers, Samsung has announced that its 2019 TVs will ship with an iTunes Movies and TV Shows app in over 100 countries as well as AirPlay 2 support in 190 countries. 2018 models will receive the same support via a firmware update.

Five Big Questions About Apple Putting iTunes On Samsung TVs, by Nilay Patel, The Verge

Is Apple going to allow Samsung’s smart TV tracking to snoop on iTunes viewers? Smart TVs are notorious for tracking what people watch, but Apple’s entire brand is privacy. What usage data will Samsung see from the iTunes app?

Vizio Announces AirPlay 2 And HomeKit Support Coming To SmartCast-enabled TVs This Year, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

The trend of TV manufacturers integrating AirPlay 2 continues today at CES 2019. Vizio has announced that it is adding AirPlay 2 and HomeKit integration to its existing SmartCast TV platform.

Nothing Structurally Different

Apple’s Errors, by Ben Thompson, Stratechery

The good news for Apple is that, to the extent these errors really were predictable, there is nothing structurally different about the company’s competitive position today versus six months ago, when the current stock slide began.


Meanwhile, the company’s Services business continues to grow, along with its installed base (including in China); the company is clearly putting more strategic emphasis in this area, effectively abandoning also-ran hardware products like HomePod and Apple TV to increase the reach of its services. I would expect significant announcements in this area through 2019.


Apple Shows Off New Smart Home Products From HomeKit Partners, by Anthony Ha, TechCrunch

Apple recently invited reporters to meet a handful of companies announcing new products at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show. The common theme: All of these products connect to Apple’s HomeKit platform for smart home devices.

By integrating with HomeKit, these companies make their products configurable and controllable via Apple devices, specifically through the Home app and Siri.

Virtual Assistants Have Hit A Wall—and It’ll Be Years Before They Reach Full Potential, by David Pierce, Wall Street Journal

Apple says it has been conservative about proactively pushing out notifications so far, because unhelpful prompts would be annoying, but the company is getting confident enough in Siri’s abilities to pester helpfully. The closest thing to the future we were promised is the moment Siri pops a notification onto your lock screen asking if you want to dial in to your next meeting.

These small steps in the right direction are where tech companies should focus their efforts. For years, the CES halls have been filled with gadgets that simply took a thing and gave it an internet connection. But the smart-home future is about making all those things work in harmony. And that future shouldn’t include programming them yourself.


If macOS's Migration Assistant Fails, Here Are Other Ways To Move Accounts, by Glenn Fleishman, Macworld

Both computers gave errors at the end of multi-hour migrations, though one pair of computers appeared to have fully transferred data. The other pair did not; it seemed to have transferred apps and system preferences, but left out the main user. This may have been due to that user having parental controls set, though Migration Assistant doesn’t warn of that being a problem, nor is there a mention in any support notes from Apple.

In my experience with Migration Assistant over the years, this kind of inexplicable problem has become ever rarer. I tried three different methods to shift that user directory over, and only the third (and very technical one) worked.


What I Learned Working 32 Hours A Week For 2 Months, by Alex Zurek, Atomic Object

With a four-day work week schedule, I felt the need to develop a plan for each day that I was going to be in the office. My time at work had a new purpose that centered around improving the value I was delivering to my project and my team. Being aware of the value you deliver with your time is important, especially at a consultancy where we invoice clients based on our time.


Apple Reportedly ‘In Discussions’ To Support RCS, The iMessage-like Successor To SMS, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

According to the purported slide from the conference, Apple has “engaged in discussions with the GSMA and Operators about including RCS in iOS.” This is inherently vague and doesn’t offer too many details about the extent to which Apple is involved.

Apple’s Increasingly Tricky International Trade-offs, by Natasha Lomas, TechCrunch

The old Apple ‘one-sized fits all’ philosophy is already very outdated for some users and risks being caught flat-footed on a growing number of fronts — be that if your measure is software ‘innovation’ or a principled position on privacy.

An arbitrary limit on the choice of search engine your users can pick seems a telling example. Why not offer iOS users a free choice?

Or are Google’s billions really standing in the way of that?

Before Electric Cars Takes Over, Someone Needs To Reinvent The Battery, by David Stringer, Bloomberg

To deliver an electric vehicle that’s cheaper, safer and capable of traveling 500 miles on a single charge, the auto industry needs a breakthrough in battery technology. Easier said than done.

Scientists in Japan, China and the U.S. are among those struggling to crack the code of how to significantly boost the amount of energy a battery cell can store and bring an EV's driving range into line with a full tank of gas. That quest has zeroed in on solid-state technology, an overhaul of a battery's internal architecture to use solid materials instead of flammable liquids to enable charging and discharging. The technology promises major improvements on existing lithium-ion packs, which automakers say are hitting the limits of their storage capabilities and may never hold enough power for long-distance models.

Bottom of the Page

Just looking at the screenshot provided by Samsung, is Apple really going to continue using the name 'iTunes'? Or rather, 'iTunes Movies and TV Shows'. This new deal has to include the new streaming video service, right? And Apple can't be using the 'iTunes Movies and TV Shows' name, right?

Or Is this just a placeholder name?


Thanks for reading.

The Clarity-of-Intention Edition Sunday, January 6, 2019

'I Love My Mac!', by Zoë Smith

I’ve been a Mac user since the IIsi. I know those features above inside-out, know which have been there since Classic days, which have just arrived, and yes, which can be flaky on occasion. But to see it through a new Mac user’s eyes is to see a vast enormity of mistakes not made. It is to perceive a clarity of intention through design, maintained over decades of updates.

Dancing Between Realism and Optimism

Apple And The Art Of Guidance,by John D. Stoll, Wall Street Journal

Mr. Cook is the first executive to face the firing squad this year, but he won’t stand alone. CEOs and their finance chiefs are in a tight spot as they start reporting the most recent quarter’s financial data this month. For a few years, they’ve been cheerleading for the economy, arguing that employment, spending, tax cuts and underlying fundamentals indicate all is well. When they didn’t have an answer ready for a tough question, they would point to economic or political uncertainty.

The art of guidance is always a delicate dance between realism and optimism, but a misstep in these febrile times can lead to a fall. Anything cautious that a CEO or CFO says about consumer demand, supply chains, inventory or credit conditions could be read as proof the sky is falling.

It's Time For Apple To Stop Playing It Safe,by Jonathon Trugman, New York Post

China is in a slowdown. Like Americans, the Chinese have probably cut back on their unnecessary purchases — like the newest iteration of the iPhone.

It’s time for Apple to lose the stifling “stay safe and count our money” posture.

It needs rebellious, creative genius to succeed going forward.

Why There’s Still Plenty Of Value In Apple’s Core, by Tae Kim, Barron's

Another mediocre product cycle doesn’t change Apple’s attributes: a bulletproof balance sheet, a stellar brand, a loyal customer base, and a sticky ecosystem of software and services. iPhone users are still likely to upgrade to another iOS device due to its high levels of customer satisfaction.

What Does Warren Buffett Think Of Apple's Plunge?, by Natalie Walters, The Motley Fool

“For example, when Buffett was interviewed on CNBC in May 2018, he seemed to shake his head at the stress the iPhone shipment reports caused investors. He said that obsessing over the exact number of iPhones sold in a three-month period isn't a reliable way to measure Apple's performance. People who focus on iPhone shipments are missing the point of the company, according to Buffett.”


“Considering that this interview happened less than a year ago, it seems logical that Buffett would give the same advice this week: Don't focus all your attention on Apple's ever-changing iPhone shipments. He wants investors to be thinking of Apple's long-term potential with its "sticky" products and its other revenue streams like its cloud business and App Store sales.”

Security Matters

Security Researchers Find Over A Dozen iPhone Apps Linked To Golduck Malware, by Zack Whittaker, TechCrunch

Wandera, an enterprise security firm, said it found 14 apps — all retro-style games — that were communicating with the same command and control server used by the Golduck malware.


As of now, the researchers say that the apps are packed with ads — likely as a way to make a quick buck. But they expressed concern that the communication between the app and the known-to-be-malicious server could open up the app — and the device — to malicious commands down the line.


Getting Beyond The BS Of Leadership Literature, by Jeffrey Pfeffer, McKinsey

“The focus on leadership should be about useful behavior rather than overly simplistic, and therefore fundamentally inaccurate, categorizations of people and personalities. Not surprisingly, the materials I find most useful for teaching leadership accurately describe the types of behavior, and the underlying social-science evidence and principles, that are needed to get things done in complex, interdependent systems in which people pursue multiple, often conflicting, agendas. Here are lessons drawn from what, in my view, are the best books on leadership.”

Bottom of the Page

Little things I enjoy on macOS:

1) Both "Hide Current App" and "Hide Others" menu items and their two easy-to-remember keyboard shortcuts.
2) Understandable (potentially) folder and file names everywhere.
3) Usable trackpad.


Thanks for reading.

The Outside-of-Range Edition Saturday, January 5, 2019

Apple Details 2018 iPad Pro Enclosure Manufacturing Process, Reiterates 400 Micron Bend Tolerances, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

Apple has posted a new support article that gives some insight into how the 2018 iPad Pro is manufactured, clearly as a follow up to the reports of customers receiving bent iPad units in the runup to Christmas.

It says slight bends may be more visible to the eye due to the new straight edge design, and reiterates that Apple specifies 400 micron flatness tolerances — and anything outside of that range should qualify for warranty repair/replacement.

Two Apple Products

Things I Love About Apple Watch, by Erica Sadun

This may sound absolutely ridiculous, but I no longer have to dig out that same self-hiding phone to look at the time. I can now glance at my wrist and the time is right there. Yes, I am the only person alive who is surprised and astonished that a watch tells you what time it is or that might be a reason for its purchase. This probably explains a lot about me.

When I put the Mickey face on the watch, I can even touch the watch without looking and hear the time. I wish that feature was available on other faces and without the creepy pedo-vibe that Mickey gives. I’ve sort of given up on Mickey because 1. pedo and 2. not enough complications (the add-ons that let you stick mini-app widgets onto the main display, kind of the “Apple Watch Dock” metaphorically) and switched to the Infographic display instead. But I love the “tap to hear the time” feature, even if I don’t use it very much.

Apple’s Beddit 3.5 Sleep Tracker In-Depth Review, by DC Rainmaker

Without question, this is the most disappointing Apple product I’ve ever bought. Given I buy an excessive amount of Apple gear each year, this was actually completely unexpected for me.

And it’s not because it doesn’t do what it says. It actually sorta does that.

Rather, it’s because they took away almost all useful features from previous versions, and made the product as close to pointless as you can get. For a product that’s supposed to be all about data – they’ve neutered it and made it more gimmicky than a cereal box activity tracker. And all at twice the price of their nearest competitor.


Apple Just Bought A Company That Acts Like A Record Label. Why?, by Tim Ingham, Rolling Stone

Apple, then, now owns a company in Platoon that can offer every function of a record label – most crucially modern recording facilities – and which holds a sterling industry reputation for spotting new talent.

So, is Platoon the key to unlock Apple’s long-discussed potential as a music rights-owner – perhaps supplying Apple Music with its own, exclusive recordings? It’s complicated.

The App-store War Between Netflix And Apple Is Heating Up, by Brian Fung, Washington Post

The shift by Spotify — and then Netflix and Epic — underscores the growing dominance of those firms in their own right. Netflix’s position as the world’s biggest provider of streaming video gives it the power to snub Apple’s platform without sacrificing its visibility to potential customers. But a small-time developer with weaker brand recognition benefits greatly from being on Apple and Google’s platforms, which can help customers discover new apps through promotion and marketing, said Doug Creutz, a game industry analyst at Cowen & Co.

“[Netflix and Epic] are two of the biggest entertainment products on the planet. They don’t need the app store to help them sell their products,” Creutz said. “Most software developers don’t have that luxury. Most of them need the placement the app store provides.”

Comfort, Rather Than A Burden

Apple’s Biggest Problem? My Mom, by Kevin Roose, New York Times

But for now, while investors might be unhappy with the company’s short-term sales, the rest of us should cheer it as a sign of progress in giving customers what they want: sturdy, reliable phones that don’t become obsolete as soon as a new model arrives.

When I asked my mom what would get her to upgrade to a newer iPhone, she said she might do it if a new, killer feature came along, or if her favorite apps no longer worked. But in the end, she admitted that wasn’t likely.

“Until I drop it and break it, I’ll probably keep it,” she said.

Embracing Apple's Boring Future, by Ian Bogost, The Atlantic

As trade war looms and the stocks enter what looks like the end of the longest bull market in history, maybe the American economy—and the soul of its people—don’t really need another gizmo like the iPhone, around which their lives might be redesigned anew. Maybe they just need the lives they have, contorted though they’ve been by the smartphone, to enjoy responsible, long-term support and maintenance. The iPhone is here to stay. Imagine if Apple could make that state of affairs feel like a comfort, rather than a burden.

A Little Hard to Pronounce

In Price And Value, Chinese Phone Makers Outpace Apple In Much Of The World, by Raymond Zhong, New York Times

To most Americans, the names are unfamiliar, maybe a little hard to pronounce: Huawei, Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo.

They are China’s biggest smartphone brands. Around the world — although not in the United States — they are making the handset business brutally competitive. This week, after Apple warned of disappointing iPhone sales in China, industry observers said that devices from the Chinese brands were a major culprit.

Apple Beware: Samsung’s Great Fall In China Was Swift, by Timothy W. Martin, Wall Street Journal

“If patriotism cooks up, who knows what could happen?” said Tom Kang, an analyst at Counterpoint Research.


Pandora Beats Spotify To Offline Playback On The Apple Watch, by Chris Welch, The Verge

From your wrist, you’ll be able to control playback or give a thumbs up to whatever song is currently playing on Pandora. But even better is that Pandora’s Apple Watch app includes offline playback, so you can leave your phone at home and listen to a playlist while on a run.

Robin Telecom Claims To Offer The First HomeKit Enabled Doorbell With Its ProLine Doorbell, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

The company’s ProLine Doorbell also includes features like an all aluminum design, 130° field of view, HD video, and more.

Microsoft Rolls Out Files On-Demand For Mac To OneDrive For Business Users, by Malcolm Owen, AppleInsider

The OneDrive storage appears as an APFS-formatted volume in macOS Mojave, as if they are kept locally, but in fact users see placeholder versions of files that take minimal space on the Mac. On needing to access a file, OneDrive downloads it to the Mac and replaces the placeholder.


Web Development On An iPad, by Eric L. Barnes, Laravel News

I know everybody works on different things and has different preferences so this setup isn’t for everyone. Before this iPad, I was working on a 12″ MacBook so I’m used to small screens and I enjoy running apps at full screen. So making the switch was pretty easy for me. The only thing I’m missing is a console and web inspector.


GarageBand Turns 15, by Stephen Hackett, 512 Pixels

In 2003, iLife was a huge selling point for the Mac. It made managing photos, making movies and burning DVDs all easy (and even fun!) for users who found more pro-focused apps difficult to approach.

At Macworld 2004 — 15 years ago this weekend — Steve Jobs introduced GarageBand.

Ahead Of CES, Apple Puts Up Billboard Touting Privacy In Las Vegas, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

What happens on your iPhone, stays on your iPhone," reads the sign, which is located near the Las Vegas Convention Center and many prominent Las Vegas hotels.

Bottom of the Page

I'll never have the time to read all the books I want to read, watch all the shows I want to watch, learn all the things I want to learn. And I accept that.


Thanks for reading.

The Seek-Growth-Elsewhere Edition Friday, January 4, 2019

The Ride Is Over: Apple Faces The End Of The iPhone Boom, by Jason Snell, Tom's Guide

The writing has been on the wall for some time. Back in January 2016, Apple began calling out the growth of its services revenue line every time it talked about financial results. The message to Wall Street was clear: There's a new growth area for Apple, and it's selling services like iCloud and Apple Music to Apple's existing ecosystem. It was Apple's admission that it was seeking growth elsewhere. The iPhone stalling out isn't a surprise.

Apple's Precarious And Pivotal 2019, by M.G. Siegler, 500ish Words

The transition from the iPhone company to a Services company is now officially underway. It is clearly happening earlier than Apple had planned. How will Apple adapt to this new era?


App Store Hits New Single-Day Revenue Record On New Year's Day With Customers Spending $322 Million, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Gaming and self-care were the most popular app downloads and purchases during the holidays. Fortnite and PUBG were some of the most downloaded games over the holiday period, along with Brawl Stars, Asphalt 9, and Monster Strike.

‘King Troll’ Ebro Darden On The Future Of Apple Music And Terrestrial Radio, by Shawn Setaro, Complex

Streaming services are doing a lot of things right, which is why people are excited about them. Refining that, just like any great consumer interface does through its lifespan, is how you stay relevant. That’s why we have the human capabilities that we have at Apple Music. It helps us have living, breathing people interfacing with the consumers so that we stay relevant. We have the data, we have the behavior, we have the consumer, we have the humans curating shows, pulling that all into one place. Being able to evolve in real time with the audience as much as you can is how you stay relevant.

Hardware Margins

Young Beijing Shoppers’ Appetite For Latest iPhones Wanes, by Yuan Yang, Financial Times

Apple’s smartphones used to be a status symbol, an exclusive and foreign luxury item. But domestic competitors, especially Huawei, now appear to have caught up — not just on technological innovations such as dual Sim cards and edge-to-edge screens, but also in terms of prestige.

“Apple is no longer a luxury symbol in China,” said Cheng Yu, a 22-year-old undergraduate who has been using iPhones for over eight years, but who now plans to use a top-range Huawei as well as her current iPhone.

Regarding Apple’s Gross Margins, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

So if high-margin services revenue is growing but overall company gross margins are stable at 38 percent, that means their margins on hardware products like iPhone are actually shrinking.

Security Matters

How WindTail And Other Malware Bypass macOS Gatekeeper Settings, by Philip Stokes, Security Boulevard

Relatively speaking, Gatekeeper does indeed make downloading apps from the internet safer than not having Gatekeeper at all. Likewise, Developer IDs do indeed allow some malware to be blocked. But that is not at all the same as blocking all, or even most, malware.

Most importantly, however, note that this message does not say that Gatekeeper blocks apps that are not signed, and nor does it say that Gatekeeper’s settings ensure only apps downloaded from the App Store or signed with a Developer ID can run on the Mac. Those claims, though widely believed, are not in fact made by Apple anywhere, and for good reason: they would in fact be false.


Apple Launches Chinese New Year Gift Guide Including ‘New Year Special Edition’ Beats Solo3, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple has released a new pair of Beats Solo3 wireless headphones in commemoration of the new year. These headphones come in “silver wing grey” and are touted as “New Year Special Edition” and seem to be exclusive to China.

Apple's Back To School Promotion Offers Beats To Students In Australia, Brazil, New Zealand And South Korea, by AppleInsider

Like last year's U.S. promotion, Apple's international back to school program offers a pair of Beats headphones with eligible Mac or iPad Pro purchases made through the company's regional education stores.

Procrastinate? iPhone Apps And Tips For Procrastination, by Matthew Byrd, The App Factor

Smartphones are capable of many, many things, but it just so happens that one of those things is instilling a strong desire to procrastinate. While some people are better at managing that desire, there are still just too many distractions on most iPhones. It’s hard to resist the urge to procrastinate and get back to work.

Thankfully, your iPhone doesn’t have to be your enemy. With the right apps by your side, it’s possible for your device to actually help you stop procrastinating. It’s not always easy, but the good news is that these apps and tips will make it significantly easier. At worse, they’re just useful to have around.

Smartphone Apps To Diagnose Depression Based On Activity, by

The idea has sparked a race to develop apps that warn of impending mental health crises. Call it smartphone psychiatry or child psychology 2.0. Studies have linked heavy smartphone use with worsening teen mental health. But as teens scroll through Instagram and Snapchat, tap out texts or watch YouTube videos, they also leave digital footprints that might offer clues to their psychological wellbeing.

Changes in typing speed, voice tone, word choice and how often kids stay home could signal trouble, according to preliminary studies.

Relieve RSI Pain With This Armrest Mouse Pad, by Josh Centers, TidBITS

The soft, black mouse pad gel material on both ends makes the armrest more comfortable than a DIY solution would likely be. I’ve also been pleased with the included wrist rest, which has just the right amount of give and a nice, smooth texture.

Evernote's New CEO Says The App Sucks But He Can Fix It, by Anthony Caruana, Gizmodo

Evernote was, for a long time, a great app for capturing notes, saving images and clipping webpages. For students, researchers, writers and others focussed on the capture of random bits of information, it was the leader in pulling tougher disparate bits of information. But somewhere along the line, the company lost focus and the releases on different platforms started to diverge. The Windows version became less feature rich than the Mac version, a touch version for newer Windows devices came and went, the mobile versions became pared down versions rather than mobile views of the full app and users reported lots of syncing issues. The company's new CEO acknowledges that things aren't going well and vows to address the issues.


Age Against The Machine: The Secret To Enjoying A Long Life, by Stephen Moss, The Guardian

The conclusion Honoré came to, after three years of research and an examination of the way older people are treated around the world, was that it was in many ways a golden age for “the old” (a term he would never use): there were more of them, they were healthier, more active and many were better off than in previous generations. They could no longer be ignored or marginalised. But, in his view, that is just a beginning. “It can be so much better,” he says, “if we move a lot of goalposts and change the way everything from healthcare to politics to the business world to education is organised.” He argues that the idea of being educated between the ages of five and 21, working for 40 years and then retiring on a pension at 60 is completely out of date, imagining a much more fluid way of life where we dip in and out of education and the job market and never formally “retire”.


On Netflix Pulling Out Of iTunes Billing For New Users, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

If Apple wants to insist on a cut of in-app purchased subscription revenue, that’s their prerogative. What gets me, though, are the rules that prevent apps that eschew in-app purchases from telling users in plain language how to actually pay.

The One Dumb Feature I Wish Apple And Google Would Add To Their Phones, by Mark Wilson, Fast Company

What would dumbphone mode do? Simple. It would turn your smartphone into a device for calls and texts. That’s it. Other apps would simply disappear from your screen so as not to tempt you to tap. And all that spyable data lurking deep in the OS–like GPS tracking–would be deactivated. As a result, you’d get the full dumphone experience without carrying another phone around.

Apple Pulls iPhone 7 And iPhone 8 Models From Sale In Germany Amid Legal Battle With Qualcomm, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Those four iPhone models are no longer available to order via in Germany and they have also been pulled from sale at all 15 of Apple's retail stores in the country until further notice. The latest iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR models are not impacted by the verdict and remain available.

Apple Told To Pull iPhones From Germany, by BBC

The two companies disagree on whether the injunction also covers the sale of iPhones in mobile phone operator shops and other third party retailers.

The iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR models will still be available at Apple stores in the country.

Bottom of the Page

I think it is okay for Apple that the iPhone is no longer viewed as a luxury status symbol in China. Apple does not know how to do a luxury product. (Witness the first Apple Watch Edition.) Hopefully, Apple should now have a better idea how much each of the iPhone's feature are valued by customers, and be better informed what phone it should be making.


If you think selling the same iPhone around the world is difficult, trying selling the same services around the world.


Thanks for reading.

The Lower-than-Original Edition Thursday, January 3, 2019

Letter From Tim Cook To Apple Investors, by Apple

Based on these estimates, our revenue will be lower than our original guidance for the quarter, with other items remaining broadly in line with our guidance.


Lower than anticipated iPhone revenue, primarily in Greater China, accounts for all of our revenue shortfall to our guidance and for much more than our entire year-over-year revenue decline. [...] While macroeconomic challenges in some markets were a key contributor to this trend, we believe there are other factors broadly impacting our iPhone performance, including consumers adapting to a world with fewer carrier subsidies, US dollar strength-related price increases, and some customers taking advantage of significantly reduced pricing for iPhone battery replacements.

Here's Tim Cook's Memo To Employees About iPhone Sales Slowdown, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

In a memo obtained by Bloomberg News, Cook expressed his disappointment after Apple cut its revenue outlook for the first time in almost two decades. That arose from “a number of factors — some macroeconomic, and some specific to Apple and the smartphone industry.” But the CEO added that the company would set record revenues for its services, wearables and Mac businesses.

Apple Lowers Guidance On Q1 Results, Cites China Trade Tensions, by Brian Heater, TechCrunch

“While China may have played a big role in the revenue miss the reality is nearly all smartphone markets are seeing a lengthening in replacement cycles and we should expect this to be the new normal,” Ben Bajarin of Creative Strategies, tells TechCrunch. “While price is what is being mentioned, I believe there would have still been softer iPhone sales even if prices were not raised due to consumers being content with their current phones and not as interested in the premium features coming out in the latest models.”


Analyst Patrick Moorhead says the downturn is neither unexpected, nor a reason for investors to panic. “The company is growing its services and ‘other’ categories, just not enough to drive overall revenue growth,” he told TechCrunch. “I am not concerned for the company, but it’s likely investors will not see the company value it was at until it can see a likely path to double-digit revenue growth.”

The Big Picture

The Silver Lining In Apple’s Very Bad iPhone News, by Brian Barrett, Wired

An iPhone that lasts longer keeps customers in the iOS ecosystem longer. That becomes even more important as the company places greater emphasis not on hardware, but on services like Apple Music. It also offers an important point of differentiation from Android, whose fragmented ecosystem means even flagship devices rarely get fully supported beyond two years.

“In reality, the big picture is still very good for Apple,” says BayStreet’s Maldonado. Compared with Android, “Apple’s in a better spot, because the phones last longer.”

Steve Jobs And Apple’s Last Previous Earnings Warning, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

What people took away from Cook’s letter and TV appearance today is that the iPhone laid a turd last quarter. Properly delivered, the takeaway should have been that China is crazy but the iPhone is still kicking the shit out of the entire rest of the handset industry and is only pulling further ahead.

The $1,000 Barrier

Sorry That I Took So Long To Upgrade, Apple, by Ron Miller, TechCrunch

So, sorry Apple, but it appears that there is a tipping point when it comes to the cost of a new phone. As essential as these devices have become in our lives, it’s just too hard for many consumers around the world to justify spending more than $1000 for a new phone, and you just have to realize that.

Apple Dramatically Reduces Guidance: What You Need To Know, by Evan Niu, Motley Fool

Apple also strangely says that consumers are still "adapting to a world with fewer carrier subsidies," even as the industry started shifting away from the subsidy model many years ago. Implicitly, that also suggests that iPhone price increases have expectedly hurt demand, while lofty prices ironically exacerbate the problem of slowing upgrade cycles.

On top of all of that, Apple has been forced to raise prices even higher in some international markets due to the U.S. dollar strengthening against local currencies.

Apple Cuts Q1 2019 Earnings Estimates, Blames Everyone But Itself, by Jason Cross, Macworld

If Apple’s excuses are indeed true—that economic forces beyond its control led to unusually low sales—then it is going to have to develop a product line that is more resilient to these factors in the future. That means more new products at a range of prices, including brand new iPhones that start at prices lower than a whopping $749 and new Mac laptops that get back below the $1,000 barrier.

Juice iPhone Sales

Apple's Cook Faces Toughest Test Yet Navigating iPhone Slowdown, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

“It’s a two-fold challenge: they need to prove that this is a blip, not a trend,” Gartenberg said. “We’ll see a lot of efforts from Apple from marketing and PR to show that. For Tim, the other part is: How does Apple juice iPhone sales?”

Gartenberg said Apple may try to highlight its other products and reduce the attention on the iPhone “since the next major model isn’t expected until September. We’ll see Apple try to position the iPhone as more affordable.”

Tim Cook To Investors: People Bought Fewer New iPhones Because They Repaired Their Old Ones, by Jason Koebler, Motherboard

Right to repair advocates have long argued that Apple customers would be able to get a lot more out of their devices if Apple gave them the ability to repair them, but say the company doesn't want to do that because it will hurt its bottom line. Here is evidence that they might be right.

Here We Are

Tim Cook Denies That There's An Apple Boycott In China, by Tal Axelrod, The Hill

“Well, certainly apple has not been targeted by the government so let me take away any kind of doubt of that right up top. There are reports, sort of sporadic reports, about somebody talking about not buying our products because we’re American, maybe a little bit on social media, maybe a guy standing in front of a store or something. My personal sense is that this is small,” Cook said on CNBC.

“Keep in mind that China’s not monolithic. Just like America’s not monolithic. You have people with different views and different ideas. And so do I think anybody elected not to buy because of that? I’m sure some people did. But my sense is the much larger issue is the slowing of the economy and then this -- the trade tension that’s further pressured,” he added.

Is Apple Making China A Scapegoat?, by Virginia Harrison, BBC

"Post iPhone 8, the technology advances begun to plateau thus consumers' incentive to purchase a new iPhone has declined," Taipei-based technology analyst Sam Reynolds said.

He said Apple's surprise revenue warning is "simply a sign of the times for Apple".

Apple’s China Problem, by John Gruber, Daring Fireaball

By Thompson’s logic the iPhone X should have done well in China, because it looked new, and the XS/XR would disappoint in China because they didn’t. And, well, here we are.

Is Already Bad

Five Ways To Look At Apple’s Surprise Bad News, by Alexis C. Madrigal, The Atlantic

And here we are in early 2019 and it’s clear that the Chinese economic slowdown is already bad. Today’s news makes it clear that the slowdown might be very bad, and worsening at a pace that took even Apple by complete surprise.

The other Asian economies are already seeing the damage. And that’s before the trade war tariffs snap into place come March

Apple’s Glum China News Sends Global Stocks Lower, by Carlos Tejada, New York Times

Markets across Asia fell slightly but broadly on Thursday, as investors shed technology stocks in particular following the iPhone maker’s announcement to shareholders on Wednesday that its smartphone sales in China had been disappointing. European markets opened lower as well.

And Now For Something Completely Different

Leave The Phone At Home And Put News On Your Wrist, by Frank Chimero, Nieman Lab

Tiny screens, small snatches of time, clear endpoints, limited engagement, information-dense, and obvious pathways for more context. If the watch can become people’s primary device, it may provide the opportunity to switch the media paradigm from an endless stream to a concentrated dispatch.

New Apple Pencil Sandpapered To Look And Feel Like A Real Pencil, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

A variety of skins are available for customizing the design of the Apple Pencil, but Reddit user Cedric Chase decided to take the do-it-yourself route with some sandpaper, synthetic fabric dye, and paint, transforming his second-generation Apple Pencil into one that closely resembles a No. 2 graphite pencil.

Why Do Film People Care So Much About Frame Rates?, by Mike Pearl, The Outline

But according to YouTuber John Hess, a guru of movie frame rates, 24 frames-per-second is the end-all-be-all of frame rates, and that’s never going to change:

"Maybe I'm just an old fogey clinging onto my nostalgia goggles. Maybe I’m just not hip to what’s it. I used to be, but then they changed what ‘it’ was, and now what’s ‘it’ seems weird and scary to me. It’ll happen to you too. But on the topic of frame rate, I’m not going to be diplomatic. I’m not going to say ‘It’ll be interesting to see!’ or some meaningless cop-out. No, 24 is going to be with us for as long as there exists a cinematic medium.”

Bottom of the Page

Customer behaviors and habits are so different in U.S. and in China, I think, that it will always be difficult to push the same product to the two vastly-different countries.


Thanks for reading.

The No-One-Should-be-Fooled Edition Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Big Tech May Look Troubled, But It’s Just Getting Started, by David Streitfeld, New York Times

Big Tech needs to be regulated, many are beginning to argue, and yet there are worries about giving that power to the government.

“The government doesn’t have a good clue,” said Mr. Bajarin, the consultant. “They’re not even asking the kind of questions that would drive to regulation.”

Which leaves regulation up to the companies themselves, always a dubious proposition.

Corporations Are Finding Their Politically Responsible Side, by Adam Winkler, Los Angeles Times

Big business has earned its credibility on these issues: 91% of Fortune 500 companies have policies against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. (Only 42% of states ban such discrimination.) And many high-profile companies, especially in the technology sector, rely heavily on immigrants and have long advocated for easing restrictions on entry for skilled workers.

No one should be fooled into thinking big business has become suddenly altruistic. CEOs are legally obligated to run corporations in the interest of their shareholders, not the public interest.

And yet the pressures on business to get political are increasing and coming from numerous sources.


Can’t Figure Out How To Type A Character On A Mac? It’s Time For The Virtual Keyboard, by Glenn Fleishman, Macworld

As a long-time Mac user, I once had to rely on Key Caps, an early Mac helper that would show you where special characters hid on a keyboard. Holding down Option and Shift-Option would reveal the secrets of π and ‰ and accent marks.

That feature never disappeared, though it did recede from view, and was renamed Keyboard Viewer. You may rarely need it—except when you’re trying to type a key that your keyboard doesn’t allow or you can’t find.

5 Smart Tips For Making The Most Of The Health App On Your iPhone, by Kwasi Enoch,

It’s not easy staying fit and healthy these days with addicting phones, junk foods and long workdays, to name just a few things. To succeed in being healthy always, it takes work, commitment, and an understanding of your mind and body — and your iPhone can help you with some of that.

The “Health” app can help with everything else, it’s full of useful health and fitness-tracking features to make sure you can stick to goals and be as healthy as you can be, whether you want to lose a little weight, stop snacking, destress your life, get better sleep, improve your overall physical fitness, or take care of your heart.

6 Essential Apps To Help You Get The Most Out Of The Gym, by Jon Knight, Gadget Hacks

The gym can be pretty distracting. With the slamming of weights and pieces of equipment, loud music blasting through the speakers, and plain old grunting, it can be challenging to focus on your workout. However, with your just your phone, you can not only eliminate these distractions but make the most of your time there.

Using just six apps, you can maximize your time at the gym so very little of it is wasted. No more standing around wondering what to do or being distracted by the commotion around you — these apps will guide you on the way to a better, healthier you. All apps listed here work for both Android and iPhone, so avid gym-goers and newbies alike have no excuse not to try them out.

Best Apps To Tackle Your New Year's Resolutions, by Ian Fuchs, Cult of Mac

Whatever your goal is for the new year, there’s probably an app to help. These are some of the best apps to help you on your journey to a better you in 2019.


How To Crush Your Habits In The New Year With The Help Of Science, by Susan Shain, New York Times

While Mr. Duhigg said cues usually fall into one of five categories — time, location, people, emotion or ritual — rewards are more difficult to ascertain. Do you always get an afternoon snack because you’re hungry? Because you’re bored? Or is it because you’re starved for office gossip? To determine an effective replacement habit, it’s vital to understand what reward you crave.

“Any habit can be diagnosed and shifted,” Mr. Duhigg said. “You need to give yourself time to really figure out the cues and rewards that are driving that behavior — and oftentimes the only way … is through a process of experimentation.”

How I Approach My New Year Goals, by Shawn Blanc

I do not overhaul my life on January first. Instead, I pick a few things that I know I can stick with. The compounding impact of small routines done regularly is so much more powerful than that one giant event.

Bottom of the Page

We don't need more apps on macOS (and Windows, for that matter) that are single-window apps. But we do need better windows management at the operating system level.

Single-window apps are not better. Just like Simple Finder is not a better Finder, and Photos is not a better Aperture.


Thanks for reading.

The A-Lot-for-any-Individual Edition Tuesday, January 1, 2019

The Old Guard Of Mac Indy Apps Has Thrived For More Than 25 Years, by Glenn Fleishman, Macworld

The longevity of indie apps is more extraordinary when you consider the changes Apple put the Mac through from the early 1990s to 2018. Apple switched from Motorola 680x0 processors to PowerPC to Intel chips, from 32-bit to 64-bit code, and among supported coding languages. It revved System 7 to 8 to 9, then to Unix across now 15 major releases (from 10.0 to 10.14). That’s a lot for any individual programmer or small company to cope with.

Bare Bones’s head honcho, Rich Siegel, and the developers behind three other long-running Mac software programs shared with me their insight on development histories for over 25 years, what’s changed the most during that time, and any hidden treasures users haven’t yet found.

Big Tech Is Here To Help You Fight Excessive Phone Use—Kinda, by Arielle Pardes, Wired

But don't be deceived. While it looks like the revolution is won, this is just the beginning of a war to colonize your phone screen. Google, Apple, and Facebook seem like they've handed over the keys to unshackle us from our attention-splintering devices, but in doing so, they've accomplished something more significant. Tech companies have co-opted the movement, turning "digital wellness" into a Goopified trend that functions as marketing.


"Time Well Spent was never about giving users features to set time limits on their phones, it was about changing the game from which companies compete," says Harris. "The problem is that everyone misunderstood what 'time well spent' was about by anchoring on the word 'time.' As if lost time was the biggest harm coming from technology. The original TED talk makes clear that the root problem is the race-to-the-bottom of the brain stem to manipulate human nature—hijack our minds—because of the business model to capture people’s time."

Your 2019 Resolution Should Be To Better Understand The Tech You Use, by Shubham Agarwal, Technology Personalized

The bottom line is you shouldn’t rely on Tim Cook or any other executive. For, it’s your own data and you are the only one who should decide how it’s being consumed or distributed.

Therefore, it’s more crucial than ever that you understand the tech you use every minute of your life. Start consuming technology in a way you think is appropriate. Years ago, if you were not familiar with the nuances of technology, at best, you wouldn’t be able to reboot your computer. Today, you can end up compromising your personal information.

The Journey Continues: Apple Watch, Positivity, And Improving Mental Health, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

For me, I’m finding that the Apple Watch is still a useful partner along this new leg of my journey. My head is most clear when I give myself time to focus my mind, and that time is most available when I’m exercising my body. I’m more likely to show up to exercise if I’m well rested and not oversleeping.

And I’m continuing to strive to invest more time in family and friends through travel when I have the opportunity and regular FaceTime calls when I don’t. And when I’m with the people I love and who love me, the Apple Watch can keep me connected and tell me if the rest of the world needs me right now (even if I have to remind myself of that feature regularly).


How To Set Up Your iPad To Be The Best Laptop Replacement It Can Be, by David Nield, Gizmodo

Apple wants you to use your iPad or your iPad Pro like a proper computer: But how do you go about doing that? And does it actually work? Here are the apps, software tweaks, and accessories you need to turn your Apple tablet into a makeshift laptop—and some of the annoyances you’re still going to come across.

Better Together: Why Apple Watch Owners Should Buy AirPods, by Vadim Yuryev, AppleInsider

What really makes the Apple Watch great is that you have complete control over your music or phone calls right on your wrist. But since the Apple Watch can't play music through its own speakers, you're going to need a pair of wireless earphones. If this is a problem, look no further than Apple's own AirPods for a solution.


Apple’s “Color Flood”: Like Picasso Said, by Ken Segall

Like any sighted person, I did get that the ad was about color. I just wasn’t sure if it was about display quality or the color of the phone itself.

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Welcome to 2019: We will finally find out the name that comes after X. I'm pretty sure it will not be the iPhone XI. Does not work in China.

Welcome to 2019: We will finally find out what Apple really means by a modular Mac. The new MacBook Air looks like the old MacBook Air. The new Mac Mini looks like the old Mac Mini. So will the new Mac Pro look like the trash-can Mac Pro or the cheese-grater Mac Pro?

Welcome to 2019: We will finally get the successors of Carpool Karaoke and Planet of the Apps. Will there be nudity? Will there be gore? Or will this really be the new Disney?

Welcome to 2019: Will Apple ever utter the following words? iPad Mini 5, iPhone SE, and AirPower?


The two of the oldest third-party programs -- I mean, apps -- that I am still using regularly on my mac are BBedit and Transmit.


Thanks for reading.