The Cancelling-and-Transparency Edition Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Apple Debuts AirPods Pro, A New Premium Model With Noise Cancelling, by Ryan Christoffel, MacStories

Rather than replacing the existing second-generation AirPods, Apple is launching AirPods Pro as a separate option for users who want the premium features included in the new Pro model: active noise cancelling, water and sweat resistance, Transparency, and Adaptive EQ. [...]

The new AirPods Pro use two microphones, one that faces outward and one that faces toward the ear for active noise cancellation, adapting the signal 200 times per second. Transparency mode uses the microphones to allow users to listen to music while also hearing their surroundings.

Apple’s Brand New, “Exploding” AirPods Pro Ad, by Dave Mark, The Loop

There it is, at 35 seconds in. The exploded view, showing all the pieces that come together to make the new noise cancelling, water splash resistant, AirPods Pro.

Why Won’t Tim Cook Pose With His Own AirPods?, by Sean Hollister, The Verge

What does it mean that, thrice now, the leader of the world’s most powerful tech company couldn’t be bothered to actually stick these gadgets in his ears for a photo op?

Apple’s AirPods Pro Web Page: Scrolljacking Hell, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

It’s a design that makes it feel like they don’t want you to keep reading.

Do Not Update Your HomePod

Everything You Need To Know About iOS And iPadOS 13.2, by Samuel Axon, Ars Technica

iOS and iPadOS 13.2 represents the first major new feature release since iOS 13 came out several weeks ago. Up to this point, Apple's unusually frequent updates have been focused on either bug fixes or on introducing features that were originally planned for the first version of iOS 13.

There's a mixture of new and previously planned here, but it marks the biggest update yet for iOS 13 users. Additions include Deep Fusion computational photography for better low- and mid-light photos on the latest iPhones, the ability to opt-out or opt-in to sharing Siri voice recordings with Apple, support for AirPods Pro and the Announce Messages with Siri feature, a bunch of new emoji, new smart home features, and a number of bug fixes.

All The New Emoji In iOS 13.2, by Jay Peters, The Verge

There’s a bunch of brand-new ones (I love the otter) as well as emoji to represent people with disabilities, gender-neutral emoji (following in Google’s footsteps), and a new way to select the skin colors of each individual in the holding hands emoji.

Apple Pulls HomePod Update Following Reports Of Bricked Speakers, by Jon Fingas, Engadget

Apple appears to have pulled the HomePod's multi-user update after numerous reports of the software rendering speakers unusable. The glitch typically leaves the speaker partly or completely unresponsive. If an owner tries to reset the HomePod, it either freezes up or gets stuck in an endless loop.

The November Show

Apple TV+ Has Money To Burn, But It’s Short On Shows, by Willa Paskin, Slate

Broadcast is already in freefall, and with Apple TV+, the second wave of tech is here. Unlike present and future competitors, Apple is new to content creation, and it is choosing to get into the TV game at a time of great saturation because it wants to—i.e., thinks it’s strategically wise and necessary—and not because it has to—i.e., it will cease to exist as a functioning company if it doesn’t figure out streaming. The lack of urgency is apparent in the offer: For $4.99 a month, customers will have access to a handful of new shows—five to start, with more arriving later in the year—and no back catalog, a scoffably scant amount of content

But it doesn’t matter. Apple can afford to dip its toe into streaming. The company has nearly $250 billion in cash, a mere billion of which it has been earmarked for this project. Like Amazon, another extremely lucrative tech company that has patiently bankrolled a streaming service, Apple can afford to throw money at the problem almost indefinitely. Whereas linear channels that have to make a profit have been going gray competing against Netflix, which doesn’t have to make money so long as its subscriber growth convinces shareholder it eventually could, they can now tear all their hair out competing against another company with Scrooge McDuck–style reserves.


How To Use Catalina’s Continuity Sketch And Continuity Markup, by Josh Centers, TidBITS

Catalina adds a couple of new features to the Continuity family: Continuity Sketch and Continuity Markup, which let you draw sketches and mark up files on a device running iOS 13 and sync that data back to a Mac running Catalina.

Grammarian Pro3 X A Useful Tool For Those Of Us Who Plug Away At Documents On Our Macs, by Dennis Sellers, Apple World Today

If you want to add better grammar checking features to Pages, try Grammarian Pro3 X from Linguisoft. It’s an interactive spell and grammar checking, dictionary, thesaurus, AutoCorrect, and AutoType tool that works within every program on the Mac.


No ETAs, by Brent Simmons, Inessential

So the better thing to do is plan which features go into which releases, and have a date for internal use for just the next release — and refrain from making public ETAs.

Even if you the software developer think you can make accurate ETAs — and maybe you did, once or twice — you’re not going to be that lucky most of the time.

Text Editing Hates You Too, by Lord I/O

Back in 2017, I was building a rich text editor in the browser. Unsatisfied with existing libraries that used ContentEditable, I thought to myself “hey, I’ll just reimplement text selection myself! How difficult could it possibly be?” I was young. Naive. I estimated it would take two weeks. In reality, attempting to solve this problem would consume several years of my life, and even landed me a full time job for a year implementing text editing for a new operating system.


Apple Planning ‘AirTag’ Name For Tile-like Tracker Accessory, by Guilherme Rambo, 9to5Mac

A folder within the filesystem for the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system possibly confirms the name “AirTag” for the new device, which will be paired with a user’s iPhone just like AirPods and will allow users to track any item using the Find My app.

Can You Get Too Old To Be Good At Video Games?, by Steve Rousseau, Vice

Millennials grew up with some world-changing developments: The internet, cell phones, the free market's inability to provide basic things like affordable healthcare, and most importantly, video games. According to a Nielsen report released this past summer, they now make up 40 percent of the video game audience. They play more online games than their Gen X counterparts, watch nearly as many Twitch streams as Gen Z, and spend more money on video games than any other cohort.

As millennials creep into their 30s, they're only now just seeing the ravages of time take their toll. But unlike previous generations, personal experience and recent research suggests that they face a unique and harsh reality: They're just not that good at video games anymore.

Bottom of the Page

When I see AirTag, I think AirBags.

Out of all the devices and software I have on my desk in front of me right now, the one name that I really like is Safari.

Probably like many people, I came to not dislike the MacBook name. Maybe one day I will also not dislike Find My and macOS.

By the way, I will be watching Apple TV+ shows in my Apple TV app on my Apple TV soon. (Did the first iPod touch has an iPod app? I cannot remember…)


Thanks for reading.