The Watch-Now Edition Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Apple’s Vision For The Future Of TV Is Starting To Take Shape — Here’s Everything That’s New In Its Revamped TV App Launching Today, by Lisa Eadicicco, Business Insider

The Watch Now section has a new card-style interface that pulls up a page with artwork and additional details when clicking on individual shows. You can also swipe to cycle between titles in this mode without having to exit to the main interface.

Apple is also injecting more personalization into the Watch Now tab. Titles listed in the What to Watch row, for example, will be ranked based on your tastes. Apple uses a mix of human and algorithmic curation to tailor content appropriately.

Apple Releases iOS 12.3 With New TV App And Channels Feature, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple added a new "Channels" feature in the TV app, which is a major component of the company's new services push. Channels are subscription services that you can sign up for and watch within the TV app without having to open up another app, and when you use them, Apple gets a cut of the subscription revenue.

You Can Now Finally Watch ‘Game Of Thrones’ Without An Internet Connection — But Only If You Subscribe To HBO Through Apple, by Lisa Eadicicco, Business Insider

In a release announcing the launch, Apple called its app "the first and only place" where HBO subscribers would be able to download shows like "Game of Thrones."


Apple Announces Support For Apple Pay NFC Stickers, Partners With Bird Scooters And More, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

Apple’s VP of Apple Pay Jennifer Bailey today announced a new NFC feature for iPhone: special tags that trigger Apple Pay purchases when tapped, without the need to download a special app first. The company is partnering with Bird scooters, Bonobos clothing store, and PayByPhone parking meters for the initial rollout.

Apple also announced that inside the Wallet app, users will soon be able to sign up for loyalty cards in one tap, presumably presented to users as recommendations when they make eligible purchases.

Apple Pay Will Let You Rent A Bird Scooter Without Downloading The App, by Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge

Finding and renting a Bird scooter today isn’t particularly difficult, so the fact that Apple and Bird see this as an opportunity to make a relatively frictionless experience even more frictionless (frictionless-ier?) is interesting. Right now, you download the Bird app, find the closest scooter on the map, scan the QR code, and away you go. This new function would eliminate all of those steps and allow you to just tap your phone against the e-scooter to initiate the transaction and start your ride.

Only From The App Store

Supreme Court Rules Against Apple, Allowing Lawsuit Targeting App Store To Proceed, by Tony Romm, Washington Post

The 5-4 decision allows device owners to proceed with a case that alleges Apple has acted as a monopoly by requiring device owners to download apps only from its portal while taking a cut of some sales made through the store.

The ruling could have serious repercussions for one of Apple’s most lucrative lines of business, and open the door for similar legal action targeting other tech giants in Silicon Valley. But the court’s opinion -- led by conservative Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh, who joined its liberal justices in the majority -- did not rule on the merits of the lawsuit itself.

Apple Failed To Close Off A Big Antitrust Threat, But It Probably Won't Feel The Harm For Years, by Kif Leswing, CNBC

“Today’s decision means plaintiffs can proceed with their case in District court. We’re confident we will prevail when the facts are presented and that the App Store is not a monopoly by any metric,” Apple said in a statement.


Apple Support App Now Lets You Chat With An Expert In Messages, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple says that this feature is limited to the United States and is available for select topics only.

Apple's New Warren Buffett Game Pulled From App Store Outside Of United States, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Just one week after Apple surprised us all with its first iPhone game since 2008, starring billionaire investor Warren Buffett, the game has been pulled from the App Store outside of the United States.

The Statue Of Liberty Gets An AR App To Celebrate Its New Museum, by Brian Heater, TechCrunch

This week, the new $100 million Statue of Liberty Museum opens in the shadow of one of America’s most iconic landmarks. The 26,000 square foot space offers insights into the statue’s storied history, along with context for that majority of visitors who ultimately can’t make it inside the structure.

For those who can’t don’t make it to Liberty Island at all, meanwhile, there’s the brand new Statue of Liberty app, which hits the iOS App Store today. Led by fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg, the Yap Studios-developed app offers myriad methods for bringing New York Harbor’s landmark to life.

Snapthread 2.0 Adds A Refined UI, An Improved iPad Experience, And New Tools, by John Voorhees, MacStories

With version 2.0, which is out today, Hansmeyer has refined the existing user experience, added useful new functionality without complicating the app, and leveraged the iPad to create a more versatile video creation tool that works equally well for quickly sharing your creations on social networks as it does with small groups of friends and family.

6 To-do List Apps For IOS And Android That Seriously Boost Your Productivity, by Brittany Vincent, Mic

To-do lists can be an integral part of being more productive and getting things done on your terms. But it can be frustrating to carry around a notepad and pen, especially when you're on the go trying to cross off items on the list in the first place. Thankfully, there's a veritable smorgasbord of options when it comes to digital to-do list apps.

Adobe Updates Lightroom Apps For Mac And iOS With New Tutorials, Texture Tool And More, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Starting today in all versions of Lightroom, there are updated collaboration features for inviting others to add photos to your album. You can also share a link that will let people request access to an album.

Also new to all versions of Lightroom is a Texture tool that will accentuate or smooth medium-sized details like skin, bark, and hair. It's able to smooth skin without affecting pore details or accentuate hair without increasing the presence of noise because it's specifically designed for medium-sized details.

Adobe Sends Out First Beta Invites For Photoshop CC For iPad, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

Adobe is now accepting applications to a beta version of its forthcoming Photoshop CC for iPad app, due to be released later this year.

Adobe Warning Of Legal Problems If Subscribers Keep Using Old Versions Of Creative Cloud Apps, by William Gallagher, AppleInsider

Users of older versions of Creative Cloud apps, including Photoshop, Premiere Pro and Lightroom Classic, have been told by Adobe that they are no longer licensed to use them, and anyone who continues to use these versions could face "infringement claims" from other companies.

WhatsApp Discloses Vulnerability That Allowed Israeli Spyware To Be Installed On iPhones, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

A report from The Financial Times this afternoon details a vulnerability in WhatsApp that allowed attackers to inject Israeli spyware onto phones. The malicious code was developed by Israeli company NSO Group and transmitted by calling users via WhatsApp on iOS and Android.


Signature Features, by Dr. Drang, And Now It's All This

When apps get reviewed, there’s often a signature feature that gets all the attention and skews the public perception of them. It’s not that the attention paid to the signature feature isn’t warranted, but I suspect that many people think of these apps as having only the signature feature and therefore either don’t use the app to its fullest extent or don’t use it at all.


Microsoft Failed Developers — And Now It Has A Plan To Win Them Back, by Owen Williams, Medium

Over the last few years, Microsoft has tried to flip the narrative and win coders back. Last week, its master plan culminated in a major announcement: Microsoft will include Linux as part of the Windows 10 operating system, starting this summer.

Hell has officially frozen over. This would have seemed impossible just a few years ago — but this is the new Microsoft. Years of hard work to redefine its business may finally pay off as developers are finally able to access a slate of modern tools to do their work on Windows.

Angry Birds And The End Of Privacy, by Kaitlyn Tiffany, Vox

As the first wildly successful mobile game, it’s an avatar for the way our understanding of what’s private and what’s personal has collapsed in the past decade. It’s not the only mobile game that’s sucked away intimate information, and it’s not the worst offender, but it was the first global hit. It was a Trojan horse — the first colorful, fun, utterly unthreatening game that was downloaded onto a billion phones, and the start of a decade of downloading free apps without having any real idea what they were getting from us.

A Pew study published this January found that 76 percent of Americans knew basically nothing about Facebook’s tracking and targeting policies, even though other research shows that most people understand that they shouldn’t trust the company. (Researchers at Georgetown University and NYU recently named it one of the least trusted American institutions, across political parties.) If the tactics of even the largest, most public, most well-documented violator of our privacy are a black box to the average person, what do most of us know about the tactics of, say, a Finnish game developer?

Why I (Still) Love Tech: In Defense Of A Difficult Industry, by Paul Ford, Wired

The things we loved—the Commodore Amigas and AOL chat rooms, the Pac-Man machines and Tamagotchis, the Lisp machines and RFCs, the Ace paperback copies of Neuromancer in the pockets of our dusty jeans—these very specific things have come together into a postindustrial Voltron that keeps eating the world. We accelerated progress itself, at least the capitalist and dystopian parts. Sometimes I’m proud, although just as often I’m ashamed. I am proudshamed.

And yet I still love the big T, by which I mean either “technology” or “trillions of dollars.” Why wouldn’t I? I came to New York City at the age of 21, in the era of Java programming, when Yahoo! still deserved its exclamation point. I’d spent my childhood expecting nuclear holocaust and suddenly came out of college with a knowledge of HTML and deep beliefs about hypertext, copies of WIRED (hello) and Ray Gun bought at the near-campus Uni-Mart. The 1996 theme at Davos was “Sustaining Globalization”; the 1997 theme was “Building the Network Society.” One just naturally follows the other. I surfed the most violent tsunami of capital growth in the history of humankind. And what a good boy am I!

Bottom of the Page

So, Apple launched the all new TV app, here in Singapore, with exactly zero TV Channels...

(I was expecting just one HBO channel in the TV app. Turns out, the local streaming TV provider and local free-to-air monopoly may have an exclusive deal with HBO. The HBO Go app, even though is on iPhones and iPads, is still missing in the Singapore's versio of the Apple TV app store.)


Thanks for reading.