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.