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.