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Archive for June 2019

The Bigger-Compromise Edition Monday, June 17, 2019

The iPhone X Notch: It's Time For Haters To Apologize, by Leif Johnson, Macworld

The notch isn’t an ideal design element, but nothing yet comes closer to achieving the dream of a fully featured phone with almost a full-screen display. For the moment, at least, every alternative feels like a bigger compromise.

At Stanford Commencement, Apple CEO Tim Cook Calls For Accountability In Silicon Valley, by Thy Vo, San Jose Mercury News

“In a world without digital privacy, even if you have done nothing wrong other than think differently, you begin to censor yourself,” Cook said. “To risk less, to hope less, to imagine less, to dare less, to create less, to try less, to talk less, to think less.”

“Your generation ought to have the same freedom to shape the future as the generation that came before,” he said. “If you want to take credit, first learn to take responsibility.”

Apple Wants To Make Oscar-worthy Movies To Beef Up Streaming Service, by Alexandra Steigrad, New York Post

Hollywood sources say the tech giant has been approaching “elevated” directors and other film talent in recent months to talk about bankrolling projects with Oscar-winning potential.

Apple is looking to spend $5 million to $30 million per project, sources said, adding that the company is being driven by Netflix’s recent spate of Oscar nominations and win for Best Foreign Film with “Roma” — legitimizing Netflix head Reed Hastings’ standing in Hollywood.

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Microsoft Launches Its To-Do App On The Mac App Store With Outlook Syncing, Shared Tasks, More, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Microsoft has made its To-Do app available for the first time to Mac users. The company has launched Microsoft To-Do via the Mac App Store and includes rich features like shared tasks and lists, file attachment support, syncing with Outlook, and more.

LumaFusion 2.0 Gains More Powerful Engine, External Display Support, by Roger Fingas, AppleInsider

Luma Touch on Sunday launched LumaFusion 2.0, an upgrade of its professional video editor for iPhones and iPads with an array of both engine and interface improvements.

How To Keep AirPods In Your Ears, by Jason Hiner, CNET

There's plenty to like about Apple AirPods: No wires to get tangled, automatic pairing with Apple devices, good battery life and solid audio performance. But there are two things not to like. There's the premium price tag and the fact that they can fall out of your ears so easily. While there's not much we can do about the price, there is a low-cost solution to help keep the AirPods snug in your ears.

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Fans Are Better Than Tech At Organizing Information Online, by Gretchen McCulloch, Wired

Kudos to the fans. One of the nominees for the Hugo Awards this year is Archive of Our Own, a fanfiction archive containing nearly 5 million fanworks—about the size of the English Wikipedia, and several years younger. It's not just the fanfic, fanart, fanvids, and other fanworks, impressive as they are, that make Archive of Our Own worthy of one of the biggest honors in science fiction and fantasy. It's also the architecture of the site itself.

At a time when we're trying to figure out how to make the internet livable for humans, without exploiting other humans in the process, AO3 (AO3, to its friends) offers something the rest of tech could learn from.

Self-Driving Cars Have A Problem: Safer Human-Driven Ones, by Christopher Mims, Wall Street Journal

Some of this technology has been in development for years, but the newest versions of it—with advanced object recognition, radar-and-laser detection and lightning-fast artificial intelligence—were created for autonomous cars. Many tech entrepreneurs have argued that fleets of robo-taxis would convince us to abandon personal car ownership in favor of “transportation as a service.” Some of them have predicted these robot cars will start populating U.S. roads within the next two years.

But the paradox of how this evolution is playing out is that technology developed to give us driverless vehicles from the likes of Tesla Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Waymo could actually delay their adoption.

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Everytime I take my AirPods out of their charging case, I'm silently telling them: thank you for your service; sorry about having to move yet another day towards when your batteries will die.

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Everytime I take off my glasses at night to go to bed, I silently congratuate myself for having survive yet another day. Too bad it's just another day towards my death.

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Thanks for reading.

The Privacy-Focused Edition Sunday, June 16, 2019

It's Time To Switch To A Privacy Browser, by David Nield, Wired

There's a new battleground in the browser wars: user privacy. Firefox just made its Enhanced Tracking Protection a default feature, Apple continues to pile privacy-focused features into its Safari browser, and people are more aware than ever before of the sort of information they can reveal every time they set a digital footprint on the web.

If you want to push back against online tracking, you've got several options to pick from when choosing a default browser. These are the browsers that put user privacy high on the list of their priorities.

Dear Apple, Here's How I Solved My MacBook Keyboard Problem, by Chris Matyszczyk, ZDNet

Could it be that some speck of dust beneath my M key has finally disappeared to the dust bowl in the sky? Could it be that my constant bashing finally crushed a tiny piece of butter croissant into pieces so infinitesimal that they could no longer affect my M key?

Massive Lineup Outside Apple's New Store In Taipei Shows Us That They Still Have The Magic, by Jack Purcher, Patently Apple

The lineup to get into Apple's new Xinyi A13 Store in Taipei this morning shows us that Apple still has the magic. This is Apple's second store in Taiwan. For the first time, Apple hosted an artist-led Today at Apple sessions in Taiwan featuring world-class creators, including local artists based in Taiwan.

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Is iCloud Good? It Has Finally Delivered On Jobs’ Original Promise, by Bradley Chambers, 9to5Mac

A lot of people will say that “Apple can’t do cloud-services”, but I am here to say that as someone who relies on iCloud for almost all of my work, Apple has finally arrived with the iCloud experience The unboxing experience was superb, and the set up process was a breeze. After I signed into iCloud, all my data just appeared.

Beats Powerbeats Pro Headphones Review: Apple AirPods' Cooler Cousin, by Sophie Curtis, Mirror

Overall, I was really impressed with the PowerBeats Pro. They take the best technology from the AirPods and wrap it up in a cooler, more understated package that will appeal to gym bunnies and professionals alike.

There Is No Perfect Travel App—But These Will Help, by David Pierce, Wall Street Journal

Many developers and companies are working on making travel easier and more personalized, and they are already starting to offer ways to make your travels a little smarter. None are even close to getting it right. But for each of the three phases of travel—planning the trip, getting there, and exploring your destination—there are apps that are beginning to figure it out.

That doesn’t mean your apps won’t sometimes point you to Starbucks.

Notes

Music Is Supposed To Unify Us. Is The Streaming Revolution Fragmenting Us Instead?, by Nolan Gasser, Los Angeles Times

Certainly, the digital music revolution offers many blessings to us as individuals. It enhances our taste and lets us discover things that bring us joy. But as we lament our too fragmented society, let us turn to music to bond with one another. It may not heal all the divisions we face, but it’s hard to feel disconnected when you’re sharing a song.

The Healing Power Of Calligraphy... The Art Form Enjoying A Resurgence, by Hanna Woodside, Daily Mail

More relaxed and freestyle than traditional calligraphy, you’ll spot the artful loops, flicks and flourishes on everything from wedding invitations to the specials board at your local gastro pub. The art form has enjoyed a resurgence in recent months, too. A combination of the ‘Meghan effect’ – national retail chain Hobbycraft reported an incredible 40 per cent spike in calligraphy kit sales last year when it was revealed that the Duchess of Sussex enjoyed the pastime – and a proliferation of modern calligraphy accounts on Instagram, sharing gorgeous, intricate lettering (which are often combined with motivational quotes), has inspired more and more of us to pick up a pen.

Unlike the trend for adult colouring books (hands up if you have one abandoned on a shelf at home), it takes dedication to master the flowing strokes of modern calligraphy. But that’s all part of the joy of it for these five women – who each credit calligraphy with enhancing their lives in very different ways.

Happy Birthday! Just Don’t Open Your Inbox., by Hilary Sheinbaum, New York Times

During birth months, weeks and days, digital and physical mailboxes can become congested with celebratory coupons., a supposed benefit of signing up for subscription lists and reward programs.

But these can contribute to the vague feeling of malaise surrounding one’s birthday in the digital age, when greetings come easily, but perhaps not thoughtfully, thanks to automated calendar reminders.

The Micro-Target Edition Saturday, June 15, 2019

Retail Stores Use Bluetooth Beacons To Track Customers, by Michael kwet, New York Times

For years, Apple and Google have allowed companies to bury surveillance features inside the apps offered in their app stores. And both companies conduct their own beacon surveillance through iOS and Android.

It should not be lost on the public that Apple created the first Bluetooth system of commercial surveillance. Apple’s chief executive, Tim Cook, recently wagged his finger at the “data-industrial complex.” Unlike other tech giants that monetize surveillance, Apple relies upon hardware sales, he said. But Mr. Cook knew what Apple was creating with iBeacon in 2013. Apple’s own website explains to developers how they can use iBeacon to micro-target consumers in stores.

App Makers Are Mixed On 'Sign In With Apple', by Lauren Goode, Wired

It’s true that some developers had been looking to Apple for a more private authentication option for apps—particularly as an alternative to Facebook Login, which came under intense scrutiny last fall after a massive security breach involving Login compromised as many as 90 million Facebook accounts. One security expert who spoke to me for this story suggested that elements of Apple’s authentication feature, which hasn’t launched yet, may very well be more secure than other solutions.

But other app makers have mixed feelings on what Apple has proposed. I spoke to a variety of developers who make apps for iOS and Android, one of whom asked to remain anonymous because they aren’t authorized to speak on behalf of their employer. Some are skeptical that Sign In with Apple will offer a solution dramatically different from what’s already available through Facebook or Google. Apple’s infamous opacity around new products means the app makers don’t have many answers yet as to how Apple’s sign in mechanism is going to impact their apps. And one app maker went as far as referring to Apple’s demand that its sign-in system be offered if any other sign-in systems are shown as “petty.”

High-end Users On 'Why I'm Buying The New Mac Pro', by William Gallagher, AppleInsider

Apple aimed the new Mac Pro at the most demanding of all high-end users, so we went to users like that and asked what they thought. Video editors, medical experts and the Department of Defense are all considering this new Mac closely.

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If You're Not Using Apple Family Sharing, You're Wasting Money, by Jason Cipriani, CNET

When Apple's Family Sharing feature launched with iOS 8, it solved a major problem: Giving family members access to apps that one of them already paid for, without having to buy it again just for a spouse or child to use it. Before Family Sharing emerged, you'd have to shared your Apple ID password with family members, which is both inconvenient and insecure. At the time, sharing an Apple ID password was the only way to log into the App Store and iTunes to access another user's purchase history, so you could download paid apps without, well, paying.

Now, Family Sharing has evolved into a feature for sharing Apple Music subscriptions and iCloud storage plans, without making you double or triple spend on apps, and without invalidating the security of your password by passing it around. Family Sharing even lets you help find a lost device thanks to integrated location sharing.

How To Use Path Finder 8 As A macOS Finder Alternative, by Erik Eckel, TechRepublic

Whether you need a more customizable file management interface, dual-pane functionality, or more file administration capabilities than are included within macOS' native Finder program, Cocoatech's Path Finder 8 provides a capable, comprehensive substitute.

Notes

The History Of The Cellphone Holster, The Most Dad Accessory Of All Time, by Rebecca Jennings, Vox

Using the term “cellphone holster industry” here, however, implies that there is one, which itself would be kind of a lie. Where did cellphone holsters come from? Conceptually, they come from gun holsters, the apparatus gun owners hang around their waists to be able to reach their weapons with ease. Historically, cellphone holsters popped up after the rise and fall of car phones, when more people were suddenly expected to carry around an entirely new thing all the time. While most pagers came with clips that attached to one’s clothing, cellphones did not; therefore, a holster was useful.

On a more corporeal level, however, cellphone holsters are a mystery. Can you name a cellphone holster brand? You cannot. Instead, these objects seem to exist only in hardware stores or the local T-Mobile outpost or in the saddest Amazon searches of all time, made by companies whose names no one has ever bothered to learn. But in the mid-’90s and early 2000s, the cellphone holster was an inescapable object of necessary evil for a very specific type of person: people who had to carry cellphones for professional purposes, who did not, for reasons likely having to do with strict gender expectations, have purses, and who also did not care that cellphone holsters are very dorky.

The Default-Secure Edition Friday, June 14, 2019

Why I Turned On iMessages, by Dieter Bohn, The Verge

It should be simple. It should be easy. It should be the default. That, if nothing else, is the genius of iMessage. I hate the lock-in. I hate that it co-opts text messaging in such a way that invisibly opts Apple users in without their active choice. I hate that it’s only available on Apple products. But I love that iMessage makes it easy for my friends and family to have a default-secure way to text me. That is why I switched.

Apple Makes Comcast And Charter Sell iPads, Other Devices As Part Of Mobile Deal, by Alex Sherman, Kif Leswing, CNBC

The cable providers decided they could not offer a viable mobile service to compete with Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile without carrying the iPhone, giving Apple ample leverage in negotiations, said the people. Extracting the best deal from partners is standard business, but it's a reminder of Apple's significant strength over the broader telecommunications ecosystem as federal regulators lay the groundwork for potential antitrust cases against the largest technology companies.

While the exact details of Comcast and Charter's agreement are private, Comcast has to sell a certain number of iPads, in the thousands, at a subsidized cost -- with Comcast paying for the difference between the discounted price and the retail price, the people said. The deal helps Apple sell more iPads, a chief area of concern for Apple when the device maker first struck the agreement with Comcast two years ago.

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Apple Releases Logic Pro X 10.4.5 With Increased Performance For New Mac Pro And More, by Jordan Kahn, 9to5Mac

The updated version of Logic Pro includes support for up to 56 processing threads with up to 5x the number of real-time plug-ins when using the new Mac Pro compared to the previous generation machine.

Apple Releases macOS Mojave 10.14.5 Boot Camp Update To Address iMac And Mac Mini Bug, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple today released a new macOS Mojave 10.14.5 Boot camp update, which is designed to address a bug that prevented the creation of a new Boot Camp partition on a iMac or Mac mini with a Fusion Drive.

Soulver 3 For Mac: The MacStories Review, by John Voorhees, MacStories

The app was already a model of simplicity, but with the update, it’s even easier to use and embraces its text-based roots with a sidebar in a way that I think will resonate with a lot of users. If like me, you find a spreadsheet app to be overkill for many day-to-day calculations and you appreciate the ability to interweave explanatory text with your calculations, Soulver may be the perfect fit for your needs.

An iOS version of the app is in development, and I hope it is released soon because the loss of the ability to access sheets from any device when using version 3 for the Mac is a significant disadvantage. Although I can export some sheets as plain text and paste them into the iOS version of the app to use them there, that will inevitably lead to multiple versions of the same sheet and won't work with sheets that use Soulver's new features. If an iOS counterpart is critical to your work, you may want to wait for its release before updating to Soulver 3 on the Mac.

Activbody Activ5 Tracks Your Isometric Workout Stats, Saves To HealthKit, Now Available At Apple Stores, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

The Activbody Activ5 is a portable fitness device that helps track your progress with isometric workouts. With HealthKit integration and a companion Watch app in mind, Apple is now selling the accessory at its US retail and online stores.

Mattel Launches New Hot Wheels 'Id' Smart Track Kit And NFC Cars Exclusively At Apple Stores, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

With the Hot Wheels Smart Track Kit, Hot Wheels id vehicles can be raced on a track that incorporates digital tracking elements through an app on the iPhone or iPad. The system allows users to keep track of speed, count laps, build a digital garage, and more, providing a mix of physical and digital play.

The Outside-the-Walls Edition Thursday, June 13, 2019

Apple Flexes Its Privacy Muscles, by Rich Mogull, Securosis

The difference between Sign in with Apple and previous privacy requirements within the iOS and Mac ecosystems is that the feature extends the privacy beyond Apple’s walled garden. Previous requirements, from HomeKit to data usage by apps in the App Store, really only applied to Apps on Apple devices. While this is technically true for Sign in with Apple, practically speaking the implications extend MUCH further.

[...]

Calling privacy a fundamental human right is as strong as a position any company or individual can take. It was one thing for Apple to build privacy into its own ecosystem, but as they extend this privacy outside their walls it is up to us to decide for ourselves if we consider these protections meaningful and worthy of support.

Google’s Login Chief Would Rather You Use Apple’s Sign-in Button Than Keep Using Passwords, by Russell Brandom, The Verge

But there was a bunch of innuendo wrapped around the release that suggested that only one of them is pure, and the rest of them are kind of corrupt, and obviously I don’t like that. We only exclusively log the moments of authentication. It’s not used for any sort of re-targeting. It’s not used for any sort of advertising. It’s not distributed anywhere. And it’s partly there for user control so that they can go back and see what’s happened. We have a page, part of our security checkup, that says, “here’s all the connected apps, and you can go and break that connection.” This current product, I haven’t seen how it will be built, but it sounds like they will log that moment as well and then also, every email that’s ever sent by that company, which sounds a lot more invasive. But we’ll see how the details work out.

I honestly do think this technology will be better for the internet and will make people much, much safer. Even if they’re clicking our competitors button when they’re logging into sites, that’s still way better than typing in a bespoke username and password, or more commonly, a recycled username and password.

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Pride Edition Apple Watch Tables Return To Stores Featuring 2019 Sport Loop, by Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac

Now that the band is available for in-store pickup, Apple has updated the center of Apple Watch display tables to feature six watch models with the Pride band. A precision-cut dimensional Apple logo has been placed on both sides of the display featuring the same “thread” arrangement and colors as the band.

Apple iPod Touch (2019), by Sascha Segan, PC Magazine

It's great for the few people left who are looking for an easily controlled gadget that plays games and music but doesn't connect to a cellular network. I think almost all of those people are kids, and for the sake of their parents, I'm glad Apple is keeping the iPod line alive. It might be the only mainstream non-cellular handheld on the market, but it's also good enough to earn PCMag's Editors' Choice.

Notes

Apple Registers 7 Unreleased Mac Notebooks In Eurasian Database, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Apple has registered seven unreleased Mac models in the Eurasian Economic Commission database today, including A2141, A2147, A2158, A2159, A2179, A2182, and A2251, according to listings uncovered by MacRumors. All seven models appear to be notebooks, as they are described as "portable" computers.

Apple Continues Transition From iTunes Brand With New 'Apps․apple․com' URLs, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple continues to move away from the iTunes brand this week. Now, when you view an iOS or Mac app listing on the web, the URL is based on apps.apple.com, whereas it was previously itunes.apple.com.

Apple’s Hometown Pays $70 Million, And Counting, To Keep HQ, by Laura Mahoney, Bloomberg

The payments have been made under a little-known tax incentive deal struck in 1997, when Apple was on the brink of bankruptcy, and that’s likely to endure until at least 2033. Payments to Apple have continued as the iPhone maker has passed $1 trillion in market value, and reached a high of $6 million in the most recent fiscal year, according to the records.

Dozens of small California cities have since followed Cupertino’s example in sharing local sales taxes generated if the companies build a headquarters or distribution center within city boundaries, or designate an existing facility as its point of sales made in the state. Apple, for example, gets 35 percent of the local sales taxes collected on sales of its products to businesses in California and at its two retail stores in Cupertino, and similar deals benefit electronics retailer Best Buy Co Inc. and online shopping site QVC Inc.

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I definitely trust "Sign in with Apple" than "Log In With Facebook". But, it seems to me, ultimately I should trust 1Password more?

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Thanks for reading.

The Bridge-that-Divide Edition Wednesday, June 12, 2019

When Words Aren’t Enough, Teachers Find A Common Language With iPad, by Apple

The diversity of this classroom is a reflection of the changing face of Germany and Europe. Over the last five years, the region has seen the largest influx of immigrants and refugees since World War II. Many have fled violence and war in the Middle East, which presents a unique set of challenges to educators, who are not only contending with different languages, but entirely different alphabets. In some cases, new arrivals have never stepped foot in a classroom before.

For Kyriakidis, 47, and his colleague Sinaan El Haq Hadjeri, 31, who alternate teaching the class on different days, one of the most powerful tools they have to bridge that language divide is iPad.

SwiftUI And Catalyst: Apple Executes Its Invisible Transition Strategy, by Jason Snell, Macworld

In the shorter term, iOS app developers will be able to reach to the Mac via Catalyst. But in the longer term, Apple is creating a new, unified development approach to all of Apple’s devices, based in Swift and SwiftUI. Viewed from this perspective, Catalyst feels more like a transitional technology than the future of Apple’s platforms.

But we’re talking about the long game here. Transitional technologies are all a part of the long game. Catalyst will bring those apps to the Mac. iOS and Mac developers will pick up Swift and SwiftUI. Mac apps can integrate iOS stuff via Catalyst. iOS apps can integrate Mac stuff for use on the Mac. And all developers can begin experimenting with SwiftUI, building new interfaces and replacing old ones in a gradual process.

I Wrote This On A 30-Year-Old Computer, by Ian Bogost, The Atlantic

Everything about this computer is loud: The groan of the power supply is loud. The hum of the cooling fan is loud. The whir of the hard disk is loud. The clack of the mechanical keyboard is loud. It’s so loud I can barely think, the kind of noise I usually associate with an airline cabin: whoom, whoom, whoom, whoom.

This is the experience a computer user would have had every time she booted up her Macintosh SE, a popular all-in-one computer sold by Apple from 1987 to 1990. By today’s standards the machine is a dinosaur. It boasts a nine-inch black-and-white display. Mine came with a hard disk that offers 20 megabytes of storage, but some lacked even that luxury. And the computer still would have cost a fortune: The version I have retailed for $3,900, or about $8,400 in 2019 dollars.

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iMovie For iOS Updated With New Green Screen Effect, 80 Fresh Soundtracks, More, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

The latest version of iMovie for iOS comes with a host of new updates and changes. Highlights include the new green screen effect and the ability to adjust it with a 4-point mask and strength slider.

Apple’s All-new iCloud For Windows App, Now Available In The Microsoft Store, by Giorgio Sardo, Microsoft

The new iCloud for Windows app introduces a new iCloud Drive experience for Windows 10 users powered by the same Windows technology that also powers OneDrive’s Files On-Demand feature, enabling users to be more productive offline on mobile devices and quickly share files on iOS.

How Dropbox Is Finally Breaking Free Of The Folder, by Harry McCracken, Fast Company

For the first time, Dropbox is emerging from Windows and MacOS’s file systems and setting up shop in a full-fledged app of its own, where it can do things its own way and meld itself with other key productivity offerings such as Slack and Zoom. The new app, according to Houston, is about “turning Dropbox from the filing cabinet to the conference room. There’s people, and there’s content, and you can have conversations, and it can be on the whiteboard. That’s metaphorically the evolution of the experience we thought no one was really building.”

[...]

What’s most intriguing are the new Dropbox’s collaborative features—many of which the service probably couldn’t have shoehorned into File Explorer or Finder, at least in a way that many people would want to use. The existing menu that pops out from Windows’ tray and MacOS’s menu bar doesn’t look much different, but it’s been retooled to show the files that your colleagues are sharing, editing, and commenting upon: “It’s not just about your sync activity or files that you’ve edited, but what’s going on with everyone in your group,” explains Adam Nash, Dropbox’s VP of product. The menu also offers newly sophisticated search, similar to that in the web version, that plumbs the content of files rather than just scanning their names.

Notes

iOS 13’s Expanded NFC Will Support Japanese Identity Cards, by Sam Byford, The Verge

One of the less heralded features in iOS 13 is its broader support for NFC functionality, which first came to the iPhone alongside Apple Pay in 2014 but hasn’t seen the same diversity of use cases as are commonplace on Android. iPhones running iOS 13 will be able to scan a wider variety of NFC tags, including those commonly found in official documentation, and one of the first examples will be Japan’s national identity cards.

Apple’s Attempts To Limit Data Sharing On Kids’ Apps Is Negatively Impacting PBS, by Emily Stewart, Vox

Apple earlier this month said it would change its guidelines and bar apps in the kids category from including third-party advertising and analytics software; kids apps will now also be prohibited to transmit data collected in-app to third parties. The changes, which are set to go into effect on September 3, would prevent PBS from being able to track whether its content and game features are working, and it would make it more difficult for it to tweak the apps to make them more effective educational tools.

“We’ll have to pull down the apps, and we have millions of kids that are using our apps. So it’s a challenge,” Kerger said. She later added, “We’re not selling stuff to kids.” Apple did not respond to a request for comment.

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If I have a choice of any 30-year-old computer to place on my desktop, I will choose the NeXTStation. (Okay, technically, it is 29-year-old today.) I think I will enjoy sending audio e-mails to everyone, check out all the quotations from Shakespeare, and play Tetris all night long.

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Thanks for reading.

The Talking-About-Periods Edition Tuesday, June 11, 2019

The Sneaky, Subversive, And Sometimes Blatant Ways Apple Is Trying To Make Tech Friendlier For Women, by Wendy Naugle, Yahoo

Something revolutionary happened at Apple’s 30th annual World Wide Developers conference in San Jose last week. Yes, there were the announcements about the new IOS, a soon-to-be-launched “sign-in with Apple” feature that won’t share your personal data like Facebook might, and new watch-specific apps.

But on the big stage there was something else: a female Apple exec talking about periods.

Apple Is Making Corporate ‘BYOD’ Programs Less Invasive To User Privacy, by Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

This new MDM (mobile device management) enrollment option is meant to better balance the needs of I.T. to protect sensitive corporate data and manage the software and settings available to users, while at the same time allowing users’ private personal data to remain separate from I.T. oversight.

According to Apple, when both users’ and I.T.’s needs are in balance, users are more likely to accept a corporate “bring your own device” or BYOD program — something that can ultimately save the business money that doesn’t have to be invested in hardware purchases.

What Apple Knows About You, by Ina Fried, Axios

Apple pitches itself as the most privacy-minded of the big tech companies, and indeed it goes to great lengths to collect less data than its rivals. Nonetheless, the iPhone maker will still know plenty about you if you use many of its services: In particular, Apple knows your billing information and all the digital and physical goods you have bought from it, including music, movie and app purchases.

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Apple Shares New Shot On iPhone XS Video With Portrait Tips From Photojournalist Christoper Anderson, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

To add color and intrigue, he plays with props or an object that can create shadows of reflections to define subjects and obscure parts of the image that might be distracting. He uses things like keys, glasses, bottles and mirrors to experiment with different looks.

Luminar 3.1 With Accent AI 2.0 Makes Your Photos Even Better, by Bryan M Wolfe, iMore

The latest filter uses so-called "human-aware" technology that recognizes people in photos and then applies adjustments for more realistic imagery.

Cyberduck 7.0, by Agen Schmitz, TidBITS

The new release introduces multi-segmented downloads, multiplying connections to make a parallel download process possible for improved download speed and reliability.

Why Use Both Text Message Forwarding And Messages In iCloud?, by Glenn Fleishman, Macworld

If you’re forwarding text messages, then why do you need to use iCloud at all? It has to do with notifications and availability.

Notes

Apple Cancels 700-acre Data Center Project In Denmark, Looks To Sell Off The Land, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

In a surprise announcement, Apple has cancelled plans to open a large data center in Aabenraa, Denmark. The news was posted on the local town’s website. Apple is looking to sell off the land and leave the site completely.

Apple's U.S. iPhones Can All Be Made Outside Of China If Needed, by Debby Wu, Bloomberg

Hon Hai, known also as Foxconn, is the American giant’s most important manufacturing partner. It will fully support Apple if it needs to adjust its production as the U.S.-Chinese trade spat gets grimmer and more unpredictable, board nominee and semiconductor division chief Young Liu told an investor briefing in Taipei on Tuesday.

“Twenty-five percent of our production capacity is outside of China and we can help Apple respond to its needs in the U.S. market,” said Liu, adding that investments are now being made in India for Apple. “We have enough capacity to meet Apple’s demand.”

You Can’t Beat An Unwinnable Game, But You Can Break It, by Joe Veix, The Outline

Did Ocasla actually beat SimCity 3000? Depends. As I glossed over earlier, sim games don’t usually contain end goals. This is part of their charm. They allow a player to build whatever they want, and then gradually get tired of the game and eventually stop playing.

This is probably why the natural end to most sim game sessions involves self-imposed destruction. The player reaches a point of boredom, and then burns everything down and starts over. The SimCity series almost anticipated this urge, offering a number of disasters — fires, floods, monsters, and even a DeLillo-esque “chemical cloud” — that could be triggered to reduce one’s creation to smoldering ruins.

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Oh, it's normal to give up on my Sim city? I've been playing it wrong...

:-)

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Thanks for reading.

The Nuclear-Access-Code Edition Monday, June 10, 2019

Hacking My Mother’s Phone To Save Her Memories, by Leslie Berlin, New York Times

I typed in the code a second time. Again, nothing. My sisters and I looked at one another. A tightness gripped my stomach as I realized that the code Mom had given me couldn’t possibly work: That code had contained four digits, and her phone was asking for six.

Six digits means one million possible combinations, and her phone would give us only 10 tries before Apple would erase all of her data. Her old passcode had been the last four digits of the phone number at our childhood home, which ended in a zero. We decided to add two zeros to the end and were so confident that we knew how Mom’s brain worked that I paused dramatically before I tapped in the final zero, certain it would work. It did not.

After that failure, my sisters and I treated every one of the remaining tries like some sort of nuclear access code. We made a few more attempts, none successful. With each failure, the phone made us wait longer between tries. Eventually we decided it was best to stop and find a different way in — the risk of permanently erasing everything was too great.

Apple Arcade Is Poised To Make Apple The ‘Art House’ Gaming Platform, by Leif Johnson, Macworld

But perhaps more importantly, it would be the go-to hub for folks who prefer short but memorable games in the vein of Donut County. It’ll be a game platform for people who want their gaming experiences to be as focused as a good documentary or TV episode rather than drawn out over 100 hours in sagging RPG plotlines. Put another way, it’ll be a platform for people who entirely see gaming as a hobby rather than a lifestyle. Increasingly, I believe I’m a member of that camp. And again, it’s an approach that will work for Apple because so many of iOS and Mac gaming’s standout titles fit that description.

Apple Puts Accessibility Features Front And Center, by Steven Aquino, TechCrunch

Although the meat of Apple’s accessibility news from WWDC has been covered, there still are other items announced that have relevancy to accessibility as well. Here, then, are some thoughts on Apple’s less-headlining announcements that I believe are most interesting from a disability point of view.

Stuff

Apple’s Homepage Teases The New Mac Pro's Launch Month, Possibly In Error, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

However, if you look at the Apple homepage right now, there’s a link to get notified about forthcoming Mac Pro news. If you click that link, a box appears that readily states the new Mac Pro is coming in September.

5 Reasons I'm Not Sorry I Bought My Mac Mini And Didn't Wait For The New Mac Pro, by David Gewirtz, ZDNet

For now, the Mac mini is a much more practical, cost-effective solution that's delivering all the power and flexibility I need.

Soulver Notepad Calculator App For Mac Adds Dark Mode, Date & Time Math, More, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Soulver for Mac is a powerful hybrid between a calculator app and a text editor, allowing you to make quick calculations using a notepad-like interface. Now, version 3 of Soulver has been released with new features like a redesigned interface, date and time math, Dark Mode, and more.

Notes

Maker Faire Halts Operations And Lays Off All Staff, by Josh Constine, TechCrunch

Financial troubles have forced Maker Media, the company behind crafting publication MAKE: magazine as well as the science and art festival Maker Faire, to lay off its entire staff of 22 and pause all operations. TechCrunch was tipped off to Maker Media’s unfortunate situation which was then confirmed by the company’s founder and CEO Dale Dougherty.

For 15 years, MAKE: guided adults and children through step-by-step do-it-yourself crafting and science projects, and it was central to the maker movement. Since 2006, Maker Faire’s 200 owned and licensed events per year in over 40 countries let attendees wander amidst giant, inspiring art and engineering installations.

The Restaurant Owner Who Asked For 1-star Yelp Reviews, by Zachary Crockett, The Hustle

In 2014, chef Davide Cerretini advertised a special that would forever change his fate: Anyone who left his restaurant a 1-star review on Yelp would get 25% off a pizza.

See, his Bay Area-based Italian joint, Botto Bistro, was at a crossroads. Like many small businesses, it was enslaved to the whims of online reviewers, whose public dispatches could make or break its reputation.

He’d had enough: It was time to pry the stars from the “cold, grubby hands of Yelpers” and take control of his own destiny.

The Ambitious Plan To Reinvent How Websites Get Their Names, by Mike Orcutt, Technology Review

To people like Steven McKie, a developer for and investor in an open-source project called the Handshake Network, this centralized power over internet naming makes the internet vulnerable to both censorship and cyberattacks. Handshake wants to decentralize it by creating an alternative naming system that nobody controls. In doing so, it could help protect us from hackers trying to exploit the DNS’s security weaknesses, and from governments hoping to use it to block free expression.

Bottom of the Page

I've put it off long enough: it's time for me to figure out how to let my family access my phone once I am dead.

~

I'm not dead yet.

~

Thanks for reading.

The Name-Recognition Edition Sunday, June 9, 2019

iPadOS Isn't Just A Name. It's A New Direction For Apple, by Lauren Goode, Wired

Giving the iPad its own OS in name might also define the kind of projects that engineers are working on, both inside the company and externally. You’re no longer a third-party app maker building an iOS app for iPad, you’re developing it for iPadOS. By using this established language, developers will essentially co-opt Apple’s marketing speak and help to set the iPad’s software apart from what did, in the early days, feel like a blown-up version of iPhone’s software.

“iPadOS does feel more like branding, because people did have the ability to build apps specifically for iPad before,” says Amir Ghodrati, the director of market insights at app research firm App Annie. “But that separate name recognition means people now understand what the app is being optimized for.”

Answers To Your Burning Questions About How ‘Sign In With Apple’ Works, by Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

Despite the advantages to the system, the news left many wondering how the new Sign In with Apple button would work, in practice, at a more detailed level. We’ve tried to answer some of the more burning and common questions. There are likely many more questions that won’t be answered until the system goes live for developers and Apple updates its App Review Guidelines, which are its hard-and-fast rules for apps that decide entry into the App Store.

Apple’s New Sign-in Button Is Built For A post-Cambridge Analytica World, by Russell Brandom, The Verge

Again, this might seem strange: Apple is tightening the reins on developers at a developer conference, of all places. But it’s one of the first privacy measures that seems to grasp the norms of how privacy works after the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which put the focus on abusive apps that users had willingly installed. It’s not enough to make sure users know what they’re getting into when they install an app. Platforms are expected to monitor and control all the ways partners could be abusing their privileges, which will mean rearchitecting how many of those partnerships work.

Coming Soon

iOS 13 Cracks Down On Location Permission Settings, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

iOS 13 presents popup notifications when an app is using your location in the background. The notification also shows a map of the location data a specific app has tracked.

[...]

In addition to showing the map, the notification also presents the app’s reasoning for needing background location access.

Notes

The Catch-22 That Broke The Internet, by Brian Barrett, Wired

As always, take the latest cloud-based downtime as a reminder that much of what you experience as the Internet lives in servers owned by a handful of companies, and that companies are run by humans, and that humans make mistakes, some of which can ripple out much further than seems anything close to reasonable.

The Value-Propositions Edition Saturday, June 8, 2019

The Makers Of Duet Display And Luna On Life After Apple’s Sidecar, by Brian Heater, TechCrunch

The news has left both Duet and Astro reassessing their respective value propositions. Apple is certainly pitching the product toward creative professionals, as evidenced by the demos at the event, which largely revolved around the use of Apple Pencil for things like 3D design. Both startups believe they can can continue to differentiate themselves by targeting pros. After all, the Catalina implementing will likely — at first — be a more utilitarian approach, given that it’s baked directly into the operating system.

Sleep Apps Backfire By Causing Anxiety And Insomnia, Says Expert, by Hannah Devlin, The Guardian

Most apps have not been clinically validated and only track movement, so do not provide insight into the quality of sleep, he added.

“My view of sleep trackers is fairly cynical. If you wake up feeling tired and you’ve had an unrefreshing night’s sleep then you know you’ve got a problem,” he said. “If you wake up every day and feel refreshed, are awake throughout the day and are ready to sleep at the same time every night then you’re probably getting enough sleep for you and you don’t need an app to tell you that.”

Apple Watch Grant Program Launching This Fall, by Jordan Kahn, 9to5Mac

The new Apple Watch Grant Program is part of an initiative Apple calls its “Investigator Support Pilot” coming this fall in an effort to offer support to researchers. It will launch with a redesigned website for ResearchKit and CareKit that includes a number of new resources along with updates for developers building apps for the frameworks.

Coming Soon

Multi-cam Support In iOS 13 Allows Simultaneous Capture, by Jordan Kahn, 9to5Mac

Apple has long supported multi-camera capture on macOS since OS X Lion, but up until now, hardware limitations prevented it from rolling out APIs for iPhones and iPads.

The new feature and APIs in iOS 13 will allow developers to offer apps that stream video, photos, or audio, for example, from the front-facing camera and rear cameras at the same time.

Stuff

What’s The Best iPad Pro Keyboard?, by Sam Byford, The Verge

I started writing this article thinking I’d be able to identify the best keyboard for the iPad Pro. I just can’t do that here: there is no single best iPad Pro keyboard for everyone.

There are, however, certain iPad Pro keyboards that are best at specific things. I tested the 12.9-inch versions of these keyboards because that’s the iPad Pro I use, but everything should also apply to the 11-inch versions. If you know what you’re looking for or have a particular workflow in mind, you can probably find the right fit.

Make Time To Play These ‘Must-have’ Video Games For Your Apple Watch, by Marc Saltzman, USA Today

Oh sure, don’t expect a deep experience as you might find on a PC or console, but tapping through a “quick fix” digital diversion may help pass the time in line at a supermarket.

What To Do As Soon As You Lose Your Phone, by Daniel Howley, Yahoo

What do a bar, the back of a cab, and a public bathroom have in common? They're all places I've enjoyed Wendy's chili, and forgotten my phone. Fortunately, my friends or a helpful stranger have always spotted my phone before I left it behind for good.

I won't be so lucky forever, though. At some point, I'll end up like a lot of people, and lose my precious smartphone. When it happens I'm going to have to take a few steps to make sure that my data doesn't end up in someone else's hands. And if you lose your phone, you'll need to follow these steps, too.

Develop

The Future Of Interaction, Part II, by Craig Hockenberry, Furbo.org

While commenting about this on Twitter, Steve Streza made an important observation: SwiftUI is like a “reverse React”.

But I think there’s something important to add to his note: the SwiftUI DSL describes the most capable environment. It’s the maximum interaction surface: platforms will render and react to a subset of what’s declared.

Notes

Not Your Daddy’s Regulation: Tech Giants Face A Complicated Reckoning In Washington, by Alex Kantrowitz, BuzzFeed

As federal regulators and Congress zero in on Apple, Google, Facebook, and Amazon, they’re about to encounter one of the most difficult rulemaking challenges in US history. The tech giants don’t fit neatly into the existing model for antitrust action since many of their services are available for free, making any consumer harm they may or may not have done difficult to grasp and quantify. And perhaps more vexingly, they are constantly shifting shape, adding new business lines with regularity to keep pace with a fast-changing technology industry. In Washington, it’s going to be hard to figure out where to even begin.

Weighing The Antitrust Case Against Google, Apple, Amazon, And Facebook, by Tae Kim, Barron's

And before that happens, Apple would surely argue that its App Store, even with its fee structure, has actually supercharged technology innovation over the past decade. The distribution channel of smartphone app stores enabled start-ups to scale their customer bases rapidly.

“But for the iPhone as a platform, there is no question, we wouldn’t have had the last 10 years of innovation,” Kupor says. “Uber, Lyft, Airbnb…none of those exist, but for the fact that five billion people are walking around with a supercomputer in their pocket.”

China Summons Tech Giants To Warn Against Cooperating With Trump Ban, by Kate Conger, New York Times

The Chinese government this week summoned major tech companies from the United States and elsewhere to warn that they could face dire consequences if they cooperate with the Trump administration’s ban on sales of key American technology to Chinese companies, according to people familiar with the meetings.

The Unique-and-Distinct Edition Friday, June 7, 2019

iPadOS: Initial Thoughts, Observations, And Ideas On The Future Of Working On An iPad, by Shawn Blanc, The Sweet Setup

In the same way that using your Apple TV or your Watch are each their own unique and distinct experiences, so too is it a unique and distinct experience to be using the iPad. As the iPad hardware evolves and matures, the software must begin to evolve and mature in lockstep.

I’ve been using an iPad since the first day they shipped. And over the past few years I have pretty much gone all in, using my iPad as my only device for the vast majority of all my work. And thus, it is both encouraging and exciting to hear that Apple is not going to let the iPhone paradigm limit the development of the iPad.

It's Time For Apple Watch To Leave The iPhone Behind, by Scott Stein, CNET

I've thought about the Apple Watch becoming a more iPhone-independent device. Not because of any dream of being phone-free (I almost never find my iPhone absent from my pocket), but because not everyone owns an iPhone. And with Apple's push into serious FDA-cleared health tech, there will be cases where the Apple Watch could be used as a standalone health device.

We're not quite there yet, but in the fall the Apple Watch Series 5 -- if that's the name Apple decides to run with -- could be significantly more useful even when you don't have your phone nearby.

10-year-old Bay Area Boy Is Youngest App Developer At Apple's WWDC, by Amanda del Castillo, KGO

"I told Ayush, 'Look, this is a great opportunity. Let's base a project on whatever it is you want to do, and submit it to Apple and see what happens," the boy's father, Amit Kumar, told ABC7 News.

Apple made an exception, and Ayush was able to attend the conference on a student scholarship.

"I designed my app off of a catapult by looking at the trajectories and learning about the parabola, that's like the arch of the catapult projectile. I learned all about that, and I incorporated that all in my app," Ayush explained.

Stuff

Believe It Or Not, Using An iPod Touch In 2019 Is A Lot Of Fun, by Todd Haselton, CNBC

Most importantly, it's just so light. I can carry a couple movies, my music library and my AirPods in my pocket without really feeling it there at all. I can't say the same about my huge (but beloved) iPhone XS Max.

Develop

Apple’s Quiet CryptoKit Launch Could Bolster Blockchain On iPhones, by Jeremy Horwitz, VentureBeat

While Apple’s long-term goals for CryptoKit are somewhat ambiguous, blockchain applications are clearly on its radar. During a mid-week WWDC presentation, Apple’s Yannick Sierra jokingly opened his “Cryptography and Your Apps” talk by referring to it as the “Bitcoin session,” though the talk focused almost exclusively on less exciting uses, such as encrypting hiking app data.

Notes

WebsearchFodder: My Mouse Moves But Won’t Click, by Erica Sadun

Weirdest thing this morning. My mouse stopped working right. I could move the cursor but not click the mouse. So I swapped it out for another mouse. Same problem. So I rebooted. Same problem. I then switched to a wireless mouse and then a Bluetooth one. Same problem across the board.

Deprecating Scripting, by Dr. Drang, And Now It's All This

I suspect that Apple will have some standard way of installing scripting languages, probably through Command Line Tools, so developers will be able to quickly get their old scripts back up and working after the languages are removed. That would be good, but not if it gets installed through a .dmg download and a .pkg file. The only way to make the installation tolerable to regular users is to have it done through the App Store.

Or rather than going through all that trouble, maybe just leave the scripting languages where they are.

Bottom of the Page

When was the last time we've had a significant phone-specific features on our iPhones? Was that visual voicemail? (Which, by the way, is yet to be on the telco I'm using.)

I'd say it's time for iPhoneOS.

:-)

~

Thanks for reading.

The Whole-Other-Level Edition Thursday, June 6, 2019

Apple’s Global Accessibility Head On The Company’s New Features For iOS 13 And macOS Catalina, by Steven Aquino, TechCrunch

Herrlinger told me Voice Control, while conceptually fairly straightforward, is designed in such a way to be deep and customizable. Furthermore, Herrlinger added that Apple has put in a ton of work to improve the speech detection system so that it can more adeptly parse users with different types of speech, such as those who stutter. Over time, Voice Control should improve at this.

Of course, the reason for all the excitement over Voice Control is the way it makes computing more accessible. Which is to say, Apple has reached an inflection point with its assistive technologies where someone who can’t physically interact with their computers now has an outlet. To use only your voice to do this used to be the stuff of science fiction, but now it’s more or less reality. There are other tools, like Apple’s own Switch Control, that are in the ballpark, but Voice Control takes it to a whole other level. Apple is putting a stake in the ground — if you can’t touch your computer, just talk to it. For many disabled people, the floodgates just opened. It’s a big deal.

iTunes Is Dead. What Will Happen To Its Best Feature?, by Victor Luckerson, The Ringer

While iTunes is being retired, the company’s new music app for Mac is expected to keep many of the power-user features. Still, the smart-playlists feature isn’t explicitly mentioned in Apple’s PR, and the company hasn’t said anything about whether users will be able to transfer their lists from the old program to the new one. Padoshek is so dedicated to his carefully tended library that he said he would keep an old Mac around specifically to run iTunes if he’s not able to transfer his smart playlists just so.

For most people, this kind of zealous data obsessiveness and library curation reads as an anachronism. Spotify has solved the problem of organizing music for us. But the care people put into their iTunes catalogs was always about much more than practicality.

The Clever Cryptography Behind Apple's 'Find My' Feature, by Andy Greenberg, Wired

In a background phone call with WIRED following that keynote, Apple broke down that privacy element, explaining how its "encrypted and anonymous" system avoids leaking your location data willy nilly, even as your devices broadcast a Bluetooth signal explicitly designed to let you track your device. The solution to that paradox, it turns out, is a trick that requires you to own at least two Apple devices. Each one emits a constantly changing key that nearby Apple devices use to encrypt and upload your geolocation data, such that only the other Apple device you own possesses the key to decrypt those locations.

That system would obviate the threat of marketers or other snoops tracking Apple device Bluetooth signals, allowing them to build their own histories of every user's location. "If Apple did things right, and there are a lot of ifs here, it sounds like this could be done in a private way," says Matthew Green, a cryptographer at Johns Hopkins University. "Even if I tracked you walking around, I wouldn’t be able to recognize you were the same person from one hour to the next."

Catalyst: The iPad And Mac Are Tied Together Like Never Before, by Jason Snell, Macworld

It’s time for Mac users and iPad users to realize that these two platforms are now unified in a way they’ve never been before. Making a new Mac new app starts with making a good iPad app—something that will benefit iPad users directly. Meanwhile, Mac users get to benefit from the enormous size of the iOS app development community, which has never previously been able to address the Mac without learning an entirely different way of building apps.

This is just the beginning, and the era won’t truly start until the fall when macOS Catalina ships, but the potential is there for a huge wave of new apps—and a rising tide would lift both the Mac and the iPad.

Coming Soon

Apple Details iTunes Changes In macOS Catalina, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple explains in the support document that “all of your favorite iTunes features” will be available in the trio of new apps included in macOS Catalina. The company offers a bulleted list of where popular iTunes features are moving.

Time, Location Triggers Make Shortcuts More Useful In iOS 13, by Charlie Sorrel, Cult of Mac

For instance, you could have a shortcut run when you arrive home, switching on a HomeKit scene, sending a message to a family member that you’ve arrived, and perhaps playing your walk-on music. Or, if you have a task you perform at the same time every day, you can just set it to run at that time.

It’s really deep, too. Pick the timer option, and you can pick a time manually. But you can also tie the shortcut to any of your existing alarms, or to your Bedtime wake-up time. You can even have the shortcut trigger only when you snooze an alarm.

With iOS 13, Apple Locks Out Apps From Accessing Users’ Private Notes In Contacts , by Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

Apple is closing a loophole that allowed app developers to access users’ potentially sensitive and private data. With the launch of iOS 13, apps that request access to users’ Contacts will no longer be able to read the data in the “Notes” field of those address book entries.

iOS 13 Includes New Accessibility Features For Motion Sensitivity And Color Blindness , by Jordan Kahn, 9to5Mac

These include new settings to improve app interactions for users with various motion sensitivity and color-blindness disabilities. The new features will be available in Apple’s own apps starting with iOS 13 and in third-party apps via new APIs for developers.

Sidecar In macOS Catalina Brings Touch Bar Controls To Non-Touch Bar Mac Users, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

The iPad Touch Bar mirrors the MacBook Pro's Touch Bar on a model with a Touch Bar, and when used with a MacBook Pro that doesn't have a Touch Bar, it lets you tap into functionality that would otherwise be unavailable.

Stuff

Affinity Photo And Designer 1.7 Adds Multi GPU / eGPU Support, by Jeff Benjamin, 9to5Mac

Today Serif, creator of Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo, has released version 1.7 of its popular illustration and photo editing apps on Mac. The updates are headlined by enhanced GPU compute acceleration, HDR monitor support, and a new memory management system.

Skype Screen Sharing Now Out Of Beta On iOS And Android, by Damien Wilde, 9to5Google

Screen sharing on Skype is now available to the masses, as the feature is officially out of beta and rolling out to iOS and Android devices right now.

Although Skype is no longer the most popular video messaging platform on mobile, the Microsoft-owned video chat application has some nifty features and boasts over 1 billion users worldwide. The addition of this screen sharing feature to the mobile Skype application might even open up a new audience for the platform.

Notes

Saved By An Apple Watch: Woman Stranded On Paddleboard Calls 911, by Emily Sweeney, Boston Globe

An afternoon of paddleboarding almost turned into a nightmare for a woman who ventured into the waters off Nahant Beach on Monday and discovered that she couldn’t get back to shore.

“The wind blew her way off the beach,” said Swampscott Police Sergeant Bill Waters.

Luckily, the woman was wearing an Apple Watch and she was able to call 911 while she was stranded in the water, he said.

Apple's $1000 Monitor Stand Is A Massive PR Fail, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

This should never have been a $5000 monitor with a $1000 monitor stand: it should simply have been a $6k monitor. The world would have had the same reaction it did to a $5k one – either ‘ouch’ or ‘decent value for what you get,’ depending on perspective – and we’d all have gotten on with our day.

Bottom of the Page

My wish list for Apple Music is derived from two sources, a piece of software and a piece of hardware.

Firstly, the software: iTunes. Back in the days, I've had quite a few smart playlist set up. I wish I can do this with Apple Music. The entire Apple Music, not just whatever songs that I chose to put in my iCloud music library. (Does smart playlist even work with iCloud music library currently? Because I am having problem setting that up too.)

Of course, many smart playlist may end up with a lot of songs. That's where the second half of my wish list comes in: Autofill. (Remember iPod Shuffle?) Yes, I want to tell my iPhone to download a random portion of my smart playlist.

~

I always find it strange that bloggers and columnists start publishing wishlists just before new versions of iOS and macOS (and iPadOS) are being released. These are like reviews of the previous version of the operating system, with a hint of prediction that these wishlist items are probably not coming in the next release. If your desire is to catch the eyes of some decision makers in Apple, this is not the right time. The upcoming releases are probably feature-freezed for a while already.

The right time is now. Since Apple has just told you what is not in the upcoming release, you should start pestering Apple people on next year's releases.

Of course, that's provided someone at Apple reads your stuff. Nobody read what I write.

~

Thanks for reading.

The Multiple-Fronts Edition Wednesday, June 5, 2019

The Apple Watch Is Now The Control Center For Your Health, by Robbie Gonzalez, Wired

This is how Apple eats its competition's lunch: one bite at a time. Personal health, as the phrase suggests, means different things to different people. The most effective, individualized devices will need to meet users where they are, no matter where that is. By covering as many bases as possible, Apple is positioning itself to do exactly that.

"Apple is taking steps in the right direction on multiple fronts, simultaneously," says Mitesh Patel, a researcher at the University of Pennsylvania who studies whether and how wearable devices can facilitate improvements in health. "It's clear they're trying to democratize access to managing your own health, whether it's by monitoring your biometrics, your activity, your menstrual cycle, your hearing health, or whatever." Those are all things you once had to track actively, or visit a doctor to assess. Now, you can monitor them anytime, anywhere, passively, simply by wearing a device on your wrist.

Why Apple Might Soon Be The Best Choice For Tracking Your Period, by Victoria Song, Gizmodo

Alone, Apple announcing a period tracking app wouldn’t get me jazzed. However, the combination of its dedication to privacy, history of partaking in clinical research, and building this app natively into its phone collectively give me cautious hope that we could see something truly useful from Apple in the future.

Apple Is Designing For A post-Facebook World, by Mark Wilson, Fast Company

So why is Apple leaning into the relationships between people with so many new features in iOS? Perhaps the company senses an opportunity. Perhaps it sees that a generation of young people would rather share their moments to small, private groups rather than publicly on services like Facebook. After all, the iPhone’s single must-have feature in 2019 isn’t its depth-sensing camera or advanced microprocessors–it’s iMessages, a messaging app with rich multimedia features, like sending long notes to friends and marking up each other’s photos by hand. (Every Android user on the planet knows the pain of being half locked out of iMessage conversations, losing out on jokes and photos shared by a family of Apple users.) Apple is already building services that allow for rich, multi-person communication experiences. Now, it’s linking those services together.

As Apple continues to diversify its many operating systems–WatchOS and the new iPadOS will both operate semi-independently from iOS and MacOS–it looks like people will be the glue binding Apple together. It’s a safe bet that while liking photos on Facebook and other social networks may one day go out of fashion, the actual people in them never will.

Button Placement

Apple Asks Developers To Place Its Login Button Above Google, Facebook, by Stephen Nellis, Reuters

Apple Inc will require developers to position a new “Sign on with Apple” button in iPhone and iPad apps above rival buttons from Alphabet Inc’s Google and Facebook Inc, according to developer guidelines released this week.

[...]

Apple confirmed that apps that have their own dedicated login system and do not use buttons from Google or Facebook, such as apps from game maker Nintendo Co Ltd, will not be required to use Apple’s login button. Apple’s button also works on websites. Its use will not be required because Apple does not hold review power over websites the way it does apps on its own store, but Apple still requires it to be given top placement if it is used.

Coming Soon

macOS Catalina: The MacStories Overview, by Ryan Christoffel, MacStories

The Mac is experiencing a new season of change. Following up on last year’s Mojave, which positioned the Mac as a productivity-first platform, this year macOS Catalina ushers in what’s sure to be a flood of new apps on the platform thanks to Project Catalyst. At the same time as the Mac welcomes an influx of new third-party apps, it says goodbye to iTunes in favor of dedicated apps for Music, Podcasts, and TV. From a user-facing standpoint Catalina isn’t a huge release – at least not until the other shoe drops and iPad apps hit the Mac this fall – but it is an important defining moment for macOS: with Catalina, old things are reimagined, and integration with the growing ecosystem of other Apple products and platforms propels the Mac to new heights.

tvOS 13: The MacStories Overview, by Ryan Christoffel, MacStories

tvOS 13 is perhaps the most substantial update to the Apple TV’s software since the debut of tvOS in 2015. That’s not saying a lot, because past updates have been relatively lackluster, but it does say something about Apple’s commitment to the Apple TV platform. Taken in combination with the redesigned TV app that arrived last month, this latest version of tvOS makes a strong case for Apple finally taking television seriously – particularly as the launch of Apple TV+ draws nearer.

The latest version of tvOS starts with an updated Home screen, which includes a Control Center pane, and most notably adds multi-user functionality, as well as expanded game controller support, plus a few other upgrades.

Apple Outlines New Podcasts Features In iOS 13, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple says that the transcript search will come to “selected top shows” at first, and expand as time progresses. The company also says that show and episode pages will display images of hosts and guests with Podcasts in iOS 13.

The Music App In iOS 13 Now Warns You When You're About To Add A Duplicate Song To A Playlist, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

It’s a pretty simple feature on the surface, but one that the Music app on iOS has lacked. When you try to add a song to a playlist, but that song is already in that playlist, the Music app will now warn you as such. You can then choose to cancel or add a duplicate anyway.

iOS 13 Brings Brilliant Charging Option To Save Your Battery, by Buster Hein, Cult of Mac

iPhones already have battery management systems that fast charge the device to 80% and then trickle charge the rest. The new feature adds a machine learning element to that though so it’s not needlessly charging at 100%.

iPhone’s Wi-Fi Hotspot Gets A Big Upgrade In iOS 13, by Ed Hardy, Cult of Mac

Apple promises the tablet can “automatically connect to your nearby iPhone personal hotspot when there’s no internet connection available.”

In addition, the iPad will stay connected, even when it goes to sleep. This allows it to continue to receive incoming messages and push notifications even when the screen is off.

Stuff

Who Kept Buying The Mac Pro Everyone Hated?, by Ernie Smith, Vice

As the years moved on and the upgrades failed to surface, however, that reputation changed dramatically. Its dual-GPU structure quickly proved to be a bad bet and its “thermal corner” locked the company into a limited design that scared off enthusiasts and high-end business consumers alike. Those Thunderbolt 2 ports could not replace all the missing drive bays and PCI slots which, for all the size they added, prevented your desk from becoming a mess of cables, cords, and boxes.

But despite all the negative blowback about this machine, there is still a thriving market of people who buy the trash can Mac Pro in 2019. I found these people in the server room and in the used computer market.

Notes

Apple CEO Says U.S. Scrutiny 'Fair,' But Rejects Idea Company Is A Monopoly, by Reuters

Cook, speaking in an interview with CBS News that aired on Tuesday, said Apple controlled a moderate share of the market but was not too big, and disagreed with calls from some U.S. politicians that the company be broken up.

“With size, I think scrutiny is fair. I think we should be scrutinized,” he said. But, he added, “I don’t think anybody reasonable is gonna come to the conclusion that Apple’s a monopoly.”

Tim Cook Says He Isn't Too Worried About China Tariffs On iPhones, by Steven Musil, CNET

"The Chinese have not targeted Apple at all, and I don't anticipate that happening, to be honest," Cook said in an interview with CBS News, conceding that a tariff on the iPhone would hurt sales of the smartphone. [...]

"I'm hoping that doesn't happen," he said in the interview. "The truth is, the iPhone is made everywhere. It's made everywhere. And so, a tariff on the iPhone would hurt all of those countries, but the one that would be hurt the most is this one."

Why Teens Are AirDropping Memes To Strangers, by Taylor Lorenz, The Atlantic

Anyone who has accidentally left their AirDrop settings open to everyone around a group of teens is likely familiar with the deluge of memes, selfies, and notes that arrives so quickly it can often freeze your phone. "Another day another group of french teens trying to AirDrop me memes on the subway," one woman tweeted. "in a crowd of teens and they keep trying to AirDrop me memes!!!" said another. One young Twitter user joked that she was going to a music festival last weekend "just to AirDrop."

Bottom of the Page

I am so tempted to install the new macOS beta on my one-and-only Mac...

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Thanks for reading.

The Dub-Dub-Nineteen Edition Tuesday, June 4, 2019

No Mac Is An Island With macOS Catalina, by Adam Engst, TidBITS

Let’s face it. Macs users are adrift in a sea of iOS devices. Waves of iPhones and iPads break around us and even an occasional iPod touch floats by. So it shouldn’t be at all surprising that the forthcoming macOS 10.15 Catalina focuses on changes that bring the Mac and iOS closer than ever before.

That’s not to say that Apple is trying to replace the Mac with iOS or remove those unique capabilities of the Mac that make it special. The Mac and macOS remain first-class, vibrant members of Apple’s hardware and software platforms. But what we’re not going to see, at least from Apple, are new technologies that set the Mac further apart from its iOS brethren. When it comes to operating systems, it’s safe to say that it’s one for all, and all for Apple.

iOS Apps Will Run On macOS With Project Catalyst, by Romain Dillet, TechCrunch

Apple announced during its WWDC keynote that iOS apps will run on macOS, starting with the next major release of macOS this fall — macOS Catalina. Third-party developers will be able to release their iOS apps on the Mac starting this fall.

This might seem like a small change, but it requires a ton of radical changes behind the scene.

Apple Introduces Sidecar App For Using An iPad As A Mac's Secondary Display, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Sidecar will work both wired and wirelessly and will support the Apple Pencil as an input device for the Mac. This functionality will be supported across all apps that support tablets.

Now With Its Very Own iPadOS

iPadOS: The MacStories Overview, by Ryan Christoffel, MacStories

Today during the WWDC keynote, where Apple unveiled the next major version of its mobile software platform, iOS 13, the company also had a big surprise to share: iOS is now exclusive to the iPhone and has given birth to a new, dedicated operating system for the iPad, named iPadOS.

iPadOS includes all the existing features of iOS, including the host of updates coming in iOS 13, but adds to it a long list of enhancements that address common pain points among iPad Pro users. From an updated Home screen to multitasking improvements, Files upgrades including USB drive support, a desktop-class Safari, and much more. All of these features aim to make the iPad a more capable full-time computer than ever before.

In today’s Worldwide Developer Conference keynote, Apple’s Craig Federighi whipped through the major changes, most of which revolved around individual apps. Unsurprisingly, those changes largely reflect or are matched by similar changes in the iOS versions, but there were a number of Mac-specific enhancements as well.

Apple’s New iPadOS Includes Mouse Support For iPads, by Tom Warren, The Verge

iOS developer Steve Troughton-Smith discovered the new mouse support in iPadOS today, and it reportedly works with USB mice and even devices like Apple’s Magic Trackpad.

[...]

Apple has implemented this support as an AssistiveTouch feature, and the cursor looks like a typical touch target you’d find in iOS.

For All Your iDevices

iOS 13: The MacStories Overview, by Ryan Christoffel, MacStories

iOS 13 is the latest major version of Apple’s mobile software platform, unveiled earlier today during the company's WWDC keynote. Contrasting with last year’s iOS 12, which focused largely on performance improvements and brought fewer new features than usual, iOS 13 promises to continue the theme of strong performance while also adding a wide array of enhancements across the board. From a systemwide dark mode, updates to Shortcuts, a long-awaited redesign for Reminders, enhancements to an unprecedented number of system apps, and much more, there is a lot to take in here.

Apple Is Building A Major Defense Against Spam Calls Into iOS 13, by Chris Welch, The Verge

Apple is taking a new step to combat spam calls in iOS 13. Today, you can already install third-party spam call screeners on your iPhone, but if that’s not good enough (or something you don’t want to do), iOS 13 will add a new solution this fall: it will be able to automatically silence any calls coming in from an unknown number. Even better, it’ll automatically send them to voicemail.

Apple’s HomePod Speaker Will Be Able Recognize Who’s Speaking To It With iOS 13, by Dan Seifert, The Verge

Now it’s adding the ability to recognize who is speaking to it and tailor its responses accordingly. It can provide personalized music, calendar information, and reminders depending on who is speaking to it.

iOS 13 And AirPods: Reply To Messages Instantly With Siri, Share Audio Between People, HomePod Handoff , by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

If you are listening to music with AirPods, you can start sending music to another nearby iPhone owner.

Apple's Voice Control Feature Lets You Use Your Mac Or iPhone With Only Your Voice, by Melanie Ehrenkranz, Gizmodo

Voice Control works “with virtually any app,” according to Apple, and allows users to tap, swipe, and scroll using their voice. The feature affords individuals with motor impairments a way to more fully and autonomously navigate Apple’s phones, computers, and tablets.

Apple's New 'Find My' App For macOS And iOS Can Find Your Devices Even When They're Offline, by Mitchel Broussard, MacRumors

Apple said that when a device is offline and sleeping, it sends out a secure Bluetooth beacon that can be detected by other Apple devices nearby, even the ones owned by other people. This results in a network that works to find lost Apple devices through a secure, encrypted, and anonymous signal relay.

iOS 13 Includes References To Apple's Tag Device For Tracking Personal Items, by Guilherme Rambo, 9to5Mac

Now, the first beta of iOS 13 includes an asset package for a device with the product type “Tag1,1”. This type of asset package is used for pairing devices by proximity, the same way as AirPods and HomePod can be paired to a user’s device.

iOS 13 Removes 200 MB File Size Limit For App Downloads Over Cellular, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

In iOS 13, the system now shows a dialog warning that the app size is large, noting the file size. Users can choose to continue downloading or schedule it to happen later when the device returns to a Wi-Fi connection.

Watch TV

Apple Wants To Save Your Hearing And Track Your Menstrual Cycle With New Apple Watch Update, by Sean Hollister, The Verge

Apple’s big upcoming update for the Apple Watch, watchOS 6, is going to try to protect your ears — Apple’s going to use the built-in microphone to tell you if ambient noise is too loud, and warn you to take care of your hearing. And that’s just one of several new health features, including menstrual cycle (and fertility) tracking on the Watch itself, and a new Activity Trends feature that’ll let you see how you’re tracking toward your fitness goals over time, the company just announced at WWDC 2019.

tvOS Gets Support For Multiple Users, Xbox And PlayStation Controllers, by Romain Dillet, TechCrunch

tvOS will support multiple users so that your “Up Next” queue is personalized to your tastes. It works pretty much like profiles on Netflix and other streaming services. You swipe from the right to open a new Control Center panel.

Day of the Mac Pro

A Closer Look At Apple’s Reinvented Mac Pro, by Brian Heater, TechCrunch

The company happily discussed how much it had undercut the competition at $5,999 — but it’s important to note that those who are really serious about the category are almost certainly going to want to upgrade from some of the base-level specs including, notably, the 256GB SSD. When we’re having conversations about editing 4K and 8K video, you’re going to want something beefier out of the box.

The Pro Display XDR 6K monitor is also quite lovely. And it’s interesting to see the company getting back in the monitor game after handing off a lot of the heavy lifting to the likes of LG. At $4,999, it’s $1,000 cheaper than the Pro — until you add back in the optional $1,000 stand.

Privacy Matters

“Sign In With Apple” Is A Great New Privacy Feature—and A Weapon, by Mark Sullivan, Fast Compnay

Sign in with Apple is an impressive, privacy-friendly alternative to one of the main data-harvesting techniques used by its rivals. And Apple isn’t just offering it up as a new option for developers. It will require apps that include sign-in buttons powered by other companies to add its new button as well.

Rolling out Sign in with Apple is different than Tim Cook saying “we believe privacy is a human right” in a speech or a TV interview. This is Apple weaponizing its privacy stance, creating a product that directly addresses a well-known tactic used in the surveillance economy. If users embrace it, they’ll benefit—and if they use it instead of some other company’s more intrusive sign-in service, other tech giants will lose out.

Apple Says Apps Will Be Required To Offer 'Sign In With Apple' If They Support Other Sign In Platforms, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

“Sign in With Apple” isn’t live in the first beta of iOS 13, but the company says it will be available for developers to test this summer. It also notes that if an app supports third-party sign-in from a competitor like Google or Facebook, it must also support “Sign in with Apple.”

Apple Is Now The Privacy-as-a-service Company, by Darrell Etherington, TechCrunch

Apple shared plenty of news today at its WWDC 2019 annual developer conference, but a few of the announcements early on are potentially its biggest in terms of what they signal about the company and its direction. Specifically, Apple unveiled a new single-sign on unified ID platform, as well as a new way it’ll operate as a go-between for security cameras that work with its HomeKit smart home services.

These didn’t come out of nowhere: Apple has been playing up its privacy game for at least a few years now, and in the Tim Cook era it’s especially come to the fore. But today’s announcements really crystallize how Apple’s approach to privacy will mesh with its transformation into becoming even more of a services company. It’s becoming a services company with a key differentiator – privacy – and it’s also extending that paradigm to third-parties, acting as an ecosystem layer that mediates between users, and anyone who would seek to monetize their info in aggregate.

Apple Restricts Ads And Third-party Trackers In iPhone Apps For Kids, by Zack Whittaker, TechCrunch

“Apps in the kids category may not include third-party advertising or analytics,” the new guidelines say. Previously, the guidelines only restricted behavioral advertising tracking.

Apple also currently prohibits apps in the kids category from including links that point outside the app or contain in-app purchasing.

Apple Is A Tech Regulator Now, by April Glaser, Slate

Apple pulling in the reins on what apps can access about users is just the latest example of Apple regulating other companies.

Apple CEO Tim Cook On iOS 13's Sign In With Apple: 'We're Not Really Taking A Shot At Anybody', by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple, he says, focuses on the user, and the company believes people want to be able to use the web without being under surveillance.

UIs and Kits

Apple Announces SwiftUI, A Modern Declarative User Interface Framework For Apple Platforms, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

SwiftUI enables a realtime UI programming environment inside of Xcode. Developers declare the kind of UI components they want to show in their app’s UI and it appears immediately on the right-hand side of Xcode.

Apple’s Real User Indicator Will Tell Developers When A New Account May Actually Be A Bot, by Nick Statt, The Verge

The feature, announced during the company’s Platforms State of the Union event at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), is designed to check for traits more consistent with bots than people. It then informs an app developer of the situation, so the developer can then take further action to verify the authenticity of the new account.

Apple Unveils ARKit 3 With People Occlusion, Motion Capture, Multiple Face Tracking, And More, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

The latest release brings some major new features like people occlusion, motion capture, multiple face tracking, simultaneous front and back camera use, and more.

Apple Announces RealityKit And Reality Composer, by Guilherme Rambo, 9to5Mac

The new framework should make it easier for developers to integrate 3D content into their apps, including content in AR.

Apple Introduces SF Symbols App With Over 1,000 Configurable Symbols For Developers, by Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac

SFSymbols is a set of over 1,000 consistent and highly configurable symbols that was designed to integrate with Apple’s system font, San Francisco. These symbols can be used in iOS 13, watchOS 6, and tvOS 13. Each symbol was designed with a variety of sizes and weights so you can find the right version for your app.

Apple Expands Feedback Assistant Platform To Developers, Replacing Bug Reporter, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

In the past, Apple has used the Feedback Assistant platform for collecting beta feedback from users of the public iOS and macOS betas. With iOS 13, iPadOS, and macOS 10.15, however, Apple is expanding the platform to developers as well.

The Winners

Apple Announces 2019 Apple Design Award Winners, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

Apple tonight officially announced the winners of the Apple Design Awards 2019. Recipients are selected based on what the company thinks are some of the best apps for various Apple platforms.

Notes

Apple Backs Off Crackdown On Parental-Control Apps, by Jack Nicas, New York Times

After promoting its latest software updates in a splashy two-hour presentation on Monday morning, Apple articulated its new policy in a short blog post on a section of its website for developers.

The post said parental-control apps could now use two technologies that Apple had recently cited as grounds for their removal from iPhones.

One technology, mobile device management, or M.D.M., enables parents to take control of a child’s phone. The other is a virtual private network, or V.P.N., which parents can use to block certain apps on a child’s phone.

While the blog post did not explain why Apple had changed its mind, the company said the apps could use the technologies if they didn’t “sell, use or disclose to third parties any data for any purpose.”

Inside Apple’s Earthquake-Ready Headquarters, by Thomas Fuller, New York Times

The building is one of a relatively small number in the United States that use so-called base-isolation technology. [...]

Jim Wilson, the San Francisco bureau photographer, and I were the first journalists to descend into the basement and tour the building’s protective seismic system.

Bottom of the Page

Will we start seeing prices of Mac apps dropping to iPad's level?

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Thanks for reading.

The Greatest-Curators Edition Monday, June 3, 2019

The End Of The iTunes Era: The Life And Death Of Apple's Curator-in-chief, by Randall Roberts, Los Angeles Times

Over his four decades at Rhino Records and Apple, Stewart left his mark as one of the greatest curators the music business had ever known, cataloging, packaging and recontextualizing forgotten and overlooked swaths of rock history, much as legendary anthropologists Harry Smith and Alan Lomax had done for folk and for blues.

His knowledge was so deep that former Apple Music colleague Brian Rochlin called him “unintentionally intimidating” when it came to discussing pop culture. “No matter how much you loved something,” Rochlin said, after talking to Gary, “you were going to find out that you knew a lot less than you thought you did.”

But on that April night, a life’s worth of obsession — the millions of facts, opinions, melodies and connections stored in his memory — vanished.

The Music Industry Expects A Windfall. Where Will The Money Go?, by Marc Hogan, PitchFork

According to the artists, managers, label executives, and industry observers I spoke with for this piece, streaming is transforming the music business in a way that should allow certain artists to keep a bigger share of the earnings from what they create. And yet, just as it’s been throughout the history of recorded music, most of the money will not go to artists. A few experts even admit that many musicians who might once have sustained modest yet viable careers may now have to give up on their dreams of making a living from their work. According to Daniel Glass, president and founder of Glassnote Records, the label that helped turn Phoenix, Mumford & Sons, and Childish Gambino into arena headliners, “There’s very little middle- and lower-class in recording. That world has dried up.”

Open Mike Eagle, who’s been a low-key fixture in the indie hip-hop world for more than a decade, tells me, “The streaming model is built for people who have millions of fans, not for people who have thousands of fans.” Mike says that when he began his career in the late 2000s, a healthy do-it-yourself culture helped him develop his skills below the radar: “There were enough musicians that you could link up with and tour with, and blow up that way.” No longer. “The DIY paths are the ones that are drying up the fastest,” he says.

Security Matters

Apple macOS Security Protections Can Easily Bypassed With ‘Synthetic’ Clicks, Researcher Finds, by Zack Whittaker, TechCrunch

Wardle, who revealed the zero-day flaw at his conference Objective By The Sea in Monaco on Sunday, said the bug stems from an undocumented whitelist of approved macOS apps that are allowed to create synthetic clicks to prevent them from breaking.

Typically apps are signed with a digital certificate to prove that the app is genuine and hasn’t been tampered with. If the app has been modified to include malware, the certificate usually flags an error and the operating system won’t run the app. But a bug in Apple’s code meant that that macOS was only checking if a certificate exists and wasn’t properly verifying the authenticity of the whitelisted app.

Stuff

Apple Gifts WWDC 2019 Attendees Swag Bag, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Because of the reversible design, one side of the jacket is a classic black with small WWDC branding on the chest. The other side is bright and filled with icons and drawings, reminiscent of the other WWDC artwork we’ve seen so far.

Ecobee Announces HomeKit Compatible 'SmartThermostat', by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Smart home accessory maker Ecobee has today announced its new SmartThermostat, the successor to the popular ecobee4. The new SmartThermostat packs a sleek new design, HomeKit control, and more.

Notes

High-speed Thunderbolt Ports Are Getting Better -- But So Is USB, by Stephen Shankland, CNET

"We have a very robust team that continues Thunderbolt development," said Chris Walker, Intel's PC chip chief, in a recent press briefing.

Intel wouldn't say exactly how it hopes to improve Thunderbolt. Speed boosts are an obvious candidate, given Thunderbolt's usefulness in high-end computing.

But fundamentally, it's not clear Thunderbolt will have a new answer to its biggest question: with USB's ubiquity and increasing speeds, will Thunderbolt ever become a truly mainstream technology?

US Companies Help Censor The Internet In China, Too, by Tom Simonite, Wired

Chinese tech companies such as search engine Baidu and social media platform Tencent block Tiananmen-related posts and pages to comply with the country’s authoritarian internet rules. Some US companies do their bit, too. Apple and Microsoft censor information in China as a condition of accessing the country’s lucrative but circumscribed population of more than 800 million netizens.

For Microsoft, that means keeping content the government deems sensitive out of Bing search results and off of its business networking site LinkedIn. Apple polices its app store differently in China than in other parts of the world, at the government’s direction. The company has said that it removes VPN apps that could be used to bypass China’s so-called Great Firewall, which blocks access to many overseas sites. A tool launched in February by Greatfire.org, which monitors Chinese censorship, indicates that anonymity tools and apps about Tibet and Falun Gong that are available in versions of the app store around the world do not appear in China’s.

Bottom of the Page

Happy Dub-Dub, everybody! Enjoy the keynote. I'll go to sleep now.

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Thanks for reading.

The iTunes-the-App Edition Sunday, June 2, 2019

Apple Wipes iTunes Pages On Facebook And Instagram Ahead Of WWDC, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

As noted on Reddit, Apple has abruptly removed all social media content from its iTunes page on Facebook, including posts, photos, and videos. This appears to have happened within the past 24 hours, as a cached version of the iTunes page on Facebook still had content available as of May 31.

Madonna’s New Today At Apple Music Lab Teaches The Art Of The Remix, by Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac

On June 14th, Madonna will release her latest album titled Madame X. The iconic musician will also soon introduce Today at Apple session attendees in Apple retail stores across the world to the art of remixing tracks in GarageBand for iOS. Like all co-created sessions, a prerecorded video by the artist sets the tone for the lab before Apple’s Creative Pros take over to dive in to a project. Participants will use Madonna’s song “Crave” from the new album as the foundation for their own remixes after learning about what inspired the music.

Apple Just Patched A Modem Bug That's Been In Macs Since 1999, by Lily Hay Newman, Wired

In 1999, Apple released a slew of new features with Mac OS 9, calling it "the best internet operating system ever." The idea was to unlock the full potential of the turquoise plastic iMac G3—the Internet Mac!—released in 1998. But 12-year-old Joshua Hill didn't have an iMac. To take advantage of all the new connectivity from his parents' mid-'90s Mac Performa, he needed a modem that would plug into the computer through one of its chunky "serial" ports. So, naturally, he swapped his holographic Han Solo trading card with a friend for a 56k modem and started poking around. Twenty years later, his childhood fascination has led him to unearth a modem configuration bug that's been in Apple operating systems all these years. And Apple finally patched it in April.

Stuff

Apple Shares New 'Shot On iPhone XS' Short Film Titled 'Las Cholitas Voladoras', by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

The video is entitled “Las Cholitas Voladoras” and highlights an association of female wrestlers based in Bolivia.

Ten Things Outdoor Enthusiasts Loves About Apple Watch And iPhone, by Mathias Eichler, iMore

I've been taking my iPhone and Apple Watch into the backcountry for a long time now and am continuously surprised and delighted how well they hold up. Each iteration gets better and makes adventuring more fun. There's a stereotype that outdoor gear is supposed to look like a Tonka Truck; overly bubbly and burly and surrounded by protective plastic on every surface, but even though iPhone and Apple Watch look slick and are at home on any runway, they are equally well suited on a trail, in the wilderness, surrounded by dust and mud, far away from cell signals, subways and Uber rides.

So, what is it that outdoor enthusiasts love about the iPhone and Watch?

Niantic Says It's Ending Support For Pokémon GO On The Apple Watch, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

The company is pushing users its Adventure Sync feature, which tracks steps and other data through integration with third-party apps.

Develop

Why Apple Needs iPad Apps On The Mac, by Steve Troughton-Smith, High Caffeine Content

That NeXT competitive advantage became Apple's competitive advantage, and, later, iPhone's competitive advantage. This is the competitive advantage a native platform from Apple has over the web; it would be such a shame to half-ass this transition to Marzipan and concede defeat to web apps on the desktop instead of letting native apps reach the heights they deserve. And still, dividing Apple's attention between not one but two native app frameworks, each tens of floors tall, will always be a major constraint; I want to see what Apple can really do.

Notes

8 Siblings. 4 Time Zones. One WhatsApp Group., by Maeve Higgins, New York Times

I have these six girls, now women, and one boy, now man, that are mine, my family. Their offspring are also mine, and with the arrival of a chubby baby boy earlier this year they number seven. We are spread across the world, in the United Arab Emirates, in Jordan, in England, in Ireland and in the United States. Our primary form of contact is a group WhatsApp chat: my parents and the eight children. Just the 10 of us. Every now and then one of us loses a phone or changes a number, and we start a new chat. The current one was created in August 2017 and holds 5,600 photos and probably four times as many messages.

Bottom of the Page

I'm not sure what's the future of the iTunes Music Store, but I cannot imagine Apple abandoning the download-purchases market this year. After all, the company has declared music to be in their DNA.

On the other hand, Apple indicated it has no plans to merge iOS and macOS. But why would it force customers to choose between an iPad and a MacBook?

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Thanks for reading.

The Systems-That-Work Edition Saturday, June 1, 2019

Apple Putting Finishing Touches On WWDC Decorations At McEnery Convention Center, by Eric Slivka, MacRumors

The first WWDC 2019 events kick off in just two days with the early arrival of student scholars, and Apple is putting the finishing touches on decorations at and around the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose.

iTunes: An Error Occurred, by Allen Pike

There will surely be naysayers that claim iTunes should have been tossed entirely. And admittely, if the new Music app ditches iTunes’ interface but can’t cure its deep and baffling love for obtuse modal error dialogs, I too will bemoan its preservation. But arguing for code to be rewritten just because it’s old has never been the right way to build systems that work.

And whatever the composition and fate of this new app, you really have to hand it to iTunes for getting this far. Seriously, this app has been keeping the beat for almost 20 years. It has survived a veritable hurricane of scope creep and strategy taxes. It was a key part of Apple’s growth from charming underdog to singular goliath.

iOS Developer Alex Paul Shares His Incredible Immigration Story, by Hanna Flanagan, People

“I had a problem, so I went into the app store to see if an app that keeps an inventory of the paint colors you used existed,” Paul tells PEOPLE. “Nothing came up.”

Rather than wait around for someone else to solve it, Paul took matters into his own hands. He taught himself coding and created an app called “What Paint.” His development turned a profit, but it would be another two years before Paul would finally receive a green card and land a tech job.

The Dark Side Of Dark Mode, by Adam Engst, TidBITS

Unfortunately, Apple’s marketing claims about Dark Mode’s benefits fly in the face of the science of human visual perception. Except in extraordinary situations, Dark Mode is not easy on the eyes, in any way. The human eyes and brain prefer dark-on-light, and reversing that forces them to work harder to read text, parse controls, and comprehend what you’re seeing.

It may be hip and trendy, but put bluntly, Dark Mode makes everyone who turns it on slower and stupider. Here’s why you should switch back to the Light mode that your eyes and brain prefer in System Preferences > General.

Stuff

All Versions Of macOS Losing Back To My Mac iCloud Feature In July, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Apple removed the Back to My Mac iCloud feature from macOS Mojave last fall after giving a heads up about its removal in August. Now, an update to the support document for the feature warns users that Back to My Mac will be discontinued in July for what sounds like all macOS versions.

Notes

Can Apple Be Trusted With The App Store?, by Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge

At best, Apple’s stewardship here is inconsistent; at worst, it’s biased in favor of its own services. Neither of those reasons says anything positive about Apple’s ability to successfully run or moderate the App Store in a fair manner. [...] It all highlights the biggest problems with Apple’s walled garden, which is that you live or die by Apple’s whim. Even if you’re a developer who’s been building an app for years, the whole thing can be yanked out from under you in an instant simply because Apple changed the rules of the game.

As China Takes Aim, Silicon Valley Braces For Pain, by David Streitfeld, New York Times

The Chinese government said Friday that it was putting together an “unreliable entities list,” a counterattack against the United States for denying important technology to Chinese companies. No companies were named or details given, but tech firms seemed all but assured of being a prime target.

As the economic relationship between the two countries frays at warp speed, the much-anticipated tech cold war is escalating.