The Bundle-of-Expectations Edition Thursday, December 5, 2019

The Mac Pro Is An Important Symbol, But You Probably Shouldn’t Buy It, by Jason Snell

The new Mac Pro is coming very, very soon—in the next couple of weeks, if we hold Apple to the astronomical definition of “coming this fall.” It’s safe to say that this is the most anticipated Mac in history—if only because its existence was pre-announced more than two and a half years ago, with the specifics following six months ago.

The Mac Pro is important and it’s platform defining. And unless you’re someone in the extreme high end of the Mac market, you will never use one. It’s a bundle of expectations built on a precision stainless steel space frame and sheathed in a machined aluminum housing.

Apple's Technology Transitions, by Martin Pilkington

A lot of the controversy comes down to people not understanding the how or the why of these transitions, and why Apple ultimately drops the old technology. So I thought it would be useful to explore Apple's history of transitions and try to explain some of the reasons for this latest one in a way everyone can understand.


While it can seem that Apple doesn't care about backwards compatibility at all, they spend a lot of time weighing up the pros and cons before dropping support for anything. It's also interesting in how much effort they do put into backward compatibility given the large sweeping changes they have undergone the past 30 years, even if that compatibility is only ever temporary.

Apple’s Activation Lock Will Make It Very Difficult To Refurbish Macs, by Craig Lloyd, iFixIt

Attempting any kind of hardware tinkering on a T2-enabled Mac activates a hardware lock, which can only be undone by connecting the device to Apple-authorized repair software. It’s great for device security, but terrible for repair and refurbishment.

While recyclers may not be dealing with as many locked Macs as locked iPhones (especially since Activation Lock on Macs is still very new, and there are specific software criteria that need to be met), it’s only a matter of time before thousands upon thousands of perfectly working Macs are scrapped or shredded, for lack of an unknown password.


Craigslist Gets Official iPhone App 11 Years After The App Store Launched, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

There have been many third-party Craiglist clients for iOS over the years but yesterday marked the release of the first official app from the company.

Nomad Debuts Versatile New Leather ‘Active Straps’ For Apple Watch, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Nomad says the Active Strap is built for heavy everyday use, but with a design that is also more formal than it is sporty. Because of the hydrophobic leather, the Active Strap is is made to resist water and sweat.

Readdle’s Calendars 5 For iOS Gains Support For Microsoft Exchange And More, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Readdle’s Calendars 5 for iPhone and iPad recently received an update that brings support for Microsoft Exchange calendars as well as the ability to use multiple iCloud, Google, or Exchange calendars.


5G Won’t Change Everything, Or At Least Probably Not Your Things, by Rob Pegoraro, Ars Technica

For some of us, the results will yield the billions of bits per second in throughput that figure in many 5G sales pitches, going back to early specifications for this standard. For everybody else, 5G will more likely deliver a pleasant and appreciated upgrade rather than a bandwidth renaissance.

That doesn’t mean 5G won’t open up interesting possibilities in areas like home broadband and machine-to-machine connectivity. But in the form of wireless mobile device connectivity we know best, 5G marketing has been writing checks that actual 5G technology will have a lot of trouble cashing.

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I am realizing that I now have superpowers since switching going pro with my AirPods: I can now go to the next track or go back to the previous track without taking out my iPhone. (I don't use Apple Watches, so your superpower mileage may vary.)

But, I do have some 'nit-picks'.

Firstly, the tap-tap gesture of the AirPods is more reliable than the squeeze gesture of the Pro version. It seems to me all my tap-tap will successfully play or pause my audio. Any failures -- and there are occasional failures -- are caused by a non-responding app.

But I often find my squeezing on the new AirPods Pro produces no audible feedback, and produces no results. I have to reposition my thumb and index finger and try again. (The second time usually works, though.)

But to further make life just a little frustrating for me, I listen mostly to audiobooks and podcasts, and it is more common for me to rewind rather than fast-forward. So, after the squeeze gesture to play/pause, my second most-often gesture is squeeze-release-squeeze-release-squeeze-release to go back thirty-seconds for words that I've missed. This is not a good gesture. It's awkward. It's a little tiring. And I often worry that I didn't do the third squeeze in time, and the audio skipped forward instead.

I wish the next AirPods Pro will gain a tap-tap gesture. I will configure tap-tap for play/pause, and one squeeze for skip backwards.

(With all the sensors and microphones inside my ears already, I wonder if Apple can add the tap-tap gesture via software.)


If I just pick up a random AirPod Pro, I have no idea if it is for my left ear or my right. I have to read little label on the AirPod Pro.


Thanks for reading.