The Shopping-from-Home Edition Friday, May 8, 2020

Apple Launches Online Store Hub For Easy Shopping From Home, by Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac

Apple has launched a new hub for its online store to streamline shopping from home while Apple Retail Stores are closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The webpage helps customers learn more about no-contact delivery options, get help from a Specialist, and more.

Apple Stores In Germany Next To Begin Reopening On May 11, by Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac

Following reopenings across South Korea, Austria, and Australia in recent weeks, Germany’s 15 Apple Stores will begin to reopen on May 11, most at 11:00 A.M.

Your iPhone Costs Too Much, by Shira Ovide, New York Times

That’s not to say I’m dissing those pricey phones. We should be glad that companies stretch their minds and their research labs to invent phones with bleeding edge technology and $2,000 price tags. Fancy parts and gizmos in today’s luxury phones become tomorrow’s widespread, affordable and important technologies.

So you should feel free to buy the Lexus of smartphones if you want to and can afford it. Just know that you don’t have to.

Trust This MacBook

Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch Review, by Brian Heater, TechCrunch

In a lot of ways, the systems start from a similar place, but the the Pro can be specced out for better performance more befitting the Pro moniker. If you’re opting for the Pro over the Air, it’s likely you need more processing power for things like video editing or perhaps some gaming, so you’ll want to upgrade over the base-level to make sure you’re covered.


For most users, the Air should be plenty for most tasks. For those who need more power without breaking their backs or banks, however, the 13-inch model is still a strong and safe bet that’s now much easier on the fingers.

13-inch MacBook Pro (2020) Review: Two Laptops, One Keyboard, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

Clearly Apple feels that there is room in its product line between the MacBook Air and the high-end 13-inch MacBook Pro, and for the last four years this lower-end model has served that purpose. It feels wrong, though, like it’s the vestige of an old laptop strategy that hasn’t quite faded away.

In any event, if you’re shopping for a new Apple laptop and you’re wary of the $1799 starting price of the high-end 13-inch MacBook Pro, you should consider the MacBook Air as well as the low-end Pro. They’re more alike than you might imagine, the Air is lighter and cheaper, and if you have no use for the Touch Bar, all the better.

MacBook Pro 13-inch: Come For The Keyboard, Stay For The Performance, by Dieter Bohn, The Verge

And that’s the bottom line: by all indications, Apple has delivered an update to the 13-inch MacBook Pro that does the things most people would expect a good laptop to do. First and foremost, the keyboard is expected to be trustworthy. It’s always possible that there’s a critical flaw nobody has caught yet. But I think it’s safe to trust this Magic Keyboard — and this MacBook.


'X-ray Teardown' Of iPad Pro Magic Keyboard Illustrates Complex Engineering, by Mike Peterson, AppleInsider

"There is so much going on here, you might never guess that this is technically an accessory to the actual iPad Pro," iFixit wrote, adding that "rarely have we had so much to think about from a single image."

How To Mirror Your Apple TV To Your Mac For Screenshots Or Presentations, by Josh Centers, TidBITS

Nowadays, all that’s necessary to capture the Apple TV’s output in QuickTime Player is that the Apple TV and the Mac be on the same Wi-Fi network.

The Best iPad Board Games, by David Price, Macworld UK

Looking for a digital distraction? We've collected the 21 finest iPad board games, suitable for all the family to enjoy. There's something here for everyone.


What Happened When I Looked At Two Mac Apps Today, by Brent Simmons, Inessential

The basics of window resizing behavior should be impossible to mess up — AppKit should be handling this. If it’s messed up, then something in the app is fighting the frameworks. That’s a bad sign for the quality of the rest of the app.


Why Countries Keep Bowing To Apple And Google’s Contact Tracing App Requirements, by Casey Newton, The Verge

It’s a fascinating tension: corporations trying to do right by their users versus countries trying to do right by their citizens.

Why Britain Is Ignoring The Google-Apple Protocol For Its Tracing App, by The Economist

The government’s decision to go for a centralised system may in part be the consequence of its tardiness in getting testing off the ground. A system that relies on self-reporting of symptoms requires public-health authorities to make judgments about symptoms; centralisation permits that. The authors of a paper published on April 16th by a group at Oxford University, widely acknowledged to have influenced the government’s decision-making, says that “prolonged test turnaround times and low capacity for testing” limit the use of testing as an indicator.

Zoom, Xoom, Züm: Why Does Every Start-Up Sound Fast Now?, by Erin Griffith, New York Times

“I’m sure they all thought they were the only one,” Ms. Friedman said.

The strongest brands are evocative, not descriptive, she added. But in her experience, people with engineering backgrounds don’t always see the value of a good metaphor. “And now they’re all in the shadow of Zoom,” she said.

Bottom of the Page

Once again, I lived through an entire morning on the wrong day.

("Once I finish this meeting, I better go and find out why the cronjob that was scheduled for Monday morning didn't fire off today.")

(Yes, today is Friday, not Monday.)


Thanks for reading.