The Wearables-Ecosystem Edition Tuesday, February 12, 2019

AirPods Have Gone Viral, by Neil Cybart, Above Avalon

AirPods demonstrate Apple’s significant lead when it comes to developing a wearables ecosystem and possessing a design / fashion acumen that other companies lack.

It won’t be enough for a company to just sell a smartwatch or a pair of wireless headphones. Instead, the key to mastering wearables will be to offer an ecosystem of devices that work seamlessly together. This dynamic will require companies to have an expertise in combining hardware, software, and services, something Apple has been focused on for decades.

Veterans Can View Health Records On Their iPhones Starting This Summer, byPaul Sisson, San Diego Union-Tribune

Starting this summer, veterans will be able to direct their iPhones to automatically populate with information on allergies, health conditions, immunizations, lab results, medications, procedures and vital signs. Those are the same seven data types already available to a growing number of patients who get their care from certain health institutions that have already signed up with the program. In San Diego County, the two main participants are UC San Diego Health and Scripps Health.

Kevin Lynch, Apple’s vice president of technology, said in a telephone interview Monday that the VA has adopted Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources, the same communications protocol that Apple has used to enable encrypted health records synchronization with other private and public health systems and individual doctors offices.

Security Matters

Hackers Keep Trying To Get Malicious Windows File Onto MacOS, by Dan Goodin, Ars Technica

Researchers from antivirus provider Trend Micro made that discovery after analyzing an app available on a Torrent site that promised to install Little Snitch, a firewall application for macOS.


By default, EXE files won’t run on a Mac. The booby-trapped Little Snitch installer worked around this limitation by bundling the EXE file with a free framework known as Mono. Mono allows Windows executables to run on MacOS, Android, and a variety of other operating systems.

Larger Stores

Multiplying Apple's Store Count Isn't The Sweet Solution To Customer Experience Many Hope For, by Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac

“We are now opening fewer, larger stores so that you can get the full experience of everything that’s Apple,” Angela Ahrendts said just last month in an interview with Vogue Business. Betting against official company language is rarely productive, even when the person that spoke it will soon be succeeded.


Assuming the company’s global store number will hover just above 500 for the foreseeable future, we should encourage Apple to apply razor-sharp focus to the strained support and service offered at existing locations rather than stretch already exhausted resources. Outside of stores, enhancements to the Apple Support app and improved software ease of use can reduce the support burden across the board.

Apple Reportedly 'Furious' After Stockholm Rejects Plan For Flagship Store, by The Local SE

Swedish property magazine Fastighetsvärlden reports that the city's decision left Apple "furious".

"Yes, that's true," Björn Ljung, a Liberal councillor on Stockholm City Council's urban planning committee, told the magazine. "There were definitely no kind words, it was nasty words that I do not want to repeat."

The Other Side of the Glasses

Apple Taps iPhone Executive To Be First Head Of Marketing For AR, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

Apple Inc. assigned a longtime iPhone executive as its first head of marketing for augmented reality, demonstrating the importance of the technology to the company’s future.


The decision by Apple to name its first head of product marketing for AR underscores the technology’s importance to the company’s quest for major new products.

AR Will Spark The Next Big Tech Platform—Call It Mirrorworld, by Kevin Kelly, Wired

Every December, Adam Savage—star of the TV show MythBusters—releases a video reviewing his “favorite things” from the previous year. In 2018, one of his highlights was a set of Magic Leap augmented reality goggles. After duly noting the hype and backlash that have dogged the product, Savage describes an epiphany he had while trying on the headset at home, upstairs in his office. “I turned it on and I could hear a whale,” he says, “but I couldn’t see it. I’m looking around my office for it. And then it swims by my windows—on the outside of my building! So the glasses scanned my room and it knew that my windows were portals and it rendered the whale as if it were swimming down my street. I actually got choked up.” What Savage encountered on the other side of the glasses was a glimpse of the mirrorworld.

The mirrorworld doesn’t yet fully exist, but it is coming. Someday soon, every place and thing in the real world—every street, lamppost, building, and room—will have its full-size digital twin in the mirrorworld. For now, only tiny patches of the mirrorworld are visible through AR headsets. Piece by piece, these virtual fragments are being stitched together to form a shared, persistent place that will parallel the real world. The author Jorge Luis Borges imagined a map exactly the same size as the territory it represented. “In time,” Borges wrote, “the Cartographers Guilds struck a Map of the Empire whose size was that of the Empire, and which coincided point for point with it.” We are now building such a 1:1 map of almost unimaginable scope, and this world will become the next great digital platform.


I've Been Living With The Google Home Max And Apple's HomePod Side By Side For Almost 6 Months, And They Both Have One Major Problem, by Avery Hartmans, Business Insider

I have been a proponent of smart speakers for a while now. I've never been overly concerned about them listening to me, or spying on me, or recording my conversations and sending them to people in my contacts. Those fears are valid, but they're not my fears.

Lately, though, I've been growing more concerned.

Both the HomePod and the Google Home Max have been randomly speaking — or lighting up and listening in without being prompted — several times a week. Both devices will listen in when anything is said that remotely resembles their wake words, or they'll just jump in on conversations, uninvited.

2018 MacBook Air Review: Getting The Band Back Together, by Stephen Hackett, 512 Pixels

With the 2018 MacBook Air, Apple has attempted do bring back a classic design, updating it for the modern era. For the most part, it works. The tapered design still looks great, and while it can’t keep up with the MacBook Pro, the dual-core CPU doesn’t have to. The second-generation MacBook Air was fast enough for just about everyone, and Apple has managed to maintain that level of performance here as well. Even the stellar battery life reminds me of the old machine.

Everything on paper checks out, but I’m not sure the new MacBook Air feels as special as the old one did.

Heart Analyzer For Apple Watch Adds Live Heart Rate Support, Improved Complications, More, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

With support for live heart rates, Heart Analyzer will now record your heart rate in real-time when you have the app open. This allows you to get detailed information about your heart rate at specific times, and view trends and graphs over time.


A Giant Coalition Of Companies Including Amazon And Apple Urges Congress To Save 'Dreamers', by Yun Li, CNBC

In a letter to lawmakers, the coalition of companies urged the Congress to pass bipartisan legislation that enables more than 700,000 immigrants, known as "Dreamers," to legally work and live in the U.S. The letter ran Monday as a full-page ad in The New York Times.

CEOs who signed the letter include Apple's Tim Cook, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, Amazon's Jeff Bezos, Google's Sundar Pichai and Twitter and Square's Jack Dorsey.

Making An App To Make A Difference? Good Luck, by Tina Rosenberg, New York Times

Financial apps can often figure out a business model; Alice, for example, takes half of the amount of money it saves employers on payroll taxes. But tech companies like JustFix and Good Call are nonprofits that must raise money from philanthropy. “It was an uphill battle for us initially, as traditional philanthropic sources of capital are not used to funding technology,” said Georges Clement, co-founder and president of JustFix. Fund-raising is a constant preoccupation for both companies.

Most venture capitalists won’t look at investing in tech firms that have no chance to bring big returns — 30 times the value of their investment, or more. To choose those companies, they usually look to what’s worked in the past. “Being different is not something venture capitalists are excited by,” Mr. Clement said.

Bottom of the Page

Things me-at-age-20 ddin't realize I will enjoy when I am me-at-age-50:
a) Listening to radio shows.
b) Listening to books-on-tape.
c) Listening to classical music.

I think I smell a trend.


By the way, I haven't reach age 50 yet. I am just rounding up.


Thanks for reading.