The Blue-Follow Edition Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Eddy Cue Says Apple Has ‘Hundreds’ Of People Working To Make Apple News+ Better, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

The new follow button was included as a bullet point in the iOS 12.3 release notes but now Apple has decided to give it more exposure with its own press release.

The change is that there is now a blue ‘Follow’ button attached to the cover of every magazine from the catalog view. Tapping ‘Follow’ immediately adds the publication to the user’s collection and new issues are downloaded automatically, so users can read their favorites offline.

Apple Appeals To Ramadan Celebrators With iPhone Ads And Features, by Kyle O'Brien, The Drum

To celebrate the season of Ramadan and Eid, Apple is championing local creativity in the UAE and Middle East with a new ‘Shot on iPhone’ campaign called, ‘Finding Balance’. As people take time for self-reflection, and to connect with friends and family, Apple’s new campaign captures the reflective purpose of the season through the lens of the iPhone XS, complete with features to help people observe.

How Apple’s Deal With Amazon Screwed Over Small Recycling Businesses, by Nick Statt, The Verge

Companies that want to sell Apple products through Amazon now have to meet one of two requirements. The first is to purchase at least $2.5 million worth of refurbished inventory every 90 days from Apple itself or through a retailer with more than $5 billion in annual sales, like a wireless carrier or big-box retailers like Target or Walmart. The second is to reach out directly to Apple to become an authorized reseller. Apple has yet to make its reseller requirements known to the public, but to become an Apple-authorized provider of repairs requires a physical retail space for customers to enter.

By cutting this deal, Apple and Amazon benefit while knocking out millions of dollars worth of business for small sellers. For Apple, the move to sell on Amazon and its aftermath highlight the company’s long-standing adversarial relationship with repair providers and resellers. Even those within the confines of Apple’s strictly controlled network have faced byzantine restrictions to acquiring proper equipment.


Apple Debuts LG's All-New 23.7-inch UltraFine Display, by Julio Ojeda-Zapata, TidBITS

To my surprise, an employee told me I should consider forgoing the 21.5-inch model. Why? “Because we have a larger LG display for the same price.” Laid out for me on the floor were boxes for the two monitors—including the 23.7-inch version that had seemingly come from nowhere.

Here’s the weird thing: I could find virtually nothing about the 23.7-inch LG UltraFine Display online. It’s not listed on Apple’s online store or LG’s Web site. A Google search for its model number, 24MD4KL, turns up little, just a page showing an FCC ID and another showing Energy Star certification.

Health Canada Approves Apple Watch ECG App, Hinting Launch Imminent, by Gary Ng, iPhone In Canada

According to Health Canada’s website, two active licenses from Apple are now showing as approved: 102864 for the ECG app and 102866 for the irregular rhythm notification feature.

‘Listen On Apple Podcasts’ Replaces ‘iTunes’ For Podcast Previews Ahead Of Standalone Mac App, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Clicking on the button still opens iTunes on the Mac, but that is likely to change sooner rather than later.

Timery For Toggl: The MacStories Review, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Time tracking is a habit that’s as hard to establish as regularly exercising or eating better. When you get busy, it’s far too easy to stop. Maybe you’ll come back to it later or perhaps you won’t, but either way, a big part of the benefit of time tracking is consistency, and that’s lost when you stop.

With saved timers, easy access to recent timers, a Today widget, and Siri shortcuts, Timery makes starting and stopping timers second nature. It’s so easy that I find myself using the app even if I’m working on my Mac and have Toggl’s web app open. A lot of the time, it’s just simpler to ask Siri to stop a timer or tap a saved timer in Timery than it is to switch to the web app. It’s also why I’d like to see Timery add an Apple Watch version of the app. The more ways I have to manage timers, the easier it is to maintain my time tracking habit.

Bunch Launches Groups Of Apps From The Mac’s Dock, by Charlie Sorrel, Cult of Mac

Bunch is a new Mac utility from Brett ‘I Just Made This’ Terpstra, the developer of the nvAlt Mac notes app. Bunch sits in your Mac’s Dock, and lets you launch groups, or bunches, of app with one click. You could, for instance, have a Work bunch, which launches your writing app, your mail app, your calendar app, and more. You get the idea.

CARROT Weather Enables Notifications For Storm Cells, Precipitation, Lightning Strikes, Government Alerts, And More, by Ryan Christoffel, MacStories

Though the types of notifications available depend on your subscription plan due to the different costs associated with each data source, in total there are a ton of options available to satisfy anyone’s needs. Whether you simply want to avoid getting caught in the rain without an umbrella, or finding yourself outdoors when a storm hits, or one of many other weather situations, CARROT Weather can now keep you informed with timely notifications for a variety of weather events.

Tado Launches Smart AC Controller With HomeKit Support, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

The controller connects compatible air conditioners and heat pumps to a home's Wi-Fi network, allowing users to adjust the temperature with their mobile device rather than the remote control that came with their AC unit.


Microsoft Publishes First Edge For macOS Preview, Promises To Make It Truly “Mac-like”, by Peter Bright, Ars Technica

The macOS version resembles the Windows 10 builds that we've seen so far, but it isn't identical. Microsoft wants to be a good citizen on macOS by producing not just an application that fits the platform's standards—using the right fonts, icons, spacing, and so on—but which also adapts to Apple's unique hardware. To that end, the company is working on support for the Touch Bar found on some of Apple's portable systems, using it for media control, tab switching, or access to bookmarks. Microsoft will also work to ensure that Edge's support as a Progressive Web App host properly adopts macOS behaviors with regard to interaction with the Dock, app switcher, and Spotlight.

The Ants Are My Friends, They're Blowing In The Wind, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

Over the last few months I’ve noticed some remarkably terrible lyrics transcriptions in iTunes and Music. I can’t quite figure out where Apple’s getting its lyrics—I’ve seen some song lyric errors that were mirrored in Genius, and others in Musixmatch, and still others don’t seem to show up on the web at all.

Your Internet Data Is Rotting, by Paul Royster, The Conversation

Free storage is a great offer, but sometimes you only get what you pay for. The internet is neither secure nor permanent. It never promised to be, and users should not assume that it will become so. Parts are rotting and corroding and collapsing as I type this. Just hope and plan to not be resting on that platform when it falls.

Bottom of the Page

Apple Books is not available in many parts of the world. And so is Apple TV Channesl. And so is Apple News. Only Apple Music is available all over the world.

Does Apple not know how to make international deals, or does it not care to make them?


Thanks for reading.