The Full-Access Edition Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Apple News Plus: 6 Tips To Use Apple's New Magazine Subscription Service, by Clifford Colby, CNET

It's convenient to be able to manage all my subscriptions in one place instead of linking all my subscriptions from the publications' websites back to the News app.

Here's how you get going and start using Apple News Plus.

Apple News+ Is A Great Deal, But What Does ‘Full Access’ Really Mean?, by Lucas Matney, Techcrunch

The best rundown I’ve seen so far is this newsletter from CNN’s Brian Stelter, which suggests the paper is “trying to have it both ways,” letting News+ users access the full scope of the day’s content through search though much of it won’t organically surface from Apple’s curation and will only be available for a limited time.

PSA: Many Users Reporting Issues Signing Into Google Accounts Through Mail On macOS 10.14.4, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

According to a growing number of complaints on the Apple Support Forums, macOS 10.14.4 breaks the process of authenticating a Gmail account. Essentially, trying to log-in to a Google account puts users through an endless loop, bouncing between macOS and Google’s sign-in page in Safari.

Faster and Louder

Hands-on: Apple AirPods 2 Provide Incremental Improvements To The Best Truly Wireless Headphones For iPhone, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

You definitely notice that the new AirPods connect faster and switch between devices much more quickly than the older generation. You can throw them in your ears and it takes only a beat to change to the Mac when you select the audio source from the menu bar. The switching isn’t instantaneous but rather than 5-8 rotations of the loading spinner in Control Center, now you only get 2 or 3. It makes a big difference.

The lower latency is also noticeable. When I’m bored, I play Crossy Road on my phone, mindlessly swiping the chicken around the cars. When wearing first-gen AirPods, I would always leave Crossy Road on mute as the delay between performing the action and hearing it in my ears was simply too much. The AirPods 2 improve on this substantially such that playing with music and sound effects enabled is now bearable given the reduced sound lag.

Review: Apple's New AirPods Are A First-class Update To An Already Superb Product, by William Gallagher, AppleInsider

AirPods 2 are certainly louder, but it also somehow feels as if these new headphones are working harder. They're bringing us closer to the artist's intention. The sound is fuller, perhaps brighter.

Spending Money

Want Apple Card’s Security Benefits? Just Use Apple Pay, by Lily Hay Newman, Wired

But you don't need to wait until Apple Card comes out this summer to experience its touted security features. All you need to do is use Apple Pay and whatever credit card you already own.

Apple Redesigned The Credit Card. Can It Redesign Debt?, by Mark Wilson, Fast Company

But can Apple’s UX and service design really change the way people use their credit cards? To answer this question, I talked to David Gal, professor of marketing at the University of Illinois at Chicago and expert on behavior economics. (I also spoke to a credit industry insider, on the condition of anonymity.) According to Gal, the Apple Card has some positive ideas and some potentially lousy ones. But in the end, it probably won’t make a dramatic difference in the way any of us spends money. Here’s why even Apple probably can’t revolutionize this product genre.


Shortcuts 2.2 Brings New Apple Notes Actions, Travel Time Enhancements, by Federico Viticci, MacStories

The new version of Shortcuts, which has been available to developers for testing via TestFlight for several weeks now, brings a variety of smaller refinements and bug fixes; more importantly, it extends Shortcuts' integration with one of Apple's most popular built-in apps: Notes. Additionally, Shortcuts 2.2 builds upon the existing 'Get Travel Time' action (based on the Apple Maps framework) with new Magic Variables well suited for shortcuts that integrate with Siri.

Drafts For Mac: The MacStories Review, by Rosemary Orchard, MacStories

One of the reasons why Drafts has become such a popular application is because of the automation possibilities built into it. Drafts for Mac is not yet as capable as its iOS counterpart in this area – but it is no slouch either.


While We Were Looking At Hollywood, Apple Put Swift 5 Into Xcode, by Jonny Evans, Computerworld

Source-compatible with Swift 4 or later, Swift 5’s flagship feature is the introduction of ABI stability, which means the Swift runtime is now included in macOS, iOS, tvOS, and watchOS. Apple says when you upload apps for sale at the App Store, it “thins the Swift runtime from your apps for faster downloads to devices running the latest OS.”

Apple Arcade Has Game Developers Excited, But Questions Remain, by Andrew Webster, The Verge

One of the concerns for developers is that subscriptions could eliminate a large percentage of paid game sales, though there isn’t much historical precedence to determine whether this will happen. But it’s also a problem that could be alleviated by the design of the App Store itself; during Apple’s onstage demo, Arcade had its own tab in the store alongside Today, apps, games, and search. “This means that there is a chance that Apple Arcade may become another source of revenue for game developers, as opposed to replacing the existing ecosystem,” explains Adriaan de Jongh, co-creator of Hidden Folks.

NetNewsWire On Mac App Store Or Not?, by Brent Simmons, Inessential

This is such a difficult case because I have no real idea how many more users the app would get by being on the app store.

And I don’t really know how much time it will take to do the extra work, and I don’t know that the reviews would be as bad as they often are for free apps.


'Company Man': Apple's Peter Stern Is The No-nonsense Former Cable TV Exec Leading Apple's Subscription Services, by Max Willens, Digiday

But Stern’s familiarity with TV companies – and lack of familiarity with the digital publishing business – had little effect on his negotiating tactics, sources said. “[Stern] is going into this with a very specific mandate,” said Gautam Mishra, the CEO of Inkl, a premium news subscription service who’s discussed Apple News+ with Stern.

“He’s not trying to solve the long-term problems facing journalism. His view on this is that Apple has a firm view of how it wants to do things and what’s in the best interest of its customers,” Mishra added. “That takes primacy over things like sustainability, cannibalization.”

Europe Adopts Tough New Online Copyright Rules Over Tech Industry Protests, by Adam Satariano, New York Times

The new law is meant to force tech firms to be aggressive about removing unlicensed copyrighted material from their websites rather than waiting for complaints to come in before acting.

Bottom of the Page

Apple's Continuity feature that works across different devices and operating system is nice. But when I was switching between different devices while watching the video of the Apple Event last night, I had to memorise the video position and do some manual fast-forwarding whenever I switch.

Yes, this is a first-world problem. But, just a reminder to Apple: there are still more work to do with Continuity.


Neither Apple News nor Apple News Plus are available in my part of the world. Does Apple has a problem hiring editors and curators?


Thanks for reading.