The Useful-for-Listening Edition Thursday, April 4, 2019

Beats $249 Powerbeats Pro Boast "Hey Siri" Support, Shipping In May, by Malcolm Owen, AppleInsider

Beats has launched its Powerbeats Pro wireless earphones, the brand's first foray into completely wire-free earphones that offers the same benefits of Apple's AirPods but in a design that is more useful for listening while working out or playing sports.

I Fell In Love With AirPods, Then They Fell Down The Drain, by Daniel Van Boom, CNET

I know what you're thinking, and yes, I am willing to risk an ear infection by using a gummed-up, drainpipe AirPod. Nothing a damp paper towel can't fix. I was reunited with my AirPod after nearly 12 hours apart. Best Friday night of my life.

Apple Cuts Price Of HomePod Worldwide, Now $299 At The US Apple Store, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

This price cut represents a roughly 15% drop and seemingly applies to every region, not just the US.


Pro Or No? How The High-end 2019 iMac Measures Up, by Jason Snell, Macworld

What this all suggests is that the iMac Pro is exactly what Apple says it is—a high-end iMac with a whole bunch of special high-end features that’s most appropriate for people who use high-end professional apps that have been optimized for Apple’s professional Mac architecture. If that sounds like you, congratulations—you’re ready to take the leap across the iMac Pro gap. [...]

But if you’re not one of those people, if you don’t need all the added niceties and the extreme performance in pro apps, there’s good news. You can configure a 5K iMac with Intel’s latest and greatest ninth-generation Intel Core processors, a bunch of SSD storage, and a load of RAM, and have an iMac that matches or beats the iMac Pro on most tests… and walk away with $1,500 in your pocket.

Apple News From A Canadian Perspective, by Josh Ginter, The Sweet Setup

I’ve quickly learned what we Canadians (and the majority of the rest of the world, for that matter) have been missing over the last years — Apple News is one of the best additions to my news-reading workflows in a long, long time. Attention could be given to the reading layouts and designs of some publications, not to mention the horrid inability to properly share and save articles for later, but the current Apple News product feels like a major step in the right direction for those searching for wide-ranging, high-quality journalism.

How To Use Apple's Accessibility Features To Set Up An iPad For The Elderly Or Disabled, by William Gallagher, AppleInsider

Apple ships its iPads with very many ways to help make them usable for everyone, but there are certain features that are especially useful for older people who may not be familiar with technology, or have disabilities to consider.

Google Duplex Rolling Out To non-Pixel, iOS Devices In The US, by Damien Wilde, 9to5Google

Saying something along the lines of “Book a table for four people at [restaurant name] tomorrow night” triggers the Assistant to make the call using Duplex and notify you of the successful reservation.


Bad UI: MacOS 10.14’s Software Update Release Notes, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

Worse, the text can’t be selected, so you can’t even copy and paste it into TextEdit or some other app to read it comfortably. They even have URLs at the bottom of the note, pointing to support pages on which contain even more details about the update — but the URLs aren’t clickable. Can’t copy them, can’t click them — the only way to actually open these URLs is to retype them manually.

Apple’s $9.7 Million Traffic-relief Offer Doesn’t Cut It With Cupertino , by Thy Vo, San Jose Mercury News

Although Apple is offering to spend $9.7 million for five bike and pedestrian improvement projects in Cupertino, the City Council suggested it expects a better traffic-relief proposal before not pursuing an employee head tax on local businesses.

“I have to say, I’m a little disappointed at the funding level,” Vice Mayor Liang Chao said at the council meeting Tuesday night. “When we were considering the tax, the city would have gotten $10 million in ongoing income,” Chao added.