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.