Archive for June 2020

The Financial-Markers Edition Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Apple Launches Path To Apple Card, A 4-month Credit Worthiness Improvement Program, by Matthew Panzarino, TechCrunch

Declined Apple Card applicants may begin seeing notifications on their device later today that offer them the Path to Apple Card program. It’s an opt-in program that can run for up to 4 months. It leverages the information that Goldman Sachs used to determine their credit worthiness to outline why they were declined and to help them improve the specific financial markers that would make them more likely to get approved next time.

Once a user opts in on their device, they get a once-a-month update on their progress on specific tasks that are personalized to their rating.

How The Apple Watch Tracks Sleep -- And Why, by Scott Stein, CNET

Sleep patterns can be tracked in Apple's Health app, but there's a conscious move away from pinging people to fix bad habits or alerting them to nights with suboptimal sleep. Instead, notifications and reinforcements are all positive, similar to what Apple has done previously in the Health and Activity apps. If a sleep goal is met or beaten, there's positive feedback. If the goal isn't met, the app will aim not to flag it.

"There could be anxiety that people have about going to sleep, and that anxiety itself can actually cause more problems in terms of going to sleep," Lynch says. "Many people are already well aware that they haven't been getting enough sleep, and so we're not adding to that, but we are positively acknowledging when you have achieved your goals."

Apple Began Work On The Watch’s Hand Washing Feature Years Before COVID-19, by Brian Heater, TechCrunch

Unlike other rush initiatives undertaken by the company once the virus hit, however, the forthcoming Apple Watch handwashing app wasn’t built overnight. The feature was the result of “years of work,” VP of Technology Kevin Lynch told TechCrunch. In typical Apple fashion, the product was a result of years of trial and error, according to the executive.


The system uses machine learning models to tackle different methods, but the system gets an additional nudge from the Watch’s microphone. Along with motion, the app listens for the sound of running water. Even that’s not enough, though — after all, eco sinks have become increasingly popular, meaning that there’s often less water sound to be listening for. The sound of squishing soap takes care of that last bit. It’s got a unique enough audio signature so as to confirm that handwashing is taking place.

Relationship With Customers

Apple News Just Lost The New York Times, by Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge

The New York Times has announced that, as of today, it will no longer be distributing articles in the Apple News app, making it one of the largest publishers to end its association with Apple’s publishing platform.

In a memo announcing the change, Meredith Kopit Levien, chief operating officer at the Times, said the company wants “a direct path for sending those readers back into our environments, where we control the presentation of our report, the relationships with our readers, and the nature of our business rules.” She added that the paper’s “relationship with Apple News does not fit within these parameters.”

Newsonomics: The New York Times Is Opting Out Of Apple News, by Ken Doctor, Nieman Lab

On its own, that may seem like just one more move in the chess game between major news companies and the platforms. But it could also be an indication of a more geologic movement. Will the rest of 2020 bring tectonic shifts in platforms’ power over news — or just a few more small tremors?


“It’s time to re-examine all of our relationships with the big platforms,” New York Times COO Meredith Levien told me. “And we’re reexamining them on three axes that are all interrelated, but different with each of the players.”


Apple Design Awards For 2020 Awarded To Eight Developers, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Typically, the Apple Design Awards have been held on the evening of the first day of WWDC. With the conference online this year, Apple held off until today to announce the winners. This year, in a collection that has a distinct iPad focus, the company announced four app winners and four game winners.

Apple Camp At Home Registration Now Open With Free Creative Activity Book, by Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac

Apple announced earlier this month that Apple Camp was going virtual for 2020, and today, registration for the at-home sessions has opened. Parents and kids interested in signing up can apply on Apple’s website and download a free Activity Book.

6 Truths About Your Phone's Battery Life: All About Overcharging, Overheating, Fast Charging, by Clifford Colby, CNET

But now that fast charging is so readily available for phones, we have questions: Can a high-capacity charger damage your phone's battery in the short term? Can it degrade your phone's power-storing capability over time? And what causes unnecessary wear and tear on your phone's battery anyway?

To get the answers, we spoke with several battery researchers and engineers about the effects of quick charging on your phone's battery life. Here's what we learned.


Smartphone Apps Are Now A Weapon In International Disputes, by Tom Simonite, Wired

By banning the apps, India adds to a swelling global pushback on China’s technology sector in a way that brings consumers more directly into the conflict.


App store operators such as Google and Apple will now be asked to prevent users in India from downloading or updating the banned apps. The government is also expected to ask internet service providers to block access to banned services, cutting off apps that have already been downloaded. Those tactics mirror China’s own system of internet control, which includes government controls on app stores, and the Great Firewall that filters internet traffic.

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How long more before the New York Times is also one of the big tech?


Thanks for reading.

The First-Line-of-Defense Edition Monday, June 29, 2020

Apple Declined To Implement 16 Web APIs In Safari Due To Privacy Concerns, by Catalin Cimpanu, ZDNet

"WebKit's first line of defense against fingerprinting is to not implement web features which increase fingerprintability and offer no safe way to protect the user," Apple said.

For Web APIs already implemented in Safari years before, Apple says it's been working to limit their fingerprintability vector.

The Modern Mobile App Needs A Revamp, by Lucas Matney, TechCrunch

App Clips, Widgets, Siri Suggestions and a host of more minute features paint a vision of more aggressive efforts to bring app experiences closer to the silicon, pulling them outside of the app grid and getting to the gist of their utility. As Apple identifies opportunities to put context at the forefront of how third-party integrations are accessed, how much can they drive developers to their vision of the future without also alienating them?

How App Makers Break Their Apps To Avoid Paying Apple, by Nicole Nguyen, Wall Street Journal

These apps are broken on purpose, because of Apple’s lucrative App Store rule: Companies are charged 30% of every purchase and subscription made through iOS apps. (After the subscriber’s first year, the commission is reduced to 15%.) Any developer who wants to make money on Apple’s iPhone and iPad audience must pay a hefty surcharge for that privilege.

In December 2018, Netflix decided it no longer wanted to give Apple that cut, so it stopped letting people sign up in the app.

Blocking subscriptions and payments is just one way developers push back against the App Store’s terms. Here’s another: charging higher rates in iPhone apps. The Tinder app charges $29.99 a month for a Gold membership (which shows you everyone who’s swiped right on you). Tinder’s website charges just $13.49 a month for the same service.

Rumor of the Day

Kuo: iPhone 12 Models Won't Include Charger In Box, 20W Power Adapter Will Be Sold Separately, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

iPhone 12 models will not include EarPods or a power adapter in the box, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in a research note obtained by MacRumors. This lines up with a prediction shared by analysts at Barclays earlier this week.


The Long, Unhappy History Of Working From Home, by David Streitfeld, New York Times

Three months after the coronavirus pandemic shut down offices, corporate America has concluded that working from home is working out. Many employees will be tethered to Zoom and Slack for the rest of their careers, their commute accomplished in seconds.

Richard Laermer has some advice for all the companies rushing pell-mell into this remote future: Don’t be an idiot.

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Someone need to restart a new hypertext platform, without all these privacy and security issues, where one can learn everything just by viewing source.

The browser war spoilt everything.


Thanks for reading.

The Read-Repeatedly Edition Sunday, June 28, 2020

TikTok And 53 Other iOS Apps Still Snoop Your Sensitive Clipboard Data, by Dan Goodin, Ars Technica

In March, researchers uncovered a troubling privacy grab by more than four dozen iOS apps including TikTok, the Chinese-owned social media and video-sharing phenomenon that has taken the Internet by storm. Despite TikTok vowing to curb the practice, it continues to access some of Apple users’ most sensitive data, which can include passwords, cryptocurrency wallet addresses, account-reset links, and personal messages. Another 53 apps identified in March haven't stopped either.

The privacy invasion is the result of the apps repeatedly reading any text that happens to reside in clipboards, which computers and other devices use to store data that has been cut or copied from things like password managers and email programs. With no clear reason for doing so, researchers Talal Haj Bakry and Tommy Mysk found, the apps deliberately called an iOS programming interface that retrieves text from users’ clipboards.

Social Distancing iPhone Apps Blocked By Apple's Coronavirus Crackdown, by James Titcomb, The Telegraph

Apps that use smartphone Bluetooth signals to monitor if colleagues are too close are seen as a potential safety measure to allow businesses and offices to bring staff back to work as the virus fades.

But policies designed to stop illegitimate developers capitalising on the crisis with spam and misinformation apps mean that developers have been unable to launch them.

How To Reach Your Step Goal At Home, by Lindsay Boyers, CNET

Even if you were fairly active before the shutdown in March and the number doesn't intimidate you, but you relied on outdoor activity or the gym to help you reach your step goals, figuring out the best way to get there indoors is going to take some trial and error. Be patient with yourself through the process. You have to learn what works for you and what doesn't. Start with a few strategies on this list and then go from there. Soon, you'll figure out what you like and what you don't and hitting your step goal indoors will become second nature.

Apple’s Relentless Strategy, Execution, And Point Of View, by Steven Sinofsky, Learning By Shipping

What I mean by Apple’s model is not about its direct to consumer business or vertical integration, but the culture of having a “point of view.” Apple makes products that customers love and are delighted by, but it makes them by studying technology, the market, and usage to arrive at plans and strategies. Unlike what you read in textbooks, Apple is much less about responding to micro changes, hype cycles, or even “feedback.” In fact you can see often how Apple’s model does not work so well when it rushes products to market or listens too closely to hype (eg Home Pod). Apple is a company that has a point of view — when the point of view lines up with a great product people love, it can become an unstoppable force.

The Get-Together Edition Saturday, June 27, 2020

Virtual Conferences Mean All-Access—Except When They Don't, by Lauren Goode, Wired

Only, some of those interactions didn’t happen at all. Events like Google I/O, Facebook F8, and Amazon re:MARS were cancelled entirely. Microsoft and Apple forged ahead with carefully produced CEO keynotes and virtual coding labs, but couldn’t replicate the serendipitous run-ins or casual gatherings that are sometimes the most valuable part of conferences. Virtual attendees told me that online-only events have lowered the barriers to entry; people no longer have to spend thousands on tickets and travel to get access to information that may be critical to their livelihoods. But people who spoke to me were pretty straightforward about what’s still lacking from virtual events: They miss the hang.


Still, there were no virtual events that were adequate substitutes for in-person meetups. Steven Aquino, a writer who identifies as disabled and who covers the topic of accessibility, notes that for the last several years Apple has hosted an accessibility-focused get together, where engineers and others who are interested in learning about the subject convene to show off new tech developments that could help the community. This year, Apple decided not to host an online version of this.

Walking And Chewing Gum, by David Sparks, MacSparky

Make no mistake; this week was monumental in the evolution of the Mac. There is a reason that after so many years, the macOS now goes to number 11. Apple silicon Macs are going to change the way we use our Macs significantly. I’m not sure if any of us appreciate how much these changes will resonate into the platform’s future.

Still … it sure would be nice if Apple added a share button to Mail on the iPhone and iPad.

Why Apple Still Refuses To Give The iPad A Calculator, by Ed Hardy, Cult of Mac

“There’s some things that we have not done because we would want to do something really distinctly great in that space,” the Apple VP explained. “We want to do it when we can do it really, really well. And we honestly just haven’t gotten around to doing it great.”

Coming This Fall

Gaming On Apple Platforms Is Set For Some Big Changes—here Are A Few, by Samuel Axon, Ars Technica

We're starting here in part because this was a red-letter week for gaming on Apple platforms (and also because some of Apple's gaming centric-sessions were among the first scheduled during the week). Some enormous changes are coming, and playing games on Apple devices is going to look markedly different going forward.

The first change we'll go over is a doozy: the transition of the Mac from a PC-centric gaming platform to a mobile-centric one.

iOS 14 Lets You Add Captions To Photos, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

The ‌Photos‌ app for Mac previously supported captions through the Description field, but on the ‌iPhone‌, there has been no method for adding similar information. In ‌iOS 14‌, entering a caption is quick and easy.

Apple Adds APFS Encrypted Drive Support To iOS 14 And APFS Time Machine Backups To macOS Big Sur, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

With the next major update to the iPhone and iPad operating system, users will be able to access encrypted drives through the Files app. This feature is already present in the first beta version of iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 available to developers, as we have already successfully tested on an iPad.


Microsoft Announces It Is Closing Its Retail Stores Permanently, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

In a company statement, Microsoft today announced a “strategic shift” in retail operations, which means they are shifting to all-online sales and support. The Microsoft retail stores will not reopen, and the closures will cost Microsoft about $450 million in expenses.

Microsoft will keep a smaller retail presence in the form of its Microsoft Experience Centers, located in London, New York, Sydney, and on the Redmond campus.

The Quest To Improve Email, by Ina Fried, Axios

Email is a relic, one of the last enduring pieces of the pre-web internet. But the same qualities that have made it so universal also make it tough to change and improve.

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Email may be a relic, but there are many tools at my disposal to somehow manage emails just because email is mostly open and standard.

Having to deal with work through Teams messages and Whatsapp messages -- that's the part that I have no idea how to deal with.


Thanks for reading.

The Top-of-Priorities Edition Friday, June 26, 2020

New Apple Accessibility Features Coming This Fall Make Technology Usable And More Accessible To All, by Lory Gil, iMore

When Apple demos new software updates at WWDC, accessibility features usually don't get the spotlight (though last year's WWDC was all about accessibility). I realize that there are many hundreds of new things coming that Apple wants to make us aware of, but I think Apple should wear its accessibility achievements on its chest as a badge of honor. I oftentimes speak to tech lovers that tell me they only use Apple devices or have switched to Apple products because of the many and useful accessibility features.

This success doesn't come from simply adding on an accessibility option after everything's already been done. It comes from Apple putting accessibility at the top of its list of priorities. Accessibility isn't an afterthought for Apple. It's a before thought.

Here’s A First Look At The New Control Center And Widgets On macOS Big Sur, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

Control Center on macOS Big Sur is visually similar to the Control Center on iOS but with controls adapted for the Mac. Instead of accessing it with a swipe, Control Center on the Mac can be opened by clicking on a new button in the Menu Bar.

From there, users can access network settings, brightness adjustments, AirPlay, and more. Some of these options were already available in the macOS Bar Menu before, but there are new features in the Control Center as well.

Apple Maps To Tell You To Refine Location By Scanning The Skyline, by Romain Dillet, TechCrunch

In dense areas where you can’t get a precise location, Apple Maps will prompt you to raise your phone and scan buildings across the street to refine your location.

As you may have guessed, this feature is based on Look Around, a Google Street View-inspired feature that lets you … look around as if you were walking down the street. It’s a bit more refined than Street View as everything is in 3D so you can notice the foreground and the background.


Yojimbo 4.5, by Agen Schmitz, TidBITS

The information organizer now stores synchronization data on Apple’s servers, which means that the amount of space it occupies is charged against your iCloud storage allowance.

Hey Opens Its Email Service To Everyone As Apple Approves Its App For Good, by Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge

The public launch of the service comes alongside a second piece of good news for Hey: Apple has approved Hey’s update containing proposed changes to meet App Store guidelines. The app’s version 1.0.3 update is now available, offering free, temporary 14-day burner Hey accounts with randomized addresses for iOS users, making the app “functional” by Apple’s definition when it’s first downloaded. Hey is also adding support for multiuser corporate accounts with this update, as Apple had originally taken issue with the purely consumer-focused nature of Hey.


The Gentlest Of Sherlockings, by David Smith

So often the biggest challenge I face as an indie developer isn’t just making customers aware of my products, but making them even consider that the capabilities I provide are even things that their iPhone can do. When Apple takes on a feature and makes it a 1st-party experience they also take on the burden of that communication and educating customers about what is possible.


Apple Continues Store Closures Amid Covid-19 Spike, Now Shuttering 14 Locations In Florida, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple is continuing with store closures in areas that are experiencing significant spikes in coronavirus infections, and tomorrow, 14 retail locations in Florida will be shut down.

The Talk Show Remote From WWDC 2020 With Guests Craig Federighi And Greg Joswiak, by John Voorhees, MacStories

The wide-ranging interview covers developers and the App Store, the Mac and Big Sur, the iPad and Pencil, iOS 14, and privacy. In response to commentators who believe that Apple is merging iOS and macOS or abandoning the Mac, Federighi rattled off a long list of projects related to the Mac, commenting, “We love the Mac and we’re all in.” Joswiak added, “We’re far from bored with the Mac; it’s in our DNA.”

How To Build The Perfect Pump-Up Playlist, by Alan Henry, Wired

You probably have a song you play to get you up in the morning. Maybe something you listen to before a difficult day, a job interview, or a public speaking gig. I certainly do—I have a whole playlist full of them. You might too. But why does music inspire us so much, and how can we find more music to hype us up?

If you don’t have a playlist of songs to get you hyped up for the day, build one. If building a playlist sounds like yet another thing to add to your to-do list, worry not: Plenty of music services have mood- or genre-based playlists to get you ready for the day, and we'll come through with some suggestions here too.

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Why aren't widgets in the upcoming iOS also in the lock screen?


Thanks for reading.

The Complexity-as-an-Option Edition Thursday, June 25, 2020

With iOS 14, Apple Is Finally Letting The iPhone Home Screen Get Complicated, by Dieter Bohn, The Verge

When you eventually upgrade, all your stuff will be in the same place and nothing will work differently by default. There will be a new section called the “App Library” over to the side, but you are free to pay it no mind.

Offering complexity as an option is a tricky thing, but I think Apple has landed upon a good balance. There are four main ways that Apple is adding complication. None of them are a rebuke of the old way of doing things, but all of them require a different and more involved mental model of what it means to use an iPhone.

Macs With Apple Silicon Will Get New, Refined Boot And Recovery Mode, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

Holding down that button at startup will bring up an entirely new macOS Recovery options screen. From here you’ll be able to fix a broken Mac boot drive, alter security settings, share your Mac’s disk with another computer, choose a startup disk, and pretty much everything else you used to have to remember keyboard shortcuts to do.

Now that Apple is holding all the cards, the company has built a new boot process, based on iOS’s existing secure boot process, but modified to support those features that Mac users expect, such as different macOS boot drives, multiple versions of the operating system, and macOS Recovery itself.

What’s New In The Apple Music App For iOS 14: Listen Now Tab, Endless Autoplay, iPad Redesign, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

One of the common criticisms of Apple Music from Spotify users is the playlists and discovery features aren’t as good. Listen Now is seemingly trying to address that angle with an even greater focus on personalization. The tab features Top Picks like your heavy rotation and curated playlists for your mood, followed by Stations For You focusing on artists you follow, and the custom Apple Music mixes like Friends Mix and New Music Mix.

Some sections in Listen Now — like Top Picks — use this new prominent poster art style. It adds some nice visual variety compared to iOS 13’s For You repeating lines of square-shaped albums.

Also Coming This Fall

Safari To Support Password-less Logins Via Face ID And Touch ID Later This Year, by Jon Porter, The Verge

Safari 14, the version of Apple’s browser that will ship with iOS 14 and macOS Big Sur, will let you use Face ID or Touch ID to log in to websites built to support the feature. The functionality was confirmed the browser’s beta release notes, and Apple has detailed how the feature works in a WWDC video for developers. The functionality is built on the WebAuthn component of the FIDO2 standard, developed by the FIDO Alliance. It should make logging into a website as easy as logging into an app secured with Touch ID or Face ID.

iOS 14 And tvOS 14 Bring All-new Game Center, Expanded Xbox And Playstation Controller Capabilities, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Game Center, one of Apple’s less talked about platform components is getting an all-new design this year with a focus on finding games and playing with friends. Other details in WWDC game development talks this year include leveraging the new game controller advancements, how to offer users the ability to share clips from games, and more.

Apple Introduces Hand, Body Pose Detection To Vision Framework For Developers, by Mike Peterson, AppleInsider

Apple gives a series of examples of how developers can leverage that capability.

That includes a fitness app that could automatically track an exercise that a user is performing, media editing app that can find photos or video clips based on the poses within them, or a safety app that can help train employees on correct ergonomic postures.

Why Are iOS 14 Default Apps Limited To Just Browser And Email Apps?, by Tom Warren, The Verge

Apple is gradually bringing its walls down, either by choice or because of looming pressure from regulators. Many iPhone and iPad users will be happy they can finally set default apps for their browser and email apps, but those same people are probably wondering, like I am, why Apple hasn’t gone further.

Apple's Latest Privacy Announcement Could Be More Impactful Than CCPA Or GDPR, by Ronan Shields, AdWeek

While Apple makes much of its transparency regarding consumer data, its communications with the ad industry are more opaque. The announcements and subsequently released documentation have led to varying interpretations of what the latest announcements say about Apple’s long-term plans.

What is clear is that iOS 14’s transparency requirements will have repercussions for the digital media ecosystem with laws such as the California Consumer Privacy Act and growing public backlash over how user data is used to target ads.


Is Active Noise Cancellation Fixed By AirPods Pro Firmware? Nobody Knows, by Ed Hardy, Cult of Mac

Apple updated AirPods Pro to firmware version 2D27 on Tuesday. Users of these truly wireless headphones have since had a chance to install it, but there’s no consensus about whether it makes active noise cancellation as good as it was when this product first launched.

Apple Offering Some Users An Extra Month Of Free Apple Arcade Access, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

It’s not entirely clear how many people are receiving the additional month of Apple Arcade service to try it out, but the emails may be going out to those who tried ‌Apple Arcade‌ for a month and then canceled it after the trial period was over.


Apple Now Letting Developers Know When Customers Request In-App Refunds To Prevent Scams, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple is introducing a new in-app purchase server notification system that lets developers know when a customer requests and receives a refund for an in-app purchase, allowing the developer to take an appropriate action, such as revoking the purchased item.

WWDC: How Apple's Swift Student Challenge Winners Are Fighting Coronavirus, by Alison DeNisco Rayome, CNET

When the novel coronavirus made its way to the US in March, leaving doctors and nurses without necessary medical supplies, a hospital in Houston got help from an unlikely source: A 17-year-old technologist and Apple Swift Student Challenge winner named Ethan Saadia.


Apple Stores In Houston Next To Reclose As COVID-19 Cases Rise, by Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac

Apple is reclosing more of its US retail stores as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in many states. Starting June 25, seven stores in the Houston area will temporarily close.

DOJ, States Eye Potential U.S. Antitrust Probe Of Apple, by Leah Nylen, Politico

The Justice Department and a coalition of state attorneys general are taking the first steps toward launching an antitrust probe of Apple, turning the iPhone-maker into the latest Silicon Valley giant to face legal jeopardy in Washington, three people involved in the discussions told POLITICO.

The individuals said DOJ and the AGs have spoken to several companies unhappy with Apple’s ironclad control of its App Store, the source of frequent griping by developers who say the company’s rules are applied inconsistently — particularly for apps that compete with Apple’s own products — and lead to higher prices and fewer choices for consumers.

Apple Acquires Fleetsmith To Enhance iPhone, iPad, And Mac Enterprise Features, by Bradley Chambers, 9to5Mac

Mobile Device Management is at the heart of every Apple enterprise customer’s network stack. Up until now, Apple has generally relied on third party companies when enabling its customer to deploy, secure, and manage devices in the corporate environment. Today, Fleetsmith announced they have been acquired by Apple. This acquisition will give Apple a first-party MDM solution to offer its customer.

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I hope you are having a good day.

But if you are not, I invite you to look out the window, and share whichever slice of the sky with me, and I'd share my wish with you that hopefully tomorrow, or next week, or next month, or next year, things will be better.


Thanks for reading.

The Showing-the-Way Edition Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Apple’s Craig Federighi On WWDC’s Big Privacy Upgrades And Beyond, by Michael Grothaus, Fast Company

As Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, told me, Apple doesn’t give users more control over their privacy every year just to one-up its competitors. Rather, he says, “We think we’re showing the way to the industry, to the customer, that they can demand more–they should expect more–about the protection of their privacy, and that we can help move the industry into building things that better protect privacy.”

Now that’s a bold statement. Federighi makes a strong case for it, and not just by detailing Apple’s upcoming privacy enhancements. During our conversation, he delved deep into the company’s history with privacy. He even looked centuries into its future, revealing what he believes will be one of the company’s most important lasting legacies.

The Mac’s Future Is On A Collision Course With The iPad, by Jason Snell, Macworld

It’s clear now that Apple’s long-term vision for its computing platforms is that they’ll all share the same development environment. While the Mac will still be able to run traditionally developed Mac apps, the near future is going to be apps brought over from iOS with the help of Mac Catalyst, and apps brought over from iOS with no modification. Further out, Apple hopes that SwiftUI allows developers to build native software for any of its platforms, morphing from Apple Watch to Apple TV to iPhone to iPad to Mac.

If that’s true, though, does the Mac really still exist? The answer is yes—at least, until it doesn’t matter either way.

Apple's WWDC Keynote Was Like No Other. Why That's A Good Thing, by Connie Guglielmo, CNET

Could Apple, whose slickly staged events have set a high bar for product unveilings, pull off a virtual keynote with the flourish and flair of its in-person extravaganzas and without the clapping crowds? Could Apple come up with a model for delivering product news that the rest of the industry might copy while we're in lockdown? Would reporters, investors and partners tune in and find something interesting to watch, without first being plied with gourmet pastries, vegan snacks and high-octane espressos brewed by Cafe Mac baristas?

The answer, judging by the reaction I've heard from developers, industry analysts, users and even many of us journalists who've also rushed for seats: Yep. And the virtual event may be the start of more to come.

Coming This Fall

Six Ways The Pandemic Was On Display At Apple’s WWDC, by Jon Porter, The Verge

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected nearly every facet of our lives, so it’s only natural that it would impact more than one of Apple’s product announcements at yesterday’s WWDC. Whether it’s the Apple Watch’s handwashing feature or the new face mask options for Memoji, the pandemic’s presence was repeatedly felt during Apple’s presentation. And let’s not forget, its entire prerecorded streaming format was driven by the pandemic in the first place.

Sound Recognition In iOS 14 Alerts Deaf iPhone Users To Fire Alarms, by Amber Neely, AppleInsider

The first beta of iOS 14 includes the ability to set up notifications that trigger if the iPhone hears specific sounds, an accessibility feature that could help alert hearing-impaired users to fire alarms or dogs barking nearby.


The list of sounds it can pick up include animals like cats and dogs, household sounds including running water and appliances, and doorbells and door knocks. The system is also sophisticated enough to listen out for people shouting and baby cries, and can even distinguish between alarm sounds for fires, smoke, and sirens.

App Clips: When Is An App An App And When Should It Be A Webpage, by Erica Sadun

Apple’s new App Clip technology lets people load transient mini-apps without installing through the App Store. Users don’t have to authenticate or authorize the mini-app. It just downloads and works. Whether scanning a code (think QR code) or detecting an NFC tag, iOS users can download and run these pre-vetted packages that represent a light, typically transactional, view of a larger app experience. I went through some writeups and video today and thought I’d share a mental dump of my thoughts.

Rosetta Lacks Support For X86 Machine Virtualization Apps, Boot Camp Not An Option On Apple Silicon, by AppleInsider

Mac users who rely on Windows virtualization software might be left in the lurch when Apple transitions to its own custom ARM processors later this year, as the company's Rosetta Intel-to-ARM translator does not support virtual machine apps.

Apple outlined Rosetta's — technically Rosetta 2's — limitations in a developer document posted to its website this week, noting that while it can translate "most" Intel-based apps, it is unable to do the same for virtual machine apps that virtualize x86_64 computer platforms. Popular x86_64 virtualization apps include products from Parallels and VMWare that virtualize Windows environments.

macOS Big Sur Brings Back Startup Chime, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

macOS Big Sur, the newest version of Apple’s operating system designed for Macs, brings back the classic startup chime that was eliminated from the MacBook lineup in 2016.

Third-Party Opportunities

Apple Opening Up 'Find My' To Tile And Other Third-Party Tracking Tags, by Jesse Hollington, iDropNews

During Apple’s “State of the Union” developer session that immediately followed the WWDC Keynote, Apple announced that it’s opening up its “Find My” technology to create a new “Find My network” that third-party developers will be able to plug into and take advantage of.


In other words, Apple is letting companies like Tile leverage the power of Apple’s background wireless device location technology through a set of APIs that will be baked into iOS 14.

Apple Opening U1 Chip To Developers With New 'Nearby Interaction' Framework, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

Apple has announced that it is opening up its U1 chip to developers with a new “Nearby Interaction” framework for iOS 14. This framework can stream distance and relative direction between U1-equipped devices, paving the way for some interesting new spatial-related user experiences.


AirPods Pro Receives Firmware Update To Version 2D27, by Chris Hauk, MacTrast

Apple has released a firmware update for the AirPods Pro. The update upgrades firmware version 2D15, to the new firmware, 2D27.

So far it isn’t known what the new firmware fixes, or if it adds any new features. However, there have been complaints from ‌AirPods Pro‌ users about issues with Active Noise Cancellation and crackling or popping sounds.


From Apple To Facebook, Tech's New Diversity Pledges Follow Years Of Failure, by Shelly Banjo and Ian King, Bloomberg

The world’s most valuable tech companies are still predominantly white and male, according to a Bloomberg News analysis of diversity reports published by Google, Facebook, Microsoft Corp., Apple Inc. and Inc. Photos of Black workers feature prominently in these reports but remain mostly absent from management ranks and are underrepresented in technical roles.

Why We Can't Stop Waving At The End Of Video Calls, by Kaya Yurieff, CNN

"This personal touch is missing," said Laura Dudley, an associate clinical professor at Northeastern University and expert in behavior analysis and body language. "We're hungering for that human interaction, that friendliness, so we're starting to do things like waving to say goodbye. It feels a little nicer than just clicking off."

In person, there are subtle (and not-so-subtle) social cues, such as closing a notebook, checking your watch, putting things in a bag or getting ready to stand up, that show an interaction is winding down. But those same signals don't translate on video calls, so experts say people are trying new behaviors that better suit virtual communication, such as waving and smiling, even in an otherwise professional setting.

Bottom of the Page

Firstly, there are all the WWDC videos that Apple puts out that I am interested to watch. Then, there are all these podcast episodes about WWDC that I am also interested to listen. Where do I find all that time?


Thanks for reading.

The Silicon-Mac Edition Tuesday, June 23, 2020

This Is Apple’s Roadmap For Moving The First Macs Away From Intel, by Samuel Axon and Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica

After 15 years, Apple will again transition the Mac to a new architecture. The company announced at its developer conference today that it will introduce Macs featuring Apple-designed, ARM-based processors similar to those already used in the iPhone and iPad.

Tim Cook pegged this switch as one of the four biggest transitions the mac has ever had. Alongside the more to PowerPC, the move to Intel, and the transition to Mac OS X, ARM will be one of the biggest mac changes ever. Apple is promising "a whole new level of performance" with a "Family of Mac SoCs."

Apple's Intel Breakup Will Reshape Macs—and Beyond, by Brian Barrett, Wired

A lot depends on the robustness of Rosetta 2, which remains unknown in practice. Still, the transition seems likely to be relatively seamless for consumers. Apple has every incentive to make this jump, but it’s also given developers every reason to make it with them. "It’s a big ask of developers to support a new chip,” says Maribel Lopez, founder of Lopez Research. “But when they think of it as laying the groundwork for working across multiple devices, it’s an easier sell.”

Which is really what an ARM-based future means for you: A world in which you don’t buy iPhone apps or iPad apps or Mac apps, but just Apple apps that work on whatever device you own.

Thoughts On WWDC 2020 Day One, by Jason Snell, Six Colors

The idealist in me says this is a terrible idea and that it will just lead to developers abandoning the Mac and just shoveling their iOS app onto the platform. If you think Mac Catalyst apps are weird, wait until you’re running pure iOS apps that have made no attempt to appear even remotely Mac-like.

The optimist in me says that there will always be good Mac apps, but there are also a lot of great iOS apps and being able to run them makes my Mac more useful and relevant.

The truth is probably that the future of the Mac is as a “pro” version of iOS and iPadOS. It’ll run more or less every app that’s available on the iPhone and iPad, but it’ll also run traditional Mac software. Over time, the distinction between iPad apps and Mac apps will begin to fade away entirely, and the Mac will just become a keyboard-and-trackpad mode of the iPad.


Big Sur Makes Changes To Many Apple Apps And Basic Features, by Glenn Fleishman, TidBITS

macOS will have a different overall look and feel in Big Sur, but Apple hasn’t ignored its key apps. Maps and Messages get long-overdue overhauls, while Safari adds privacy-reporting features and more locked-down extensions, and Photos and other apps receive minor tweaks. A grab bag of other changes will appear, too, such as facial recognition in the Home app that links the Photos app and home security cameras.

We assume Mail for Big Sur will change somewhat, too, based on details shown for Mail in the iPadOS preview. But Apple didn’t demonstrate Mail for macOS in the keynote or include it in the initial feature list.


Apple Takes The Wraps Off iOS 14 At WWDC 2020, by Samuel Axon and Jeff Dunn, Ars Technica

At the forefront of iOS 14 is a redesign for the home screen on iPhones. A new feature called "App Library" sits at the bottom of home screen pages and automatically organizes various apps into groups. The idea is to cut down on the amount of pages you need to scroll through to get to a specific app, instead making them all available from one screen. Apple says the App Library will know to curate your apps into specific categories, such as "Apple Arcade" for various games or "Social" for social media apps. There's a search field located at the top of the App Library, with all your apps organized alphabetically in a list view underneath it.

The update also brings the ability to resize widgets and drag them from their usual place in the iPhone's "Today" view over to the home screen, much like how you would with a dedicated app. You can also pull up list of widgets to quickly add and customize them to your home screen at your discretion. A "Smart Stack" feature, meanwhile, can automatically show apps relevant to the current time of day, so you could see Apple News briefing in the morning or a summary of your daily activity in the evening.

Apple iOS 14 Will Let You Change iPhone’s Default Email, Browser To Third-Party Apps, by Todd Spangler, Variety

In a major change for Apple’s iPhone, the next iteration of the operating system — iOS 14, coming this fall — will let users set third-party email and browser apps as the defaults, in place of Apple’s own mail and Safari browser apps.

iOS 14 Lets You Tap The Back Of Your iPhone To Launch Apps And A Whole Lot More, by James Vincent, The Verge

Yesterday at WWDC, Apple announced iOS 14, the latest version of its iPhone operating system. But, as is often the case with Apple, there were many features that didn’t get mentioned on stage. One of these is “Back Tap” — a new accessibility feature that lets you double tap or triple tap the back of your iPhone to perform a custom task.


iPadOS 14 Suddenly Makes The iPad Look A Lot Like A MacBook, by Henry T. Casey, Tom's Guide

When I first saw iPadOS 14, I felt like I was seeing a significant change in Apple's tablets. While many saw the Magic Keyboard as a step to make the iPad Pro more like a MacBook, these new software changes give an even stronger hint to how Apple's hardware is unifying.

These changes feel like they add up to a substantial shift where iPadOS better fits the larger iPad display than it used to. While the Apple Pencil changes will make for neat new ways to use the iPad, the refined interface is why I'm most excited to get the iPadOS beta installed.

The iPad Isn’t Getting iOS 14’s Best Feature, by Michael Simon, Macworld

Even though iPadOS 14 brings the same redesigned widgets complete with different sizes and smart functionality, it stops short at delivering the full App Library. So your widgets will still exist in the cramped Today View at the left of the main Home screen just like they are on iOS 13. You can’t even move them between apps like you can on the iPhone.


Apple’s New watchOS Is Coming This Year With New Health Tracking Features, by Samuel Axon and Corey Gaskin, Ars Technica

Sleep tracking includes new options like "Wind Down" which will enable shortcuts and routines like opening apps and turning on Do Not Disturb before bedtime. All of this will be accessible through the iOS app, as well.

Details on the sleep tracking method itself are scarce, but Apple says it will track breathing and movement in "Sleep Mode."

Apple Drops Force Touch Gesture In watchOS 7, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

Force Touch can be used in ‌watchOS 6‌ to reveal hidden menus on ‌Apple Watch‌, such as options to clear notifications and customize the current Watch Face. These options will no longer be accessed using the Force Touch gesture when watchOS 7 is released.

Audio Visual

AirPods Updated With Automatic Switching And A New ‘Spatial Audio’ Feature, by Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge

The new automatic switching feature is coming to both regular AirPods and AirPods Pro in a firmware update, and will automatically switch audio inputs based on which Apple device you’re using. For example, if you’re listening to something on your iPhone and then start playing a video on your laptop, the audio feed will automatically switch over to your computer. Or if you answer a phone call on your iPhone, your AirPods will automatically switch from your computer.

Apple Updates tvOS With Home Support And Picture-in-picture, by Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge

Apple has announced a variety of new features for its tvOS platform, adding better support for Apple’s HomeKit accessories, a new picture-in-picture mode, and support for Microsoft’s Elite 2 and Adaptive Xbox One controllers.

tvOS will also allow for direct control of HomeKit accessories through a new Control Center UI, which looks similar to the menu found on iOS and iPadOS. As part of that new UI, Apple is also offering multi-user support for the Apple TV, although the company has only said that it’ll be used for resuming gameplay on Apple Arcade games for now.

Developer Relationship

Apple Says It Will Let Developers Challenge App Store Rules, by Todd Spangler, Variety

The tech giant, as part of its 2020 Worldwide Developers Conference, on Monday announced to two changes that it will roll out this summer for the app review process. First, Apple said, developers will “not only be able to appeal decisions about whether an app violates a given guideline of the App Store Review Guidelines, but will also have a mechanism to challenge the guideline itself.”

In a second change, Apple said, for apps that are already on the App Store, “bug fixes will no longer be delayed over guideline violations except for those related to legal issues.” Instead, the company said, developers will “be able to address the issue in their next submission.”

Following App Store Rejection Drama, Apple Approves Hey Email App As Company Adds Time-limited Free Accounts, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

Apple today approved the Hey email app, following a week of drama over Apple’s decision to reject the app because it did not adopt in-app purchases. In a letter last week, Apple SVP Phil Schiller suggested Hey could offer In-App Purchases as an option or add some basic functionality accessible to all users, with the login paywall unlocking the full app.

In response, Hey has now added a free tier. With the 1.0.3 update, users can now try Hey for 14 days using a temporary email address. These ‘burner’ accounts reset every two weeks. Hey wants people to get attached to the app and then sign up to the $99/year subscription in order to secure a permanent email address.

Bottom of the Page

Watching the WWDC Keynote in the Apple TV app on my Mac was so much better than watching the WWDC Keynote in the Developer app on my Mac, that one can definitely wonder whether these two different apps were built by the same company.


Thanks for reading.

The More-Than-Pay-Tax Edition Monday, June 22, 2020

Apple CEO Tim Cook On The Nexus Of Technology And Social Change, by Ed Forgotson, CBS News

"Well, you can see that we do a lot more than pay taxes,' Cook said. "We turned the company upside-down to help the world on COVID, and donated all of that, hundreds of millions of dollars. And so, I think my own view is, you pay what you owe in taxes. And then you give back to society. And Apple is clearly doing that."

COVID-19 is affecting more than just the company's bottom line. Apple's multi-billion-dollar California headquarters is nearly empty – and Tim Cook would like nothing more than to get his people back under one gleaming roof.

"That is the biggest challenge I would say in what we're dealing with,' he said. "The thing that I worry that we'll be missing is the serendipity that we all count on. And for that reason I can't wait until we're all back together again."

The App Store Debate: A Story Of Ecosystems, by Steven Sinofsky, Learning By Shipping

Today we’re hearing all the examples of good actors who say they want to do good things. We’re not hearing from bad actors who would have destroyed the smartphone experience — maybe even prevented the app revolution from happening.

Imagine a world of apps that simply exist to steal your credentials or swipe information from a device? Imagine apps that interfere with other apps or simply reduce battery life. Imagine an app store filled with apps that simply render web sites.


19-year Old App Developer Believes Coding Can Be A Catalyst For Change, Rich DeMuro, KTLA 5

Ongele tells me she wants to make the world a better place and the power is in her keyboard.

“Coding has a really unique ability to be able to impact so many people with just a few keystrokes,” said Ongele, who is home on an extended break from college due to the pandemic.

Ongele describes herself as a hacktivist – in a good way.


Apple Will Remove Thousands Of Unlicensed iPhone Games In China, by Zheping Huang, Bloomberg

Developers and publishers in China have been told that their iOS games will need licenses to continue operating from July, according to people familiar with the matter. The decision ends the unofficial practice of allowing games to be published while awaiting authorization from the country’s slow-moving regulators.

This has until now allowed games such as Grand Theft Auto, whose gory depictions of violence are unlikely to ever pass muster with Chinese censors, to be available within the country’s borders. China’s regulators require all games that are either paid or offer in-app purchases to submit for review and obtain a license before publication, and major Android app stores have enforced such rules since 2016. But unapproved games have flourished on Apple’s iPhone platform.

Bottom of the Page

Many, if not all, of the WWDC videos must have already been recorded and ready to drop, right? And there's no leak whatsoever of any of these videos? Interesting.


There are many times when I double-tap on my AirPods, and nothing happens. But I was just adjusting my AirPods, and the music paused. Cool.


Thanks for reading.

The Quintessentially-Apple Edition Sunday, June 21, 2020

I Went To A Reopened Apple Store And Listened To The Silence, by Chris Matyszczyk, ZDNet

Apple has recently begun to reopen many of its stores, in the belief that the worst of the coronavirus may have passed.

But surely things will have changed. No retail experience is the same anymore. Few life experiences are.

So I ventured to a recently reopened store to see whether it remained quintessentially Apple, or whether it reflected our new, more difficult realities.

Not Supported By Evidence

The Art Of The Possible, by John Siracusa, Hypercritical

Today, Apple’s stance seems to be that if they just hold the line on a few key provisions of the App Store rules, companies will build their business models around the Apple's revenue cut in the same way companies built their business models around the costs of brick-and-mortar retail in the pre-Internet days. Apple seems to firmly believe that its ambitious goal state can be achieved with something close to the current set of App Store rules.

This belief is not supported by the evidence.

Hey, We Need To Talk, by Russell Ivanovic, Rusty Rants

As a developer, who has put up with this for over a decade now, I’m only asking one thing. Please consider how many of us feel this way, and how bad this will be for developers and eventually, customers, if Apple keeps being allowed to move the goal posts further and further without us pushing back.

One Advantage Of The App Store That’s Gone, by Brent Simmons, Inessential

The best part of the App Store, years ago, from this developer’s point of view, was that it was easy to charge money for an app. No need to set up a system — just choose the price, and Apple takes care of everything. So easy!

But these days, in almost all cases, you’d be ill-advised to charge up front for your app.


Let’s Tune In To NaadSadhana, The Groundbreaking iOS App For Indian Classical Musicians, Helping With Note Accuracy, by Mathures Paul, The Telegraph

Computers have helped change the way we listen to music. Apple’s iOS ecosystem has taken it a notch higher, it has changed the way one can learn music. NaadSadhana is an example of this, unfolding in Pune.

Sandeep Ranade has devoted his life to computer science and classical music in equal parts. He finds it difficult to choose one over another. In the process he came up with an app that’s unique. Describing NaadSadhana as an app to train in classical music would be an oversimplification. The way it uses the swaramandal is unique and so is its AI-driven tabla player.

The Done-Well Edition Saturday, June 20, 2020

Apple’s Got All The Pieces To Integrate Covid-tracking Into Its Health App, by David Lumb, TechRadar

There’s a lot of reasons governments would want a personal handle on running contact-tracing, but Apple at least has the tools to see it done well.

After Reopening, Apple Is Closing Stores In Four States As COVID-19 Numbers Climb, by Brian Heater, TechCrunch

Impacted locations include six stores in Arizona, two in Florida, another two in North Carolina and one in South Carolina.

“Due to current COVID-19 conditions in some of the communities we serve, we are temporarily closing stores in these areas. We take this step with an abundance of caution as we closely monitor the situation and we look forward to having our teams and customers back as soon as possible,” the company said in a statement to TechCrunch.

Air Supply

Is It Finally Hammer Time For Apple And Its App Store?, by Kara Swisher, New York Times

And, referring to the now defunct browser that ran right into another tech giant’s cross hairs, Mr. Heinemeier Hansson sent a text to me later: “The wheels of legislative justice turn slow. It didn’t help Netscape any that Microsoft got some penalties years after its air supply had been cut off.”

It goes without saying that this is not how Apple sees itself, having spent years brandishing its image as the breaker and not maker of chains — see the famous 1984 Apple Macintosh commercial.

The question is whether anyone throwing a hammer at power these days can throw it hard enough to make a difference.

Hey CEO Responds To Apple, Says App Store Issue Is About Fundamental 'Lack Of Choice' That Hurts Customer Relationships, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Fried says that money is certainly a big part of all of this but that it’s really about “the absence of choice” and that “Apple forcibly inserts themselves between your company and your customer.”

Heading Into WWDC By Insulting Developers, Apple? Really?, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

So, just a few days before heading into WWDC, Apple chooses to effectively tell developers of free apps that they contribute nothing to Apple. That if Apple graciously chooses to let them into its App Store, they should appreciate that fact, and keep any complaints to themselves.

I guess the company at least won’t have to face the glares of unhappy developers this year.

Please Don't Wish For A 'Free' App Store, by Daniel Eran Dilger, AppleInsider

The world doesn't need another rehash of the complaints from developers over Apple's App Store rules or the sometimes ostensibly arbitrary and capricious enforcement of those rules. But we do need to remember what a world without the App Store and all of Apple's various rules would look like. It's an ugly place.


‘Lockne’ Is A Camera App Designed To Help You Create Wallpapers That Fit The iPhone Screen, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

When you set a photo as a wallpaper in iOS, sometimes the system automatically applies alignment adjustments that make the photo not look as good as you expected. That’s why developer Jonathan Ruiz created Lockne, a different kind of camera app that lets users create and test iPhone wallpapers in real-time using the camera.


Apple Says iOS 13 Is Now Running On 81% Of All Devices, iPadOS Adoption Hits 73%, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

According to Apple’s website, 92% of iPhones introduced in the last four years are running iOS 13, while 7% are still running iOS 12 and only 2% are running previous versions of iOS.

Re: Making Wrong Code Look Wrong, by Maxwell Anselm, Floating Little Leaves of Code

I’m not claiming that new languages are inherently superior, obviously they can have their own shortcomings that lead them to fall out of favor. But at the very least new languages are coming up with practical solutions to serious software development challenges from the past. 15 years ago Joel Spolsky figured out how to articulate a general principle of software design, today we have compilers that understand how to enforce some of those principles.

New Apple Developer Forum, by Michael Tsai

Every incarnation has been slow and far less pleasant and useful than Stack Overflow, both because the site doesn’t work very well and because most questions remain unresolved. This new version is even less information dense than before and drops support for e-mail and RSS.


The iPhone Isn't The Cash Cow It Once Was. Apple Isn't Worried., by Christopher Mims, Dow Jones

Even at its enormous size, Apple has figured out how to continue to grow, by vertically integrating, tempting us with more devices, accessories and apps, and selling lots and lots of phones, albeit at a lower margin. But it can't do it alone: The golden goose depends on the cooperation of software and content partners, regulators -- and more than a billion loyal customers.

The Have-Functionality-When-Downloaded Edition Friday, June 19, 2020

Interview: Apple’s Schiller Says Position On Hey App Is Unchanged And No Rules Changes Are Imminent, by Matthew Panzarino, TechCrunch

I asked Schiller if this meant Apple felt entitled to a portion of the revenue of every business that had an app, regardless of whether that business was an iOS-first.

“I get why there’s a question here,” he says. “But that’s not what we’re doing.”

Schiller says that there are a number of decisions about how to charge customers that Basecamp could have made to make the app acceptable under current rules. He lists several, including charging different prices in the app and on the web, offering a free version with additional functions.


One way that Hey could have gone, Schiller says, is to offer a free or paid version of the app with basic email reading features on the App Store then separately offered an upgraded email service that worked with the Hey app on iOS on its own website. Schiller gives one more example: an RSS app that reads any feed, but also reads an upgraded feed that could be charged for on a separate site. In both cases, the apps would have functionality when downloaded on the store.

Coming Soon?

iOS 14 To Include Overhauled Podcasts App With ‘For You’, Bonus Content, More, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

If you’re already an Apple Music subscriber, you’re probably familiar with the “For You” tab, which suggests new songs, artists, and playlists based on what you’ve been listening to. With iOS 14, a similar feature will be available within Apple’s Podcasts app, according to people familiar with the matter.

That means the Podcasts app will learn about your personal preferences to suggest new podcasts available on the platform, making it more customized for each user. A new user profile should let you follow your friends on Apple Podcasts to see what they’re listening to.

Apple’s Secretive AR And VR Headset Plans Altered By Internal Differences, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

N301 was initially designed to be an ultra-powerful system, with graphics and processing speeds previously unheard of for a wearable product. The processing capabilities were so advanced—and produced so much heat—that the technology couldn’t be crammed into a sleek headset. Instead, Rockwell’s team planned to sell a stationary hub, which in prototype form resembled a small Mac, that would connect to the headset with a wireless signal. In Rockwell’s early version, the headset would also be able to operate in a less-powerful independent mode.

Ive balked at the prospect of selling a headset that would require a separate, stationary device for full functionality. He encouraged Rockwell and his team to redevelop N301 around the less powerful technology that could be embedded entirely in the device.


Apple Incorporates tvOS Events App Into Apple TV App Ahead Of WWDC, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Ahead of Monday’s WWDC Event, Apple has folded the “Apple Events” app on tvOS into the Apple TV app, which is where the WWDC keynote will be able to be watched.

Pixelmator Photo 1.3 For iPad Brings Batch Editing Shortcuts, by Stephen Robles, AppleInsider

A new update to Pixelmator Photo for the iPad makes it quick to perform edits on multiple images, and to copy adjustments between them all.

Siri Shortcuts And Rich Commands Come To Castro Podcast Player For iPhone And Apple Watch, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Castro Podcast Player for iPhone and Apple Watch now offers support for a variety of Siri commands to play shows, play a certain genre, or even the news. You can also use Siri to control playback controls including Chapter skipping and Trim Silence.

Going further, this update brings Siri Shortcuts functionality so you can cook up your own or use some of the premade options.

Algoriddim’s Djay App Adds New Pro AI Feature To Separate, Play, And Remix Multiple Tracks In Real-time, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

The major new feature with djay Pro AI is what’s called “Neural Mix” that lets DJs “isolate, play, and remix singular elements from multiple tracks in real-time.”


New Apple Developer Forums Launch Ahead Of WWDC, by Andrew O'Hara, AppleInsider

As promised, Apple has launched the updated developer forums just in time for WWDC with a new design language, easier navigation, and wider permissions for more users to browse the content.


Microsoft Says Antitrust Regulators Need To Review App Stores, by Dina Bass, Bloomberg

Microsoft Corp. President Brad Smith said it’s time for antitrust regulators in the U.S. and Europe to discuss tactics that app stores use to take advantage of those who want to distribute their software.

Bottom of the Page

An app that advertises itself as an email app, but doesn't do email unless one finds the super-duper-secret sign-up page somewhere on the internet and pays some money first? No, that's not a good user experience.

But then, whose fault is that?


Thanks for reading.

The Tax-Paying Edition Thursday, June 18, 2020

Why One Email App Went To War With Apple—and Why Neither One Is Right, by Samuel Axon, Ars Technica

Apple provides resources and support to developers, including a wide range of APIs and software tools, that are critical to developing iOS and iPadOS apps. It is not possible to create iOS apps without them. Apple operates a vast editorial operation to curate and highlight apps, which many developers I have spoken with say are vital for discoverability and success on the platform. Apple spends a fortune on the research and development of hardware that developers use, like cameras, CPUs, machine-learning processors, GPUs, and more. And yes, it operates a payments system.

Apple's defense of its revenue share, when it has offered one, is similar to the defense of corporate taxes by a national government, which most people support: the earnings of a business are only possible because of the government's support and diligence in providing security, regulations, multiple forms of basic infrastructure, and so on, so it is reasonable for that business to pay a significant sum in taxes.

That's what Apple offers to developers. It's also worth considering the investment that went into the platform to begin with.

Camp At Home

Apple Camp Moves Online For 2020 With Live Virtual Sessions And Self-guided Activities, by Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac

Every summer, Apple invites kids and parents to explore new creative skills with Apple Camp. The hands-on sessions typically take place at Apple Retail Stores and are hosted by Creative Pros. This year, Apple is moving Apple Camp online with Apple Camp at Home.


Live virtual sessions will offer guidance on the activities and provide opportunities for kids to get their questions answered by Apple’s Creatives. Orientation sessions are 30 minutes and Q&A sessions are 60 minutes. Both are hosted through Webex.

Apple In-store Mac Trade-in Program Officially Launches In U.S., Canada, by Amber Neely, AppleInsider

Mac owners can now take their devices to their preferred Apple Store to receive credit toward a new purchase or to cash it out for an Apple gift card.

Announced earlier in June, Apple's official launch of its Mac trade-in program has officially started.

Baseline of Functionality

Apple's Developer App, by Martin Pilkington

Apple has finally released a version of their Developer app for the Mac, porting their iOS app to the Mac using Catalyst. The initial relief quickly gave way to frustration. As a basic app, it certainly functions ok. But it has so many little details wrong.

A few of these are due to Catalyst. However, most are just the result of a software organisation at Apple that doesn't care. One that, despite having some of the best designers and engineers in the world (people who I know care about these things), has increasingly put out software that merely tries to meet the a baseline of functionality, rather than being examples of excellence we should all strive to match.

Apple’s Developer App For Mac, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

As things stand right now, Catalyst seems like a framework written by people at Apple who don’t know what makes for a good Mac app, for iOS developers who don’t know what makes for a good Mac app.

Apple Developer App On The Mac, by Benjamin Mayo

I am sad that Apple — the platform owner and biggest company in the world — is leaning on Catalyst so heavily, and not even setting a good example in the process.


Users Report Failures With USB 2.0 Accessories In 2020 MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, by William Gallagher, AppleInsider

An unknown number of users are reporting issues with connecting USB 2.0 devices via a hub to the 2020 models of the MacBook Air, and 13-inch MacBook Pro. Reportedly, devices randomly disconnect, and the only element in common is that the connection has been through a hub.

Grammarly Brings Its Most Helpful Features To The iPad, by Igor Bonifacic, Engadget

Copyediting platform Grammarly has a new iPad app that allows you to access some of its most useful online features without launching your web browser. At the center of the software is an iPad-optimized version of the Grammarly editor, which will give you suggestions on how to improve a document as you write it.

Tackling The Unsolvable Problem: The Bottomless Email Inbox, by Brian X. Chen, New York Times

But after about a week of testing Hey, I’m sad to report that I didn’t feel I had regained control of my inbox. I suspect most of us will continue to feel that free services like Gmail are good enough — and when something is free and good enough, it’s tough to beat. Hey has taken a thoughtful first step, but it will have to do more to persuade people to pay $99 a year.

What’s more, I walked away convinced that email as a whole is so broken that many of us have taken most of our conversations elsewhere. More on this later.


First Look At The Fun WWDC20 Jacket And Pins Apple Is Sending To Swift Challenge Winners, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

This year along with the all-virtual WWDC experience, Apple set up a global Swift Student Challenge with some cool swag for the winners. Here’s a look at the fun jacket at pins that 350 student developers are getting.


Apple Rejects Facebook’s Gaming App, For At Least The Fifth Time, by Seth Schiesel, New York Times

Since February, Apple has rejected at least five versions of Facebook Gaming, according to three people with knowledge of the companies, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the details are confidential. Each time, the people said, Apple cited its rules that prohibit apps with the “main purpose” of distributing casual games.


Apple’s rejections of the app from Facebook, a fellow Silicon Valley powerhouse, illustrate the control it exerts over the mobile software and entertainment ecosystem — clout that regulators are increasingly examining.

Why Apple Ditched PowerPC, And What It Says About Apple Ditching Intel, by Ernie Smith, Tedium

For years, there’s been a rumbling that Apple would take its knowledge of the ARM processor architecture and bring it to its desktop and laptop computers. Next week, at a virtual Worldwide Developers Conference, the iPhone giant is expected to do just that. Of course, many will focus on the failed partner, the jilted lover of the business relationship that led to Apple’s move to vertically integrate: Intel. But I’m interested in the demise of the platform Intel vanquished on its way to taking over Apple—and the parallels that have emerged between PowerPC and Intel over time. Today’s Tedium dives into Apple’s long list of jilted processor partners, leaning closely on the shift from PowerPC to Intel. Keep Apple happy, or else.

Bottom of the Page

Building write-once-run-everywhere framework is difficult. Even if the write-once and run-everywhere are not exactly true.


Thanks for reading.

The Not-A-Reader Edition Wednesday, June 17, 2020

A New Email Startup Says Apple’s Shaking It Down For A Cut Of Its Subscriptions, by David Pierce, Protocol

On Tuesday afternoon, Apple sent Basecamp a slightly softer written notice. "We noticed that your app allows customers to access content, subscriptions, or features they have purchased elsewhere, but those items were not available as in-app purchases within the app," it said. Because Hey didn't qualify as a "Reader" app, Apple said that existing subscribers could log in as normal but Hey needed to make all subscriptions available to new users as in-app purchases.

Apple told me that its actual mistake was approving the app in the first place, when it didn't conform to its guidelines. Apple allows these kinds of client apps — where you can't sign up, only sign in — for business services but not consumer products. That's why Basecamp, which companies typically pay for, is allowed on the App Store when Hey, which users pay for, isn't. Anyone who purchased Hey from elsewhere could access it on iOS as usual, the company said, but the app must have a way for users to sign up and pay through Apple's infrastructure. That's how Apple supports and pays for its work on the platform.

Apple’s App Store Polices Are Bad, But Its Interpretation And Enforcement Is Worse, by Dieter Bohn, The Verge

The real issue is Apple’s power, of which this whole Kafkaesque series of changing rules is a symptom. We all know the score here: Apple needs to protect the 30 percent cut it takes, and if it allows too many apps to circumvent that cut then some sort of dam may break. From Apple’s perspective, it’s not so much the money for its services bottom line but that if everybody used a different payment system, the experience on the iPhone would genuinely be degraded, if not fragmented. (The money doesn’t hurt, though.)

For Apple, the line has to be drawn somewhere. We just happen to be right on that line, discovering that it’s a lot wigglier, grayer, and more porous than we realized. And given how convoluted the interpretation and enforcement has been in this case, the reasoning for those wiggles is much easier to explain by looking at Apple’s business imperatives than it is by looking at Apple’s policies.

Email, Why Did It Have To Be Email?, by M.G. Siegler, 500ish Words

I’m not saying Apple shouldn’t get a cut. They absolutely should. They are offering a service and they should be compensated for that service. What they need is an entirely new rule book around how they get compensated. One that is not so black and white. One for the 2020 world of mobile not the 2008 one.


Anyway, it feels like the winds are changing. This Hey situation is interesting in that it’s timely — the week before WWDC — but it’s hardly the first time Apple has over-reached here. And with each passing year, the sleights seem more out of touch with reality. This situation feels like a perfect front end to the back end movement of anti-trust investigations on these matters being asked for by Spotify and also just today, Rakuten.

The Flimsiness Of ‘Business Vs. Consumer’ As A Justification For Apple’s Rejection Of Hey From The App Store For Not Using In-App Purchases, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

This statement is paraphrased by Pierce, not a direct quote, but on its surface this business/consumer distinction seems untenable.

Tinder And Fortnite Criticize Apple For Its 'App Store Monopoly’, by Reed Albergotti and Tony Romm, Washington Post

Companies rarely sound off in opposition to Apple, given the iPhone giant’s immense power, popularity and influence. Apple also maintains tight, strict oversight of its App Store, potentially leaving companies like Match Group and Epic Games little choice but to work out their disagreements — or risk losing access to millions of users’ iPhones and iPads.


In Praise Of The Apple Watch’s Breathe Feature, by Stephen Hackett, 512 Pixels

If you’re feeling anxious during these uncertain days, this feature of the Apple Watch can’t completely address things, but it can be a tool in your toolbelt for getting through the day.

Adobe Adds Support For Editing Lightroom Images In Photoshop For iPad Alongside Other Updates, by John Voorhees, MacStories

With today’s update to Lightroom, there’s a new option in the share menu called ‘Edit in Photoshop.’ When you select that option, Lightroom converts your image for Photoshop and uploads it to Adobe’s cloud service. As soon as that process is complete, Lightroom automatically launches Photoshop and loads the image.

Adobe Aero Augmented Reality Creation Tool Gets Spatial Audio Support, by Ed Hardy, Cult of Mac

Artists can use an iPad or iPhone to create augmented reality experiences with Adobe Aero. And today the software added support for embedding audio into AR experiences. It’s now possible to add sound effects to virtual objects overlaid on the real world by this app.

Dropbox Officially Launches Its Own Password Manager And A Secure Vault For Your Files, by Jay Peters, The Verge

The password manager, called Dropbox Passwords, lets you store your passwords in one place like you would with a dedicated password manager like 1Password or LastPass but using your Dropbox account credentials.


Dropbox is also launching Dropbox Vault, designed to be a secure place in your Dropbox account to keep sensitive documents.

Pocket Casts Podcast Player Adds Standalone Apple Watch Playback, More, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

With today’s update, you can now stream Pocket Casts podcasts directly from your Apple Watch using cellular or Wi-Fi. You can also download podcasts directly from the Pocket Casts app on Apple Watch.

Etsy’s iOS App Now Lets You Preview Art On Your Wall Through Augmented Reality, by Ashley Carman, The Verge

Etsy is giving iOS users the ability to see what art will look like on their wall before they buy it. People can pull up any painting, photograph, or print that’s available on Etsy and project it wherever they want through augmented reality. If an item is available in different sizes, those can be selected and previewed, too.


Apple Revamps App Store Connect With Responsive, Mobile-Friendly Interface, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

The ‌App Store‌ Connect dashboard features an updated interface that’s responsive and available on iPhone as well as iPad and Mac.


US Apple Store Reopenings Continue This Week With Over 70 More Locations, by Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac

Apple will continue reopening more of its US retail stores this week with a mixture of curbside, storefront, and in-store service. All 50 US states have entered a reopening process with retail allowed to resume in some capacity.

Apple, Microsoft And Sony Are Showing Big Tech How To Hold Conferences In A COVID-19 World, by Ian Sherr, CNET

By adjusting its event to be online only, Apple may pave the way for a new approach to holding large events online, offering a model for others to follow as we prepare for the coronavirus to continue upending daily life for another year or more.

Apple's Diversity Chief Leaves As Companies Vow To Tackle Racism, by Shelly Banjo and Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

“Inclusion and diversity are core Apple values and we deeply believe the most diverse teams are the most innovative teams,” Apple said in an emailed statement confirming the news. “Christie Smith will be leaving Apple to spend more time with her family and we wish her well. Our Inclusion and Diversity team continues to report directly to Deirdre O’Brien on the Executive Team.”

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These past few days, I've been waking up in the middle of the night again. I was able to get back to sleep only on some nights.

So, I'm bringing out my old iPod Nano from storage, load it with some of the more... well... difficult audiobooks I have in my library, and hope to have them lure me back to sleep.

Last night was successful, thanks to a lecture series that I really didn't understand the first time around when I listened to it. (Not that I will understand anything this time round.) The sleep-timer on the iPod Nano is working fine. And syncing iPods on this Catalina Mac is also working fine.


I hope you are sleeping well.


Thanks for reading.

The Based-on-Catalyst Edition Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Apple Updates Its Developer App And Provides New Information About WWDC, by John Voorhees, MacStories

For the first time, there is now a Mac version of the Developer app, which appears based on Apple’s Mac Catalyst technology. The new app includes a left-hand sidebar that presents the same written and video content found in the iOS and iPadOS versions of the app. The iPhone and iPad versions of the Developer app have also been updated with a redesign of the Discover, Browse, and WWDC tabs and the option to mark Discover articles as favorites.

Apple Design Awards Announced For June 29, More Details On WWDC 1-on-1 Labs, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple says that the labs will be held from June 23 through June 26 and take place over a Webex audio call. The appointments will be between 10 and 55 minutes.

Apple Highlights Swift Student Challenge Winners, by Ryan Christoffel, MacStories

One unique component of Apple’s online WWDC this year is that the company opened a Swift Student Challenge where students could submit a Swift playground creation for special recognition. Today in a press release, Apple is highlighting three of the 350 winners: Sofia Ongele, Palash Taneja, and Devin Green.

Distorting Competition

Apple Pay And iOS App Store Under Formal Antitrust Probe In Europe, by Natasha Lomas, TechCrunch

Apple is under formal investigation by antitrust regulators in European Union — following a number of complaints related to how it operates the iOS App Store and also its payment offering, Apple Pay.

The Commission said today that it has concerns that conditions and restrictions applied by the tech giant may be distorting competition in a number of areas, following a preliminary probe of the issues.

Apple Says Disappointed With EU Antitrust Investigations, by Foo Yun Chee, Reuters

“It’s disappointing the European Commission is advancing baseless complaints from a handful of companies who simply want a free ride, and don’t want to play by the same rules as everyone else,” the iPhone maker said in a statement.

Doing Business

Apple Claims 'Half A Trillion Dollars' App Store Economy, by Leo Kelion, BBC

The study was commissioned by Apple but carried out by economists at the Boston-based consultancy Analysis Group.

It surveyed billings and sales related to apps running on the tech firm's iOS, Mac, Watch and Apple TV platforms.

Apple Says Its App Store Facilitated $519B In Commerce In 2019, by Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

For its part, Apple has been accused of running an anti-competitive app marketplace — one where its own services compete against rivals. Those competitors then have to pay Apple commissions for transactions the App Store facilitates. Apple also doesn’t allow other apps that sell apps, like the Epic Games Store. And it uses its favored status to wipe out competitors by launching similar products that can more deeply integrate with its OS — as it plans to do with its upcoming lost item finder, AirTags, which will work better than the current market leader, Tile, due to its first-party status.

In that light, it’s easy to see how this study is attempting to shift the narrative from one about how much Apple profits off developers — developers who are often now also competitors — to one that characterizes the App Store as one where business transactions flow freely. It paints a picture of industries that generate billions without Apple’s hand in the pot, so to speak.

But this ignores all the workarounds businesses have had to take to avoid Apple’s cut.


Apple Adds New MacBook Pro Graphics Option And Mac Pro SSD Upgrade Kit, by Brian Heater, TechCrunch

A week before kicking off WWDC, Apple introduced a pair of upgrades to its pro-level hardware lines. Both the 16-inch MacBook Pro and the Mac Pro desktop are getting select internal upgrades, starting today.

Apple Launches New 0% Apple Card Financing For iPad, Mac, AirPods, And More, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple today has officially launched support for financing additional products with Apple Card and 0% interest. The new financing options are available for the Mac lineup, iPad, AirPods Pro, AirPods, Apple Pencil, and more.

Mental Health Apps: Can They Help You Deal With Anxiety, Depression And Stress?, by Shouvik Das, News 18

“When you consult a professional psychiatrist, he or she can communicate with you and reciprocate to your feelings, which is the most important part of seeking professional help. Can it replace actual doctors? I don’t think so at all. But, can it help patients in certain cases? Definitely so. These apps are designed to be companions at best, so it isn’t a standalone solution but one that augments actual advice from doctors,” Sawant sums up.

Think of these apps as the proverbial first step in a long, winding flight of stairs. What apps like Remente and Insight Timer are offering are ways to get over your inhibition towards seeking professional help. But often, the first step is a very important step to take.

The FDA Just Approved The First Prescription Video Game — It’s For Kids With ADHD, by Sean Hollister, The Verge

It might not look like much of a video game, but Akili Interactive’s EndeavorRX, formerly Project EVO, may go down in history: it’s the first video game that can legally be marketed and prescribed as medicine in the US.

That’s the landmark decision from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which is authorizing doctors to prescribe the iPhone and iPad game for kids between ages eight and 12 years old with ADHD, after it underwent seven years of clinical trials that studied over 600 children to figure out whether a game could actually make a difference.

Twobird Is A Great Free Email Client With Collaborative Notes, by Ivan Mehta, The Next Web

I get a lot of emails every day, which Twobird helpfully sorts by Today, Yesterday, This Week, Last Week, Current Month, and months before that. This way, even if I missed a few emails from yesterday, I can quickly read them today and inch closer towards inbox-zero.

Then there are little things that helped me manage my inbox: pinned emails and notes, snooze, and the recently opened emails tab.

Create Custom Apple Watch Screenshots With ‘Watchshot’ App, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

If for some reason you ever needed to create a custom screenshot with an Apple Watch frame, you know it’s not the easiest thing to do on an iPhone or iPad. With the new Watchshot app, not only can you create these screenshots easily, but you can also combine them with a range of Apple Watch models.


Apple's Tim Cook Praises Supreme Court Ruling On Protections For LGBTQ Workers, by Alexandra Garrett, CNET

"Grateful for today's decision by the Supreme Court," said Cook in a tweet. "LGBTQ people deserve equal treatment in the workplace and throughout society, and today's decision further underlines that federal law protects their right to fairness."

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I do not know how many laps to walk around my dining table to get to 10,000 steps... but I do know I can get to about 1,000 steps in about 8 to 9 minutes.

Yes, that's what I've being doing in the second-half of this lock-down.


Thanks for reading.

The Longer-Lasting Edition Monday, June 15, 2020

The Case For ARM-Based Macs, by David Shayer, TidBITS

The most commonly cited advantage for ARM processors is lower power consumption. It’s true that ARM processors use less power than Intel’s x86 processors. Part of this advantage comes from ARM’s relatively clean, modern design, as set against the years of baggage that Intel has accumulated since the original 8086 processor. Perhaps even more important is the way ARM would allow Apple to add the specific support it needs into its own ARM chip designs, instead of relying on off-the-shelf parts that Intel has designed for generic PC implementations.

Lower power consumption would lead to better Macs in several ways. Most obviously, the battery on your laptop would last longer. Instead of 8 hours, a new ARM-based Mac laptop in the same form factor might get 12 hours from a single charge. But Apple is always trying for thinner, lighter laptops. Apple might decide that 8 hours of battery life is fine for most users and instead use a smaller battery in an even skinnier, featherweight laptop design.

Osborning The Mac. Or Not., by Jean-Louis Gassée, Monday Note

At the WWDC we’ll see how Apple execs walk this tight rope using price, performance, and product features to keep the Mac business in balance, but let’s not forget that Apple has negotiated a similar strait before. At Apple’s June 2005 WWDC, Steve Jobs announced that the Mac would move from PowerPC processors to Intel x86 CPU chips. The new Intel Macs wouldn’t be available until early 2006.

How did the Mac business perform during the transition? To find out I went to Apple’s quarterly SEC filings for fiscal years 2005 and 2006. In summary, Mac sales were remarkably resilient. There was no collapse, no waiting for the Intel-based machines.

Apple's Annual Conference Is Going Remote — Here's What Attendees Will Miss Most, by Kif Leswing, CNBC

The remote format will also limit the social aspects of the conference. In previous years, attendees have gone to events including morning runs, sushi dinners, and even trips to Costco during WWDC week. Attendees have played games like collecting a full set of free enamel pins that Apple gave out. This year, all of that is cancelled.

Many developers are responding by trying to create community online by creating Slack groups, wrangling developer blogs, and scheduling online Zoom meetups. On Kickstarter, Apple fans have paid over $15,000 for unofficial WWDC enamel pins.


Hey Is A Wildly Opinionated New Email Service From The Makers Of Basecamp, by Casey Newton, The Verge

And in Hey’s view, email is basically three things. It’s things you need to respond to, things you want to read, and receipts. Each gets their own home within the app, and basically nothing else is welcome.

All of this is in keeping with one of the new philosophical points of view Basecamp wanted to bring to Basecamp, which is that not too many people should email you.

Nobody Thought A Calculator App Could Look Cool; Raja Vijayaraman Changed All That With Calzy, by Mathures Paul, The Telegraph

When was the last time you used a traditional calculator? When was the last time you saw a change in the calculator app on your phone? Enter Calzy on iOS. It had me head over heels. It’s probably the most well-designed and useful version of the calculator, designed by Chennai-based Raja Vijayaraman.

One of the coolest elements of Calzy is the ‘memory area’ where you can store multiple numerical values and reuse it across multiple calculating sessions with a simple drag and drop interaction.


Designers! Read This Definitive Guide On How To Build Apps For Kids, by Tanya Junell, The Next Web

Building apps for kids isn’t easy. In fact, it’s often quite difficult. But the most popular interactive apps for kids have achieved success because they follow certain best practices.


What We Learned About Editors Vs. Algorithms From 4,000 Stories In Apple News, by Jack Bandy, Medium

In total, we collected 1,268 “Top Stories,” which are curated by human editors, and 3,144 “Trending Stories,” which are curated by an algorithm. Our analysis showed that human editors choose sources more evenly, and also prefer a more diverse set of sources compared to the trending algorithm. We also found the trending algorithm featured more “soft news” stories.

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Okay, so Singapore has announced restaurant dine-in services to start this Friday. And I know where I will be having my breakfast, lunch and dinner on that day: at home.

I hate lines.


Thanks for reading.

The Quick-Adaptation Edition Sunday, June 14, 2020

Apple Store Returns To Birmingham After Almost Proving It's Not Needed, by Graham Young, BriminghamLive

Since it went into hibernation on the High Street, Apple has continued doing what Apple does...

That means shipping its products to whoever can afford one.

And finding new ways to service customers via technical help over the telephone, with in-store staff having been redeployed this way.

In short, the way the modern world has been able to adapt so quickly to the lockdown is the kind of fuel which helps to keep reinventing Apple.

The Economy Is Reeling. The Tech Giants Spy Opportunity., by Mike Isaac, New York Times

Even with the global economy reeling from a pandemic-induced recession and dozens of businesses filing for bankruptcy, tech’s largest companies — still wildly profitable and flush with billions of dollars from years of corporate dominance — are deliberately laying the groundwork for a future where they will be bigger and more powerful than ever.

Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft are aggressively placing new bets as the coronavirus pandemic has made them near-essential services, with people turning to them to shop online, entertain themselves and stay in touch with loved ones. The skyrocketing use has given the companies new fuel to invest as other industries retrench.


You Can Play This Old School Video Game Bill Gates Created In 1981 — Take A Look, by Tom Huddleston Jr., CNBC

In a 2001 speech, Gates said that he and Konzen wrote the game's programming in one late-night coding spree that kicked off at 4 a.m. "We wrote, late at night, a little application to show what the Basic built into the IBM PC could do," Gates said at the time. "And so that was Donkey.bas. It was, at the time, very thrilling."


An ex-Apple Engineer Shares The Simple Interview Advice That 'Really Blew Them Away' And Landed Her A Job At The Tech Giant, by Lisa Eadicicco, Business Insider

"People just want problem solvers in all aspects of all fields," Paseman, who spent more than five years at Apple as a product design engineer on the Mac team, recently said to Business Insider. "So that would be my advice for anyone starting out in product design."

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Things that made me happy today, a cloudy and rainy Sunday:

Writing a simple BitBar weather plug-in for my own amusement.
Listening to lectures on The Science of Sci-Fi.
Completing New York Times' Sudoku puzzles.

(Am I looking at my potential retirement life?)


Thanks for reading.

The ARM-Friendly Edition Saturday, June 13, 2020

Ten Years Of Apple Technology Shifts Made The ARM Mac Possible, by Mike Peterson, AppleInsider

When you look at the history of the Mac from about 2014 to 2020, it becomes clear that Apple has been taking subtle but sure steps creating a more ARM-friendly Mac ecosystem, and paving the way for an ARM Mac in general.

Here's how Apple has laid the groundwork for ARM Macs for longer than a decade.

Apple Renames Buchanan Street Store As Glasgow Calls For Racial Justice, by Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac

Apple today changed the name of one of its Scottish retail stores from Apple Buchanan Street to Apple Glasgow. The quiet change comes at a moment when the world is reflecting on issues of deep-rooted inequality, and Apple has recommitted to challenging systemic barriers to opportunity and dignity.


Apple Offering Special Discounts On Powerbeats Pro And Beats Solo Pro, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

Apple is running a special promotion on some Beats headphones right now, offering rare but notable discounts on Powerbeats Pro, Beats Solo Pro and fourth-gen Powerbeats. This is not the first time Apple has done special discounting on its Beats line, but it isn’t exactly common and the price reductions are significant.

'Fontcase' Open Source App Makes Custom iPhone And iPad Fonts Easy And Safe, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Official support for custom fonts came to iPhone and iPad with iOS 13/iPadOS 13, however, it’s a complex situation with one of the best (main) options requiring a paid Adobe Creative Cloud subscription. Today, Fontcase has launched as a great free open source app to bring custom fonts to your iPhone and iPad.

BitBar Lets You Put Anything In Your Mac’s Menu Bar, by Josh Centers, TidBITS

There are all sorts of apps that add various capabilities to your Mac’s menu bar, but I’ve stumbled across one that can add literally anything to the menu bar through a plug-in system. It’s called BitBar, and it’s both free and open source.

How To Properly Scan Old Photos With Your Smartphone, by Pixel Spot

The process is very simple and all you need to do this task successfully is a good application that digitizes old photos. To help you, here are some of the best applications that will help you to quickly, easily, and simply digitize your old photos and save your memories.

'Originate' App Lets You Create AR Parallax Drawings With Your iPhone And iPad, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

There are several professional art tools available for iPhone and iPad, but sometimes you may just want an app to create something fun. With Originate, which is from the same developer of the Cosmicast app, you can create drawings in parallax and interact with them in AR.

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Microsoft is not giving up on the Ribbon. Apple is not giving up on the Touch Bar.


Thanks for reading.

The Stream-from-Apple-Park Edition Friday, June 12, 2020

Apple Shares WWDC Details Including Keynote Time, Developer Forums, 1-on-1 Developer Labs, And More, by Ryan Christoffel, MacStories

While the full conference will span June 22-26, the two biggest events will be held on kickoff day, as per tradition. The Special Event Keynote will stream directly from Apple Park starting at 10 a.m. PDT on Monday, while the Platforms State of the Union will follow a few hours later at 2 p.m. PDT. The former will offer a wide variety of options for viewing, including, the Apple Developer app and website, the Apple TV app, and YouTube; the latter will be limited to the Apple Developer app and website.

Apple will also offer over 100 engineering sessions throughout the week. Rather than having these sessions at different times throughout each day, as usual, Apple will instead drop a new batch of videos every day at 10 a.m. PDT, which developers can view via the Apple Developer app or website.

Apple Announces New ‘Racial Equity And Justice Initiative’ With $100 Million Commitment, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Cook says the $100 million initiative will focus on the US to start before expanding globally and be led by Apple’s VP of environment, policy, and social initiatives, Lisa Jackson.

Apple will focus specifically on education, economic equality, and criminal justice reform to improve the lives of people of color and particularly Black communities.

UK Apple Stores Will Begin Reopening June 15, by Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac

At the time of reopening, UK Apple Stores will have been closed for over three months — longer than many other countries. While stores in Brazil, Mexico, Singapore, and roughly half of Apple’s locations in the US and Canada remain closed, 328 of 510 Apple Stores have reopened as of June 12. Non-essential retail stores are not permitted to reopen in England until June 15.

Making Software

Brilliant Hardware In The Valley Of The Software Slump, by Craig Mod

Our computing hardware is largely brilliant, refined, more reliable than ever. The core software running on it can sometimes feel regressive, moving in directions less focused on craft, consistency, and stability.

Between the messiness of Catalina and the almost-but-not-quite-there-ness of iPadOS, what’s most needed now are not splashy masthead features but a reconsideration of the boring nuts and bolts, the paint on the back of the cabinets, the smoothing over of all the bumps and stutters as needed to enable device fluency — and not just a single year of cleaning up the mucky infrastructure of our compute landscape, but a reworking of the internal software culture of companies like Apple to elevate user fluency to first-class rank.

The Demise Of iBooks Author, by David Sparks, MacSparky

Nevertheless, I still can’t help but feel bittersweet about the demise of iBooks Author. The original team behind iBooks Author got it. When first released, there were no acceptable ebook publishing tools, and they made a powerful one. There is no way I could have published the Paperless Field Guide in 2012 without iBooks Author, and I will always be thankful for that. If I have any regret, it is that Apple didn’t continue to keep the gas down on iBooks Author.

Losing Backups

Beware! iCloud Backups Deleted After 180 Days, by Adam Engst, TidBITS

Of course, most people will never run into this problem. It’s unusual that someone would make a backup and then let it sit for over 6 months before wanting to restore. Unusual, but far from impossible. Walter had backed up a dying iPad and was saving the money to replace it, assuming that he’d be able to restore because he was paying Apple every month for 200 GB of iCloud storage space.


Apple Maps Real-Time Transit Information Now Available In Several More Countries And Regions, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

Real-time transit information in Apple Maps has been expanded to multiple countries and metropolitan regions, Apple today confirmed in an update to its Feature Availability page.

A Thousand Days Of The Current Apple TV, An Ode To Okay-ish-ness, by Callum Booth, The Next Web

I guess this is where we get to the central part of this piece: does the Apple TV need to be anything more than okay? Because I — and I assume so many others — are deeply embedded in the ecosystem, it seems silly to look elsewhere for a media streamer, when this one works.

6 Uses For Your Spare iCloud Storage, by Tim Brookes, How-To Geek

Apple gives you 5 GB of free iCloud storage, but that doesn’t go very far. If you want to back up your iPhone or store media on iCloud, you’ll probably need to upgrade to the 50 GB, 200 GB, or 2 TB tier.

But that’s a lot of space! What else can you use all that extra storage for?

Adobe Photoshop Camera Brings Real-Time Filters And AI To Photo Sharing, by John Voorhees, MacStories

Sensei is Adobe’s AI technology that the company has been weaving into more and more of its desktop and mobile apps. Like other companies adding AI to image processing, Sensei touches a wide variety of features in different apps, assisting with everything from aspects of the photo editing process like object selection to settings like exposure. With Photoshop Camera, Sensei plays an even more pronounced role, automating the process of mobile photography and applying filters to create an experience that balances ease-of-use with image quality.

Anonymous Camera Is A New App That Uses AI To Quickly Anonymize Photos And Videos, by James Vincent, The Verge

Anonymous Camera uses machine learning to identify people in images and videos and then blur, pixelate, or block out entirely faces or whole bodies. Being able to block out feature altogether is important, as some blurring and pixelation methods can be reversed, and individuals can often be identified not just by their faces but by their clothing, tattoos, and other identifying markers.


What To Write Down When You’re Reading To Learn, by Aceso Under Glass

The single most helpful thing in figuring out what to write down was noticing when my reading was slowing down, which typically meant either there was a particular fact that needed to be moved from short to long term storage, or that I needed to think about something.


What If Working From Home Goes On … Forever?, by Clive Thompson, New York Times

The coronavirus crisis is forcing white-collar America to reconsider nearly every aspect of office life. Some practices now seem to be wastes of time, happily discarded; others seem to be unexpectedly crucial, and impossible to replicate online. For workers wondering right now if they’re ever going back to the office, the most honest answer is this: Even if they do, the office might never be the same.

Google And Apple's Rules For Virus Tracking Apps Sow Division Among States, by Steven Overly and Mohana Ravindranath, Politico

The global rush to halt the coronavirus led countries like Australia and South Korea to launch smartphone apps to track its spread, using the technology as a key part of their push to tamp down the pandemic and restart their economies.

But U.S. efforts to do the same are running into an all-too-familiar problem that has plagued the pandemic response: a lack of national coordination. And Silicon Valley’s attempts to help aren’t resolving the confusion.

Big Tech’s Pandemic Power Grab, by Franklin Foer, The Atlantic

Long before the coronavirus pandemic, the tech industry yearned to prove its indispensability to the world. Its executives liked to describe their companies as “utilities.” They came by their self-aggrandizement honestly: The founding fathers of Big Tech really did view their creations as essential, and essentially good.

In recent years, however, our infatuation with these creations has begun to curdle. Many Americans have come to view them as wellsprings of disinformation, outrage, and manipulation—and have noticed that the most profitable companies in human history haven’t always lived by the idealism of their slogans.

Now an opportunity for the tech companies to affirm their old sense of purpose has arisen.

Bottom of the Page

We need to make it easier to make good software. I have no idea how to do that.


Thanks for reading.

The Minimal-Investment Edition Thursday, June 11, 2020

Apple Announces iTunes U And iBooks Author Will Be Discontinued, by Ryan Christoffel, MacStories

Today through two new support pages that have been posted on Apple’s website, the company announced that iTunes U will be discontinued at the end of 2021 and iBooks Author will become unavailable much sooner: on July 1, 2020.

While both announcements are noteworthy since they concern software with long histories, signs of these moves have been visible for years. iTunes U has received minimal investment of late as Apple has redirected resources to its Classroom and Schoolwork platforms. iBooks Author, similarly, has grown stagnant as many of its features have made their way into recent Pages updates.

Apple Discontinuing iBooks Author And iTunes U, Here’s What You Need To Know, by Bradley Chambers, 9to5Mac

I have previously written about my frustration With iBooks Author and iTunes U, and Apple has now announced both of these products are being discontinued. iBooks Author will no longer be updated, and iTunes U is being discontinued at the end of 2021. iBooks Author will continue to work, but you’ll need to make preparations to transition to Pages in the near future. Much of the functionality from iBooks Author has made its way into Pages over the past few update cycles. This announcement shouldn’t come as much of a surprise as we never saw iBooks Author transition into Apple Books Author or include a native iPad app. Apple will be included an import function in a future version of Pages.

Coming Soon?

iMac Supply Running Low From Apple As Rumors Suggest WWDC Redesign, More, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

As first reported by Macerkopf, all three standard variations of the 27-inch iMac are significantly back-ordered. Apple’s Online Store indicates that orders placed today will ship sometime between June 26 and July 3. There is still scattered availability at Apple Stores, which means you might be able to place a 27-inch iMac order for same-day pickup or delivery in certain areas.

Apple Files Nine New iPhones, One Mac With International Regulators, by William Gallagher, AppleInsider

An international regulator is showing nine as yet unannounced Apple iPhone models, assumed to be variants of the "iPhone 12" range due later in 2020, and one new Mac.


GoodLinks Review: A Flexible Read-it-Later Link Manager Packed With Automation Options, by John Voorhees, MacStories

By lowering the barriers to importing and exporting data out of its iOS and iPadOS apps, GoodLinks is a far more powerful tool than it would be on its own. The openness of the app to integrating with other apps makes it more versatile than if it forced users into a particular workflow. Instead, GoodLinks can serve as everything from a straightforward read-it-later app to a component of a more complex process involving the collection, processing, and archiving of links across multiple platforms.

Logitech's Circle View Sits At The Top Of The Mountain Of HomeKit Cameras, by Jacob Krol, CNN

Setting it up with Apple HomeKit was simple, and chances are, you're already enrolled in a storage plan, so you'll get 10 days of recorded video. It's great.

The design is what a security camera should be: simple, sleek and easy to power off for privacy.

Strava Fitness App Launches 'Local Legends' Leaderboard Based On Consistency And Commitment, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

Popular fitness tracking app Strava is out today with a neat update called Local Legends. The feature marks a shift from ranking users based on speed to rating them on exercise consistency and commitment.

Twelve South Launches BookArc Inserts For 16-Inch MacBook Pro And New MacBook Air, by Mitchel Broussard, MacRumors

The BookArc is one of Twelve South’s organizational accessories that stores the MacBook vertically in order to reduce desktop clutter.


Apple Reinforces 'How To File Great Bug Reports' Ahead Of First iOS 14 Beta Release, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

Bug reports must be extremely descriptive so Apple can reproduce them. The company asks developers and users to list all the steps that caused the bug, as well as the current result and what was the expected result. Feedback Assistant also allows you to upload screenshots and videos to make the bug report more understandable.


Pocket Casts And Castro Podcasts Removed From Apple’s China Store, by Rita Liao, TechCrunch

Pocket Casts, which was acquired by a group of American public radio companies in 2018, tweeted that it “has been removed from the Chinese App Store by Apple, at the request of the Cyberspace Administration of China,” the country’s internet watchdog.

When Pocket Casts asked for clarification, Apple’s app review team told the podcast firm to contact the CAC directly, an email seen by TechCrunch showed.


Castro Podcasts, bought by Dribbble owner Tiny in 2018, said in a tweet that while it wasn’t given specifics about its removal in China, the incident might have been caused by its “support of the protests.”

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Obviously, I haven't been using iTunes U for a while. But I still have no idea how to easily browse lectures and courses using Apple's Podcast app for my late night listenings.


Thanks for reading.

The Water-Fountain Edition Wednesday, June 10, 2020

News Addiction Got You Doomscrolling? Go On A News Diet, by Dwight Silverman, Houston Chronicle

My lovely wife deleted Twitter and Facebook from her iPhone last week. After spending too long scrolling though social posts and news items late at night, it was affecting her mood and her sleep. She is something of a news junkie, but for her peace of mind, it was time for the nuclear option.


Fortunately, there are strategies and tactics you can use to control how much news you consume. They include some discipline on your part, as well as some tools on your devices and apps you can install. Think of it as drinking from a water fountain rather than a firehose.

U.S. Student's App Offers Roadmap To Singapore Contact Tracing Tech, by Paresh Dave, Reuters

It all started when Rohan Suri created an app at Thomas Jefferson High School in Alexandria, Virginia, to tell his mom to leave home for the bus stop when he was seven minutes away. As the Ebola epidemic ravaged western Africa at the time, Suri and schoolmate Claire Scoggins connected the dots between tracking apps and contact tracers who ask patients whom they may have spread viruses to.

“I got really interested in basically automating a lot of these contact tracing efforts,” Suri said, noting a staff shortage in remote parts of Africa during the Ebola epidemic.

Coming Soon?

iOS 13.6 Beta Adds Toggle For Turning Off Automatic iOS Update Downloads, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

This new toggle will be a welcome change for those who do not want iOS updates to download automatically without permission, as this can eat up valuable storage space.

Health App Gains New 'Symptoms' Section In iOS 13.6 Beta, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Health app users are able to add symptom data through the Health app by tapping on the “Add Data” option, providing a way to track and log various illness-related symptoms over time.

Apple To Launch Mac Trade-in Program At U.S. Retail Stores, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

Apple Inc. plans to launch a trade-in program for Mac computers next week at its retail stores in the U.S and Canada, adding the devices to an effort already in effect for other products.

The Cupertino, California—based technology giant informed retail employees that the new program will begin on June 15 in the U.S. and June 18 in Canada, according to people familiar with the matter.


Next Apple Watch Activity Challenge Taking Place On June 21 For International Day Of Yoga, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

On Sunday, June 21, Apple encourages Apple Watch users to do a 20-minute yoga workout to complete the challenge. You can complete the workout using the Workouts app on Apple Watch or any other app that adds workouts to Health.

Pastel Review: A Modern Color Utility For iPad And iPhone, by Ryan Christoffel, MacStories

The app offers a dedicated home for storing collections of color palettes and individual colors you want to save for reference. It also takes advantage of technologies like drag and drop and context menus to perfectly complement other creative tools on your device.


Apple Tells Staff That First Phase Of HQ Return Begins June 15, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

Phase 1 will be “very limited” and workers will only be allowed in the office on certain days depending on their job, the Cupertino, California-based company wrote in a recent memo to staff. More details will be shared later this month, it added.

Apple also reiterated in the memo that it is limiting how many people are allowed in buildings and other work area simultaneously, implementing social distancing, taking temperatures and requiring employees at the office to pass a daily health check. It also “strongly encouraged” staff to take on-site or at-home Covid-19 tests provided by the company before returning.

Once We Can Work From Anywhere, Does The World Need Silicon Valley?, by Jared Lindzon, Fast Company

“We’re learning a lot of lessons about how to be better at it, so if these lessons stick and become part of our managerial DNA, I think we’ll crack the code on this,” she says. “If we revert back to form—which is where those who are in the room get 80% of the oxygen—we’re going to be in the same place where people [working remotely] feel stranded on an island where nobody is thinking about them and their progress. So that’s the big question: can we do it?”

If so, perhaps the latest crisis will finally accomplish what insiders have been predicting since the 1990s; namely the end of Silicon Valley as a destination on a map, and the beginning of Silicon Valley as an ethos with no fixed address.

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Dear Microsoft Excel (on macOS),

You do know that you have two buttons, both on the bottom-right of a spreadsheet, both labeled "+"? One button increases the font size, and the other button is to insert a new sheet into the current spreadsheet.

Guess which button I have already accidentally pressed quite a few times already, just because I have tired old eyes?

(Oh, and your undo doesn't work correctly.)


Thanks for reading.

The Inform-and-Improve Edition Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Apple Adds Anonymous Symptom And Health Info Sharing To Its COVID-19 App And Website, by Darrell Etherington, TechCrunch

Apple has updated its own COVID-19 iOS app and website with new features to allow users to anonymously share info including their age, existing health conditions, symptoms, potential exposure risks and the state in which they’re located. This info, which is not associated with any of their personal identifying data in any way according to the company, will be used in an aggregated way to help inform the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and improve the organization’s COVID-19 screening protocol.

Apple And Google Have Trained Their Virtual Assistants To Rebut 'All Lives Matter', by Isobel Asher Hamilton, Business Insider

Apple and Google have trained their AI voice assistants to respond to questions on the Black Lives Matter movement, and to rebut the sentiment behind 'all lives matter.'


Training their voice assistants appears to be part of the broader public messaging on Black Lives Matter by the major tech companies, all of which have issued statements supporting the movement.

Apple Reopens Bay Area Stores As Protests, Looting Subside, by Rex Crum, San Jose Mercury News

According to Apple, 11 Bay Area stores had reopened as of Monday, with some open for in-store product sales, service and Genius support for the first time since shelter-in-place rules aimed at slowing the spread of the new coronavirus went into effect around the area almost three months ago.

Coming Soon?

Apple Plans To Announce Move To Its Own Mac Chips At WWDC, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

The company is holding WWDC the week of June 22. Unveiling the initiative, codenamed Kalamata, at the event would give outside developers time to adjust before new Macs roll out in 2021, the people said. Since the hardware transition is still months away, the timing of the announcement could change, they added, while asking not to be identified discussing private plans.

The new processors will be based on the same technology used in Apple-designed iPhone and iPad chips. However, future Macs will still run the macOS operating system rather than the iOS software on mobile devices from the company.


Apple Watch And iPhone Features And Integration Promoted In New Marketing Push, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

Handoff-related features are repeatedly highlighted on the webpage, as Apple demonstrates how easy it is to answer calls, play songs, track your health data, and more with Apple Watch. The iPhone, on the other hand, is presented as the device on which you can manage all this content.

How To Speed Up Your Computer, by David Nield, Gizmodo

For the purposes of this guide, we’re going to focus on the software tweaks you can make to get things up to speed.

Watchsmith For Apple Watch Adds Custom Interactive Maps For Weather Radars And Workouts, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Watchsmith is a powerful Apple Watch application that gives you the ability to create custom dynamic complications for your watch faces. A new update for Watchsmith today focuses on introducing dynamic and interactive maps.


Developers Complain About Issues Renewing Apple Developer Subscriptions Outside The US, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

Based on posts from the Apple Developer Forum, developers have been facing subscription issues since last year, and in most cases it affects people outside the US. Apparently Apple is rejecting foreign credit cards in the Apple Developer Program subscription process, resulting in the account not being activated or renewed.

Why TextView Is My SwiftUI Canary, by Drew McCormack, App Decentral

At this point, it is anyone’s guess which direction SwiftUI will take. Perhaps Apple figure the days of complex apps are over, and they are not going to do anything to address such concerns. Or perhaps it is just a question of priorities, and we will see how they intend to tackle these scaling issues at WWDC2020. Either way, I will be seeking out the documentation for TextView; that’ll be my canary for where SwiftUI is headed, and whether it will soon evolve into a capable replacement for UIKit/AppKit.


Guessing The Services Bundle, by Benjamin Mayo

From Apple’s perspective, the core reason for doing a bundle is to make people spend more, in the aggregate. If you asked an average Apple customer what they would want from a bundle deal, they’d probably say a combination of Apple Music and iCloud storage. After all, these are Apple’s most popular subscriptions. ‘Everyone’ has them … which is exactly why Apple will not offer it. All that would do is make the people who are already paying, pay less.

Realistically, what Apple is looking for is ways to boost adoption of its newer content services that are still in their infancy. That is News+, TV+ and Arcade.

IBM Quits Facial-recognition Market Over Racial-profiling Concerns, by Alex Hern, The Guardian

IBM is pulling out of the facial recognition market and is calling for “a national dialogue” on the technology’s use in law enforcement.

The abrupt about-face comes as technology companies are facing increased scrutiny over their contracts with police amid violent crackdowns on peaceful protest across America.

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I wish, with the introduction of ARM-based Macs, there will be capable macOS machines that is as light, as thin, and as cheap as the iPad Air.

I don't even mind the butterfly keyboards, so long as it is as reliable as the iPad-based butterfly keyboards.


Thanks for reading.

The Patience-and-Concentration Edition Monday, June 8, 2020

12-year-old Programmer In Hong Kong Tackles Apple’s First Student Coding Contest, by Karen Chiu, Abacus

“In around Year 3 [at school], I found out about this app called Swift Playgrounds. And I had a lot of fun tinkering with it, trying out the different features and just having fun with it,” said Prohaska as he opened Playgrounds on his iPad to explain the fundamentals of Swift coding to adult noobs like me.

Working through levels in Playgrounds requires a decent amount of patience and concentration, something you don’t always find in kids his age -- except maybe when they’re playing Fortnite or Minecraft. I asked Prohaska to show me a stage that he had never worked on. For around 10 minutes, his mind was solely focused on solving the puzzle in front of him and explaining to me his thought process.

Apple Student Scholarship Winners Won't Get To WWDC In Person This Year. Instead, They'll Win A Jacket, by Jefferson Graham, USA Today

Ethan Saadia, 17, from Houston, attended WWDC in 2019 and says it was an eye-opening experience to meet and interact with computer nerds like himself. This year, while finishing classes in his junior year of high school, he's been creating apps. He's fine-tuning a prototype for a curbside pickup app to bring contactless service to any business with a smartphone and has been running his 3D printer to make headbands for face shields for first responders.

Meet Chirag Chopra, The Delhi Developer Whose Biggest Possession Is A Game On Apple Arcade, by Anuj Bhatia, Indian Express

“In my childhood, we weren’t financially strong. But then things started changing when we started buying sometimes useful, sometimes luxury objects. That’s where the name ‘Possessions’ comes from…our possessions tells us what we are.” Chirag Chopra, the 27-year-old founder of Lucid Labs, the only Indian developer to make it to Apple Arcade, is a matter of fact on why his game is called Possessions.

The word ‘Possession’ has deep philosophical meaning, says Chopra, adding he decided to name the game thus because it tells us how successful or financially independent we are. “The narrative and storyline are personal to me.”


Miku Smart Baby Monitor Review: Track Your Baby's Sleep Patterns So You Can Sleep Better, Too, by Michael Ansaldo, TechHive

In addition to now-standard capabilities such as sound and movement (and non-movement) detection, the Miku tracks your child’s breathing patterns and aggregates all this data in digestible sleep analysis reports. Though some hiccups I encountered during testing suggest there’s still some room for improvement, the Miku has the all the makings of a great baby monitor.


In Defense Of Bad Ideas, by Surjan Singh

We only expand the realm of the possible when individuals dare to try things that seem impossible.


Apple Stores In France To Reopen June 9, Spain And Turkey For June 8, by Amber Neely, AppleInsider

Only five countries where Apple has retail outlets will be left without any of the stores opened by the end of the week: Brazil (2), Mexico (2), the Netherlands (3), Singapore (2), and the United Kingdom (38).

Profile Of Apple-Google Contact Tracing API Reveals How Project Started, by Malcolm Owen, AppleInsider

After being called back by Apple on March 21, Bugnion started explaining the idea in an email, which was then followed by a series of meetings explaining what Apple would have to do, namely relaxing the policies. On determining Apple may not go through with it due to security concerns, Bugnion got hold of Apple head of Health Strategic Initiatives Myoung Cha, who reported to COO Jeff Williams.

By April 5, Apple was willing to invest resources, but it was determined Google had to assist, and that an interoperable system needed to be made. By April 10, Apple and Google made its contact tracing announcement.

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When I realize I am going to be using my Mac much more during these... interesting times, I also bought a few apps to make me happier while I am working from home. Little apps here and there.

I've also written a couple of AppleScripts, to toggle between working-mode and not-working-mode. While working, I will see my Dock with its little notification badges. While not-working, I wlll hide the Dock and just see SwitchGlass' application switcher window. I will not even accidentally click on the Firefox icon, which will automatically launch Outlook (for the web), and notify me of all the emails that just came in.

I've almost forgotten I used Windows more than macOS during most of my weekdays...


Thanks for reading.

The Watch-Now Edition Sunday, June 7, 2020

Watch A Selection Of Free Movies On Apple TV That Highlight Racial Injustices, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

If you are in the US, open the TV app and look for the section in the Watch Now tab called Black in America. You can watch for free for a limited time, and buy to own the films at reduced prices too.

I Tried Apple Music, Youtube Music, And Spotify And Here's What I Found Out, by Luke Filipowicz, iMore

As someone who has used Apple Music for four years, my Apple Music recommendations are spot on because the service knows what I like and what I don't. So, while I think Apple Music has perfect recommendations, both Spotify and YouTube Music are pretty good.

In the months I have used Spotify and YouTube Music, Spotify has seemed to pick up on my taste in music quicker. I felt like after about three weeks of using Spotify, the service was recommending some amazing stuff from artists and had never heard of before, and I was digging it.


A Lot About A Little, by Pat Walls

I think I know now, that if I keep trying new things every year, my life will be shallow. I will know a little about a lot.

I want to know a lot about a little.

Starting Many Things, by Jet Holt

To me, the most interesting people are those who do something new and ‘out of left field’, completely unrelated to what they had been doing before. I love reading about someone who completely breaks the mould. I love thinking “Wow, I didn’t expect this from you”, and it adds a lot more depth to them. It makes me ask “What will they do next?”


Reopening Responsibly: UAE Apple Stores To Resume On June 8, by Alvin R. Cabral, Khaleej Times

Apple Stores' will be operating on limited store hours, with several enhanced protocols to be enforced to maintain social distancing. While malls where Apple Stores are located - The Dubai Mall, Mall of the Emirates and Yas Mall - have their own opening hours, Apple's retail outlets will be open from 11am to 7:30pm daily.

A series of health questions will be asked before admission and masks will be required to be worn as well. And with a limited number of people to be allowed in at any time, customers should expect to wait outside.

Apple Preparing Monthly iPad, Mac Payment Plans For Apple Card, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

The Cupertino, California-based technology giant is planning to roll out the service in the coming weeks, according to people familiar with the plan. The offering will let customers buy a product through Apple and split up the cost over several months with interest-free payments.

Apple Says It’s Locking And Tracking Some Looted iPhones, by Rex Crum, San Jose Mercury News

Apple has begun locking certain iPhones stolen from its stores, making the phones unusable, and has also sent messages to the phones saying that area law officials have been notified about the thefts. An Apple spokesperson confirmed to this news organization that it had begun implementing the security measures for demonstration models of iPhones that it keeps on display for customers to try out at its retail outlets.

Apple wouldn’t say if it was taking similar steps for iPhones that it keeps in supply for customer purchases, saying only, “We don’t comment on matters of security.”

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Dear Apple,

How long do I have to wait for albums to appear in my Apple Music library on my iPhone, after I added them to my Apple Music Library on my Mac?

Can you just add a button that says "please just sync up everything?" I am waiting forever, it seems, for the albums to sync up so that the albums can be downloaded onto my phone, and I can go outside and listen to them without incurring mobile data charges.

(Just kidding. I'm not in a hurry to go out.)


Thanks for reading.

The Important-Clues Edition Saturday, June 6, 2020

Apple Launches 'Stand Up To Racism' Today In The App Store Story, by Lory Gil, iMore

Apple's Today story in the App Store is all about racism. Titled "Stand Up to Racism," it features a long list of apps that can be helpful resources for people looking to participate or support the anti-racists revolution taking place in the U.S. right now.

Did Your Mac Crash, Freeze Or Panic?, by Howard Oakley, The Eclectic Light Company

When your Mac goes wrong, it’s often called a ‘crash’. That’s a succinct term, but not very useful when you come to work out what went wrong and how to fix it. By understanding what happened, and what exactly that ‘crash’ was, we get important clues as to what to do next.


Powerbeats Pro Offer Solid Audio Quality With A Fitness-Focused Wire-Free Design, by Eric Slivka, MacRumors

The Powerbeats Pro are excellent earphones, particularly for those users who want to use them in the gym or while running. The earhooks offer much more stability than ‌AirPods‌ or other truly wireless earphone that just sit in the ear with no additional support, so you won’t need to worry about them falling out.

Some iPhone 11 Users Complain Of Display With Odd Green Tint, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

It’s not clear what’s going on, but almost all of the affected users say that the green tint is visible just for a few seconds after unlocking an ‌iPhone‌. Some users have seen it at night with Dark Mode and Night Shift enabled, while others say it occurs when brightness is at the lowest possible setting.

Remove The Background From Your Photos In Seconds With PhotoRoom, An Impressive Editing App For iOS, by Explica

There are many ways to remove background from photos, but few are as fast and versatile as the PhotoRoom app offers: crop close-up of images almost instantly. It is valid for portraits and objects; with the option of obtaining artistic photographs thanks to the large number of templates PhotoRoom offers.


Apple Announces Open-source Project For Password Manager Developers, by Mike Peterson, AppleInsider

The so-called Password Manager Resources initiative, one of several open-source Apple projects, allows password manager apps to integrate web-site specific requirements used by the iCloud Keychain password manager in their own apps.

According to the documentation, the goal is to have password app makers collaborate on development resources to improve quality, document website-specific behaviors and improve user trust.

Building A Silly WatchKit App, by Erica Sadun

The vast majority of headache is getting the Xcode tooling and the hardware to sync, install, and test. This really should be the easiest part, but it was endlessly frustrating.

The Make-the-Change Edition Friday, June 5, 2020

More Countries Adopting Or Switching To Apple/Google Contact Tracing API, by Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac

The Apple/Google coronavirus contact tracing API hasn’t seen widespread adoption to date, but does now appear to be gathering pace, with more countries adopting it and others switching to it.

Finland, Ireland, and Portugal are adopting it; Austria is switching to it; Singapore and Australia are both considering making the change.

Apple TV Plus, Other New Streamers Are Looking To Crash The Emmys Party, by Michael Schneider, Variety

The Daytime Emmy nominations were finally announced last month by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences after a monthlong delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and Apple TV Plus scored an impressive haul for a first-timer. Even though the service has been streaming for only six months, its four kids shows (“Ghostwriter,” “Helpsters,” “Snoopy in Space” and “Peanuts in Space: Secrets of Apollo 10”) landed a total of 17 nods — placing it ahead of networks like HBO (with 14) in total daytime noms.


Now comes the Primetime Emmy race, which is administered by NATAS’ L.A.-based counterparts at the Television Academy. Apple TV Plus is once again looking to make history by landing a major category nomination in its first year of existence and Emmy eligibility — something that even Netflix, Amazon and Hulu couldn’t do.


Become A Videoconferencing Pro With These Tips, by Glenn Fleishman, TidBITS

Millenia of civilization never prepared human beings for spending hours a day staring at tiny dots of light and assembling them into pictures of other people with whom we had to pretend to be having real conversations. We can admit it: videoconferencing is literally unnatural, and our brains—our souls, maybe—aren’t made for it. But by putting your best face forward, you might ratchet down the stress and discomfort of an always-on-video workstyle. And we can all hope the necessity and frequency of such sessions lessen over time.


Apple Offering Covid-19 Testing To Staff Returning To Offices, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

Apple began bringing some workers in to the main Apple Park office in May, including some hardware and software engineers. When they arrive, they’ll have the option of taking a nasal-swab test to check for the virus, according to people familiar with the process. Temperature checks are required.

As the building gradually reopens, some employees are working from the Apple campus only a few days a week. Apple is also limiting the number of people allowed in confined spaces at its offices. For example, as few as two are permitted in elevators at the same time, which normally would fit as many as 10 employees. The company has also closed many break-room kitchens and has posted signs asking employees to wear masks.

Apple's Attempts To Automate Product Assembly Have Met With Limited Success, by Joe Rossignol, MacRumors

The Information today published a detailed look at the difficulties Apple has faced trying to assemble its products with robots rather than humans.

The report claims that, beginning in 2012, Apple assembled a team of robotics and automation specialists at a secret lab in Sunnyvale, California to search for ways to reduce the number of workers on its production lines. However, the team is said to have quickly encountered challenges designing some of these automated systems.

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Today, my step-count was even higher than when I was out and about before these... interesting times. Why? Because I've been walking to-and-fro while on conference calls, and I've been on a lot of conference calls today.


Thanks for reading. Stay safe.

The More-Just Edition Thursday, June 4, 2020

Speaking Up On Racism, by Tim Cook, Apple

This is a moment when many people may want nothing more than a return to normalcy, or to a status quo that is only comfortable if we avert our gaze from injustice. As difficult as it may be to admit, that desire is itself a sign of privilege. George Floyd’s death is shocking and tragic proof that we must aim far higher than a “normal” future, and build one that lives up to the highest ideals of equality and justice.

In the words of Martin Luther King, “Every society has its protectors of status quo and its fraternities of the indifferent who are notorious for sleeping through revolutions. Today, our very survival depends on our ability to stay awake, to adjust to new ideas, to remain vigilant and to face the challenge of change.”

With every breath we take, we must commit to being that change, and to creating a better, more just world for everyone.

Boarded Up Apple Stores Become Unofficial Canvases For Peaceful Protest, by Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac

Activism sparked by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis has spread across all 50 US states. Apple Stores have been swept up in the momentum, looted and vandalized as some protests turned to violence. Now, some peaceful protestors are reimagining the boarded up windows of Apple Stores as canvases for a positive message.

How To Sing Along Virtually

How To Make Your Virtual Jam Session Sound—and Look—Good, by David Pogue, Wired

The problem is latency (audio lag): By the time your voice reaches the other singers’ speakers, the Internet has introduced about a half-second delay. Then they try to sing along with your already-delayed voice—and what you hear back is even further behind. It’s a vicious cycle of tempo dragging, and the result is always a train wreck.

The workaround: The musicians film themselves playing their parts individually, at home, on their phones. Then some poor, exhausted editor assembles their videos into a unified grid.


The thing is, the producers of each one had to reinvent the technique over and over, figuring it out on the fly, losing hair and shaving years off their lives. It’s time at last to provide a master guidebook for anyone who wants to create a virtual choir or orchestra.


Apple Card Debuts A $50 Sign-up Bonus In Partnership With Walgreens, by Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

On Monday, June 1, Apple and Walgreens introduced a new offer that will pay consumers $50 in Daily Cash when they get a new Apple Card and spend $50 or more at Walgreens within their first 30 days of being a cardholder.

Camera+ 2 For iOS Gains 'Magic ML' Feature For One-touch Intelligent Photo Improvements, by Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac

It uses machine learning to offer one-touch intelligent photo editing in post and can also be used while you’re shooting images.

Air Display 3 Review: Turn Spare iOS Devices Into Extra Mac Displays, by J.R. Bookwalter, Macworld

Whether you’re a MacBook owner with an occasionally need to expand the desktop while on the road or a Mac Pro user who can never have enough screens, Air Display 3 is a cost-effective way to add up to four displays using devices you already own.

Eve Cam With HomeKit Secure Video Now Available For Purchase, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

With ‌HomeKit‌ Secure Video support, the Eve Cam securely captures footage and stores it in iCloud, with no paid storage plan required.

Classical Music App 'Concertino' For Apple Music Now Available For iOS, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

Concertino works as a third-party client for Apple Music, making it easier to find classic songs on Apple’s music streaming service. You can explore classical music by most requested composers, historical periods, or playlist suggestions (which are called “radio stations” in the app).


Is A Trillion-dollar Worth Of Programming Lying On The Ground, by George Hosu

Most complicated or broken software is not designed to be overly complex or dysfunctional. It’s just designed to do something other than its intended purpose.


Apple Must Face U.S. Shareholder Lawsuit Over CEO's iPhone, China Comments, by Jonathan Stempel, Reuters

While dismissing most claims, U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers ruled late Tuesday that shareholders can sue over Chief Executive Tim Cook’s comments touting strong iPhone demand on a Nov. 1, 2018 analyst call, only a few days before Apple told its largest manufacturers to curb production.

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Stay safe, and thanks for reading.

The Stand-Ring Edition Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Next Apple Watch Activity Challenge Set For World Environment Day This Week, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Apple has scheduled its next Apple Watch Activity Challenge for June 5 in celebration of World Environment Day. This challenge encourages Apple Watch owners to fill their Stand ring by standing and moving around for at least one minute during 12 hours that day.

Got A New iPhone SE? These Are All The Best iOS 13.4 Features You Need To Know, by Jason Cipriani, CNET

Apple's new iPhone SE is a beauty. For those who are switching from an older iPhone stuck on iOS 12 or earlier, or those making the jump from an Android phone, iOS 13 has a lot to offer; you just have to know where to look.


Apple Updates Research App With COVID-19 Survey, Hearing Study Noise Test, by Juli Clover, MacRumors

Apple today updated its Apple Research app to introduce updates for its Apple Hearing Study and its Apple Heart & Movement Study.

Peloton Releases Dedicated Apple TV App With Thousands Of Workouts, by Joe Wituschek, iMore

Today, popular workout-at-home company Peleton released a version of its app for the Apple TV. The app brings all of Peloton's work-at-home content to a dedicated app on the Apple TV.


Tim Cook And Other CEOs Take On Role Of ‘Chief Empathy Officer’ In Response To George Floyd Protests, by Carmine Gallo, Forbes

It’s easy to meet anger with anger. It’s harder to meet anger with empathy, but the leaders who strive to understand how others feel will earn the admiration of their employees, customers and the communities in which they do business.

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I've had too many Microsoft Teams meeting today, and I am all tired out. But really, I am still much more luckier than many others, so this is not a complain. But, rather, this is just my little excuse for writing too little this evening.

Actually, to paraphase someone much greater than me, it takes strength to write little, and I have no strength.


Thanks for reading. Stay safe.

The Mental-State Edition Tuesday, June 2, 2020

How Zane Lowe Became Pop’s Unofficial Therapist, by Melena Ryzik, New York Times

Since 2014, when Lowe, now 46, was recruited from London and the BBC to join Apple in California, he has emerged as a trusted figure — a hyped-up fan stand-in who artists also view as a peer and a pleasure to talk to. But over the past year, Lowe’s role has shifted. His conversations started veering into how the creative process intersects with mental illness or emotional stability, and he leaned into it, using himself as an example: He has anxiety, he will freely tell you, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Even before the coronavirus pandemic, revealing his own struggles helped others open up. Now that everyone wants to talk about their mental state, Lowe is primed to coax unusual realness out of locked-off megastars. Hip-hop has Charlamagne tha God; comedy has Marc Maron. And pop music has Lowe.

Apple Music Joins Wider Music Industry Black Out Tuesday Awareness Campaign With App Takeover, by Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac

Apple Music is joining in a music industry wide ‘Black Out Tuesday’ campaign, to raise awareness for Black Lives Matter in the wake of Minneapolis resident George Floyd being killed whilst under police arrest. Apple CEO Tim Cook previously tweeted his support of the protests happening across the US and around the world.

Apple Music has cancelled its usual Beats 1 radio schedule and is instead directing all iOS and macOS users to a single streaming station that celebrates the best in black music.

Apple Releases Important Security Patches For All Its Operating Systems, by Jason Cross, Macworld

Apple has released a small but important update to all its operating systems today. The update notes for version iOS and iPadOS 13.5.1, watchOS 6.2.6, tvOS 13.4.6, and macOS 10.15.5 are practically non-existent: “This update provides important security updates and is recommended for all users.” The iOS update also includes 13.4.6 for HomePod.

Typically, when Apple is so vague about a security patch, it is trying to make sure users have a change to update without tipping off hackers.


Seven Years Later, I Bought A New Macbook. For The First Time, I Don't Love It, by Carlos Fenollosa

Yes, I have always loved my computer. Why wouldn't I? We developers spend at least eight hours a day touching and looking at our silicon partners. We earn our daily bread thanks to them. This is why we chose our computers carefully with these considerations in mind, why we are so scrupulous when evaluating them.

This is why it's so disappointing that this essential tool comes with so many tradeoffs.

Apple Card Payment Deferment Program Extended Through June, by Mike Peterson, AppleInsider

In light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Apple Card customers can now defer their payments through June without any penalties.

Tasks Is A New iOS App That Helps You Organize Projects By Priority In An Intuitive Way, by Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

But what I liked most is that the app allows you to sort your tasks into three sections: Do, Doing, and Done. More importantly, everything happens automatically, so you don’t have to think about it. When you create a new task, it goes to the “Do” list, and when you tap the checkmark, it goes right to the “Doing” list. Tap it again, and it will be marked as “Done.”

OmniFocus 3.8, by Agen Schmitz, TidBITS

The Omni Group has released OmniFocus 3.8 with the introduction of Omni Automation to the Pro edition, enabling full support for running automation plug-ins. [...] Omni Automation scripts work across platforms, can be shared with others, and can be written by anyone in JavaScript.

Review: Moshi iVisor Tames Glossy iPad + MacBook With Outdoor-friendly Matte Screen Protectors, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

It’s easy to install and easy to keep clean, and it significantly improves the experience of using your iPad or MacBook outdoors.


Work Doesn’t Happen At The Computer, by Isaac Smith, The Sweet Setup

In the grand scheme of human history, computers are brand new. We’re talking about thousands of years of operating without computers stacked against the last 30–40 with them.

While they offer a great deal of functionality in the tasks they help us achieve, they are no replacement for our own built-in computer.

This is simply challenging the common assumption that getting work done only happens in front of a screen. If the Brooklyn Bridge can be built without project management software or email, I’m sure we can achieve meaningful work without a computer. And with more computing power in a smartphone than the first rockets, you’d think we’d use it for more than a witty tweet.

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I may have forgotten how not to work from home. I may have forgotten how I tolerated my long commute. I may have forgotten how I tolerated having dinners at late hours.

But then, I may have also forgotten having a drink with my friends. I may have also forgotten complaining about work with my colleagues.

I am having very mixed feelings.


Thanks for reading.

The Still-Present Edition Monday, June 1, 2020

Apple Temporarily Closes US Retail Stores In Wake Of Widespread Looting And Protests, by Michael Steeber, 9to5Mac

Apple has temporarily closed the majority of its US retail stores for the safety of employees and customers as protests sparked by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis continue to spread across the nation. [...]

Apple says store closures will last through Sunday. Some locations with extensive damage have indefinite closures listed on their webpages.

Apple's Cook Says 'Painful Past Is Still Present Today' In Memo, by Mark Gurman, Bloomberg

Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook said protections for people are “still not universally applied” as he discussed discrimination and inequality in the U.S. in an internal memo to employees.


The Apple executive said that the company would be donating to a number of groups, including the Equal Justice Initiative, a non-profit focusing on racial injustice. The iPhone maker will also offer a two-for-one match for employee donations in the month of June.

How Apple Supports LGBTQ+ During Pride Month And All Year Long, by Lory Gil, iMore

From its openly gay CEO to its yearly special edition Pride Apple Watch bands, Apple preaches about diversity and inclusivity of the LGBTQ+ community and backs up those words with everyday actions. Support for diversity in the workplace is on display with its Pride parades, commitment to workers' rights, employee networks, and more.

Apple Reopening Flagship Tokyo Stores As Japan Eases Restriction, by Vlad Savov, Bloomberg

Apple Inc. is set to reopen its biggest stores in Japan from midday on Wednesday, bringing its physical retail network back online in one of its biggest markets.

Shuttered after the coronavirus outbreak forced a series of restrictive measures across the country, Apple’s stores in the shopping districts of Omotesando, Ginza and Shibuya are all reopening their doors, with the biggest and latest outlet in Marunouchi joining them. All 10 of Apple’s stores in Japan will be open by midweek, after the company tentatively resumed sales at two of them a week ago.


Apple 13in MacBook Pro Review 2020: Going Out On A High?, by Samuel Gibbs, The Guardian

To make a better laptop than this Apple will have to radically redesign the machine, so this feels like the last great version of a long-running model. It’s not exciting, nor does it reinvent the wheel but it is great – the 13in MacBook Pro many have been waiting for.

iPad Pro And Magic Keyboard: Hands-on Impressions After 6 Weeks, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

For example, if you work with a lot of text, as I do, the Magic Keyboard will likely be far more useful to you than other people. The precision offered by the trackpad while editing text is simply can’t be rivaled with touch input.


For me, the iPad Pro with Magic Keyboard serves as my go-to option for mobile editing, writing, and even podcasting when necessary. The Magic Keyboard improves my productivity in all of these areas and has become an integral part of my setup.

Is It Safe To Upgrade To Catalina 10.15.5?, by Howard Akley, The Eclectic Light Company

Catalina has many warts and minor bugs, but there are three areas which have generated the most problems: the Mail app, Time Machine, and replacement apps for iTunes.


To Move Forward, Siri Needs A Lot Of Attention, by Dan Moren, Macworld

This year, as Apple gets ready to take the wraps off iPadOS and iOS 14, the next version of macOS, and perhaps even an update to the HomePod, it seems like a good time to revisit the places where Siri still falls short.

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Hey, it's June!


Thanks for reading.