The Drawing-Board Edition Saturday, June 29, 2019

Apple Is Making Changes To Its Subscription Bundle, Apple News Plus, After A Slow Start, Publishing Execs Say, by Lucia Moses, Business Insider

Apple News is going back to the drawing board with its 3-month-old Apple News Plus after a slow start for the news subscription bundle, according to publishers who have had conversations with the phone maker.


Apple gave away Plus for free for the first month, and in its first two days, it reportedly had about 200,000 subscribers, which is about what Texture had. But three months in, publishing execs who spoke for this article said the subscription revenue they'd gotten from the service was underwhelming based on two months of data after the trial ended.

Apple Moves Mac Pro Production To China, by Tripp Mickle and Yoko Kubota, Wall Street Journal

The tech giant has tapped contractor Quanta Computer Inc. to manufacture the $6,000 desktop computer and is ramping up production at a factory near Shanghai, the people said. Quanta’s facility is close to other Apple suppliers across Asia, making it possible for Apple to achieve lower shipping costs than if it shipped components to the U.S.

While the Mac Pro isn’t one of Apple’s bigger products, the decision on where to make it carries outsize significance. Apple’s reliance on factories in China to manufacture its products has been an issue for the company, especially under President Trump, who has pressured Apple and other companies to make more in the U.S.

How The iPhone Helped Save The Planet, by Andrew McAfee, Wired

Cichon’s find shows us that when thinking about their overall impact on the planet, it’s not helpful to think in isolation about producing 2 billion iPhones. Instead, we should think about a counterfactual: What would have been produced over the past 12 years in a smartphone-free world? The answer, clearly, is a lot more: a lot more gear, and a lot more media.

Sales of point-and-shoot cameras, camcorders, film, and videotapes have plummeted in recent years, but that’s not because we stopped caring about pictures and videos. Instead, it’s because a device called the smartphone came along that let us dematerialize our consumption of these things. Dematerialization is an idea that goes back at least as far as the 1920s (with R. Buckminster Fuller’s concept of “ephemerialization”), and evidence from America and other high-income countries shows that it’s an idea whose time has finally come.

Security Matters

In-the-wild Mac Malware Kept Busy In June—here’s A Rundown, by Dan Goodin, Ars Technica

June was a busy month for Mac malware with the active circulation of at least six threats, several of which were able to bypass security protections Apple has built into modern versions of its macOS.

The latest discovery was published Friday by Mac antivirus provider Intego, which disclosed malware dubbed OSX/CrescentCore that's available through Google search results and other mainstream channels. It masquerades as an updater or installer for Adobe’s Flash media player, but it's in fact just a persistent means for its operators to install malicious Safari extensions, rogue disk cleaners, and potentially other unwanted software.


How To Keep AirPods From Falling Out, by Jason Hiner, CNET

The AirPods stayed in a little better by themselves, since there was no wires to tug on them. But adding the AhaStyle tips fixed the problem entirely, and I found them comfortable to wear.


Features That Should Be In Apple’s Upcoming OS Releases But Aren’t, by Dan Moren, Macworld

And so, with the public betas in hand, it’s becoming clear which of our much-hoped-for improvements we won’t be getting this fall. Like many, I have my own personal list of features that I’d hoped to see Apple implement, but am now coming to terms with the fact that I may have to wait for iOS 14.

Apple Watch Hasn't Crushed The Swiss. Not Yet., by Robin Swithinbank, New York Times

The company’s arrival in the watch market carried an echo of the quartz revolution that devastated mechanical watchmaking in the 1970s, and some experts wondered whether the Apple Watch would cause a similar upheaval.

Five years on, the Apple Watch and those from competitors like Samsung and Huawei have not had the crushing effect some Swiss brands had feared. But, as the category continues to grow, some experts say the worst may be yet to come.

What Happened To Evernote?, by Erin Griffith, New York Times

It’s true that in many other contexts, a company like Evernote might be considered a success, and not some cautionary zombiecorn. “The core business of Evernote is what most companies outside of Silicon Valley would look on with envy,” said Vincent Toolan, Evernote’s former chief financial officer. “The problem is it’s in Silicon Valley.”

Roelof Botha, a partner at Sequoia Capital and a member of Evernote’s board, dismissed the idea of the company adrift as noise, expressing enthusiasm for its prospects. With Evernote, “the narrative around the company was more positive than reality,” he said. “Right now, the narrative is more negative than reality.”

Bottom of the Page

Some people may have phantom vibration syndrome, where they constantly mistakenly think their iPhones in their pockets are vibrating.

I may have phantom notification syndrome, where, out of the corner of my eyes, I thought I see a notification flashes by on my iPhone or my Mac, but when I go and check, I can't find any notifications at all.


Thanks for reading.