The Sweet-Spot Edition Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Why Apple’s iPad Is The Gadget Of The Pandemic, by Brian X. Chen, New York Times

With a bigger screen than an iPhone, the iPad excels at videoconferencing with apps like FaceTime and Zoom, and it’s great for watching movies and programs on Netflix and YouTube. When you attach it to a good keyboard, it becomes an excellent budget computer with a zippy internet connection for browsing the web, writing emails and composing documents. All for half the price of a regular iPhone.

“It’s really in that sweet spot of being relatively affordable and having everything I think most people will need,” said Nick Guy, a writer for Wirecutter, a New York Times publication that tests products.

Magic Keyboard For iPad Pro: A New Breed Of Laptop, by Federico Viticci, MacStories

If you pay attention when lifting the iPad, you’ll notice that the display turns on as soon as the iPad is detached from one half of the Magic Keyboard’s back cover; a few moments later, the Face ID sensor is activated and starts scanning. In practice, this isn’t just a delightful detail that proves Apple’s proverbial integration of hardware and software – it also means that by the time you’re done adjusting the iPad’s viewing angle, the iPad will have already authenticated you. At that point, it’s just a matter of pressing the space bar to dismiss the Lock screen and start working.


That said, I’m still adjusting to typing on the Magic Keyboard because one of my initial concerns has proven true: the bottom edge of the iPad’s display occasionally gets in the way of my fingers, resulting in accidental touches on the screen. I believe this is due to a combination of the way I type and how, at its widest viewing angle, the iPad’s bottom edge floats right above the keyboard’s number row.

This Is Not For Me, by Tim Nahumck

The Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro is sold in a particular way: as a keyboard, not a folio, and is for landscape orientations only. This would hinder the way in which I use the device for my day job.

Security Matters

New iOS Exploit Discovered Being Used To Spy On China's Uyghur Minority, by Catalin Cimpanu, ZDNet

Security firm Volexity said today that it discovered a new iOS exploit that was being used to spy on China's oppressed Uyghur minority.

The exploit, which Volexity named Insomnia, works against iOS versions 12.3, 12.3.1, and 12.3.2. Apple patched the iOS vulnerability behind this exploit in July 2019, with the release of iOS version 12.4.


Pixelmator 2.5 Brings Document Browser, New Photo View, And Extensive Presets To iPad And iPhone, by Ryan Christoffel, MacStories

By transitioning the app to the Files document browser, designing an all-new photo browser, and adding a rich collection of new image size presets, Pixelmator’s team has crafted the app’s biggest leap forward in years and set it up for a strong future.

NetNewsWire 5 For iOS Review: Venerable RSS Reader App Even Better On Mobile, by J.R. Bookwalter, Macworld

Where competing apps frequently get bogged down with complexity and feature bloat, NetNewsWire 5 for iOS remains lean and most importantly, free of the pesky bugs which increasingly seem to infect modern apps.


Chinese iPhone Factories Cut Workers As Demand Dips, by Ryan McMorrow, Financial Times

Foxconn, the contract manufacturer, has paused hiring at its huge factory complex in Zhengzhou, Henan province, which assembles iPhones, according to several workers.

They said that the plant, which employs hundreds of thousands of workers and is nicknamed “iPhone City”, has also begun to cut some of the temporary workers it hired in large numbers in February as it ramped up production after a long pause.

Bottom of the Page

My iPhone X is now just a widescreen iPod. I'm using my Mac as my internet-communicator. And I am not using the phone part of my iPhone at all.

And for the relative few minutes that I am outdoor daily, the FaceID is not working. And I only take my iPhone out of my pocket to adjust volume or skip to the next track.


Thanks for reading.