The Specifically-Designed Edition Thursday, May 21, 2020

Apple Releases iOS 13.5 With COVID-19 Exposure Notifications, Face ID Bypass For Masks, FaceTime Setting, And Apple Music Stories Sharing, by Ryan Christoffel, MacStories

Today Apple released what is essentially a COVID-19 update for iPhones. iOS 13.5 includes several features specifically designed for our current global pandemic, including exposure notifications, mask detection for bypassing Face ID, and a new prominence setting for FaceTime, along with a nice new Apple Music sharing feature optimized for Instagram Stories.

Apple And Google’s Covid Tracing Tech Has Been Released To 22 Countries, by Patrick Howell O'Neill, MIT Technology Review

Apple and Google said that 22 national governments on five continents, as well as several American states, are being granted access to the API today. There are billions of people in the participating countries, but some of the notable omissions include France, which has locked horns with the tech companies over how their API works, and the United Kingdom, which is still figuring out if it will use the Apple-Google system in its own efforts.

Apple And Google Should Have Created Contact Tracing Apps, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

In short, it’s a mess. The world has never had a more urgent need for an app to be developed swiftly and securely, and governments have almost universally demonstrated themselves not up to the task.

It Will Be Different

The End Of Podcasting’s Innocence, by M.G. Siegler, 500ish Words

There have long been fears that music would play out in a similar fashion, with platform exclusives. And while Apple and others dabbled in exclusive windows, the labels were able to keep the status quo in tact. That’s not happening with podcasts because there are no labels. The closest thing to an old guard was Apple, and they just got lapped by Spotify while staring off into space. That great big open environment.

You may not like it, I may not like it, but by the end of the year, the podcast landscape is set to look a lot different. An arms race is afoot. Offer up your best defense. This is the end of podcasting’s innocence.

The Future Of Movie Theaters Might Look A Lot Like An Apple Store, by Eric Ravenscraft, Medium

Theater acquisitions are a prestige play for tech companies that, for all their money and power, are still working to gain standing alongside studio juggernauts like Disney and Warner Bros in the eyes of critics and the film industry they’re attempting to court. In some sense, the two industries are coming for each others’ most valuable assets: Disney owns blockbuster films in theaters, and now it’s aiming to catch up to Netflix’s streaming subscribers with Disney+. Meanwhile, Netflix dominates in streaming, but the company — alongside Amazon and even Apple — is striving to gain legitimacy in theaters.


Students Are Failing AP Tests Because The College Board Can’t Handle iPhone Photos, by Monica Chin, The Verge

AP exams require longform answers. Students can either type their response or upload a photo of handwritten work. Students who choose the latter option can do so as a JPG, JPEG, or PNG format according to the College Board’s coronavirus FAQ.

But the testing portal doesn’t support the default format on iOS devices and some newer Android phones, HEIC files.


Today At Apple Turns 3 With New At Home Session Created In American Sign Language, by Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac

Global Accessibility Awareness Day is May 21, and Apple has created a timely new Today at Apple at Home session filmed entirely in American Sign Language. The new creative session coincides with the third anniversary of Today at Apple’s rollout to every Apple Store around the world.

Jamf Protect Adds New macOS Malware Prevention Capabilities To Its Endpoint Security Solution, by Bradley Chambers, 9to5Mac

Now, IT departments using the solution can prevent the execution of known macOS malware and quarantine the applications to keep their fleet safe from infection. Additionally, the new functionality in Jamf Protect gives IT teams central visibility of known malware infection attempts across their organization.


We Need More Expressive **Face-mask Emojis**, by Pat Dryburgh

I think we need more expressive face-mask Emojis. I think a suite of Emojis expressing alternate emotions through a face mask would allow us a small opportunity to show solidarity with one another as we brave this new world.

Apple Checks In With 192-room Hotel For Billion-dollar Northwest Austin Campus, by Katie Friel, CultureMap Austin

“Apple is a trendsetter in so many ways. Its proposed hotel as part of its new Austin campus is another example of it being ahead of the curve,” John Boyd Jr., principal of Princeton, New Jersey-based corporate location consulting firm The Boyd Co. Inc., tells CultureMap.

Boyd adds that “having a hotel connected at the hip with its corporate parent is not common now, but in the post-COVID-19 corporate travel world, I expect we will be seeing more of this concept, especially from deep-pocketed tech firms like Apple, Google, Facebook, and Microsoft.”

Bottom of the Page

I am still reading blogs while Facebook and Twitter dominate the landscape. I guess there will still be podcasts to listen via your favorite podcast apps even if Spotify (and who else?) dominates.


Thanks for reading.