The Night-Skills Edition Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Apple Announces Winners Of Its Night Mode Shot On iPhone Competition, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

Apple today announced the Shot on iPhone winning photos for the contest it started in January. This year, applicants had to show off their skills using iPhone 11 or iPhone 11 Pro Max, submitting their best Night mode shots.

Apple To Pay Up To $500 Million To Settle U.S. Lawsuit Over Slow iPhones, by Jonathan Stempel, Reuters

The preliminary proposed class-action settlement was disclosed on Friday night and requires approval by U.S. District Judge Edward Davila in San Jose, California.

It calls for Apple to pay consumers $25 per iPhone, which may be adjusted up or down depending on how many iPhones are eligible, with a minimum total payout of $310 million.

Classic iPod Hackers Say There's No Better Way To Listen To Music, by Melanie Ehrenkranz, Medium

Apple may have discontinued the last of the click-wheel iPods years ago, but Pichi is part of a growing community of tinkerers giving the devices new life. It’s not just for nostalgia (though that’s part of it): iPod modders say they earnestly view the devices, with a few modern tweaks, as a superior way to listen to music. That this elite audio quality is packaged in a device that is also dear to their heart makes it even better.

The more popular modifications are relatively simple: updates like adding more storage or battery life, or installing firmware that allows for customization of the user interface or downloading games outside of Apple’s ecosystem. Few iPod modders are injecting the music players with wild features or stark new aesthetics.


Apple Celebrates International Women's Day By Highlighting Apps, TV Shows, Podcasts And More Made By Women, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple today formally announced its upcoming "She Creates" initiative at Apple Stores, which will see Apple host more than 5,000 Today at Apple sessions highlighting inspiring female creators using photography, design, technology, business, and film to "to address tough topics, explore new perspectives and empower their communities."

Mac Pro Review: Power, If You Can Use It, by Nilay Patel, The Verge

Now, there are major differences between the 2013 Mac Pro and this new machine — the most important being that Apple appears to have learned some key lessons from that machine. This new Mac Pro has far more raw capability, far more cooling ability, and far more room to grow than the old round Pro. But it’s still true that very little pro software really takes advantage of the technology bets Apple’s made with this machine, and it’s not a must-buy for every pro user until the software ecosystem evolves.

Apple Pro Display XDR Review: Category Of One, by Nilay Patel, The Verge

After several conversations, Apple told me that the goal with the Pro Display XDR was not to replace that Sony X300 OLED, but to provide a professional display with reference color modes and HDR capability so that more people could work on a display of this caliber. That’s a very noble goal, and viewed through that lens, the Pro Display XDR basically sits in a category of one: you would never, ever, use that Sony OLED reference display to crank on Excel or write code. It’s just not meant for that. The Pro Display XDR is far more flexible, can be used all day for office tasks, and be used for reference HDR color work in a pinch if you set it up exactly right.


Saving The iPad — Building An App For Myself, by Raheel Ahmad, Sakun Labs

I love seeing the iPad on my desk again, put to good use. Building something custom to bend the device to my needs feels good. It's obviously not everyone's cup of tea, but if you are not an iOS engineer, then maybe you have already put the iPad to good use in your day job.

Project LightSpeed: How Facebook Shrunk Messenger Down By 75%, by Harry McCracken, Fast Company

But now Facebook has put the iOS version of Messenger on an extreme weight-reduction plan. By rewriting it from scratch, it’s shrunk Messenger’s footprint on your iPhone down to an eminently manageable 30MB, less than a quarter of its peak size. According to the company, the new version loads twice as fast as the one it’s replacing. The update is so compact that Facebook was able to quietly build it into the existing version and test it by exposing it to a subset of users. (It will arrive in stand-alone form for the rest of us gradually over the coming weeks.)

As a giant piece of programming, the downsizing is even more dramatic. Messenger is going from 1.7 million lines of code to 360,000, for an 84% reduction.


Apple Affordable Housing Fund Opens For Projects, by Louis Hansen, San Jose Mercury News

Flush with tech funding, nonprofit Housing Trust Silicon Valley on Monday launched its first call to developers to tap into a $150 million Apple Affordable Housing Fund to build subsidized homes and apartments in the greater Bay Area.

The money is the first release of Cupertino-based Apple’s $2.5 billion commitment to support residential projects in the region through a wide variety of programs and initiatives.

iPhone Maker Expects China Plants To Return To Normal In Coming Weeks, by Debby Wu, Bloomberg

Hon Hai said Tuesday its factories are now operating at about 50% of seasonal capacity but that should ramp up over the course of the month as workers stream back into its plants.

Still, Chairman Young Liu warned it remained difficult to quantify the full impact of a weeks-long disruption, or gauge the effect on final demand for the swathe of consumer electronics it makes from laptops to game consoles.