The Make-Things Edition Thursday, March 26, 2020

Hipster Whale CEO Talks Apple Arcade, Crossy Road Castle And Industry Challenges, by Shelby Brown, CNET

Clara Reeves, CEO of Melbourne-based video game studio Hipster Whale, fell in love with programming when she realized it could be an art form. Reeves, who would go on to oversee Hipster Whale's popular game Crossy Road in its move to Apple's mobile gaming subscription service, Apple Arcade, never grew out of her childhood passion of building structures out of Legos and pursued a degree in fine arts.

"I was always mesmerized by games, but it took me a long time to say 'Hey, someone makes these things. Maybe I could make these things.'" Reeves said.

Never Buy Hardware Today Based On A Promise Of Software Tomorrow, by Dieter Bohn, The Verge

I have no idea if LIDAR and the idea of pervasive AR that people access by holding up big tablets will become bets that pan out or not. Unlike some of Apple’s other bets, though, the only hassle the LIDAR causes is the size of the camera bump and the cost of the part.

Which means that while I don’t think Apple’s big AR push is a reason for anybody to go buy the new iPad Pro (unless you’re an AR developer, I guess), I also don’t think it’s a reason to avoid it.

So: buy the iPad Pro for the screen, the speed, the microphones, or because you really do think it can replace your laptop. Those are all good reasons. Just don’t buy it for the LIDAR — never buy hardware today based on a promise of software tomorrow.

The New iPad Pro Isn’t A Laptop Replacement. It’s Better Than That, by Jeremy White, Wired

It may be coming up to a decade since the iPad launched, but the signs this was going to happen to the iPad were clear for all to see right from when the likes of Brydge produced its first all-metal keyboard cases with the sole purpose of trying to morph the tablet into a laptop.

The iPad is not trying to replace existing laptops, it is trying to be a new kind of laptop. The trouble is it has taken ten years to get here. If only Apple would pick up the pace a little.

Healthy Practices in Limiting Times

How To Close Apple Watch Activity Rings Even When Sheltering In Place, by Leif Johnson, Macworld

A couple of things first. You’re likely still allowed to go outside and take walks on empty paths or in local parks. You can close your rings that way, but keep in mind that the risk of contagion goes down if everyone stays home. Second, you’re probably not going to have any trouble closing your rings if you have exercise equipment in your home—and more power to you if you do.

Some of you might recognize the suggestions below as variations on the “cheats” for gaming your activity rings that circulated when the Apple Watch first came out, but in 2020, I prefer to think of them more positively. Provided you don’t try to close your Move ring simply by swiping your arm back and forth while vegging out in an armchair—which is actually possible—these can serve as foundations for healthy practices in these limiting times.

Wish List: Activity Pause For Apple Watch, by Dan Moren, Six Colors

It’d be great to see a feature of this sort in watchOS 7 or, hey, sooner. Apple should at the very least consider letting you temporarily mute the Activity reminders for a preset amount of time. Because we all want to be getting out more—it just may not be our fault if we can’t.


2020 MacBook Air Teardown Reveals New Keyboard And Better Repairability, by Buster Hein, Cult of Mac

Opening up the 2020 MacBook Air revealed a few key differences from the 2018 model. There’s a larger heatsink over the processor. Speakers are now secured using screws instead of glue, and there’s a new cable configuration between the logic board and trackpad.

The new cable configuration means the trackpad can be removed as soon as you pop off the back cover. It also speeds up the process to remove the battery and lets the logic board stay in place.

macOS 10.15.4 Brings Enhanced HDR Support, Custom Reference Modes For Pro Display XDR, by Andrew O'Hara, AppleInsider

After updating to 10.15.4, users with monitors that support high dynamic range —or HDR —will now see a checkbox within the Display section of System Preferences. Ticking this box will automatically adjust the display to show high dynamic range content.

Arcade Highlights: Crossy Road Castle, by Ryan Christoffel, MacStories

Crossy Road Castle is a long-awaited sequel to the original Crossy Road and one of the newest Apple Arcade titles. But don’t let the word ‘sequel’ mislead you – Crossy Road Castle offers an entirely different gaming experience than its predecessor. Think less “crossing the road” and more “climbing an endless tower, one micro-level at a time.”

Gameplay feels much like a Super Mario Bros.-style platformer, but with characters like Unihorse and Mallard replacing the mustached plumbers. If you’re high on the Nintendo nostalgia, there are even stages with barrels to shoot out of, DKC-style.


Apple Will Donate 10M Face Masks To Healthcare Workers, by Brian Heater, TechCrunch

“Apple has sourced, procured and is donating 10 million masks to the medical community in the United States,” Cook says in the video. “These people deserve our debt of gratitude for all of the work they’re doing on the front lines.”


Apple is joining fellow tech companies in donating masks amid a national shortage as COVID-19 takes an increasing toll on the U.S. population. Many of the donated masks have been stockpiled, in order to adhere to California Occupational Safety and Health Standards put into action following last year’s devastating wildfires.

Bottom of the Page

I am now working from home. And instead of waking up later because of the shorter commute time, I opt to wake up daily at the same time, and go for a long walk instead.

Together with my daily happy tea, I am certaininly hoping my mind will not wander to places it shouldn't wander about.


Thanks for reading.