The Interactions-with-Contacts Edition Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Apple To Loosen Reins On Outside Messaging, Phone Apps Via Siri, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

The Cupertino, California-based company plans to release a software update later this year that will help outside messaging applications work better with the Siri digital assistant.


When the software refresh kicks in, Siri will default to the apps that people use frequently to communicate with their contacts. For example, if an iPhone user always messages another person via WhatsApp, Siri will automatically launch WhatsApp, rather than iMessage. It will decide which service to use based on interactions with specific contacts. Developers will need to enable the new Siri functionality in their apps. This will be expanded later to phone apps for calls as well.

Apple Launches Deep Fusion Feature In Beta On iPhone 11 And iPhone 11 Pro, by Matthew Panzarino, TechCrunch

Apple is launching an early look at its new Deep Fusion feature on iOS today with a software update for beta users. Deep Fusion is a technique that blends multiple exposures together at the pixel level to give users a higher level of detail than is possible using standard HDR imaging — especially in images with very complicated textures like skin, clothing or foilage.

The developer beta released today supports the iPhone 11 where Deep Fusion will improve photos taken on the wide camera and the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max where it will kick in on the telephoto and wide angle but not ultra wide lenses.

Turns Out The Telephoto Camera On The iPhones 11 Does Not Support Night Mode, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

2× doesn’t mean you’re always using the telephoto camera — in low light it will use the wide-angle camera and digital zoom.

See What Filmmakers Rian Johnson And George Nolfi Made With An iPhone 11 Pro, by Patrick Holland, CNET

The advantage the iPhone offers over a dedicated cinema camera is that it's compact, capable and affordable compared to cameras like the Arriflex Alexa, which at a basic setup can cost just under $100K. With the new iPhone 11 Pro, Apple improved the versatility and convenience of its phone (yes, it still makes calls) by adding a new ultawide-angle lens, increasing the battery life and adding its special sauce "extended dynamic range" to 4K 60-fps video. These new features allow a filmmaker even more creative choices for their work.

To test that notion, Apple gave the iPhone 11 Pro to Rian Johnson who made Star Wars: The Last Jedi and the upcoming Knives Out and George Nolfi who wrote Ocean's 12 and The Bourne Ultimatum. Each used the 11 Pro to create a mini short film.


Apple Stores Celebrating The World's Largest Drawing Festival With Free Art Sessions Throughout October, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

During the Today at Apple sessions, participants will use the new Adobe Fresco app on the iPad Pro with an Apple Pencil to draw colorful faces and objects, create an abstract painting, and more.

13 Features Of iOS 13: Files Improvements, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

Perhaps most important is the simple fact that Files can now see destinations that aren’t cloud services or other apps. You can add local SMB file servers to Files by tapping the ellipsis icon in the Browse pane and choosing Connect to Server, then entering the address of your SMB server. While you’re connected, that server will appear in the Shared segment of the Browse pane. (Strangely, Files doesn’t use Bonjour to detect nearby servers and display them, as Finder does.) I have a Mac mini on my home network that I use as a file server, and it’s been a delight to access files on it, directly, from within Files and apps that use Apple’s file interface.

I Spent 2 Weeks With The New Apple Watch. Here's What I Think About It, by Patrick Lucas Austin, Time

Now, the Apple Watch is quick, with a huge display and with even more ways to augment your iPhone’s capabilities. That always-on screen is nifty, the new apps are pleasantly utilitarian and mostly health-oriented, and a service like emergency international calling (on the cellular model) is a nice feature to have in a pinch. It’s the smartwatch to beat. But all those new features only serve to highlight the tightrope Apple’s walking when it comes to battery life. Here’s hoping it’ll finally make a watch that’ll get through the night next year.

tvOS 13’s Small Improvements Make For A Much Better Apple TV Experience, by Chris Welch

tvOS doesn’t try to reinvent the Apple TV experience, but it builds upon prior versions with a few improvements that make Apple’s streaming box better, which is exactly what you’d want to see from a major OS update.

Darkroom 4.3 Introduces Support For iOS 13 And iPadOS, And Happens To Be A Great App For Editing Ultra-Wide Photos, by Josh Ginter, The Sweet Setup

Darkroom’s stride has placed it at the pinnacle of iOS photography right now. From hooking directly into your default camera roll and photo albums in the Photos app to automated editing workflows in Shortcuts, Darkroom can likely begin to replace the Photos app on your home screen. Not that this is a long time coming, but it feels like a long time coming.


You Are Solving The Wrong Problem, by Aza Raskin

When you are solving a difficult problem re-ask the problem so that your solution helps you learn faster. Find a faster way to fail, recover, and try again. If the problem you are trying to solve involves creating a magnum opus, you are solving the wrong problem.

An Etiquette Guide To Working From A Coffee Shop, by Brenna Houck, Eater

It’s obvious why coffee shops are the gold standard for telecommuters without a membership to WeWork. Coffee shops always have plenty of caffeine in supply, they often have internet, and they’re generally pretty quiet — but not so silent as to be distracting. They’re also great for short meetings with clients and contacts. However, working from a coffee shop is not as straightforward as it seems. Disrespect for the space has resulted in some businesses deterring so-called “laptop squatters” by covering up electrical outlets and changing WiFi passwords on a daily basis to prevent internet freeloading. In some cases, computer use was all-out banned.

Nevertheless, there is a way for laptop users and coffee shops to live in harmony. From where to sit to the appropriate amount of time to stay, here’s a primer on how to work from a coffee shop without pissing everyone off.


Apple Arcade Is A Home For Premium Games That Lost Their Place On Mobile, by Andrew Webster, The Verge

Apple Arcade — and in particular the funding from Apple — has given mobile developers the freedom to think big without having to worry about how they’re going to make that money back. With the premium market all but untenable for everyone but the biggest games, Arcade has now become a home for mobile games that otherwise might not have existed on the platform. “It’s creating a space where you can take risks,” says Andrew Schimmel, producer at Alto developer Snowman. “You don’t have to think about the monetization model as you’re designing.”

Apple’s Watch Faces Are Slowly Improving. Is It Time For Third-party Faces?, by Jason Snell, Macworld

Perhaps now that the new, richer complications have had time to settle down, and we’re clear that every watch face needs a bright, animated active mode as well as a subdued dim mode, Apple will be ready to let third-party face developers inside the tent. I’m not sure I’d bet money on the possibility, but it seems more likely now than it did even last year. Having seen some developers mock up their face designs, I’m encouraged that third-party faces would improve the Apple Watch overall.

Apple's Cook Addresses App Store Monopoly, Apple TV+ Launch, iPhone 11 In Interview, by AppleInsider

"Customers buy an experience from us, and this experience includes a trustworthy place to buy apps in which we curate and check all applications," Cook told Stern, noting Apple filters out unseemly apps like those bearing pornographic material. "Anyone can take their iPhone and access that content in the browser, but we do not offer it ourselves."

Another bone of contention is Apple's increasing large App Store presence. With products like the iWork suite and a variety of free apps, the company is not only a software distributor, but for some a competitor.

"We have 30 to 40 apps, versus more than two million others," Cook said. He compares the App Store to a supermarket, saying, "The likelihood that it has its own brand is very high, and who benefits from having another product on the shelf? The customer. And that's a good thing."

Fear Of Being Forgotten, by Bianca Vivion Brooks, New York Times

The truth is I have not gone anywhere. I am, in fact, more present than ever.

Over time, I have begun to sense these messages reveal more than a lack of respect for privacy. I realize that to many millennials, a life without a social media presence is not simply a private life; it is no life at all: We possess a widespread, genuine fear of obscurity.

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I think I may have be solving the wrong problems my entire life. :-)


Thanks for reading.