The Read-Opinions Edition Friday, November 22, 2019

Apple Pulls All Customer Reviews From Online Apple Store, by Amber Neely, AppleInsider

On November 17, Apple removed the "Ratings & Reviews" section from all product pages on the Apple website. It is currently unclear what has prompted this decision, nor when Apple will bring back the option to read the opinions of other customers at the time of purchase.

Adobe Details Feature Roadmap For Photoshop On The iPad, Subject Selection Coming In 2019, by Darrell Etherington, TechCrunch

Adobe has long cautioned that it would essentially be releasing an in-development version of Photoshop for iPad, and adding features as it goes, but now it’s adding some more clarity and specificity to its product roadmap, which might help allay customer criticism.

Automating How Loud Siri Replies On The HomePod, by Matthew Cassinelli

Whether it’s the middle of the night or super early in the morning, it’s all too common to ask Siri something and the answer shouted backed at you, only because you listened to music loudly sometime yesterday. Hopefully nobody wakes up, you curse at how dumb your supposedly “smart” speaker can be, and frantically try to turn it down.

Thankfully, iOS 13.2 provides a route to a solution by adding HomePods and AppleTV to scenes and automations – the HomePod didn’t fix this on its own, but, with a Home Automation, you can make it “smart” enough yourself.


Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch Review: The One You’ve Been Waiting For, by Dieter Bohn, The Verge

But Apple’s backtrack on the keyboard isn’t the only accommodation it has made to answer complaints about its MacBook line. Apple also altered how the laptop dissipates heat, allowing the processor to run faster and more predictably. It also brought back a physical Esc key and most pro users’ preferred arrow key layout.

There are a few other notable updates compared to the 15-inch model — including, yes, the namesake for the laptop itself, the 16-inch screen. But the keyboard and the thermals are the big updates that show Apple is willing to look back in order to move forward.

Duet Air 2.0 Brings Sidecar-style Second Screens And Remote Control To Macs And iOS, by William Gallagher, AppleInsider

The makers of Duet Display, a system for turning an iPad into a second screen for a Mac, has released an updated Duet Air 2.0 which extends the Sidecar-like functionality. Users can now utilize another Mac or a PC as a shared or mirrored screen.

Stop Charging Your Phone Like This At The Airport, It’s Not Safe, by Mary Meisenzahl, Business Insider

Although uncommon, criminals could compromise charging stations with malware and use the cables to infect unsuspecting users. The malware could be used to access data, including passwords and videos, from attached phones.


The Eight-Hour Workday Is A Counterproductive Lie, by Lizzie Wade, Wired

There’s just one problem in 2019: It’s all but impossible to actually work for eight hours a day in the jobs so many of us now have. Like most people writing hot takes and think pieces about productivity, I’m focusing on knowledge workers here—those of us who work at desks, mostly in front of computers, in offices or from home. Especially those of us who spend those hours making things, like writers, coders, and graphic designers.


Apple, Disney And The Overwhelming Era Of "Plus TV", by Daniel Fienberg, Hollywood Reporter

It's a limited slate and doesn't induce anywhere near the same absorption as Disney+. What Apple wants, more than anything, is to elbow its way into the fray; once you've navigated your way onto the Apple TV app on your iPhone or iPad or iWatch, maybe you watch an Apple TV+ original or some other programming that you subscribe to within the app. The Morning Show may be one of the most expensive series ever produced, or it may just be a star-studded breadcrumb leading you deeper and deeper into the world of frequently upgradeable Apple technology.

Apple Deftly Plays Mr. In-Between With U.S. And China, by Shira Ovide, Bloomberg

It’s tricky to play nice with two countries that increasingly don’t trust each other. Apple’s deft realpolitik has been to accentuate the positive and keep silent on the negative.

How One Company You’ve Never Heard Of Swallowed Tens Of Thousands Of Text Messages — Then Spit Them Back Out, by Jacob Kastrenakes, The Verge

Syniverse’s screwup was by all accounts a big one. A critical piece of communications infrastructure briefly ceased to function, and no one was informed of the problem. Worse, when the issue was resolved, it led to some troubling outcomes. The mistake was big — but the problem could have been far worse. Americans sent around 1 trillion text messages in 2017, according to the CTIA.

“When you look at the amount of traffic on a daily basis, frankly, this is peanuts,” said the person with technical knowledge of the industry. “This is just amazing given the amount of traffic going through.”

Bottom of the Page

Today, I was reminded of Apple's iReview web site. And that not everything Apple did made sense.


Thanks for reading.