The Unforgiving-Landscape-of-Productivity Edition Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Apple Drops $99 Data Migration Fee For New Macs And Repairs, by Adam Engst, TidBITS

Apple has dropped the $99 fee that it previously charged for migrating data from an old Mac to a newly purchased machine. TidBITS reader and TekBasics consultant David Price wrote to tell us that he has generally advised clients to pay Apple to migrate data to newly purchased Macs, but when he accompanied his brother-in-law to pick up a freshly migrated iMac last week, Apple informed him that there was no charge for the service.

AirPods Might Not Like Busy City Streets, by Luke Dormehl, Cult of Mac

Some users on Twitter have been observing that their AirPods can be prone to cutting in and out, or occasionally producing static sounds. The reason? Bluetooth interference. This can come from having the signal blocked by physical barriers. It could also be due to using a frequency that’s too overcrowded.

Busy Doing Nothing, by Megan Marz, The Baffler

Like diet books, published and read in a steady stream despite—or thanks to—their near-total ineffectuality, manuals like Digital Minimalism (2019) and How to Break Up with Your Phone (2018) seem destined to appear year after year. Readers seek reprieve. They find individualized solutions ill-suited to breaking the habits that big technology companies have built into systems. It’s a recipe for recidivism.

But what’s the alternative? Artist and writer Jenny Odell suggests: nothing. Her new book, How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy, looks at first glance like another contribution to the literature of digital detox. But Odell deliberately positions herself against this tradition. “All too often, things like digital detox retreats are marketed as a kind of ‘life hack’ for increasing productivity,” she writes. The result is a loop, in which a step away from your devices doubles as a step toward using them more efficiently, often for the ultimate benefit of bosses and shareholders. For Odell, “doing nothing” means breaking this cycle by resisting both the social media-driven “attention economy” and the “unforgiving landscape of productivity.”


Apple Promotes Apple Watch Customization With New ‘More Powerful, More Colorful’ Video, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

In a new video shared to YouTube today, Apple touts that the Apple Watch Series 4 is “more powerful and more colorful.” The video comes in at 15 seconds long and quickly runs through various Apple Watch bands and casing options.

Apple Kicking Off New Apple Watch Fitness Challenge On Earth Day, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple's next Activity Challenge for Apple Watch owners will take place on Earth Day, which falls on Monday, April 22. Apple Watch users will be able to earn the Earth Day 2019 badge by doing any workout for 30 minutes or more.

Hands On: Pixelmator Photo Is King Of The iPad Photo Editing Apps, by Andrew O'Hara, AppleInsider

We love the layout, the abilities, and the amazing performance for such a low price. Editing on our tablet is much more convenient than always sitting down at our computer. In iOS 12, Apple really improved the camera import flow which makes getting photos from your shooter to your tablet all the easier.

Review: Logitech's Slim Folio Pro Offers A Lower-Cost Alternative To Apple's Smart Keyboard Folio For iPad Pro, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

The Logitech Slim Folio Pro is a more affordable alternative to the Smart Keyboard Folio that for most people, is going to provide a better typing experience because the keys aren't as thin and flat.

The keyboard itself is excellent, but because this is a folio case, it has the major downside of being bulky.


How To Get Bugs Fixed By Apple - Code. Cook. Read., by Greg Scown, Code Cook Read

Filing good bugs is time-consuming, as is making good, reproducible, reductive cases. Do that, then don’t forget about the follow-up. Don’t just throw it over the wall and think it will magically get the attention you expect it deserves. Advocate for your bug, and you’ll increase the odds it gets fixed.

The Efficiency Delusion, by Evan Selinger, Medium

Different coders often told me the same story from school, a moment when the efficiency lightbulb went off. As kids, they’d be in math class, hating to have to show all their work. It was always some boring question they knew the answer to at a glance but were forced to write up in multiple steps. So, they all were like, “Let me just write a solver,” in whatever language they were using. They’d type in the equation and, boom, a machine outputs all the different steps without them having to do all of the work.

After this success, a realization set in: “Wow, my life is filled with dull, repetitive tasks. And I now know how to instruct a machine to do boring chores. So, I should hand them over.” A kind of thrill in optimizing is born.

The Case For Crying At Work, by Sarah Todd, Quartz

What managers should do is signal that it’s okay to be emotional. “That actually helps dissipate the emotion,” Davey notes. “Take a moment to say, ‘I need to understand this and how you’re experiencing this,’ showing curiosity, and where possible saying, ‘I’m so glad you shared that with me’ or ‘I didn’t realize that.’” This makes the other person feel heard, which is what most of us want, at work or anywhere else.

Once you’ve given the other person the opportunity to explain the problem as they see it, Davey says, it’s time to start leading the conversation toward constructive next steps. She recommends asking, “Where do we go from here?” or “How do we make it better?”


Next Major macOS Version Will Include Standalone Music, Podcasts, And TV Apps, Books App Gets Major Redesign, by Guilherme Rambo, 9to5Mac

Fellow developer Steve Troughton-Smith recently expressed confidence about some evidence found indicating that Apple is working on new Music, Podcasts, and perhaps Books apps for macOS, to join the new TV app.

I’ve been able to independently confirm that this is true. On top of that, I’ve been able to confirm with sources familiar with the development of the next major version of macOS – likely 10.15 – that the system will include standalone Music, Podcasts, and TV apps, but it will also include a major redesign of the Books app. We also got an exclusive look at the icons for the new Podcasts and TV apps on macOS.

Apple To Unlock iPhone NFC To Read Secure Data From Passports, by NFC World

Apple will expand the iPhone’s NFC chip reading capabilities before the end of 2019 so that it can be used to read data stored in security chips like those used in passports, according to comments made by the UK government.

The UK Home Office has been in talks with Apple to extend the capability of the NFC chip to reading passports so that a smartphone app used to verify the identity of EU citizens applying to continue to live in the UK after it leaves the EU can be used on iPhones.

Bottom of the Page

If I recall correctly, most of the old iPods does support FairPlay as well as media rentals. Which means that Apple can still somehow update iPod firmware to support the new landscape of Apple Music and Apple TV+?

Of course, even if Apple can, it will not. After all, how many of us will not subscribe to Apple's services if our iPods are not supported?


Will the rumored new iPod Touch be an Apple Service machine?


Thanks for reading.