The Muddy-Meaning Edition Saturday, August 31, 2019

Less… Is More? Apple’s Inconsistent Ellipses Icons Inspire User Confusion, by Josh Centers, TidBITS

In the Macintosh interface, the ellipsis has long had a specific meaning. An ellipsis following a menu item means that choosing that item will result in a dialog, rather than an action being performed immediately. Choosing File > Save saves the current document; choosing File > Save As… displays a Save dialog where you can enter a new name and location for the file. In technical writing, we drop the ellipsis when referring to menu items to avoid confusion with the more traditional uses of the ellipsis.

But in iOS—and even in some Mac apps—Apple has started using the ellipsis in random ways that muddy its meaning.

The Physical Apple Card Is A Case Of Form Over Function, by Jeff Geerling

Unlike plastic cards, which have some give when you need to kind of 'bend and pull' them out of a tight fitting card sleeve or wallet pocket, the rigid titanium card does not give. I've found the only way to reliably remove the card from a sleeve is to squeeze on the sides of the card, and this is not nearly as comfortable as removing a plastic credit card, at least in my brief experience.

Finally, I use a 'back of the iPhone' wallet, which is basically a little pocket that holds my driver's license, insurance card, and a credit card (for pesky retailers who don't accept contactless payment yet). With any modern iPhone, the Apple Card acts as a perfect RF block for Qi wireless charging (which operates in the 80+ kHz range). This means, if you are like me, and store your credit card in an iPhone case, say goodbye to the ability to charge wirelessly.

Apple's Tile Competitor Will Include 'Items' Tab In iOS 13's Find My App And Much More, by Joe Rossignol and Steve Moser, MacRumors

MacRumors can confirm the tags are codenamed "B389" within Apple, and there are many strings that are a dead giveaway as to what this product's purpose will be, such as "tag your everyday items with B389 and never lose them again."

The tags will be closely integrated with the new Find My app in iOS 13, which merged Apple's previous Find My iPhone and Find My Friends apps into one. While not available in public betas of iOS 13, the internal build contains a new "Items" tab in the Find My app for tracking the location of personal belongings.


Apple Watch Screen Cracking? That May Be Covered For Free, by Zac Hall, 9to5Mac

Apple’s new Screen Replacement Program covers a specific type of screen cracking that may affect models sold between September 2016 and September 2019.

Parallels Desktop 15 For Mac Review: Metal Support Brings Improved Graphics Performance Review, by Cliff Joseph, ZDNet

The list of new features in v15 isn't, perhaps, as long or impressive as it has been in recent years, but there are some important architectural changes to the software that are designed to keep Parallels Desktop aligned with changes to macOS itself, and which will particularly appeal to business and professional users who are keen to get the best performance from the Windows apps that they need to run on their Macs.


More Inches Is Not What Photographers Need In A MacBook Pro, by Wasim Ahmad, Fstoppers

It used to be you could plug most phones and cameras into Apple’s computers and Image Capture would be able to read and capture the images. But it seems like with MacOS’s Mojave update, that this is no longer possible with most Android phones. It seems like a huge oversight to exclude Android smartphones from this key feature, and for obvious business reasons, one that Apple doesn’t seem in a hurry to fix.


So while Apple is pondering adding an extra inch to the screen of the MacBook Pro, I’d suggest that they think about adding back some features to its pro-oriented laptop, namely USB-A and an SD-card slot.

The Biggest Threat To Apple’s New iPhones: Consumer Malaise, by Mark Sullivan, Fast Company

This year’s iPhones will also launch in a time of increased economic uncertainty, as economists see signs of a global economic slowdown. Part of the uncertainty stems from President Donald Trump’s trade war with China. Apple has so far managed to keep its Chinese imports away from the reach of Trump’s trade war—but justy barely. The iPhone was actually set to be subject to a tariff starting September 1 until Trump announced he was pushing the date back to December 15. And Trump says he likes Apple CEO Tim Cook. However, Apple is still subject to the dampening effect that economic uncertainty may have on consumer confidence in the U.S. and around the world.

It’s Not Easter, But There Might Be A Surprise Hidden On This Article, by Sarah Bures, New York Times

Knowing that technology-minded people often browse the internet while looking at websites’ source code, the Opinion desk editors hoped they could “start a discussion on the future of privacy among those most steeped in the tech world,” Ms. Kingsbury explained.

It worked. She received responses via Twitter and email written by everyone “from tech executives to 13-year-olds, warning that our digital security had been compromised.”

Ultimately, the source code led readers to the Privacy Project’s landing page.

Bottom of the Page

Well, Apple has silently added the very first Apple TV Channel here in Singapore: Smithsonian Channel Plus. No, I'm not subscribing. I'm saving my money for Disney+.


Thanks for reading.