The Derail-Routines Edition Saturday, October 26, 2019

iPhone Users Are Accidentally Deleting Their Emails Thanks To Apple's Boneheaded UI Update, by Alyse Stanley, Gizmodo

It’s honestly impressive how much a small change can derail our routine, especially when we’re used to muscle memory taking the wheel for those million and one itty bitty tasks each day no one has time to think about.

Like, say, replying to an email. It’s important, sure, but practically second nature at this point. So, perhaps to keep us all on our toes, make sure its users haven’t been zombified by the glare of their phones yet, Apple decided it’d be a good idea to switch things up with the iPhone email app’s design with this latest OS. Now I’m no designer, but I would think that putting the trash button anywhere near where people are already used to clicking would be one of the first things they teach you not to do.

The Curious Design Of Mail’s Message Action Toolbar In iOS 13, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

At the very least, if the toolbar is only going to have these two buttons, why not place the Trash button on the far left, and put the whitespace between the two buttons? That would eliminate inadvertent taps on the Trash button from either pre-iOS 13 muscle memory or from proximity to the Reply button.

When Apple Makes Changes, Communication Is Key, by Dan Moren, Macworld

Unfortunately, one thing Apple didn’t do as effectively was communicate that change to its users. Sure, if you’re the kind of person who pays close attention to Apple keynotes or reads Apple news sites regularly, you were probably aware of Find My. But for users who aren’t as attuned to the vagaries of Apple software updates, the first indication they had that anything was different was when they went looking for the Find My Friends app and it was simply gone.

Respectable Payout

Apple’s Tim Cook Wants Your Old iPhone, by Daniel Varghese, GQ

The push to create a closed-loop supply chain means innovating almost everywhere across the company’s hardware. Last year, Apple hyped its breakthrough in using recycled aluminum across its product line. And the company's pushed its suppliers to go greener, too, with 44 of them using only renewable energy in manufacturing Apple products. But in order to have materials to recycle, Cook (and Apple) are hoping more people will trade-in their old phones. The company’s developed robots—dubbed Daisy—that can disassemble 200 old iPhones an hour, pulling out materials that can be re-used.

Handing your phone back to Apple has been an option for some time, but recently Apple’s ramped up the push. Go ahead and scout out the new iPhone—in the process, Apple will entice you with a respectable payout for your old phone. Cook wants people to think about their phones like their cars: when you're done with one, move it on to someone who can make use.

Waiting For The Mark

How 18 Malware Apps Snuck Into Apple's App Store, by Brian Barrett, Wired

“They had the intelligence to not just wait a few days, but to actually wait for other pieces of context to line up in the way that the developer wanted them to,” Covington says. In this case, the presence of a SIM card indicates that the phone belongs to a real person rather than a security researcher—or one of the many humans that screen apps for App Store approval.

It’s a simple evasion, but clever. More important, in this case it was effective. If you downloaded one of these apps, it would act perfectly normal until it was reasonably confident that you’re a genuine mark. At that point, it would reach out to its boss—the command and control server—which would instruct the app to turn your iPhone into an invisible click farm.


These Stunning iPhone 11 Pro Photos Prove Its Camera Is A Good DSLR Substitute, by Andrew Hoyle, CNET

I set out to see whether a phone camera can capture a journey like this as well as my DSLR could have and I genuinely think it's a close-run thing. I was seriously impressed with the images I shot with the iPhone and there were many images that I couldn't tell whether they were taken with the phone or the professional camera. That's not something I'd imagine saying even a year ago.

Had I been able to use my Moment and Lee Filters equipment with the phone too, I think it'd have been even closer. I did take my DSLR with me on the trip and fully intended to shoot some additional shots for fun, but I found that I just didn't need to take it out as often. I trusted the iPhone's quality would be sufficient to get what I wanted.

Apple Highlights iPhone Privacy With New ‘Simple As That’ Ad, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

The video highlights how much private information we have stored on smartphones and that it should belong to “you.”

This Might Be The Coolest AirPods Case Money Can Buy, by Killian Bell, Cult of Mac

It’s like carrying a tiny little Macintosh with you wherever you go.

Apple Arcade Adds Five New Games On iPhone, iPad, And Apple TV As 'LEGO Brawls' Expands To Mac, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Apple Arcade now has 89 games available for iOS and tvOS, and 81 on macOS, as Apple closes in on its promise of over 100 games.


In Flying Flags, Emoji Become Political, by Arielle Pardes, Wired

Unicode has been in the business of deciding what symbols merit international exposure since it adopted emoji in the early 2000s. Many of those decisions, which a small subcommittee votes on, teeter on identity politics: Yes, redheads deserve representation; no, marijuana does not. But when it comes to flags, emoji reflect geopolitics, too. And proposals to add new flag emoji can get caught in the crosshairs of governments, Unicode, and the technology companies that implement emoji on their platforms.

All Penn, No Teller, by Ernie Smith, Tedium

It was not a massive run—four full years of monthly columns in total—and it ended just as the internet was kicking off, which is probably why only Penn & Teller’s biggest fans might still remember the he had the back-page column in one of the most prominent computer magazines in the country.

But it was an interesting run, and one with few equivalents in publishing history—probably the closest comparison point is the regular column that Stephen King wrote about pop culture for Entertainment Weekly throughout the first decade of the 2000s.

Bottom of the Page

We want new things, but we hate changes. Especially changes that make us lose data. As Steve Jobs said, the screen-only interface of the iPhone allows software to add buttons; But, software developers, do think carefully before moving or removing buttons.


Thanks for reading.