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.