The FaceTime-Related Edition Thursday, April 9, 2020

Apple Releases macOS 10.15.4 Supplemental Update With Fixes For FaceTime, USB-C Issue, More, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple says today’s macOS Catalina 10.15.4 supplemental update includes a fix for a FaceTime pug, as well as an issue where you “may repeatedly receive a password prompt for an Office 365 account.” There are also fixes fro the 2020 MacBook Air and USB-C performance across all Mac models.

Apple Releases watchOS 6.2.1 With FaceTime Audio Bug Fixes, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple has released watchOS 6.2.1 to the public today, bringing bug fixes and performance improvements specifically related to FaceTime.

Limiting Exposures

iPads Are Crucial Health Care Tools In Combating Covid-19, by Paris Martineau, Wired

The usual daily gaggles of doctors and residents moving from bed to bed to conduct rounds has been replaced by a lone physician, clad in protective equipment, escorting a laptop on a cart around the hospital. Doctors participate virtually through an app the hospital has configured to facilitate medical care while limiting potential exposure by staff. Some doctors join virtual rounds from a sanitized conference room down the hall where they sit 6 feet apart, others from their homes.

In the isolation wards, Covid-19 patients rest in rooms equipped with iPads mounted to IV poles using a gizmo designed to secure tablets to boats. The iPads include software that makes them virtual extensions of Mass General’s 2,000 nurses. Nurses can use the devices to check on and communicate with patients without donning masks, gloves, and other precious protective gear, and risk exposing themselves to the virus.

Big Tech's Summer Internships Go Digital Amid Coronavirus Shutdown, by Ina Fried, Axios

The major tech companies are scrambling to craft digital options for this year's summer intern class, as businesses remain shuttered due to the coronavirus pandemic.

iPhone: How To Use Face ID With A Mask, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

The tutorial mentions folding a mask in half and going through the set up process for Face ID. In our testing, that worked but not very consistently.

What we found the most consistent was using the primary Face ID set up as well as redoing the alternate appearance with a mask to offer the best unlocking results.


Apple Sending Replacement AirPods With Unreleased Firmware, Rendering Them Unusable, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Customers who require a replacement AirPod from Apple have in some cases been receiving an AirPod running 2D3 firmware, which is not a version of the AirPods firmware that's been publicly released.

Watchsmith Review: Create Your Own Apple Watch Complications, by Ryan Christoffel, MacStories

Watchsmith, the latest app from David Smith, was birthed from the inability to create third-party watch faces on the Apple Watch. As Smith has previously explained, while third-party faces may never be possible, several first-party faces already offer significant room for customization. The Infograph face, for example, contains eight different complication slots; if a rich array of third-party complications were available, you could build a highly customized watch face using the existing faces provided by Apple.

Watchsmith exists to provide that rich set of complications. The app offers 37 types of complications, each adaptable to different watch faces and complication slots, and all fully customizable so they can look exactly the way you prefer. Additionally, Watchsmith offers scheduling functionality to cause different complications to appear on your Watch at different times throughout the day.

Timing 2 Helps Track And Manage Your Working Hours, by Jeff Porten, TidBITS

No matter what habits you’re trying to change, the way to do it is with better attention paid, frictionless tracking, and positive feedback loops. Timing (in conjunction with a good calendar app) isn’t perfect, but it’s easily the best software I’ve ever used for the purpose.

HBO Now Ends Support For 3rd-gen Apple TV At End Of The Month, Here Are Your Options, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

The HBO Now and HBO Go apps are ending support for the third-generation Apple TV at the end of April. HBO announced the retirement on March 30, and a banner is now visible in the HBO app on the older Apple TV boxes.


iPad Vs. Surface: Apple And Microsoft Get Closer To Convergence, by Jason Snell, Macworld

When Apple announced the new Magic Keyboard for the iPad Pro—which features a trackpad that users can use to drive a cursor around on the iPad screen—some pundits pointed out that at long last, Apple was admitting that Microsoft was right after all when it designed the Surface with a keyboard and trackpad.

Except that’s not what happened. With iPad and Surface, Apple and Microsoft are both headed for the same destination—a new kind of computer that is just as at home as a touch tablet, with a stylus, or with a traditional keyboard and mouse. They’re just converging on it from opposite directions.

Apple CEO To Take Covid-19 Questions At Virtual Company-Wide Meeting, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

Apple Inc. is organizing a company-wide virtual meeting for later this month to allow employees to ask questions of the executive team led by Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook.

The company sent a note to employees advising them of the plan on Wednesday in the U.S., which Bloomberg News has reviewed. It asked that questions be submitted by end of day on Saturday and also encouraged workers to share their experiences of working through the disruption to daily life that the Covid-19 pandemic has brought about. The specific date of the meeting has not yet been disclosed.

In The Battle Against The Machines, She’s Holding Her Ground, by Steve Lohr, New York Times

Transcription, put simply, is converting human speech to text. And speech recognition is one of the tasks where A.I. technology has made the most rapid progress. Seeing the door that technology has opened, automated transcription start-ups like Trint and have jumped in and are becoming popular.

Human transcribers would seem an endangered species. Yet Ms. Leonard, 37, has thrived, despite the arrival of automated services and advancing A.I. technology.

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