The Look-Around Edition Friday, January 31, 2020

Apple’s Redesigned Maps App Is Available Across The US, Adds Real-time Transit For Miami, by Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

Apple’s updated and more detailed Maps experience has now rolled out across the U.S., the company announced this morning. The redesigned app will include more accurate information overall as well as comprehensive views of roads, buildings, parks, airports, malls, and other public places. It will also bring Look Around to more cities and real-time transit to Miami.

Apple Wants To Standardize The Format Of SMS OTPs (One-time Passcodes), by Catalin Cimpanu, ZDNet

Apple engineers have put forward a proposal today to standardize the format of the SMS messages containing one-time passcodes (OTP) that users receive during the two-factor authentication (2FA) login process.


By doing this, the process of receiving and entering a one-time passcode could be automated, eliminating the risk of a user falling for a scam and entering an OTP code on a phishing site, with the wrong URL.


J. Lo’s Super Bowl Halftime Show Is Coming To Apple Music As ‘Visual Album’, by Buster Hein, Cult of Mac

The NFL revealed today that all musical performances at this year’s big game will be released as a visual album on Apple Music. Along with the J. Lo/Shakira set, you’ll also be able to stream the National Anthem with Demi Lovato and America the Beautiful with Yolanda Adams.

Apple TV Adds Another Eleven Stunning Underwater Video Screensavers, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

The new batch includes overhead pans of coral reefs, closeups of underwater species like stingrays and humpback whale and a pod of dolphins. For people who were freaked out by the Palau jellyfish videos, you will be glad to know Apple has added two more of the same vein, this time featuring Alaskan jellies.

Spelltower+ Review: New Modes And More Resurrect The Classic Word Game, by Ryan Christoffel, MacStories

Word game addicts, say goodbye to your family, friends, and productivity: Spelltower is back and better than ever. The newly launched Spelltower+ from Zach Gage and Jack Schlesinger takes the original game, modernizes it for the latest iPhone and iPad screen sizes, adds lots of new game modes, and packs several other key feature enhancements. Whether you’re a longtime Spelltower fan, or the game missed your radar entirely in its glory days, Spelltower+ deserves your attention.


Apple's App Store Still Limits Developers' Options For How To Make Money< by Dieter Bohn, The Verge

Anyway, the point is that if you see an app switch to a subscription model, it’s not necessarily doing so because it’s the trendy thing to do — instead, there may not be any other real choice.


It’s Not About Intuitiveness, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

Advanced iPad features are mostly invoked only by gestures — which gestures are not cohesively designed. The Mac is more complex — which is good for experts and would-be experts, but bad for typical users — but its complexity is almost entirely discoverable visually.

Artificial Intelligence Will Do What We Ask. That's A Problem, by Natalie Wolchover, Quanta Magazine

The danger of having artificially intelligent machines do our bidding is that we might not be careful enough about what we wish for. The lines of code that animate these machines will inevitably lack nuance, forget to spell out caveats, and end up giving AI systems goals and incentives that don’t align with our true preferences.

The Sims At 20: Two Decades Of Life, Love And Reorganising The Kitchen, by Keza MacDonald, The Guardian

The rules of The Sims essentially state that if you work hard and do everything you’re supposed to do – get a job, buy a house, progress through the ranks to earn more money and buy more stuff – happiness will follow. It’s a beguiling capitalist fantasy – and even if things aren’t going well, you can always type in the “motherlode” cheat code to shower yourself in riches.

Bottom of the Page

The challenge of adding visually discoverable features to the iPad is that nothing much should change for customers who don't want or need the new features -- on both the iPad and the iPhone. Please don't diverge iOS and iPadOS: the iPad-is-just-a-big-iPhone is a strength that shouldn't be easily discarded just because some pundits complaining about being too difficult to use the 'power-user' features.


Thanks for reading.