The Decent-Friction Edition Saturday, August 17, 2019

Traveling With Apple Tech: What Soars, What Falls Flat, by Dan Moren, Macworld

Travel has a way of opening your eyes to new possibilities. For the last three weeks, I’ve been away from home, spending time in a few European countries. During this trip, I found myself thinking about the different ways that we use technology when we’re outside of our daily routine, and how it brings to light not only things that work well, but also the areas where there’s still a decent amount of friction.

As I’ve been making the rounds, I’ve made note of a few places where I think Apple technologies have worked particularly well, as well as where there’s some room for improvement.

Some App Developers Are Upset Over Location Tracking Changes In iOS 13, by Danny Zepeda, iMore

The chief complaint in the letter is that Apple removed the "Always Allow" option during the initial set-up of an app and replaced it with "Allow While Using" and "Allow Once." The "Always Allow" option is still available, but only through the Privacy settings.

Apple Running Early Access Program For Apple Arcade, by Guilherme Rambo, 9to5Mac

Apple is currently running an internal early access program for its employees, charging a small subscription of $0.49/mo, with one month free trial. It says the testing program ends with the launch of iOS 13.

Today, 9to5Mac was able to gain access to this Apple Arcade early testing program on the Mac App Store. The process starts with a welcome page that highlights some of the content available through the subscription. It’s likely the page will be very similar when the product launches, presumably with the release of iOS 13 to the public in mid-September.


Review: Satechi's Dual Smart Outlet Offers HomeKit Compatibility And Power Monitoring, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

The Dual Smart Outlet can be controlled via Siri voice commands, through the Satechi app, or through the Home app available on iOS devices and Macs. Through Siri, you can turn it on, turn it off, check its status, or activate HomeKit scenes or automations that the Smart Outlet is used in.


Siri, Privacy, And Trust, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

I pooh-poohed this story at first, mostly on the grounds that I thought we knew about this, and that the recordings were only saved from users who had consented to it. I was mistaken. This is a privacy fiasco, and a betrayal of Siri users’ trust.

Why We Don't Want You And Our Android Green Bubbles In Our iMessage Chat, by Mark Sullivan, Fast Company

In theory, iPhone users might be irritated by iMessage’s proprietary nature. But iMessage lock-in is a Google problem, not an Apple one, and has been for a long time.

Bajarin says there’s “a huge lingering question as to why Google has not cracked messaging with a service that is as good as iMessage or WhatsApp . . . I’d love to see Google get more aggressive here, since messaging is a critical part of the smartphone experience.”